Reviews of Coeur de Vétiver Sacré by L'Artisan Parfumeur

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
Not bad at all. The first note I detected was the dried fruit. The saffron gives it an airy smell. Very hard to describe. If you are looking for a vetiver monster, this is not for you. The ginger is noticeable, but the black tea is a dominant note in this one. Non cloying, so it can be worn all year round without being offensive. 7/10
21st July 2014
Genre: Woody Oriental

Notes: Bergamot, black tea, date, dried fruit, saffron, ginger, pink berries, vanilla, incense, musk.

Short-lived cardamom and bergamot top notes introduce a heart of spiced dried fruit, chai, vanilla, and frankincense, in what I've come to think of as the standard issue niche oriental gemisch. Toss together equal parts of this house's previous orientals Tea for Two, Saffran Toublant, and Vanilia, add a pinch of Passaage d'Enfer (frankincense), a dash of Timbuktu (pink berries), then dilute the resulting hodgepodge by 50%, and you might wind up with something much like Coeur de Vétiver Sacré.

You've no doubt noticed by now that neither the scent pyramid above nor I make any mention of vetiver. That's probably because there isn't much vetiver here to speak of. Oh yes, I can smell vetiver in the drydown, but putting “vetiver” on this scent's label is a bit like calling Opium a rose scent. Sure, there's vetiver in there, but it's not the first (or even the fifth or sixth,) thing you notice. There's a much greater role for vetiver in Habanita or Bandit, for example, than in Coeur de Vétiver Sacré.

