I purchased a full bottle of this in the mid 1990's, but haven't worn it much over the years even though I like it.. Since then I've amassed a collection of many scents both new and vintage...enough that I am able to compare them for differences and similarites. When I decided to wear Vetyver Haiti today, I noticed some things that I hadn't noticed in the past, such as the cinnamon-like note along side the stong vetiver that I think is coming from the combination of carnation and clove. As the scent dried down further, I immediately noticed how similar it is to Molinard's Habanita and this is due to the fact that the ever-present vetiver is now joined by a creamy vanilla note. I even pulled out the Habanita to smell them side by side, and sure enough, they are very similar. At the base, Vetyver Haiti is like Habanita meets Mitsouko.
Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vetyver Haiti
Vetiver may be the most malleable and used note in all of perfumery. Although bergamot would have a case to make, you rarely find bergamot as the centerpiece of many scents. The many takes on vetiver and the ability for perfumers to find new ways to use it without them all feeling the same makes vetiver-centric scents an ever interesting field to explore. Comptoir Sud Pacifique is really more known for its line of Vanilla centered scents and in 1977 Vetyver Haiti was their attempt to marry their vanilla sensibility to vetiver. At the top lemon and bergamot start with a light citrusy feel. I think I would've preferred a sharper more bitter citrus instead of the bright citrus because the bright citrus there, is quickly overwhelmed by a combination of vetiver and carnation. This mix of the green of vetiver and the spicy clove character of carnation make for a spicy heart. The vetiver stays firmly in place but the spiciness of the clove fades away and the vanilla that Comptoir Sud Pacifique is known for comes in. I was expecting a bracing blast of sweet vanilla as that is the hallmark of the rest of the line. Instead this is a lightly applied vanilla and it comes as a perfect light and sweet contrast to the clove in the heart. This mix of vetiver and vanilla stays finely balanced on my skin for many hours and is a lovely companion for the time it is there. Once again I am happy to find that in a different pair of hands a new aspect of vetiver can be discovered.
I'm relatively new to the world of vetivers - this one was recommended by a well respected (by me) BNer. And I just love it! Starts out brisk and woodsy with a touch of brine and rum. As it settles down I would swear I detect coconut - at any rate the drydown on me is a creamy amber with an edge....and the smoky green-ness of that sad and gorgeous island.
19th June, 2007 (last edited: 02nd April, 2008)
I must say that its not my cup of tea, but I can see the attraction. It has a drydown that is tonka, vetiver and lots of rum. It's sort of a dirty grungy smell which reminds me of rainy weather in a third-world tropical beach town. As scenteur7 said, "boozey" is accurate.
Usually I do not mind that CSP stands for Cunningly Synthetic Perfumes*, but this one is straight from a failed lab experiment. Smells like someone was working on an artificial vanilla and created hazardous waste instead. Unhealthy chem odor & tonka is what I get, maybe this freebee leftover bottle is a little stale. But if this should actually be Vetiver Haiti, verily I hate thee.
*note that I love Eau du Gouverneur, Aqua Motu, Écume de Thé