Vetiver oil is from an aromatic grass with a grounding, earthy-smokey scent often employed as a fixative in oriental-type perfumes and as a natural fragrance ingredient in soaps. It is actually grown in India to protect against the erosion of soil during the tropical season when it rains heavily, but the rootlets have been used since antiquity in the East for their fragrance. In aromatherapy the oil is considered to be deeply relaxing and often used in baths and massage for issues relating to nervous tension, debility, insomnia, and depression. Its skin care applications extend to acne treatment from oily skin, and accelerating the healing of cuts and wounds.
Vetiver is a tall, tufted perennial scented grass with long narrow leaves and white rootlets. The oil is steam distilled from the roots and rootlets after it is washed, chopped, dried and soaked, to obtain the dark brown, deep smokey, earthy-woody essence. It is indigenous to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India, but has been cultivated as widely as the Philippines, West Africa, Japan, and South America. The oil is mainly distilled in Haiti and Java, with Haiti generally producing a consistently higher quality of oil. Sher-Ray uses the distilled oil from Haiti and is only used in Formula 2.