Vétiver fragrance notes

    • javan vetiver, woods, birman spices, iodine

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A mesmerizing brine hits the nose with some of the rawest and earthiest elements of vetiver ever committed to a composition as I apply this discontinued iteration of Annick Goutal Vetiver.

A curious marine feel is immediately evident, almost iodine-like, really exalting this beauty of a vetiver into the stratosphere (above the ocean, naturally). I have seldom encountered an authentic sea breeze feel in any other composition, as the usual aquatics and marines seem destined to paint a Disney princess picture of the seaside, or the perfumer chose to overdose certain aromachems that push the envelope a bit too much for my liking. Here it is, like the driftwood and grasses of the Cape Cod dunes. This is proof positive that vetiver does have the capacity to tell a story where it doesn't showboat and leave it's supporting players suffocating under its weight. It imparts the grassy, sun-kissed quality of this landscape that at certain moments in its development I can almost forget that vetiver is in fact the centerpiece.

Be that as it may, in the base, the vetiver naturally lingers the longest, after the salt has been subdued, and it is joined by a softer, more supple sandalwood and tonka, tastefully dosed, with the latter suggesting whispers of tobacco more than any sort of sweetness. And not a lick of Iso E Super, Timbersilk, or the like, thank goodness. What a disappointment that this was discontinued in favor of a diluted, insipid EdC version, because this is by far one of the best Vetivers I've ever experienced, up there with Guerlain Vetiver in terms of execution. Utterly blissful.

[Rectangular bottle]
9th March 2022
I've just received a bottle of this and I love Vetiver and have quite a collection of Vetiver fragrances. But at first sniff this has a strong inky, salty smell without any notes to add to the top to freshen up the dark earthy notes. This is a very dark dank old school quality scent which some may like but to me this has no freshness what so ever and you've got to be brave to wear it because it is bold. This is a true Vetiver and to be honest I'm not a fan of it to be honest after searching for three years I finally found a bottle I was expecting to be blown away but sadly not it's very unique I'll give it that.
18th December 2020

I'm sitting here sniffing my forearm savoring the last fraction of a few ml sample I received some time ago, kicking myself for not purchasing a bottle when it was still more generally available. The scent I'm enjoying is Annick Goutal's Vetiver EDT. I note that there appears to be a lot more of the cologne version still available for sale, but very few of the EDT, and none at a price I'd pay.

Let me begin by saying while I don't claim to have the world's best nose, most of my favorite scents list vetiver as a prominent note. However I'm given to question my nose since some of these scents seem very different to me, and a few that I dislike, though also listing vetiver, don't smell remotely similar to what I believe is vetiver. All of this only to say, I think liking vetiver scents will predispose one to enjoy Annick Goutal's version.

I think it's an accomplishment to create a fine scent that's light and fresh smelling, but paradoxically rich. That's what I find with Goutal's Vetiver. As with many Goutal scents, it's well-mannered and more subtle than brash. Its light freshness make it especially welcome in this August heat.

Twenty five or thirty years ago I was a fan of Guerlain's Vetiver. But it seemed to me to grow harsher and less nuanced as the years rolled on. Don't know if that was it or me. This to explain that Annick Gourtal's Vetiver smells to me a lot like a more complex and more subtle version of Guerlain's Vetiver from 30 years ago, with an added iodine/marine note and a richer musk dry down.

Not mentioned in the notes is the top note of citrus. But many Goutal scents employ this, and IMO, sometimes to excess. Here it offers initial brightness, but quickly calms down into an accord with the vetiver and the marine note. These notes lie on bed of quiet woods and musk, which never dominate, but I suspect supply the richness I enjoy.

Many Goutal scents are sometimes faulted for not being powerhouses or having staying power. And at first that might be the impression of this vetiver. It smells light and subtle and doesn't envelop you in clouds of scent. But the few remaining drops I applied could be smelled throughout the day, and even slightly the next day after a shower. Don't know if any of that is the result of concentration via evaporation, but that's a pretty impressive scent.
11th August 2020
A excellent vetiver! With a striking salty marine twist, I'm not a big fan of marine notes and particularly hate it when it's tries to be selling calone in lieu which is thankfully not the case here. Even when really well done as in Sel Marin I'm not really compelled to want to smell of it. Here the salt is very nicely combined with a beautiful vetiver and to my nose it's pretty amazing.
I'm a fan of animalic notes and here the salty woods give me a sensual, bear with me, "tryst in the dunes after a mediterranean swim". The vetiver is also strikingly close to my favourite, Lanvin Vetyver original, where the pissy civet is swapped for sweaty marine salt...

I'll have that thank you!

Vtg pre bar code
2nd July 2020
This is a fine vetiver with nice woods, a nice, polite fragrance if a little on the subtle side, like a lot of vetivers. A person needs to have a taste for this sort of vetiver-dominant fragrances, I think, to appreciate them, which I have slowly developed over time.

I had given it a neutral, but wearing it again, it delivers so well on what the label promises, I changed it to a thumbs up.
7th May 2020
Annick Goutal's Vetiver is the stick I use to measure the whole idea of "reference"--straight, no chaser. No other reformulation broke my heart like this one did. This was the only vetiver I knew for most of my adult life--and now this intense, cranky Heathcliff of a fragrance is only a memory. Nothing else comes close. This smelled rooty, cleansing, earthy, saline, and borderline coniferous all at once. No citrus notes to dress it up, and no patchouli base to tie it down. It was like some mossy topiary beast come to life, leaving an unnervingly crisp trail wherever it went. Other vetivers smell like abstractions at best or chemical spills at worst--no use naming names. And AG's vetiver lasted forever. Apparently, there could be only one.
6th June 2016
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