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  1. #1

    Default Used to be a vetiver said something

    A vetiver scent should have bite. Edge. Snark. Sharp. Grass, sap, roots, nature. Guerlain, Goutal, R&G, Creed's 1948 version, L'Artisan, Fragonard even, Patyka Fougère, and Malle.

    Vetiver should smell like grass that has blades that might cut you if you fall on them wrong, like roots that are hard to get out of the soil and knarly with caked ugly dirt when you finally get them out. They should smell like those roots rubbed hard on sharp cheese grater plates too, or something like that. Old school harsh vetiver that in turn grates a little on the inside of your nose-buds.

    Seems like the trend in vetiver releases is a dull vetiver. Guerlain's Vetiver Extreme, Lanvin Vetyver, and Creed's Original Vetiver. They're all that damn, clean, no drips left on your glasses in the dishwasher vetiver. Nothing harsh. No fun.

    Both smell clean--Guerlain's Vetiver is harsh and fresh clean smelling, and the new releases are the essence of clean, no sweating, and well laundered clothing, but they have no harsh. I don't like the string of new ones and it's time to wonder if there's a trend in vetivers, and, dagnammit, another trend that shows the decline of the entire Western civilization all over again.
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    It also depends on what particular kind of vetiver is used in the composition.

    Indonesian vetiver is earthy, smoky and a bit woody.

    Indian vetiver is the indonesian vetiver on steroids - its the most earthy of them all.

    Sri Lankan vetiver is almost entirely woody .. no earthiness to be found here, it smells the least vetiver like.

    Haitian vetiver smells clean, green, slightly citrusy, with subtle shades of the typical earthy aroma. Its the most pleasing to smell by itself.

    As you mention, not all vetiver fragrances are created equal or smell the same. From what I know, Lanvin Vetiver and Original Vetiver use the haitian vetiver extract instead of the more earthy indian/indonesian variety - they intend to provide a refreshing interpretation of this classic note, and to me they largely succeed. Some even find Original Vetiver to be too "earthy"! When I am in the mood for some raw vetiver goodness, I simply grab a fragrance with a more earthy rendition of vetiver.

    Different vetiver ingredients, different blends ... theres a vetiver for everyone out there!
    Last edited by zztopp; 17th April 2007 at 08:00 AM. Reason: damn typos
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  3. #3

    Default random vetiver comments

    If you want *raw* powerful vetiver, try Lorenzo Villoresi's. It's elemental.

    I was testing Le Labo's vetiver over the weekend and it has the most insane longevity. Two sprays on the chest went about 30 hours. (Le Labos' is a mannerly vetiver, like Guerlain's)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Hi Chris,
    I have to agree with you on Lanvin and Creed's efforts.
    Azzaro's was a bit washed out too, but at least it had plenty of projection power.

    The only recent bitey one's I've come across are,
    Villoresi's - which has both bite and great lasting power,
    Etro's - which is as raw as it gets, but is only good for 3 or 4 hours, and
    Roccobarocco's - which is sort of between the previous two (but which someone said was dicontinued).

    Sad to see Creed playing it safe with their vetiver.
    Renato
    Last edited by Renato; 17th April 2007 at 03:22 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Interesting comments.

    Back when I started this whole scent thing, I bought Vetiver Tonka by Hermes (Hermessence series) and I thought I knew what vetiver smelled like (VT falls into the 'vetriver-light' category). VT is a great warm comfort scent that I love, but its strength is NOT its vetiver.

    Fast forward to Basenotes - everyone raving about Guerlain Vetiver, Creed Vetiver, etc...So, two weeks ago wandeing around Sephora (smellin the new stuff) I spotted Guerlain Vetiver at the bottom of the mens fragrance rack and decided to sniff what all the fuss was about. WOW - smoky, charred & burnt leaves and that thing that happens with certain scents where the notes literally are hovering on top of your skin, almost in middair. That night I tested around 5 scents (including Fleur de Male, the orange blossom nuclear warhead) and Guerlain was what lastest the longest (no lie).

