Reviews of Vetiver by Guerlain

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


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    Manteuse's avatar

    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



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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

    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



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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

    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

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Not much to say about Guerlain's Vetiver as it's possibly the most popular and seminal vetiver based fragrance ever created. A "no spurprise" linear composition that's at the same time classy, versatile, outstandingly wearable, contemporary, all year-round, honest and solidly crafted. If you like your vetiver to be enriched by citrus on top (I'm talking about the reformulated version) you have to look no further. This is the holy grail. A timeless masterpiece.

    23 June, 2011 (Last Edited: 05 August, 2011)

    chet31's avatar

    United States United States

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    Soapy, makes it smell like you just showered. Perfect for the gym bag, which is exactly where mine resides.

    23 June, 2011

    WillBell's avatar

    United States United States

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    This was one of my favorites. A clean crisp vetiver without the sweetness my nose detects with Carven or Roger & Gallet. Dry, like the Creed Vetiver. A light crisp citrus overlays the underlying vetiver, and the faint cedar is a plus. I love the old scent, the yellow one. I think there is a difference between the old and the new. Luckily, I have several bottles of the old in my wine cooler. I will try the new formulation again; maybe I was just prejudiced by the new color and packaging.

    23 June, 2011

    paolo_alcantara's avatar

    Philippine Philippine

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    Clean, classic. Very versatile. This is one of those scents I wouldn't mind wearing everyday. Can be worn on almost any occassion. This scent is definitely a classic and a timeless one. Definitely not a modern scent. Personally, my tastes have changed over the years, and I would say that my preference on fragrances has tilted slightly in favor of classic smelling fragrances as opposed to the more modern smelling scents, and this has been one of my go to fragrances. If in a particular day, i haven't decided what scent to wear, I could pick Vetiver without any hesitation at all. Again, let me emphasize: a classic.

    10th June, 2011

    blah114's avatar



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    I used to not like this, but have since come to love this. It's amazing after a few hours. A staple and classic.. something that can be worn anytime.. anywhere.

    02 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 09 May, 2011)

    madwit17's avatar

    United States United States

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    Nutmeg, citrus, and cedar are the notes that stand out to me in this vetiver. Fresh and light, just the kind of scent I want to put on early in the morning. Love the sillage on this; I smell it as I shift and turn all day. I had about 5 different fragrance strips sitting on my desk one day and GV was the only one I could smell at a distance. Something so reliable about this scent, to me - like it would never let me down. Ladies! Take note. This would smell great on you.

    01st May, 2011

    Gilgamesh2003's avatar

    United States United States

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    Incredibly beautiful, linear vetiver with traces of smoke. The scent is somehow transparent - it's strong, and sharp, but never screechy. It makes me think of green glass (and what a pity that they discontinued the beautiful, asymmetrical green glass bottle). Good sillage and longevity.

    If you've never smelled vetiver before you might start here. This particular vetiver nods to the rooty earthiness of its origin but remains sparkling and fresh nonetheless. There's something about it that hints at the comforting cleanliness of dryer sheets without smelling in the least like them.

    The first few times I tried this I found it rather dank and wet, but after a few wearings it revealed itself to be dry and clean (as MHV writes below). I far prefer its simplicity to the busy, dense earthiness of Lalique's Encre Noir, the other vetiver that Basenoters often recommend. Not that Vetiver is all that simple - beneath its coherent surface there's a lot going on, but you don't need to pick it apart to enjoy it, and to know that's it's a classic.

    04 April, 2011

    slvrbckgorilla's avatar

    United States United States

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    I can not, in good conscience, give this fragrance a negative review. For me it is wholly un-wearable, hauntingly medicinal, and strangely unpleasant. I can not imagine smelling of this and would not want to. That being said, this fragrance is a powerhouse. It is a major player in the history of perfumery, and, highly regarded as a top scent. Being that it is such an incredibly important fragrance and that I am so adverse to it, I have to split the difference and give it a neutral. A winner for many, but, undeniably not for me.

    31st March, 2011

    Tfx77's avatar



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    I am slightly biased when it comes to vetiver's, you have to of at least sampled a few to understand what you are buying (I am a sucker for blind buying) and I can see how they would not be for everyone; they not as playful as the Aquatics of the modern era

    Back to this frag, the opening notes are a bit like a child on a bike after they have first taken their stabilisers off, it wobbles a bit with a chemically, bug killing spray but you really have to hold your nose for a few minutes until it settles as the rest of the opening and ride home is really very pleasant, it really does grow more complex as it goes on and unlike some other reviewers, I find it last really well on me. I enjoy wearing this in the day when I don't have a lot to do other than to enjoy the day.

