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Malodor Formation in Alcoholic Perfumes Containing Vetiveryl Acetate and Vetiver Oil

Contact Author Edouard P. Demole, Gunther W. Holzner and M. Joseph Youssefi
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Vetiver oil by itself is already a perfume. It has a unique long-lasting sweet woody note with a fresh herbal top-note. The oil and its derivatives (mainly vetiveryl acetate and vetiverol) are among the most valuable and important raw materials used for compounding alcoholic perfumes such as extrait, eau de parfum, cologne and aftershave. In some creations, vetiver is the main ingredient and has even given its name to a famous men’s cologne (Vetiver, by Carven, 1957).

Vetiver imparts pleasant, strong and long-lasting notes to the perfume compositions, and also acts as a natural fixative due to its heavy constituents. Vetiver blends particularly well with vanilla, sandalwood, patchouli and rose. Because of its odor strength, vetiver oil has to be used with some caution, as an overdose may result in a pronounced woody note.

Today, vetiver oil is mainly produced in Haiti and Java, but China also contributes to this market. The oil originating from Reunion Island, which was for along time the most preferred quality, has now become less important. Prominent Haiti and Java vetiver qualities have different olfactive properties and, therefore, are used by professional perfumers as two distinct raw materials.