Reviews of Vetiver by Guerlain

    Find out more about Vetiver by Guerlain in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    shlalaw's avatar
    shlalaw


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    A slight disappointment given the hype. Not a very heavy vetiver scent to me. If that's what you want, go with Encre Noire. Still, a pleasant alternative given the mood.

    26 June, 2012

    cerjr's avatar
    cerjr
    United States United States

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    Not getting the old-man scent that everyone claims. This is a nice, dark take on vetiver. It is subtle and works with your own chemistry as you wear it. I also own Encre Noire and can sense the relation, but this is less pronounced and more easy-going for an everyday wear. I'm glad I added it to my collection...

    10th June, 2012

    Bigtruck260's avatar
    Bigtruck260
    United States United States

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    I know it's called Vetiver, but I almost think it should be called CEDAR. That's great for me, because I love the smell of cedar. The first time I put this stuff on at Saks, I was kind of shocked by how up front it was with the citrus and bergamot - and I was confused by what I was actually smelling. Moth balls? Dirt? Who knew? After walking around the plaza with it on for an hour, I realized exactly what this scent is all about. Confidence. This coming from a guy who is unafraid to wear 2 sprays of Quorum in a small conference room. I am addicted to Guerlain's Vetiver, and I wear it just about everywhere. I have never had a person tell me that I smelled like an old man. I will say that 'mature' women are the first to compliment this fragrance. Take whatever you want from that. I dig the stuff.

    07 June, 2012

    Data1001's avatar
    Data1001


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    As a perfect example of how dramatically tastes can change over the years, I did not care for this fragrance at all when I first got it. I still don't think it's something that will appeal to all tastes, but being somewhat of a non-conformist myself, I have grown to appreciate its bold uniqueness.

    Am rather curious now to sample other vetivers (so far I've tried only one or two other brands), to see if there might be more gems among them that years ago I would have simply written off as something too "different" for me at that time.

    31st May, 2012

    buback's avatar
    buback


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    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.

    29 May, 2012

    elmatador75's avatar
    elmatador75
    United States United States

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    Thank you, dear Basenoters! But for your reviews, I may never have run into this masterpiece. Admittedly, I did not like this when I purchased Vetiver blindly. Upon first contact, the fragrance appears overly-medicinal. However, give it a chance and in an hour or so, you will discover a luxurious gentleman's fragrance. I will not rehash other better-articulated descriptions and instead will describe succinctly in my own way: a field of green grass in the middle of summer with an overriding aroma of earthy vetiver and minty menthol. A vanilla (tonka bean) ghost peeks in from time to time. Guerlain's Vetiver is for men who command attention with subtlety and originality rather than loud boasts. If you appreciate white collared shirts under tailored sports coats, worn with vintage jeans and fine oxfords, you will enjoy Vetiver. James Bond would wear this fragrance during the day. This is not for men who wear Affliction or Ed Hardy t-shirts.

    07 May, 2012

    Stendhal's avatar
    Stendhal
    Ireland Ireland

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    I've had this more than once-the ribbed bottle a decade ago and a fresh, new (boring shape) bottle I've had for a couple of months. A great scent, I love it and always will. Elegant and special, though I can see why it's not for every nose. Some people call this an 'old man scent' -nonsense.

    04 May, 2012

    clipper's avatar
    clipper


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    Lovely. The pine and grasses, wood and citrus. It's not subtle by any means, but upfront even with 2 sprays. It lasted a solid 6 hours with my minimal usage.

    I could've worn this for a very long time, maybe the rest of my life.

    Thing is, my wife hates it. Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF) is a pretty big one, so when she said, "ugh, that makes me want to puke," I moved on to other possibilities.

    Lesson learned: never buy alone, unless you're alone.

    03 May, 2012

    Slayerized's avatar
    Slayerized
    Netherlands Netherlands

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    In my opinion one has to get acquainted with this fragrance which can take some time. This is not a fragrance for starters and even for experienced frag lovers it can take some time to really appreciate this scent. I own the last formulation of the ribbed squared bottle (2000 version) which is generally considered as good but less than the vintage version which I never owned.
    I will start with, imo, the only drawback and that is the too long heavy citrus opening. On me it lasts like one hour and is quite a dominating smell. To avoid this a little it is advised to spray this scent from quite a distance to your skin so that the top notes are well divided (8" at least). Then my favourite parts start: the very masculine heart and drydown. As the citrus fades away the vetiver becomes more prominent surrounded by a light tobacco/tonka bean note and some earthy but clean vibe! This lingers on for many hours before it slowly disappears after 8+ hours.
    Further, the fragrance is very versatile and can be used all year around and is also suitable for office and formal wear. Only not advised for clubbing.
    It is almost a delight to appreciate what this scent has to offer when you connect to it! A masterpiece!
    Rating: 9.5/10

