On That Note: What is Vetiver, and What Does it Even Smell Like?

On That Note: What is Vetiver, and What Does it Even Smell Like?
Every fragrance description contains a list of notes, which is meant to give an idea of what a scent should smell like. 

We are generally familiar with common culinary notes like Marshmallow, Vanilla and Grapefruit, and know how they should smell. The tricky part is when a description contains more atypical notes like Oakmoss, Benzoin and Labdanum.

In this series, we’re breaking down specific notes so you can gain a better understanding of your fragrance, all from behind a screen. 

What is Vetiver?
Pronounced vet-a-ver, it’s a tall, perennial grass that originated in India, but can now be found in tropical regions of the world. Top Vetiver producers include Haiti, India, Indonesia and Réunion.

Vetiver is cultivated for an array of purposes aside from perfumery. The grass is used to stabilize soil, protect fields against pests and weeds, and in animal feed. The root, which is the part used for perfumery, is also extracted for skincare, aromatherapy oil, as a food flavoring agent and more.

What does Vetiver smell like?
In general, Vetiver smells similar to dried grass, but more earthy and woody. Like other natural ingredients, the scent of Vetiver can vary depending on which region of the world it’s cultivated from.

The two most popular types are Indonesian Vetiver, which is more smoky and bitter, and Haitian Vetiver, which is more woody, clean and green. In general, we use Haitian Vetiver at Commodity.

Try Vetiver
You’ll find a Vetiver note in 2 of our fragrances. For now…

The Archive fragrance is based around the note of Vetiver. The woody floral marries Jasmine and golden, earthy aromas like Vetiver and Patchouli. The 100ml fragrance is only available in limited edition drops throughout the year, but it can be sampled year-round in the Archive Discovery Kit.

Paper+ Bold
While the Paper Scent Space is centered on Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Iso E Super, the Bold version elevates projection with the addition of Vetiver and Wet Woods. The fragrance is earthy, robust and reminiscent of mossy woods after the rain.

Vetiver will also be featured in our new fragrance coming this summer. In the meantime, uncover the misunderstood Rose, or explore all our notes in the NoteBook.

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