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Vetiver Curtain - A "Goose Pear Tent" Incense

 

 

A cooling incense made in the “Goose Pear Tent” style inspired by the perfumed ambiance of the torrid, summer days in India...

 

Vetiver curtains, that lend

To burning summer noons

The scented chill

Of winter nights

 

Bihari (1595-1664)

 

Ingredients:  Vetiver root and extract, Indian Frankincense, Sandalwood, Borneol Camphor, Rose Geranium leaves, Agarwood, Coriander seeds, Kefir lime leaves, nested in sweet clover.

 

  I have a number of friends from India, now living in Canada, with whom I discuss fragrance.  To a person, they wax nostalgic about the India of their youth, before the invasion of cheap, synthetic fragrance chemicals, when mango, jasmine, and sandalwood ruled their scented world.  One of the most intriguing fragrances that all my friends describe is the smell of Vetiver curtains (Khus Ki Tatti) that were hung in windows and doors during the hottest days.  I have long wanted to experience this charming scented curtain.  Just recently, I received a large box of vetiver roots from a friend, in order to make a small curtain for my upcoming summer days.  While preparing to make my curtain, I was inspired to make this incense scent-scape, in homage to the memories of my friends from India.

  Vetiver (Khus) is the scent that all of India associates with summer, especially the burning noons of northern India, when the temperature rises above 114F, and just the heat of the wind on the skin can lead to dehydration.  This is the time when, traditionally, Indians do not venture outside.  It is better to remain indoors, the windows of the house darkened with the heavy curtains woven from the wiry and fibrous roots of vetiver.  The dried roots are woven together with coir rope into a mat or a curtain. Residents hang these thick curtains outside windows or doors.  Typically, it is the job of the children to drench the curtains in water throughout the day.  The curtains act like a natural air conditioner.  They do not allow the heat in the air to pass through, and as the water evaporates, it provides a cool breeze for people living inside.  The damp roots degage a musky, heady, bittersweet fragrance known in Ayurvedic medicine for healing heatstroke, headache, and improving brain function.  For special events, the roots are doused with rose or jasmine water creating a delicious perfumed atmosphere.

  “Vetiver Curtain” incense is vetiver root, combined with other fragrances, that would scent the typical Indian house in summer.  The blend is meant to produce a cool and collected state of body and mind.  The scent scape contains the lingering fragrances of daily pujas made with Indian Frankincense, Camphor, and Sandalwood.  A touch of the scent of lime from a cooling drink, freshly pressed out in front of the house, by the sugar cane walla.  A bit of the odor of agarwood incense that helped the family to fall asleep during the sweltering nights.  The scent of rosewater and coriander from the evening meal.  All mixed with the smell of dried grasses coming from sweet clover.

 

Experiment with Vetiver Curtains

May 16

Thermometer in the sun

118° F

Thermometer in the shade

110° F

Thermometer in tattied house.

83° F

 

 

This price is for 10 deeply scented Pellets in a black tin, nested in Melilotus (Sweet Clover)

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