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  1. #1

    Talking Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Okay,

    It all started when I was flirting with my bottle of vintage Mitsouko pre-1990's when I discovered something quite astonishing. Vintage Vetiver fans will swear that the opening of the new version of Vetiver somehow lacks that deep, dark aroma of damp wood present in the vintage version. I noticed that my vintage bottle of Mitsouko carried just this very element. I was convinced that the original version of Vetiver in fact contained oakmoss. I ordered a bottle of oakmoss absolute(evernia prunastri) from France and did a little experiment. Perhaps inspired when Jacques Guerlain poured vanillin into to bottle of Jicky to create Shalimar, I poured oakmoss absolute into my almost full bottle of Vetiver(new version). The result was what I suspected all along. To say it smells 'similar' to the old version is an understatement. The result WAS the old version. This is probably why they re-marketed Vetiver as they could no longer use Oakmoss. I could now use this with all may favourite classics. MdM, Heritage, Eau de Guerlain. BTW, also added the absolute to new Mitsouko and it works wonderfully!
    To those who want to do this, make sure you get pure oakmoss absolute, no blends. Evernia Prunastri comes in a thick, sticky greenish-brown syrup so make sure you get the right stuff. It goes without saying that you will need a 125ml splash bottle to pour it into. I recall not using more than 5ml of absolute to get the desired outcome. I had a bottle of vintage vetiver I could compare it to. That also helps. Otherwise, just get on ebay and buy a bottle of the old stuff. It's much easier but minus the fun.

    Cheers!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    I found very difficult to manage the thick paste of oakmoss abs, but nevertheless I`ll try that. Just for fun, as I got old and new versions of Vetiver Guerlain.

    Please, give me a link on French absolute - as I got Bulgarian absolute.
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Try Lubin's "Le Vetyver". It smells just like the old Guerlain Vetiver.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    No, it doesn't!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Many claim that the old Vetiver smells more "resinous" but to my knowledge it didn't contain oak moss. It's marked as "woody, spicy", not a chypre ...?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Actually , Guerlain Vetiver has been classified by many as chypre, leather, woody. While this might sound odd at first, there is definately an element of leather in the original basenote.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    A couple of us also came to the conclusion that the reformulation was mostly to compensate for the lowering of the oakmoss content in this thread:

    http://community.basenotes.net/showt...ver+comparison

    Been meaning to re-do the comparison but never got around to it.
    Last edited by hirch_duckfinder; 11th January 2009 at 11:38 AM.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

    reviews

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Thanks for the link. After reading it, I found it quite interesting that member 'scentual' also experienced that leathery note in vintage vetiver. I have no doubt in my mind that oakmoss is the missing ingredient in modern Vetiver. Could this also account for the fact that vintage vetiver used to turn a dark greeny-brown after some years? The breakdown of the oakmoss resin? Why doesn't the new version do this?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Thanks, sumandre! This is what I have been wondering for some time! Is it possible, in some cases anyway, to come up with a reasonable approximation of a vintage formula by the judicious addition of now-restricted materials such as oakmoss? I wd be very grateful if others wd comment on their own similar experiments. Anyone else tried this? What other frags might be good candidates for this kind of attempt?
    Mr. Guerlain, if your nose tells you that it's not oakmoss that's missing from the newer formulas of Vetiver, what do you suppose it is? And does it seem plausible that, if proportions cd be determined accurately, the "missing" element cd be added back? I put "missing" in quotes because I know that for you and for some others, the various versions of of Vetiver stand as more or less separate works.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    In my opinion, Scentdirect is one of the better resources for fragrance pyramids.

    This is their note structure for Guerlain Vetiver:
    Top notes; Bergamot oil, Coriander, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli,
    Middle notes: Carnation, Clary Sage oil, Orris, Sandal, Vetiver,
    Base notes: Amber, Civet, Leather, Myrrh, Oakmoss, Oilbanum,
    Last edited by TwoRoads; 11th January 2009 at 03:05 PM.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  11. #11
    smeller
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    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    So it could be that some reformulations post-oakmoss regulations are simply the vintage version minus the oakmoss? Puzzling. And makes sense to the industry mind, so the fragrance divisions would not have to spend their time trying to "rework the masterpieces": just take this thing out, and if it smells ok, put on sale again.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    I don't mean to suggest that reformulation is as simple as taking restricted materials out. Oakmoss has both an essential place in the fragrance structure and acts as a fixative, right? I'm nearly sure that other elements of the formula are changed to shore up these gaps when something is eliminated. Which would make the proposition of merely adding oakmoss back pretty problematic. I don't mean to suggest that you could restore a fragrance by merely adding oakmoss, only that you could perhaps add the suggestion of a missing dimension. But I'm neither a chemist nor a nose.
    Last edited by Strollyourlobster; 11th January 2009 at 07:45 PM.

