Vetiver Mist

Forest Essentials is an Indian beauty brand inspired by Ayurvedic treatments. It has a collection of skincare, creams, lotions, soaps, body mists and perfumes. I can’t comment on the Ayurvedic authenticity of its formulations, but the scents–jasmine, sandalwood and rose, turmeric, vetiver, narcissus–are beautiful. I like that they are based on the Indian perfume palette, and using these products is one of those small pleasures that make a day better.

One of my favorites from Forest Essentials is its simplest–Vetiver Spring Water, which is a vetiver hydrosol. It can be used as a facial toner, body mist or even a middle-of-the-day, pick-me-up spritz. Vetiver is soothing for the skin, and while it can be used on all skin types, it’s especially beneficial for oily skin. It’s also known for its regenerative properties, which is why vetiver extracts are often used in formulations designed to treat scars and acne.

I love the scent of Vetiver Spring Water so much that its benefit to me is mostly psychological. It’s instantly calming and uplifting. The aroma is pure vetiver, with its licorice, grapefruit and green hazelnuts facets. While it lingers, it’s not overwhelming.

Using Vetiver Spring Water reminded me how much I like the scent of vetiver. From Guerlain Vétiver to Hermès Vétiver Tonka, my fall perfume wardrobe gravitates towards this grass with aromatic roots. Using it in skincare, however, was a new way to enjoy my favorite aroma.

While Forest Essentials may be easy to find for those of us outside of Asia, replicating Vetiver Spring Water is possible. You need vetiver essential oil and distilled water. For 4 oz/120 ml of distilled water, add 7 drops of vetiver oil. You can use up to 12 drops, but it depends on your skin sensitivity. Alternatively, you can use 2 oz of distilled water and 2 oz of rosewater, which will make for an elegant scent when combined with vetiver.

When using new skincare products, always do a patch test first. Select a small spot on the inside of your arm and try the product there. Wait for 24 hours to see if your skin reacts.

A few sites where I’ve purchased essential oils and was happy with the quality: Aroma-Zone (EU), Mountain Rose Herbs (USA), Enfleurage (USA). If you have other recommendations, please comment.

Also, please comment on your favorite skincare for fall.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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38 Comments

  • Bela: Re that patch test, I have found to my cost that the skin in the crook of my elbow is much less sensitive than that on my face. French hair-dye companies used to suggest doing the patch test behind the ear (the bit where you’re supposed to dab perfume on). It makes it more difficult to check for reactions, though. October 21, 2019 at 9:28am Reply

    • Victoria: A good tip, Bela! Something to keep in mind. November 1, 2019 at 8:02am Reply

      • Bela: Thanks, V. That bit of skin is extremely delicate; it’s never in contact with anything apart from hair. November 1, 2019 at 8:23am Reply

  • Mridula Koshy: Many forest essential perfumes seem to fade quickly, at least relative to European perfumes. Is that something to do with how they are composed here in India? I loved following your perfume journey in India (on FB) and am hoping for suggestions. Did you try Kama? The Bombay Perfumery? I saw you looked into mitti attar. Any suggestions based on whose mitti attar impressed you. Id love to read a post on your whole India perfume journey. October 21, 2019 at 10:14am Reply

    • Surbhi Malpani: Even my strongest perfume musc ravageur just didn’t smell anything in india. My best guess is temperature. October 21, 2019 at 10:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: I will definitely write about my Indian perfume adventure. It’s been fascinating.

      I don’t think that their perfumes are meant to be long lasting. They are more like light mists. November 1, 2019 at 9:21am Reply

  • Aurora: Thank you for writing about this brand, Victoria. There seems to be a site in the UK which sell some of their products, so I will take a look.
    For essential oils I warmly recommend Distillerie Bleu Provence, their organic lavender ess oil is really exceptionally good smelling and I use a few drops in Iranian rosewater along with some drops of geranium and frankincense for a customized mist. October 21, 2019 at 12:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: I will have to check this lavender oil. It sounds wonderful. November 1, 2019 at 9:22am Reply

  • Toni: I highly recommend Natures’s Gift.
    Their products are outstanding and the website has good information. October 21, 2019 at 1:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much! November 1, 2019 at 9:22am Reply

  • Debi Sen Gupta: I have been using forest essentials products for a while, but now don’t feel as happy with them as I used to. The price has increased considerably and somehow the skin care products are not very effective on me. Having said that, really like some of the aromatic products like Bath oil, soap and massage oils. The Kerala lime and iced pomegranate body spray has a lovely scent and lasts longer than my perfumes. October 21, 2019 at 1:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m not as familiar with skincare, but I’m very picky when it comes to creams. November 1, 2019 at 9:23am Reply

  • Silvermoon: Right now sitting in Bombay/Mumbai Airport ready to fly back home. Imagine my surprise to see this post. I have just purchased some of the Forest Essentials soaps (Bengal Tuberose; Rose and Cardamom), Nergis body cream and the Vetiver water mist.

    Victoria, if I remember correctly, I think it was me who mentioned this brand to you. And you asked about it. Can’t remember our exchange exactly. I have never tried any of the FE perfumes, just bath products, etc. October 21, 2019 at 3:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: You definitely were one of the people who mentioned it!

      Their soaps are gorgeous and deserve a separate post. November 1, 2019 at 9:24am Reply

  • rickyrebarco: I expect that it would be difficult to find this brand in the US, but the fragrances and products sound lovely. October 21, 2019 at 3:59pm Reply

  • Surbhi Malpani: I buy essential oils from a company called edens garden.

