Vetiver Tonka is an interesting, quasi-gourmand take on vetiver. The opening is impressive – a very dry, nutty vetiver paired with tannic tobacco leaves that create a very rich, almost mouth-watering effect. The tonka, caramel, and hazelnut notes swirl in from underneath to soften and sweeten the earthy vetiver. The juxtaposition of earthy/dry/bitter elements with sweet/creamy gourmand notes is a familiar one, and used to great effect and in slightly similar proportions in Parfumerie Generale’s wonderful Aomassai and Serge Lutens’ Bois de Vanille. However, I am not as fond of Vetiver Tonka as I feel I should be. Something about the deliberate dissonance of notes turns my stomach if I put it on in the morning before my breakfast. There is something too intense in here, something too roasted in feel or smell, like coffee spilled and sizzling on a hot stove. I do appreciate it, but I have to be in the right mood to wear this comfortably.
The "Sweet" Vetiver
This is a good one. It's also a good contender for the best performing out of the Hermessence line. A sweet Vetiver fragrance that combines a nutty, almost edible like smoothness with the dry, earthy Vetiver root in the background. I really like it.
I feel that what is different here is Ellena's use of Tonka, Caramel and especially Praline to give the standard vetiver a nice "twist", and make it likeable to many people. It almost reminds me of a marriage between Lolita Lempicka au Masculin and Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver. The Vetiver itself here is dry and earthy, but is balanced perfectly well with the almost gourmand like sweetness of the Hazelnut, Tonka and Praline notes.
That being said, Vetiver Tonka is definitely not a gourmand type of scent. It has the balance just right between sweet and sour. I also notice the Lilly of the Valley note which gives a soft floral touch in the dry down, which slightly reminds me of Andy Tauer's Vetiver Dance.
Highly recommended, especially as a very unique and different take on a vetiver perfume.
very dry vetiver and tonka to take the dry edge off, a rifened vetiver....Encre Noir rich uncle!
A very different type of vetiver based fragrance or actually I prefer calling it a fragrance with vetiver in it!
If you're looking for a vetiver dominated fragrance go somewhere else because you can't find it here!
The opening is warm and sweet tonka bean scent with slight dirty and smoky aroma.
That dirty and smoky smell definitely is not from vetiver. it's from tobacco but it doesn't smell like a strong tobacco note either! it's there to give the scent just a smoky and dirty feeling!
The sweetness is strong with caramel smell in it.
In the dry down that dirty smoky smell almost faded away completely and now you can smell vetiver note beside that sweet tonka bean caramely smell.
The vetiver note does not have that wild and earthy smell.
It's there and you can smell it but because of the strong tonka and caramel combo it's muted!
In the base you have the mid smell with slight changes.
You can smell some soapy aroma too. not too much but it's there and I can feel it.
Projection is above average but longevity is average to poor on my skin.
It's very simple and linear and it doesn't worth the price in my opinion.
I'm happy with my sample because it's something new to my nose but when I'm done with my sample, I will forget it easily.
Juxtaposing spicy-sweet tonka bean, hazelnut and caramel with salty vetiver and traces of dried tobacco, Vétiver Tonka is above everything else a very successful fragrance experiment. Unlike many other Hermès releases by Jean-Claude Ellena, Vétiver Tonka is full-bodied and substantial, representing the most worthwhile example of the overall compositional theme of the Hermèssence range, namely that of “meetings” between otherwise seldomly mixed principal ingredients. This theme shines brighter and more directly in Vétiver Tonka than in most of its Hermèssence peers.
Gently rounded with syrup, caramel, and notes of hazelnut and almonds, a veritable blast of the vanilla-like sweetness of tonka beans dominates the opening phase. Then, slowly, the spicy-nutty sweetness recedes to form the background for a long and gorgeous vetiver-centered drydown. The vetiver here is one of the most rewarding interpretations of the note I have come across - rooty, sharp, salty, vivacious - and masterfully set off by the civilizing function of the spicy-sweet elements. This fascinating integration of contrasts and oppositions gives Vétiver Tonka real character and intriguing edge. Vétiver Tonka is a truly unique and very enjoyable fragrance.