Synonyms: Bourbon vanilla (from Madagascar and La Réunion)
Origin: native to Central and South America and Mexico, now cultivated in Madagascar (the largest producer by far), the West Indies, La Réunion, Tahiti, Java, Seychelles, etc.
Parts Used: fruits (pods)
Aroma Description: rich, sweet
Cosmetic Uses: perfumery, aromatherapy; used in potpourris, candles, room fragrances, etc.
Culinary Uses: used to flavor ice cream, chocolate, yogurt, desserts, syrups, cakes, candy, cereals, soft drinks, liqueurs (Galliano), fruits, tobacco, etc.
Medicinal Attributes: improves digestion
Essential Oil: Yes; absolutes, extracts, resinoids and tinctures are all manufactured, though are often adulterated and do not share the full aromatic qualities of the ripen fruits. A far inferior synthetic vanillin is often used in the perfumery and flavorings trades.
Mixes Well With: benzoin, cassia, cinnamon, cloves, copal-black, mugwort, nutmeg, opoponax, palo santo wood, sandalwood, storax, sweetgrass, tolu balsam, tonka beans, vetiver, copaiba and Peru balsams, etc.