Every culture to come into contact with sweet grass has recognized its sacredness, its scientific name, Hierochloe odorata, literally means, ‘fragrant holy grass.’ In Northern Europe, sweetgrass was scattered in front of churches on holy days so the heavenly fragrance would be released when people walked over it to get inside. Sweet grass in North America has an auspicious pedigree and is referred to as one of the four sacred medicines (the others are tobacco, white sage and cedar). I was taught that it is not used for the removal of energies (purification) but instead used after a cleansing rite to call in sweet beneficial energies and send heart felt prayers.
In the perfume world it is referred to as, foin coupe’, or hay because it has the same beguiling scent as hay being cut and harvested on a warm summer evening. An interesting aspect of this absolute is, the fresh grass is cut and harvested in June and July and allowed to dry naturally in the sun until August. During this process, the grass becomes fragrant, as the coumarin, the aromatic lactone responsible for the sweet, hay-like aroma, is 'glycosidically bound' and not volatile when grasses are living and green, but is only liberated when the plant material is cut and dried. The finished product offers a sweet, faintly herbaceous scent with jam like notes of fig and prunes. Some even claim it smells like the sweet breath of young bovines.
Used for treating the common cold as well as flu, fevers, sore throat, and coughs. It is thought to be helpful to apply to the stomach and lower back after giving birth and energetically supportive for those who suffered a miscarriage. Also reduces edema, swelling, and soothes and moisturizes dry chapped skin and offers inflammation relief. Useful in calming scalp irritation, itching, and dandruff.
Gifts for the Skin
Sweet grass is a sublime choice for promoting overall skin health and radiance, as it rejuvenates and nourishes the skin and encourages a glow from the inside out.
PART USED ~ Leaves and Tops
SYNONYMS ~ Hierochloe alpina
EXTRACTION METHOD ~ Organic Absolute Extraction (Hexane Free)
ORIGIN ~ France
NOTE CLASSIFICATION ~ Middle to Base Note