Two and a half vetivers ~ fragrance review, and a quick poll

Escentric Molecules 03Chantecaille Vetyver

I used to think there were some notes that simply couldn't be done to death. The fragrance industry has proven me wrong on that score. Raise your hand if you'd just as soon not see another new oud fragrance for a few years?

Vetiver hasn't yet reached that stage.1 We've seen a slow but steady stream of new vetivers over the last couple years, but nothing like the fever-pitch rate of new ouds. On the other hand, you know, there are lots of vetivers out there already, and vetiver, like oud, has a tendency to dominate whatever composition it's in. So the bar is set high for a new vetiver fragrance.

Today, I'm looking at new(-ish) vetivers from Escentric Molecules and Chantecaille. Many perfumistas already know about Escentric Molecules, the niche line of perfumer Geza Shoen. They've released three fragrance duos, each consisting of a single note diluted in alcohol, and a fragrance built around that single note. The third duo, which debuted last year, features vetiver. Molecule 03 (the fragrance I'm counting as a half in the title since it isn't really what you'd call a finished fragrance) consists of vetiveryle acetate diluted in alcohol, nothing else. As with Molecule 01 (iso e super) and Molecule 02 (ambroxan), it's probably not the most cost-effective way to get yourself a straight-up aroma chemical, and I've always wondered why they don't release the Molecule fragrances in very small sizes, like 10 or 15 ml?

So anyway, Molecule 03 smells fabulous: deep, earthy and rich, and very woody, with a bright, citrus-y edge on first application. It is smoother and less grassy than my Haitian vetiver oil, and not quite as earthy, and it doesn't last as long on skin. I should think that for many perfumistas, Molecule 03 is a familiar smell — it is not likely to be revelatory in the way that Molecule 01 or Molecule 02 might have been. That it happens to be a smell I already know and love, and would happily wear on its own, perhaps worked against my take on Escentric 03, which features the vetiveryle acetate plus ginger, green peppercorn, lime, orris, jasmine, tea, amber, sandalwood, cedar, leather and musk. Escentric 03 is a sheer fragrance, citrus-y in the opening, with a light peppery bite, then it's gentler and sweeter, slightly floral, with a (still sheer) woody-musky dry down. There is just the lightest whiff of dry leather in the finish, but overall, Escentric 03 is more clean than earthy. It does not, strictly speaking, fade away in an hour, but I found myself consistently wanting to reapply after about an hour; after that, it was just too bland to interest me.

Escentric 03 doesn't smell the same as Diptyque's Vetyverio, but it's very much in the same vein: a light, easy to wear fragrance; men will not find it too floral, women will not find it too heavy on the vetiver. Personally, I found it too light on the vetiver — Molecule 03 was much more satisfying to wear, and if I wore both at the same time, my nose naturally gravitated towards the Molecule 03. I tried layering the two, and that was an improvement but I still preferred the Molecule 03 on its own. I suppose that's the danger of letting your customers smell the components?

Chantecaille's Vetyver, developed by perfumer Pierre Negrin, is marketed to women; it's supposed to blend "distinctive masculine energy with a bold and independent femininity". To my nose, it's no more feminine than any unisex vetiver, and it's certainly not as feminine as the packaging — someone looking for a floral vetiver along the lines of Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle will probably find this too masculine. To someone like me, who has yet to meet the vetiver too masculine to wear (ok, maybe Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Route du Vetiver), it's a middle-of-the-road vetiver with a smooth finish, nicely accented with citrus and spice (the notes: citron, pepper, nutmeg, bergamot, vetiver, musk and sandalwood). It's quite nice — it's arguably less interesting than Escentric 03, but it also has more vetiver, better lasting power, and more presence in general — and easy to wear, but there's nothing in particular that makes it stand out from the crowd or that justifies the luxury pricing. Still, it's worth a shot, especially if you're taken with the pretty bottle.

The quick poll: name your favorite vetiver.

Escentric Molecules Escentric 03 and Molecule 03 are $145 each for 100 ml Eau de Toilette; for buying information see the listing for Escentric Molecules under Perfume Houses.

Chantecaille Vetyver is $175 for 75 ml, and can be found at department stores.

1. If you don't know vetiver, see here and here. In the images above, you see vetiver roots, dried on the left, with the grass still attached on the right.

