Coeur de Vétiver Sacré fragrance notes

    • bergamot, black tea, date, dried fruits, saffron, ginger, pink berries, vanilla, incense, musks

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Coeur de Vétiver Sacré by L'Artisan Parfumeur (2010) was a pretty interesting perfume; and sadly that "was an interesting perfume" is becoming more and more the trend with this house, as they discontinue anything of artistic value that helped uphold the brand's reputation as a true niche pioneer, but I digress. On its own, this fragrance by Karine Vinchon-Spehner is a vetiver fragrance not solely about vetiver, which confused a lot of vetiver fans to be sure, while also gaining a cult following from general perfume lovers into the house. For the most part, the decline in the availability of L'Artisan's innovative classics and indeed their output also somewhat coincides with the decline in the very same from Serge Lutens as well, since it seems around 2010 is when most of the niche perfume market was overtaken by corporate luxury conglomerates and then subverted into just a higher-priced tier of designer-like fragrances. Anything like Coeur de Vétiver Sacré that could be found divisive or challenging in the least to the mush-brained, porcelain-egoed, tech and finance sector nouveau-riche customer base these brands started to court, simply had to be phased out in favor of another rose c02 cashmeran bomb or gummy-sweet amber, pity. But as we suffer another world-destroying Gilded Age, these things will happen regardless until the erosion to society's pillar classes causes collapse of it all, should the Earth still be habitable by then.

Back to the fragrance however; and for the folks out there who somehow have the Bohemian taste to appreciate artistic perfumes while also having the fiduciary means to purchase niche perfumes in the first place, you'll find an assemblage of dried fruits and incense piled on top of a soft woody-vetiver base with a fruity-floral chypre template. In execution, this means notes like orange rind, dates, and fig come forward in the opening, alongside a black tea note and some spices. The spices here are smooth and not of the piquant variety, with some vanilla to smooth it all out. Osmanthus, iris, violet leaf, and rose comprise the heart, while a mix of cedar, labdanum, and sandalwood notes lay over the aforementioned tonka and vanilla in the base. Vetiver plays a surprisingly small role in Coeur de Vétiver Sacré, so small you may actually miss it and wonder how this is a vetiver fragrance at all. Some folks may go "oh isn't that what Le Labo does?" and yes, I suppose it is. In this case though, the material is actually there not just compiled from adjacent materials into a shambling horror that doesn't really resemble it, as with most Le Labo fragrances. Performance is perhaps another big ding on Coeur de Vétiver Sacré , as a lot of people claim poor performance when wearing it, although I don't think a fragrance with such a gentle blending is meant to rustle anyone's jimmies to begin with, although that's just me. Best use is probably spring although summer isn't out of the question either.

As for who can wear Coeur de Vétiver Sacré , I'd say most likely women will enjoy this one, particularly because of the fruit and vanilla tones. Guys into vetiver will expect more of the nutgrass itself to turn up with its rooty/nutty/smoky qualities they've come to love in things like Guerlain Vetiver (1961), so they might not be so keen to a fruity floral near-chypre presentation coded as a vetiver fragrance. Seems it would hardly matter now, with this hitting the firing squad alongside a disturbing number of L'Artisan greats as owner Puig hollows it out into just another shallow fragrant bauble to fill the vanities of the detached haute-bourgeois, much as they did with Penhaligon's. Open-minded folks who love that "golden era" 90's and 00's niche will of course enjoy Coeur de Vétiver Sacré as being a release right at the tail-end of the era, before brands like Byredo and Parfums de Marly set the new, slicker and more-commercial standard for the niche market. Once again though, a vetiver fragrance that really isn't about vetiver is something somewhat doomed to be an obscure cult sort of shindig in the first place, although that's hardly unusual with a brand like L'Artisan Parfumeur. I really wish it was still the case with the brand; but time sadly marches on, and as I alluded too earlier in the review, things will get much worse before they get better. If you can afford seeking a bottle and like pleasant oddities, Coeur de Vétiver Sacré certainly won't be a disappointing acquisition. Thumbs up
5th March 2023
Tangy, slight sweetness, herbal tea thing. The fruit is subtle, not overdone. Saffron is somewhat strong and begins to overtake the fruit.

The dried, and chewy fruits return [appear], blend in, with an added touch of ginger -- then, pink berry clouds of fun and frivolity take over. Kind of flowery. Stays buzzy with an addition of incense. Vanilla dances about. Musk moves in later. It's a lovely perfume that has been done and redone in recent years, however...

If the date note and dried fruits were more pronounced, and lasted longer, I'd love this even more. I would not turn a free bottle, to be sure! I enjoy its gentleness.

As more time passes I am reminded of a vetiver-like note. It actually gets better and better in time. Great scent!!!
13th October 2019

A Vetiver fragrance that isn't ‘vetiver-centric' yet somehow manages to use the vetiver to achieve a spiritual space. Vetiver is usually paired with wood, herbs or citrus. Here it's paired with dried fruits. L'Artisan has two other fragrances that use dried fruit, ‘Al Oudh' and ‘Traversee du Bosphore', and more than that which highlight vetiver, and several with the ‘Tea for Two' notes. This one fits their line-up and their ethos well. In spite of comments about sharing notes with other L'Artisan fragrances, Coeur de Vétiver Sacré, brings something new and good to the table.

CDVS has a dried fruit vibe but it isn't about being a gourmand. It's more a part of the ambiance. Vetiver takes it into black tea territory and out of the dense hole dried fruit chords can go. As it ages it starts drying to a smoky green vetiver, dry spice, incense and tea.

It's an evocative fragrance, not abstract, so it's about where it takes me - this is in the Eastern fantasy vein. This is the meditation hut, the simplicity of smoky tea, incense and dried fruits. Rain on the roof intensifies the dry, still space inside, supporting an inward journey. It's surprising a fragrance with fruit would do that, but there it is. I love this space.

There's a certain amount of nitpicking about this fragrance, over the name (which works for me), about what's expected of it. Sometimes perfume lovers can be too much in their heads and miss the point of a fragrance. Especially evocative ones. Just go with this one. It's too bad it got discontinued, as it's more complex than what it might seem.
12th September 2019
I really like this one in the Fall. The rest of the year I don't like it as much. There is a prominent fruity note in it--to me it smells like cherry pie--and fruity seems to work well in this season. I wouldn't go out of my way to track down bottle, but if I ever came across one, I'd probably pick it up.
22nd October 2016
Glistening, peachy tea opening dries down to a high quality sweet vetiver. Not smoky or dark like other vetivers nor is it salty or citrusy or aquatic. Worthy of your attention. Points off for longevity and projection yet still a winner. 4 out of 5.
9th May 2015
The opening (smells very feminine) comes out on the fruity side with prominent tea and bergamot. The apricot, saffron, ginger and coriander give it a sweet gourmand effect almost like a fruity candy vetiver with dates. This gives it a slightly potpourri effect. It smells very nice but it smells too feminine for me. It's lasting on my skin and sillage is very good. As it dries down the vetiver is sweetened by the fruit in a nice way. I definitely would like to smell it on a woman but YMMV since it's considered unisex.
23rd November 2014
Show all 25 Reviews of Coeur de Vétiver Sacré by L'Artisan Parfumeur