    I actually prefer Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford over this as it opens better, lasts longer. Solution? Own both of them.

    The old version sounds very interesting, it is a pity it is that though; old and retired.

    26 March, 2011

    plastik's avatar



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    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.

    25 March, 2011

    ArthurFerreira's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    A classic, a masterpiece on choice of notes and chords that support harmonically the best smell of vetiver. Male, consistent, deep and very elegant, has good sillage and impressive longevity of more than 18 hours.

    17 March, 2011

    rain///man's avatar



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    A very complex fragrance that is definitely not for everyone. Especially, not for the fresh water crowd.

    It is intended for very mature individuals, and that does not mean maturity as in age, the two are mutually exclusive. To me, it is exuberant of confidence, someone who has their head screwed on right, could be anyone from 15 to 50.

    Most people say they get Tobacco in the background, I get it almost as much as the vetiver it self, it adds a dense smoky and warm blend to the freshness of the Vetiver Just an incredible blend, at least on my skin.

    16 March, 2011 (Last Edited: 18 May, 2011)

    whytdelight's avatar



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    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).

    25 February, 2011

    Fragrant Mr Fox's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    An absolutely wonderful fragrance. Gorgeous from start to finish. Fresh, crisp, clean, yet with a whispy hint of smoky pepperishness just to keep things interesting. I've already bagged myself a bottle of this, and use it as one of my staples, throughout the year.

    22 February, 2011

    MHV's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Tight, dry, clean.

    I find Habit Rouge too complex; Vetiver has the straightforwardness of an executive summary, and the maturity of the one meant to read it.

    04 February, 2011

    RHINORAY2's avatar

    United States United States

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    If your new to vetiver and all you've known are aquatic and citrus scents, you have to give this masterpiece a chance! One of the best vetiver's in the wotld. Carey Grant like sophistication.

    23 January, 2011 (Last Edited: 03 August, 2011)

    digger51's avatar

    United States United States

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    This one took a while to grow on me. I tried it the day I bought it and decided it was not for me and tried to trade it. I tried it a week later and still did not care fore it and put it on the back of the shelf. I decided to give it one more chance and put it on my wrist in the afternoon. I really paid attention to the dry down and began to understand and appreciate Vetiver by Guerlain. As stated many times this is a complex scent that has many facets and it develops in a really fantastic way over time. I believe I am going to put this in my top five and I will use this bottle to the end.

    23 January, 2011

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Once, while spending my holidays in Amsterdam, i met a french boy fond about fragrances. He told me about his Dad's maniacal passion for a great exotic classic, Vetiver by Guerlain and about a sort of unparalleled fresh, clean, "trans-oceanic" aura elicited by this fragrance, a polite masculine feel due to its tobacco note. Few times later i watched a wonderful advertising printed on a magazine (the sail- boat floating on a green sea- better a see made of about trees, bushes, grass and greens) and i decided to give it a try. Few scents i admit exude a pair sense of freshness and cleanliness and it's true this fragrance is still exotic and classy even if the new formulation understates its greatness. Many are complaining with the new formulation and i agree in part with them. The current formulation is too linear and weak in my opinion, taking away that touch of boldness and crisp luxurious initial temperament that the old formula kept on and that is necessary in my opinion in this kind of gently mild, green fragrances. Guerlain Vetiver is a mild, slightly airy, gentle vetiver, so far from the untamed rough ones like Route du Vetiver and my lovely Etro one. You hardly can perceive the earthy temperament here and after the initial citrus spicy blast the fragrance slides soon in to a sort of smooth, slightly resinous, mellow, musky/tobacco/balmy smell, may be too pale and gentle. Perhaps today i prefer the earthy vetivers even if i love the airy Sel de Vetiver, surely not rude and a lot airy and salty, indeed. Anyway this scent remains a great one and the key of scent is represented a by link between neroli, vetiver, tobacco and a touch of myrrh. Tonka bean
    provides a nutty, watery feel to the dry down and the spices engage to push up (together with the tobacco) the exotic masculine feel.
    Unfortunately longevity and sillage are weak. Always a pleasure to take a shower by foam bath all over
    shampoo Guerlain and to copiously spray this fragrance on yourself at morning.

