Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Vetiver by Guerlain

Total Reviews: 341
I didn't like this when I first applied it, but it quickly grew on me. I got compliments on it during the day and I could still smell it at the end of the day, so I have a feeling I'll be picking up a bottle soon.
08th March, 2017
What an amazing opening this fragrance has. It is as fresh and feels as gentlemanly as anything I've tried. There is a big citrus burst, but it is surrounded by class. I pick up ginger, which mixed with the citrus reminds me just a touch of West Indian Lime by Crabtree & Evelyn. But, this Guerlain Vetiver is a timeless smelling fragrance and has other spice notes, as well as the vetiver which give it a white shirt and tie vibe that is just classy. I find myself smelling my wrist every few minutes so I can re-remember the notes. This is a joy to wear. I've heard some people say that it smells like what an old guy would wear. Well, if that's the case, then bring it on! I love the smell of this fragrance and will wear it proudly as an old guy. :-)

Well done, Guerlain! Two thumbs way up!
19th February, 2017
Current version review

The lemon dominated citrus opening fades over considerable time to its smooth and pleasant vetiver heart. Far toward the background a cedar, tobacco and I think even an undefined spicy note is detectable. All of the ingredients seem to be of noteworthy high quality and there is little synthetic blast to fend off. With this one the quality lemon application blast is quite bracingly stiff. I presume that heavy hit was needed to allow the citrus to be well detected after several hours, which it is. Good potency, projection and longevity.

An outstanding vetiver frag., IMO. A big thumbs up.
13th February, 2017 (last edited: 14th February, 2017)
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Fragrance family: Mossy woods, floral, floral oriental

Surprised at the experience of dusting off and trying my bottle of Vetiver after over ten years sitting around.

Starts out with an intense herbal, green rush; mellows out to a classic vetiver emphasizing floral, aromatic fresh elements; citrus in the opening makes way to a slightly grassy, shimmering heart touched by lemon peel; a touch of sweet and spicy elements (Tonka bean) brightens the profile a bit; whiff of smoke amidst grassiness; includes a pleasantly clean, soapy element (somewhat reminiscent of Clean and Gendarme fragrances); has a classic, old school quality that’s unmistakably Guerlain through and through.

Suited for: older wearers, formal occasions

Similar to: Gendarme V (toned-down and more floral)

22nd January, 2017
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
I never tried the vintage but I'm glad to at least have finally tried the newer formulation of Guerlain Vetiver, a seemingly timeless fresh expression of vetiver that transcends gender or season, though on the latter, I generally see this as shining brightest in the warmer months, though it's not as weak as, say, Guerlain Imperial Cologne.

The composition is fresh vetiver, blended seamlessly with citrus/neroli opening, a bit of pepper (reminding me of Lalique White), and a woody dry down, which seems like cedar to my nose.

Performance is roughly on par with what I would expect with a warm weather-leaning EDT from designers, but the refinement here is at a higher level than, say, the CK Summers.

At only $35 for 100ml on the secondary market (FragranceNet), it's hard to imagine I won't have this in my collection at some point in the next year simply to round out my freshies with a vetiver-dominant entry.

7 out of 10
08th November, 2016
I disliked this the first time I tried it, but a second attempt reveals more of the appeal. On first application close sniffs bring a disconcerting amount of Playdoh, but once it's settled the wafts of scent reveal (famously) the vetiver with a helping of tobacco and a hint of sweetness. In my view, ramping up both the tobacco and the sweetness just a notch would result in a better outcome. However, it's green, fresh, uplifting, and although certainly no longer the best vetiver on the market, still relevant, still wearable, and fairly good value.
29th October, 2016
Tried Vetiver at home for the first time. Put some on my wrists and could only smell a little fragrance. Took it to work today and it worked a little better. Would definately call Vetiver a daytime fragrance. It is light and mild. Smells fresh and clean. Reminds me of a higher quality cologne. It is different and by that I mean it is not the run of the mill cologne with something in common with other colognes. Vetiver is unique in it's own way. It reminds me of a fresh mown lawn with a touch of sweetness in the fragrance. Projection is extremely mild.
13th September, 2016 (last edited: 27th September, 2016)
I am sampling vintage Guerlain Vetiver. I smell vetiver, tobacco, and tonka, and it is nice.
02nd June, 2016
Supercilious minty vetiver that feels more like a status symbol than an expression of pleasure. One of Guerlain's Ancien Régime perfumes that hasn't adapted well to modern life, despite the facelift.

