Review is for Vintage Carlo Corinto Vetyver:
I chose to pursue this after reading various reviews and then Wicozani's awesome "Vetiver-Redux" evaluation. Total shock and displeasure...abysmal. And, I have the deepest love for vetiver - it is a passion of mine. I have a large collection of Vintage, Current, and Niche bottles. I simply find it to be divine.
The review: Just received a bottle today from a very reputable seller. Immediately upon first spray, there are some very off-putting notes in this to me. It is not what I had hoped for at all. Great expectations as well - actually, huge! I contacted the seller and was reassured that my bottle had not turned and was in perfect form, but the smell is of burned sugary sweetness melded with stewed and overly sharp herbs - creating a waft of unpleasant smokiness. What is going on???? I was expecting something fresh and invigorating - I cannot get a single good note out of this!!!
When it finally settles down, it is nothing more than a light skin scent not unlike you have just smoked a clove cigarette and the smell is on your fingers - just a bit greener and harsher. So, imagine rubbing fresh cut grass over the clove-infused skin. The vetiver in this is not noticeable at all until 30-40 minutes in and then it is very light and grassy (the burned smell, I hoped, was going to reveal a rich and deep vetiver that was trying to get air and show itself). It wasn't - this is very badly done, to me. I get better vetiver notes out of a deodorant body spray I have (and far better citrus!) that costs the sales tax of this bottle. No joke.
Notes on top that possibly ruined this for me...very cold and harsh, bitter bergamot (there is a "spike" that hits my nose wrong), a strange and bad combination of very sweet licorice (is that what is killing this for me?) and way too much nutmeg at first and still in the heart, where raspberry (???) is listed as a note along with olibanum, sage and thyme. The top also lists basil - this sounds great at first (green herbs with vetiver), but too many herbs from the top and heart...it ends up a stewed green mess with very little vetiver at all to me. Not to be rude, but who thought hiding vetiver would be something people would want? I like vetiver compositions, but when all these notes come together - you get overly sweet, bitter and harsh and a nose-burning concoction that loses its train of thought. How would one want to purchase this with all the other great vetivers out there?
Now, I love herbs and this could have been a well-made scent if the sweetness was taken out and the citrus was actually used properly. The base notes (listed at another site) include vanilla and patchouli along with leather. Not simple. The patchouli actually is too dank, the leather is not really there (if it is, it's vinyl) and the worse note of all, to make this finish on a poor note - vanilla. Who wants vanilla in a fragrant vetiver scent??? I found that scent pyramid AFTER I bought this and noticed all the sickly-sweet notes and the herbs smothering what you bought this for...vetiver. If the juice wasn't called what it is, I would not even think of vetiver! Oddly enough, bergamot and licorice (along with tarragon) are found in Guerlain Vetiver Extreme. Was this poor vintage rendition from Carlo Corinto the inspiration for that excellent Guerlain composition that I love??
Here are the differences in Vetiver Extreme that Guerlain delivered...the bergamot is wonderful and the licorice is almost like the root itself (very nice and natural - a woody undertone), the tarragon adding a nice accord to the vibe - green, but in the same vein and adding depth. The heart is beautiful with the nutmeg turned down in Guerlain's bottle and a nice addition of pepper that enrichens the earthiness and adds great warmth. The licorice never gets sweet and the dry down is segued by a great, light incense note into a warm and rich base of cedar, warm tonka bean and the deep, rooty and very dark green vetiver throughout the entire composition (from top, through the heart and wonderful in the base).
Carlo Corinto's juice cannot touch this (Vetiver Extreme - incredibly good!!!). I seriously feel let down. This bottle was, according to some reviewers regarded higher than Guerlain's Vetiver (although the notes compare more to the Extreme bottling)...neither is true to my nose. After wearing this for almost two hours and letting it play out, I realize the juice is in fine order - that is just how Carlo Corinto's Vetyver is to my palate - if this was an entree at a highly-regarded restaurant, I would send it back. I will go against the masses and say - avoid. I wanted to like this, but I cannot. Not to offend anyone's taste. Enjoy it if you do. I am returning this bottle back to the seller.
My final, and unfortunate, score is 3/10. Simply poor in all aspects. I am also washing my skin. C'est la vie...this was shockingly bad.
**Update - bottle has been mailed back! The final smell on my shirt sleeve, which is nauseating is of heavy nutmeg, sweet vanilla and a concoction of dank herbs and wet grass. Disappointment level - 10/10. Olfactory pleasure - none.
Carlo Corinto Vetyver
It is said, on Wikipedia, that vetiver is present in 90% of western perfumes. For a note that is so widely present it is always surprising to me how versatile it is as an ingredient. As I write this I think of all of the different vetivers I've tried and how they are distinctly vetiver-focused. The best of them manage to find a style and sensibility to call their own and to stand apart from the crowd. So it is with Carlo Corinto Vetyver which first appeared in the 1980's. This is not the same scent which is currently being sold as Carlo Corinto Vetiver the spelling lets you know it is the original version. The newer version is nice, the original version is spectacular. The top is classic lavender and citrus but it only lasts for a little while as the vetiver comes to the fore quickly and takes over the proceedings. The vetiver accord here is a cross between the sweet version present in Guerlain Vetiver and the smoky version present in Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire. When I say cross that's what I mean in that it never reaches the sweetgrass feel of Guerlain or the campfire smokiness of Extraordinaire. Instead in Vetyver it is more like walking through a field of newly growing vetiver in the spring that still has some remnant of the fall burn lurking about. This mix of smoky and sweet is what makes Vetyver a real stand-out for me. The base is a strong hairy-chested sandalwood which is to be expected from a scent that was born in the powerhouse 80's. For those who want a strong masculine vetiver-based scent, with longevity and sillage, Vetyver is very likely the scent you are looking for. This is a sophisticated, thinking man's kind of scent. Too bad Carlo Corinto has chosen to dumb this down and release it as Vetiver these days.
A truly wonderful opening, aching with elusive memories. Dame Edith's conservatory ("amid the tiger-purring greenery")? The french windows opening onto the summer night garden of an abandoned country house? The long, empty schoolroom with its wooden floorboards and the silent laughter of dead children? I'll keep it with mine. (de Charlus).
Soapy, and somewhat barbershop creamy vetiver. However, I can not get past the mothballs accord that puffs up once in a while. Grandama's backyard closet is not what I want to smell like. Good vetiver accord otherwise. I'd compare it to Escada pour Homme with more vetiver.
Wonderful vetiver fragrance of the soapy variety. Starts with bergamot, a little lavender and a little incense behind a soapy haze. The top notes drop off into the soap and then the true vetiver emerges, and what a note it is.
It is rounded and never "sticks out" too far. It is also earthy, warm with a little salty tinge. It is sweet like guerlain's wih just a little of that low-down-sparkiness-"back-nose" feel like vetiver extrordinaire. The woody base supports well, holding up the vetiver without intruding and smells of high quality ingredients. The sandalwood in particular seems wonderful and perfectly attuned with the main vetiver accord.
An absolute winner. All hail Wicozani for putting it on the radar.