A lot of freshness and fun in Roja Dove's Vetiver Extrait, it shares the same quality of Amber Extrait in not relying so heavily on its signature note and perhaps being a little surprising in that respect. It opens with more citrus, leads to a heart of some rose, and then devolves into an earthier base, admittedly anchored by the vetiver itself that is much less a part of its opening. I get some pepper and resin in the base, so it does become a little more complex, more interesting than just the freshness or just the vetiver itself. A nice composition.
Projection and longevity are more on par with Bergamot Extrait, which is strong, but not the beast mode that was Amber Extrait (which I tried only yesterday). Still debatable whether it's worth its now-discontinued price tag, which obviously depends on where it is being sold. Luckily, it's not as extremely popular as the Amber Extrait, so some Vetivers should actually be floating around the secondary market.
8 out of 10
This one of the best smelling, light vetivers that I have encountered. The blending and balance are wonderful. So, why the neutral rating? The projection and silage are practically nonexistent. This is a skin scent. If it lasted, then that would be fine and I would have given it a thumbs up, but at nearly $400 for 50ml, the miserable longevity is completely unacceptable. This stuff cannot be a true extrait. It behaves as if it were an EdC. The longevity is about an hour on my skin (when I'm lucky) and two on clothing. I cannot believe people are getting half a day out of this. I was worried that I got a fake, so I went to Sachs to confirm my findings. Sure enough, the longevity was terrible. Such a shame. This would have easily been my favorite vetiver fragrance. Actually, I guess it "is" my favorite, but it isn't worth anywhere near the asking price, given its miserably poor longevity. People compare this to Grey Vetiver, but Vetiver Exrait smells much better. Grey Vetiver is loaded with iso-e-super and has this synthetic vibe that doesn't exist with Vetiver Extrait. GV smells good, but VE smells much more sophisticated. The Roja Vetiver is closer to vintage Guerlain than Tom Ford's offering.
So overall, I regretfully have to give this a neutral. Such a pity.
Clearly the name is apt: vetiver it is. A fairly light, with restrainedly elegant crispness, a touch of tanginess, a hint of sweetness and that all tied together by a slightly herbal undertone.
Never earthy, dark, somber or raw, it is brightened up a bit initially by some lemon, later on jasmine brings in a floral whiff, and in the base cedar with hints of a slightly powdery white pepper provide a smidgeon of spice - but like the variation to a theme, they always have the vetiver incorporated as the dominant leitmotif of this creation.
The performance is excellent: moderate sillage, very good projection and a splendid twelve hours of
longevity on my skin.
A lovely summer vetiver scent, but not shiny and intensive with a certain unexciting dullness that never goes away. Not bad, but not brilliant either; hence a neutral score. 2.75/5.
Not much to say about this, except for the fact that the “extrait” name (and the price) may be somehow misleading. Vetiver Extrait smells great, but well... simply put, it’s no different from any good vetiver scent. It’s a really simple, smooth, light straightforward vetiver, classy and cozy, not particularly powerful (actually, not at all) or rich, just diligently bearing most of the usual nuances of most vetiver scents – it feels initially zesty, peppery and crisp, slowly becoming smokier, rootier, still keeping vetiver’s traditional subtle feel of “oily grassiness”, subtly paired with a rather conventional base accord of powdery-dusty notes. It’s all good, really. It wears extremely well, it feels refined and laid-back, carefully mannered enough to avoid any “raw” earthy effect – on the contrary it feels rather polished, bright and distinguished. It conveys an extremely enjoyable albeit slightly pedantic sense of calm, class, confidence and sophisticated weightlessness. If compared to dirtier or richer vetiver scents, this is quite on the opposite spectrum – it feels very clean, almost ethereal. Even a tad too much, as it soon feels quite – if not, completely – unexciting, and almost kind of mute (I suspect there’s some generic “woody smoothener” used here – some very generic plushy woody base). The longevity is a bit weak, but that’s the price to pay for higher concentrations of natural materials.
So all in all, it’s unquestionably nice. But really only that. For £ 275. Not grounbreaking, not heart-melting, not mind-blowing – just an impeccable everyday vetiver fragrance for office time. Ready to let your rock and rule the printers’ room and the vending machines’ corner. Just as any other good vetiver scent. It can be fantastic for you if you like vetiver, but in no way it can be worthy that price and that pomposity (and come on... for that price, some crap cardboard box? I want my box to be lined in Elton John’s skin!). It does no more and no less than any simple, solid vetiver fragrance (there’s so many of them I can’t even think of a couple of specific names to mention – Guerlain? Carven? Ford’s Grey Vetiver? Heeley? Anyone, really), and I think there is really no standout features that would explain why one should prefer this over others. Clearly, the value lies in the “status symbol” allure of the brand and the presentation. And that has nothing to do with fragrances, so... Anyway if you’re really wealthy and you really like vetiver then go for it, otherwise I see really no need to break the bank for this.
Vetiver Extrait opens with a nose tingling mix of effervescent lemon and bergamot before quickly moving to its heart. As the composition reaches its early heart the lemon remains, sans bergamot and effervescence as it joins clean citric, grassy green, slightly woody vetiver infused by bitter-green resinous galbanum and slightly sharp cedarwood, with a relatively subtle wet concrete-like undertone. During the late dry-down the composition loses the wet-concrete-like undertone, with the clean vetiver remaining, supported by slightly powdery oakmoss in the base through the finish. Projection is excellent and longevity outstanding at around 20 hours on skin.
Roja Dove's Vetiver Extrait is not the usual vetiver presentation I go for. I love my vetivers rough, aggressive and smoky, and Roja's Vetiver is none of those. One might think that I disliked the composition as a result, but that would be quite far from the truth. To the contrary, while this presentation of vetiver is more of the grassy, clean variety, it uses extremely high quality raw materials throughout. Another distinguishing aspect of the composition is its very appealing use of natural smelling lemon through most of the composition's development. If there was an aspect that required a bit of getting used to, it would have to be the concrete-like undertone that hangs around through the entire mid-section, but while the accord is a bit unsettling when sniffed up close, when experienced in the composition's generous sillage it melds rather nicely with the lemon infused vetiver, giving the composition a distinguishing facet while still smelling extremely pleasant. "Pleasant smelling" is probably the best descriptor of the end result, come to think of it. This is the kind of vetiver composition that even folks disliking many others may still enjoy wearing due to its highly refined clean nature. While I maintain there are a lot of great vetiver options far below the composition's relatively stratospheric price point per ml, if one can afford Roja Dove's Vetiver Extrait, it is hard to say it is a poor investment, especially if you enjoy your vetivers of the clean, polished variety. The bottom line is the $395 per 50ml bottle Vetiver Extrait is quite the bank account buster, but Dove delivers the goods with top-notch raw materials and superb execution earning it an "excellent" 4 star out of 5 rating and a solid recommendation. I don't know if I can personally afford the price to purchase a bottle, but I certainly envy those that can and do.