Thank you for taking the time to visit and learn a little more about Cenderawasih Aromatics. We are a cooperative of indigenous Papuan Vetiver grass farmers, working together as part of the Gereja Persekutuan Kristen Alkitab Indonesia (GPKAI) church organization’s community development/empowerment program.
This program began in 2011, attempting to address the frequent landslide natural disasters and unchecked soil erosion that plagues many mountainous areas of Papua through the use of The Vetiver System (VS). Led by a core group of church leaders, this program focuses on working with and training individuals from the Meyah indigenous people group in the management of quality Vetiver grass nurseries and the application of VS as an appropriate technology for combating the aforementioned problems.
Why is erosion mitigation important? Remote interior roads that cut deep into the mountain and rainforest regions of Papua are often plagued with landslides that completely shut off travel routes for villagers. These landslides can wipe out food sources, damage infrastructure, and prevent communities in remote villages from having access to medical care, education, or ability to sell their garden produce and purchase supplies in town.
Just as the Meyah tribe’s roots go deep, the Vetiver plant’s dense network of strong roots grow straight down into the soil 15+ feet, nailing down the soil and preventing environmental disasters that greatly affect the life and livelihood of many people. Over the years the program has grown to include individuals from surrounding indigenous people groups and has completed numerous landslide mitigation applications to stabilize transportation infrastructure in the Arfak Mountain area. As the farmers nurture the Vetiver plants and apply the Vetiver System method to mitigate erosion, they provide for their families, communities, and church ministry programs while at the same time caring for the environment and showing love to their neighbors who have been negatively impacted by the landslides.
The Essential Oil
These same miraculous roots capable of holding up mountains hold yet another amazing secret…an essential oil with powerful aromatic properties. Within Indonesia, Vetiver grass is widely known by the name of “Akar Wangi”, which means “Fragrant Roots”. Through various methods of distillation or chemical extraction (Cenderawasih Aromatics’s process is described here), this essential oil is highly prized and is one of the most important essential oils used by the cosmetic industry globally. Over 90% of all western perfumes use it, including Dior’s Eau Sauvage, Guerlain Vétiver, M. Vétiver by Une Nuit à Bali, Zizan by Ormonde Jayne and Vétiver by L’Occitane en Provence.
In 2016 our community development/empowerment program set its sights on becoming one of the finest producers of quality Vetiver essential oil in Indonesia. With the help of an Indonesian non-profit organization Yayasan Misi Penginjilan Pemuridan Papua (YMP3) and expertise of internationally acclaimed Vetiver Farms Hawaii, we produce a high-quality oil though the use of ancient and modern technology.
In 2017, Cenderawasih Aromatics was founded under the supervision of the community development/empowerment program, operating as a cooperative where indigenous Papuan Vetiver grass nursery farmers can earn an income to support their families and communities, as well as a way to financially support and equip the indigenous church.