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  1. #1

    Default What about vetiver oil?

    In the posting of Apr10/10 Neal lamented the rising cost of F. Malle perfumes, in particular the Vetiver Extraordinaire. The thread was resurrected yesterday, and I commented that 2010 was the good ole days, compared to the prices of Malle perfumes now. Fellow basenoter Trebor suggested that vetiver essential oil "is significantly cheaper, more potent and just as complex to wear".

    I don't like to think of myself as one of "the deluded perfumistas or naive housemaids" referred to, so I set about to explore the subject of vetiver essential oil. Wickipedia, Ebay, and numerous perfume sites have yielded some information about this product (as well as a vastly divergent price range). In the perfume guide Turin states that vetiver is one of a very few scents that have never been satisfactorily synthesized.

    Wikipedia indicates that the oil is distilled from the root, and that vetiver is cultivated on a large scale principally in India, Haiti, Java and Reunion. Oil from Haiti and Reunion is sweeter than the smokier oil from Java, while the wild varietal of India, known as Khus, produces a superior oil.

    So to my question: does any of the Basenote community have any comments, opinions or experiences to share about Vetiver essential oil in general, or in the particular case of Vetiver Extraordinaire(F. Malle) versus vetiver essential oil? On a personal note, I think Vetiver Extraordinaire is worth every penny.
    Last edited by Roper-Hall; 31st December 2012 at 10:18 PM.

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    Don't have any idea how the oil is priced, but $255 for 100ml is worth the investment IMO if one really likes the Malle as I do.

  3. #3
    Dependent
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    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    I like the sweet-grassy stuff from Haiti. Most commercial vetivers have considerably better longevity than pure oil (about 3 hours?), since they are mixed with fixatives like musks and Iso E.

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    I like the sweet-grassy stuff from Haiti. Most commercial vetivers have considerably better longevity than pure oil (about 3 hours?), since they are mixed with fixatives like musks and Iso E.
    Yep, I agree with this. It is of course very easy to acquire all the ingredients above at low cost and together with alcohol (unfortunately much more difficult to obtain) you could make a superb vetiver scent quite easily.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    Thanks so much WillC. I will try to obtain some of that bourbon vetiver oil from Aqua-oleum; at roughly $35 plus shipping, that seems to be a great deal compared to some of the prices I have paid for vetiver scented perfumes. My skin is oily, so I only hope that adding oil doesn't revive the problems of my youth.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    Bought mine from Aqua Oleum a few years ago based on a thread here. It is thick earthy,smoky everlasting and beautiful. Vetiver by Guerlain is my favourite scent and this oil has been guarded as much as the Guerlain.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    Haven't tried nor owned ant brand-name vetiver oil, but, as a somewhat off-topic remark, even the non-branded vetiver oil retailing in fair trade/health/bio-farm etc. stores is already an entirely different and surprisingly fulfilling experience.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    Another happy user of Aqua Oleum Reunion bourbon vetiver oil. I prefer it to the Khus-type ones - I just like the sweeter, woodier, smokier, more lower register vibe of the bourbon to the herbacious diffusive greenness of a typical Khus, although admittedly, those are nice too especially when worn in really hot and humid weather.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    You should try contacting fellow B'noter and friend Trebor who is very knowlegeable about vetiver and has created a forum dedicated to it:
    http://www.basenotes.net/group.php?groupid=92

    Have to say that after being introduced to the oils, I don't think I will ever need to buy another perfume containing it., I absolutely love them.The oils are tenacious, complex, powerful and a little seems to go a long way. Very regional like oudhs and each region produces oils with different characteristics and seems to produce different facets as time goes by.
    Last edited by sultanpasha; 31st December 2012 at 10:22 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    Thanks Sultanpasha, it was Trebor that spurred me to this quest for knowledge. I will have a peak at the vetiver group postings. I am sure there is a treasure trove of info contained therein.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    Ooh, interesting. Any other suggestions or comments on currently available oils aside from that of Aqua Oleum?

  13. #13
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    ...after being introduced to the oils, I don't think I will ever need to buy another perfume containing it., I absolutely love them.The oils are tenacious, complex, powerful and a little seems to go a long way. Very regional like oudhs and each region produces oils with different characteristics and seems to produce different facets as time goes by.
    All true.

    Those who have not had a chance to try the pure juice are missing out on a valuable experience.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    I'm just saying all this after just trying three oils from India, java and Madagascar.......and there are yet so many more to explore. All I can say is thanks Trebor! You got me started on a wonderful journey!

