Perfume Reviews

Negative Reviews of Vetiver by Guerlain

Total Reviews: 61
hcr Show all reviews
United States
I'll be curious if my opinion on this will change in years. "Hospital soap" is really all I can think. This just isn't pleasant. Kind of disappointed, guess I don't like vetiver...
30th June, 2018
Smelled this and right from the get-go didn't like it. It's a very earthy and old-school vetiver, and usually those things should make me happy but I just didn't like it at all. I love vetiver fragrances, earthy fragrances, and old-school fragrances. I just didn't love this. I know so many superior fragrances to this including Encre Noire, Creed's Original Vetiver, Mugler Cologne, Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver, Carven's Le Vetiver, and so on. It's a pass from me.

09th May, 2018
This new reformulation is a sin. It lacks the vetiver intensity of the original and the cedar is also weak. Just what did they do to probably the BEST vetiver ever formulated? I have been wearing this for over 35 years, it is almost my daily scent. It is different. Try Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire or even Tom Fords Grey Vetiver, it has a very slight rose component. Secondly just what have they done with the bottle? The original bottle with those frosted bands was incredibly distinctive, you knew you had Gurelain Vetiver. And you were also letting people know you had the BEST avaliable, a badge of distinction. In fact all the new bottles are an abomination, cheap and ordinary. Drugstore caliber. Very disappointed in this new formulation.
13th December, 2016
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Guerlain's Vetiver is clearly a popular classic fragrance that no doubt has some good qualities for many people, but is not beyond criticism. I look at the top- and basenotes listed and quite wonder where they are hiding because from the first application to well into the middle this is a sharp, somewhat astringent concoction heavily dominated by the vetiver and cedar. This gives it a bitter and almost metallic aroma, like a school metalwork room or a metal drilling workshop.

It takes a while before that calms down and anything resembling the cut grass or 'new-mown hay' comes through. When it does it mingles with the bergamot and coriander. In-between all of this are bursts of residue from empty coffee cups, the nutmeg, the pepper and a quinine-like undertone. Any earthiness is more disused wasteland than summer meadow

It's somewhat of a relief when it dies down because my nose tired of this after a while.

Sillage and longevity are quite strong, which may be good or bad depending on how much you like it. My opinion would be to save yourself some money and try Chopard Vetiver, which is a fraction of the price and in my opinion has a better blend of aromas alongside its vetiver.
27th June, 2015 (last edited: 28th June, 2015)
I recently purchased two bottles of guerlain vetiver and vetiver extreme, sadly nobody even notices I am wearing it and it has no longevity what so ever , its a shame really as its a lovely fragrance but vanishes in a blink .
17th September, 2014
Got a sample of this based on reviews.

An earlier review hit it on the head, "smells like a retirement home"

Yes, I get whatever squeeze bottle anti-bacterial soap hospitals use mixed in with pee. Too

bad, I wanted to like it but perhaps it has lost its allure.
22nd February, 2014

I wanted to love it, and in the shop I thought I did. Real-life experience proved otherwise, though, as I found this stuff to be dominated by an acrid turpentine note that (literally) gave me a headache. Everything about the scent says power and quality, but I cannot reconcile myself to it--perhaps I am idiosyncratically sensitive. Anyway, a disappointment.

Pros: Strong
Cons: Strong"

24th July, 2013
Quartz Show all reviews
United States
This is # 17 ??

This is ranked # 17 ? This ?? Really ??? With all the complaining I read about various "old man smell" fragrances, I'm surprised to see this one so highly rated because this one, to me, is the definition of old man smell. Nothing but vetiver going on here after the initial blast of what I smell as an antiseptic of some sort that would be suitable for cuts/scrapes. Smells pretty close to Encre Noire.

Once again, however, I know that fragrance preferences are so subjective and I'm in the minority on this one.

31st May, 2013

The lemony opening reminds me of old people. - it's not unpleasant and smells fresh and clean but I just can't past the smell of the beige bowls club brigade. After a while the vetiver comes through and its cooling rootsy grass vibe is very refreshing when worn with a crisp white shirt in heat but its dated. I prefer grey vetiver, it's more modern in the opening and suits me better although the dry down in this vetiver is better.

