I've been eager to test on skin this infamous vetiver for years since several vetiver lovers used to prize it as a fizzy-salty "eau de cologne" type of structured cedary-"marine" vetiver. Effectively Annick Goutal Vetiver is a really visceral kind of warmly organic vetiver (earthy, green and piquant) with a classic "cologny" structure and distinguished "intimate" elegance. Yes, an excellent salty vetiver, really iodate. The "stressed" saltiness, on the side of an airy-exotic "spaciousness" and a restrained classic approach, contribute to bind this vetiver to another favorite of mine, namely the great The Different Company Sel de Vetiver (which is, if possible, a tad more stressed over the salty-ozonic side) while a spicy/lightly incensey/tobacco-tonka veined accord connects this scent to the vintage Guerlain Vetiver's exoticism (the latter finally more soothed, resinous and far less salty). The Goutal Vetiver's dry down is immensely sensual and virile, ideal for a sultry southern summer time out.
03rd July, 2015 (last edited: 04th July, 2015)
The opening blast combines a bright vetiver with touches of citrus as well as a salty, nigh-maritime note. This is a nice start, albeit very light and it does not last very long and needs frequent reapplication. Later some unexciting wood notes and a hint of mildly spicy notes are added. Overall whilst it starts off nicely, the rest is fairly disappointing due to lack of development and character. I get limited silage and projection with three hours of longevity, with the nice phase lasting for a couple of hours. Pleasant but not without it's downfalls; for warm spring days.
Goutal's is a straightforward vetiver composition, sparsely decorated with citrus and lavender top notes, plus perhaps a very light touch of anise and caraway to accentuate the spicy and licorice facets of the featured note. Don't expect the raw, earthy quality of Route du Vétiver and Etro's Vetiver, nor the smoke and incense of Encre Noire and Sycomore. Instead, Goutal's Vétiver approximates the smooth, suave style of Givenchy Vetyver, though with less of the Givenchy's characteristic nutty richness and anisic overtones. I'd describe it as a dry vetiver, buttoned up and relatively formal, with an emphasis upon vetiver's grassy, rather than its rooty, aspect. It's a serviceable vetiver, but with less personality than many of the alternatives.
Raw, earthy, harsh, green, pungent opening, really powerful and savage, with salty notes (not caloney: I mean really salty) and almost rusty, a bundle of vetiver roots under the rain. Humid and woody. Aromatic base of cedar or other similar woods, and a really subtle hint of a dusty, cozy aromatic tobacco/incense note which will eventually "come in shape" better later on. The prominent, breathtaking note is however vetiver – in a way you just don't find anymore these days. A herbaceous, majestic, rooty, earthy vetiver, with a pungent and strong heart, a lot of natural facets, almost a "veg" counterpart to animalic notes. Moreover the "wet bundle" of vetiver dries and you eventually feel a spicy-cloves-linalool accord emerging, which changes a bit the scenario introducing a camphor-medicinal feel – still much woody and earthy. The drydown shows a deep basenote which is almost like leather although I believe it's only a really dry tobacco note. A great peculiar vetiver, erratic, unpredictable and moody like an unstable cloudy day at the seaside – sometimes gloomy, somethimes soothing.
Salty dry vetiver
An excellent dry vetiver. At the top, there is almost a pleasant rubbery note; as it goes, a salty, seaside note becomes prominent, giving the vetiver an even fresher, drier aspect. Of note, the formula is different from that of the current Eau de Vetiver (which may have substituted the older vetiver); the eau de vetiver is lighter and citric, and lacks the depth of the original.