  15. #15

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    I like the sweet-grassy stuff from Haiti. Most commercial vetivers have considerably better longevity than pure oil (about 3 hours?), since they are mixed with fixatives like musks and Iso E.
    That's not necessarily true - it really depends on the variety of vetiver (as well as age and source of either the supplier or distiller) as they all perform differently on the skin. Haitian vetiver is probably the lightest of all the varieties I've tried so far and I completely agree with you there. But with regards to other varieties, such as Javanese and Bourbon, they're a lot more potent (and complex) than most of the vetiver fragrances currently on the market.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_Russell View Post
    Haven't tried nor owned ant brand-name vetiver oil, but, as a somewhat off-topic remark, even the non-branded vetiver oil retailing in fair trade/health/bio-farm etc. stores is already an entirely different and surprisingly fulfilling experience.
    Brand name isn't really as important as many may think - it all comes down to personal preferences. A lot of the non-branded stuff is just as good but they may have sourced the oil from other distillers. For example, I've tried Sri Lankan vetiver essential oil from three different suppliers and one smelt completely to the other two (which were pretty much the same, to my nose).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by sultanpasha View Post
    I'm just saying all this after just trying three oils from India, java and Madagascar.......and there are yet so many more to explore. All I can say is thanks Trebor! You got me started on a wonderful journey!
    No worries, sultanpasha! I hope you gain a lot of enjoyment from the Sri Lankan vetiver!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdboy48 View Post
    All true.

    Those who have not had a chance to try the pure juice are missing out on a valuable experience.
    The complexity and richness of these oils are second-to-none. Hardly any vetiver-based fragrances can offer this, IMHO.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Roper-Hall View Post
    So to my question: does any of the Basenote community have any comments, opinions or experiences to share about Vetiver essential oil in general, or in the particular case of Vetiver Extraordinaire(F. Malle) versus vetiver essential oil? On a personal note, I think Vetiver Extraordinaire is worth every penny.
    In the world of perfumery, Vetiver Extraordinaire is a masterpiece. There is no doubt about that. However, from a practical perspective (and having been on both sides of the fence), vetiver fragrances lack the complexity and robust richness of the essential oils.

    Now, that's not to say that vetiver fragrances are redundant, as it all comes down to personal tastes. But, based on what I've sampled so far, I would never return to wearing vetiver fragrances again (although the LesNez renditions of vetiver are exceptional, especially from a compositional point of view, and came the closest to being exceptions to the rule).

  16. #16

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    I managed to obtain my first small bottle(30 ml) of Haitian vetiver oil today. It is not pure, but is a dilution of 30% vetiver essential oil in a neutral carrier. It bowled me over! I put a very small drop on the back of hand and transferred some to my wrist, and was suddenly enveloped in a beautiful cloud of light, highly aromatic, slightly floral vetiver fragrance. I was astonished at the power of the oil. The scent changes ever so subtly over the course of hours, and each change makes me think of another of the vetiver perfumes in my collection. I would not say that it as complex as my perfumes, but if you like the smell of vetiver, as I do, this is a great new avenue to explore. I look forward to ordering more exotic vetiver oils from further afield, and will certainly follow Trebor's forum regularly. Sultanpasha you are certainly right in stating that a little goes a long way.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roper-Hall View Post
    In the posting of Apr10/10 Neal lamented the rising cost of F. Malle perfumes, in particular the Vetiver Extraordinaire. The thread was resurrected yesterday, and I commented that 2010 was the good ole days, compared to the prices of Malle perfumes now. Fellow basenoter Trebor suggested that vetiver essential oil "is significantly cheaper, more potent and just as complex to wear".
    £150 for diluted Haitian vetiver (at EDT strength), combined with synthetic musks; or £20-30 for at least 30ml of the real thing, which would probably offer just as many applications (if not more)?

    For someone who prefers to keep their fragrance collection relatively small, there's really no contest...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Roper-Hall View Post
    I managed to obtain my first small bottle(30 ml) of Haitian vetiver oil today. It is not pure, but is a dilution of 30% vetiver essential oil in a neutral carrier. It bowled me over! I put a very small drop on the back of hand and transferred some to my wrist, and was suddenly enveloped in a beautiful cloud of light, highly aromatic, slightly floral vetiver fragrance. I was astonished at the power of the oil. The scent changes ever so subtly over the course of hours, and each change makes me think of another of the vetiver perfumes in my collection. I would not say that it as complex as my perfumes, but if you like the smell of vetiver, as I do, this is a great new avenue to explore. I look forward to ordering more exotic vetiver oils from further afield, and will certainly follow Trebor's forum regularly. Sultanpasha you are certainly right in stating that a little goes a long way.
    Glad to hear you had a great first experience, Roper-Hall! Just remember that vetiver essential oil is one of the few natural oils that can be worn neat as well, if you so wish. With more time and experience, you may begin to understand the virtues of these oils that some of us have been raving about...

  18. #18

    Default

    Trebor and/or Roper-Hall, would you mind posting where you sourced your Haitian vetiver oil from?

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

  19. #19

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    My oil came from a local artisanal supplier here in the montreal area. I went to his shop, but his website is www.diamantbulle.com I don't know if the website is available in english, but the owner is bilingual(514-778-7001)

  20. #20

    Default Re: What about vetiver oil?

    Quote Originally Posted by WillC View Post
    Trebor and/or Roper-Hall, would you mind posting where you sourced your Haitian vetiver oil from?

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
    Will, I don't own any Haitian vetiver, as it tends to go sour on my skin after a short while. It's the only variety of vetiver that doesn't agree with my skin chemistry. However, I have sampled this oil from both White Lotus Aromatics (they no longer ship to the UK, unfortunately) and Eden Botanicals. Both seemed pretty similar to each other but I found it difficult to fully evaluate them due to the aforementioned issue.

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