Not that I hold the odd choice of name against the scent – I've enjoyed fragrances with far sillier or misleading labels. What leaves me disappointed here is a sense of tired routine about the composition. I feel I've smelled it all before, but in more interesting or stimulating contexts. If this fruit and frankincense woody oriental style strikes your fancy, you'll find it better executed in the likes of Parfum d'Empire Wazamba, Amouage Jubilation XXV, or Comme des Garçons Jaisalmer; if the marriage of vanilla and vetiver sounds interesting, go get Habanita; and if it's really vetiver you're after, look elsewhere altogether.
11th June 2014
In the opening notes I get vetiver all right, a fine, elegant and gentle vetiver that soon joined by mild bergamot, tea, saffron and a dried apricot component that has a boozy undertone. The result is delicious. Later a restrained incense and a vanilla with minimal sweetness are added, and at that stage the vetiver has gone. A distinct delightful cedar wood aroma arises in the base. The development of my skin is never boring, and the whole is beautifully blended. Good silage and projection for the first half, and on my skin he longevity is an impressive eight hours. A nice scent for spring, especially for those who like their vetiver light, remaining more in the background and refined. 4.5/5.
16th November 2013
Crisp, juicy, fruit vetiver This is not Encre Noire. This is not Sycomore. This is a bright, happy, laid-back green-fresh-fruit smell wrapped around a peppered-wood core. This is a clean vetiver. This is very suitable for a young woman, too. Lasts about 5 hours in ~30 degrees Celsius weather, so decent longevity.
26th August 2013
A vetiver worth getting to know A few months ago I acquired a sample of CdVS and thought of it as "not bad" and "nothing special". Boy, was I mistaken. I consider CdVS to be a vetiver and tea composition, but it's mostly all about vetiver. Some reviewers have pointed out that CdVS has vetiver in it, but not as a central component. I disagree: CdVS is a vetiver-centered composition with other notes supporting and accentuating the multiple facets of vetiver. The opening has a fruit juice quality to it--mostly apple and apricot. The fruit juice immediately settles down and morphs into dried fruits; the dried fruits play up the (gasp) fruity side of vetiver and it is difficult to separate the vetiver from the fruit. The same is true for the black tea note; tannic earthiness and pepper blend effortlessly with the vetiver. There is also a beautiful smokiness permeating not only the vetiver, but also the tea and the fruit. Perhaps this seems unremarkable, but the 3D vetiver is supported by a quiet, yet persistent woody oriental base with woody notes, tonka, and musk. It's almost as though two compositions are layered together and it makes me think of bread supporting meat to make a sandwich. We could eat the bread or the meat alone, but why would we want to do that? Castoreum appears later as the condiment that ties the oriental part to the smoky vetiver/tea. The animalic component also serves to render the composition "wearable" without feeling overdone or vulgar. Sometimes the whole composition smells like leathery tobacco and sometimes it feels "green", but definitely not in a crushed leaves or fresh cut grass sort of way. I like to think of CdVS is as a "spiritual" retreat for vetiver, but not in a religious or hippy sense. In this case, vetiver packs a bag, travels to the mountains, stays in a log cabin (with a wood fire and maybe some incense), drinks tea, and eats simple dried food. Projection is average, but I prefer scents that stay close to the body. Longevity was a shock: I got at least 12 hours out of CdVS. This is definitely the longest lasting LAP fragrance I've ever tried. This composition is truly excellent and I consider it to be elegant and underrated. On the other hand, if you are not into vetiver and tea, then CdVS might not be for you. 4.5/5
30th May 2013
a vetiver by any other name Coeur de Vetiver Sacre is a Vetiver fragrance the way an avocado is a fruit: technically. But not so much characteristically. I've seen other fumies compare Vetiver Sacre to other vetivers, from Maitre Parfumeur's Route du Vetiver to Chanel's Sycomore . If replication of a pure vetiver note is your standard, Vetiver Sacre bombs. But so would Guerlain Vetiver, the standard bearer of the genre. Let's open the windows a bit and air out our vetiver criteria. Vetiver Sacre lays a musky sheen over a dry, balanced fruity tone. I don't know shit about the nuts and bolts of composition, so I'll talk about notes rather than ingredients. This tone feels like the middle ground of musky sweetness and a fictional dry wood. The fruit is neither sweet nor tart, or better still, is equally sweet and tart and suggests the crispness of a green apple at the same time that it calls to mind a sweet honeydew melon. A black pepper notes acts just as it would in a fruit dish you would eat. It gives you a little bit of a slap and separates the woody and sweet notes that might otherwise form a monotonous tone. Smart move. This is the sort a linear fragrance that has a deliberate but diaphanous harmony that surrounds you. If the composition lacks a dynamic to offset the encompassing harmony, your sensory filters would eventually isolate it and turn it off like background noise. The peppery note is the thin line that provides just the separation needed to keep this fragrance from falling into the hypnotic fugue perfume producers love to call radiance. Perfumer Karin Vichon Spehner appears to have tamed the woody amber. An avocado doesn't spring readily to mind when I think "fruit". But you can't make guacamole with raspberries. Not only does Vetiver Sacre 'pass' for a Vetiver fragrance, it has its own particular place on my Vetiver shelf. from
27th May 2013
I have been enquiring into CdVS for some time now. The reviews have been ambivalent all over Internet (not only Basenotes). I hesitated to blind buy when the price was right. Yesterday, I got the opportunity to try it on my skin. Since most reviewers agree that the name of this perfume is misleading I won't bother to describe my impressions based on the listed notes. I will only speak of accords. And from the initial impression and for a couple of hours what I get is a strong "boozy" accord that at the opening is sharp with a rich tangy smell of ripe fruit, and as the time goes by it mellows down to first sweet "rum" and later to a dryer "rum". I know "rum" is not listed in the notes but that is what I get. I can't explain it and I will not even try. This seems to me to be an interesting fragrance with warmth (a lot of it) and an old-fashion feeling. At times it is comforting like the smell of the interior of the old handbag of your grand mother or an aunt. I can imagine people wearing and enjoying this but not me. CdVS lasted on my skin 4 to 4,5 hours but the last at least 2 hours it became a close to the skin scent. The final dry down was actually the most pleasant phase of CdVS. Realizing that 75 perfumes are listed being created by L'Artisan Perfumeur I can imagine that they must have tried to offer quite a few fragrances that appeal to very particular tastes (it's called marketing I guess). Anyway, this has got to be a neutral for me.
5th May 2013
Wow---the opening of this fragrance is truly beautiful...effervescent, golden, sparkling, gingery, with the perfect amount of sweetness. It takes a little bit of time for this phase to blossom to its full beauty....I just wish it lasted much longer! It is truly intoxicating. On me, the drydown feels rather monochromatic compared to the pizzazz of the earlier notes. Delicious tea and a darker, woodier mood take over...not a bad phase, but it doesn't seem to live up to its potential and is eclipsed by the opening. The sillage and staying power are not bad, but could be stronger. I do get sudden flashes of earlier notes and interesting beauty even when I think the fragrance has completely left my body, however. It is a bit too elusive, however, and I am left wanting more. Despite this overall unevenness, I still think the fragrance is worth possessing for the addictive opening and the curious transformation of interesting notes. The more I wear it, the more I love it...
15th March 2013
Forget about the vetiver in the name, Coeur de Vétiver Sacré is all about dried fruits (apricot) and black tea. Take one part from another L'artisan Parfumeur creation, Tea for Two and one part Amouage Jubilation XXV (sans incense) and you have Coeur de Vétiver Sacré.
4th March 2013
Greeny and very much "Earthy" scent.
Take Creed's Original Vetiver and blend it with Terre d' Hermes and a drop of Fresco by Victoret voilà.
Not to my nose
27th November 2012
Somehow a watery perfume, green and bitter. The smoky drydown reminds me of tea for two. Coeur du Vetiver Sacrè is a very original fragrance, one of the few of L'Artisan that I would definitely consider masculine. Perhaps it could benefit a stronger note of incense.
21st August 2012
L'Artisan is a house that I have struck out with many times in the past with no hits, so I sampled Coeur de Vetiver Sacre with extremely low expectations. Despite my reservations on the house it came from, since Luckyscent recommended it after I filled out an extensive questionnaire as to my preferences, I felt I *had* to at least try it... and I am very glad I did.