    08 April, 2012 (Last Edited: 09 April, 2012)

    Kain's avatar
    Kain
    Iran Iran

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    The insecticide in the bottle!
    Dated, harsh, synthetic, chemical mess!
    The worst blind buy ever! :(

    03 April, 2012

    jtd's avatar
    jtd
    United States United States

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    (Note: The Vetiver referred to below is the horizontal(ish) striped frosted glass bottle. The ‘90s’ bottle. )

    Guerlain avoided the Vetiver Trap and chose to make the vetiver root conform to perfumery, not vice versa. Vetiver is a demanding note, and some of the producers of vetiver perfumes of the past 20 years have elected to make it the heart and soul of their perfumes. While there are so many obvious angles of vetiver to emphasize (woody, rootlike, oily, smoky, earthen) they are so imposing that using vetiver in any sufficient quantity in a composition pushes everything else out of its way. A byproduct of the primacy of a note is the same conceptual problem as the solifor in perfumery: why create a representation of vetiver in a perfume when we could wear vetiver essential oil itself?

    To focus on a tobacco note seems an obvious way to fall into this trap and wind up with a musty, earthy density. But Guerlain’s Vetiver uses a tart grapefruity bergamot along with licorice and what (I swear to god) seems like aldehydes to make the tobacco bloom, giving Vetiver an effervescent upper register. The real trick is that from the top through the basenotes Vetiver has a dry gin-like almost hissy pervasiveness that is far more durable that this range of notes typically is. The cool quality doesn’t actually feel mentholated or camphorous, but rather sheer and glassy, suggesting that it is cool to the touch.

    Coolness seems to have become pronounced over the various reformulations. I know that many are saddened by reformulation. I seem to remember the Guerlain Vetiver a French friend wore in the late 80s and early 90s focused more on the dense, oily vetiver note itself. I know the lightening of a fragrance as a result of reformulation is generally panned, but this cooler, more gin-like Vetiver 1) gives me a wonderful sense of sang-froid in my warm climate and, 2) lifts the register of the tobacco note, making it effectively floral. The lightening doesn’t have to do with dilution, but an increased emphasis on the tenor range of notes.

    Prettier than it was, and still pitch-perfect, I find the current Vetiver de Guerlain more appealing than ever, and exceptionally successful in its manipulation of a difficult botanical note. The current Vetiver, more than earlier versions, uses its eponymous note in the same manner that Chanel No 5 makes a floral perfume with jasmine: it makes a balanced abstraction that smells of vetiver but does not smell like vetiver.

    (I’ve been wearing reformulated Guerlain Vetiver in the old-is-new-again rectangular bottle with the silver cap. My overview of it is that it’s nicely made, smells more like the ‘original’ and smells more like vetiver root but less like tobacco and aldehydes. I prefer my ‘90s’ Vetiver for its abstraction, but I might be in the minority. My only strike against the new is that it fades rather quickly, something I don’t remember any previous version doing.)

    20th March, 2012 (Last Edited: 14 July, 2012)

    Zizanie's avatar
    Zizanie
    United States United States

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    I've been around the block with this one. My first bottle was from the early or mid-70s and I still have a bit left in my original bottle. The vetiver roots had an almost green/fruity resonance that smelled unlike anything else I've smelled before. The original was also very powerful, perhaps because of the presence of one of the nitromusks in that formulation. Then, during the recent few years, I've occasionally sniffed recent incarnations of Vetiver and they've smelled much drier and, quite frankly, much less interesting and more fleeting. And then I bought a new bottle last year, and what a pleasant surprise that has been. It smells very much like the original formulation and lasts the entire day.

    14 March, 2012

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    drseid
    United States United States

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    Not impressive. I own a vintage ribbed bottle of this one and have so tried to like it, but alas I just cannot warm to it. It is fresh and very wearable, but I just keep hoping for something that is more raw and distinctive. I recently sampled Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver (which many consider a modern take on this one) and while I agree about the "modern take on GV" part, I was unimpressed with that one for the same reason. Both of these are just too refined and fresh for my personal vetiver tastes. Longevity and projection are both relatively weak. The bottom line is Guerlain Vetiver will always be a classic, but not one I can recommend when there are so many more distinctive vetivers out there, IMO. 2.5 stars out of 5.

    03 March, 2012 (Last Edited: 21st December, 2012)

    ftUK's avatar
    ftUK
    Malaysia Malaysia

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    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 =(

    03 March, 2012

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    nefastvs
    United States United States

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    This one is another one of my favs. One of these scents that I can't stop sneaking whiffs of myself when wearing. Great for warm springtime days (70-80°F/20-25°C) and even hotter temps, if you're not OCD about what you wear and when, like myself. It's a refreshing scent, and that's nice during the warmer days.

