Thursday, September 4, 2008
Having grown up in Madras and being a tamilian, I am embarrassed to admit that I didn't have a clue as to what Vetiver is until yesterday!
One of our friends returned from a trip to India yesterday and my mother had sent me a Vetiver Ganesha through him for Ganesh Chaturthi. She told me the grass' name over the phone and to sprinkle some water over the Ganesha and then smell it.
Even without the water, this Ganesha smells heavenly!
I looked up Vetiver on the web, and it turns out that this aromatic grass, a native to India, and with a name derived from the tamil language, is a component of 90% of all western perfumes. Since I'm not big into perfumes, I don't feel too bad about not knowing this fact. But I really don't know how I never came across Vetiver in the 21 years I lived in Madras!
My mother told me that it used to be quite common to add a little Vetiver to drinking water since the water would then smell good. She also told me that people would tie strands of this grass to windows so that the breeze coming into homes would then be perfumed. What a lovely idea!
How many traditional practices have been lost to our (my) knowledge?!