Reviews of Vetiver by Guerlain

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


    Showing 181 to 210 of 318.
    ProfessorPlum's avatar

    United States United States

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    I'm still something of a novice, though I do have a functional nose. Two words for this on my skin: Bug spray! Honestly, I half expected DEET to be on the ingredients list. This scent has a lot of admirers, so perhaps it's something particular to my skin, but please try before you buy.

    22 October, 2008

    Asha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Guerlain Vetiver shootout

    Left Arm: Vintage Guerlain Vetiver EDC
    Right Arm: Guerlain Vetiver EDT

    I applied 2 good sprays of each. At first, they seemed equally strong, but the EDC had no detectable citrus, rather, it had a sort of burned sugar and caramel note at the top, and the vetiver was immediately apparent--dry, rooty and nutty. The EDT was a bright citrus blast, sweeter than I remembered the last time I wore it. To my nose, the lemon is the most prominent, but it is very well tempered by the other citrus notes so that it doesn't come off as an edible lemon or household cleaner. The citrus lasts for quite a while and is very pleasant. These are the main differences for the first 20-30 minutes--they basically smell like different fragrances, the EDC edging more into the vetiver while the sweet citrus develops in the EDT.

    There is a point where they begin to intersect--the EDC vetiver note develops slowly, and the brulee note fades. Likewise, the EDT loses the citrus brightness and sweetness to reveal the drier grassy, dirty vegetal notes of the vetiver. When the top notes in both are gone, they smell identical to me in strength, sillage and quality of the vetiver. Vetiver in general is quite long lasting. I got some of the essential oil on my hands last week, and couldn't wash it off for more than one day, despite repeated hand washing, lotion applications and a shower. So, my expectation for any fragrance which has vetiver in it (if it is natural) is that the vetiver will last long and develop from the nutty, sweet, syrupy start to a dry, woody, smoky finish (if the vetiver is of similar origin). The two Guerlains behave pretty much in this way, except that the EDT is turning out to be longer lasting. It has been about 5 hours since I applied the two. The drydown of the EDC is barely there, except for a salty, slightly sweet and soapy scent. The EDT is still grassy, rooty, smoky and woody, except that it has faded quite a bit. In today's wearing of the EDT, I am not getting the extreme soapyness I had from the first time, but the spicy pepper is definitely there.

    My impression of the EDC is that it is more about vetiver than anything else. The vetiver comes out right away, and dominates the fragrance throughout the development. The EDT has more distinct stages--citrus to vetiver to spicy/soapy. I suspect the shorter longevity of the EDC is due to its lower concentration. Of the two, I am not sure which one I prefer, but I think the EDC is more versatile. Plus, I get to enjoy the yummy parts of the vetiver with none of the bitter drydown that I sometimes get from the EDT.

    19 October, 2008

    mikey_p's avatar



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    Why are Guerlain such liars? When I saw the new bottle perched on the shelf in the store I asked the Guerlain lady if the formula had changed. She said it hadn't, consistent with the official line from the big boys at the top. Whatever. This is Vetiver after a Jenny Jones makeover, clipped, tidied up and stripped of any appreciable character. On face value, its still rather good, but when compared to what it used to be I cant help feel as though this reformulation has been an awful mistake.

    14 October, 2008 (Last Edited: 09 February, 2011)

    Geekman1118's avatar

    United States United States

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    I was a bit hesitant to post a review on such a talked about scent.

    I sampled it on a card and of course didnt like it.

    Last week I sprayed some on my skin and got some in an atomizer to take home to try.

    I was floored with everything that happened from the topnotes to the base on my skin. This is something that belongs on every man's wardrobe, regardless of age. It's probably one of the most perfectly balanced frags ive ever tried.

    03 October, 2008

    MFJ's avatar



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    I have probably worn this too often and grown a little bored of it. A great inoffensive workhorse scent. I believe this was my first vetiver scent, and getting to know it, allowed me to appreciate other less mainstream offerings like the briny Sel de Vetiver and the dry and dark Encre Noire. Still worthy of a place in my wardrobe.

