Thursday, January 31, 2013

Prima Fleur Essential Oil: VETIVER

Native to South India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, vetiver is of the Poacceae family that includes grasses and plants characterized by their elegant underground root systems. The two-year wait time for the roots to mature,  plus the arduous work of planting, pulling up the roots by hand, and washing, cleaning, parsing, and drying them before the steam distillation procedure can even begin is testament to vetiver essential oil’s value. Our Vetiveria zizanioides ~ Prima Fleur Vetiver Essential Oil [No. 218] ~ is from Java, where the plant is called akar wangi, meaning “fragrant root.” Good quality, mature dried Javanese vetiver root yields from 1.5 to 2% essential oil. Oils derived from older roots have higher specific gravities and optical rotations than younger roots and produce a richer and fuller quality of oil.  

Adaptable and sturdy, the vetiver plant is widely used to make fragrant blinds, shielding the sun’s rays and infusing homes with earthy notes. Fans formed from the roots and embellished with embroidery are dipped in water and wafted in front of the face to provide blissful relief from Southern Asia’s heat. For more substantial needs, the plant can be used as material to make thatched huts and floor mats. Vetiver also provides excellent protection from soil erosion. 

Yet the true treasure of this tufted grass is the essential oil derived from the root. In folklore, vetiver oil is used to increase financial abundance. In more common ritual, inhaling the oil is said to protect the body from menacing energies, including physical illness. Vetiver is employed in massage and aromatherapy for its grounding influence, to calm the central nervous system of one who feels “uprooted.” When used by a skilled practitioner, vetiver can be prescribed to increase blood flow and reduce muscle pain. Vetiver essential oil acts as a moisturizing humectant for dry, irritated skin and is found in cosmetics, soaps, and natural perfumes as a fixative. 

The main constituents of vetiver essential oil are vetiverone (bitter earthiness), vetiverol (sweet woody odor), and zizanol, an insect repellent. The oil blends well with lemongrass, grapefruit, evergreens, frankincense, myrrh, rose, and sandalwood, and is used primarily as a base note with tenacity and a richly distinctive masculinity.

For information on our Premier Products and pricing, please visit our website. For questions and to explore custom development with exquisite botanicals from our extensive library of raw materials, please contact or call (415) 455-0957.

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