    Vetiver Tonka = Ambient lounge music
    Guerlain Vetiver = Punk Rock


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Carlo Corinto Vetyver
    Vetiver Extraordinaire
    Mazzolari's
    Santa Maria Novella's (closest to vetiver essential oil)
    Villoresi's
    Floris's
    L'Artisan's
    Comme des Garcons Vettiveru

    MPG's Route du Vetiver that has always been consistently satisfying.
    Last edited by pluran; 16th May 2007 at 01:31 AM. Reason: Lucid

  7. #7

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    A vetiver scent should have bite. Edge. Snark. Sharp. Grass, sap, roots, nature. Guerlain, Goutal, R&G, Creed's 1948 version, L'Artisan, Fragonard even, Patyka Fougère, and Malle.

    Vetiver should smell like grass that has blades that might cut you if you fall on them wrong, like roots that are hard to get out of the soil and knarly with caked ugly dirt when you finally get them out. They should smell like those roots rubbed hard on sharp cheese grater plates too, or something like that. Old school harsh vetiver that in turn grates a little on the inside of your nose-buds.

    Seems like the trend in vetiver releases is a dull vetiver. Guerlain's Vetiver Extreme, Lanvin Vetyver, and Creed's Original Vetiver. They're all that damn, clean, no drips left on your glasses in the dishwasher vetiver. Nothing harsh. No fun.

    Both smell clean--Guerlain's Vetiver is harsh and fresh clean smelling, and the new releases are the essence of clean, no sweating, and well laundered clothing, but they have no harsh. I don't like the string of new ones and it's time to wonder if there's a trend in vetivers, and, dagnammit, another trend that shows the decline of the entire Western civilization all over again.
    --Chris
    Excellent, provocative post Chris. What follows is a review of Lanvin Vetyver; it is also my position on vetiver fragrances and, hence, a reponse to your prompt in the above post:

    When we discover Guerlain's Vetiver, or L’Artisan's Vetiver, or Mazzolari Vetiver, etc., to take but a few examples, our first thought is “Ah ha! The potentially perfect vetiver fragrance”, and then, of course, most of the time we’re disappointed because another vetiver fragrance doesn’t smell exactly like the pure vetiver we imagine it should smell like or even like the vetiver note we like in one particular vetiver fragrance over another. If all of these houses wanted their vetiver fragrances to smell like pure vetiver oil, they could easily achieve this effect. They would simply find a supplier, standardize the vetiver oil product, very easy to do in the case of vetiver, and then rename their product Guerlain’s Pure and True Vetiver Oil, or L’Artisan’s Pure and True Vetiver Oil, or Mazzolari’s Pure and True Vetiver Oil, but even then, not all these vetivers would all smell the same, because it would depend on how the vetiver was standardized and what elements of its scent profile a company chose to emphasize over the other, telluric over fresh, grassy over rooty, etc. But they don’t all smell the same because fragrance houses are not in the business of producing and bottling essential oils. They’re fragrance houses, and as such vetiver, frequently functions as a idea, a concept, a possibility, a starting point for the art of creating perfumes/colognes, which are after all blends and, because, again, as we know, perfumery is not simply the distillation, mixing, and bottling of essential oils. If one doesn’t grasp this concept, one will be perennially disappointed at the next release of yet another vetiver fragrance because none of them will smell like its imagined ideal essential oil namesake or even like your favorite vetiver fragrance. Some vetiver namesake releases will have a more tangential relationship to the essential oil, which is the inspiration or the base behind the fragrance, and some will have a more direct relationship, but, all in all, they will not be carbon copies of natural essential oils or of the one particular vetiver blend you’re used to in some other fragrance house's vetiver invention.