    30th September, 2008 (Last Edited: 17 September, 2009)

    iMaverick's avatar



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    Vetiver is one of the notes I am so picky about, most of the time because I'm so wary of its bitter edge juxtaposed to its green citric and earthy qualities, how a nose can play these qualities up or down, usually for my case, playing it down. Other notes, like patchouli, a "sweaty" variety of cedar, and sharp cumin are also notes that can break my attention from the rest of a fragrance composition, and I'm totally put off by the scent--no second chances most of the time. I'm not saying that I won't wear scents with these notes in it, but I'm just picky in the way how it plays its part in the whole composition.

    I've smelled Guerlain's Vetiver before, and I was hit left and right by notes that just made me think that this composition was brash and unrefined, starting with its blast of citrus right to its bitter edge that seemed to smell frankly of rubber as many have mentioned.

    Trial upon trial, it never seemed to catch my attention, I seemed to fixate in my mind that it smelled brash to me and very un-Guerlain like IMO.

    After some years of simply detesting this scent, bored out of my mind smelling newer creations of late, I've resorted to appreciating and re-appreciating classic fragrances. I think I've reached some sort of level in scent preference, and in this instance, trying Vetiver became a whole new vision and appreciation of this scent! Instead of fixating on notes that seemed to jut out at me, I started noticing the other nuances in this scent. Now that I've found peace in Vetiver I'm noticing its deeper, spicy and resinous qualities. No longer too sharp green and grassy, I'm finding it smelling sensual, refined, bold yet reserved at the same time. The tobacco is not the green variety to my nose, but more the spicy aspect of the dried variety, probably because of the pepper and nutmeg. Simply ingenious the way it's blended into the composition.

    I didn't purchase a bottle right away, but when I went home and kept taking whiffs of it, I became obsessed. I kept thinking of its scent for a whole week before giving in and purchased a bottle. Funny how the mind can keep an olfactory memory exactly like the way it smelled sniffing it for real. So real that I was obsessed about it all week!

    I had plans of waiting to purchase it online for cheaper, but I just couldn't wait any longer. It had to be mine. I'd be in pure ecstasy if Guerlain comes out with a version with even deeper qualities to it. But with the way this scent was composed, it's hard to create a winner better than this original.

    I still can't understand why I love this scent so much now, but this definitely has set another benchmark in my understanding of perfumery.

    30th September, 2008

    Serafim Jorge's avatar

    Portugal Portugal

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    Some saying that is very classic and is true.
    But is one of the best "vetiver" that you can find in a normal cosmetic store with a normal price.
    Ist calm and rellassing frangance. Nice for hot days.
    Spraying a lot in your shirt and you will be very fresh all day.
    Try also the shower gel is also very nice.
    The version "Extreme" is completly differente and i dont liked.

    26 September, 2008

    Largo's avatar

    Scotland Scotland

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    I like Guerlain's Vetiver. In fact, I like it a lot. I don't love it, however.

    I simply don't experience the same complex development on my skin that so many others have reported here. Yes, I get the citrus and pepper top notes, accompanied by the prominent "soapy" vetiver scent. After 15 minutes or so, the soapiness subsides and the citrus is joined by a spiciness which I find difficult to describe. It's not rich and sultry, more lifting and aromatic the way a Thai green curry is lighter than similarly spicy Indian curries. Not that Vetiver smells of curry, though! Perhaps it's the notes reminiscent of lemongrass that made me think of that simile. At this point, however, Vetiver stalls and I don't experience any of the rich earthy notes that I had been looking forward to when I bought it. That's a shame, because I think that added complexity would have elevated this fragrance to the level of an all-time favourite.

