Sunday, April 06, 2014

My Top 10 Vetiver Perfumes

The husband is probably the one who should write this list, seeing as how all the vetiver perfumes reside in his cabinet. But he has a hard time picking, and besides, I don't want to make it look like vetiver is strictly a manly business. The bottles might officially be his, but I borrow and wear these perfumes regularly. The extra dry ones are among my summer staples, while the spicy vetivers are an all-year round favorites. My personal preference is towards the grassy side of this note, and this is what the list reflects. The Blond is also very fond of swampy vetivers, so he wears and enjoys Chanel Sycomore and  the inky Encre Noire (Lalique).

1. Mona di Orio- Vetyver. This is actually my favorite vetiver in the world. Spicy, sweet, and luxurious.
2. L'Artisan- Coeur de Vétiver Sacré. Black tea, spice, and dried fruit help highlight the complexity of the main note.
3. Serge Lutens- Vetiver Oriental. Green vetiver, iris, and chocolate. As original today as when it launched ten years ago.
4. MPG- Route de Vetiver. You can almost feel the crunchy grass under your feet.
5. Frederic Malle- Vetiver Extraordinaire. My official late August perfume.
6. Guerlain- Vetiver. The vintage was perfect, later versions are still good.
7. Parfums de Nicolai- Vetyver. Spicy, delicious, and proves that vetiver can tame everything, even cumin.
8. Guerlain- Vetiver pour Elle. The kindest, gentlest, and most floral vetiver, yet not quite as feminine as Guerlain presented it. I wonder if a better name and positioning would have made a difference in sales (and could have prevented the discontinuing of this gem).
9. Roja Parfums- Vetiver Extrait. Roja Dove will be the first to tell you that he created Vetiver Extrait to make up for the reformulation of the classic Guerlain Vetiver, the signature scent of his partner. The extrait is, indeed, modeled after the vintage Guerlain, only nicer and richer. Of course, at over $300 a pop it better be.
10. Les Nez-Turtle Vetiver Exercise 1. The most intsense variation on the dry grass vetiver theme. The other Turtle Vetivers are also full-bodied and uncompromising, but this one, to me, is the most striking.

Honorable mentions go to Onda by Vero Profumo which is not technically a vetiver fragrance, but the fiery vetiver note is unmistakable amid the fur and leather, to Vetiver Dance by Andy Tauer, a perfume that comes into its own and smells smoother after about a year in the bottle, and to Annick Goutal Vetiver (at least in its original formula, I haven't smelled the most recent version in the updated bottle), and MPG Racine.


  1. great, Vetiver! My favorites are the 2 Guerlains- and for Vetiver pour Elle I have the hypothesis that putting it into the beebottle and making it exclusive killed it. Its to sporty for this range and type of bottle in my opinion. The old bottle was just fine and I am sure it would have done great as counterpart to the masculine Vetiver as part of their regular line...Also, I like the vetiveish Lime Basil Mandarin, Timbuktu, Sycomore and Le Labos Vetiver.

  2. Fantastic list! I adore vetiver - one of my top comfort notes. Another vetiver I love to distraction is Ayala's Vetiver Racinettes - simply genius.

  3. Haven't tried all vetivers on your list, but I share the love for Lutens, Malle, Les Nez and Onda. Never liked Guerlain, I like my vetivers murky and smoky..

    My favourite vetiver is Annick Goutal, but the vetiver that made me fall in love with vetiver was Etro. Other faves include The Different Company, CdG (Cologne Series) and Carven.

    Special mention for the vetiver note in Mitsouko!

  4. NST commenter Bear pointed out that Chanel 28 la Pausa is really an excellent vetiver perfume with a lot of iris. Another great stealth vetiver is Etro Shaal Nur. nozknoz

  5. Gaia:

    I myself am a huge vetiver fan and was surprised to see no mention at all of Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver, Guerlain's L'Homme L'Eau Boisée or the amazing Vetyver by Givenchy? Clearly, in a Top 10 list, many great fragrances won't make the cut. I'm curious though if any of these three were even under consideration, and if so, what aspects of them didn't quite resonate with you.

  6. Lalique encre noir is my favourite and signature vetiver perfume...after that terre d hermes and guerlain vetiver are also good vetiver perfumes


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