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165 Comments

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  1. Bear says:

    This is so strange that you would have an article about vetiver when I am wearing my newest love – 28 La Pausa.
    I know, I know, everyone says it is an iris soliflore with vetiver hiding beneath, but after the iris fades, the vetiver remains strong for quite some time.
    Granted I’m wearing it on my hairy forearms and that may help with longevity (2 hours for the iris, 4 for the vetiver), but this is a great perfume. The iris is breathtakingly beautiful and the vetiver green and woody.

    28 La Pausa is my vote for favourite vetiver.

    • Robin says:

      I do love 28 La Pausa….

    • Karin says:

      Interesting! I’ll look for that vetiver when I wear La Pausa!

  2. OperaFan says:

    I prefer the greener, grassier vetyver, so for me – it’s Tauer’s Vetyver Dance, but also the Guerlain and if it counts – Eau Sauvage.

    • Robin says:

      Guerlain Vetiver is so perfect! I could live with just that one. But I don’t, LOL…

    • I have never sniffed this Guerlain classic. But I will be changing that real soon! It’s on my list as Guerlain is the line I am exploring right now. The only Guerlain’s I have triedso far are Nahema, all the Shalimar versions, Idylle, Insolence and Spiritueuse Double Vanille.

      • Robin says:

        It is really the gold standard of vetivers, IMHO.

        • Olfacta says:

          and it lasts — I sprayed some on a sports bra, wore it, washed it in hot water, dried it on hot, and I could still smell the fragrance on it.

          • Robin says:

            The same is true of real vetiver oil…it is VERY hard to remove.

      • platinum14 says:

        Do try Vega! I came across it recently and i just love it!

        • platinum14 says:

          Sorry, not for the vetiver , but as great Guerlain

  3. Tara says:

    Definitely, Chanel Sycomore.

    I am intrigued by Lez Nez Turtle Vetiver, but I don’t know if I could actually wear it…

    • Robin says:

      Why, too strong?

      • Tara says:

        Yes, too strong and kind of burnt smelling, at least on me. I am concerned people might think I smell like my clothes were in the dryer way to long or I stood too close to a barn fire. Do most people get a burnt smell from vetiver or is it my skin chemistry?

        • Rappleyea says:

          I got a bit of a burnt smell from Turtle Vetiver too, Tara, and I don’t usually from vetivers.

        • Robin says:

          I’d agree with Rappleyea…this one had a particular metallic tinge to it. I loved it, but can see what you mean.

          • Rappleyea says:

            But speaking of Turtle Vetiver, that remined me that I got quite a nice vetiver hit from their Manoumalia.

          • Tara says:

            Really… I’ll have to try my sample tonight…

          • I agree. I think of that note as “lava rocks,”–that kind of stone+metal+burnt thing.

  4. nancyg says:

    I like Vetyverio (have an FB) – it has a faint hempy bit to the drydown – a bit like bongwater…
    Also have a sample of L’Artisan Coeur de Vetiver Sacre that I also like – it’s very different than Vetyverio

    • Robin says:

      I bet Vetyverio sold really well.

    • mals86 says:

      Waitaminnit… how do you know what bongwater smells like?

      (Kidding. But I really don’t know what it smells like. Went to a “conservative” college, where people drank themselves silly but no one did drugs, it was too subversive.)

      • platinum14 says:

        Mals… I went to a very “liberal” college and i don’t know either…. everyone was too busy having sex to do drugs.

        • Robin says:

          LOL!

        • nancyg says:

          Ann Arbor in the ’70s…

          • 734elizabeths says:

            LOL! I was in high school in Ann Arbor in the 70’s and I’m here again now, and let me tell you it is a different place – of course, I’ve changed, too – now I care more about where the best dry cleaners are and not so much about which bars will not look twice at a fake i.d…..

  5. Abyss says:

    I’ll give these two a sniff for sure. I love vetiver, it’s one of my favourite notes along with leather. That said, while leathers are rarely boring, vetivers can be often disappointing. Still, I’m always curious to smell more. The vetivers that I’ve yet to try but which I’m extremely curious about are Onda and those Vetiver Turtle ones.

    My favourite vetiver is Sycomore, with Vetiver Tonka a very close second. I adore those. I found JM Black Vetyver Cafe very pleasant (I happen to love coffee too) but the lasting power is pretty much non-existent.

    What’s your favourite, Robin?

    • Robin says:

      I don’t know that I have 1 favorite. It really depends on my mood. I own Guerlain Vetiver, Paul Smith Story, FM Vetiver Extraordinaire, Kenzo Air, Vetiver Tonka, Lalique Encre Noire.

