The Different Company Sel de Vetiver fragrance review

Sel de Vetiver by The Different Company fragranceThe Different Company Sel de Vetiver fragrance bottle

Sel de Vetiver is the sixth fragrance release from the niche house The Different Company, and the second entry by perfumer Celine Ellena, who took over after her father Jean Claude Ellena became house nose at Hermès. Sel de Vetiver has notes of grapefruit, cardamom, Bourbon geranium, lovage, Haitian vetiver, patchouli, iris and ylang ylang.

Sel de Vetiver opens on grapefruit, very pale and soft and lightly sweetened. The patchouli, though subdued in any case, is more noticeable in the top notes than later in the dry down, and there is a green herbal undertone that adds some liveliness to the early stages. As it settles, it gets warmer, dryer and earthier, and in keeping with its name, saltier.

The "scent of salt drying on the skin after bathing in the sea" was given as one of Celine Ellena's inspirations for the fragrance, and that description is as apt as any: the dry down smells very much like saltwater drying on sun-warmed skin. If I close my eyes and inhale deeply, I can make out a bit of cardamom, but for the most part, the glimmer of liveliness in the opening is smoothed over into something more quiet and hushed, in which no one note really stands out on its own.

It has markedly less presence than Ellena's prior entry in the line, Jasmin de Nuit, and in style it is perhaps more in keeping with the earlier releases from The Different Company. It is a very wearable, even enjoyable fragrance, and while I don't adore it on the same level as Divine Bergamot or Bois d'Iris, I do like it very much. I suspect that it will make more of an impact in the heat, and will certainly try it again later in the summer — especially since I have already purchased half a bottle. Reminder to self, for the millionth time: never buy fragrance unsniffed.

For buying information, see the listing for The Different Company under Perfume Houses.

More reading: check out Victoria's review of Sel de Vetiver on Bois de Jasmin.

Other fragrances with vetiver:
Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire
Guerlain Vetiver & Vetiver Pour Elle
Hermès Vetiver Tonka
il Profumo Vetiver de Java & Le Labo Vetiver 46
Parfums de Nicolai Vetyver

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy


Leave a comment, or read more about commenting at Now Smell This. Here's a handy emoticon chart.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Note to myself, as a reminder: Don't ever buy unsniffed again. Thanks for driving that point home again, R!


  2. Anonymous says:

    Ha, ha…I was wise enough to invest in a sample (for once)! But I may well invest in a bottle, later in the year. I actually thought this was Terre d'Hermes, when I first sniffed – I checked the vials to make sure I hadn't made a mistake! It seemed strangely similar to Ellena Sr's recent creation – could there have been some family conferring, I wonder? The same marine, driftwoody dryness. However, the difference is in the dry-down – TdH does lose its sparkle after an hour, and settles for a certain generic department store cologne effect, where SdV dries down to something rather special, where individual notes are hard to distinguish as you say, but there is a genuine sense of sand and sea. I really like this.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is a vetiver orgy today, how awesome! I think I want a bottle of Sel. Last time I looked, TDC site only had the big 90ml ones, I'd love for them to start selling smaller, 45ml, bottles. I would buy in it in a heartbit then.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ah, but we never listen, do we? LOL…

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have the same problem, I would like to sample SDV, but 90 euros for an unsniffed scent it´s a bit too much for me!

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is so funny — it reminds me of Terre d'Hermes too, and was wondering myself about some family conferring. But when I wear them together, the link isn't quite so obvious to me other than the contrast between water & dry notes, and the transparency.

    But we are exact opposites: after an hour, the TdH is just starting to get smoky & incensy, and I adore it, and the Sel de Vetiver seems by then to be just a tad too flat and I wish there was a dash more of something else to liven it up.

  7. Anonymous says:

    M, go here and scroll down to the 5th picture:

    That is enough to make me buy unsniffed ;-)

  8. Anonymous says:

    You could get a sample from first-in-fragrance, but looks like we'll all have to wait for the smaller bottles.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hello dear R! Great review as always. I do like SdV for the first 20 mins or so. I bought a 48 hour set and don't regret it at all. Like you, I do prefer Divine Bergamot.

    Hope all is well.


  10. Anonymous says:

    Hummmm, don´t tempt me…I adore Divine Bergamote, too, and I bought Angeliques sous la Pluie and Cologne Bigarade, two of my favourite scents…unsniffed. But then I don´t like Jasmine de Nuit, anoter Celine creation.

  11. Anonymous says:

    N, so nice to see you! I don't know that I necessarily will regret owning it…it just doesn't turn out to be quite as exciting as I'd hoped :-)

  12. Anonymous says:

    Ah, you were lucky then, I didn't like either AslP or CB, and I do love Jean Claude Ellena. Jasmine de Nuit I thought was pretty, but it has too much amber to suit me.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I dig this one, but not on the level of Bois d'Iris and Divine Bergamote. It's probably the only grapefruit I can wear. I do get a lot of compliments on it.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I know what you mean. I will enjoy wearing it, but I do not love it as much as I love Bois d'Iris and even Jasmin de Nuit.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The grapefruit is really nice & soft here…nothing harsh, and no cat pee ;-)

  16. Anonymous says:

    V, still holding out hope that I'll love it in July when its hot…it might just be that sort of thing.

  17. Anonymous says:

    R, this is sitting on my desk, reproachfully, waiting for me to get my sense of smell back. Your review makes me that much more anxious.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I didn't expect to like this, now I just might.


  19. Anonymous says:

    My, that's cute! When I ordered my little bottles of Bois d'Iris, I only got a cardboard box – I want the leather case!! BTW, I'm wearing SdV today, and keep thinking I can smell Carthusia Ligea – I wonder what notes they have in common?

  20. Anonymous says:

    You will need to wait then M (and do hope you're better soon!) as it isn't a strong fragrance.

  21. Anonymous says:

    It is really well done, and worth a smell :-)

  22. Anonymous says:

    Isn't it adorable???

    I haven't tried the Ligea, should I?

  23. Anonymous says:

    SdV absoultely captures a moonlit stroll along the beach in Southern California. The saltiness in the drydown is spot on for ocean air. The vetiver note is milder than than Guerlain's Vetiver.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Interesting, it does not remind me of SD at all…and wish it did, as I miss SD very much.

  25. annunziata says:

    I just sniffed this a while ago when I was in Aedes de Venustas, trying manfully to restrain myself to a few scents and not induce olfactory flameout. I just loved it. I rarely buy FBs of anything, but I do think I must have this. It made me think of the champagne sparkliness of the ocean, just beautiful.

    • Robin says:

      LOL…it is hard to go into Aedes and stick w/ 2 or 3! Glad one of them worked so well.

Leave a reply