Essential oils cover a wide variety of fragrance types, from the very familiar like Lavender, Lemon or Peppermint, to the deep and mysterious – of which Vetiver is a wonderful example. Extracted from the roots of a tropical grass, the essential oil is thick, sticky, darkest brown, with a rich, deep, earthy and smoky aroma.
Vetiver challenges the nose and opens deep doorways to the unknown. Often I have seen people make terrible faces on first smelling it, even coughing and turning away from it, because it is not – on first acquaintance – an essential oil that makes most folk go ‘wow’.
It grows on you, though… like all the deep oils, it takes time to learn its secrets. To me, the smell reminds me of walking through autumn trees, the air scented with wood smoke, walking on layers of leaf mulch that release a deep aroma of earth. It is sometimes called ‘the oil of tranquillity’; smelling it brings a sense of being grounded, quite literally – it creates a strong connection to Earth. For all the spiritual space cadets out there [and I include myself here] Vetiver is a very useful essential oil to keep the feet very firmly on the ground. It’s needed when a person is very spaced out, mind scattered, thoughts all over the place.
In a blend, only a very small amount is needed – just a few drops – to create a base note that lingers. It works well with Jasmine Absolute, Patchouli, Frankincense and other intense oils to make very exotic and sensual aromas. A very simple blend of 2 drops Vetiver, 2 drops Rose Absolute in 20ml[4 teaspoons] base oil makes a wonderful general restorative massage blend for women, especially at difficult times of the cycle, or during menopause. Those two aromas together are a celebration of Mother Earth, creating a warm enveloping aroma, a celebration of the deep Feminine.