Originally Posted by ericrico
Hello fellow Basenoters. Happy Holidays to you all!
I did a recent direct side-by-side comparison of the Guerlain Vetiver 2000 (ribbed/frosted bottle) and the latest formulation from 2010 (in the Habit Rouge bottle). They are significantly different in presentation, as well as composition. In the end, I feel that Guerlain Vetiver is still "The Benchmark". I adore both.
These are my findings - cut & pasted from a detailed email I wrote a friend a short while back:
Comparing Guerlain Vetiver (latest formulation, 'GV2010' to the frosted/ribbed bottle, 'GV2000' juice):
"I was waiting for you to say, "GV2010"...and was surprised. But, remembered that you only had the little bit from sample. I am doing a full wearing of that soon. Another test wearing right now, in fact! It is on my left arm. A full shot and a squirt, rubbed a bit in. And....on my right arm. GV2000! As I said - I only like to do comparative wearings to formulations and flankers, when relevant. This is benchmark versus benchmark. It doesn't get any more relevant!
I first applied GV2010. Important to note. It comes out with a nice crisp (but not loud) bergamot and a hint of lemon (just a touch). The vetiver note is there, but a bit light and grassy - but oh so fresh and nice. I know it will get deeper. GV2000 went on and, wow - not only is the citrus brighter (which we knew), but I get immediately deeper vetiver and it has a bit of a light smokiness and spiciness within just a few minutes (pepper, nutmeg)...but, even with the citrus that is rich (but remember, I always loved how they increased the citrus in here!) - the vetiver accord in deeper - a bit more rooty and earthy.
Back to left arm (@5-10 minutes) - GV2010...showing very well. Lemon is gone after 5 minutes or so, a bit of rind only left with the bergamot actually holding well and giving a nice fresh accord over the top of the now deepening vetiver note. No longer airy or "grassy" in any way. We are smelling cleaned, fresh cut root here. Not earthy (ie. dirty) - but pure root. It is drying out a touch, but the bergamot is very, very good here. I have to go back to that. It is as if the roots were washed clean with water and then fresh bergamot was squeezed on top. Remarkable. Fresh - yes, but also rich. The bergamot in here is very close to the wonderful bergamot in GV Extreme - but it stands out much more as it is almost a lone note with the vetiver. The light lemon has totally faded at 10 minutes. This is handsome, well-mannered and extremely well-poised. I am, at this point, really impressed with the articulation of GV2010. I got it before during another sampling wearing alone, but this is very well crafted and thoughtful - and strikingly beautiful. The vetiver is now a bold, deep green in color (not dark). Wonderful.
Right arm, GV2000...yes, what I expected as I know it so well. This is a rich, even deeper (and darker) green vetiver, but it is awash with bitters from lemon and bergamot juice, although the rootiness is wonderful in context. The depth of citrus leads me to contemplating if mandarin orange is in here. My conclusion - no. It is actually neroli (the orange blossom, but it is peppery neroli - which came out of the top notes upon application!) That is where the depth of spiciness comes from...I got this before, but chalked it up to the pepper and spices in the heart breathing through - but this is actually neroli, with certainty. Moving into the heart, the nutmeg actually shows wonderfully along with the pepper (that connects from the neroli) - a lot more notes that are connected here. Another spice that shows, and brings a nice earthiness to the root...making it even more deep, is a nice dash of ground coriander. GV2000 has always impressed me with its notes, but next to the rather linear and well-suited 2010 formulation - this is a stark contrast.
Mind you - I am reading NOTHING while writing this. Pure thought, sniffing...and typing.
@10-20 minutes - left arm GV2010. No rush here. A calm, patient, confident scent that sits upright and proper on my arm. Not loud or projecting, but I am not in a full wearing. However, one can clearly see that this is a great skin scent that will radiate like any respectful vetiver should. The bergamot rind is still there, a slight touch of spices - here, I actually get coriander, nutmeg and just a very small pinch of pepper...white pepper, not black. It is actually clean. The coriander blending with the root is not the same as what is happening on my right arm (that is a stew of rich notes!). It is a light dash. To measure it comparatively, I would say it is also is a bit less significant (even blended with the nutmeg and white pepper) than the middle of Givenchy's Vetyver. I am not comparing bottles, just how the spices dust the root in the heart. The root, oh the root! Yes - deeper green even - but borderline dark. This is being dusted with the spices, so one might think it takes a darker tone, but that is the spices themselves creating that earthiness. Great note separation here. No tobacco at all, yet, either. The vetiver is a wonderful bold, green backbone that creates an astute, proper spine. The spine of a distinct man who is confident and stands tall and sits proud. Really impressive - but, a point to be made. Very subtle movement here. The citrus is so well-done, but wonderfully integrated and the spices only add pinches of flavor and subtle nuances. This is truly about the vetiver. A very nice display, indeed!
