Aromatic Note: Base note
A tall tropical perennial grass whose roots grow downward of 10 ft. (3m) and greatly help prevent soil erosion.
Vetiver is widely used in many parts of the world to battle soil erosion.
The roots of the plant are aromatic and used for thousands of years for incense practices and medicinal purposes.
The older and healthier the plant, the better the quality of oil found in its roots. Vetiver oil is known in India and Sri Lanka as the “oil of tranquility,” and the plant and its roots as “khus.”
Vetiver grass is woven into screens to make shades and blinds, which are often misted with water to produce natural cooling effects when winds pass through. This also helps repel insects.
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, somewhat woody and animal-like, slightly tobacco-like, with a deep balsamic, sweets-spicy body
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.