  13. #13
    smeller
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    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    In an old thread, Pluran suggests something alike: this reformulation would be just a substitution of oakmoss for treemoss.
    Last edited by smeller; 11th January 2009 at 04:46 PM.

  14. #14
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Very interesting.

    So:

    New Vetiver + oakmoss absolute = Vintage Vetiver ?

    I thought the new vetiver had enhanced citrus notes and attenuated tobacco...or is that the side effect of altering oakmoss in the composition?
    -

  15. #15
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoRoads View Post
    In my opinion, Scentdirect is one of the better resources for fragrance pyramids.

    This is their note structure for Guerlain Vetiver:
    Top notes; Bergamot oil, Coriander, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli,
    Middle notes: Carnation, Clary Sage oil, Orris, Sandal, Vetiver,
    Base notes: Amber, Civet, Leather, Myrrh, Oakmoss, Oilbanum,
    That looks like a very ambitious pyramid! Civet? Leather? Incense? No tobacco?
    -

  16. #16

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    That looks like a very ambitious pyramid! Civet? Leather? Incense? No tobacco?
    Okay, if not scentdirect's how about osmoz's pyramid:

    top notes: Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Coriander
    heart notes: Vetiver, Clary Sage, Carnation, Sandal
    base notes: Moss, Myrrh, Leather, Civet

    (BTW, I smell tobacco as well.)
    Last edited by TwoRoads; 11th January 2009 at 05:34 PM.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoRoads View Post
    Okay, if not scentdirect's how about osmoz's pyramid:

    top notes: Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Coriander
    heart notes: Vetiver, Clary Sage, Carnation, Sandal
    base notes: Moss, Myrrh, Leather, Civet

    (BTW, I smell tobacco as well.)
    This is from Guerlain.com :

    head notes : orange, bergamot, lemon
    heart notes : pepper, nutmeg
    base notes : vetiver, tobacco, tonka bean
    Last edited by zztopp; 11th January 2009 at 05:38 PM.
    -

  18. #18

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    This is from Guerlain.com :

    head notes : orange, bergamot, lemon
    heart notes : pepper, nutmeg
    base notes : vetiver, tobacco, tonka bean
    And, you would have me take the word of the actual producer of the fragrance over some third-party resource?

    What is the world coming too!
    Last edited by TwoRoads; 11th January 2009 at 05:46 PM.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  19. #19

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    The pyramids on the Guerlain site are very sparse. Pyramids in general are not accurate and these are definitely innacurate by ommision if you look at a few of the fragrances.
    There would definitely have to be reformulation if some oakmoss was removed. Sometimes (it seems to have happened quite frequently) this could be done by substitution with treemoss and sometimes it would be different involving many factors.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

    reviews

  20. #20

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoRoads View Post
    In my opinion, Scentdirect is one of the better resources for fragrance pyramids.

    This is their note structure for Guerlain Vetiver:
    Top notes; Bergamot oil, Coriander, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli,
    Middle notes: Carnation, Clary Sage oil, Orris, Sandal, Vetiver,
    Base notes: Amber, Civet, Leather, Myrrh, Oakmoss, Oilbanum,
    It would appear as though the above fragrance pyramid would be for the vintage formulation. (?)

    Although on the surface the two formulation bare a clear resemblance to one another and they are 'officially' the same fragrance, that difference in the middle and base is both noticeably subtle and significant - so much so that I consider them to be, in reality, two different fragrances. (And I'd give the vintage at least one more star over the newer version.)

    It was interesting to read that Guerlain Vetiver has been classified as a "chypre, leather, woody". When I first started noticing that 'slightly animalic / leathery' aspect to the vintage version, I was surprised as I was not expecting it in a "vetiver". The current GV is marketed as a "Fresh and woody, restrained and authentic,..."

