Vetivert is a tall grass with long and thin leaves. It is found growing in places such as India, Java and Tahiti. It forms complex, underground root systems. The grass grows wild in India, Ceylon, and Burma. It is cultivated for the essential oil in southern India, Indonesia, Malaya, Philippines, Japan, West Africa, Brazil, and Jamaica.
Vetivert oil is obtained from the dried, chopped roots and rootlets of the Vetiveria zizanoides plant, which belongs to the Gramineae family. Steam distillation of the roots yields amber color oil with an earthy and smoky aroma. The scent feels restorative and relaxing and has been referred to as the oil of tranquillity.
Aromatherapists consider the oil to be aphrodisiac, grounding, soothing and sedative. It is also recommended as warming oil for muscular aches and pains. In skin care, it is recommended for weak and tired skin.
Vetivert is used as a fixative for perfume blends, which means it holds onto other fragrances that it has been blended with and releases them slowly.