Reviews of Vetiver by Guerlain

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


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    Critic's avatar

    Zimbabwe Zimbabwe

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    Its THAT good. I'm into sweet and heavy and this is not sweet at all. I don't even know why I like it. It's one of the few frags that lives up to the hype. It lasted 3 days on my wrist and most of it was an addictive tobacco note. Yes I bought the big bottle and I have not regretted it since. Thank you for this beauty JP.

    24 June, 2008

    tonysoprano100's avatar

    Chile Chile

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    Nice fragance for people who love classical ways. This product is maybe simple: Vetiver. Nothing else....Thats it.
    Quality 100%. I recommended for people of 30 years old and up. Ideal for summer time, fresh, soapy. Very confortable.
    I feel VERY confident when I use it.

    20th June, 2008

    ToughCool's avatar

    United States United States

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    Blasphemy!That is what some might say of my review but at this time I really can't say I like this. I like tobacco and pepper but I just couldn't get with this. The minute I tried this on my skin I was taken aback by very pesticide/flea dip smell that was overpowering. After an hour or so, that same strength and scent stayed with me. It really didn't remind me of a summer scent but of an old man fall scent. I will revisit this but I was highly disappointed. Definitely something I'm glad I didn't go blind into.

    17 June, 2008 (Last Edited: 07 July, 2008)

    jalexhrovat's avatar

    United States United States

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    When I first got this fragrance, I was somewhat surprised with what it actually smelled like to me. I felt a little put off by what smelled like "Afta" after shave. But, I've heard so many good things about this one that I thought I'd give it a while and not dismiss just yet. I tried it again a couple days later when it was nice and hot outside and boy did this fragrance take off.\

    The opening was sharp and citrusy which lingered for about 15 minutes. This top note faded into what I can best describe as green and spicy. This I would assume would be the vetiver with a hint of cedar as well as the pepper and capiscum in the base.

    In general I have longevity problems with most fragrances...but not with this one. I put it on at 8AM and it was still going strong around 3PM. By the time I was going to bed, it had not completely faded away and was still very distiguishable....of course it was close to my skin.

    This one definitely grew on my quick. I quickly dismissed my original impression of this fragrance and realized that even though it slightly smelled like "Afta," the other notes dominated this. And to someone who has never smelled "Afta" or other cheap aftershaves, they would make no association with anything like it....or the stereotypical "old man smell."

    This is a must have for anyone's collection. Great for hot days and I'm sure I'll still be wearing it well into the winter months.

    17 June, 2008 (Last Edited: 01st July, 2008)

    daysgoneby's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Initially invigorating very fresh top notes, but for me the tobbacco note on the drydown is just a bit too remeniscent of full ashtrays. Monsieur Rochas is far more subtle when i need an air of dignified maturity that better suits my increasing years.

    14 June, 2008

    Moneysuckle's avatar

    United States United States

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    I bought this classic powerhouse based on what I learned on Basenotes. It's an interesting and long lasting scent. While I don't find the greenish topnotes very alluring, the drydown to a veritable flower garden is quite amazing. I don't wear it often, but I enjoy the fragrance when I do.

    13 June, 2008

    carlos-uk's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    The second Guerlain fragrance in my collection, the frist being Habit Rouge.

    I bought this as a gift set which came with a 100ml Shower Gel, 125ml EDT and a rather nice Wash Bag. I bought it blind on the basis of the reviews here and I have to say, thanks everyone!

    My first Vetiver fragrance was by L'Artisan Parfumeur. As such it turned me off big time. I found it heavy, bitter and cloying. The Guerlain take however is nothing short of delightful.

    Yes, it is soapy and clean and I like that. Now, without wanting to risk being slated I have to say I am reminded of YSL Kouros Cologne Sport. That particular fragrance has been well and truly panned in the reviews on this site. The Guerlain is similar to my nose but with all the Heritage (apologies for the pun) that Guerlain represents.

    It's interesting to me how a single note can be interpreted in so many different ways. This fragrance couldn't be further from the L'Artisan Vetiver in that, for me at least, its wearable and enjoyable!

    I find Habit Rouge to be perfectly delightful but without the wow factor of so many current fragrances. When I spray it on it makes me feel comfortable for some reason. It is not something however I feel able to wear everyday. Vetiver is that everyday fragrance that I'm looking for. Its clean, slightly sporty tones keep my arm going to my nose to smell more. Its something I can wear without fear of offending but without making too bold a statement. Yes, understated but self assured this is.

