Vetivers pt.1 (Some Pillars)

Guerlain Vetiver 

Vetiver EDT (Vintage Formulation)

Not much to say about Guerlain's Vetiver as it's possibly the most popular and seminal vetiver based fragrance ever created. The vintage formula was loaded with oakmoss and tobacco that together with the main element created a deep and incredibly satisfying blend. Fresh yet somewhat dirty with the typical, slightly rough, barbershop vibe of certain fragrances of the same period. Always stated as the reference vetiver. Mandatory!

Rating: 10/10

Vetiver EDC

Quite rare. This was a lighter version of the original Vetiver emphasized on the citruses. Still plenty of oakmoss and with a strong "Eau De Guerlain" type of vibe. Perfect for anyone who enjoys heavy applications.

Rating: 8/10

Vetiver EDT (Current Formulation)

Re-launched in 2000. A "no spurprise"  linear composition that's at the same time classy, versatile, outstandingly wearable, contemporary, honest and solidly crafted.  A great all-rounder. The current formulation is kinda polished and toned down on both the oakmoss and the tobacco with an overall effect that's at the same time fresher but less distinctive than the vintage. Said that, this is still pretty darn good. Not exactly long lasting, though.

Rating:  7/10

Givenchy Vetyver

Surely not among the most easiest to find. Another no-surpise type of vetiver that's classic, simple and realiable! If you like it nutty and treated to a slight dose of aldehydes on top, this is possibly one of the best around. "Pur Excellance". Finally reissued in the Les Parfums Mythiques series together with a bunch of other classics from this marvellous house.

No desctription needed!

Rating: 9.5/10

Maitre Parfumeur Et Gantier Route Du Vetiver 

As a vetiver lover I've been encouraged many times to try Route De Vetiver (Vintage) and when I finally decided to face it I discovered an extremely compelling fragrance. RDV's opening is possibly one of the best representation of vetiver available on the market. Earthy, extremely bitter, wet. I never smelled vetiver's roots myself but I have the feeling that if you'd extract them from the ground after a couple of rainy days, they would smell exactly like RDV's opening. The drydown is incredibly woody and earthy, bold but not overpowering yet extremely masculine. Surely among the most uncompromising iterations of the rooty vetiver accord.

My little "disappointment" (not exactly the right word) comes with the refurmulated version that  tends to be similar to other masterpieces of the same family such as Sycomore. Don't get me wrong, the current Route De Vetiver is still an outstanding scent, but if you're already familiar with Sycomore or with the vintage formula, it may result somehow disappointing.

Rating: 9/10 (Vintage) 8/10 (Current)

Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire

Well, this is the apotheosis of the "masculine vetiver fragrance" concept! A SUBLIME composition that immediately jumps at the top of its genre together with other masterpieces such as Sycomore, Route Du Vetiver, vintage Guerlain and the Givenchy's. Vetiver Extraordinaire is a stark and edgy composition where  the usual bergamot/citrus opening is dried to the bone by sharp woody notes and a massive dose of dry leafy and sort of green vetiver. Add a nice quasi-soapy twist and here's a masterpiece. For hardcore vetiver lovers only. One of my favourites.

Rating: 9.5/10

Chanel Sycomore 

I won't spend many words on Sycomore as it deserves at least a try. This is an absolute masterpiece, one of a kind type of fragrance and should be a mandatory purchase for any true fragrance lover. An outstanding and superbly crafted, smoky yet fresh vetiver centered composition enriched by hints of incense and a considerable dose of sandalwood. The usual aldehydes/iris roots "signature" by Chanel is there but works subtly to provide the right amount of sophistication. Dry yet plush, immensely satisfying. Possibly the best. 

Rating: 10/10


  1. alfarom
    Roja Dove has just launched a very nice vetiver, which i think you would enjoy very much.Do they sell his brand in italy ?.

  2. Thanks Chris for letting me know..and, no, Roja Dove's fragrances are not available here...

  3. Big vetiver fan here. I will stay tuned to read about your picks. I am more of a RdV type of guy, VE didn't do much for me.

  4. That's great Christos. I'm just about to go for a (possibly) exaustive series of articles all based on vetiver-centered fragrances...

  5. Your vetiver series is a treat for me.


    I'd like to add though that the current formulation of Vetiver - Guerlain (in elongated rectangular bottles) is a bit more vetiver prominent than the one released in 2000 (stubby rectangular bottle).

  6. Yes, appearantly the current formulation is better than the pre-2000 one but still nowhere close to the original formula which was very mossy IMO.