Vetiver gives a warm, deep and elegant scent to perfumes. Vetiver smells woody, earthy, smoked, salty, almost like salty sea.
Three types of natural vetiver are available in a perfumer 's fragrance palette:
* Bourbon vetiver (from Réunion): this species smells the most complex and salty.
* Haiti Vetiver: has a more earthy scent with a green touch.
* Vetiver from Java: smells the most smoky.
What is it?
Vetiver (with the beautiful Latin name Chrysopogon zizanioides) is a type of grass that thrives on volcanic soil. The grass is originally from India & Indonesia and is therefore known under the name "Indian couch grass". Now it is also growing in Brazil, China and Haiti. In the perfume industry mainly the roots are processed. These roots can grow up to 3 meters underground. The roots are harvested, washed and then dried in the sun. After this process, the roots are processed via steam distillation into a vetiver absolute.
How is it used?
In Calcutta and Haiti, vetiver was used to make roofs, curtains and fences: you can possibly imagine how wonderful it smelled there, when the roofs or fences got wet from, for example, the rain. Vetiver is also often planted to prevent erosion and reduce sand drift. Vetiver is a natural ingredient loved by perfumers. It can be beautiful on its own or in combination with other ingredients in many feminine and masculine perfumes.
- 150 kg of vetiver roots provide 1 kg of essence.
- roots must be at least 1 meter long before harvesting.
- the roots can grow up to 3 meters long.
- Haiti produces more than 50% of the world's vetiver supply.