      I would like to own HdP Chaman’s Party & LesNez Turtle Vetiver #1, but I don’t. And I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a bottle of Chanel Sycomore.

      • Abyss says:

        I should really give Guerlain Vetiver another sniff. I tried it once and found it a little sedate and – for something that’s often considered to be ultimate/reference vetiver – kinda thin on vetiver. Time to re-visit that one.

        • Robin says:

          It’s changed. I still think it’s a good scent, but it’s cleaner than it used to be. But it was always a bright scent, perfectly balanced, very wearable.

        • Abyss says:

          Ah, that might explain it! I agree with your description. It’s not that I disliked it, I just thought “wha…where’s the promised vetiver?”. I got mostly citrus and a bit of leather. The dry, soapy kind of leather, a little like Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur.

          • Rappleyea says:

            Luckily, the vintages can still be found quite reasonably on eBay.

  6. Rappleyea says:

    I really love your vetiver reviews since you love vetiver so much.

    I was spoiled for vetiver back in the mid-90’s when I began learning about essential oils. My bottle of vetiver e.o. was from a company called Lotus Light (still in business). It was so beautiful, deep and resinous that no vetiver perfume has ever been able to live up to it, and worn alone, it was as multi-faceted as any perfume.

    As far as commerical vetivers, I suppose I’d say my bottle of vintage Guerlain Vetiver cologne is my favorite.

    I’m curious to try the MPG Route de Vetiver, which I’ve never done.

    • Robin says:

      I was just wondering if the MPG was still the same, and if I’d still have the same reaction to it.

  7. Frederic Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire and Hermes Terre d’Hermès – 2 perfumes that are so totally different but vetiver is a major component in both. FM’s is the heavy hitter and Hermes is the light and refreshing side…both fab!

    • Robin says:

      I don’t think of the Hermes as a vetiver, but you’re right that it is quite noticeable in the base. And a great scent.

  8. tussah says:

    Armani Prive Vetiver Babylone & Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire.

    • Robin says:

      The Armani is quite nice, I was impressed since I don’t always care for the Prive range.

  9. Karin says:

    Wouldn’t call myself a vetiver fiend, so my favorite is the very tame vetiver fragrance, Vetiver Pour Elle. Love it!

    • Robin says:

      It has so many fans! You’d think it would be easier to find.

  10. Erin says:

    I don’t often wear vetiver soliflores (solidaxes?), though I love it in basenotes or as an accent. Sycomore is probably my favorite vetiver-based fragrance, although I do love the vintage Guerlain Vetiver. I quite like the nutty aspects of Etro Vetiver, also, but I find it pretty musky and probably only wear it once a year or so – though as far as Etro goes, Shaal Nur has a lot of vetiver to my nose, and I wear that plenty. The other good ones – FM Vetiver Extraordinaire, Givenchy Vetyver, Route, TDC Sel de Vetiver etc. – I tend to admire, rather than enjoy.

    • Robin says:

      But what is solidaxes, I don’t get it??

      • Robin says:

        Plus, we really do need a general word for “focused on one thing”, so we don’t have to say solifruit and solifood and soliwood, etc. If we need soliflore and we must need words for all of them!

        • Erin says:

          Agreed – but I kind of like solifood! Did you just coin that? ;)

          • Robin says:

            No, I think it’s been around! Surprised to see via a quick search that I’ve only used it once, and that was for Serendipitous.

      • Erin says:

        Sorry, it was Luca Turin’s “soliradix”, Latin for “focused on a root”, I guess, that I was attempting to steal from the 28 La Pausa review in the perfume guide – iris/orris also being a root, of course. Unfortunately, I don’t have any Latin. Wish I did…

        • Robin says:

          Aha! Well, I will stick with soliroot, perhaps.

          • boojum says:

            Solinote?

          • Robin says:

            LOL…duh, yes! Good one.

        • austenfan says:

          Just think of radishes. It’s how I used to remember the radix word.

    • Erin says:

      Forgot to say I like Kenzo Air, too, though I don’t own it. And the new Dior Collection Vetiver is quite nice and wearable – particularly liked the citrus and coffee notes – though it doesn’t top Sycomore, by any means.

  11. Kartoon says:

    I love Frederic Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire … when sometime I find it’s too harsh, I will layer with Frederic Malle Une Rose (just slightly on top …ha)

    • Robin says:

      Oh, I will have to try that combo! Bet that packs some sillage, too.

