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Vetivone and Khusimone—the Puzzling Vetiver Oil Components

By: Michael Zviely, CIC
Posted: January 23, 2012, from the February 2012 issue of P&F magazine.

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Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides) is a perennial grass of the Poaceae family, native to India. Although it originates in India, vetiver is widely cultivated in the tropical regions around the world. The world’s major producers include Haiti, India, Indonesia’s Java and the French island Réunion.

α-Vetivone (CAS# 15764-04-2; (4R,4aS)-4,4a-dimethyl-6-propan-2-ylidene-4,5,7,8-tetrahydro-3H-naphthalen-2-one) has a warm pleasant powerful odor while β-vetivone (CAS# 18444-79-6; (5R,10R)-6,10-dimethyl-2-(1-methyl-ethylidene)-spiro[4.5]dec-6-en-8-one) has a quinolinelike, fruity (cassis, grapefruit) aroma with a woody by-note.

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