Vanilla. Incredible exotic delicious vanilla. Universally known and loved for it’s sweet intoxicating aroma, vanilla is widely regarded as an aphrodisiac and noted for its mood-enhancing and relaxing properties. Rich in antioxidants and B vitamins it’s purported to help improve skin tone, support wound healing and soothe inflammation. It is one of our absolute favourite ingredients and a cherished addition to our skin care line.
But before we can blend this amazing plant essence into our products we first have to make our own Organic Vanilla Oil (not to be confused with Vanilla Essential Oil) by infusing the vanilla beans in oil and then allowing that infusion to steep for several weeks. It is a long process but one that ensures the sweet aromatic compounds are released and we are left with an exquisitely potent, high quality Organic Vanilla Oil.
I have been asked several times why we don’t just use ‘Vanilla Essential Oil’. My response is always the same, “it’s because there is no such thing as ‘Vanilla Essential Oil”. Yes, you read that correctly. There is no such thing. You see, it is generally accepted that in order to be considered a true essential oil the plant must be steam-distilled or cold-pressed and vanilla beans are just too delicate for those processes. Unfortunately, that means only chemical or solvent (usually hexane) extraction is used, so it is NOT a clean product, NOT a true essential oil and therefore NOT an ingredient for Chiluna.
I know we have promised to share some of ‘how we do what we do’ so here’s a little insight into our Vanilla infusions. I’m sure you can see why we are so proud of our oils!
We begin with only the highest quality Organic Madagascar Vanilla Beans – 40 of them for each infusion!
It is a bit time-consuming but relatively easy to split each bean down the middle and scrap out all of the vanilla paste
We are always amazed at just how much comes out of these little gems! The paste is dropped into 3 litre glass jars and then the remainder of the beans chopped up and tossed in with the paste.
Beautiful Jojoba, Sweet Almond, Coconut (or any other oil we choose to infuse) fills up the rest of the jar.
Voila! These 2 gorgeous infusions will steep for close to 6 weeks before they are potent enough for Chiluna standards and ready to use in our formulations.