Can you put vanilla extract in candles?


You may have seen people on social media posting about how they are making vanilla-scented candles. One of the most common questions that pop up is, “Can I use vanilla extract in my candle?” the answer to this question is not just yes or no, but it depends.

You can put vanilla extract in your candles. Some types of candle wax will have a better scent with vanilla extract, and some won’t. Paraffin wax candles hold vanilla scents better and give a stronger aroma. In contrast, natural waxes such as beeswax and soy wax give a soothing, subtle smell that will not irritate your senses.

The type of candle you’re using, would you and your wax have a specific melting point that allows the oil to be added directly? If your wax doesn’t allow for oils, you can still incorporate the flavor by adding ingredients like cinnamon sticks, berries, citrus, peelings, cloves, nutmeg, etc., to create an aromatic blend with a great scent throw. Keep reading to find out more!

Can you put vanilla extract in candles?

Vanilla scented candles are great for use in bathrooms, living rooms, or bedrooms. They help you relax and calm your body and mind after long, stressful days. 

With a little bit of effort, you can make your own vanilla-scented candles at home. You just need some candles and vanilla extract that are most likely lying in your pantry for a very long time. 

To make “Vanilla candles,” you can pour one teaspoon of vanilla extract into the melted wax. Stir using (for example) a chopstick to ensure that the vanilla extract is distributed evenly. If you are making a beeswax candle, you can add a little bit of honey and vanilla to enhance the natural beeswax aroma.

Adding cinnamon, coffee, or cloves, you can also make exciting combinations with vanilla. Add a few coffee beans, clove powder, or cinnamon powder after the wax cools down but is still soft to make a unique vanilla latte scent. Mix thoroughly to distribute the scent evenly throughout the candle. 

Just don’t forget that the candle will have a shorter shelf life with each combination that involves fresh ingredients because these fresh ingredients go rancid much faster.

Also, if you want to use vanilla fragrances that are easily available in the market, they often contain toxic chemicals, which you should avoid inhaling directly. 

Is there an essential oil that smells like vanilla?

Vanilla is characterized by its rich, sweet, and balsamic aroma. Vanillin is a compound that gives a specific flavor to vanilla. The vanilla beans are used to create absolute and CO2 vanilla extract. Vanilla essential oil can not be produced due to its chemical properties of vanilla. 

Here are the essential oils that you can use as a vanilla fragrance

Balsam of Peru Essential Oil

It is the name of a tropical tree that belongs to the Fabaceae plant family. The distilled essential oil taken from this tree’s resin resembles vanilla. The primary chemical constituents of its oil are benzyl benzoate, benzyl cinnamate, and cinnamic acid 1. 

The balsam of Peru’s essential oil has a rich, sweet aroma that most people will call vanilla. And the best thing is that it is actually cheaper than the original vanilla derivatives. It is also helpful in aromatherapy, targeting stress, respiratory issues, and skin problems. 

Benzoin Absolute

Benzoin is the tropical tree of the Styracaceae plant family. The tree’s resin is derived as an absolute with the help of different solvents. Benzoin’s rich, sweet, warm, balsamic aroma is quite similar to that of vanilla. 

The chemical composition of Benzoin is Benzoic acid, Benzyl Benzoate 3, and vanillin 2. It has similar beneficial effects to vanilla and is successfully used for aromatherapy targeting joint pain, skin care, stress, and respiratory issues. 

Vanilla Bean Absolute

To create the warm vanilla scent, you will require a few drops of the doTerra Whisper blend. It is extracted from vanilla beans in hexane, which is why it is called Vanilla Bean Absolute. 

Hexane is a nontoxic compound and allows the cultivation of vanilla scent during distillation. There is no essential oil, and the “vanilla” scent is always synthetic. 

What about the natural vanilla essential oil?

Basically, a vanilla essential oil is different from other essential oils as they are distilled directly from its source. It is better to say that vanilla essential oil is not really essential.

The chemical structure of vanilla beans makes them unavailable for the distillation process through which the typical essential oils are extracted. The extraction of vanilla essential oil is nowhere similar to jasmine, grapefruit, echinacea, or other botanical essential oils.

This is the reason why some aromatherapy enthusiasts are reluctant to use products labeled as “vanilla essential oil.” 

What is the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla essential oil?

Vanilla extract is a common pantry ingredient we often use to make cakes and desserts. However, it is entirely different from vanilla essential oil or vanilla absolute. 

Vanilla extract is produced by extracting vanilla flavor with the help of alcohol. Therefore it is not suitable for use in recipes that ask for vanilla essential oil. 

Even though you can put essential oils in candles, you can technically also mix fragrance oil with essential oil, but I would only recommend doing this if you know what you are doing.

Vanilla Essential Oil Is Something Different

Most vanilla essential oils contain a blend of vanilla extract with a carrier oil such as jojoba. They give a satisfactory result like other essential oils. 

Choosing a vanilla essential oil with the highest quality ingredients is necessary. And it should come from a reliable source to ensure it is free from chemicals. 

Vanilla Essential Oil – Is it a thing?

With so many synthetic vanilla fragrance options available for making candles, you may try finding pure vanilla essential oil. But is it even possible?

Unfortunately no! You cannot find a 100% natural vanilla essential oil as it does not even exist. But you can produce and purchase Vanilla-scented oil. It’ll just not be 100% pure.

What type of wax goes well with vanilla extract?

Even though vanilla is still one of the most common scents used today because of its complex, warm, and comforting sweetness, you can’t use it on all types of waxes, or at least, should I say, it won’t have the same effect on every type of wax. 

The type of wax you use for adding vanilla extract depends on your personal preference. The type of candle you are making will impact your choice of wax. If you are looking for natural wax candles, you can use soy wax or beeswax

The type of wax you use for making a vanilla candle will also define whether the vanilla fragrance remains subtle or becomes a strong aroma. Adding vanilla extract to the candle wax will produce scented candles that keep the house clean and fresh for hours.  

Paraffin wax candles hold the fragrance and essential oils better and give a strong aroma. In contrast, natural waxes such as beeswax and soy wax give a soothing, subtle smell that will not irritate your senses. 

Why do my candles sink in the middl...
Why do my candles sink in the middle?

Paraffin waxes are now considered harmful, and people use beeswax, coconut wax, and soy wax to make their natural vanilla-scented candles. 

Can you put vanilla extract in a wax warmer?

You can use vanilla extract in your wax warmer such as Scentsy. If done the right way, it won’t damage your wax warmer

Pour some coconut oil on top of the wax warmer. Then pour some vanilla extract over it. Repeat the procedure when the aroma of vanilla diminishes. 

Vanilla extract warmed in a wax burner will fill your house with a beautiful scent. You can directly burn the vanilla extract in your wax warmer if you want to avoid toxic commercial candles. 

However, while you place vanilla in your wax warmer, you should not leave it unattended. Vanilla burns quicker than wax, so it should never be left alone in the warmer for longer. 

Final Verdict

Are you thinking of experimenting with common pantry ingredients for making a scented candle? Vanilla extract is one of the easiest and best options for you. A few drops of vanilla extract mixed in molten wax will work wonders in your homemade scented candles. 

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