    Perhaps the lack of development is a skin chemistry thing. Or perhaps it's a climate thing. I understand Vetiver was originally developed for the Central American market and, although I've not yet been fortunate enough to visit that part of the world, I think it's pretty reasonable to state that it is significantly warmer than chilly Scotland!

    As it stands, Vetiver is still easily head and shoulders above the boring citrus and ozone clones that clog up the fragrance shelves of British pharmacists and department stores. I might not love it yet, but this could be a slow burning romance and I'll certainly enjoy getting to Vetiver better as I work my way through that chunky green bottle.

    25 September, 2008

    JonB's avatar

    United States United States

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    I can understand that some people may not like vetiver. I've got to say though, as far as I am concerned, it adds a tremendous amount of "freshness" to a fragrance and is a good counterpoint to any sweet notes. It's a sweet-sour kind of thing. I love this stuff. I sniff myself over and over during the day when I wear it.

    Longevity is very good for me.
    You can't complain too much about the price either.

    24 September, 2008

    AnimaSola's avatar

    United States United States

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    A wonderful fragrance. It seems a bit astringent when first applied, but it mellows down to a very agreeable and refined masculine fragrance. I can never imagine this being a unisex scent, there is not a feminine note in it. It lasts on the skin a long time.

    22 September, 2008

    purplebird7's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is the most elegant vetiver I have ever tried. It is bright, crisp, almost astringent compared to the earthy, smoky varieties offered elsewhere. (Guerlain must use this vetiver in a host of its fragrances, floating in the background.) The topnotes contain lemon and pepper, the middle is remniscent of frankincense in its dustiness, and I believe there may be some aromatic cedar in the formula. It is an open, clean, dry, meditative aroma. This vetiver is mellow and smells deliciously like a cellar full of wine barrels filled with a fine, dry, white wine.

    16 September, 2008

    tort2's avatar

    United States United States

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    Elegant, urbane and mesmerizing. Although the bottle design has changed since I last owned it (back in the early 70's), the fragrance is to my untrained nose, the same.

    01st September, 2008

    iRate's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Well I'll admit it, I've never tried this fragrance before and I'm almost as old as it is!

    In the search for a new scent recently I gave it a go at a local Department store and was very disappointed. A hotch-potch of scents that seemed way too overpowering but when I returned to work the response from colleagues was very positive. This scent takes time to work its magic! I went straight back and bought a bottle and it's been in constant use since.

    A very sophisticated, clean and long-lasting fragrance that suits me to a tee. To think I wasted all that time on weak summery fragrances until now. As old as it is, this is a fragrance that stands out from the crowd.

    I'm new to this forum and it will take time for me to learn all the terminology and subtleties of what makes a good fragrance. At this early stage in my development all I can say is that this is a real winner.

    31st August, 2008

    FloatingPoint's avatar

    United States United States

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    A citrusy, Cologne-type opening soon yields to a rich, spicy vetiver. I love vetiver, so what's not to like? This is my favorite masculine from Guerlain, bar none. I love it on my skin, but I also love spraying a little on my bed linens before going to sleep--it's guarantee to give me sweet dreams. If it still smells this good after all of the reformulations supposedly ruined it, it really must have been some kinda fantastic back in the day.

    21st August, 2008

    operabuff's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is my first review here at basenotes and, of course, I must review my favorite scent, Guerlain Vetiver. I use other scents at times, but mostly I reach for my Vetiver bottles. Clean, crisp, fresh, like having a bottle full of happiness, it makes me want to walk to our grassy meadow and lie down naked under the sun. Or the moon. Which I would, but there are bugs! I absolutely adore this scent. Thank you, Jean Paul.

    20th August, 2008

    's avatar



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    I sampled this in a comsmetics store, and I really liked it.
    It is sporty and elegant, reminiscent to me of the summer time because of so many summers spent in Quebec in the company of cedar hedges and pine trees.

    It, unfortunately, smells too old for me. This isn't because of any intrinsic old-man quality of the fragrance. Indeed, it smells very fresh and sporty. The problem is that my generations' fathers wore scents like Vetiver.
    And it's awfully hard to find something sexy when it reminds you of your father.