    What a joy for me and solid evidence of the whole purpose and value of the Basenotes Review forum.

    31st May, 2008

    peevish_yolk's avatar

    Serbia Serbia

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    I respect this legend so much that I am standing while I am writing this review…
    First citrus, then vetiver and tobacco. Very simple, very beautiful.
    Vetiver is probably the most natural scent I know. Sometimes, when I wear Vetiver and when I’m alone in my office (I don’t want someone to think that I’m a crank) I close my eyes and imagine that I’m laying in a meadow and I feel the sunshine on my face, smell of the grass and worm earth under my hands.
    If Vetiver is a synonym for natural, its antonym could be Cool Water or 212 Men or Echo…

    25 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 14 July, 2008)

    Ken_Russell's avatar

    Romania Romania

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    How can I not love this scent? Despite the rumors about having changes and worsened along the years, for me it's one of the most classic, inoffensive and gentlemanly scents still available today. Besides the discreet, but persistent lasting power of 12+ hours on my skin (although after about 12 it becomes a very dim, yet not vapid presence, it's just that I'm marginally aware of it, even after so many hours after application). What i love about this one is the clean, crispy warmth, the exquisite impression of effortless distinct and the fact that it develops into something containing much more than Vetiver- it takes quite a while to discover what is beneath the initial earthy and resinous blast of vetiver, but after that, the finesse up to the point of imperceptibility of aromatic notes (although "green, very different from vetiver, the spice and even a slight leathery touch, which can neither be described as the dark, macho, Gothic leather found in some scents, nor the vapid, teeny suede note found in others, it's rather an uncommon tobacco-leather mixture, including the most complex and uncommon association this note can trigger, come to life). I think it's admirable that a fragrance from 1961 is not only still available today, but also upholds very conservative standards of quality seldom to be found in contemporary fragrance world. Almost an old-timer style trip into the depths of the (unfortunately) increasingly inaccessible of true Parisian chic. Hence, this one can be called- along very few other classics- one of the last scents of the golden age of French perfume,which, in spite of being a flawless masterpiece, a luxurious reflection of couture, of both exclusively elegant and highly intellectual salons, has managed to avoid the trappings, complications and restrictiveness of niche marketing- it's not afraid to show that it's "just" a designer fragrance, however finely crafted by one of these few famous designer houses which managed to avoid the hype, the overblown frenzy created around the niche frags lately, counterbalancing them with
    a simple, puristic reputation, a grantee for outstanding and continuously kept quality, for sheer, unaltered, but almost axiomatic, almost dogmatic quintessence of unquestionable elegance, that particular mood of French stylishness, which can be natural, sensual, bohemian, without failing one single second to be effortlessly mannered, elitist, high-class and high-culture at the same time. For this reason, i guess that GV and a very few other other equally clean-cut close contemporaries from other traditional designer houses, bear a name and a myth equal to an unlimited, always kept promise and guarantee of good taste, sometimes even putting some overrated, but much more moody, unpredictable and less sustainable niche houses in inferiority (and remember, this comes from a hardliner fan of niche frags)- compared to these, GV is a more sober, apparently more simple, but much more safe, inoffensive and discreet way to smell like niche and even beyond, for the cost and the implications of a designer scent.

    23 May, 2008 (Last Edited: 06 December, 2009)

    J.B. Grenouilleis's avatar

    France France

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    I recently bought this classic fragrance. It was a blind buy based on the list of notes combined in this extroordinary fragrance. Guerlain's Vetiver is different to all my other fragrances. It is complex and changes from fresh, green, citrussy top notes to earthy vetiver, leather, and tobacco as well powdery and soapy notes on the dry down when to me it smells less like "old man" but more like baby powder - sort of lavenderish. Still, it does not smell soft or flat but strong and lasting with character. Even my fiancee likes the fragrance, although she usually does not like earthy fragrances, especially patchouli. Because of the contrast between the top and the base notes, this fragrance is very interesting and unique. But I can perfectly imagine that this frangrance does not work on everybody. If Goutal's Duell suits you well, this fragrance might be the perfect choice for you.

    30th April, 2008

    bart0117's avatar

    South Korea South Korea

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    My favourite along with Nantucket Briar...

