Your three choices are all very good IMO but Chanel Sycamore for me is more special.
I can't decide! I have sampled a couple of vetivers recently, creed original and tom ford grey, and like them both. I also like gourmands, and if I am reading the reviews right, some of these vetivers have a sweet component to them. I will probably end up with more than one vetiver eventually, just don't know where to start. I am leaning toward the guerlain, as it is reasonably priced and sounds interesting. However the givenchy also sounds nice, as a dryer example (I imagine a bit closer to the Tom Ford interpretation).
What would you pick for your first, and why-- either one of the above or something else entirely? I know there are a ton of them, and they nearly all seem to get good reviews.
I probably need to start thinking decants, as I am starting to pile up the bottles at this point.
Your three choices are all very good IMO but Chanel Sycamore for me is more special.
It's a non contest. Chanel Sycamore for sure.
Guerlain Vetiver is the reference vetiver. If you've sampled Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver, then you'd already have a good idea of it. Guerlain Vetiver (in the recently discontinued ribbed bottle) is like that, but a bit more mature with a prominent tobacco note. The newest formulation in the Habit Rouge-style bottle is thinner and weaker, but drier, more austere, and closer to the original version, of which I have a bottle.
You said you dig sweet fragrances. Sycomore is anything but sweet. It's a dry, smoky, peppery vetiver without an ounce of sweetness in it. It's a quality fragrance, no doubt, but it can be challenging. If you've tried Terre d'Hermes, Sycomore is very similar to that. Another fragrance very similar to Sycomore is Encre Noire (Black Ink) by Lalique, which has less pepper.
Which leaves Givenchy's Vetyver, which *does* have some sweetness to it, but it's very rooty and earthy, with an almost carrot-like smell. I would try that one second or last. It's still a good fragrance that you may very well like.
They're all great fragrances; don't get me wrong. If you want a good sweet vetiver, however, go the extra step and get samples of Vetiver Oriental by Serge Lutens and Vetiver Pour Elle by Guerlain. Both of them, especially Pour Elle, are well worth the investment. Ignore the name on Pour Elle - it's a terrific masculine.
Last edited by Grottola; 21st January 2012 at 04:43 AM. Reason: #swag
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Ok, I may just go that way, then. The Sycamore certainly gets the most interesting and complimentary reviews. The best deal on it seems to be direct from Chanel.
All your choices are fantastic, but Sycamore stands out the most.
***My favourite from my collection***
-------- Amouage: Tribute Attar, Jubilation XXV, GoldMan
------ Serge Lutens: Chêne, Tubéreuse Criminell, Ambre Sultan
-------- Les Exclusifs de Chanel: Sycamore, Coromandel
------ Tom Ford Private Blend: Noir de Noir, Tobacco Vanille
------- Hermès: Terre D'Hermès Parfum, Ambre Narguilé
------ EDP Frederic Malle: Carnal Flower
-------- Neela Vermire Creations: Trayee
------ Parfum MDCI: Invasion Barbare
Thanks Grottola, those descriptions help a lot. I actually do like Terre d'Hermes. I am going to hunt for samples of the Vetiver Oriental and Pour Elle, they sound intriguing. Seems like I can't go wrong, here.
Are there any "bad" vetivers, that are particularly unpopular? I know some people don't like vetivers in general, but I have not come across a reviewed vetiver that even vetiver fans do not like.
Sycomore's by far my favorite, but these are all different enough that I don't think you'd really have to worry about overlap if you got bottles or decants of each.
It depends what kind of vetiver do you want. Wet? Dry? Sweet? Fresh?
From the three vetiver perfumes listed I would choose Guerlain Vetiver. It is very refreshing, it's great for summer. On me it projects very well and lasts 8+. Masterpiece!
I would choose ribbed bottle Guerlain vetiver since it's inexpensive, serious, manly, simple and smells nice. Not sweet though.
Guerlain Vetiver FTW
Guerlain Vetiver starts out VERY SHARP, which turns a lot of people away from it.
But give it 15-20 minutes and you start to feel the real heart of this frag.
I get 6-8 hours longevity from this - often hybrid it with Paco Rabanne Pour Homme !
Claus The Danish Viking
I'd go for Sycomore which is quite one of a kind. The Guerlain and Givenchy are both amazing but more sort of no-sorprise type of vetivers...
