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Vetiver

Fascination with vetiver essential oil

I love Vetiver for a few reasons. Firstly its an oil that like oud, patchouli and rose ages well with interesting characteristics developing in the bottle. Secondly it’s a very complex scent that develops on the skin over the hours. I personally enjoy to wear Bangladeshi and indian Ruh Khus neat. Indians traditionally like to wear this scent on their bodies during the summer months for its cooling properties. Vetiver can also apparently aid with sleep, try it yourself and take a swipe at bedtime. Vetiver oil is produced in many regions around the world:

Haiti 

Indonesia 

Bangladesh 

India

Madagascar (bourbon)

Vetiver is a humble grass that has a few uses. It’s extremely effective at discouraging soil erosion and is planted in areas where landslides are prevalent and it’s roots can be distilled for its oil. It’s a hardy grass that can tolerate high and low temperatures and is even grown here in the U.K.. Oil from vetiver has different characteristics depending on where its grown and the type of distillation process used. Vetiver from Haiti , bourbon, sylhet, Indonesia are all steel distilled. Indian vetiver ‘Ruh Khus’ is traditionally copper distilled and is very different to the others. I would describe the scent of all regions above with the exception of sylhet & India to have a similar profile but sylhet and India ruh Khus comes out quite differently. 

Vetiver processing in Haiti

Steel distilled Indian ruh Khus and sylhet have a ‘hybrid’ nature, kind of like the bastard child of Indian & Haiti. A copper distilled Indian vetiver is pretty full on, think super green, earthy aroma. It can be a little too overwhelming for some. I’m actually playing around with a ‘Guru Blend’ of Indian steel & copper right now. 

The king of vetiver?

It’s all personal taste and really depends on which profile fits you! Haiti and Indonesian is generally mass production stuff. If your into the steel distilled vetiver with its lighter, creamy, smoky profile then Bourbon Vetiver is the oil of choice. Bourbon (from Madagascar) is fairly strong and has a striking spicy greenness attached to it. North Indian Ruh Khus with its earthy, super green almost cedar like aroma is prized among others. I personally favour small scale Indian and Bangladeshi oils, many artisanal distilled oil are around with aged oils also. I think for explorers wishing to dive into the world of vetiver you should try out some bourbon, Bangladeshi and Indian Ruh Khus. Right now we currently stock Indian Ruh Khus with Sylhet Bangladeshi vetiver coming soon!
Thanks for the read, Oli


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