    • Omg! that sounds great – runs to my bedroom to try it out! LOL!

      • potent! but delicious! going to trick hubby into putting on the combo when he gets home…:) thank you for the awesome suggestion!

  12. Jill says:

    The Molecule O3 sounds wonderful. My favorite vetiver has to be Vetiver Tonka. It just makes me salivate. In fact, I’m going to put it on right now as your reviews have me dying for a vetiver scent!

    I think JM Black Vetyver Cafe and Vetyver are both nice too.

    • Robin says:

      I adore Vetiver Tonka. And would buy the JM if it lasted better on me.

  13. boojum says:

    For warmer weather, Guerlain Vetiver; for cooler weather, Chanel Sycomore. As much as I like the Chanel, I find it rather dense/chewy, so it can easily be too much in all but the coldest weather. I did finally, after numerous attempts, get a sample of Sel de Vetiver, but haven’t had time to play with it yet.

    • Robin says:

      Sel de Vetiver just doesn’t suit me, but lots of people adore it. Hope it will work for you…

  14. dee says:

    Puredistance Antonia! It’s note a solinote, by any means, but I love the spicy, peppery aspect of the vetiver in it. It’s absolutely fabulous!

    When I was a kid, my mom wore a vetiver essential oil (for YEARS), and so I associate that scent with her—maybe why I prefer it blended than as the star note :)

    • Robin says:

      Oh, how interesting…I wonder where she got it?

      • dee says:

        Good question! I grew up in Massachusetts (where she was born and raised too), but I think that she originally got it on a trip to Oregon… I actually remember the square, squat bottle, with scrolling around the edges of the paper-label, but can’t remember who made it.

        It was a big jump from that to Tresor in the 90’s! LOL :)

      • Rappleyea says:

        Robin:
        FYI – here is the link for the vetiver e.o. I referenced:
        http://www.internatural.com/vendor.php?vendor_id=11150&link=LOTUSLIGHTPURLOTUSL

        And here is another link for very high quality essential oils, recommended by Ayala:

        http://av-at.com/

        • Rappleyea says:

          R – email me at rappleyea11 at yahoo dot com if you’d like me to send you some of the e.o. I’d be happy to!

          • Robin says:

            That’s so nice of you, huge thanks! I have 2 kinds though — that’s enough for me even though I’m sure that yours is nicer.

  15. dee says:

    NOT a solinote. oops!

  16. odonata9 says:

    I’m not a huge vetiver fan, but I have samples of Vetiver Tonka, Fat Electrician, and Coeur de Vetiver Sacre and have enjoyed all of them.

    • Robin says:

      Surprised at how little mention Fat Electrician is getting. I like it, other than the annoying name.

      • Haunani says:

        I have got to try Fat Electrician! As you say, despite the name.

        • Robin says:

          I liked it. Didn’t think it was genius, but liked it. Actually not sure I ever tried it a second or third time though, and I should do that.

  17. Janice says:

    Vetiver is still a difficult note for me–sometimes it’s earthy and wonderful and other times it seems sort of weedy and rank and overwhelming. I like Vetiver Tonka a lot, but to me it seems a little “softer” and easier to wear than many others. I also liked Coeur de Vetiver Sacre the one time I tried it but it was more tea than vetiver on me.

    • Robin says:

      I think I like weedy more than most people! The L’Artisan was definitely not enough vetiver.

  18. Zazie says:

    My two favorite vetivers are hermes’ vetiver tonka, because it surprised me with that nutty facet, and Chanel Sycomore, which is the only vetiver-focused fragrance that I really enjoyed wearing.
    I like Sycomore for the smoke: I wish it was smokier (and more resinous, and….), but I admit it is very elegant as it is. Objectively, I find it perfect – but I miss some warm imperfection!
    I am not a vetiver fan, I fear. I feel nervous just at the idea of wearing a greenly-tailored vetiver: it makes me want to douse in some plush soft thing, like Fracas and Shalimar. But I love reading your vetiver reviews!

    • Zazie says:

      Well, I would douse myself in Fracas OR Shalimar… for my husband’s and friends’ sake. Well, for the world’s sake in general. ;)

    • anotherperfumeblog says:

      I am looking forward to exploring some of the recommendations here — what a treasure trove! :) I like Sycamore, so I think I’ll start by tracking down some Vetiver Tonka.

  19. Rictor07 says:

    Nobody has mentioned any of my favorite vetivers. For crisp and refreshing, i like Tom Ford Grey Vetiver, and Lubin Le Vetiver. For a warmer, earthier scent, i enjoy Etat Libre d’Orange Fat Electrician and Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental.