09th May, 2016
Starts out with a light citrus vibe. This is for folks who don't like the heavier earthy vetiver fragrances. Turns into a wood and light tobacco gem. Time to pick up a bottle.
02nd April, 2016
A hot shower, a woollen scarf, thick and slightly itchy and out for a walk in an icy, crisp morning. Ever since having rediscovered this fragrance- I guess someone in my family used it back in the seventies, probably in form of aftershave or soap- I can't avoid this association with cold air on warm, clean skin and a gentle tickling.
Coriander seeds pair gracefully with citruses in the opening, leading to a heart of vetiver that's not too dark, nor bitter, not liquorice-y (a facet I don't care much about in vetiver), but remains fresh and grassy in a rich, complex way. The drydown is softly woody, with traces of resins and musks.
Having never had the chance to try the "pour elle" version, on which mamy swear- Luca Turin, for one- I find the fragrance perfectly unisex, being graceful without being pretty, assertive without being rude,spare without being rough.

21st March, 2016
Vetiver by Guerlain I never got to smell the vintage stuff only the current formula.But when I smell the lemon/bergamot/white soap finish of Vetiver?I see where Jovan Musk for Men got it's influence.Switch the lemon with orange,turn down the bergamot to let the soap cut through and bingo...Jovan Musk has been 'created'.I only get light hints of wood and smoky/grassy vetiver in this.Take 4 to 5 sprays to be able to smell this on me...goes on light and feels transparent/weak until enough is applied.Over time it adjusted to my skin chemistry where 3 sprays seemed enough and got 6-8 hours from it.But still I'd call it a low to moderate projection's no powerhouse.

As odd as this sounds the bergamot and something else merged together gives off an odd women's satin panties note.I guess some men might say if reminds them of a sexual encounter with a woman wearing satin thongs.Another might say it reminds them of getting something from their grandmother's dresser.They opened the drawer and a big waft from satin slips and undergarments bombards the nose.Aside from skin chemistry and formulation disputes...this note probably puts people on the fence the most in my opinion.

31st January, 2016 (last edited: 18th February, 2017)
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As genuine as vetiver gets.

I am intoxicated by this one. I had, on a glorious spring day, vetiver and habit rouge, applied on separate wrists. Pleasure was granted whole heatedly throughout the 8+hours of projection.

To me, vetiver smells as if one had recently weeded out a vetiver root. I smell the dirt and crushed vetiver stems as the top note. Fresh tobacco is second for me with a moist accord. This EDT preserves a freshness unparalleled. The pepper is my third note of choice I pick up on. Possibly a beginner's nose, Vetiver is one of those scents so well blended it'll keep me guessing. Thank you for doing so.

08th October, 2015
Suitable in an office or the wilderness. Much softer than it once was but still feels balanced enough to spray on every morning. Too good to wear when doing grocery shopping, mind.
To me it's more classic than old fashioned and never will be mistaken for a woman's fragrance.
02nd September, 2015
Just a short note on this one. I've tried the reformulated modern version EDT. and several vintage 1990s EDT bottles, and for me there's a world of difference. The vintage version is much more nuanced, and I can really imagine that infamous gardener toiling away in the morning sun. The reformulated version is much more medicinal.
31st August, 2015 (last edited: 14th September, 2015)
Revised review.
For many, this is a benchmark vetiver. I prefer Givenchy, but this is quite satisfactory.
A very lemony-citrus opening, followed by a rather green herbal note (the coriander leaf).
The vetiver has an iodine quality throughout, rather astringent but still pleasant. Not the comforting, cushiony and earthy vetiver we find in Givenchy Vetyver.
Some spices emerge as the scent develops, and a hint of wood.
Completely dry. Refreshing, understated, masculine in style.
02nd August, 2015 (last edited: 23rd November, 2015)
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)
Tested with a 3ml sample over 3 days. Masculine, clean, fresh and pleasant. An initial blast of citrus for me, which wears off quite quickly (good - not massively keen on citrus) and then gorgeous vetiver for hours after. As I heard from someone else, I agree it has a freshly-cut-hay like scent. I think it's a good day-time scent for the office, especially in warmer weather. It's on my "to buy" list.

