The textbook combination of bergamot and vetiver with a cedar foundation. Pepper and citrus give it an elevated welcome, but it smells like an offshoot of Terre d’Hermes or one of the myriad TdH offshoots that exist. I’m sure it fills a hole in the Montale family line-up, but it’s doing nothing new. It’s doing nothing new perfectly well, though—which is sort of Montale’s whole approach to perfumery.
A more than decent spicy vetiver/patchouli accord exalting the woody-exotic and seasoned-spicy side of the precious main element (a woody vetiver). Neither groundbreaking nor bad di per se. I see too a certain resemblance with Terre d'Hermes of course but Red Vetyver is decidedly more "coloured", spicy, mild and silky-ambery. I detect of course the initial citric-peppery-herbal approach but the Montale's fragrance is immediately more vetiver centered and more "perfumed" (rich, sweetly spicy, resinous and rounded) while effectively the dry down is more properly woody-earthy (but still exotic and smooth, though in a slightly drier way). Anyway I still detect a level of denser silkiness providing a smoother -sweeter vibe. I still detect the black pepper in this phase (and a rooty patchouli balancing the spicy softeness). Anyway a fashinating and elegant simple aroma which appears unfortunately at the end slightly less natural and interesting.
P.S= I don't detect anything so abrasive or overly (I mean over the "usual" average) synthetic.
27th October, 2014 (last edited: 12th August, 2015)
All in all, "Best of Terre" indeed, as already stated. Difference comes in the drydown, where an unexpected and too sweet anise note appears. This non-vanillic sweetness is underlined by some kind of spicy dates but for me personally this adds cheapness to the fragrance mostly because it blurs the initial sharp solid presence, making it.. more generic. Hence the neutral.
Anyway, maybe those final traces are not so much worth discussing as the full-bodied image of Red Vetyver is just this, 'Best of Terre'. I expected an exotic touch and maybe there really was one, yet now Terre d'Hermes is just everywhere, so.
I'd just add that in this case, RV being a Montale and TdH being kinda 'designer frag" doesn't make the former superior in any way. I rarely believe in all these "better mixed", "more natural smelling", "more sophisticated", "longer lasting" etc. which surround the niche brands by default. In this case, if I had to choose Red Vetyver between the two it'll be for the red aluminum bottle and the sprayer clip with the Montale logo.
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If you put enough Red Vetyver on you will get noticed. Subtlety is not it's thing. At the start loud candied orange, the wood from the base of a fresh cut christmas tree, some spices, salt underneath. I find myself thinking of Happy for Men which I still wear from time to time partially out of nostalgia I know. And I'm not apologizing here even though I feel like I am... like you would for some old friend nobody thinks is cool. I actually still like Happy FM. Poor thing. But the point I'm struggling to make here is that Red Vetyver reminds me of Happy FM in it's being almost obnoxiously to the point. Both have the loud candied orange thing although Happy's is definately more of the souring Mandarin variety. Happy has some loud green stuff. Red Vetyver has the turned up wood and some spices the aquatic Happy does not. That spiciness and the overall presentation of Red Vetyver reminds me of another not too subtle fragrance L'air du Desert Marocain. And yes Red Vetyver definately reminds me immediately of Terre d'hermes most of all. I would like to have made a direct comparison between them but I don't keep that kind of stuff in my house.
Let me say that as a vetiver lover and after all the fuss made bout this fragrance, my expectations when I approached Red Vetiver for the first time were maybe too high but, as a matter of fact, I've been disappointed. At the same time I see why this fragrance counts many supporters around.
Red Vetiver shares more than one single similarity with Terre D'Hermes (a fragrance I don't love). While they quite differ in the opening where Red Vetiver adds some extra richness to the simple formula peppery-citrus of TdH, and brings the unmistakeable Montale's hallmark with some (let's say) gourmandic hints, they become totally alike in the drydown. In this phase they share the same slight harshness, the same vetiver/woods combo, the same allure. I'm pretty sure that If you carefully look at them you'l be able to find more differencies and (maybe) prefer one over the other. Me? I didn't like the cheaper version (TdH) I don't see why I should like the expensier...
Tenacious lasting power and good projection (as usual in Montale's fragrances).
14th June, 2011 (last edited: 06th August, 2011)
This smells a lot like Terre d’Hermes (TdH) to me. I should clarify: TdH presents itself inconsistently on my skin and Red Vetiver falls within the experience envelope that I have had with TdH. I am ambivalent to it and I would say to anyone who is testing this, please test Terre as well: you may find it meets your needs at a much lower price.
I, too, feel this is a much much richer version of Terre d'Hermes with a really strong but not too grassy vetiver base. Very linear and very potent to boot. I've been giving the Montale line a fair shake but most don't seem to impress me. It seems like the perfumes are trying too hard to be unique but seem like posers with an attitude. That said, it doesn't mean I don't like this. I feel that it's a good, niche alternative to other bitter orange peel and earthy vetiver accord fragrances.
Red Vetyver: jeez..is this hot or what..the image that i had after wearing this was that of a man in flames. is it the pepper? gosh this has all the hot spices one can think of..quite unbearable for me. and im talking two dabs from a vial. two sprays and i would run towards my freezer...it stays intense for almost 2-3 hours before relaxing a bit to earthy vetiver and patchouli base....however, couple of wears into this, and i'm kinda growing into likin it. i can imagine how people staying in colder places would find comfort in such "warm", "spicy" vetiver based scent.
btw, this is an denser version of Terre D Hermes and i dont like TdH either...maybe pepper done this way is just not my type...