Spice and citrus essential oils blend well with vanilla

Vanilla absolute or vanilla CO2 extract blends well with a wide variety of essential oils, adding a sweet, balsamic, “creamy” note to an essential oil blend. It is a popular oil to use in Holiday blends, as it is reminscent, for many, of the season. Think about the purpose of your blend, the product base you are blending it with, and then compose a blend to fit that purpose.

As I discussed in last week’s post, there are alternatives to vanilla oil but, if you want to use true vanilla, here are a few suggestions with which to blend it.

Spice Essential Oils

Spice essential oils are popular during the Holiday season and the winter months because of their “warming” qualities. Spices such as nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), ginger (Zingiber officinale), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), and clove (Eugenia caryophyllus) are also used in many Holiday dishes, so their individual and combined aromas are familiar to many.

When using spices as essential oils, remember to check individual cautions for use, as these particular essential oils are often more “volatile” than others and in some cases should not be used with seniors, pregnant moms, and with babies and children.

Balsam Essential Oils

As I suggested in last week’s article, Peru balsam (Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae) can be used as an alternative to vanilla oil. However, essential oils of the “balsam family” also blend well with vanilla oil. Balsam essential oils, such as Canadian or fir balsam (Abies balsamea) and copaiba balsam (Copaifera officinalis), are also beneficial for respiratory problems.

Citrus Essential Oils

Citrus essential oils from the Rutaceae plant family, such as sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), lime (Citrus aurantifolia), lemon (Citrus x limon) and even neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara (flos)), blend well with vanilla oil, in addition to other essential oils with a lemon aroma.

Citrus essential oils add an uplifting, “happy” note to a blend. Many are also beneficial for digestive problems.

Mint essential oils

I think that mint is a quintessential aroma of the Holiday season and, when combined with vanilla, adds a yummy note to any Holiday blend! Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) and spearmint (Mentha spicata) are the two most common types of mint essential oils used. Avoid using peppermint essential oil around babies, young children and pregnant moms; opt for the less “reactive” spearmint essential oil.

Vanilla Blends for the Winter Season

In the final post of my trilogy on vanilla oil, I will give you three vanilla blends to use during the Holidays and into winter. Don’t forget to check back next week!

The Study of Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

To learn more about how essential oils are used in aromatic blends, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM program!


  • The suggestions in this article are drawn from the author’s combined 20 year experience in the health care and aromatherapy industry. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist (R). She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. She has taken the online Master Gardener short course series with the University of Oregon. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she is in the process of creating her own aromatic stillroom and school room for on-site workshops on her one acre homestead and aromatic gardens.

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