Vetiver Essential Oil
Vetiver is primarily cultivated for its essential oil,found in its aromatic roots. Some 90% of all western perfumes contain Vetiver Essential Oil, some like Dior's Eau Sauvage and Guerlain Vetiver contain sugnificant amounts. The main producers are CHina, Haiti and Indonesia, with some 250 tons being produced annually. The best oil is obtained from roots that are 18-24 months old, these can be 3-5 metres deep and have to be dug up with a JCB type digger. The roots are chopped up then washed, before they are steam distilled, which can take 24 hours to complete.
The characteristics of the Vetiver Oil vary depending upon the soil and climate where it is grown. The vetiver oil from the island of Reunion is considered to be the best, having a floral quality. The oil is used in aromatherapy for its calming, grounding and stabilising properties.