    Starts off nice and clean, with the citrus and herbal accords, the vetiver coming though with it's soapy notes. I actually get a lot of the spicy sharpness of the basenotes early on too. The drydown sweetens the fragrance up a bit. The richness of the spices and the woodiness of the vetiver and cedar pop in. Later on the tonka, tobacco, and nutmeg tempers the soapy, woody vetiver with richness, but not so much that it wouldn't be called a vetiver scent. No, this one still smells nice and fresh after the basenotes start singing.

    24 February, 2012 (Last Edited: 03 March, 2012)

    nathanielfields's avatar
    nathanielfields
    United States United States

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    I can't help that I'm reminded of Diptyque L'Eau de Tarocco on the dry down with this one. Opening notes for me were true vetiver, hints of pine and cedar. Also, dare I say, a bit of baby soap lingering in the background.

    15 February, 2012

    Theallmikey's avatar
    Theallmikey


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    This is one classy perfume for sure. The first time I smelt it, I didn't like it that much; it was just way too harsh for my nostrils. Years later I gave it another go, and I suddenly imaged being in an early 60's smoke filled bar where 30+ year old gentlemen with suits talk about life. I liked that, so I decided to buy it and I'm glad I did.
    Because of the really harsh start (it is really spicy to me: it might be the corriander) some people might call this perfume "old", but give it a few minutes and that harshness will go away. It stays spicy, but the citrus goes away (quite fast really) to reveal a pleasent warm woody note that last for quite a long time, but is not obnoxiously present (or stink). I can wear it with confidence for just about every occasion. I like it a lot!
    You should give it a try and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

    11th February, 2012

    srmd22's avatar
    srmd22


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    I see why this is a classic. Fresh, rich, vetiver, awesome. I am not sure if this is the old stuff from the frosted bottle or the new stuff, as I got a flacon online, but I don't notice a heavy tobacco note, so it might be the newer one. I am just getting into vetivers, and have about 10 of them, and this is one of the tops for me.

    31st January, 2012

    Dictator's avatar
    Dictator


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    This is what you can read on the new bottles(after 2010 and on):

    ''The mythical VETIVER fragrance recaptures its original bottle. A scent that evokes the duality of nature: disorder and harmony, freshness and warmth.''

    and you also get a word from the creator:

    ''The scent of earth after the rain, the cool breeze of an earthy moning, the aroma of tobacco... each of these was a source of inspiration wich gave rise to my first perfume, VETIVER'' Jean-Paul Guerlain.

    Well I guess it's an apology for the 10 years of that stinky and heavy lemony smell that was the juice in the 2000-2010 RIP ribbon bottle.

    Thumbs down for the old juice and thumbs up for the new one.

    23 January, 2012 (Last Edited: 27 January, 2012)

    ericrico's avatar
    ericrico
    United States United States

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    *Note: The review is for Original Vintage Guerlain Vetiver Eau De Cologne

    I have several contributions to make here to the "Guerlain Vetiver review page" - an homage of sorts. To preface, I must first say that I am a huge fan of vetiver and my collection of vetivers is broad and deep (I have far more bottles than what is in my wardrobe). Second, I believe Guerlain's Vetiver to be the basis point from which all vetiver fragrances should be considered. It is a classic, a true masterpiece in fragrance. I will begin in chronological order. I just purchased a large, Original Vintage 6oz Flacon of Guerlain's Vetiver Eau De Cologne (that came in the black & white zig-zag/zebra box). Stunning. Amazing and mesmerizing juice. This is over 40+ years old and was kept perfectly - I bought it from an online dealer with a great reputation. The EDC is the essence of vetiver - clean, crisp, invigorating and deep without the tobacco from the EDT. It is Vetiver in its truest form...only a bit of citrus seems to be there, but most of that is gone. There is absolutely nothing synthetic at all - this is apothecary and perfumery in harmony. As old as it is, in no way does it feel musty or dated. This is actually fresher smelling than bottles over 30 years younger than it! It is almost like wearing the oil of fresh vetiver root that has been diluted enough to not be harsh in any way. It does go on sharp (a bit pungent, but rich and awe-inspiring), but it dries down to its fantastic and true form quickly (10-15 minutes or so) as the composition, to me, evokes the images of squeezing the essential oil of fresh vetiver root and then blending it with fresh spring water flowing in a beautiful green field...it is almost ethereal. There is nothing more pure than Guerlain EDC from Vintage stock that has been kept perfect and cared for. My bottle was still sealed. It does not last as long as I would like in cold weather (50 degrees today and overcast), but it is so fresh I couldn't help but wear it - and reapply it. This will be a show-stopper in the spring, summer and warmer fall days. Overall - 10/10 for a pure, linear scent! And, one that has established an entire world of fragrances from its creation. A timeless bottle to enjoy for years to come...magnificent!!!!

