The Verdant Vetiver in Perfumery: Chrysopogon Zizanioides
Rich and earthy, spicy and floral, all in the chemical composition of Valerenol (19.88%), beta-Vatirenene (8.61%), Longiverbenone (3.46%), Germacrene D (3.82%), Aristolene (3.20%), Selin-6-en-4-o (2.99%) and Globulol (2.18) according to the Journal of Pharmacognosy.
Vetiver, also known as the “oil of tranquility” is majorly grown in South Asia, especially India and Sri Lanka. Some say the verdancy of Vetiver is a balancing catalyst in masculine scents (men’s perfumes), but as these rigid codes begin to drop, Vetiver is known to add a vegetal freshness to the warm notes of amber, musk, and Oud.
Origins in India
The southern state of Tamil Nadu is known to set up a strong supply chain of Vetiver, and the other two roots called, Nannari (Indian sarsaparilla ) and Magali (swallow root), dedicated to perfumery.
In the field of Ayurvedic medicine, vetiver roots are rich in antioxidants and enormously used in the treatment of urinary tract infections, acne, and diarrhea symptoms (as mentioned in the book, Ayurveda: Life, Health, and Longevity).
The ingredient belongs to a woody family. Flanked by a few drops of Vetiver oil drops, the scent has been described as fresh and lush lawn grass, just warmer and richer. Its distinct scent is earthy and citrusy, and the rooty nature radiates both floral and smoky notes perfect for genderless perfumes.
How to tickle the nose with Vetiver?
Some of the top notes that work really well with Vetiver as the ‘heart note’ include, Brazilian Rosewood, Cardamom, and Sichuan Pepper as found in our top-selling perfume, Oud Féroce.
Some other top notes that add a mordant accord include pink pepper, bergamot, mandarin, and neroli, juniper, aldehydes.
As the heart unfolds the base, Vetiver can be fleshed out with tobacco, nutmeg, spicy pepper notes, and the warm facets of Tonka Bean. Soft at first, but full of a bold statement, the scent can also be overlaid with ambergris, and musk.