Reviews of Red Vetyver by Montale

    Find out more about Red Vetyver by Montale in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Cedar, Iso E Super, citrus, spices, a sweet base accord comprising patchouli, tonka, perhaps sandalwood. Terre d'Hermès? Yes, quite a bit. But also more "generic" mainstream oriental-woody scents like for example Carbone by Balmain. Not the slightest hint of vetiver except for a rubbery-pencil feel à la Encre Noire which I'm given to know someone still mistakes for vetiver. Not stinky, but derivative, dull and plain.

    5/10

    26 July, 2014

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Woods

    I'm afraid I can't get onto the Red Vetyver love train. This scent has gotten a lot of positive buzz on the Basenotes discussion boards, but after two full days' wearings I find it disappointingly thin, harsh, and hollow. It's as if there's some critical missing element between the sharp red pepper and the dry woody vetiver that leaves the structure barren, abrasive, and impoverished. Not one of my favorites from Montale, and not one of my favorite vetivers.

    25 June, 2014

    sjg3839's avatar

    United States United States

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    Terre D Hermes clone (not a bad thing at all). Light Vetiver, grapefruit, cedar and a bit of pepper makes Red Vetyver a nice clean fragrance. Great scent. A bit too pricey for a fragrance you could purchase for half the price by purchasing TDH. 8/10

    13 January, 2014

    djgordo1's avatar



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    Definitely on my top Favorite list

    This is a beautiful earthy smell. I have to say it is very linear but it is not a bad thing. From beginning to end I enjoy this frag. The vetiver,grapefruit and wood are the core of this scent. I reminds me of nature, for example going camping and taking in that fresh smell of the woods in the morning. I will leave link to my full review on my youtube channel below if you all are interested.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwYXbJ2fuBAandfeature=shareandlist=UUnacQTsYCjE4zacS5-X8MvA

    Pros: keeps going and going
    Cons:

    20th September, 2013

    heiver's avatar



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    Best vetiver/spices fragrance

    One of my favourite vetivers and favourite Montales. This fresh combination of spices and vetiver seems to appeal me a lot! I just purchased a full bottle from this beauty. This scent is really relaxing, and sets my mind to a relaxing, confident state. This smells like a hay of dried vetiver roots splashed with Grapefruit and Black Pepper. I smell Elemi, Patchouli, Cedarwood too, which adds to the complexity of the scent. These notes stay in the background, never overpowering the vetiver/spice notes. Great longevity and sillage.

    On a sidenote: I have and use both Terre d'Hermes and Montale's Vetyver. I admit they are similar, but if you "listen", you can smell the differences. Honestly I can recommend both.

    Pros: high quality, mature, great sillage and longevity, masculine, unique, refreshing
    Cons: nothing"

    25 July, 2013

    reveillee's avatar

    United States United States

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    I agree mostly with Postumo's assessment of Red Vetyver.
    "For me it's like a perfect blend of vetver + the best of Terre + the cool peppery effect of Poivre Samarcand. Longer lasting that both Hermes with a gentle and transparent sillage.
    For me it's a winner, you can't go wrong with it. Easy to wear and suitable for most situations and any weather."

    To my nose, it is close to a masterpiece. Love it.
    A little more citrus and sweeter than Terre d'Hermes which used to be my favorite.

    25 April, 2013

    Quartz's avatar

    United States United States

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    As everybody else has noted, this is very, very similar to Hermes. Seems a little more lemony at the start.If you like Hermes and enjoy cedar, then you'll like Red Vetyver. I think I'd be inclined to go with Hermes only because it's cheaper.

    18 March, 2013

    's avatar



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    Lasts longer than TDH and smells pretty much the same. Win win for me.

    21st January, 2013

    rum's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    After much anticipation and quite a lot of effort, I managed to come by a decant from a renowned site in Germany, as Montale isn't available in the UK.
    What a complete disappointment this was! People go on about how this is similar to my signature scent, Terre d' Hermes, but all I can detect is ethanol/alcohol (ISO E Super perhaps?), some light citrus and that's just about it. No evolving pattern of top/middle/base notes, just a very bland alcohol-like scent with light citrus. I was expecting a more woody scent overall, but this turned out to be quite revolting. It was a scrubber - it turned out to be too medicinal and all-out synthetic. I expected more from a company that has been praised on these forums as being 'the baseline' of vetivers and orientals.
    OK, I'm not going to judge Montale on just one fragrance, but if this is anything to go by, I will be approaching even a decant of any Montale fragrance with great caution. Don't hold your breath. Stick to Terre d' Hermes or if you prefer, give DR Harris Windsor a try. A very big thumbs down from me on Red Vetyver.

