WOODY

Type
Natural raw material
Parts used
Roots dried in the sun
Extraction method
Steam distillation

Dry woody scent, earthy, roots, smoke, warm, soft, intense, profound and persistent, with a slight mildew, grapefruit note…

Vetiver is a profoundly earthy note with dry, woody facets that recall a soft, smoky warmth. It is an intense, grounding scent with surprising undertones of mildew and even grapefruit.

Production

Native to India and Indonesia, vetiver grows in thick, stiff stems with long, narrow leaves from 1 to 2 meters in length. But it is the roots (rhizomes) that interest perfumers. Rhizomes grow vertically—until depths of 2 to 3 meters. Vetiver is wild at heart: growing in both cultivated and uncultivated tropical regions of Reunion Island, India, Brazil, China, Haiti and Java. A rather lengthy and arduous process is undertaken to obtain the coveted vetiver essence, whereby the rhizomes are dug up, washed, cut into pieces and dried in the sun before the essence is extracted using organic solvents. A whopping 100 kilograms of rhizome roots are required to produce a single kilogram of vetiver essence.
Iconic perfume
Guerlain
VÉTIVER EAU DE TOILETTE

Two years after the launch of Vétiver de Carven, which has since disappeared, Jean-Paul Guerlain created his first perfume under the gaze of his grandfather Jacques Guerlain. It is a fresh and invigorating success around vetiver, citrus and spices, on an earthy base of tobacco and tonka bean.

WOODY / CITRUS

History

The word “vetiver” derives from the Tamil term “vettiveru,” and is widely known as “khus khus” in many parts of India. Vetiver was first imported to the Mauritius (formerly Ile de France) by a Governor General by the name of David Charpentier de Cossigny in 1764, and then to Reunion Island (formerly Ile Bourbon) in the early 20th century. Its cultivation on Reunion Island has captured the attention of the perfume industry, with “Bourbon vetiver” largely considered the highest quality vetiver in the world.

Did you know

Unaware of the extent to which Vetiver Bourbon would gain popularity, the plant was originally grown to fight soil erosion—thanks to its long, thin roots. Nowadays, the plant is largely utilized and celebrated on the island, with vetiver roots being used to make fans that exhale woody scents with each movement.
The fragrant properties of vetiver roots are utilized in creative ways: in India, the roots are weaved into curtains, on which water is sprayed during hot summer days to refresh and fragrance the air. On Reunion Island, vetiver roots are used to make handheld fans that exhale their woody scent with every movement.

Some fragrances related to the ingredient

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Commodity

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Frédéric Malle

VÉTIVER EXTRAORDINAIRE

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Chopard | Chopard Collection

MAGNOLIA AU VÉTIVER D'HAÏTI

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Hugo Boss | The Collection

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Claus Porto

1 AGUA VETIVER

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Musk

Bergamot

Sandalwood

Patchouli

Amber

Vanilla

Jasmine

Cedarwood

Rose

Mandarin

Vetiver

Lemon

Tonka Bean

Iris / Orris

Orange Blossom

Cardamom

Pink Pepper

Lavender

Grapefruit

Woody Notes

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