    I havent tried any of the molecule scents, but ive tried both of the first 2 escentric frags, and they were both so faint and so short lived i thought this line was basically kind of a joke and just meant to be some sort of an art concept.

    • Robin says:

      It is an art concept, sort of, I guess. But I do think they’re meant as serious fragrances too. I really liked the first Escentric.

  20. sayitisntso says:

    For vetiver perfection, my search ended with Guerlain’s vintage. Talk about an HG! I now have quite a stash of it – eight 1.7 ounce bottles..hidden away in the dark recesses of a closet. A little excessive perhaps but let’s face it, it’s not like Guerlain is making this version of it anymore!

    • OperaFan says:

      8 backup bottles? I believe that’s a record….

      • Lavandula says:

        Wow, and I thought I was being too dramatic stocking up on Bond no.9 Park Avenue (my first niche love) and Blue Agava & Cacao. I have 2 unused bottles of Park Avenue plus a purse spray plus another large bottle that I’m actually using. I also bought four 1oz bottles of the Blue Agava & Cacao (I was telling myself I can always use them as gifts, yea right, they’re all hidden away for me incase they discontinue it) I’m using one right now, the other three are safe in my lingerie drawer:))

    • Robin says:

      Impressive stash.

  21. So much fun reading all these vetiver references–had no idea on some of them. Really must try the Guerlain version, finally. I currently love and wear Sel de Vetiver, Sycomore, and occasionally Vetiver Tonka–love it, but it gives me an instant headache.

    And btw, I think of Terre d’Hermes as a vetiver scent, totally–what do you consider it, R?

    • Robin says:

      I do not think of Terre d’Hermes as any sort of solinote, and even thinking about it harder, vetiver just doesn’t come to mind. Just went & read my review, and it doesn’t even mention vetiver although I do know there’s vetiver in there. Interesting!

  22. air_ocean says:

    Maybe it’s just habit, but I love Encre Noir. It’s earthy enough for me, and it has that warm and fuzzy quality that I like about vetiver fragrances. I’ve also been trying Tom Ford Grey Vetiver, but it is certainly more polished and sophisticated, sort of a well-cut suit to Encre Noir’s wooly sweater…

    • Robin says:

      Encre Noire is great stuff. I still have never tried the women’s version, I should do that although I never heard anything great about it.

  23. mals86 says:

    True confession time: I don’t (ssh!) really *like* vetiver all that much. So far my ONLY vetiver would be Encre Noire. Which I sort-of-like, rather than really dig. Well, I do like No. 19, which does have a buncha vetiver.

    Incidentally, though, I have smelled the vetiver acetate – last year when Laurie Erickson was tweaking Tabac Aurea for me, she sent me some raw materials to test and see if any of them bothered me, and one of the half-filled vials was the vet acetate. It does smell pleasant – I just don’t think I could wear it on its own.

    • mals86 says:

      I think my non-love of vetiver may be related to my dislike of earthy smells. Mildewy, “rank,” musty, the dirty-dusty aspect of patchouli, all those early Duchaufours…

      … but I could be wrong.

      • Merlin says:

        Fat Electrician is a pleasant-ish grapefruit on me, but in general, my skin just turns all vetiver (esp. Guerlain’s) horrid and bitter.

      • Robin says:

        Hmmm. Do you like oakmoss? That’s another one I think of as mildewy/musty. When I started out in perfume, I adored vetiver & adored oakmoss but hated patchouli.

        • mals86 says:

          I like oakmoss most of the time. That is, not so much on its own, and I still have trouble with those big bitter chypres like Bandit, but I usually do love the floral ones.

          (Tried Nuit de Noel over Christmas and the moss nearly asphyxiated me – musty powder, bleah.)

    • AnnS says:

      No 19 is my fav too. If it is too rich, I get lots of “swamp water” from too much vetiver.

  24. RusticDove says:

    SO many great vetiver fragrances, but if I have to name one, my choice is the Guerlain Vetiver [the men's]. I really prefer it to Pour Elle – though I do enjoy that one also.

    • Robin says:

      I like the men’s miles better than the women’s.

  25. Liza says:

    My two favorites are Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire and Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle (I also really like Etat Libre d’Orange Fat Electrician).

  26. monkeytoe says:

    Vintage Guerlain Vetiver is still may favorite, but there are several runners-up: Encre Noir, Givenchy Vetyver, and MPG Racine.