    For Ayurvedic skincare products, I have liked Kama Ayurveda and sand for soapholics a bit more.
    Sand for soapholics keep my skin trouble free even in dry New England winter. October 21, 2019 at 10:51pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! I need to try those. November 1, 2019 at 9:24am Reply

      • Debi Sen Gupta: Kama Ayurveda has been around for ever and is really very good. Hair and skin care products are excellent but they don’t go for the type of fancy packaging or perfumes in FE products. So the look and feel may not be the best. November 1, 2019 at 12:39pm Reply

        • Victoria: FE is very much about presentation, so I can’t determine how good their skincare is. The perfume collection is very nice, and this vetiver mist is simple enough to be appealing. November 2, 2019 at 5:42am Reply

  • Klaas: Hey there, I’m not much of a skin care person. I used to spend fortunes on Sisley products, but have reverted to Nivea Soft. It’s all I use and my skin looks fine 😉

    Vetiver however……I can never get enough of! I have sampled and used many, but I have lately fallen in love with MP&G La Route du Vetiver. It’s deliciously smoked and salty and green and mysterious…there’s also a slightly bitter laurel note in there that I love. Perfect for fall! October 22, 2019 at 9:18am Reply

    • Victoria: Basic skincare is often the best, I find. I’m still a fan of the Ordinary. November 1, 2019 at 9:25am Reply

      • Klaas: There is a Ordinary store right around the corner of my house her in Amsterdam. It is very tempting indeed. I like their no nonsense approach and their prices are very reasonable……….but so far I have managed to bike by…….. 😉 November 1, 2019 at 2:21pm Reply

        • Victoria: If you’re looking for basic skincare, I recommend them highly. November 2, 2019 at 5:41am Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: I bought some aged Bourbon vetiver essential oil from the Island of Réunion—from the German essential oil company Primavera—and put a couple of drops in almond oil together with some mandarine essential oil. The aged vetiver oil (I don‘t know whether this “aged“ thing is a gimmick) is extremely viscuous, like tar; one needs a spoon, which is attached to the lid of the bottle, to scoop out those little drops. Anyway, it makes a great after shower body oil but the olfactory lasting power is less than an eau de Cologne. Still its a lovely wake- up scent.
    Why am I writing all this? I doubt that this sticky black vetiver oil will dilute in water. I see it as a little black lump laying at the bottom of the bottle? October 23, 2019 at 9:57am Reply

    • Victoria: That won’t work alone. You might need a bit of alcohol. November 1, 2019 at 9:25am Reply

  • Lydia: Forest Essentials has such an intriguing website. I hope someday it will be easy to get their products in the US.

    Mountain Rose Herbs has been my source for earthy, light, natural fragrance sprays for years. Unfortunately they stopped carrying their Goddess line (Green Tara, Gaia, etc.) which were my all-time favorite pillow sprays, but I see they do still have an Aphrodite spray and some other new ones. I’d love to hear if anyone here has tried them.

    Enfleurage is a great shop with an impressive essential oils collection and very knowledgable staff. I took a natural perfumery class there years ago and got to smell real ambergris! (It was passed around with reverance like a lump of pure gold).

    My current favorite facial toner is Manetti & Roberts rosewater from Italy. I discovered it this summer and it was really refreshing to rob my face with a cotton pad soaked in it each evening.

    Thank you for the spray recipe above. I still have 3 bottles of the old Mountain Rose Herbs Goddess sprays, so maybe sometime I can try to reproduce them using your recipe as a base.
    Green Tara, for example, has: sweet marjoram, moroccan chamomile, rose geranum, ylang-ylang, and vetiver.

    Mountain Rose Herbs also has a nice selection of hydrosols. I’ve used the chamomile and the lemon balm as facial toners in the past. October 23, 2019 at 10:51pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much for this comprehensive list! So many great suggestions. November 1, 2019 at 9:26am Reply

    • Victoria: Green Tara is somewhat complicated of a recipe, but if you have all of the oils already, then why not try your own mix. You might even come up with something better. November 1, 2019 at 9:28am Reply

  • Lydia: Rub, not rob. 😏 October 23, 2019 at 10:59pm Reply

  • Angelika Schneiderat: For essential oils of the highest quality I recommend the German (Bavarian) brand Primavera. All their products are organic and they offer a wide range of essential oils as well as toners or basic oils for skincare. October 24, 2019 at 2:58am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much! I will place an order with them to see what their oils are like. They do look good. November 1, 2019 at 9:26am Reply

      • OnWingsofSaffron: This is the vetiver oil I was mentioning above: https://www.primaveralife.com/vetiver-bourbon-gereift.html November 1, 2019 at 12:19pm Reply

        • Victoria: This looks like a nice product, but for a face toner, I would recommend something lighter. November 2, 2019 at 3:58am Reply

          • OnWingsofSaffron: I agree completely; matter of fact, I think I‘ll stick to homemade after-shower oils on almond or jojoba oil basis, spiked with a bit of myrrh, incense and a drop of jasmine. November 2, 2019 at 4:09am Reply

  • nozknoz: Victoria, I’m glad to see you review Forest Essentials body mists, which I also like. The Oudh and Green Tea body mist smells great on a guy and is long-lasting. For summer, I like the Iced Pomegranate and Kerala Lime body mist (which is actually orange blossom).

    I ordered one of their body mists from ebay last year, and I’m seeing them on Amazon (US) now. FE produces a wide range of their cosmetic, bath, and hair products, too. October 28, 2019 at 10:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: Aren’t they excellent! I’m now wishing I bought more. 🙂 November 1, 2019 at 9:27am Reply

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