    26 April, 2008

    jathanas's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Initially I thought "insect repellent". Then it occurred to me that I'm not being fair so on subsequent application I tried to understand the fragrance. The opening is fresh but not sweet or aquatic (good). The dry-down ... "insect repellent".

    03 April, 2008

    mcjra's avatar

    Philippine Philippine

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    I'm still a bit new to the world of fragrance and this is my first review, so bear with me. Passed by the Guerlain section of Dillards and saw Vetiver and just HAD to try it after all I've heard from all the bn-ers. I got a spritz on the wrist and the moment I put it up to my nose to inhale I was transported back to my childhood. "THIS IS BABY COLOGNE" I told the SA, she just looked at me with a confused expression. (My mom used to get baby cologne from Spain, actually had a similar experience when I smelled "agua de sevilla" in Seville, Spain a few years back). This frag. was a trip down memory lane, going to buy a bottle soon!

    02 April, 2008

    Dolphins's avatar



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    Superbly formulated classic for today yeaterday on anyday still beats all these newer fragrances into the ground.

    19 January, 2008

    natacha's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Elegant vetiver, but a little too much on the masculine side for me. However, a definite classic.

    18 January, 2008

    Starchild's avatar

    United States United States

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    I was initally enthralled by this one. I went back and smelled it again later, sprayed it on a scent stick and kept it for a while. I've decided that it smells like an old man. The scent of tobacco is almost overwhelming==reminded me of a tobacco drying shed in Virginia. Or of my old boss' office.

    13 January, 2008

    24jasper07's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I first tried this a madrid airport and thought it was a bit differnt to most other "chin whiff".
    I think that it is one of the better vetivers and the after shave Gel is really nice too.

    11th January, 2008

    bokaba's avatar

    United States United States

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    Excellent. Just grass, lemon, and a little vanilla. Inoffensive and classy. Perfect for the office.

    09 January, 2008

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Too much neroli and corrainder in the top. The vetiver is hard to find as it is buried or overshadowed by all this other notes. You should have called it Guerlain eau Fraiche or something. But not vetiver. All I get is soapy clean, that sort of French hand made country side soap. I find Prada's Infusion d'Homme to be much better.

    22 December, 2007 (Last Edited: 06 April, 2010)

    Atlas's avatar

    United States United States

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    Guerlain's "Vetiver" is definitely in my top ten. The first two or three times I wore it I was not quite sure what to think. Now it's one of the fragrances I like best (together with Chanel's "Pour Monsieur"). "Vetiver" is a great scent for the office, but it works just as well for a night out on the town. Works in the winter just like in the summer. When the weather it hot it brings out different aspects of the fragrance. A very masculine fragrance. Great vetiver, love the tobacco note too. The fragrance was launched 46 years ago yet it stands tall among today's fragrances. A must have!

    13 December, 2007

    paul's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Wonderful stuff citrus, proper earthy vetiver, lasts well, all round every day stuff. I like it!

    10th December, 2007 (Last Edited: 07 August, 2010)

    toddchristy's avatar



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    At first reminds me of what my grandfather might've worn. Only if my gramps was much, much cooler. Evokes and old barbershop. Soapy/clean and green. Most say it's a warm-weather fragrance, but I find it great year round. Def. day time, however. An adult scent, for sure.

    07 December, 2007

    garymoore's avatar

    United States United States

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    I got this after reading the mostly positive reviews although it was a blind buy. I must admit that initially I found it to smell like something a more "mature" individual. After letting it dry down though, I really enjoyed it. A definite warm weather scent though.

    30th November, 2007

    DULLAH's avatar

    Turkey Turkey

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    (New Version)
    Wow, very impressed.
    The hot spice and sweet spice, and green roots blend so well together it smells like a single scent.
    Like the better cousin to cloves.
    And just enough citrus and sweetness, not too much.
    My favorite of all the Vetiver colognes by a wide Margin.

    28 November, 2007

    Islandwriter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Love this stuff. Highly recc'd. Fast drydown, and it seems to get better and better afterwards.

    23 November, 2007

    jude_c's avatar



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    Big time scent here by this legendary design house. I love this stuff, the best guerlain out there. The best vetiver out there. Complex, sophisticated, classic, perfect. In my top 7 of all time.