    30th November, 2012

    Mar Azul's avatar

    Bulgaria Bulgaria

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    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.

    18 September, 2012

    Preston H's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vetiver on another level. Unlike most vetivers, it's not bitter or sour smelling at the end. A very natural smelling perfume, patchouli and cedar wood add a refined smokiness while the elemi adds a sweetened note to balance out the bitterness of vetiver. Love it, would recommend to others..

    10th July, 2012

    Postumo's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    For me it's like a perfect blend of vetver + the best of Terre + the cool peppery effect of Poivre Samarcand. Longer lasting that both Hermes with a gentle and transparent sillage. Its projection is similar to Terre's but less dense.

    For me it's a winner, you can't go wrong with it. Easy to wear and suitable for most situations and any weather.

    28 June, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Pepper, sweet citrus and the wood shavings aspect of vetiver combine in this rather lacklustre fragrance. About the only point of interest is an accord that wavers between incense and medicine cabinet.

    08 June, 2012

    bejahu's avatar

    United States United States

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    Excellent fragrance. I can understand why so many people comparison Red Vetyver to Terre d'Hermes. For the first few minutes or so they are similar. After that, however, the similarities cease. Red Vetyver is brighter, sweeter, and dryer than Terre d'Hermes (which is greener, grittier, and deeper). Red Vetyver has (not surprisingly) a dominant vetiver note, while Terre d'Hermes has a dominant cedar one.

    The longevity and projection of Red Vetyver are outstanding: I'm getting 12-16 hours on my skin. The smell is fresh, bright, and clean. This is a very flexible scent that can be worn all year around. It goes just as well with jeans and a t-shirt as it does with a business suit.

    I strongly recommend it. This one is a real winner!

    25 February, 2012

    Dernier_Cri's avatar

    United States United States

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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.

    18 December, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    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).

    14 June, 2011 (Last Edited: 06 August, 2011)

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    I can see why some have compared this to Terre d'Hermes - it certainly bears a passing resemblance to the bestseller. But only in passing. Closer inspection reveals RED VETYVER to have the more sparkling topnotes, presumably on account of the elemi. The vetiver however lacks the heft and sandy texture that characterize the Hermes, with a light dose of patchouli filling in the gaps. Very natural smelling. I'm pleasantly surprised at its overall levity; it wears like a splash-on EDC while retaining the tenacity of an EDP.

    A quality piece of work from Montale that will please even the noses of those who are not fans of vetiver.

    04 June, 2011

    DazWah84's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    OMG this fragrance is just amazing! Not to overbearing, very long lasting. I sprayed 2 to the chest and could smell it 10+ hours later. It does show some resemblance to Terre d'Hermes in the dry down but not as loud and sharp. The opening is also really different from TdH. Highly recommend if you like earthy scents.

    24 February, 2011

    Balvon's avatar

    Lithuania Lithuania

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    Red Vetyver
    I love it. It´s an extravagant fragrance. Super silage, super longevyti

    12 October, 2010

    cpk's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    This a joy to own and wear. Think of it as the composition of Terre d' Hermes with the citrus toned down and the geranium turned up a notch, plus the balmy sweetness of Vetiver Tonka. On me lasts forever.

    11th July, 2010

    suzi2qs's avatar

    United States United States

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    An amazing vetiver fragrance indeed. The opening is sharp, the pepper and grapefruit combine and certainly give one a wake up call. Press your nose too close to the sight of application and the pepper threatens to take out your nose hair. The sharpness falls back just a bit as the vetiver, cedar and patchouli come into play going into the drydown. What is left on my skin is a spiced up vetiver/patchouli marriage that I find thoroughly enjoyable. This does not have quite the projection and sillage of Montale's Aoud fragrances, however it holds its own even on a hot, sweaty day. Kudos to Mr. Montale, although not every fragrance from this house suits me perfectly, I have found all are made from high quality materials and I don't have to use up half of a bottle to smell myself as with so many modern offerings. After so many disappointments, it is refreshing to have access to fragrances that don't disappear like a thief in the night.

