Chrysopogon zizanioides, Poaceae
Vetiver Oil Chrysopogon zizanioides, formerly Vetiveria zizanoides, commonly known as vetiver (derived from Tamil) is a perennial grass of the Poaceae family, native to India. In western and northern India, it is popularly known as khus or khus-khus. Vetiver is mainly cultivated for the fragrant essential oil distilled from its roots. Due to its excellent fixative properties, vetiver is used widely in perfumes. It is contained in 90% of all western perfumes (Lavania). Haiti is one of the leading producers of vetiver in the world.
Vetiver oil or khus oil is a complex essential oil containing over 100 identified componentsThe oil is amber brown and rather thick. The odor of vetiver oil is described as deep, sweet, woody, smoky, earthy, amber, balsam. The best quality oil is obtained from roots that are 18 to 24 months old. The roots are dug up and cleaned then dried. Before the distillation, the roots are chopped and soaked in water. The distillation process can take up to 18 to 24 hours. After the distillate separates into the essential oil and hydrosol, the oil is skimmed off and allowed to age for a few months to allow some undesirable notes which form during the distillation to dissipate. Like patchouli and sandalwood essential oils, the odor of vetiver develops and improves with aging. The characteristics of the oil can vary significantly depending on where the grass is grown and the climate and soil conditions. The oil distilled in Haiti and Réunion has a more floral quality to it and is considered of higher quality than the oil from Java which has a smokier scent. In the north of India, an oil is distilled from wild-growing vetiver. This oil is known as Khus or Khas and is considered superior to the oil obtained from the cultivated variety. It is rarely found outside of India as most of it is consumed within the country.
 The Fragrance Industry- Profiles c. 2007 by Glen O. Brechbill
 International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum – Issue 3/2001
 Narong Chomchalow, “The Utilization of Vetiver as Medicinal and Aromatic Plants with Special Reference to Thailand”, Office of the Royal Development Projects Board, Bangkok, Thailand September 2001, Pacific Rim Vetiver Network Technical Bulletin No. 2001/1.
 Germplasm Resources Information Network: Chrysopogon zizanioides
 Veldkamp, J. F. (1999). A revision of Chrysopogon Trin., including Vetiveria Bory (Poaceae) in Thailand and Malesia with notes on some other species from Africa and Australia. Austrobaileya 5: 522–3.
 Caldecott, Todd (2006). Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life. Elsevier/Mosby. ISBN 0723434107. http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/herbs/learning-herbs/338-ushira