    • austenfan says:

      I love Racine, it is gorgeous and rarely mentioned. Glad to see it has another fan. I have yet to sniff Route du Vetiver, it has been on my list for ages.

      • nozknoz says:

        Yes, good to see Racine here. I think it was my first vetiver FB. It’s too masculine for me much of the time but perfect for crisp fall days.

    • Robin says:

      I always forget Racine!

  27. Michaelm says:

    My all time favourite vetiver perfume has got to Frederic Malle’s Vetiver Extraordinaire. A close second might be Turtle Vetiver Exercise 1 by Les Nez

  28. sergelutencio says:

    I think the Chanel Sycomore is the epitome of vetivers perfumes but also appreciate the creativity and originality of Fat Electrician, as a classic vetiver I would cite the MPG Racine.

  29. Lavandula says:

    I will definitely have to go with Vetiver Tonka from the Hermessence collection. I have a thing for gourmands so it’s the perfect one for me:) If I have a full bottle of it, I’d definitely wear it happily. The reason for not buying one yet? Every time I have a little extra $$, there are other more “urgent” fragrances for me. I discovered the whole Hermessence line about the same time as I discovered most of the Montales and Jo Malones. My last more urgent purchases were Sweet Oriental Dream and of course… Blue Agava & Cacao.

    If I had to choose a simply “vetiver” fragrance it would definitely be Vetiver Tonka… hazelnuts, deliscious cereal and some sweet caramel. Perfect for my sweet tooth. However, my absolute favorite signature perfume is Blue Agava & Cacao. It does have some well-blended vetiver in the base so can I actually count that one? I know it’s more about the dark cocoa note than vetiver, but I can still have a good bite of vetiver in the dry down.

    • Robin says:

      I keep going through the 15 ml bottles of VT & then having to replace them.

      But of course you can pick whatever you want! We’re not that strict.

      • Lavandula says:

        Wow, Robin! I’ve been reading your blog for close to 5 years now… it’s very rare for you to say you keep going through several, even 15ml, bottles of anything!

        • Robin says:

          True! But in the same time period, nearly drained my 100 ml bottle of Osmanthe Yunnan…so it can be done ;-)

  30. Lavandula says:

    Oh my god!! Am I retarded today? I forgot to say… my number one VETIVER fragrance is Jo Malone Black Vetyver Cafe of course!! Blue Agava & Cacao is my favorite perfume in general, but my cuppa coffee:)) is definitely Black Vetyver Cafe with a gorgeous incense and earthy vetiver. Then after those 2 my second choice is Vetiver Tonka:)

  31. AnnS says:

    My fav vetiver is No 19, in any form, old or new. I think it is the perfect crisp vetiver, and can be worn by anyone any time of year. I think No 19 is better than Pour Monsieur too. My next fav “vetiver” is L’AP Timbuktu. I get scads of super green vetiver from this, with a dry silvery incense on top.

    • AnnS says:

      I’m gonna toss Cristalle in here too – perfect summer floral vetiver.

    • Liza says:

      I don’t tend to think of Timbuktu as a “vetiver scent”, although I agree that there’s plenty of vetiver there. But, if we count it as one, then it would win over Vetiver Extraordinaire and Vetiver Pour Elle as my fave.

      • AnnS says:

        Well I’m glad I could convince you ;-) Timbuktu is happy to reign supreme!

    • Robin says:

      Interesting — I don’t think of *any* of those as vetiver scents, although they’ve all got vetiver.

  32. Suzy Q says:

    I haven’t met a vetiver I wouldn’t wear! Really! I’ve collected a bag full of vetiver samples (and decants) and I love them all. Elena of the Perfume Shrine wrote an excellent study of vetivers and I was her star pupil, so to speak!

    There are so many different types of vetivers each with their own character. If you forced me to choose just one favorite I’d say Annick Goutal Vetiver.

    • Robin says:

      The AG isn’t getting much love here…but then, it’s not so easy to find in the US.

    • nozknoz says:

      YES! AG Vetiver is my fav too, Suzy Q. I just find it more soulful.

  33. PekeFan says:

    I haven’t tried many vetiver dominant fragrances because I was really put off by Vetiver Tonka, which made me gag for some reason. However, I really like Chanel Sycomore and L’Artisan Coeur de Vetiver Sacre. I guess I have a lot to look forward to sampling if these comments are anything to go by!