GV2000 - hello, old friend! Well, you are behaving like you normally do. You got yourself a bit wet and now you rolled in spices and, well, I guess it's time for a cigarette. Tobacco is here now - peeking in. Not loud or offensive. Just a glimpse of what is to come. Citruses have faded - perhaps a bit of bergamot bitters and still the trace of neroli linking the top to the heart, but this is really all about a nice dark vetiver with a bit of rootiness and attitude splashed in spices. Not for the timid, but actually rather powerful - as we knew all along. This is serious stuff. Very serious. The cigarette is hand-rolled with a nice pinch from the sack and into the paper - fold it, lick it and pinch it. Anyone got a light? This vetiver has a casualness about it because of it attitude. Not rude - no. But, definitely not nearly as well-mannered as his newly formulated brother who is very proper, comparatively. I am liking this because you could define it. Worn dressed up - it smells fantastic, rich, a full blend of notes that support a very bold vetiver backbone. Deep, dark and green and a bit rooty - but not dirty. This is a scent you coud wear clean-shaven, but it will make you want to have some stubble. Proper if presented that way but dressed down - absolutely. GV2000 is a statement of masculinity in the Dynamic Masculine sense. I won't compare it to Vintage, but next to GV2010, it is a much bolder and richer display. Really, really impressive!
@30mins-1 hour - GV2010: Cheerio, mate! Wow. I feel proper with this stuff. How wonderfully presented and clean. The spices have taken a backseat. Vetiver in the spotlight. Sure, the spices are 'around' - but really just touching on the accord of the now slight dark, but still boldly green vetiver. Not a show-off. Sitting up-right still, legs crossed, dress shoes and fine hosiery. Not dressed down. It could work dressed down - but only if the style was right (polo, a collared shirt, nice jeans, khakis). Shoes would still have to be up-scale casual. Leather, not canvas. A pair of hip Diesel shoes, nice designer jeans (with no rips) and a polo. Clean-shaven or maybe just a day or so of stubble. This is possible. But, I actually see this as far as I could go casual with it. To me, this is actually a brilliant office scent. It is wonderful, deep vetiver now - with a nice bit of tonka bean coming in and warming it up...very little tobacco. This is NOT a light scent. Actually, it is a very impressive portrait of the root. At first, it almost seems two-dimensional...a bit flat. But, if you notice what Guerlain did - it is actually wonderful. They took the centerpiece, vetiver - their benchmark bottle and the essential oil was extracted to demonstrate what it is. By itself, it is sharp, crisp, articulate, intelligent and it warms up and reveals more as it sits on your skin. The citrus was extremely well-done here, for what they wanted to accomplish. The spices were used, but very conservatively. The nuances brought forth came mostly from the root itself. Like a well-dressed man with a suave approach. He is impressively clean at first and then he starts an intelligent conversation and you realize that you cannot judge a book by its cover. He is reserved, because he is confident - not because he is shy. Once you get to know him, you find that the man in the well-tailored suit has depth, substance, and passion. He is serious. Not someone who would open a conversation with a joke. But, someone you trust who will pause before giving you an insightful answer to a question. When wearing this, people take notice. It speaks in volumes about "less being more" and that a proper approach - a kind, soft and gentle voice can still have very powerful things to say. It doesn't have to yell - it stays calm and remains composed. I am really liking this. People who don't like it missed the point of what Guerlain not only tried to do here, but did so brilliantly. They asked themselves, "What is Guerlain Vetiver really about?" After a long silence and perhaps a week of vacation for everyone in the room who made the decision to come back after thinking deeply about this...all had the same conclusion. You can tell that there is consistency and a message in this bottle. And, that answer came to be, "Guerlain Vetiver is about the root. Anything that adds to the composition must do so with subtlety and only enhance what the root itself is going to present." If you sprayed it on and it started where it is now - deep, rich, rooty and warm with the tonka. I have to say, that there is a very slight pinch of tobacco, but it is turned way down and fresh, golden tobacco leaf - not dry and no ash. No, this is refined. It is vetiver portrayed by Guerlain, for what it is. This is a statement of naturality - balance and subtlety in a "composition" that is really nothing more than enhancing the beauty of the root. The citrus on top gave us the beautiful, refreshing and cooling sensation that opens wonderfully; the heart expresses its true sentiment - that it is focused and will deliver on its promise; the base is wonderful and definitely both deep and green. A testament to Guerlain - this is where they needed to take Guerlain Vetiver - back to its "roots"...pun intended for purpose and reason.