    21st January, 2012

    Jack Hunter's avatar
    Jack Hunter
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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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.

    14 January, 2012

    martinijo's avatar
    martinijo
    England England

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    one dimensional weak and for me. not especially pleasant.

    13 January, 2012

    angelica's avatar
    angelica
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I have just purchased the newest version, in the classic bottle not the 2000s frosted bottle. It is a revelation. I hope this is a sign of Guerlain taking feedback seriously and that others may follow suit. It smells like the money has gone into the juice and not a heavy glass, fancy (albeit beautiful) bottle. The last version was harsh and loud with super-sonic citrus and heavy tobacco. This is light and understated and elegant with good longevity and radiance. I for one am delighted with this reformulation and hope it is here to stay!

    12 January, 2012

    Dernier_Cri's avatar
    Dernier_Cri
    United States United States

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    I usually don't review classics like Guerlain Vetiver or Mitsouko or No. 5. I like smelling these things. They're educational and fascinating because of their history and legacy and who wore them and for those reasons I have a respect for them with makes me reluctant to be completely objective in my criticisms. Plus I don't think there's anything new I could add to what's already been said by so many wellintentioned reviewers. With classics for some reason all the reviews both good and bad seem appropriate. But I wanted to tell a personal little story relating to Guerlain Vetiver which is that when I was little and on vacation with my family we stopped at some Civil War site and my dad bought me some fake Civil War currency which I thought was really cool. It was all sepia colored and wrinkly and best of all it had the most intiguing sweet smell. I asked my dad why it smelled like that and he said, "Tobacco juice." They made it smell like tobacco juice. So if you ever find yourself wanting or needing to make your own fake Civil War currency I am here to suggest to you that you could do worse than to spray your notes with Guerlain Vetiver because the smell of Guerlain Vetiver is what made me think of that fake money after all these years. That's my story..... I know. ZZZZZ.

    02 January, 2012

    hunternottle's avatar
    hunternottle


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    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

    Manteuse's avatar
    Manteuse
    United States United States

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    I wanted to like this fragrance so much. It seemed a classic and I fancied it being a mainstay, but the smell was just so disagreeable with me. It was a nausea inducing pine smell that I couldn't even endure getting close to in order to break it down.

    Perhaps I'll give it another try but this was unbearable and had to be washed off. This to me seals the trinity of 'Love' or 'Hate' offenders.

    Kouros, Angel Men, and Guerlains Vetiver.

    29 October, 2011 (Last Edited: 01st December, 2011)

    TitanCi's avatar
    TitanCi


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    Wow, bought this blindly, and at first REALLY regretted it. I do advise anyone to try it first.

    Having said that, on first opening the bottle, just like many have stated, I almost gagged. Smelled so strongly of powder, and somewhat like Raid. Others are CORRECT in describing it like this. I sprayed it on my wrist and almost had a bad headache. I tried it the next few days, and surprisingly, I am starting to like it and appreciate it now.

    On first application, it is very powder-like. However on the dry down is when I hit the citrus-y notes and very natural green, organic, wood notes (if that makes sense). The scent totally alters and becomes very, very bearable and pleasant. I don't know if it's me psychologically trying to like it since I spent the money on it, but I'm sure it's because the scent is actually very nice. It's a safe, clean smelling scent.

    Sillage on me is poor, but I'm glad I adjusted to it and didn't have to chuck it out the door. In all honesty, after trying it a few more times, I'm glad this blind buy didn't turn out to be as poor as when I first opened the bottle!

    TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!

    18 October, 2011

    EdwardBenton's avatar
    EdwardBenton
    Northern Ireland Northern Ireland

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    My first impression of this scent was one of "datedness".

    After wearing it a few times I feel I was being unfair.

    There is a "powdery" note to this one and my girlfriend often decries its "dated" smell, but I feel that is down to association and fashion trends - and not the scent itself.

    Wear this for a few days before you judge, it, wear it for a few weeks and no one else will - because theyll overcome their initial prejudices and associate it with you.

    Clean, soothing and natural, this scent is a quiet winner.

    05 September, 2011 (Last Edited: 21st September, 2011)

    Zut's avatar
    Zut


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    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.

    05 September, 2011

    gambit's avatar
    gambit
    United States United States

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    Happy 50th anniversary Vetiver!

    (yes I know it's been reformulated but let's not get too technical, shall we?)

    A signature scent, especially in warmer weather. It lasts long on me, the drydown is excellent. Mid-afternoon and I'm still sniffing my inner elbow. Wonderful stuff.

    I will forever be indebted to BN for introducing me to this frag.

    Two notes: I am over 40 and not into the current 'marine' scents. I can't even seem to carry off GIT.

    Also, I saw this described as 'bitter and nasty' in a neg review; which can also be said of me. Maybe that's why I love it.

    22 August, 2011

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