Ermenegildo Zegna Essenze Collection Haitian Vetiver ~ fragrance review

Nitobe Memorial Garden

Some days my nose seeks “scent quiet.” I’m not speaking of a “quiet scent” but a simple one — nothing complex. It always helps to have single-note colognes (or ones with just a few ingredients) handy, fragrances made with high-quality materials that take simplicity into luxury-land. Last week, I visited the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia, and I started my day there at Nitobe Memorial Garden. The Zen garden was fresh, washed by a recent rain shower; the beds of moss, evergreens, azaleas, maples, and new blades of iris provided many shades of green. The damp, dim space was made even more romantic by the sounds of birds, streams, and a small waterfall. Only a few “specks” of non-green caught the eye, courtesy of rough stones, bark, weathered wood, cherry blossoms and orange koi. Whenever I visit this garden, I don’t want to leave…I want to linger and experience it at night, imagining the stone lanterns glowing from within, the areas around them golden with the light from oil lamps or candles.

After this contemplative beginning to my day, it was off to noisy downtown Vancouver for lunch and some retail exercise. I visited with Nazrin at The Perfume Shoppe, bought a bottle of Chanel Pour Monsieur Eau de Toilette (not available in the U.S.) and while browsing at Holt Renfrew’s men’s cologne boutique I smelled something wonderful in the air…

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Hermes Bel Ami Vetiver ~ fragrance review

Hermes Bel Ami Vetiver visual

One of my most memorable introductions to a perfume happened in Mexico, when a child-shopkeeper handed me, with grace and a touch of theatricality, a bottle of original Bel Ami by Hermès. It was not love at first sniff (even though I bought a bottle immediately) but now, if some evil genie commanded I use only five perfumes for the rest of my life, Bel Ami would be one of the five…even one of three (if the genie were especially nasty and restrictive).

I was excited to try the tweaked Bel Ami — Bel Ami Vétiver — but was wondering if the light touch of perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena would make the perfume too contemporary for me. With a bottle of original Bel Ami in one hand, and a sample of new Bel Ami Vétiver in the other…here goes…

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Persephenie Vetiver Attars ~ perfume reviews

Persephenie Vetiver Attars

Longtime readers know I’m a vetiver fiend, so I was excited when I heard about the new Vetiver Attars from Los Angeles based aromatherapist and perfumer Persephenie. They’re attars in which the florals (and other notes) are hydro-distilled into a base of vetiver oil instead of the more traditional sandalwood. And those of you who read the original announcement might remember that they’re expensive — $64 each for 4 ml — as is generally the case when a small indie brand is doing their own distilling (Strange Invisible Perfumes being another example).* I tried all five; here are brief reviews of three: Blue Lotus, Parijata and Tuberose…

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LesNez Turtle Vetiver Front & Tableau de Parfums Dark Passage ~ fragrance reviews

Today, I’m looking at two niche fragrances: LesNez Turtle Vetiver Front and Tableau de Parfums Dark Passage. They don’t really have all that much in common other than that they’re both limited edition fragrances made in support of outside projects. Oh, and I like them both.

LesNez Turtle Vetiver Front

LesNez Turtle Vetiver Front

Turtle Vetiver Front is the latest from Swiss niche line LesNez. It’s the second in their series of vetiver fragrances made in support of the Turtle “anarchic” salon (about which I know nearly nothing, but you can read more here). Vetiver Front was developed by perfumer Isabelle Doyen, and I adored her first in the series, Turtle Vetiver Exercise No. 1. I thought of Exercise No. 1 (which I believe is now sold out) as a kind of vetiver for vetiver freaks…

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