    I have wondered, or have I read somewhere (), whether GV has / had oakmoss. So it is fascinating, for sure, that adding oakmoss can restore some of the original composition. It would make sense. Perhaps it needs a touch a leather too???

  21. #21

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    I'd be v grateful if someone mail me information on where to buy oakmoss absolute.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    I have to agree with HD that fragrance pyramids are a very basic guide. Perfumers do not like revealing all their secrets and I think it also creates an element of mystery in the scent. Also, a combination of ingredients are commonly used to 'manufacture' the desired fragrance. For example, pure carnation is rarely used in modern perfumery as it is expensive. Rather, a combination of clove oil, rose and ylang ylang is used as a subsitute to create the scent of carnation. I hear it is also the case for gardenia, ambergris and leather. Tag along the myriad of chemicals only a chemist of perfumer will have any idea of, I find it almost impossible for any perfume to consist of no less than say 10 ingredients, apart from maybe the most basic of classic colognes.
    Going back to Vetiver, there is an iris note in there somewhere and a leathery/tar basenote. There is also iris in JPG's Le Male(not listed) and Habit Rouge(also not listed), which gives them that powdery middle note.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    i agree that something is missing in the current formualtion, or maybe it would be more accurate to say that is has been strongly attenuated (if you try to "overlay" i mean if you spray your shirt today with the current juice and you do it again tomorrow you get something quite close to the original formula)
    the 80's formula had notes in its drydown that were more sweet and floral and also notes that reminded something resinous (was it oakmoss ? hard to tell as the ingredients were not listed on the boxes at this time) and a note i would call "tar" (as noted by Sumandre)
    but it seems difficult to imagine that a only ingredient is missing; i suppose the reformulation needed to be more profound to keep such a perfect balance
    please Guerlain release a vintage edition of your Vetiver !!!

  24. #24

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    I've been using Guerlain Vetiver for almost 15 years now, so I've been experiencing the different formulas. G. Vetiver has changed a lot since the 90s but I find the latest formula is missing something. It is so different that it's almos unrecognizable from the vintage version. Shame on Guerlain and EU regulations
    As I don't find any vintage Vetiver to buy here I was thinking on following sumandre's suggestion. I'll try to mix oakmoss abs to the new Vetiver and see what I get.
    I need to buy oakmoss absolute, fortunately I've found some in ebay.
    Can you please tell us the exact proportions of oakmoss abs and Vetiver juice?
    Is it 5ml to 125ml? J'ai besoin d'une recette precise!
    thanks for your post!
    Amicalement!


    Quote Originally Posted by sumandre View Post
    To those who want to do this, make sure you get pure oakmoss absolute, no blends. Evernia Prunastri comes in a thick, sticky greenish-brown syrup so make sure you get the right stuff. It goes without saying that you will need a 125ml splash bottle to pour it into. I recall not using more than 5ml of absolute to get the desired outcome. I had a bottle of vintage vetiver I could compare it to. That also helps. Otherwise, just get on ebay and buy a bottle of the old stuff. It's much easier but minus the fun.

    Cheers!

  25. #25

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    What does the old Guerlain Vetiver bottle look like? I just recently bought one from Dillard's, so I guess I got the newer version then?

  26. #26

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    You guys just gave me an idea! I can't really say that I like the new Guerlain Vetiver. But I just did some layering with The One (I love vanilla fragrance), and the combination was absolutely amazing. By itself, Guerlain Vetiver to me, is nothing like I had before. It is a very interesting scent, but a little too grassy and spicy for me. But this layering effect was more than pleasing. Wow !!!!

  27. #27

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    80s - 90s: The best one (that I know of)


    End of 90s : Still good


    2000: Big change! Less quality


    2007 - Current: Why did they have to do this!!???

    *The bottle appears empty. The juice has darker green color than previous one.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    Thank you, Ret.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    To add to the conversation -- or just to the confusion -- I am looking at a Copyright 1999 bottle of Vetiver that I bought at Perfumania a few weeks ago. It looks like Ret's bottle labeled "2000." The ingredients on the box include Evernia Furfuracea.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Fans of original Guerlain Vetiver must-read

    THANK YOU! I recently bought a vintage bottle of Vetiver and the oakmoss presence was crystal clear. I thought I was crazy since I've never seen moss in the pyramid for this fragrance.

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