Vetiver oil is obtained from the steam distillation of the air-dried roots of Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash (syn. Andropogon muricatus Retz.; A. squarrosus Hook. f. non L.f.; Anatherum zizanioides (L.) (Hitchcock et. Chase) perennial, densely tufted grass members of the Poaceae (syn. Graminae) family. It is grown throughout the tropical regions of the world as a soil conservation plant as well as for the production of root oil (Grimshaw 1990). Commercial vetiver root oil distillation can be found in Brazil, China, Haiti, India, Indonesia and Dominican Republic. Limited quantities are also produced in Vietnam, El Salvador, Madagascar, Reunion and Nepal (Peyron 1995). Vetiver can be found growing in its natural environment in the swampy areas of Northern India, Bangladesh and Burma (also known as Myanmar) (Oyen and Dung 1999). However, world production of the oil in 1984 (Lawrence 1985), 1988 (Peyron 1989) and more current estimate can be seen in T-1.
A survey of the literature revealed that Yoshikoshi (1970) reviewed the pre-1970 chemistry of vetiver sesquiterpenoids.