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Vetiver: The Story of an Aromatic Root Used in Perfumery


Wednesday May 16, 2018: 6:30pm to 8:45pm


Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room


Vetiver intrigues fragrance enthusiasts and scientists alike. Perfume lovers enjoy Vetiver’s green, rooty and woody aromas, which are used to express a multitude of olfactory emotions. Scientists are compelled by Vetiver research, discovering new molecules that comprise Vetiver’s scent as they shape perfumery’s future in the lab.

 We’ll smell a variety of Vetiver perfumes at this Smell & Tell including: Vetiver by Guerlain, Vétyver by Givenchy, Encre Noir by Lalique, Vetiver Extraordinaire by Frederic Malle, Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford,Route du Vetiver by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, Sycomore by Chanel (from the Exclusifs collection) and Terre d’Hermes by Hermes. We’ll also evaluate Vetiver oils grown in Indonesia, Haiti and Réunion, as terroir colors the aromatic properties of Vetiver, and determines how the material is used in a perfume formula.

P.S. If the environment and Fair Trade are important to you, take note—Vetiver prevents soil erosion in tropical environments where forests have been destroyed. Many Vetiver crops are sustainably harvested by organizations that support Fair Trade. This is not something one thinks of when wearing a perfume made with Vetiver, but it shines a light on the importance of what goes into a bottle of perfume and how it gets there.

 The Smell & Tell series explores the art + science connection in flavors and fragrance. It is led by Michelle Krell Kydd who is a trained “nose” in perfumery and editor of the award-winning blog Glass Petal Smoke. The Smell & Tell series celebrates its sixth anniversary year at the Ann Arbor District Library and is ongoing.



Smell + Taste = Flavor, so you’ll have a chance to experience a menu of Vetiver inspired perfumes as well as Vetiver tisane lightly sweetened with Linden Blossom honey.