Thursday, September 4, 2008

Vetiver Ganesha

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?!


kitchensurfing said...

tsk tsk Bindu!

We used to have these water filters at home and would always add a bunch of vettiver to it. The water was heavenly!

Didn't know that its 90% of all perfumes.

Anonymous said...

I want one!

megha punater said...

wow how lovely,i know we do get out of touch of some traditions living in the western world dont we?i guess we have to make our own traditions

bindu said...

G - if even you knew about this, then it's really shame on me! ;)

Robyn said...

Interesting post. I have noticed that vetiver is in many perfumes but don't really know much about it. I love the thought of the strands tied to the window to catch the breeze. Thanks for the great comment on my blog. I'm going to enjoy exploring yours.