    • Robin says:

      Oh, do try more! The Vetiver Tonka is unusual for a vetiver.

  34. mgrazulis says:

    My fave vetiver is Soivohle’s Underworld…dark, earthen and a bit balsamic with a slight wine undertone. Downright dreamy!!!

  35. Haunani says:

    Robin, the Molecule 03 sounds like a must-try! Annick Goutal Vetyver is my top favorite vetiver, so far. I love that iodine/seaweed with the vetiver! I also really like Vetiver Pour Elle, Sel de Vetiver, and KenzoAir. And I have to agree with Erin that Shaal Nur is a wonderful vetiver blend, as is DelRae Panache. Oh, and I enjoy the Etro, too, when I’m in the mood for something really earthy.

    • Haunani says:

      Forgot to mention the L’Occitane Vetyver. Tried that recently and liked it very much! I ordered a bottle, because I think it would be good as a summer bedtime fragrance. Perhaps for the pillow and sheets, too!

      • sarcon says:

        I love L’Occitane Vetyver. It’s sort of spicy and softer than other vetivers. Even though it’s a men’s fragrance, my husband pointed out how feminine it smells. It’s a great “dry” fragrance for hot days.

    • Suzy Q says:

      Haunani, I just sprayed on some AG Vetiver. It’s my favorite, too. It smells like fresh sea air.

    • nozknoz says:

      Just joining the AG Vetiver party here with you and Suzy Q! I love most of your other picks, too, Haunani. Need to try Panache and the Etro Vetiver.

    • Haunani says:

      Nice to talk with other fans of the AG. It’s a special one! I’m not sure I’d ever buy the Etro, but I was impressed.

    • boojum says:

      I should really try the AG. I generally get along with that line pretty well, and Etro as well. So many scents, so little time (and money, and storage space!).

    • Robin says:

      I don’t know that it really is a must try, unless you don’t know what it smells like (?)

      • Haunani says:

        Oh, I’m curious. I haven’t smelled any of the Molecule fragrances!

  36. Lavandula says:

    Can someone tell me if there ever has been Black Vetyver Cafe in a 1oz bottle? I just discovered it a little more than a year ago and my 3.4oz bottle is almost empty. Time to buy a new one! I do prefer the 1oz bottles for a couple of reasons: they are cuter, my purses love Jo Malone’s 1oz bottles. I’ve never seen a Black Vetyver Cafe available in a size smaller than 3.4 though.

    Also has anyone tried Jo Malone’s Vetyver?

    • nozknoz says:

      Yes, I have one of those big bottles, too. It’s a nice scent!

    • Robin says:

      I don’t know if they make it in 30 ml or not.

  37. pyramus says:

    My favourite ever vetiver, perversely, is Demeter’s, and not even their Naturals line but the regular stuff, which is no doubt mostly synthetic (it may even be mostly vetiveryle acetate): it is astoundingly, ludicrously good for the price—-bright and piercing but deep and earthy-woody at the same time. And because it’s so simple, it blends effortlessly with just about anything you would think of adding vetiver to (their Lavender makes a nice companion).

    • Robin says:

      That is perverse! I would not have even thought to try it.

  38. austenfan says:

    I am not sure that I have a favourite vetiver. I think I have a tie for first place for the Goutal Vetiver, and MPG Racine.
    The ones I love ( and own) are:
    Encre Noire, the Guerlain ( new version for men), the Etro, and the Goutal and MPG. I have a small bottle of the Nicolaï Vetyver, which is unusual and interesting, but I can’t make up my mind whether I love it or not.
    High up on my sample list are the Malle, the other MPG, ( route) and Sycomore. And the Givenchy and the Turtle and…..

    • 734elizabeths says:

      Encre Noir is my fav, I think. It’s got a little grittiness to it that I like.

      • austenfan says:

        You might want to try Racine as well. It is gorgeous. They share a certain elegance, for want of a better word.
        But the best bottle without a doubt is the Lalique. It is just so beautiful and fitting.

    • Robin says:

      You clearly have the same illness I have.

      • austenfan says:

        It’s a note that just never bores me. And in spite of it dominating a fragrance that contains it, the variations on the theme are mostly so interesting.

  39. Tama says:

    I have a soft spot for Vettiveru, since it was my first real full-bottle vetiver. But I also love and own Vetiver pour Elle and Coeur du Vetiver Sacre. A new favorite, and off the beaten path, is Mandy Aftel’s body oil – Vetiver Mint. Amazing amazing scent combination.

