I know the assessment of a fragrance is subjective, but I am shocked at how bad this was after purchasing a bottle based on the mostly glowing reviews on Basenotes. Ericrico’s review nails it and my experience was nearly identical. The vetiver in this scent is minimal to non-existent, only peaking through the mélanges of synthetic awfulness after 30 to 40 minutes of olfactory masochism. The initial onslaught is of the odor of my oven being self-cleaned with a rancid and sickly sweet overlay. After several minutes, which seem like hours, this devolves to an unpleasant, synthetic combination of smoldering garbage and Lysol air freshener, with apologies to Lysol. I am completely amazed that anyone could prefer this to Vetiver by Guerlain, Sycomore , or Vetiver Extraordinaire. Caveat emptor.
Review is for Vintage Carlo Corinto Vetyver:
I chose to pursue this after reading various reviews and then Wicozani's awesome "Vetiver-Redux" evaluation. Total shock and displeasure...abysmal. And, I have the deepest love for vetiver - it is a passion of mine. I have a large collection of Vintage, Current, and Niche bottles. I simply find it to be divine.
The review: Just received a bottle today from a very reputable seller. Immediately upon first spray, there are some very off-putting notes in this to me. It is not what I had hoped for at all. Great expectations as well - actually, huge! I contacted the seller and was reassured that my bottle had not turned and was in perfect form, but the smell is of burned sugary sweetness melded with stewed and overly sharp herbs - creating a waft of unpleasant smokiness. What is going on???? I was expecting something fresh and invigorating - I cannot get a single good note out of this!!!
When it finally settles down, it is nothing more than a light skin scent not unlike you have just smoked a clove cigarette and the smell is on your fingers - just a bit greener and harsher. So, imagine rubbing fresh cut grass over the clove-infused skin. The vetiver in this is not noticeable at all until 30-40 minutes in and then it is very light and grassy (the burned smell, I hoped, was going to reveal a rich and deep vetiver that was trying to get air and show itself). It wasn't - this is very badly done, to me. I get better vetiver notes out of a deodorant body spray I have (and far better citrus!) that costs the sales tax of this bottle. No joke.
Notes on top that possibly ruined this for me...very cold and harsh, bitter bergamot (there is a "spike" that hits my nose wrong), a strange and bad combination of very sweet licorice (is that what is killing this for me?) and way too much nutmeg at first and still in the heart, where raspberry (???) is listed as a note along with olibanum, sage and thyme. The top also lists basil - this sounds great at first (green herbs with vetiver), but too many herbs from the top and heart...it ends up a stewed green mess with very little vetiver at all to me. Not to be rude, but who thought hiding vetiver would be something people would want? I like vetiver compositions, but when all these notes come together - you get overly sweet, bitter and harsh and a nose-burning concoction that loses its train of thought. How would one want to purchase this with all the other great vetivers out there?
Now, I love herbs and this could have been a well-made scent if the sweetness was taken out and the citrus was actually used properly. The base notes (listed at another site) include vanilla and patchouli along with leather. Not simple. The patchouli actually is too dank, the leather is not really there (if it is, it's vinyl) and the worse note of all, to make this finish on a poor note - vanilla. Who wants vanilla in a fragrant vetiver scent??? I found that scent pyramid AFTER I bought this and noticed all the sickly-sweet notes and the herbs smothering what you bought this for...vetiver. If the juice wasn't called what it is, I would not even think of vetiver! Oddly enough, bergamot and licorice (along with tarragon) are found in Guerlain Vetiver Extreme. Was this poor vintage rendition from Carlo Corinto the inspiration for that excellent Guerlain composition that I love??
Here are the differences in Vetiver Extreme that Guerlain delivered...the bergamot is wonderful and the licorice is almost like the root itself (very nice and natural - a woody undertone), the tarragon adding a nice accord to the vibe - green, but in the same vein and adding depth. The heart is beautiful with the nutmeg turned down in Guerlain's bottle and a nice addition of pepper that enrichens the earthiness and adds great warmth. The licorice never gets sweet and the dry down is segued by a great, light incense note into a warm and rich base of cedar, warm tonka bean and the deep, rooty and very dark green vetiver throughout the entire composition (from top, through the heart and wonderful in the base).
Carlo Corinto's juice cannot touch this (Vetiver Extreme - incredibly good!!!). I seriously feel let down. This bottle was, according to some reviewers regarded higher than Guerlain's Vetiver (although the notes compare more to the Extreme bottling)...neither is true to my nose. After wearing this for almost two hours and letting it play out, I realize the juice is in fine order - that is just how Carlo Corinto's Vetyver is to my palate - if this was an entree at a highly-regarded restaurant, I would send it back. I will go against the masses and say - avoid. I wanted to like this, but I cannot. Not to offend anyone's taste. Enjoy it if you do. I am returning this bottle back to the seller.
My final, and unfortunate, score is 3/10. Simply poor in all aspects. I am also washing my skin. C'est la vie...this was shockingly bad.
**Update - bottle has been mailed back! The final smell on my shirt sleeve, which is nauseating is of heavy nutmeg, sweet vanilla and a concoction of dank herbs and wet grass. Disappointment level - 10/10. Olfactory pleasure - none.