    And so we arrive at the defensible concept behind Lanvin Vetyver. Certainly it is a fragrance one has to apply liberally. I know there are many people who feel they shouldn't have to do such a thing, but that's just the nature of the juice. It’s a simple formula made up of only 14 different ingredients, 10 of which are raw; even the alcohol is natural. In some ways, I would imagine its constitution is very close to niche fragrances, and I dare say that if it were released by say L’Artisan Parfumeur more people would be willing to give it a fairer hearing/wearing than it gets. In the case of Lanvin Vetyver, I think the perfumer has chosen, in this instance, I think purposefully, to make it an understated scent with ingredients that don't project much. Yes, that’s a legitimate concept behind fragrance creation. If one doesn't have a preference for such fragrances, that doesn’t automatically disqualify them for others. Heavy spraying will bring out the reticent vetiver note significantly but only in the basenote accord, but I don't consider this a negative because I have always accepted that with this one the vetiver will always be in the background and integrated with the other elements of the fragrance. It’s absurd to claim there’s no vetiver in this one; it’s there all right, but it is very purposefully blended with the other elements so as not to be prominent. It's not supposed to be prominent, despite it’s name. It is important to remember that vetiver is considered an almost universal blender when it comes to fragrances. Even in Vétiver Extraordinaire, which has one of the highest proportions of vetiver found in any fragrance, I believe, vetiver still only forms 25% of the perfume formula. If one stays attuned to the reticent quality of the vetiver in Lanvin Vetyver and one carries the fragrance around with one all day, a benefit of liberal application, at certain times one will catch intimations of the vetiver note that are very satisfying and really quite beautiful, but, of course, in a very understated and blended way. This is the notion, as I see it, of the vetiver in Lanvin Vetyver. For me, it's a valid notion, and it's worth the liberal spraying and the price of a bottle, which is very reasonable. Whether the fragrance is justified in being called Lanvin Vetyver is another question. It does set up false expectations and potential disappointment for those who like their vetiver strong and edgy.

    Finally--and using an extended metaphor for illustration--there are some of us who prefer the substantial flavors of say Indian cuisine, the flavors of a rich vindaloo curry say, for example, and there are some of us who prefer the subtlety of Japanese food, which hardly ever strays away from the ethos that understatement is the basis of much intensity, if one, of course, is predisposed to finer and finer discriminations as the Japanese certainly are. Then there are some of us who prefer the middle way of Asian flavors, say as developed in Vietnamese cuisine or certain dishes in Thai cuisine or ever in authentic Chinese cuisine. Then there are some of us that like all variations, subtle and not so subtle. I don't see that it's any different with vetiver fragrances. I would urge a little caution when someone is denigrating other vetivers because of one’s preference for one modulation of a vetiver fragrance over another. One might just be showing their particular preference, which is all well and fine but that does mean the world of enjoyment for others stops there. Oh, BTW, Lanvin Vetyver makes for a great office scent or for when you're sitting in close proximity to other people and don't what to overwhelm them with your fragrance. It's one of my "committee meeting" fragrances. This is a practical justification of why fragrances like Lanvin Vetyver exist, but, I like to think, not the only one.

    scentemental

    Last edited by scentemental; 17th April 2007 at 07:32 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    What do all of you think of L'Occitane's Vetyver? I'm not very experienced in Vetivers, but my newbite assensement was that although it was loud and strong, and I really loved the overwhelmingly predominant note, it felt like it was really missing something, like more notes! If I had my own bottle I'd be fooling around with layering it. In general I tend to feel that way about many Occitane scents: Very pleasant, but too simple, easy to tire of, not something to discover different aspects of with time.

    I noticed it got great reviews on this site, and thus I'm wondering how it compares to the others you're discussing?
    Last edited by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR; 17th April 2007 at 07:34 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    I see with the boards upgrade there's a feature called "add to favorites" that appears in each post. After reading scentemental's post above this one I now know what it's for.
    --------------------------------------
    Guy could be Basenotes answer to Chandler Burr which would mean very many parrellel universes have folded in on themselves but there was a 10 x 10 to the 28th power — chance of this happening anyway so let me say Bravo.
    good review.

