haitian vetiver

Haiti produces 50% of the world's vetiver resources and the plant represents the country's principal agricultural export. Nevertheless, the supply chain has many problems that place the raw material at risk: insufficient remuneration for farmers, a speculative market, inconsistent yields, poor harvesting practices causing soil erosion, etc. Albert Vieille chose to become involved in the supply chain by supporting our Haitian partner in its traceability process, improving the supply chain's quality and sustainability so as to preserve an essential raw material.

Harvest

Vetiver sends deep roots down into the soil and develops its aromatic fullness over time. Twelve to 24 months are needed for it to reach olfactory maturity. The long, slender, bearded roots are pulled up by Haitian harvesters between January and July. Once these fragrant roots are extracted from the earth, they are separated from the stock, which is then replanted for the next harvest. The roots are cleaned and placed on layers of leaves in the shade, to dry away from direct sunlight, which can reduce their aromatic intensity.

Aromatic raw materials from Vetiver

The rich scent of vetiver essential oil takes patience to obtain, as the distillation process is lengthy. 10 to 20 hours are needed to extract all the potency of this fragrance with woody, smoky, and earthy notes. Further, Haitian vetiver has a unique, sweet, fruity facet, reminiscent of grapefruit, that is generated by the vetivones and nootkatone.

Origin

Native to India and Indonesia, vetiver grows wild in the tropics and subtropics: Réunion Island, India, Brazil, China, Haiti, and Java. The vetiver plantations and distillery are in Haiti's "Les cayes region".

History

The fragrance of vetiver was highly prized in ancient India. In fact, Indian brides-to-be were given an ointment made from vetiver roots. Vetiver is listed in Ayurvedic medicine and acts as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunostimulant. Also christened "tranquility oil" by the Indians, it is believed to serve as a stabilizer for nervous conditions.