This is powerful from the start. It's a little like Guerlain's sweet vetiver but with more woods and herbs. It's very pungent. The tarragon pungent smell mixes with the bergamot to give off an "herby" floor cleaner smell (not as bad as described) and the leather gives off a stately quality and helps to contrast the greenness of the herbs. In terms of strength, this is stonger than Guerlain but a bit less then Encre Noire. If you like an "herby" pungent scent that lasts long then I think it's for you. For me it's just above average.
The reissued Vetyver from Givenchy features a very spare, nutty vetiver accord that sweetens gently through something vaguely suggestive of licorice to a very suave woody-mossy base. This is not the sort of raw, aggressively earthy vetiver you get from Route du Vétiver, Vétiver Extraordinaire, or Etro's Vetiver, but rather a comfortable men's club vetiver your well-dressed uncle might have worn while lounging in a leather chair. Among the best of its classical, sophisticated, "Old World" breed, even if it's not terribly exiting.
A couple of months, many wearings, and one full bottle purchase later, and I realize I’ve given short shrift to this outstanding, if highly understated, fragrance. With growing familiarity I have become more and more impressed and enamored of Vetyver’s fine qualities. My affection for this scent has come to focus on the “nutty,” almost buttery, quality that distinguishes its vetiver and which comes to dominate its drydown. No, it does not break any olfactory boundaries, explore new territory, or offer any structural novelty. But Givenchy’s Vetyver deserves better than to be defined by what it isn’t. It is the smoothest, the most suave, and the most comforting vetiver scent I have encountered. (And that includes Chanel’s resurrected Sycomore.) It is also the warmest, richest, and most rounded treatment of the vetiver note that I can recall right now. In fact, it is everything that Guerlain’s much-vaunted Vetiver should be (perhaps was?) and isn’t. A personal benchmark.
Something sad has happened to Givenchy Vetyver. A recent bottle smelled comparatively thin and harsh, without the rich, nutty overtones that made the initial reissue so attractive. In this latest formulation Givnchy Vetyver cedes pride of place to Chanel’s Sycomore, The Different Company’s Sel de Vetiver, and Lush’s Exhale on my list of favorite vetivers.
15th June, 2014 (last edited: 14th June, 2014)
I have loved four Vetivers in my life - Guerlain, Etro, Caswell-Massey, and now Givenchy.
The Givenchy is closest to the Guerlain - green, leafy, dry, pungent - but with the added delight of a burnt caramel sugary undercurrent that manages to "not" be sticky sweet as it tends to be in the Caswell-Massey.
Givenchy takes the essence of these two fine vetivers and blends them in an artistic and natural manner, giving me the best of both worlds. [For the record, the Etro is pure root, harsh and pungent, though unfortunately poor on silage and longevity.
I have tried over 30 vetivers over the years and must agree that Givenchy is the best, with Guerlain running a very close race as second.
Bravo! [For once Turin under-starred. He gives this 4 - it should have 5.]
First Edit: On closer relationship over the past few years, I find that there ares subtle and superbly nuanced note of celery seed and immortelle in this combination - fleeting, but there. Wafting in and out. It continues to be my reference vetiver.
20th February, 2014 (last edited: 22nd August, 2016)
I am not a salad! I am a free man!
I can't possibly give this one a thumbs down, though I understand the one negative reviewer who wrote that he didn't want to smell like stuffed Thanksgiving Turkey dressing.
Our most prolific reviewer, the worthy foetidus, put it more delicately when he observed that he found himself respecting the frag but not thoroughly enjoying it, so he gave it a "non-enthusiastic thumbs up... "
I have to give this wonderful revived classic a neutral and advise all to get it before it vanishes again--I believe that's already started--and if you can, get a sample vial for a test drive.
No, I got the full bottle and I have to say that the I find the cilantro/coriander note not to my taste. In my defense, I recall a reporter asking Luca Turin if his personal preferences influenced his reviews; to which Dr. T replied that he had no impersonal preferences.
And, since you're dying to know, cilantro refers to the whole plant but sometimes specifically to the leafy part, whereas coriander refers to the seeds.
Now, there's been some discussion of poor sillage/projection (true) and poor longevity (Wrong! It's an illusion. Spray it before you go to sleep, have sweet dreams for 8+ hours and I guarantee you'll still smell it in the morning. )
Whether poor projection/sillage is viewed as restrained elegance or as a damn shame, depends on whether you're an optimist or a pessimist.
Moreover, what smelling like Mexican parsley in a salad is something every vetiver lover also has to decide if he opts for this particular fragrance.
You may very well love this juice. Look at the reviews. Most do, and some go so far as to pronounce this one their Holy Grail. It is very well constructed, indeed.
Besides. how can one not cheer when a classic is resurrected? Perhaps one day Patou pour Homme, Macassar, Royal English Leather, Vintage Tabarome, Versailles pour Homme? --I live in hope . . .
15th December, 2013 (last edited: 03rd January, 2014)
Very nice scent.
This cologne could be the one I've been looking for, for a long time. I smelled one while in the high end stores in the 80's that I never considered, until recently. I had no name or brand on it. They stopped selling it in the stores about 1987. I even barely remember the bottle color,shape or rest of packaging on it. I just mainly remember that the cologne had a dryness to it,and also elegant. After reading different reviews on different colognes from years past,I decided to blindly order this cologne without sampling it first. I ordered mine, thru Amazon.com. It's kind of pricey,according to what I usually pay for in colognes. I just received it yesterday and couldn't wait to try it out. It smells very nice. It's dry and then sort of nutty,and then another aromatic note comes to play. Maybe it's the coriander.? That's one of the notes I heard was in it. This cologne lasts on my skin for hours even though it seems like it doesn't project very far(sillage). Also this cologne isn't too overpowering like some others are. I can't tell for sure if this cologne was that certain one from the stores from years ago. I read that this version is the relaunched version. Also my skin or body chemistry has probably changed thru the years so that can alter the scent of the cologne on my skin as well. This is a very different cologne among others out there. I'm new to vetiver colognes or vetiver in general,even though I may have tried some colognes out, not knowing there's vetiver in them. I've tried "Vetiver" by Guerlain. That one is sort of strange and one has to get used to it,the way it smells. For now, I think I like my new cologne "Vetyver" by Givenchy. I need to wear it more often to get a feel if it's for me,but I think it is. So far, this is the only Givenchy cologne I like. I tried Xeryus and Givenchy Gentlman already.
Pros: Nice scent, good longevity
Cons: doesn't go on strong when first sprayed could seem like it's not hardly there"