    28 June, 2010

    scentsitivity's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    16 May, 2010

    JaimeB's avatar

    United States United States

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    An interesting and different take on vetiver. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I feel the elemi and grapefruit in the top note makes for a very promising beginning. The rest is conventional enough not to be offensive. It seems to have good longevity and sillage on me, and I like the rather unorthodox beginning.

    27 April, 2010

    rinosaur's avatar

    United States United States

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    A spicy version of Terre d'Hermes without the over ripe oranges. I don't know about the quality of ingredients but I bet they are good considering the Montale name. I personally prefer the Hermes though.

    23 August, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    Montale Red Vetyver

    Pierre Montale has made a name for himself with the extensive Aoud based line of scents he has designed for Montale. As much as I like and admire those, my two favorite Montales are non-aoud scents Blue Amber and the 2008 release Red Vetyver. Red Vetyver is a complex citrus forward scent and you won't hear me use complex and citrus-forward in the same sentence too often. Red Vetyver bursts to life with a grapefruit that sparkles over a base of vetiver. The razor sharp cut of vetiver in contrast to the citrus is a brilliant beginning. After a while the spicy kick of pepper joins the grapefruit and vetiver and this blend lasts for a good while and adds some heat to the chilly top. Red Vetyver finishes out on a bed of clean cedar and earthy patchouli which is the kind of depth you want a scent like Red Vetyver to close with. Red Vetyver has been unfairly compared to Terre D'Hermes and I think that comparison is because they were both introduced within a year of each other and they both start with such distinctive grapefruit tops. Terre D'Hermes is classic Ellena minimalism at play. Red Vetyver is almost the exact opposite of that and happily so.If you like the Montale Aouds cross over to the non-aoud side of the street and give yourself a chance to be impressed, like me.

    23 May, 2009

    hollyc's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    The vetiver in this is soft and citrussy vs. the vetiver in des Sables which is bitingly resinous (and lovely). This one has a beautiful mix of soft spice and is just ever so slightly soapy. The longer I have this one on, the more I am convinced that it must be added to my collection. It wears close to the body and seems to last well, going through many stages. Fantastic! Also could be worn well by either a man or a woman. Another winner from Montale!

    08 May, 2009

    djolney's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    A vetiver I can wear.

    I am one of the unfortunate people on whom Guerlain Vetiver turns into bug spray, so I am constantly in search of a vetiver I can wear. Red Vetiver is the first fragrance I have found that lets me have moist and earthy vetiver along with a smile.

    I can’t smell the grapefruit in Red Vetiver. Instead, I smell a combination of wetness, sweetness, and bitterness that reminds me of green capsicum. In conjunction with the wet and earthy vetiver this makes for a lush smell.

    The pepper adds an enjoyable dose of heat to Red Vetiver, and the contrast between the heat and wetness stops the fragrance from becoming too linear.

    The dry down of Red Vetiver brings cedar and patchouli into play. The cedar has an extra note to it, which reminds me of oak moss, and the patchouli turns slightly chocolaty (like in Patchouli Leaves). The patchouli plus the remains of the pepper reminds me of a chilli truffle.

    Red Vetiver has the shortest life on my skin of any Montale I have tried so far: after six hours it becomes a skin scent without obvious projection.

    Red Vetiver is not a great Montale, but it is a nice vetiver.

    25 March, 2009 (Last Edited: 08 July, 2009)

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    What a bizarre little beastie this is!

    I agree with foetidus that the vetiver is somewhat obscured here, but what I can't get over is the lack of comments on the creamy/almost gourmand notes I keep picking up on in this Montale. (Is that chocolate I pick up on? No, no no . . . vanilla, then? Much more likely.)

    The wood and spice/pepper notes are very linear here, much more so even than in the often compared TdH.

    A good Montale? Yes. A great Montale? No. The juice is not, IMHO, commensurate with the posh Parisian price tag. Still, a weak thumbs up for quality ingredients, great sillage, awesome longevity and skillful blending.

    29 January, 2009

    mcjra's avatar

    Philippine Philippine

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    Red Vetyver is a more natural smelling Terre d'Hermes. I'm wearing both as I type this, gave Red Vetyver a couple full wearings already and it's still quite difficult to tell them apart. It may be my untrained nose, or it may be that they just don't have that much difference between them. Good scent, albeit unoriginal. I give it a tentative thumbs up...

    08 December, 2008

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    05 December, 2008

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