I love vetiver scents, but this one is quite different to the vetivers I have smelled in the past. It is extremely subtle, slightly sweet, and the vetiver is not the primary note to my nose (despite the title). I get a lot of bergamot and black tea up top similar to the beautiful smell of Earl Grey (and into the heart notes), with a nice vetiver supporting note that is of the non-smokey kind, mixing with a heavy dose of saffron that stays around throughout the scent's development. Other supporting notes that take even more of a background role to the bergamot, vetiver and saffron, are dates and hints of cedar in the heart, and later-on light musk, semi-sweet amber and castoreum forming the base notes. Projection is minimal to below average, and longevity is above average.

Those looking for a raw vetiver dominant scent are bound to be disappointed, but if you want a subtle, classy skin scent that uses vetiver as a supporting note well, but features other notes like bergamot, black tea and saffron at the fore, then Coeur de Vetiver Sacre is bound to impress. This one has gotten no love on Basenotes, but *I* love it and it will be the first L'Artisan that is added to my collection. 5 stars out of 5... Superb, and highly recommended.
11th April 2012
Unfortunately I have had to draw the conclusion that vetiver tends to give me a headache; Coeur De Vetiver Sacre certainly does. It's so dark, so heavy, so overwhelming.

Having said that this is very true to vetiver oil so you might love it for that alone. There is a hint of greeness (from the tea?). Excellent sillage but poor staying power on my skin. I should think not for the faint of heart!
11th March 2012
This one Opens up with a light peach aroma that disappears in a twinkling of an eye , giving space to pepper followed by an herbal tone counterbalanced by delicate aroma of roses and guaiac wood, thus giving the fragrance a semi-sweet aroma.

Then, after 20 minutes, the tea kicks in followed by castoreum, giving this fragrance a complete different smell from the top notes.

Interesting fragrance, but you might wanna sample it out before a blind buy.
21st August 2011
Forget about vetiver, forget about the rest of the L'Artisan line, and ignore the notes.

Coeur de Vétiver Sacré is a beautiful, sweet golden hay scent with a dash of smooth vetiver in the dry-down (4-5 hours later on my skin). If you've got a hankering for this sort of thing, CdVS is a beautiful choice!

Since PG Bois Blond is already in my collection, I don't need this. However, if I didn't own the PG, it's likely I would buy CdVS (and will seriously consider it if/when I drain the BB).
22nd April 2011
Karine Vinchon dessicates the top notes of vetivert with a generous dose of cedar and pepper. She chills the middle section with a callous violet note. And only in the end does she allow the eponymous ingredient to emerge as a recognisable presence, by which time it's settled into woody, vaguely tea-like territory. The link between the floral heart and the vetivert may be clever, but its effect is pretty unengaging, not to mention thin. Still, if you liked Gucci Pour Homme II - which also centred around violet - you might want to give this a try.
19th April 2011
To have vetiver in its name is a bit ridiculous with this one. While vetiver is a note in this fragrance, it certainly isn't a dominating one. Not in the opening, not in the middle, nor the base. Although there is vetiver there, you can smell it a little in the beginning, more so in the middle though, it never quite makes its way to center stage.

L'Artisan's signature spicy notes are in this, but this is mostly dominated by dried fruits. I get plums, dates and apricot, as well as blueberries, pomegranate, and juniper berries. Take Micheal Kors for men's opening; add some blueberries. Add a little, and I do mean, a litte bit of vetiver. The result - Coeur de Vétiver Sacré. Projection is light, and longevity is poor for a L'Artisan fragrance; I get about 4 or 5 hours. Overall, a disappointment.
7th April 2011
I just can't get out of my mind the fact that CDVS shares, more or less, the same structure with Egoiste before the reformulation. It feels that is trying really hard to be a good perfume, and it's the trying hard thing which makes it just common and forgettable. It might grab you a bit with it's opening, which is a quiter good one, but after that it's all been done and said before. And the longetivity is exceptionally poor...
If you really want to give a try to L' Artisan Parfumeur, try La nuit de Tubereuse, Timbuktu, or the wonderfully twisted and masterfully executed Dzing!. And you will definitely understand the difference between trying hard and trying too hard.
2nd February 2011