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  1. #1

    Default Floris Vetiver, and OV vs. Mugler.

    Today I made my last honest attempt at a true vetiver, via Floris. It is interesting for a while, and there is a kind of freshness about it, *but the grassy scent and sandalwood started to make me sick after a while - and I only tried a very small amount, this stuff is potent. There is something about vetiver which I find harsh and the fragrance irritates my throat. I guess I am too delicate, a soft modern man. *

    Later, reading some old discussions on the OV vs. Mugler debate, I tried some OV again. Very potent opening, kind of like Mugler, but much stronger to me, like the opening of Guerlain's Vetiver, and yes, harsh and a bit irritating. The vetiver does come in clearly, though it lacks the living breathing dimensionality of the Floris Vetiver. The very bright citrus/floral haze kind of obscures it, but it is there. The whole feel is very strong and full-bodied and layered. I realized then that the fundamental difference between this and Mugler, is that this is very much intended to be a perfume, properly speaking. A more arced fragrance, like Guerlain's and most other Vetivers. Mugler, the EdP "Cologne" is intended to be an anti-fragrance, a non-perfume. A skin scent.

    I rinsed after the OV started to get to me, not quite as sick-making as the Floris Vetiver, but the prolonged harshness of the top notes was too much. I took a quick breather then applied a dab of Mugler on the other wrist. Quite surprisingly different back to back, side-by-side. The top notes are similar if at a much lower volume, softer and without the acrid harshness. The green sap note jumps out clearly when contrasted to the bitter root green of the vetivers. It really is an amazing note: wet, fresh, clean sap - beautiful. I don't know how I ever confused that note with vetiver, or found it vetiver-like. Once it quickly settles in, its fundamental simplicty forms this cohesive whole that creates the afterimage of freshly rinsed soap. The scent of Mugler is the fresh aura of a beautiful soap and nothing else. Very much an anti-perfume, and inherently genderless faced with the square-jawed masculinity of OV and the Skull Island wilderness of Floris Vetiver.

    I can see how Mugler could inspire the creation of OV, but the common "clone" accusation that I and others have made falls apart IMO, when compared side-by-side. There is a feel of "soapiness" in OV, but that is more impressionistic, IMO, when compared to Mugler's clear image. I think those who call OV "better" are missing the point of Mugler and the intent behind its creation. One might say that OV takes the intital Mugler feel and attempts to flesh it out into a full perfume - it is more complex, has more depth, but lacks the cohesion and subtlety of the intensionally simple Mugler. *In sum I feel that OV cannot supplant Mugler, and Mugler cannot substitute OV.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Floris Vetiver, and OV vs. Mugler.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos3
    The scent of Mugler is the fresh aura of a beautiful soap and nothing else. Very much an anti-perfume, and inherently genderless
    This description of Mugler Cologne could easily also be used as a description of the original Gendarme.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos3
    I can see how Mugler could inspire the creation of OV
    I have a suspicion that the original Gendarme (1991) inspired Mugler Cologne (2001) and, by inference, Creed Original Vetiver (2004) also.


    Carlos3, Thanks for your thoughtful and interesting review and comparison of these fragrances. *I happened to test both Mugler Cologne and Creed OV last night, with one on each arm, and I think I can now safely say that I have no further interest in OV, which seemed flat and lifeless. *I still need to test Mugler Cologne more thoroughly before deciding whether or not I want to wear it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Floris Vetiver, and OV vs. Mugler.

    Thanks, I haven't had a chance to check out Gendarme yet.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Floris Vetiver, and OV vs. Mugler.

    Fantasic reviews, thanks Carlos. I have been sampling OV for a bit and have been narrowing in on the conclusion that there is something there that I like, but there much better vetivers out there. My interest in MC was sparked by it similarity to OV with less vetiver - I guess I'm hoping it retains the non-vetiver good stuff from OV. I'll have to determine that myself because I don't quite know how to describe just what it is I'm looking for.

    Rockford - I agree that Gendarme is a fantastic (and the original) anti-fragrance, but to me it is distinctly masculine. Perhaps I just need to smell a woman wearing it, or perhaps the marketing photos on the Gendarme website have convinced me - but I simply cannot see it as genderless. But hey - supposedly there are some women who wear BdP which makes my brain melt just trying to comprehend because BdP is pure manliness in a bottle. I guess its all in the nose of the smeller

  5. #5

    Default Re: Floris Vetiver, and OV vs. Mugler.

    Quote Originally Posted by FatTony
    I agree that Gendarme is a fantastic (and the original) anti-fragrance, but to me it is distinctly masculine. Perhaps I just need to smell a woman wearing it, or perhaps the marketing photos on the Gendarme website have convinced me - but I simply cannot see it as genderless.
    Just off the top of my head, there are three web sites that demonstrate, with the words of women themselves, the genderless nature of Gendarme and how many women like to wear it: (1) The Basenotes Female Fragrance Discussion Board, (2) The MakeupAlley Product Reviews for Gendarme, and (3) The Perfume of Life "Talk about Perfume" Forum. *Also, the fourth question and answer on the FAQ page at the Gendarme web site indicates that Gendarme is "for men or women". *A lot of women like to wear Gendarme, and I think it smells great on them. * *

  6. #6

    Default Re: Floris Vetiver, and OV vs. Mugler.

    I agree that Gendarme, like Mugler Cologne, is an inherently genderless (dare I say "neuter"?) anti-perfume. Both Gendarme and Mugler Cologne recall the sort of fragrances used in personal products whose smell is only incidental.

    I also agree with the characterization of Creed's Original Vetiver as quite similar to Mugler Cologne, but more full-fledged as a perfume. (I think it is mostly for this reason that I like OV better.)
    Do you smell what I smell? Vive le Crystal Flaçon!

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