How to Make Vanilla Tincture

Vanilla beans are easily made into vanilla tincture

Vanilla beans are easily made into vanilla tincture

I had a great time making this short how-to video with Sebastian of Looking, Feeling, Smelling Great! The video shows how easy it is to make vanilla tincture, a material perfumers use to create a light and not too sweet vanilla top note. The video shows all the steps and then I've posted the recipe below for the measurements.

Vanilla is one of those chameleon materials that perfumers love: it can be sweet and classically "vanilla" but it also has woody-smokey notes ("butterscotch") that help it blend into many fragrances where it plays a supporting role. As we discuss in the video, perfumers use a variety of vanilla materials each with it's own effect: vanilla absolute, a rich (and expensive!) extraction of vanilla pods; vanillin, the molecule that is so characteristic of vanilla; and vanilla tincture. Vanilla tincture is fun easy to make at home. If you use edible, high-proof alcohol (like vodka) you can use it to add vanilla accents to cocktails and desserts. This tincture is used in the perfume, Cadavre Exquis, my collaboration with Antonio Gardoni of Bogue Profumo.


Vanilla TIncture Recipe
Be sure to watch the video for all the steps, this just shows the correct proportions.

18 grams Vanilla Beans or Pods (about 10 vanilla pods)
50 grams high proof vodka or Everclear
You can make this with 80 proof if that's all you can find but it will be better with 190 proof.

Bruno Fazzolari