from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) of tropical India, cultivated for its aromatic roots that yield an oil used in perfumery.
  • n. The roots of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The aromatic root of Andropogon muricatus grass.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An East Indian grass (Andropogon muricatus); also, its fragrant roots which are much used for making mats and screens. Also called kuskus, and khuskhus.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The cuscus-grass, Andropogon squarrosus (A. muricatus), of India, the fibrous roots of which are made into tatties (see tatty).


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French vétiver, from Tamil veṭṭivēr : veṭṭi, worthless + vēru, useless.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French vétyver, from Tamil.


  • The generic name comes from "vetiver," a Tamil word meaning "root that is dug up."

    4 Questions and Answers

  • Vetiver Tonka: First, let me admit why I tried this one first--the idea of vetiver and vanilla together seemed extreme, and held the potential for fun or a headache.

    Vetiver! Round Two

  • I used my wild Haitian vetiver, which is my favourite for its completely inoffensive qualities - it is sheer pleasure.

    Archive 2007-02-01

  • It gradually deepens, with a velvety touch of oakmoss, and very minute amount of vetiver, that is light but adds a tiny bit of warm woodiness, along with transparent musk and frankincense notes, and a hint of the almond-like tonka bean that emerges from the Guerlinade.

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • However, if you spray it early enough before leaving the house, it dries down to a satisfactorily subtle musky and woody vetiver, that is to say with a hint of tartness – which is quite versatile really.

    Best of 2006

  • Hedges of a strong, coarse grass called vetiver have restrained erodible soils for decades in Fiji and several other tropical locations.

    Chapter 23

  • The United States is not known as a vetiver-oil producer, but as this book was about to be printed we learned that Texas farmers Gueric and Victor Boucard are perhaps the most advanced vetiver growers of all.

    4 Questions and Answers

  • These two had an entrancing vision: a little-known tropical grass called vetiver, they proposed, could provide the answer to soil erosion in the world's warmer regions-and it could do so in a way that would appeal to millions of farmers, landowners, politicians, and administrators.

    Chapter 7

  • Another method involved a coarse grass called vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides), the use of which was virtually unknown.

    Chapter 8

  • Magazine St by Strange Invisible Perfumes is where I go when I need a vanilla fix, it's balanced by vetiver which is always welcome in my perfumes!

    Vanilla and spring air


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  • "But to me (just as an aroma, unpleasing perhaps in itself, of naphthalene and vetiver would have thrilled me by bringing back to me the blue purity of the sea on the day of my arrival at Balbec), the smell of petrol which, together with the smoke from the exhaust of the car, had so often melted into the pale azure on those scorching days when I used to drive from Saint-Jean-de-la-Haise to Gourville, since it had accompanied me on my excursions during those summer afternoons when I left Albertine painting, called into blossom now on either side of me, for all that I was lying in my darkened bedroom, corn-flowers, poppies and red clover, intoxicated me like a country scent, not circumscribed and fixed like that of the hawthorns which, held in by its dense, oleaginous elements, hangs with a certain stability about the hedge, but like a scent before which the roads sped away, the landscape changed, stately houses came hurrying to meet me, the sky turned pale, forces were increased tenfold, a scent which was like a symbol of elastic motion and power and which revived the desire that I had felt at Balbec to climb into the cage of steel and crystal, but this time no longer to pay visits to familiar houses with a woman I knew too well, but to make love in new places with a woman unknown."

    -- The Captive & The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright, pp 554-555 of the Modern Library paperback edition

    February 11, 2010