Vétiver Extraordinaire (2002)
by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

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Vétiver Extraordinaire information

Year of Launch2002
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 528 votes)

People and companies

HouseEditions de Parfums Frederic Malle
PerfumerDominique Ropion
SupplierIFF
PackagingFrederic Malle
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies

About Vétiver Extraordinaire

Vétiver Extraordinaire is a masculine fragrance by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle. The scent was launched in 2002 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Dominique Ropion. The bottle was designed by Frederic Malle

Vétiver Extraordinaire fragrance notes

Reviews of Vétiver Extraordinaire

Dominique Ropion would become in time the most frequent contributor to Editions de Parfum Frédéric Malle, starting with Une Fleur de Cassie (2000) during the launch of the label, and returning to make solid, if not outstanding entries like Géranium pour Monsieur (2009) and Portrait of a Lady (2010) but here with Vétiver Extraordinaire (2002), I feel like the creative juices weren't quite on tap for the perfumer. Editions de Parfum Frédéric Malle already closely rivals houses like Creed and Xerjoff for the nouveau-riche dollar, gaslighting the affluent with either heady tales of past glory or "definitive" new takes on classic styles, but all this pretense and hufflepuff does little to save Vétiver Extraordinaire from it's own faults. The scent tries to be "The New Vetiver" as declared in it's very own listing on the Editions de Parfum Frédéric Malle website, and I can feel where what was then considered "new" merges with the basic concepts of a vetiver fragrance, but it just feels too much like a Dr. Moreau gene splice than a fragrance that does what it claims. At it's core, Vétiver Extraordinaire is actually an ozonic citrus and cedar scent, with just the faintest wisps of vetiver to be found. Supposedly this contains 25% vetiver, which is three times more than standard, yet smells like it barely has any. I give Domonique Ropion props for presaging and possibly inspiring the work of Harry Freemont on Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver (2009) a whole 7 years early, but the problem here is that Freemont's take on a citric vetiver scent works, while Ropion's doesn't, which when combined with poor performance on skin, and a price tag almost hitting $300, buying the stuff feels like a fool's errand even compared to other Malle scents.

Vétiver Extraordinaire opens with brutal bergamot and orange coupled with an ozone note, followed by a very grassy take on vetiver that is fresh but sadly pretty synthetic and fleeting. Out the front door, this vetiver charges into the fray but less than 30 minutes is almost completely gone, supplanted by bitter citrus and the middle of pink pepper, which beats the supposedly large quantity of vetiver down into a jail cell of cloves guarded by scratchy wood to create almost a minty ghost note. This is just before the dawn of norlimbanol, so I'm not sure what wood smell-alike chemicals are here, but most likely Iso E Super and some dry version of hedione similar to the "paradisone" used now. This transition irriates with the citrus and cloves until it all calms down under a synthetic sandalwood note and cedar, with musk being the only rounding agent present. Lest we not forget, there is some myrrh here as well, which adds even more dryness to a scent not needing it. I love dry citric chypres, but when you marry ozone and bitter greens into them without something sweet to balance them, you're basically letting the harshness run wild. The saving grace here is none of the top notes are really all that long-lasting, which is a slap in the face even to some dedicated Malle fans considering the price. What's left behind after a wear of Vétiver Extraordinaire is an itchy dry woods and incense afterglow with wisps of ozonic citrus, which kind of moots the point of this being called a vetiver scent. I guess "The New Vetiver" is meant to smell as much like vetiver as "New Coke" was meant to taste like Coca-Cola. Sigh.