    And thank you Chris for pointing to some Vetivers I need to sample soon.
    Last edited by fredricktoo; 17th April 2007 at 07:58 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  10. #10

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    I peeked at this post this morning and it inspired me to wear my Vetiver Extraordinaire today.

    Let me tell you, VE says something: MAN!!

    oh and I believe it is saying something else... CLASS!!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something


    Very kind words fredricktoo. Thank you.

    GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR,

    With regard to your query and as another way of illustrating my point that there can be more to vetiver fragrances than just the vetiver, I would just like note the following:

    I admire the vintage version of L’Occitane Vétyver very much.

    Yes there is, already, a vintage version and a re-formulated version.

    The vintage version is a smooth, medium-bodied, low to medium intensity vetiver-based fragrance in which the vetiver is blended with bergamot, rosemary, cypress, and nutmeg, among other things, to produce a very tight mostly linear accord that’s cozy, inviting, and quite sophisticated. The vetiver accord generates an enveloping warmth that at times in its fullness approximate a rich, resinous, sandalwood kind of note. Too my nose, it's a very versatile and very beautiful scent.

    It sounds like you have tried the newer release, which definitely has something missing. Read on:

    Here's how I understand the differences between the original vintage formulation and the newer, reformulated version of L'Occcitane's Vetyver:

    About a year ago, I visited the newly opened L'Occitane store in my neighborhood, and I tried the supposedly rereleased-in-new packaging but still the same old Vetyver. The sales assistant assured me that the company assured her that the juice was the same, just the packaging had changed. Since I am not in the habit of trusting companies, especially fragrance companies, I tried it for myself.

    It's definitely not the same juice, and I didn't have the heart to tell the sales assistant because she was so nice, so pretty, so innocent, and so sincere, and she sooooo believed in the company and what it told her.

    How is it different? First off, it's a lot more citrusy in the opening. They've taken out the nutmeg, which gave the original a certain roundness and texture and the vetyver is now a lot more muted, almost non-existent. Gone also is that resinous sandalwood type note of the original, which really was a sum of all the original formulation’s parts. They whole fragrance is flatter, and most of the removed ingredients have been replaced with a one dimensional flat cedar note. This is probably the version that you tried and found lacking a certain something, and the one dimensional flat cedar note is more than likely "the overwhelmingly predominant note" that you liked, which, despite all I have said, l like too.

    Anyone who has ever tried L'Occitane’s Vetyver soap, will know exactly what cedar note I am talking about. And as luck would have it, right before I had tried the newer formulation, I was bemoaning the fact that L'Occitane hadn’t brought out a fragrance based on this flat cedar note found in the Vetyver soap. Well, it seems like they have, and it's the newly reformulated Vetyver.

    I am happy because I had originally purchased plenty of vintage L'Occitane Vetyver. I now have the best of both worlds, but I will say that I am really glad I got the, what is now, vintage stuff when it was going relatively cheap and was readily available. It's clearly superior to the reformulated version.

    I hope this helps.

    Best regards,

    scentemental

    Last edited by scentemental; 17th April 2007 at 10:18 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Hey Chris -

    Try the relaunched version of Carven's Vetiver. You will be pleasantly surprised as it is strong and manly and sharp. Finally a company has returned a classic to its original formula (I think) and the results are outstanding.
    Also you should give the new Lalique Encre Noir a try. It is smoother and more refined than the Carven but it is an delicious turn on the vetiver theme.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    I agree Tony, FM's VE is pretty intense stuff. It's kinda like the "Iron John" of Vetivers. Although I've become a bit of a Vetiverophile of late, and more often than not I go for the Guerlain. I like the "punk rock" estimation of it. Not to sound like a cheapskate, but I paid $35 for the Guerlain and $135 for the VE. Even as I say that, though, I think to myself that I would definitely shell it out again.