    Another criticism I have of Vetiver is that, at least for me, it is a little too reminiscent of other fragrances that one can get for cheaper. The opening is unfortunately a lot like the cheap English Leather, with the middle notes and base notes a little too much like the original Polo by Ralph Lauren. In fact, when I came home from the store, my left arm still smelling quite strongly of Vetiver,
    my father remarked that, if I had wanted to get Polo, he would gladly have parted with his old bottle.

    19 August, 2008

    mrclmind's avatar

    United States United States

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    About 35 years ago (when I was a VERY young boy mind you), I was given a little miniature bottle of Guerlain Vetiver along with a couple minis of some other scents which I can't remember. I loved Vetiver and wore it often. I'm pretty sure I was the only kid my age wearing cologne at that time, but I drained that bottle. I had pretty much forgotten about this one until fairly recently. I have heard that our memories of smells are fairly accurate, and to my nose this one smells identical to the one I had all those years ago. I read of how horrible the current incarnation of Vetiver is since all the reformulations, but I still love it as much as I did when I was a kid. It's a classic spicy, woody, citrus, tobacco scent that works for me in all times and in all situations. I hope I'm never without it!

    January, 2010 Update: Having procured a vintage bottle of Vetiver (brown juice) I must say that I do agree that the reformulation is not as rich as the former formulations. This particular vintage (1998) has a much more prominent nutmeg component, a reduced tobacco note and a much more pronounced pure vetiver note. I think that the current formulation is very good, but perhaps due to restrictions, it is not quite as satisfying as earlier incarnations of the scent. Either way, this is an excellent fragrance.

    19 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 27 January, 2010)

    Havok's avatar

    United States United States

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    I had very high hopes for this scent after what I had been hearing about it, but I was greatly disappointed. This smell simply did not fit my demographic. This fragrance smelled like a hospital waiting room mixed with soap you might find in a nursing home. I didn't get any of the fresh, green (forest-like, I was hoping) scents the smell has been touting. This "classic" is not for anything between the ages of 18-35 unless you are hitting on 50+ year-old cougars who may enjoy this sort of smell.

    19 August, 2008

    pasha's avatar

    United States United States

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    Even if you hate it in the beginning, Vetiver tends to win you over in time.

    There is no self-respecting man enjoying fragrances who has not tested this bold statement from Guerlain. It is inevitable. It is such a powerhouse fragrance, such a name, such an establishment, even if one hates the scent, he must respect what it stands for: Vetiver is a scent created for the perfect gentleman, and a perfect gentleman is the man who wear it with confidence.

    It is a mystery to me, because some days, it smells really wet, but other times, it smells really dry. Very very green, Vetiver is what is is named after: vetiver note on every aspect of the scent from top to bottom, but enriched with different notes at the different stages of its lifespan on your skin. It is decidedly green, and slightly dirty even, but also really really fresh. I feel like this scent alone has inspired many other summer-y fresh scents like the Issey Miyake line, because it is a very bold testament to every green note possible. The other thing I must say though: within all its rawness, it is still a very delicate, transparent, and elegant scent.

    Opening is nutmeg, bergamot, neroli and lemon, orange, coriander and tobacco. It is decadent, and slightly sharp. Call me crazy, but there is a very soap-y feeling to this opening to my nose, I don't know why. It can be slightly nauseating in the beginning: all that green with all that Vitamin C, but that phase passes rather fast. Orris root, vetiver, sage grass, pepper and sandalwood at the core of the scent makes it very green and very bold. Now, this is the part that causes the debate- if you'll like it, you'll love it, if you cannot stand it, then you will never touch this scent again. The carnation note evens the greenness of the scent a bit, but still, it smells very natural; pastoral even.