    19 January, 2011 (Last Edited: 06 January, 2014)

    ricklee's avatar



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    I bought this blind based on a lot of positive reviews. I sprayed it in my car and thought immediately: What The Hell is this Crap? I was disappointed and felt this is the fragrance of an old man who sells bug spray at a flea market.

    The next day I tried it again and felt it was not so bad this time.

    The third day, I started to discover the attractive nuances of wood and grass. That would be the middle notes of cedar and vetiver.

    The fourth day, I noticed the undercurrent of spicy cigar smoke. That would be the base notes tobacco and pepper note.

    The fifth day, I noticed the early scent of citrus and indian spice. That would be the top note of lemon and coriander.

    The sixth day, I sprayed this ten times on a rag and kept it in the laundry tub. When I entered the house, I was hooked on the smell. Guerlain seems to be an old style that took a long time for me to understand.

    I am glad it took me only a week to appreciate and respect how good and unique in the fragrance world this Vetiver scent is. It did not change, I did. I gave it to my seventy-three year old father and he liked it immediately.

    20th December, 2010

    neo_the_1's avatar



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    Nothing more to say about this classic.I have tried a few vetivers...namely vetiver extreme,lanvin vetyver,carven vetyver,Encre noir....still looking for more...but this is the best of all vetivers I tried and also one of the best of my collection.
    Whenever I wear this,It makes me feel "RICH".Even better than GIT as far as my skin is concerned.

    16 December, 2010 (Last Edited: 14 May, 2011)

    Maharani's avatar

    Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi

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    I am a South Indian woman who has worn this for 20+ years. My mother first discovered it and bought me some. She was particularly pleased to find it as Vetiver is a classic scent used in South India, where the plant grows, and the name is in fact Tamil.....it was used for years to weave tatties or curtains which when wet cooled and scented the house. I had no idea it was a masculine perfume so I went on happily wearing it and still do! In fact vetiver is also used to scent drinking water and I possess vetiver syrup, which is used on ice cream or in soft drinks in India and makes a great cocktail too! The categories of scent v food flavoring are much more porous in India than in the West, and indeed, I doubt anyone would say it was specifically a masculine scent either. THat said, to me this is a very authentic vetiver in that it has the true vetiver scent. I like the tobacco note and it has the elegance of a true Guerlain. I wish it was longer lasting, but I suppose as a cologne type fragrance the intention was to create something lighter. It has always been a favorite of mine.

    15 December, 2010

    derekhazelfjmax's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Recently bought this as although I dont really like the scent as it goes on - too grassey - it develops into something really nice and fresh and seems to change with time. Lastes for several hours - may be better than the comme de garcons Vetiver but I am not sure...

    04 December, 2010

    yoyo's avatar



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    My best blind buy ever. It opens up with a baby powder smell, which some people might associate with fecal smell. But after 2-3 hours it dries down to a mature and clean vetiver scent. If you like the dry-down but can't stand the baby powder smell, then you should try Original Vetiver by Creed, which opens with bug spray smell instead, but takes shorter time to develop into the beautiful vetiver scent. Guerlain Vetiver lasts all day long on my skin, no complaint on longevity.

    02 December, 2010

    ROUSAK's avatar



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    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.

    04 October, 2010

    colden's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is a complex, fresh, earthy, tangy, smoky, spicy, and altogether deeply satisfying composition. It develops over a two to three hour period on my skin. Its base lasts four to six hours on my skin and 24 hours on the collar of my shirt.

    Different notes speak to me on different days. The uncapped bottle smells of medicinal and tar-like tobacco cut by ripe citrus.

    The top notes are citrus and spice, recalling fresh lime on some days and Sri Lanken curry on others.

    The heart is a tangy and tart vetiver note in a haze of smoke. Sometimes it arrives cold and stark. Other times, the vetiver is visited by fresh jalapenos and habeneros. Under different circumstances it collaborates with powder to creates a fog machine effect.

    The tobacco in the base is not the shredded and chemically altered leaves found in cigarettes or ashtrays, as others have noted. It is instead whole tobacco leaves drying in the barn on a Southern estate. When primed with the smells of food, the nutmeg will stand aside from the proceedings wafting separately.

    This is currently my favorite fragrance and hope to get to know it even better in the future. I recommend it to any man.

    25 August, 2010

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