Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Racine (Old and New)

Racine is the gentler, kinder sibling of Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier's Route de Vetiver.

The combination of citrus and vetiver is not exactly revolutionary. Guerlain has done it before to a great commercial success (how many of us own a bottle of their Vetiver, vintage and/or new?), which Racine, a 1988 creation, has sadly never achieved in either one of its formulations.

The first few times I've worn the original juice I found it too similar to other vetiver scents but got a smoky leather note late in the drydown. It's interesting how sometimes your perception of a perfume changes over time. I'm far more focused on the vetiver, and I find it delicate, almost transparently green. An interesting aspect of Racine is the way the citrus reappears here in there. Instead of self-combusting like most citrusy top notes, there's some lemon or maybe lemongrass that is woven into the vetiver, lifting it up.

My bottle is of the new, reformulated version, but I still have some of the original cologne and can compare the two. The differences are subtle- the vetiver in the older one feels darker, the citrus in the new one is sharper and the base is not as smoothly blended. It's a bit earthier and bears more resemblance to Route de Vetiver. Racine is still a great scent, even in this reformulated, less suave form.

Racine, like the entire Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier line, is no longer distributed outside of France, and even there its future is unclear. There are still bottles to be found, mostly online.

Art: Pamela Sukhum- Tibet II


  1. I love the picture you used (TIBET 2 !)

  2. Thank you, Lady Jane :) I liked this picture because there was something very joyful yet tranquil about it.

  3. Hello,

    The way you described the old vs new is most likely not the result of formulation change, but the aging of the fragrance. In fact, vetiver absolutely darkens with age and the volatile citrus/bergamot notes fade. This is why a lot of people claim that new bottles of certain fragrance are "brighter" than vintage of the same name.


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