18th May, 2013
An unfortunate combination of an unpleasant scent with good longevity. At least for the first three hours - I have not been able to wait any longer to wash it off.
04th January, 2013
Guerlain Vetiver is like that movie you loved as a kid. You have fond memories and can wax poetic about it; when you try it again after all those years, you realize it isn't up to par i today's world. At least that is my explanation for why so many BNers have rated this positively. I did NOT experience this frag in the sixties, and so do not have any biased nostalgia to it.
I bought this as a blind buy due to so many rave reviews, and because I like vetiver (or thought I did.)
Guerlain Vetiver is meant for someone who was thirty in 1961. Yes, that would mean it is outdated for anybody under 81! It screams "old man" to me, and I generally like "mature" fragrances. My wife cannot stand this on me, and I don't think it is great on me. I have tried and tried to like this. At first I thought a cool day playing sports outside would make this shine, but there are too many other frags that pull it off better.
This Vetiver is trying to be fresh with both citrus AND powdery notes, and it just comes off synthetic and stuffy.
My final test before writing this review was to do a wrist-to-wrist with Vetiver EO. I am glad I did, because I have reaffirmed my opinion that I DO in fact love vetiver; I just love the deep, dark, earthy and woodsy scent that vetiver should be, not this bug juice.
30th October, 2012
Since it's a scent that was formulated in 1961, it's not a surprise that this smells dated. Few men can wear this these days, though. I imagine this is what one of the Gibb brothers would smell like. Sure, it's a classic smell, in that it's a example of the style of the 60's. Wearing this out today is just as bad as wearing vintage 60's clothing, and you will get just as many odd glances.

29th May, 2012
though i'm new here, but i still want my review counted huhu.
i don't like this. when i sampled this, i thought it was good. so, i bought one. now i really regret. the one i have is the slim bottle one. i do not know it has the same accord with the one in picture or not.

it smells unpleasant to be honest. i do not know what it is but just simply i don't like it. sometimes feeling too old when wearing that perfume. not for me =(
03rd March, 2012
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This smells old and dated and has a synthetic chemical accord that I just cannot live with. It just smells unpleasant for this day and age. Tom Fords Grey Vetiver is a modern update to this without the bug spray notes and is the better option by far.
14th January, 2012
one dimensional weak and for me. not especially pleasant.
13th January, 2012
I don't do many reviews but in this instance i feel i must. i bought this (blind buy) based on the reviews as so many people have done, and i regret EVERY dollar i spent. luckily i got a 50ml for about $50 and it has taught me to NEVER trust an item like this.
As soon as i opened the bottle, bearing in mind it wouldn't be to my liking straight away, it smelt lemony, then soapy. thats it. After which all i want to do was wash it right off. i tried it a few timesafter that and still hate it beyone ANYTHING iv'e tried. im not usually a fan of "old smelling" fragrances but it honestly puts them in a good light, this isnt even good as an air freshener! so please take heed before buying this that it is honestly the worst fragrance ever without a shadow of a doubt. i regret purchasing it, but im glad ive learnt from it. to cheer myself up from the epitomy of terrible that this is, i went and bought Burberry Brit...much, MUCH better. and anyone who stands by vetiver taking advocating the side of "synthetic crap is the worst" i now realise that id rather smell like the most artificial crap than simply wear this in public. i can only imagine the enthusiats who enjoy this. if by any chance you do purchase this, i hope you have better luck with it.
10th November, 2011
What a shame! This great classic has been subdued to the point it no longer qualifies as an EDT as far as I am concerned. It is almost as weak as an aftershave lotion. My brother and father wore it for many years (before they changed the bottle and the composition). They would apply it early in the morning and the divine woody scent would last for 12 full hours. I wore it too and I loved its lasting power. As a matter of fact, I was sure this was an EDP, not a mere EDT. Vetiver by Guerlain has let me down and I am bitterly disappointed.
05th September, 2011
Blind bought this after all the positive reviews and was extremely disappointed. At first sniff, it smelt like I just walked into a thrift store. Not a good thing. It definitely smells old. I was unable to return it, so I'll try to swap it or put it up on eBay.
25th March, 2011
Horrible! Is the word we're looking for. Yes, I like many others, bought this perfume blindly based on the crazy amount of positive reviews. I too thought that this is like "my precious" that hasn't yet been discovered by the rest of the world and only a few of us know about it.

But if you're Indian (and I am), chances are you're not going to like this perfume. I'm not going to get into the notes but this smells like prayer on your wrists. And if you're Indian you might get that and understand the smell of prayer. I mean it's good in a temple, but not on your neck when you're going out. And you think "Oh my God(pun intended), what is that?".