I also read somewhere that it was based on a "gardener working in the early morning". Love this image; I think it's a really good way of describing the scent, except I'd probably say "smart, classy gardener working in the early morning".
25th June, 2015
hmhoek Show all reviews
United States
I always liked this a lot, but never could square how it related to real vetiver. Today I wore some vetiver essential oil and after 4.5 hours it was right there: Guerlain Vetiver is like vetiver oil at the midday mark.
19th June, 2015

When you are in a Crowded Room with Different Smells One Factor can break you,A Great smell That The people around tell You what a Wonderfull smell and VETIVER is one of those Great Smells. It is without a doubt one of The Best Vetiver scents on The market. Versatile,Masculine,Classic, Captivating,Gorgeous,Woody,Elaborate and Unforgettable.

A whisper of Citrus in the first blast but it fades out quickly for making a Harmonious and Elegant middle notes of Vetiver,Pepper and Sandalwood Then reveal themselves over the Warm base composed of the Most Sophisticated Masculine and Classic ingredients as It smells Fresh yet Warm and Alluring without being too Strong.

It has Something different each time You wear it which makes it Lovely and Cute and Gives You feel better about Yourself. VETIVER is Suitable for Any Occasion and Any Season Especially in the Warm weather and Formal Occasion. Totally It is distinct from a lot of other Male colognes as You will always have it in Your collection.


Longevity?Great Like GUERLAIN.

13th June, 2015
I have only sample of this. First I used this I was disappointed . I had read so much good reviews . First impression was old grandmother flowery soap . Scent is fresh and feminine like washed clean laundry . It is very soft like scent of wax crayon. I get some memories from childhood : maybe my mother has had a vetiver scent. This is unique scent and very different than any other I have tried this far. But I'm not quite sure do I like this . Maybe this is too feminine for me. Longevity is weak only 2 hours. 8 /10 .
I finally bought this and it was quite different experience comparing to sample : at first it was very strong oily,smoky ,petrol like scent. Maybe it is tobacco ? I was little bit shocked but it drydowns much softer and even little sweet wood like scent.
I like this : this interesting and colorful scent.
This is quite manly scent in a very sophisticated way.
20th May, 2015 (last edited: 10th June, 2015)
The first GREAT vetiver and still up there at the top of the pedestal, sharing the honor with Givenchy's VETYVER.

Who needs yet another rave review about this iconic scent? I must chime in, having been enamored of vetiver early in my scent history. This was the best of those derived from the vetiver leaf - some like the pungent and acrid - superlatively so- Etro, were derived from the root.

Givenchy's VETYVER was a personal scent, not shared with the public until recently. It is a more balanced, more sophisticated take on the leaf, whereas the Guerlain is bold, sensual, passionate and extremely sexy.

I sampled 43 vetivers over a year's time and in my maturity, place the Guerlain and the Givenchy at the top of the pyramid, the Chanel Sycomore, a blatant copy of the Givenchy, sharing third place.

One of the greatest experiences a man can have in the world of scent.
20th May, 2015
A favorite that makes me feel very happy whenever I wear it. My father loved Guerlain Vetiver and wore it almost exclusively throughout his life. When he passed away, my mother asked me to take the remaining bottle as it made her meloncholy to smell it or see it any longer. About a year later, I decided to try it myself and found why my dad loved it all those years.

I would describe Guerlain Vetiver as slightly sweeter, slightly fresher and a bit more refined than most of the other vetivers on the market that I have sampled, and there are many good ones that are all quite different. However, the association I have with my father on this will always make it my favorite and bring back fond childhood memories of my dad.


11th February, 2015 (last edited: 13th February, 2015)
One of the better vetiver fragrances but sadly I'm tired of vetiver. It's very balanced and a good choice for vetiver lovers who don't want something too strong like Encre Noire.
23rd November, 2014
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
Genre: Woods

June 2008:
Guerlain’s classic Vetiver introduces itself with a very wet, round citrus accord. It takes some time before the citrus is underpinned by a relatively mellow vetiver note. Later in the course of its development it also reveals a touch of smoke and some crisp green notes that extend the life of the opening citrus accord.

The fragrance cruises along in vetiver-citrus mode for a long time, and I find its uncomplicated structure brisk and refreshing. Guierlain Vetiver is a classical fragrance in the true sense of the word. Like an ionic temple or a Mozart concerto, it exhibits perfect balance, with no extraneous elements to distract from its essential form. If you’re looking for the aggressively earthy, stark, potent vetiver of Route du Vétiver, Vétiver Extraordinaire, or Etro’s Vetiver, you won’t find it here. But if you want a comfortable, civilized approach to the vetiver root, this is it.