    I have the l'Occitaine Vetiver, and it works well. Their scents always stay on me a rather long time, but for some reason it's just, I dunno, kind of boring maybe? It's not bad, just not as compelling as the Guerlain nor the Frederic Malle. L'O has a nice warmth to it and definitely isn't a sissy Vetiver blend. There's hair on its chest.

    Some reviewers in the directory talk about Guerlain's Vetiver as being inferior to the previous incarnation. What do people think about that? I'd never encountered that blend, and I'm curious to hear an update in this Vetiver link.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    I must say that I enjoy these high-quality, very informative post...Keep up the good work guys.....

    Live Your Life,

    Otto

  15. #15

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Thanks Scentimental - I guess it may be that Vetiver Cedar combo that predominates - I'm not familliar enough with Cedar to know. Like Oaksbluff says - the new formulation is boring somehow, as are many of their scents!

    Hmm - now I'm thinking which vetiver fragrance should I consider for myself... I tried Creed's Original Vetiver today, and it was quite nice, but I can imagine better. Maybe I'll go with Guerlain because of the price!
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    I still like my CdG Vettiveru, dammit.

    TNMA
    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
    -- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)

  17. #17

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Great thread!

    Funnily enough, yesterday, I tried out all the L’Occitane fragrances (again) and felt pretty much the same (i.e. they were missing something or lacked enough substance to justify getting a full bottle).

    I also recently tried Guerlain Vetiver and found it to be a refreshing take on vetiver (albeit a bit soapy for my liking), although my favourite is still VE.

  18. #18

    Talking Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    I´m happy with Creed Original Vetiver (it´s light fresh, citrus, cut grass) :-)

  19. #19

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    I for one decry the blanding of fragrances including veitver. My fav is Lorenzo Villoresi for that raw, minerally element that stays just this side of being too earthy. VE is very good too, I like that little extra edge I get from LV.

    Joe

  20. #20

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Hell. I was going to suggest a vetiver scent for you to try that you might like (it's definitely a biting, aggressive vetiver) but I see you're in the UK and I don't think Sue can ship overseas.

    http://www.saintcharlesshave.com/products.htm

    Her "Very V" EdT is surprisingly good, and tough to beat for the price. Seriously, give it a sniff and you probably wouldn't think it was only $9 for 100mL. I'll admit though, when first sprayed it is almost a nasal assault - it calms down a bit after 5 or 10 minutes, and I actually quite like it after that. Oh, Sue's shaving products are all first-rate, too.
    - E.J.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Oooh, I like $9 for 100ml! I'm in Canada, not the UK, but she still doesn't ship here though, so too bad for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneGuy View Post
    Hell. I was going to suggest a vetiver scent for you to try that you might like (it's definitely a biting, aggressive vetiver) but I see you're in the UK and I don't think Sue can ship overseas.

    http://www.saintcharlesshave.com/products.htm

    Her "Very V" EdT is surprisingly good, and tough to beat for the price. Seriously, give it a sniff and you probably wouldn't think it was only $9 for 100mL. I'll admit though, when first sprayed it is almost a nasal assault - it calms down a bit after 5 or 10 minutes, and I actually quite like it after that. Oh, Sue's shaving products are all first-rate, too.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneGuy View Post
    Hell. I was going to suggest a vetiver scent for you to try that you might like (it's definitely a biting, aggressive vetiver) but I see you're in the UK and I don't think Sue can ship overseas.

    http://www.saintcharlesshave.com/products.htm

    Her "Very V" EdT is surprisingly good, and tough to beat for the price. Seriously, give it a sniff and you probably wouldn't think it was only $9 for 100mL. I'll admit though, when first sprayed it is almost a nasal assault - it calms down a bit after 5 or 10 minutes, and I actually quite like it after that. Oh, Sue's shaving products are all first-rate, too.
    this all seems too good to be true! I'm willing to give a go to a few of these scents. For that price? I don't think I've bought anything in the last month that was nine dollars, let alone 100ml of Vetiver.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    As a side note - I have no connection to that website or its owner/operator. I just thought I'd pass along a source that you guys might not be familiar with. Sue, the owner, posts over at badgerandblade.com and the guys over there really like her products.
    - E.J.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Quote Originally Posted by FatTony View Post
    I peeked at this post this morning and it inspired me to wear my Vetiver Extraordinaire today.

