The main problem with reviewing a perfume from a talked-about brand several years after its release is that everyone else has already quipped the best lines (or at least made the most important observations). On the other hand, having been familiar with Le Labo's Vetiver 46 for nearly four years might give me a little extra insight into the way it wears. Or maybe not. The two main observations about Vetiver 46 is that it's the poster child for Le Labo's tendency to misname their perfumes, and also that Vetiver's pronounced masculinity has been greatly exaggerated. Obviously, the past four years didn't change a thing and this review on perfumer Ayala Sender's Smelly Blog sums it up nicely.
I did, however, learn to detect and identify the vetiver in the super dry composition of Vetiver 46. It reminds me of the fiery component in Vero Profumo's Onda. Le Labo's flame is lighter, cleaner and free of the animalic parts, but still burning. The interesting thing is the way the dry-down settles under the prairie fire and smoky incense. My sillage might spell Danger! but on skin level I can actually smell a delicate woody sweetness, that among other things is also husband-approved.
Notes (via Luckyscent): bergamot, black pepper, clove, cedar, vetiver, labdanum, olibanum, gaiac wood, amber and vanilla
Vetiver 46 (starting at $58 for 15ml) is available from Le Labo stores worldwide, Barneys, Colette Paris, Luckyscent and lelabofragrances.com.
Art: Prairie Fire I by Elinor Tourtello