August 2009:
I have an odd relationship with Guerlain's Vetiver. I keep thinking that I ought to like it much, much more than I do. With tobacco, nutmeg, coriander and neroli gracing its star note, this stuff should be catnip for me. An yet - it never strikes as much more than "OK."

Why is that? Could it be that I've become accustomed to bolder, more aggressive vetivers, like Encre Noire or Route du Vétiver? No, that can't be it, since I find the more polite and civilized Sycomore and Givenchy Vetyver far more compelling than the Guerlain. Whatever keeps me from loving Guerlain Vetiver dearly lies with the scent itself. As I wear it and study it, I notice a few things:

First, it's very linear on me once the vetiver and cedar emerge.

Second, it's very, very shy on my skin. After fifteen minutes of wear I always have to search for it with my nose to make sure it's still there.

Third, and most disappointing, is that the vetiver and cedar heart smells oddly hollow and emaciated to me, as if the flesh on the accord has been whittled away by some erosive force, and only the skeleton remains.

I still want to like it, but I can't actually find all that much in it to like.
07th July, 2014
My review is based on a vintage '80s bottle of the first EDC formulation of this, although ages ago I bought a couple of vintage EDT minis too and I still sniff them from times to times (and in fact I notice quite a little difference between these two). I do not know the actual formulation of this and to be honest, I am not much interested in it, as I guess how it could smell – not saying it's worse as I don't know it. However, the EDC is simply stunning: unmistakable opening, elegant, fresh, zesty, full of earthy-rooty richness and tasty woods. A milestone for perfumery in general, for masculine "class", for vetiver scents. A totally refined, noble, elegant, cozy freshness rich in citrus, lavender, aldehydes, with an irresistible heart of great, aromatic tobacco, vetiver and cedar. As minutes pass it progressively gets more dry and a darker woody-leather base emerges. Light spices like cumin and nutmeg "fill" the higher notes of vetiver. Refined, versatile, mellow, simple but unique, cozy, pure self-confidence in a bottle. Longevity is discreet but long-lasting. Timeless!

19th June, 2014
divus5 Show all reviews
United States
(I own a bottle, bought this year at Bloomingdales in nyc)

Try before you buy on this one because I think people will either love this or kinda hate it. I think this fragrance is incredible, so unique and just magical as it evolves during the dry-down, from start to finish it makes me happy. Understated AND great, not easy to do. I can see why some wont like it though, without the florals and heavy citrus many will not find it charming.
23rd May, 2014 (last edited: 29th May, 2014)
Review for the pre-2000 formulation

Jean-Paul Guerlain's Vetiver was one of the the first fragrances composed primarily around Vetiver, and it has become a classic ever since.

For me, when I first opened this and sprayed it I was shocked. It smelled like an old man! Not just that, but an old people's retirement home! I was horrified, and for a long time I couldn't get this image out of my head!

But I gave it time (like all Guerlain's), and guess what? I love it now! I wouldn't be without it. I now think that if I only had to choose two fragrances to wear for the rest of my life, it would be this and Habit Rouge.

So, what's not to like here? You have fresh, bright Lemon and dry, spicy pepper in the opening, joined by Nutmeg, a hint of Tobacco, and raw, earthy dry Vetiver throughout. Jean-Paul Guerlain made this when he was only 20 years old (an amazing feat for a perfumer), and he based it on the smell of a gardener, working in the crisp, early morning. Whilst wearing this you really do feel active, dynamic and alive. If you close your eyes you can imagine what the air smells like at dawn in a dew-covered field in the early morning mist, the crisp, cold air mixing with the smell of earth and grass.

It's very green, very fresh, very alive. This one really lifts you up and it sets you up for the day brilliantly. Like standing in a field and taking in the cold morning air. It also reminds me of green jungles, and it's no surprise because this product was originally sold to Mexico, where they imported the Vetiver essence exclusively from Guerlain, and there was a huge demand for the smell of Vetiver in Latin America. For that reason, I also think it works (exceptionally) well in hot weather, cutting through the heat beautifully... the fresh lemon lifting up the green, earthy Vetiver and making it a very clean, almost soapy smell.

Look, I know not everyone will like this one at first, but if you like green, earthy and fresh... you'll really love this one. Just try it on a spring or summer morning just before stepping out of the house into the air. You'll see what I mean, what kind of effect it has. I love this one, love it, and love Guerlain for making this. No Vanilla, no Amber or heavy Florals. Just pure green, refreshing energy! Great stuff.
20th May, 2014