Guerlain Vetiver Review

Guerlain’s Vetiver was originally created in 1959, and was relaunched in 2000. This review is of the relaunched (and apparently reformulated) version. There is a great deal of fuss created over the ‘vintage’ scent, but as I’ve never smelled it and love the current version, I don’t think I’m missing out. Vetiver is a staple to many men’s wardrobe, and is used by many women too.

vetiverVetiver is tough, bitter, astringent and woodsy through a floral and citrus opening. Clean and green, with a slightly soapy feeling, but at the same time earthy and dirty.
The soap feeling is gentlemanly, and not girly, as in it’s not related to an aldehydic scented soap like No 5, I think it’s the combination of Neroli and Vetiver that create this image of ‘man soap’ – the same effect is present in Zara’s much less complex Vetiver.
The heart has a spicy edge which is similar to Yatagan, but this is softened by the green feeling which is maintained throughout the life of the fragrance. The Cedar and Sandalwood create warm and comforting feeling.
It dries down to an earthy, dirty, Hay-like Tobacco and Vetiver base, which is slightly honeyed but not at all sweet, and the Pepper note creates a spiciness. The Nutmeg is present, but only just, the grassy Vetiver note is what is meant to shine throughout the fragrance and Jean-Paul Guerlain did a fantastic job keeping the focus on it.

Top: Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Coriander
Middle: Vetiver, Cedar, Clary Sage, Carnation, Sandalwood
Base: Tobacco, Nutmeg, Pepper, Tonka Bean, Capsicum

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