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Sycomore by Chanel - Upon application, one is treated to a stimulating wave of hesperidic notes, with their inherent tangerine, orange, bergamot and lemon flavors; aldehydes heigthen their sparkliness. Riding the crest of this citrus swell, haitian vetiver imparts its green and smoky facets. A faint anise bobs about. Carried to the waiting middle, fruity and shyly spicy pink pepper showers the airy and bitter vetiver, and is married with the fresh and clean woodiness of cypress, while a hint of sensual jasmine and haunting frankincense waft about. Transitioning to the welcoming base, creamy sandlewood, dry cedar and pine needle-like juniper encase the rooty vetiver, as delicate ylang-ylang lightly mists the lush and woodsy melange adding a trace of powder, and orris masterfully impregnates the concoction with its wet, earthy and slight violet-like facets. With a feebly sour and warm musk flickering, and a sweet and balsamic styrax adding a kiss of vanilla, an exquisite drydown ensues. This elegant composition befits a gentleman. A tasteful and refined, all-season fragrance, it has average projection and good longevity.
Encore Noire by Lalique - One is initially treated to a drenched, citrusy greenness, afforded by the haitian vetiver, which progresses to an earthiness somewhat akin to the saturated soil of a marsh littered with struggling greens. A warming greenness ensues, brought about by the bourbon vetiver. A duet of vetivers is consummated. From this green, damp and dirty duet, the bourbon vetiver overtakes with a burning, ember-like texture. In the distance, the cool crispness of cypress wood tantalizes, and the tempering heart beckons. Here, the spicy cypress wood stews lusciously with the wrestling vetivers, imparting a dry smokiness to the brew. Transitioning to the soothing base, a sweetness from the cashmere wood taints the subdued vetivers, and combines with a sensual musk to impart a wonderful, dry and animalic woodiness. This exquisite fragrance has a refined and complex uniqueness. A true gem, this high quality scent has good projection and very good longevity, and warrants your indulgence.
Guerlain...because it is classic..
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I love all of those. And they are all sufficiently different to justify buying all three. Perhaps the safest is the Givenchy, as the tobacco note in the Guerlain some find off-putting and the Sycomore is a pricey blind buy.
Sycamore wins - hands down
Sycomore is beautiful, rich, smooth, smoky, and sophisticated. Can't imagine it disappointing, unless you don't like vetiver. If you have a chance to get it, it's a must-purchase. Nobody will fault you for having this and the Guerlain, though.
My favorite vetivers are, in this order, Vetiver Extraordinaire (light, dry, cedary) and Sycomore (smoky woody). Neither has any sweetness. For that, there's Vetiver tonka; I dislike it, but sweet it is. Also Diptyque Vetyverio, light and with a touch of fruits; I use it at the gym because of its lightness.
The guerlain is good and not too expensive, so why not?
...make it Sycomore: the best Vetiver around...or Encre Noire which smells close to Sycomore...!
Don't forget Etro Vetiver. Very nice and affordable.
None, go for Encre Noire. Cheap and good as hell.
Ps: sycOmore or sycAmore?
Givenchy and Guerlain are completely different! Sample them before a purchase.
Guerlain: relies on vetiveryl acetate, a 'fresh' chemical derivative of the natural oil plus tobacco. An early fresh cologne.
Givenchy: nutty and bold as the natural oil, stuffiness even pronounced, some aldehydes added for lift? Delicious if You stand it.
Contemporary concoctions use massive doses of Iso E Super to give vetiver a light 'perfumey' aura, Kenzo - Air for instance. Same with Encre and the Ford thingy. Don't like them.
Hefty vetiver/patchouly burnt and smoky: Yosh - Sombre Negra, quite expensive and exclusive, though
CHANEL Sycomore but i would prefer LALIQUE Encre Noire
Have I told you about the scent of jasmine? Have I spoken about the smell of the sea? The earth is scented. And I perfume myself to enhance what I am. That's why I can not wear a perfume that bothers me. Perfuming is an instinctive wisdom. And like all art, it requires some knowledge of yourself..."
Clarice Lispector ( 1920-1977) - Perfumes da Terra / Earth Perfumes
Sycomore, if money is no object. Guerlain if it is. Can't go wrong either way, really.
'...And you'll carry me down on your dancing
To the pools that you lift on your wrist...'
How many people in here have honestly tried Givenchy Vetyver?
I really enjoy Original Vetiver by Creed and Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford, the others I have not tried.