    04 November, 2007

    Mr. G's avatar

    Denmark Denmark

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    Jean-Paul Guerlain was the first (and last) family member to create several fragrances for men, and Vetiver was his first masculine creation. Ever since the company's great cologne period, Guerlain hadn't created another men's fragrance except Mouchoir de Monsieur and Jicky. Vetiver filled this gap. In fact, Vetiver was first created for Mexico, one of the biggest consumers of Guerlain's 'Vetiver extract', but in 1958, Carven's vetiver scent became a threatening presence on the market, and director Jean-Pierre Guerlain wanted it modernized. It became a job for his 22 year old nephew Jean-Paul, who let himself be inspired by 'the smell of a gardener' - tobacco and earth. It was launched in 1959, and its spicy earthy-freshness deriving from the Indian vetiver grass root proved to be an instant success. The fragrance is from the outset dominated by a distinctive, slightly bitter nutmeg note that is considered uniquely delightful by fans, a bit harsh and 'medicinal' by some others, but the scent rounds itself upon wearing and ends in a surprising, sweet tobacco note. Although Guerlain maintains that the composition of Vetiver has not been changed during the years, most Vetiver-lovers are convinced that it has been made brighter, fresher and less 'earthy' in the current edition. It's still up for debate, though, if the oldest edition's earthiness and darkness is only due to ageing of the fragrant juice. In 2000, Vetiver was launched with a modern bottle, juice color, packaging and advertising, and it's still a favorite among many men. Recently, several modern variations on the Vetiver-theme has been launched, like the spiced up Vetiver Extrême with added vetiver root, tarragon, licorice and smoky frankincense, and the more tender and flowery Vetiver pour Elle.

    26 October, 2007 (Last Edited: 12 April, 2008)

    dmc27855's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Bought a bottle (EDT) 3 weeks ago having read reviews and sampled on a card. My first thoughts were "If I put it on eBay now should get a good price", it just seemed too overpowering, my wife hated it, "Too soapy" is all she could smell.

    Was going to give up and sell it on eBay but decided to keep trying and cut back on the spraying. Now I "mist" 2-3 light presses (2 neck, one to wrists), I find myself really liking it. Sillage is good, and it lasts all day. My wife still doesn't care for it but I find it pleasant and calming.

    As an ex smoker (6 months) I have taken up fragrance as a hobby and use it for my own pleasure and aromatherapy rather than for how I smell to others. Guerlain Vetiver is an example of a fragrance which treated in moderation hits all the right notes but which in excess can smell truly awful.

    09 July, 2007

    theLateDoctor's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    I am a very recent convert to the wonders of the bottled scent, and the gorgeous green Guerlain was my very first purchase. Apparently I take well to the Vetiver, because I love this stuff... And the hotter it gets outside, the more I love it. L-O-V-E it.

    07 July, 2007

    LiveJazz's avatar

    United States United States

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    [Edit 10-2011: All is forgiven. My nose has apparently evolved. This scent is beautiful. Just bought a big bottle of it. It's a true pleasure to wear, and a great example of a fresh scent done right.]

    I've had my decant of it for close to a year now. Every time I select it as my SotD, I'm a little excited because I think that THIS will be the day that Guerlain Vetiver (new formulation) finally clicks for me. Alas, it has never happened. Which is odd because I like vetiver, and I like citrus.

    The dealbreakers for me are the nutmeg note and the strong tobacco note. I already knew that I didn't like these notes when I decided to give this scent a try, but I thought that since they're basically supporting notes in the generally terrific cast, I could deal with it. But no, the suffocating tobacco and noxious nutmeg hijack the accords and ruin the whole thing for me. It's like watching an amazing movie in a theater and knowing that it's an amsolute masterwork, but the sound is slightly off and there projector is making a big blotch in the corner of the screen. You just can't appreciate it anymore.

    If you like vetiver but are not fond of the heavier notes that Vetiver makes use of, I suggest something like CdG's Vettiveru, Malle's Vetiver Extraordinaire, or Creed's Original Vetiver. These are "brighter" rentitions of this theme, and work much better on me.

    All that said, I can't give this a thumbs down. The evolution is too perfect, the balance of the notes too impressive, the sillage just right. No, I don't like it for myself, but it is certainly a noteworthy blend.

    28 June, 2007 (Last Edited: 28 October, 2011)

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