I said yesterday that I hadn’t swooned over a new fragrance in some time (see Vanille Galante), but I left one out: Turtle Vetiver, from LesNez. It’s their latest scent from perfumer Isabelle Doyen, and it was developed as part of the Turtle (“anarchic”) salon:
TURTLE is an open and chaotic network of diverse but interconnecting ideas, people, projects, events, and venues linked by American filmmaker, Michael H Shamberg. Perfumer Isabelle Doyen’s contribution is a Vetiver EdT which she makes in small quantities and constantly changing formulas.
You can read more about the Turtle project here, but I’ll skip right ahead to Turtle Vetiver, or more specifically, Turtle Vetiver Exercise No. 1 — as implied above, Isabelle Doyen will change the formula when the first batch (80 bottles) runs out. Before it’s gone (and I hope it’s gone soon as I’d like to see what she does with Exercise No. 2), vetiver freaks (and I’m not really sure this one will appeal to anyone else: it is VETIVER, all capped) might want to get their hands on a sample.
I have no idea what the notes are, but Turtle Vetiver starts bright and citrusy and green. The brightness fades, but the citrus notes linger into the dry down. The vetiver is strong and earthy from the start, and it’s layered over something that smells to me like steaming rocks covered with dirt — it reminds me vaguely of the dusty mineral accords in Terre d’Hermès, but slightly darker here.
Farther on, the mineral facet fades, and then it’s a rich, deep, woody vetiver, middling dark. To my nose, it’s deeper and earthier than Frederic Malle’s Vetiver Extraordinaire, but it’s a very smooth scent, with none of the jarring aspects of, say, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Route du Vetiver. In other words, it’s very wearable, so long as you like vetiver.
LesNez Turtle Vetiver Exercise No. 1 is available in 50 ml Eau de Toilette ($99) or 2.5 ml samples ($10). The lasting power is excellent. For buying information, see the listing for LesNez under Perfume Houses, although I do not know if they’re planning to distribute this one outside of their own website.