Like the original Bel Ami, Bel Ami Vetiver is leather heavy. To my nose that means that I don’t smell the citrus in the opening and I don’t smell the vetiver – all I smell is leather. It’s a decent leather and I’m sure that true leather lovers will enjoy this scent. I can tell that it is a scent that is constructed beautifully and has excellent quality components. But to me it is rather boring.
Lots of leather, amber and sandalwood to my nose. After it settles it reminds me of entering a Hermes Boutique with all its handbags, fine clothing and plush carpeting. I don't get much of the citrus opening and there is not much Vetiver either. The Vetiver seems to be a token effort to capitalise on vetiver's popularity at the time of release. There is a dash of Vetiver but this is not a Vetiver fragrance by any stretch of the imagination.
Excellent performance, subtle but sufficient development. This one grew on me and became one of my favourites on after a full year of ownership. The great fragrances can do this. Their uniqueness shocks and the unfamiliarity is initially uninviting, but once you become comfortable with what to expect it is a very comforting and luxurious scent.
After Terre d'Hermès Parfum, Hermessence Paprika Brasil, L'Ambre des Merveilles, this is another of Hermes capital perfume, signed by J.C. Ellene, that adorned my collection.
I agree with what some are saying - that this damn beautiful piece of men's perfumery earned a special name. You can smell traces of old Bel Amy, but still this is a different smell.
When we're speaking of good perfumes with vetiver prefix, there is no similarity to 'Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire' nor 'Chanel Sycomore' but it has some similarity to 'Sel de Vetiver The Different Company' without its recognizable dryness.
This is not just a concidence, knowing that Celine Ellena created 'Sel de Vetiver' and J.C.Ellena created 'Bel Ami Vetiver' and I can't help feeling that the father had his nose in daughters creation.
However, this similarity doesn't even come close to saying that Bel Ami Vetiver is not original enough or is already seen. Sel de Vetiver is one of the most original scents ever made, while Bel Ami Vetiver is more aristocratic and slightly pulls on the wonderful smell of barbershops.
It is not a smell that is rude and pushy but very serious, of character, elegant and very comfortable to wear. Very good stability and good projection.
Bel Ami Vetiver is not a restoration of Bel Ami from 1986 and it doesn't associate of Coppola restoration digital edition of The Godfather trilogy. This is neo old school which marked 2014. as successfull when it comes to Hermès.
So finally I was able to try this flanker of the glorious Bel Ami. I never cared to approach the current version of this timeless masterpiece, I only know and love the vintage one (not a matter of snobbery; I just like that, and don’t want to cope with disappointments), but the reviews for this Vetiver take were quite good and generally positive, so I was quite sure it would have been a good fragrance. And it totally is, in fact. What I like about Hermès scents, besides their nearly-consistent high quality over the years, is that the name often reflects the content with sharp, no-frills precision (something you wouldn’t take for granted with other brands); and in this case, in fact, you can safely expect Bel Ami with a deeper, richer presence of vetiver. So imagine that smooth, elegant, youthful suede-floral chypre wrapped in smoke with a sort of Oriental, “organic” added value provided by a tremendously pleasant note of fresh, earthy, sweet-salty and totally good quality Haitian vetiver supported by some subtle dusty and exotic sweetness – an accord which reminds me a bit of Vetiver Tonka (and this means also Pal Zileri Viaggio d’Africa). A vetiver accord which will be the true, and nearly only star of the drydown – extremely discreet, but really pleasant.
Bel Ami Vetiver carries and develops Hermès’ trademark sense of understated “luxury” : it feels bright, refined, smoky but somehow clean, feeling natural but also “bourgeois” - not exactly aristocratic, just more of an upper-class distinguished, quiet yet practical elegance. An impeccable suede-vetiver blend on the smooth-fresh side, lasting decently long and projecting just fine (quite discreetly, as most of current Hermès fragrances). Slightly overpriced, but totally bottle worthy if you can get some discount. The only “cons” I would mention are basically two: first, that for some reasons, Bel Ami Vetiver smells a bit restrained, even dangerously tending towards “boring” after a while, and surely not that “unique” if you care about it (and I mean both per se, and if compared to Bel Ami); and second, well... I can’t help it: if you really love perfumes, for the same money of a 100 ml bottle of this, you can probably get a 50 ml bottle of vintage Bel Ami. Half the size, but all considered, double the joy. Nonetheless I don’t really want to play the “vintage nazi” card, since this is not even Bel Ami but a new, specific different version of it. So judging the fragrance per se, my opinion is that for nowadays’s depressing market, Bel Ami Vetiver is a solid win.
Like getting lost in the woods. Dark, musky, leathery perfection. 5 out of 5 -- you will not find a better dark vetiver