Saturday, 25 June 2011

Guerlain Vetiver

It may surprise you, but (I may be mistaken, but I don't think so) the first time I smelled Guerlain Vetiver was also the first time I smelled vetiver as a note. At the time it blew me away. Vetiver smelled foreign, yet familiar at the same time. Green, grassy, pungent, slightly smoky - it smelled exotic to me. Of course, at the time I hadn't even heard of Frederic Malle, yet alone smelled the unadulterated majesty of Vetiver Extraordinaire, or the ozonic saltiness of Sel de Vetiver, or other intense vetivers like Turtle Vetiver. 

Smelling the Guerlain today, it smells rather less enticing, but only because I have been exposed to such a range and intensity of other vetiver fragrances. Saying this, Vetiver is by no means poor. In fact it is a wonderful example of a high-quality, relatively mainstream perfume, the likes of which is seldom encountered today. I understand Vetiver is quite old now and I'm sure its been reformulated at least once, perhaps twice. Actually, it may just be a poor memory on my part, but it doesn't even smell like it did four years ago, when I first encountered it. Whether this is another formulation twist, or simply my changing sensory appreciation, I don't know. For some reason the vetiver smells less intense. Vetiver was never an absolutely vetiver-centric fragrance. Yes it was the main player, but there was tobacco and nutmeg, and while I still detect these, the perfume smells slightly less rich and aromatic, perhaps a bit dryer, for want of a better word.

Still, I do like Vetiver, and I can't fault it really. If you haven't tried this classic Guerlain for men, give it a go, irrespective of gender. It may just surprise you.


  1. I think of vetiver as a white shirt. It is a standard but it is defined by surrounding notes. In Guerlain Vetiver this white shirt is worn with a grey suit or with jeans. It isn't something that sticks forever in your memory but you can't go wrong with it.
    Vetiver Extraordinaire did not impress me but that's just me. This white shirt is worn with a very expensive suit made from a label that is most well known for its ready to wear line. I needed something a little more controversial to call it "Extraordinaire".
    My vetiver par excelence is MPG Route du Vetiver.

    It is very refreshing to see a man's view on perfume in a blog. I have put you on my blogroll

  2. Memory of Scent, thanks for commenting and your thoughts. I too like Route du Vetiver, it's very good.



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