I happen to find vanilla incredibly sensual—its aroma is so deliciously soft and round, with just the subtlest edge for tension. I always seem to have vanilla beans infusing something or another in my kitchen: Raw sugar, vodka, honey.
Vanilla has become a hot fragrance in the beauty market, so I thought I’d give some body oil a shot. This super simple formula was inspired by the great body care book Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles (Storey Publishing, 2007), and calls for only two ingredients, plus a few months of infusing time. Jojoba oil is a fantastic-fantastic (did I tell you it was fantastic?) moisturizer and all around miracle that has many uses and works for all types of skin. Infused with deep, fragrant vanilla just makes it all the better. Use it as a massage oil, or for a full-body moisturizing scent.
3 long vanilla beans
1 1/2 cups jojoba oil
1. Slice the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the seeds from each bean, and add it to a glass jar. Chop the empty bean pods into one-inch pieces and add to the jar. Cap the jar and shake the mixture for one minute.
2. Store the jar in a dark place for two months to allow the vanilla essence to infuse the oil. During this time, shake the jar every day for 10 to 15 seconds.
3. After two months, strain the oil through a tight-mesh strainer, coffee filter, or nylon stocking, then pour the oil into an elegant glass storage bottle.