    • Haunani says:

      Vetiver Mint sounds so refreshing, Tama. How interesting!

    • Robin says:

      Vettiveru really is nice stuff.

    • sarcon says:

      Yes! Vettiveru is not only my favorite vetiver, it’s one my favorite fragrances ever.

  40. RuthW says:

    Habanita is the only fragrance I wear that could be considered a “vetiver” scent, I do adore it though.

    • Robin says:

      Interesting — it does have vetiver, but I don’t think of it as a “vetiver fragrance”.

      • Robin says:

        And will add that that is part of what is interesting about this poll….to see how differently people apply the term!

  41. nozknoz says:

    I love Guerlain Vetiver for hot, humid days, which are plentiful here in DC – it’s like a blast of AC. Otherwise AG Vetiver is my fav. An interesting vetiver perfume that hasn’t been mentioned is Etro Palais Jamais. To me it’s what Un Jardin sur Nil should have smelled like – tea, smoke, dust and a little jasmine.

    I wish Guerlain would do Vetiver pour Elle with about one-tenth of the white musk. Perhaps I’m just hyperosmic to those particular musks, but to me they tend to drown out the rest of the scent.

    Now I’m really curious about the Escentric Molecule 03. Got to try that!

    • Haunani says:

      I’ve got to try Palais Jamais. Sounds great, and I have a soft spot for Etro fragrances.

    • PetronellaCJ says:

      Yes, Palais Jamais is my favourite as well, with Guerlain Vetiver as runner-up. Several vetiver scents I’ve tried just fade away on me, Encre Noir and Vettiveru for example. I love the presence of Palais Jamais, it’s kinda sulky but in a good way, if that makes any sense ;).

      • nozknoz says:

        I can see what you mean, petronella. At first sniff, I wasn’t sure I liked it, but I kept coming back to it.

  42. March says:

    Man, I’m late over here, but my favorite vetiver (and I am not a huge vetiver freak) is the Givenchy Vetyver. Runner up: the Lubin Vetyver, which is sort of gin-cocktail.

    • nozknoz says:

      I keep forgetting about that Givenchy – it’s been on my (unwritten) “to-try” list for ages!

  43. Lavandula says:

    Chanel no.18 is such a dry, typical “Chanel-type” of a perfume. I don’t know what exactly Chanel does but the base of Cuir De Russie, no. 18 and many others are so similar!

  44. helenviolette says:

    I like vetiver – and love when my sweetheart wears Encre Noir-mmmm. For me- I will choose Guerlain V with V Tonka as a runner up. I had a vetyver I wore in my early 20’s all grassy and strong- I wish I knew what it was! Maybe Thymes? Anyone know if they have one? And I really want to try Turtle Vetyver and it seems to be gone everywhere!!! Gah!

  45. PinoiPerfumista says:

    I only have 2 vetivers: Guerlain Vetiver and FM Vetiver Extraordinaire. Each is a beauty on its own but if asked to choose one, it would be Vetiver Extraordinaire.

  46. ol rait says:

    Escentric 03’s note list sounds so amazing–it’s a shame it didn’t wow.

    I think my favorite vetiver might just be Lubin’s. It’s so light and spacious, yet grounded. It’s like walking through a forest in the middle of an autumn day. My other favorite, VT, is no longer in my good favor. It falls so flat in the long run that I traded my travel bottle.

  47. Isa says:

    I loved the new pair of Molecules (both Molecule 03 and Escentric 03).

    I own a full bottle of Vetyverio and I enjoy it very much. In fact, I have been wearing it this week. I only wished it was more earthy and less sweet…

    • Isa says:

      Sorry, I meant “earthier”.

  48. dominika says:

    I haven’t found a vetiver yet that I would want in an FB…

    FM’s Vetiver Extraordinaire smelled nice on me, but later I gave the rest of my sample to mom and it smelled amazing on her.

    Guerlain’s version is a bit dry for my tastes, but it smells great on my dad.

    Diptyque’s was too sweet, SL’s was off for some reason I can’t put my finger on.

    I think it’s just probably not one of my favorite notes, but of course the search continues ;)

  49. Cheryl says:

    I’m a big fan of vetiver. I think Un sel de vetiver is my all time favorite. It stood up to the ultimate test: a fragrance spill. I managed to smash a 1 ml vial in my wallet. The smell lasted for months, and I was disappointed when it finally disappeared.

    • nozknoz says:

      That IS the ultimate test, Cheryl!

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