    The most legendary part of Vetiver is its drydown though: the smooth transition from all that foliage to civet, tonka bean, moss, leather, amber, and myrrh is done exceptionally well. Vetiver actually smells amber-y to me within all its greenness, that is why there is a clash of warm and cool I feel. It is a unique experience, because still to this day, I am still rediscovering more about this scent, and cannot seem to complete my journey with it. For instance, everybody keeps saying that this is a perfect scent for daywear during summer, but I feel like it works best on me during winters at night. Under the summer sun, it becomes too much; suffocating even. But with cooler temperatures, it is simply a force radiating charisma.

    I really like Vetiver, but it can never be a blind-buy. Try it once, and see how it will work for you. I feel like Vetiver knows no age or race. It is particularly masculine, and very very elegant all the way.

    13 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 14 August, 2009)

    schumi's avatar

    Romania Romania

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    Another classical uber-green fragrance. The opening is pretty sharp and herbaceous, but then it softens down and becomes a bit smoother (but just a bit). This is a big minus for me, as I don’t necessarily like these sharp, untamed fragrances. Another huge minus is that I don’t think it has anything really special, anything unique, anything unusual. It follows a recipe that has been proved to be safe. Apparently, people like this kind of fragrances, so why change anything? Don’t take any chances, don’t try anything new… I don’t like this approach. But, considering the year in which this fragrance was launched, I guess I could agree that this may be the “original recipe”.
    Undoubtedly, Vetiver has some very good parts too… it’s definitely a high quality and elegant fragrance. It goes perfectly with a crisp suit and tie. It’s a dandy, for sure.

    11th August, 2008 (Last Edited: 08 November, 2009)

    djolney's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Soapy dirt with a splash of bug spray: try before you buy.

    On the basis of the excellent reviews here on basenotes I ordered a bottle of Vetiver without first having tried it. When the bottle arrived I pulled off the cap excitedly and sprayed. After thirty seconds of citrus it settled down to soapy dirt with a splash of bug spray. My first thought was that there must be something wrong with my bottle, so I went and found a sample locally, but the outcome was the same. On my skin this fragrance goes horribly wrong and there is no development or dry down to speak of.

    01st August, 2008

    taliaseki's avatar

    Turkey Turkey

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    vetiver is not in the flora of the country i live so have never handled a piece of vetiever and smelled it. So when i first sniffed guerlain vetiver i thought vetiver is green with bergamot and coriander aroma. Really i cannot go any further with it. Cedar and tobacco is very faint (would be better with more of them) and coriander is very cloying (would be better with less) throughout the first hours. That makes it plentiful. My husband who pours perfume over his had could not finish his first bottle of vetiver for the last three years.

    31st July, 2008

    désert_méditerranéen's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Enough has been said about this scent's topnotes, middle notes and basenotes. So I'm going to take a different approach and write about what Vétiver reminds me of.
    After putting it on, my mind slowly travels back in time and fond memories of one afternoon on my honeymoon just a couple of years ago reemerge.
    ...I'm sitting in the backyard of our ancient house in Sicily. It has just stopped raining after a long period of drought.
    The sun, slowly but powerfully reappears and you can see the water evaporate on the hot asphalt just outside our garden. Meanwhile in the garden, scarce Sicilian nature takes its beautiful course.The water trickles away slowly leaving behind a quiet, sizzling noise. Consequently the plants in our garden are breathing a sigh of relief, soaking in everything the now harsh sun doesn't take them away. Looking closely you can truly see the yellowish grass and the lemon and orange trees becoming revitalized. As the sun becomes ever more vigorous, causing the remaining water covering the plants to evaporate at an ever faster rate, a tranquil wind gently carries away the newly released scents....

