This tropical flower, an orchid, is a Mexican native grown in Tahiti, Java and Madagascar. Orchids are considered the most highly evolved flowers, and this is the only one with an edible fruit. When first transplanted in R‚union, vanilla didn’t produce pods because the hummingbirds and bees that pollinate it didn’t live there. A hand-pollination method developed in 1841 is still used today.

Family: Orchidaceae

Extraction: Resinoid, absolute, oleoresin, CO2. The scent is sweet, “creamy” and typically vanilla.

Emotional Attribute: Vanilla’s fragrance improves one’s confidence and helps to dissolve pent-up anger and frustration. It is consoling and can unleash hidden, often subconscious, sensuality.

Kathi Keville Written by Kathi Keville

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