A final point - for those who know what Vintage Guerlain Vetiver Eau de Cologne smelled like, they will appreciate this more. It focuses on the core...the expression is the root itself. Now, I am not comparing the two in quality as Vintage Guerlain Vetiver EdC is a masterpiece. The purest form of vetiver one can find - an expression unto itself. But, one can understand this so much more. I am really respecting this. Guerlain has taken a page from an old book of their own and reworked it - or one could put forth the notion that they wanted to give us a wonderful expression that exemplifies what Vetiver is. Givenchy did with their release, paying a wonderful homage to the classic Eau de Vetyver...trying to keep its historical, timeless perspective in place (and they, indeed, did). The Vintage is better - but good luck finding an old bottle. The new is fantastic unto itself.
People who follow fragrance should take note - in a day and age where everyone is trying to do "more" with their releases...Guerlain's philosophy is actually stylistic to mine - purity is beauty in its simplest form. As I take a final deep breath in through my nose, I say, "Merci, Guerlain." You took your time to give us back what is...'the essence'. Bravo!
GV2000 - a final note on where it goes as we all know. Deep, rooty, smoky vetiver with a warm tonka and nice rich tobacco note in full force. A bit of ash even - but not in a bad way. For someone who is opposed to the smell of a cigarette, I could see the disconnect. The spices are long gone. The vetiver is a touch drier, due to the tobacco and the nice warmth of the tonka bean (which is also more prominent) - but I am indoors. I know this fragrance so well - if I was to warm up and go for a walk in the sunshine or raise my body temperature, the tonka would warm and the vetiver would become more pronounced - it would radiate more (I know, because I love this bottle in the hot summer...actually, year-round!). It is a deep, dark green with some brown at the edges (the tonka and tobacco). I love this stuff! It is in my comfort range, because it fits me. It could be, in comparison, seen as brash - but it isn't. It is just really fucking cocky and a bit arrogant, to be honest...not unlike myself at times. I am a humble person overall, but I have a bit of macho and cockiness that comes out. This is what is in this bottle. GV2000 could be worn with ripped jeans, Doc Martens, and a T-shirt, unshaven and a cigarette hangin' from the lip - hair slicked back. It takes attitude to wear this, more than style. One can put this on and go to the office, but it might not go well with everyone. But, it doesn't give a fuck. It says, when work is over, let's go grab a drink and relax. Not for the timid, but I have to say - that there is refinement here. I have pulled this off with T-shirts, Polos, Button-down shirts, and even full suits! It is the way you carry yourself. Not everyone is brash and so a soft approach softens the scent (along with the nice attire). What Guerlain accomplished in the 2000 formulation was bold, defining. They, at that time, wanted to turn up everything - the citrus is loud and splashes on with the neroli, the spices and freshly ground and thrown in (no measuring - just more...kick it up!) and the base has a rich, bold tobacco note with warmth radiating through from the tonka bean. The vetiver accord is deep, rooty and stays sharp and bold throughout. But, a lot of movement!
Final result - both bottles are Guerlain. Both bottles are benchmark. Period. Fantastic. I just feel that there will be times when I will want to wear one more than the other. Interesting to note - I haven't thought of wearing the two at the same time and layering. I am shocked. I would probably layer only the 2000 with Vintage Guerlain (especially the Refreshing Body Splash) or Mid-to-Late 90's Vintage EdT (due to the tobacco). But either with Vetiver Carven After Shave (Vintage). I would probably, after thinking just for a second (this is spontaneous) - only blend a wearing (not directly layer) GV2010 with Vintage Guerlain Eau de Cologne. I would keep them apart, but close together (one on the back of my hand, the other on my arm). I might put a couple of shots of Vintage EdC on top on my neck, chest or shirt - not a place I can directly smell. They would go very well together...that I firmly believe (and says a lot about the latest juice from Guerlain in the Habit Rouge bottle!)
This has been a great chance to finally do what I wanted to do since the first mentions came up about a "New" Guerlain Vetiver...I welcome it, with open arms. I plan to always have both in my collection as they are truly different expressions. Again, I applaud the house of Guerlain for creating this wonderful new release. I feel fantastic with it on my skin - and the depth is truly great at over 90 minutes in - fantastic purity with a nice added warmth from the Tonka and just the slightest hint of tobacco! GV2000 is right next to it - with gorgeous, deep vetiver and more smoky tobacco & warm tonka. Either arm smells like Guerlain...beautiful, benchmark vetivers on each."
Unlike you gentleman here (although Jazznpool mentions tobacco in the Vintage and Riley mentions the louder citrus and more pronounced tobacco in the 2000 ribbed/frosted bottle, which is definitely an accurate nutshell description - but something I really like for what it offers.) I find very significant differences...both are a must-have in my collection, as is the Vintage Eau de Cologne, the Mid-to-Late 90's EdT and the Refreshing Body Splash.