I own both but as the first one I'd choose Federic Malle Vetiver Ext.
I've been less frugal lately and buying niche. I want quality and I am willing to pay for it. Now I reach the Malle line.
I've sampled a few at Barneys and I remember liking Vetiver Ext. although it seemed rather "simple" and conservative. Also liked French Lover but don't remember too much about it(which is unusual). Maybe Noir Epices caught my attention. Not sure but lets say it did.
Which one would you choose as your first Malle and why ?
Is longevity and sillage usually good with Malle ?
I own both but as the first one I'd choose Federic Malle Vetiver Ext.
I'm a fan of French Lover I must admit, and consider it the most masculine thing in their line. If one were to wear it on a date, I'd say that it's sexy in an " I don't particularly care what you think" kind of way, rather than trying to approach the matter from a sweeter and more comforting direction.
Not that I don't enjoy their other offerings too. I sprung for a bottle of Eu'd Hiver , which takes a 180* different approach to things. And I must admit that Noir Epices is one of the few I've not sampled.
From an "everyday wear" sort of standpoint, Vetiver Exteme may indeed be the way to go, but French Lover does occupy a certain particular assertive niche of it's own that's not to be ignored.
In a very self-confident "Guy" kind of way.
if it were me, I'd give a thought to what purposes you intend your purchase to serve, and then give them all another sampling before you make your decision.
Last edited by Birdboy48; 16th February 2013 at 04:26 AM.
I almost pulled the trigger on a large Tom Ford Italian Cypress but the "splash" bottle was a deal breaker for me.
French Lover is indeed a wonderful bitter European herbal, dirtier, drier, more interesting than any other. Up top. Unfortunately, after one minute, a particularly intense, unpleasant sharp note (a woody amber, most likely, as identified by Tania Sanchez) covered the whole thing and ruined the frag for my nose. So for me it's a no go. But if you are ok with woody ambers, this could be the one for you.
My favorite is indeed Vetiver extraordinaire, the freshest vetiver ever. Great for hot weather. If you are ok with marine, I'd also recommend Lys Mediterranee, a very interesting salty marine lily.
Sillage and longevity are usually great with Malle, they're very dense perfumes made with good ingredients. Portrait of a lady, for instance, lasts for days.
I would choose Malle Vetiver.
Great response. Thanks.
I remember there was something that really sparked my interest with FL but a woody amber wasn't it. It had to be the opening.
I guess the Vetiver Ex. could be that "bitter euro green" that I was looking for. What are your thoughts on Noir Epices ? You seem to know what I am going for so thanks again for your insight.
When you talked about European bitter herbals, I was thinking about something that is fresh but also has a dark, almost sinister feel of dark vegetation, almost mossy. Vetiver extraordinaire is green and fresh, but is resolutely fresh, you wont' find any of the vegetal darkness I am thinking about. But likely, it will work as well in Brazil as it does here in humid DC.
French Lover does seem to be the Malle line entry in the category of interest, I cannot think of any other that falls anywhere near this category. You should try it again-not everybody has the same sensitivity to woody ambers. For instance, Luca Turin loves it (he compares it to picking up a shirt used the day before). It is Tania Sanchez, whose sensitivities appear to be more aligned with mine, who disparages its woody amberiness. Perhaps you'd also be fine with it.
Noir Epices is great, intensely spicy and resinous. Not that it smells the same, but think Aromatics Elixir. I may end up buying it at some point. Though in the end my second Malle turned out to be Portrait of a lady. which also happens to be a woody-ambery bomb, but somehow the power is reoriented in an interesting way, an incense rose of uncommon power and radiance, with nuclear half life.
I love both from Malle; I have extremely dry skin but both give great longevity - FL fives atleast 8+ on me, more on colder days, Vetiver Extrodinaire is grt for summers, giving equally impressive longevity (surprised me).
If I were to pick one, I'll go with French Lover, but its very close, winning by a nose tip in only...
Neither. After my initial enthusiasm on both when I was ready to pull off 165 euros for big bottle of French Lover I changed my mind.
Vetiver Extraordinaire is great on top and middle, unfortunately it went into semifresh and sweet direction on drydown which I am not fan of. I prefer my vetiver dry and dark as Encre Noire and VE is not dark (definitely not on drydown). For almost 200 Euros? No. I will keep my Encre Noire.
French Lover has excellent sharp, herbal opening but after a while some shitty note emerges that made me 180 on FL and I had to wash it away on 2nd wearing. It also became kinda sweet on drydown. It reminds me of something in Terre d Hermes and He Wood Rocky Mountain Wood (maybe some kind of cedar, or ISO E super?) which some days I really hate and can tolerate only in very small doses (funny that Encre Noire is also ISO E super bomb but i dont find it as unpleasant, but still have to spray just once or twice).
Maybe you should sample other houses for bitter green herbal fragrance. I would like to know myself because bitter green is one of my favourite genres.
I'd pick Bois d' Orage (formerly Fr. Lover). I like it better. It stands out to me as a singularly great fragrance. Vetiver Extraordinaire is a nice vetiver scent, but so are many other vetivers quite nice. There is nothing else like Bois d' Orage.
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Both are favorites of mine. French Lover is more distinctive out of the bottle with its super dry, confident masculine character. But having worn both scents for 2 years now my vote goes to Vetiver Extraordinaire. It is so extremely well constructed and sophisticated, I appreciate it more every time I wear it. It may not have the initial wow factor like FL but in the long run I think VE has got a lot more things going for it.
