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.
This is, in my opinion, the new benchmark reference vetiver. As stated before, it makes the others seem thin and synthetic by comparison. This is a lush, full vetiver. It is brisk without being sharp, refreshing but with great depth. As with most creations by Roja Dove, it is incredibly well blended and just smells opulent and classy.
A refreshing citrus opening, more lemon than bergamot to my nose, with a lovely subtle smokiness to the vetiver notes (the vetiver bridges all the phases of this top, middle and base notes). There is a warm heart of white florals. Despite all the notes listed, the base feel monolithic, a tribute to Dove's mastery of blending. This not nearly as rooty or autumnal as Sycamore or Encre Noir. It is very reminiscent of vintage Guerlain Vetiver.
Longevity is excellent, 12 hours plus, still lush and heady on clothes 4 hours later. As an extrait it wears fairly close to the skin but is constant. Other than the fleeting citrus and smokiness, the composition is fairly linear through most of the wearing.
Makes all other Vetivers seem thin.
I experienced this fragrance at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC a few weeks ago. There was a rep from Roja there and I spend nearly an hour going through the entire collection. There are many good ones, but the Vetiver stood out to me, because everyone has a Vetiver these days, but this one is far and away the best, IMHO. It made my Creed Vetiver and my Tom Ford Grey Vetiver seem very "thin" in comparison. While it's an expensive vetiver, those who truly love vetiver will no doubt find this to be a masterful arrangement
I also found it interesting that the bottle caps were all inspired by Roja's favorite ring. It looks just like the cap.
Pros: Robust and remarkably long wearing.
Roja Dove's Vetiver will probably not strike as the most original vetiver soliflore composition around but, despite that, it is still a big winner.
The typical sparkling green opening that lately evolves into an extremely solid woody/mossy vetiver-centered base, is closer to vintage Guerlain Vetiver and Racine than to, say, Sycomore or Route Du Vetiver. It's clean yet plush, polite yet potent and, most of all, incredibly well blended. The vetiver here has a fresh-woody quality (most likely the haitian type), with the typical rubbery undertone and together with oakmoss gives birth to an endless old-fashioned drydown that goes on for 15+ hrs. In this context, Roja Dove is responsible of one of the most tenacious vetiver-centered composition available on the market.
If you like your vetiver to be simple but unquestionably blended with top quality ingredients and, as long as you don't expect something groundbreaking or revolutionary, your search for the ultimate high-end vetiver could stop here. Terrific.