Sweet Vernal Grass Essential Oil
Sweet Vernal Grass Essential Oil

Sweet Vernal Grass Essential Oil

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The smell of summer sunlight baked into fragrant fields is captured in the agrestic-ambrosial aroma of Sweet Vernal Grass, also known as vanilla-grass. Similar in scent and related to the sacred Sweetgrass (Hierochloë) that gets braided for burning in North America, Sweet Vernal Grass is distilled from the grassy, merry meadows of Mediterranean France, where the essence is known as Flouve. This aroma aerates the senses with herbaceous hay notes dappled in honeyed-hints of Vanilla that positively entice the spirit to come out and play.

Botanical Name: Anthoxanthum odoratum
Botanical Family: Poaceae
Extraction Method: Steam distilled
Part of Plant Distilled: Flowering tops of ripe seed grass
Country of Origin: France
Cultivation Method: Organic
Composition: 100% Anthoxanthum odoratum
Consistency: Viscous, greenish-amber colored.
Scent Description:  Sweet summer meadow with coumarinic notes of clover and cut grass; hay-like-herbal undertones with vespers of Vanilla and balsamic Tobacco.
Blends well with: Chamomile, Tansy, Lavender, Hay, Vetiver, Lavender, Bergamot, Mimosa, Ylang, Marjoram, Sage, Lime, Tobacco, Vanilla, Carnation, Jasmine, Geranium, Lemon, and Clary Sage.
Uses: Perfect in perfumes and colognes that are in the fougères, chypres, and woody-spice fragrance families. Ambrosial when mixed with Vetiver, Petitgrain, Neroli, Oakmoss, Rockrose, Labdanum, Geranium, and Bergamot for a green, masculine aroma. Bask in its sweet, arid fragrance for diffusion and meditation.
Composition: One of the most sought-after scents in perfumery, the sweet smell reminiscent of Vanilla and Hay is captured by the constituents of naturally occurring coumarin, glycoside, and benzoic acid.
Contraindication: Dilute to use. Possible photosensitivity.

Sweet Vernal Grass is frequently grown as a houseplant for its sweet scent. It is a short, tufted, broad green leaved perennial that grows in acidic grasslands throughout warmer climates in Europe and North America. Its white and tan flower spikes transform into golden seed heads in the autumn. All aerial parts of the plant are harvested during the flowering season when the essential oil is strongest. 

Steffen Arctander’s, plenary work, Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin, explains why Flouve (Sweet Vernal Grass) is a paragon of the perfumer’s palette: “unquestionably one of the most interesting natural perfume ingredients which have come up in recent decades… having a very sweet, herbaceous, tobacco-like and coumarinic odor. The odor is so rich and so complex that one can keep finding notes in it… the overall fragrance is sweet, root-like, somewhat mossy-herbaceous like under-forest and meadows, exceptional tenacity and high penetrating power.”