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Vetiveria zizanoides

vetiver root

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.


Family: Orchidaceae

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.

Medical Disclaimer: Information on this web site is for entertainment purposes only. This information is NOT intended as medical advice, or for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem, or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.


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Products & Learning

Vetiver essential oil - organic
Vetiver Essential Oils

from Amrita Aromatherapy

vetiver root
Vetiver Root - Whole

from Amazon.com

Japanese incense sticks
Japense Incense

Baiedo, Shoyeido, and Others

Learn aromatherapy from Jenn Scents Aromaversity
Learn Aromatherapy

from JennScents Aromaversity