What's The Difference Between Vanilla CO2 & Vanilla Absolute?

by Bella Martinez February 24, 2021

What's The Difference Between Vanilla CO2 & Vanilla Absolute?

When choosing between our Vanilla oils, there are many things to consider. For example, what are their uses and benefits? How do you plan to use the oil? What’s your price point?  

In today’s guide, we will discuss all things Vanilla-related and help you decide which Edens Garden Vanilla oil is right for you. 

Methods Of Obtaining Oils

Different methods of obtaining oil can produce oils with different chemical makeups, benefits, and aromas. Our Vanilla oils are obtained using CO2 and solvent extraction.

CO2 Extraction

CO2 oils are extracted with supercritical carbon dioxide. At room temperature and average air pressure, CO2 is a gas. But when highly pressurized, it can enter a supercritical state. In its supercritical state, CO2 becomes like a liquid that is used as a solvent that extracts oil from plant material. After the oil has been extracted, CO2 is reverted to its gaseous state and the oil is collected. 

Solvent Extraction

Solvent extraction involves the use of an organic solvent, such as ethanol or hexane, to obtain the oil. In the case of our Vanilla Absolute, ethanol is used as a solvent. Oils extracted using an organic solvent are defined as “absolute oils.” Like CO2 extraction, the solvent mixes with the plant material and extracts the oil. Once the oil has been extracted, the solvent must be meticulously removed. If not done carefully, trace amounts of the solvent could be left behind, which is undesirable. 

Because no trace of carbon dioxide is left behind in an oil once it returns to its gaseous state, CO2 oils are said to have fewer impurities than solvent extracted oils. In general, CO2 extraction also yields more oil than solvent extraction.

Vanilla CO2 Vs. Vanilla Oleoresin

Now that you have an idea of how each oil is made, let’s dive into the details of what exactly makes each of our Vanilla oils unique, as well as similar.


Let’s get one thing out of the way – the price difference between Vanilla CO2 and Vanilla Oleoresin. For starters, pure Vanilla–whether it’s an extract, oleoresin, essential oil, CO2–is expensive. The reason for this is that crop shortages and an inability to meet worldwide demands have made Vanilla a rarity. Not to mention, tons of plant material is required to make a small bottle of oil. Therefore, Vanilla CO2’s demand over Vanilla Oleoresin, and a shortage of Vanilla in general, is the cause for our Vanilla oils’ dramatic price difference. 


In regards to aroma, Vanilla CO2 has a chemistry closer to the Vanilla plant, making it highly desirable for its sweet, rich aroma. Vanilla Oleoresin, on the other hand, has a sweet, creamy aroma that’s still quite pleasant, but lacks the depth of the CO2. 


The primary component of both oils is vanillin. High-quality Vanilla CO2 contains a lesser amount of vanillin – between 10-16%, like Vanilla beans – and the essential oil contains a much higher amount – around 75-85%. 


Both Vanillas can be used for similar purposes which include perfumery, stress-relief, creating a warm and relaxing environment, adding a creamy and elegant touch to synergy blends, and more. Vanilla CO2 is preferred for oil-based preparations, whereas Vanilla Oleoresin is lipophilic and can be blended directly in water up to a 5% dilution.

How To Use Vanilla CO2 And Oleoresin

Our Vanilla Oleoresin and Vanilla CO2 can be used in much of the same way. However, please note that CO2s do tend to be viscous and you would do well to read our tips on how to use thicker oils when using them. 

  • Apply Topically: Our Absolutes CO2s are 100% pure and undiluted. To apply to the skin, dilute with a high-quality Carrier Oil. See our dilution chart here. We recommend performing a skin patch test when using a new essential oil topically.

  • Diffuse & Inhale: Breathe in your favorite Vanilla oil using an essential oil diffuser or personal pocket inhaler. For instructions on how to use your diffuser, please refer to the diffuser's product page or check with the diffuser manufacturer.

  • DIYs: Explore simple and fun recipes on The Drop, our aromatherapy blog with expert tips, EO news, and informative reads.

Vanilla Birthday Cake Diffuser Blend

At Edens Garden, we love adding Vanilla to our diffuser blends. Vanilla adds the perfect amount of sweetness, depth and softness.

One of our favorite Vanilla-forward blends? This Vanilla Birthday Cake diffuser blend. Whether you have something to celebrate or just need a mood boost, diffuse this blend to add some cheer to your day. 

Find More Goodness

At Edens Garden, we offer one of the largest collections of high quality, 100% pure essential oils and expertly-formulated synergy blends. From rarer oils such as Oud, Damiana and Buddha Wood to well-known favorites like Lavender, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus, Edens Garden is your one-stop-shop for all things aromatherapy. 

Can’t find what you’re looking for? We want to know! It’s by customer requests that we continue to expand our offerings. 

Grab The Essentials Here:

Leave a comment (Comments will be approved before showing up)


Edens Garden

April 6, 2023 at 8:18 am

Hi Greg! There’s no such thing as vanilla essential oil in the sense that essential oils are obtained by steam distillation or cold pressing. Vanilla CO2 and Oleoresin are obtained by CO2 extraction and solvent extraction.


April 6, 2023 at 8:16 am

Why do so many people say there is no such thing as vanilla essential oil?


March 10, 2021 at 2:44 pm

Since both the CO2 and the Oleoresin are made from the same plant, and that plant’s inadequate supply is driving up prices, why aren’t both products similarly priced? Does the CO2 use more plant material? Or, is just that the CO2 is so much more popular that it can command higher prices?

Edens Garden

February 25, 2021 at 9:03 am

Hi Geordi! You can learn more about ingesting essential oils here: https://www.edensgarden.com/blogs/news/is-it-safe-to-ingest-essential-oils-1

Edens Garden

February 25, 2021 at 9:03 am

Hi Cara! No, Vanilla does not contain linalool.

Geordi Smith

February 25, 2021 at 8:33 am

Can either of these be used to flavor food or beverages?


February 25, 2021 at 8:31 am

Do any of the vanillas contain linalool?