I'm not one to ever tell anybody to stay away from a fragrance no matter how much I dislike it, because I feel like it's not the reviewers job to make the purchase decision for the reader, but rather just to inform it one way or the other, although I have considered making an exception here. If you really like vetiver, this is not a scent for you. If you have never really tried vetiver, this is also not a scent for you. If you are a collector of Editions de Parfum Frédéric Malle, this is only a scent for you after you've collected all the really noteworthy ones first, and if you like the idea of a 2000's ozonic masculine married to a mid-century vetiver scent framework, but with the vetiver dialed down to almost ironic levels in regards to the name, this might also give you some semblance of pleasure. I don't really see an audience for this besides the aforementioned nouveau-riche type who will buy anything just because they can brag about how much it cost, because even wealthy people with a bit of experience around perfume and a taste for vetiver wouldn't chose this, as even Creed has a whole host of vetiver scents that are much more widely-regarded than this mess. Domonique Ropion is allowed a misfire now and then like all perfumers, but this is such a ridiculously expensive and high-profile misfire, that the only reason Malle probably stands behinds this is there are suckers born every minute that will fleece themselves for a bottle, without knowing the difference between a good vetiver, and a patch of crab grass. I'm sorry, but I'm just not sorry. Vétiver Extraordinaire is more like Vapidity Extraordinaire, and I got no more to say.
19th August, 2018 (last edited: 05th September, 2018)
If you like ozonic, airy scents with synthetic backbones, you like vetiver, and you want both of those qualities in one scent, Vetiver Extraordinaire is made for you. Be warned: this is not a natural-smelling vetiver, and the marketing claim of high natural vetiver oil concentation is questionable.

Personally, whatever aromachemical is responsible for that "ozone" effect doesn't work for me. It comes across as metallic, thin, a bit sour, and robotic, and frankly, I just prefer a raw, rooty, natural take on vetiver. If we're modifying the note, give me something less chilly and remote.

I don't think Vetiver Extraordinaire is a *bad* scent. It is a unique and memorable take on vetiver, and unquestionably fulfills an artistic vision. The goal here is to highlight the green and inky aspects of vetiver, and to paint that picture on a modern, angular, minimalist canvas. This is a sleek, atmospheric vetiver with more in common with Geranium Pour Monsieur than most other vetivers on the market. If that's the tone you want, to me, Geranium Pour Monsieur is the better option. But if those qualities sound good in a vetiver context, definitely check out Vetiver Extraordinaire.
26th September, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Of course the vetiver is there right from the start; is makes, after all, what maybe 70% of this creation is all about. This is a bright, open and straightforward vetiver.

It has slightly hesperidic undertones, and with times develops a tangy and slightly steely characteristic that grows stronger with time, but the vetiver accord remains dominant on me throughout.

One thing that I am not getting in this vetiver is earthiness or any darker shades. Woodsy impressions, at times with whiffs of gentle spiciness, hover in the background, but always remain in an accompanying function until the end.

I get moderate sillage, adequate projection and eight hours of longevity on my skin.

This is a pleasant spring vetiver. Comparing with other major vetiver scents it lacks Molinard's power, depth and earthiness, it lacks the original Guerlain's complexity, the cleanness of Creed's Vetiver, the depth of Annick Goutal's and the somber rawness of Roja Dove's version. Still, although it might be too linear at times, as a bright and comparatively straight-out vetiver it is nice and agreeable. 3.25/5.
01st August, 2017
A good clean, crisp blend of vetiver mixed with sandalwood, orange, and musk, it's a perfect match for rainy days. The blend is professional and spot on and fans of vetiver will love this. Does it warrant such a high price tag though, especially when vetiver grass is such a low cost?
11th June, 2017
Of all the important niche vetiver perfumes, Vétiver Extraordinaire is probably my least favorite.

I do love the smell of vetiver in general - the combination of grassy green, bright lemon, nutmeggy spice, inky undertones, and subtle iodine for depth makes for delicious sniffing. From what I understand, almost all vetiver perfumes use vetiveryl acetate, a derivative of vetiver oil that has all these qualities. Just to be different, Frederick Malle and Dominique Ropion decided to create their own chemical instead, derived from meticulously cleaned vetiver grass, in order to create the "purest" possible vetiver smell. And while I love their audacity and their gamechanging chemistry, I'm afraid I just don't like how it smells.

Somehow, the iodine facet is greatly exaggerated, so there's a very clear metallic twang, like licking a battery or the taste of blood. I find it kind of stomach-churning, actually. The whole thing is searingly sharp, almost surgical. For depth, there's a licorice/geramium element in there, as well as something that smells kind of like toasted bread.

I think this is probably required sniffing if you really want to KNOW vetiver, but I don't really like wearing it. In all, I can't give something this deeply thought out and interesting a full-on thumbs down, even if it makes me kind of sick, so I'll vote neutral.
31st May, 2017
Memories: A pocket of Tasmania, perhaps the botanical gardens there. Energetic and active.

Who should wear this: Andre Agassi. A college sports coach.

Bottom line: Stick with Creed's Original Vetiver instead.
04th March, 2017

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