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Turtle Vetiver Back goes on with an initial carbon-like smoky raw vetiver accord with an extremely brief orange citrus-like undertone that completely disappears just a handful of seconds later, as the smoky vetiver transitions to the heart. During the heart phase the opening smoke begins to die down as a pea pod supporting note far in the background is unveiled, giving the vetiver a somewhat vegital aspect along with violet providing the composition a slight powdery quality that tones down the bite of the vetiver further. As the scent reaches the dry-down stage the vetiver becomes just a bit lemony, staying the star of the scent through the end. Projection is below average to average and longevity is absolutely outstanding, staying at near full strength on skin for 15 hours and still detectable a 24 hours after application.
In order to really assess Back you really need to compare differences from its two predecessors (Exercise 1 and Front)... Exercise 1 was a no holds barred raw vetiver soliflore that was just about as close as you can get to just wearing straight vetiver oil, with Front taking that initial composition and toning it down just a hair to increase its wearability without compromising much on its purist nature. Back, now the last leg of the triad polishes and softens Front, now by adding violet and pea pod notes to the composition making it much more balanced than its prototypes. On the one hand, this makes Back the most wearable of the three by far as it now appeals to a much broader spectrum of the public while retaining the general scent profile of its predecessors, while on the other hand some of the edginess and distinctiveness is lost in the translation of the new polish and balance. If I personally had to choose my favorite composition of the three it would be Front, as it gets the balance between edginess and versatility just on the edgier side of most people's comfort zone without straying very far from it. Exercise 1 is a close second for its raw purist nature (and it was first). Back is my least favorite of the three by a fair margin due to it losing more than a bit of the edginess of the other two, but make no mistake it is still an excellent 4 star out of 5 composition in its own right that vetiver purists should enjoy quite a bit and I am very happy to have it in my collection. Scent quality aside though, once you have worn "Front" it is hard to go "Back".
12th January, 2013 (Last Edited: 22nd January, 2013)