40 Days and 40 Nights of Fragrance Notes: Vetiver
Review by Ceil
Oil extracted from the roots of vetiver are used in perfumery often as a fixative in the base of a fragrance. But there are also many vetiver fragrances that feature and celebrate this unique smell. Vetiver is a note that can be earthy, dry, citrus-like, green, woody and astringent. But, besides the quality of the oil, and where and what conditions it is grown in, what vetiver is combined with can very much change the feel and energy of the smell produced. Some of my favorite fragrances are based on vetiver as the feature note. And it seems to be a note that is used quite often in men’s colognes, but there are also unisex and feminine fragrances that are absolutely wonderful. I think that vetiver is especially nice to wear in hot weather, and can be quite refreshing.
One of my favorite vetiver fragrances really personifies the plant. Frederic Malle’s Vetiver Extraordinaire opens with a dry astringent blast of green “in your face” vetiver root. I think of it as the vetiver counterpart to Serge Lutens Iris Silver mist. It is intense, but unusually subtle at the same time. Green and earthy…but fresh and new feeling at the same time, it is an amazing fragrance that has my personal devotion. Apart from this “benchmark” vetiver there are many other blended, toned down, cleaner, woodier, herbier variations on the use of vetiver. I personally love most of these fragrances in their own right. And the exploration of vetier fragrances is a very fun journey that I hope you will take.
Here are some good ones to try:
Guerlain Vetiver: a classic for sure. It is blended with wood, tobacco and spice notes but the vetiver is still quite prominent. It is quite a favorite for both men and women.
Creed Vetiver: is soapy, clean, green and grassy. This is not to be confused with: Creed Original Vetiver: which is green, rootier, brighter and has a citrus aspect to it. It has Ginger, mandarine and bergamot for top notes and iris as a mid note. I personally am a huge fan of this one. I would say that the Creed’s are unisex to masculine oriented.
Jo Malone makes a very nice light totally unisex vetiver. It is super fresh, clean and “very vetiver”. Quite true to the note. It is perfect for layering when you want to add this note to another fragrance, and on it’s own it is totally refreshing. A very fun variation on vetiver is Jo Malones Black Vetyver café…which blends vetiver with a coffee note.
L’Occitaine en Provence makes a men’s vetiver cologne that has vetiver blended with rosemary and cypress. It is very woody and herbaceous with a more blended quality rather than having the vetiver as a prominent note.
Prada makes a vetiver fragance also, Infusion de vetiver. You may find it in the men’s cologne section rather than women’s fragrance. But I find this one to be very very unisex also. It is a woodier version and reminds me of Infusion d’iris with vetiver added in.
One of my very favorite vetivers is Armani Prive Vetiver Babylone. I have heard people say that they get very little vetiver from this one…but I personally get vetiver that is lovely clean and woody that lasts most of the day for me. It’s fresh, peppery and bright. I personally like fragrances that don’t last until the evening so that I have a choice to either respray or change my scent. And this one lasts perfectly on me. ….can you tell I love it?!
There are just sooo many vetiver fragrances to explore and I’d love to know what you have tried and liked. But I will end with another of my favorites that I also think is one of the most unusual vetivers out there. The Different Company’s Sel de vetiver. The notes are grapefruit, patchouli, cardamom, geranium, Haitian vetiver, and ylang ylang. But it is primarily a representation of salt. And this combination is fascination and fabulous for sure!
Disclosure: The products reviewed in this post were purchased or sniffed by the reviewer
Graphic Credit: Melanie Parker