Monday, August 24, 2009

Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire

This time of the year I tend to frequently invade my husband's side of the perfume cabinet. The muggy weather calls for dry woods, incense and crispy vetiver, either separately or blended together. Frederic Malle's Vetiver Extraordinaire offer both woods and vetiver, it manages to be both green(ish) and dry, and the linearity- a "what you smell is what you get (until the next morning)" makes it easy to wear and refreshing.

The official notes are bergamot, bigarade orange, pink pepper, nutmeg, floralozone, Haitian vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood, oakmoss, myrrh, cashmeran wood and musk. The ozonic molecule elluded me until I smelled the Vetiver Extraordinaire body wash (a wonderful product in its own right). That was when I fully got it- it's not an airy/aquatic smell, but an uplifting "charged air" kind of thing, very subtle, which adds another dimension to this otherwise earthy scent.

For my husband it's an easy go-to scent. He wears it for business meetings and sale presentations and feels it gives him an extra touch of confidence. I know what he means. While vetiver is a rooty, green note, I've always felt it has a cool, stone-like facet. It can be green but also has a gray, urban feel, which makes it a great "first, we take Manhattan" cologne.

Vetiver Extraordinaire might be quite masculine (and when I wear it in colder weather it almost makes me feel like an intruder), but the extreme heat and humidity soften it on my skin. I get a whispery floral note in its heart, together with a green citrus veil that stays with me for long hours. The edge is almost taken away and the result is actually (dare I say it?) pretty, which is why I'd urge even the girliest among us to give VE a chance.

Vetiver Extraordinaire (like all Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums fragrances and body products) is available from Barneys in store and online, as well as from

art: Black Shoe by Craig Stephens


  1. I like this one a lot as well (what a a shock), and can see women wearing it. It has that "Kate Hepburn in pants" aspect to it that, as you write is perfect in hot weather.

  2. Tom, I love the Kate Hepburn reference. This is something I could see her wearing. And maybe also French Lover.

  3. A gorgeous vetiver. Still the best one around.


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