Handmade Vanilla Perfume Oil Recipe


A basic way to create your own base note oil or a fragrant body oil to be used alone.


5 whole, dried vanilla beans (Moroccan are best) available from Healthfood stores
Highest proof vodka you can find or Everclear
1/4 oz Jojoba Oil


In a tinted glass container, slice open vanilla beans and scrape out the inner black fragrant paste as well as you can. Use as many vanilla beans as desired. About five beans will make 1/4 oz oil, so 20 beans is good for 1 oz. (It is best to do this when the vanilla beans are as fresh as possible, usually right after you have bought them from the store, or store beans immediately in vacume sealed jars until ready to use.) Cut up the remaining outer shells of vanilla beans into small pieces and add to the glass container. Pour alcohol over beans, just enough to soak and cover them leaving about 1/4 inch liquid free on top. Too much alcohol will leave an alcoholic smell to the end product. Leave tinted bottle in a cool, dark area to sit, covered, and extract the vanilla essence for about 2 to 3 weeks. Open and agitate every so often, checking the odor for the strength of vanilla scent. At this point, you may if you wish heat the mixture instead of letting it sit for 3 weeks. Heating often speeds up the extraction process, and it is possible to accomplish the complete extraction within a few days instead of 3 weeks. Put the mixture in an open glass container, such as a pyrex measuring cup or beaker, and heat it over an electric range or hotplate--never over a flame or inside an oven, as alcohol fumes are flammable--and always in a well ventilated area (windows open). Heat on low for one hour, keeping a close eye on it and stirring occasionally. Let the liquid cool in the tinted glass container for a few days to a week in a cool, dark place, such as a cabinet. When the scent of the alcohol has faded and the vanilla scent is strong, test the extraction on your skin and wait a few seconds, then smell. If it doesn't have a distinct scent of vanilla, let it stand another week in the cabinet. If it does have a distinct scent, strain alcohol using cheesecloth, a finely grated tea strainer, or even a woman's pantyhose (white or nude). The pantyhose actually work the best and strain out very fine particles quickly. The alcohol based liquid, though not the end product, can be utilized in perfume making, as it is now a vanilla scented base note. Don't waste it. Take the particulate and vanilla pieces from the strainer and put back into tinted glass container, this time pouring jojoba oil over them. Use about double the amount of joboba as there is vanilla bean slush. Leave this mixture to sit in a cool, dry place for another week or until the oil is well scented with vanilla. Strain, and use oil as one would a fragrance oil, or as a perfume of its own. In order not to be wasteful, the vanilla bean slush leftover in the strainer can be used again and again in this manner, leaving it to sit in either alcohol or jojoba oil. Since it has been soaked adequately in alcohol first, the vanilla beans have a stronger essence and can be added to oils easier than if they hadn't been soaked in alcohol. Be creative and mix your homemade vanilla oil with other fragrances. Myrrh goes very well with it, as well as sandalwood and some citrus notes.

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