    19 July, 2008

    gido's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    warning. guerlain vetiver is very addictive!
    it makes me want to sniff it again and again and again.
    this is a very manly juice, unique and pronounced.
    a bright scent with a bit of an edge. something that is original, fresh and very sexy.

    it is imaginative too,
    it makes me think of a mighty forest in the summer, you smell the woods, the moss and the earth; it's refreshing and rich, it's dirty and deep.
    walking through, there's rays of sunlight piercing through the giant trees. the sound of silence, the trees waving in the breeze, and the birds singing. the atmosfere so full and rich!
    being there alters your spirits. this is what i get from this scent.

    plus, it's so well orchestrated!
    it is truly one. and not flat and boring, like many juices that find a place on the shelves.
    someone said it smells OLD? not in a million years.
    actually i think it's very fashionable.

    sometimes you really like a scent, but .. very nice while it lasts, but you know you won't get another bottle when it's finished!
    then, there are the few that would break your heart when they are gone.

    yes. i love this scent.

    classic.

    15 July, 2008

    JaimeB's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vetiver, tobacco, coriander, cedar. These are the main notes in this classic of Guerlain's golden age of men's fragrances. The best way to wear this is in black tie. Wing collar, cuff links and shirt studs, an impeccable pocket silk. Then the aroma can develop to its full glory, in the surroundings where it feels most at home. This really is an elegant scent, whenever and wherever you wear it.

    15 July, 2008

    Peter_Dane's avatar



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    I live in a pathetic little country, which shall remain nameless here. Well, the country is so small that Guerlain Vetiver was taken off the shelves shortly after the relaunched 2000 version, apparently due to poor sales. Another blow to quality and another victory for hyped designer scents and provinsialism.

    The good thing is I can have this one for my self. And a very good thing it is.

    GV has one of the crispiest citrus openings I have experienced, it wakes you up and gets you ready for a challenging day. The coriander can be a little over the top, and comes off as somewhat synthetic, especially if you overapply on the same spot, but it's just a passing odd note. From the invigorating top notes it moves on to the heart of the scent which is a synthesis of pepper and tobacco, wherein the scent turns from crisp to warm. From here the intensity fades slowly, and again the scent takes a new direction, into a discreet, green vetiver that stays with you for the rest of the day.

    The diversity and progression of the fragrance, while retaining its harmony and deliciousness through every phase, is amazing. The ingredients have the right masculine connotations. All in all, GV has class in abundance, and it will gladly lend you some.

    It's a timeless masterpiece, that transcends any discussion about old fashioned/modern regarding fragrance. Certainly I can't detect any old fashion-ness in GV, despite what some think in this forum. But it is very different from contemporary trends in fragrance. And thank you for that!

    13 July, 2008

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Does true vetiver smell soapy? Well, this does and it's been heralded as the best vetiver scent. It actually is very good. I like the tobacco and pepper notes in this. Very classy and great for a signature/personal fragrance. I recommend trying before buying, though.

    04 July, 2008

    centerpin's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    I am still trying to like it, but the longer I use it the less I am fascinated with that smell. The opening is amazing, the first five minutes I think: thats it!...but the vetiver scent turns pretty fast into a soapy, slightly greasy smell -still mixed with the fresh vetiver main note, but by far not as pleasant as the start off. It is too sharp and,in my opinion lacks a harmonius composition.
    It is a perfume which impresses when you walk by it, but the longer you have to do with it the more it starts to annoy me( and my family). I had high expectations due to the high ranking of the Guerlain Vetiver-and I admit it is still better than most of the perfumes out there, but I didn´t fall in love with that one.

    26 June, 2008

    jonnyt's avatar

    Switzerland Switzerland

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    I wanted to love this as the bottle is beautiful and I still haven't found a vetiver that suits me but I was disappointed. The vetiver smells so old on me, almost acrid. The opening is ok but once the fresh notes disappear, I'm left with a middle that smells almost mouldy. Not for me.

    25 June, 2008 (Last Edited: 16 July, 2008)

    syidi_radzi's avatar



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    A truly classic, earthy, 'cut grass' fragrance, very serene, warm yet fresh. A worth having fragrance!

    25 June, 2008 (Last Edited: 19 July, 2008)

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