Definitely not happening.

P.s. I don't really think I have a bad choice. I like Body Kouros, Escape by CK, Chic by CH, Issey Miyake(who doesn't), Gucci pour homme. So if you like the fragrances mentioned, chances are you will NOT like Vetiver (even though I love Encre Noire).
25th February, 2011
I bought this depending on all the positive reviews. Big mistake i was very dissapointed.
Lime, levander, and vetiver mixed in an awful way. I dont recommend this to anyone.
04th October, 2010
I read and saw vey positive reviews so when guerlain shop at palazzo the lady said you cant spray it only smell the cap ok hmm smell fresh at first so i bought it then when home so excited spray it on wow what an awful smell pine neddles and lime and lavender i have a headache now the worst smell ever cant get the smell of me
just wasted $ 100 on this might as well buy a royal pine tree little airfresher smells the same for only 2.49 a pack sorry guys for the bad review i will stick to tom ford tobacco vanille and tom ford by tom ford.
03rd July, 2010
Esquire Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Tried this stuff once but it's not for me, it reeks of british medical vapour inhalations. I think it's over rated.
11th June, 2010
Well, maybe it will grow on me. Such a classic but it's ever so weak on me.
I have applied it multiple times on the same day and like most Guerlains on me, I forget what frag I'm wearing an hour after I put it on.

If subtle is what you shoot for, give this one a go. It's very well crafted and couldn't be a safer scent. Perfect scent for a job interview since the rule of thumb is to wear none.
14th March, 2010
Yes, it's green and invigorating, but I just can't get over the old school vibe of it. Creed's Original Vetiver is younger at heart to me, but doesn't last as long. Then recently I discovered Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver which is now the preferred vetiver and has an incredible longevity as well. Grey Vetiver is more citrusy for sure, but ultimately has a range from young upwardly mobile guy in his early 20s, to a mature well dressed gentleman who knows how to enjoy life and not get too uptight. Guerlain's just feels like it's stuck in the past.
05th March, 2010
It's all true. This is a wonderful classic scent and it's a horrible gagging thing. Though they say the scent was not changed in the 2000 re-design, it was. If you can find it in the pre-re-design version, you'll likely love it. Post-2000 version, you *will* be running to the sink trying to wash it off before you hurl. I'm getting kind of grey myself, but even for me the new version evokes a powdery visit to granny's underwear drawer. Hideous.
01st December, 2009
Bitter and nasty! I like vetiver but this one is all wrong.
09th October, 2009
Like a few other people here, I bought this without sampling first. I've also made other massive mistakes in how I live my life. This is absolutely awful stuff - the first hit is like snorting a line of pine toilet duck. It doesn't get any better from there on in - middle notes smells like an ashtray after five days of not being emptied, and then it just settles back into a generally offensive pine/tobacco/faux nature scent malevolence.

When I first tried this out, it knocked both myself and the girl I was testing it on sick. I washed it off and went back to something sensible, which she much preferred. I appreciate that many many people on here think it's lovely, and vive la difference, but please learn by my error and sample first.
05th October, 2009
Well folks, it's been a year since I last reviewed this well-loved classic and gave it a 'THUMBS DOWN'. I have recently revisited it to see if my feelings about it have changed expecially having smelled many vetiver scents over the past one year. Thank the fragrance gods - at last, I think I've finally got it!

So here's my final verdict:
................It smells like something that's been kept since the 1960s!

September 2009 review:

An award winning fragrance with many positive reviews. You can't possibly go wrong with this one, right? WRONG. This is a 'TRY BEFORE YOU BUY'. A nasty fecal note that refuses to budge after 2 hours sent me looking for some rubbing alcohol. I will probably try this again some time in the future. Just not over the next year or two.
13th August, 2009 (last edited: 02nd October, 2010)
Instant blind purchase regret. I figured it's such a classic, how could I go wrong? Smelled like burned rubber on my skin out of the bottle, drying down into an astringent "RAID" bug repellent odor -- as others on this forum have suggested -- that just never developed further. Long-lasting, I will say that! I tried a few times to get used to it, figuring that, as with other scents, it's an acquired taste. Sad to say, I never acquired it. Thumbs down.
24th July, 2009
I appreciate the blend of scents but this smells like something you would clean with.
19th May, 2009