    Let me tell you, VE says something: MAN!!

    oh and I believe it is saying something else... CLASS!!
    Lol I did the same thing right before getting to your post! What a great thread...THIS is what Basenotes is about baby! VE really is awesome. I've had mixed but overall positive feelings towards Guerlain in the past, so I'm excited to give it another test run when I get home from school.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    good thoughts on Vetiver i think it is a great fragrance on men and women on a hot day it actually brings the body temperature down- lately i am loving Hermes Vetiver.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Oh boy, I just got a nice bottle of Guerlain influenced by this thread. Unbelievable. It's subtle and light but lasts forever, it's clean but at the same time smokey and grassy. Everytime you breathe it in you notice a differnt aspect of it and pause to think about what you're smelling.

    And I swear I can smell jasmine in there somehow.

    To me it's a relative of Equipage actually though Equipage has much less vetiver.

    I don't really feel the need to rush out any try all the other vetivers after this - this one is enough to contemplate for a long time.

    I'm quite shocked at all the bad reviws it's gotten on basenotes. I can see how the tobacco/citrus/soap/etiver opening might be a little off putting, but after that it's just marvelous. Perfect for spring and summer certainly. Maybe too light for winter, but we'll have to wait and see.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    "I'm quite shocked at all the bad reviws it's gotten on basenotes. I can see how the tobacco/citrus/soap/etiver opening might be a little off putting, but after that it's just marvelous. Perfect for spring and summer certainly. Maybe too light for winter, but we'll have to wait and see."

    I have found that the Guerlain's Vetiver is perfect for just about any situation. It is cooling in the summer and warming in the winter. It has body and presence but is discreet. Many have complained about a change in the formula but I think is pretty much the same as it has been since the mid-Sixties. The first formulation I saw was before that and was a rounded flask covered in dark green rubber. If I remember correctly, this was much stronger and more bitter than the current version. But then, again, my memory may simply be faulty....
    Last edited by opalsdad; 8th May 2007 at 11:45 PM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    is Guerlain's Vetiver Extreme making any waves? They want 74 dollars for 3.3oz

  29. #29

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Quote Originally Posted by thenmarcher View Post
    I still like my CdG Vettiveru, dammit.

    TNMA
    Agreed. This is probably my favorite vetiver thus far...but I haven't had the opportunity to try some of the more "edgy" ones that people keep taking about.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  30. #30

    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Hey, are any of you familliar with Equipage? When I first tried Guerlain's Vetiver, I immediately felt like it was a relative of Equipage even though they're quite different. It seems that Equipage has vetiver at the base, and to my nose it's one of the main notes. Is Equipage considered a "vetiver" fragrance? How would it be classified, and why?
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneGuy View Post
    As a side note - I have no connection to that website or its owner/operator. I just thought I'd pass along a source that you guys might not be familiar with. Sue, the owner, posts over at badgerandblade.com and the guys over there really like her products.
    If it's good enough for the folks over at badgerandblade.com it's good enough for me. Hell knock back some Rolling Rocks and swap bear story's here in Jersey. Mountain Lion sighting in the Ramapo mountains.... figures . I'd love to see the Mountain lions re-establish themselves. Bears are having a ball here even with the hunting. (yea charlie... gonna build us a place right up there in Ringwood.... patio overlooking the meadow..... put the grill......Charlie?)

  32. #32

    Wink Re: Used to be a vetiver said something

    I like the Haitian vetiver in OV Creed...i´m a young man...i don´t like to strong and classy...if you wear everyday a suit, than it´s ok!

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