Vetiver Bourbon is named for the specific variety of vetiver - bourbon vetiver - that originates from Reunion Island. This tiny island floats east off Madagascar in the Indian Ocean and was renamed from Bourbon Island after the French Revolution.
Miller Harris Vetiver Bourbon is a deep green salty vetiver that when combined with oakmoss, patchouli and amber has a distinctly oriental feel. The base has a slight licorice bite to add character to the thick green scent. Patchouli is barely noticeable but adds to the clean darkness of this scent. This vetiver is best applied to the body so it is not smelled too close up. I think this juice has an almost narcotic smell. It is powerful but enticing.
For many years the special group of Miller Harris fragrances called "Nouvelle Collection" were unavailable in the U.S. but are now being distributed by MiN New York (I am not affiliated) at their shop in Soho, NYC and also soon to be available to the rest of us. My favorites from this extra special group from Miller Harris are Bourbon Vetiver (vetiver oriental), Fleurs de Sel (ocean leather) and En Sens de Bois (orris incense).
26th May, 2011 (last edited: 27th May, 2011)
Top vetiver fragrance.
It's a pure vetiver.
Not gourmand'ish like Vetiver Tonka by Hermes.
Not resinous and sappy like Vetiver Oriental. By Serge Lutens.
Not creamy and nutty like Vetyver by Givenchy.
Not floral like Vetyverii by Diptique.
Not salty like Sel de Vetivrt by The Differejt Company.
Not smoky like Encre Noire by Lalique and Sycomore by Chanel.
Not soapy fresh like Vetiver by Guerlain.
Not citric like Vetiver by Dior, Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford and Vetiver by Comme des Garçons.
Not earthy and damp like Vetiver by Lorenzo Villoresi.
Not weak like Noble Vetiver by Chopard.
The only others similar to this are Vetiver by Etro and Turtle Vetiver by Les Nez.
It's a rooty vetiver. If you like this then you like vetiver.
I am particularly partial to a finely blended and well conceived vetiver, but sadly Miller Harris have yet to make one.
Vetiver Bourbon greets you with a plangent boom that is both viscous and resinous, and emits a distinct liquorice quality. Sadly, it is the middle and late statges that deflate any optimism. Any real beauty that exists is drowned out by the mariachi band of poorly chosen accompanying ingredients.
Should you be the keenest enthusiast of a bourbon vetiver, then I would recommend Eau de Vétyver by Le Jardin Retrouvé.
This immediately reminds me of Encre Noir which is hardly suprising as both contain bourbon vetiver in large amounts. But, where EN is a thick, bitter, dark vetiver monster the MH is a slightly lighter, breezier creature. As EN is one of my favourite frags i can really appreciate and enjoy the MH due to some similarities but its still EN i'd buy.
This is an intriguing vetiver that undergoes endless changes before it settles on the drydown. I've tried it several times now and I can't quite convince myself to buy a bottle yet, mainly because I already have a bottle of Lalique's Encre Noir at home and their characters are very close, though the Lalique lacks what Odysseusm calls the 'briny' effect (of the patchouli?).