I haven’t reviewed a vetiver scent in a long time; the sample box labeled Vetivers is over-flowing. So today I am having a Vetiver Sniffathon.
Annick Goutal Vétiver. The presence of a very distinct aquatic note could have been a huge turn off for me, however this unusual rendition of vetiver combines the marine quality with an unexpectedly smoky accord. Wearing this scent is akin to sitting on a beach of an exotic island, in front of a fire made of spicy, aromatic wood. A dreamy, escapist vetiver. $29.90-$39.90 at PerfumeBay.com.
Elizabeth W Vetiver. The attractiveness and the originality of this vetiver scent, for me, lies in its fruity sweetness. It has the same candied citrus peel accord that I find so appealing in L.T. Piver Cuir de Russie. The juxtaposition of the brightly-sweet and the earthy-green is very pleasing, although vetiver purists most probably will be disappointed in this charming little scent. A bargain at $32.00 for 2oz, at ElizabethW.com
Frederic Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire. Dominique Ropion’s vetiver is full-bodied, woody and nocturnal. It has rugged, husky handsomeness, it is a wild, untamed vetiver, all strong, jagged roots, dark woods and shadows. A vetiver scent for a hunky wizard. $180.00 at Barneys.
Hermes Vetiver Tonka. Created by Jean-Claude Ellena as a part of Hermessence Collection, Vetiver Tonka is a mouthwatering, practically gourmand vetiver. The union of green earthiness, caramelized nuttiness and sweet smokiness is incredibly attractive. It is almost childish and yet very sensual, cuddly and striking. It is to die for. $180-ish in Hermes boutiques.
Jalaine Vetiver is a winter comfort scent, something to wear when a snow storm is raging outside and one is safely tucked in on a sofa, in front of a fireplace, with a glass of sherry. The sweetness of amber, the warm earthiness of patchouli, the softness of sandalwood makes Vetiver cuddly, cozy and enveloping. This and Patchouly are the only two Jalaine scent that I love, however I must say that I am disappointed with the “thinness”, “flatness” of the drydown in both. The fragrances start rich and sumptuous but instead of becoming warmer and richer still, they dry down rather pale and bland on me. $90.00-$150.00 for 6ml at JalaineFragrances.com
Jo Malone Vetyver. A fresh, summery vetiver with citrus fruits aplenty, attractively spiced up by sweetly piquant nutmeg. It is an easy-going, linear vetiver. Easy enough to wear even for those who are not overly fond of this note, Vetyver would also make a refreshingly uncomplicated, no-brainer, everyday scent for vetiver connoisseurs. $50.00-$90.00 at JoMalone.com.
Lorenzo Villoresi Vetiver. Unlike Malone’s version, this is a multifaceted, complex creation, very green, slightly floral, quite spicy, woody and earthy, Villoresi’s version has it all. It starts fresh and cooling, with lavender and mint, goes through a very green stage of herbs, galbanum and celery, acquires a warm, spicy undertone of cumin and nutmeg and finally dries down appropriately earthy and pleasantly woody on base of oakmoss, sandalwood and patchouli. A must-try and a must-have. $65.00-$140.00 at Lusciouscargo.com.
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Route du Vetiver. Luckyscent describes Route du Vetiver as fierce and it truly is [insert Tyra Banks’ voice here] FIERCE. Route du Vetiver is what they call “an acquired taste”. Those who are not quite comfortable with the vetiver note should proceed with caution when sampling this striking, bracing, spicy, super-rooty, ultra-green, uber-woody beast of a vetiver. Vetiver virgins should probably just stay far, far away from this handsome but ruthless monster. I love Route du Vetiver but it is not something I can wear often or in big doses. $105.00 on Luckyscent.com.
Montale Vetiver des Sables. This rooty devil is a more subtle creature than Route du Vetiver, but in its suave, sweet way, it is just as relentless and dangerous. It is a charmer. I adore its medicinal, in fact, poisonous, cyanidic start, its sweet, exotic spices, its candied citrus, its warm, dark wood…I’d sell my soul for a bottle of Vetiver des Sables. $122.00 at SuraviOnline.com.
Parfums de Nicolai Vetyver is yet another sexy beast on our list, this one with an oh so elegant, urbane, peppery-citrusy veneer and a dark, hot and spicy, sweaty, dirty heart of cumin, coriander and clove. After the thrill of the piquant and sensual middle stage, Vetyver settles into a soft, warm drydown heavy on that trademark Nicolai tonka bean. The only disappointing thing about this scent is its poor staying power. $79.00 at BeautyHabit.com.
Some more previously reviewed vetiver scents:
Comme des Garcons Vettiveru
Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle
Hermes Terre d’Hermes
I Profumi di Firenze Fresco di Vetiver
Jo Malone Black Vetiver Cafe
Le Labo Vetiver 46
Le Labo Vetiver 46, Tom’s Review
Miller Harris Vetiver Broubon
The Different Company Sel de Vetiver
Wickle Chestnut & Vetiver