I own and love Vetiver Extraordinaire. Probably my favorite vetiver fragrance. Bois d'Orage (or French Lover for those outside the US) is a deeper and more complex fragrance and will become a full bottle in my collection as soon as my sample is gone.
If you want a straight up no-nonsense vetiver, VE is the way to go. If you want a darker, dirtier, more complex vetiver, I would go with French Lover. FL reminds me a bit of an unrefined darker version Creed Spice & Wood - as if it were it's evil twin brother.
Both excellent fragrances. VE is my favorite vetiver, while BdO / FL is also in my top 5. And different enough to certainly allow both in my collection.
After just trying French Lover again I am not impressed. It starts off AMAZING then as another reviewer described does a 180 into nothingness. How can a fragrance with such a brilliant opening go so bad ? Even if it was a linear scent it would be amazing.
I then tried Noir Epices. It's not bad but it needs to be a lot heavier to be called NOIR. It reminds me a little of Le 3 man by Caron but again this fragrance goes nowhere. It just sits on the skin then eventually falls apart.
French Lover seems to have a little projection but is very thin smelling. This is not a beefy green scent.
I smelled the Vetiver Ex again on paper but it was too clean too proper too conservative for me at this point in my fragrance career. I did not put it on my skin.
Disappointed by Malle.
I own and love both.
Two perfumes serving two very different purposes.
The vetiver is not masculine , firstly. It is a perfume based around a single note and even then it is drilled down, pun not intended, to a specific type of vetiver. The South American Vetiver. It is what it is. A must if you enjoy vetiver and particularly South American Vetiver. Both the pioneer and leader in it's class (of SA vetiver grade).
French Lover (aka Bois d'Orage in the USA) serves to lend itself as a versatile "daily driver". Its one of those perfumes you don't really need to be craving nor in the mood for. I think most would agree that certain perfumes require a craving and a mood. I know I cannot always grab and spray Lonestar Memories for example. This does not apply to French Lover. It is blended so seamlessly that no particular note juts out and demands the spotlight. Plus the ISO E Super acts as a lovely pick-me-uper too.
Noir Epices is noir but not in the sense you interpreted it to be. Its noir, I think, because of the use of noir (dark) spices like cloves and cinnamon.
I liked and bought NE because of the way geranium was utilized. Sometimes its too minty and abrasive to the senses. But I find its been blended very well in NE. Maybe the cloves and roses round out its blunt edges.
All project and last like beasts.
I love Vetiver Extraordinaire and love then hate Bois d'Orage as it develops (turns into a distinct old cigarette accord for me). So my vote is for Vetiver Extraordinaire, which really is an exquisite fragrance. The dry down for me is warm and even a tad rubbery with its touch of myrrh.
Vetiver Extroardinaire is my favorite vetiver evar
Any new opinions on these two? I'm considering both as well. I really enjoy French Lover, but I haven't worn it enough to be certain if I like it more than VE yet. I agree that there are so many good vetivers, and I already own several, but I really do love that note...can't have too many.
VE is safe. French Lover is just down dirty.You know which one.
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I purchased the sample set, and I liked Vetiver Ext.
The whole line is not appealing to me, may be it is time to re-consider it.
For instance, Luca Turin loves it (he compares it to picking up a shirt used the day before) - just because FL smells like stale cigarette smoke on a very butch guy who works outdoors in a forest. Made with quality ingredients - incense, smoke, musk etc. Blasphemy I know. Used to have both VE and FL, gonna buy Noir Epices next time.
I just received 3.5ml boxed samples of VE and FL. VE is beautiful vetiver, clean, fresh with earthy undertones. FL literally smells like soil or dirt.
Vetiver Extraordinaire is FB worthy.
I was impressed with most of the Malle fragrances. But to be honest, I tried to like French Lover, but found it forgetable even though well constructed. And vetiver and I don't get along. My first Malle scent was Musc Ravageur. My second was Carnal Flower but that one is not for everone! Barneys has many excellent lines so I would suggest finding a good SA and sample many different lines until you find one that really wows you.
1. Epic Man by Amouage (26 wears)
2. Leather Oud by Christian Dior (25 wears)
3. M7 by Yves Saint Laurent (20 wears)
4. Oud Imperial (black) by Perris Monte Carlo (16 wears)
5. Russian Tea Ritual by Masque (16 wears)
6. Fate Man by Amouage (14 wears)
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Bois D'Orage was my first (and only) Malle purchase. I like Birdboy48's response.
The other Malle I'm interested in is Noir Epices.
I prefer Vetiver Extraordinaire. I've never understand the enthusiasm for French Lover. It's bitter, dry, grassy, and dirty.. VE on the other hand, is the "creme de la creme" vetiver scent.
I would also select the Vetiver Extraordinaire over French Lover.
I like the smell of VE but I got weak longevity and middling projection--so I doubt this will be to your tastes. French Lover has this really peppery dissonant smell that wasn't really my thing and also it was kind of weak on my skin. I think my skin just doesn't mix with these two, since others get much better performance, so YMMV.
However, if you want an outstanding Malle with great performance, then you need to try Portrait of a Lady and don't think about the name, as I'm sure you're aware, many men wear it and it is rather masculine.
Music ravageur is my second favorite and worth sampling.
Last edited by gtsb; 27th October 2015 at 06:06 PM.