Thrillingly butch to begin humid, inky and quinine bitter woody tones pierced by the sharp saltiness of celery and dry cumin. Its an enlivening mix, where the assertive main players are wrapped in a halo of freshness the latter in part deriving from aspects of the sweet and dusky vetiver itself, but there are also lifting elements like lavender, herbal notes and citruses all unobtrusively incorporated. The perfume seems to be straining between suave slickness and a kind of pants-popping vigour, a tension that is rather fun to be part of.
Once it has settled into the drydown some hours in, it becomes much more centred on vetiver but fortunately its a broad spectrum incarnation with the dank, earthy side of the root getting as much play as the barbershop one. Lovely, if a bit modest in terms of its trail.
This is a very stark, dry vetiver with little more than a tart citrus top note by way of ornament. Villoresi's take on vetiver is straightforward - perhaps even monastic - in its simplicity. There is none of the nutty character of Givenchy's Vétyver, none of the earthy green moisture of Route du Vétiver, and none of the smoky depth that's to be found in Sycomore or Encre Noir. Villoresi's Vetiver comes closest to the almost caustic sharpness of Etro Vetiver or Vétiver Extraordinaire, but it is far less aggressive a scent than either. If that leaves Villoresi's Vetiver sounding nondescript I won't apologize. There are many outstanding vetiver scents to choose from nowadays, and Villoresi's could do with more personality if it's going to compete effectively.
The opening is just great: a powerful, invigorating, super-classic vetiver, harsh and savage, with a bold and earthy patchouli-oakmoss accord (I also feel some cocoa beans dusty sweetness), some delicate floral notes (lavender, neroli) which shape and restrain the rawness of the green/woody notes, and a refreshing accord of bergamot and citrus which then sweetens progressively. Straightforward, earthy and dense: a beauty. After a while you also feel some spicy/peppery notes, and the oak moss note emerges more clearly in all its barn-like splendor, together with a really pleasant salty note. But then, all of a sudden, here comes the downpart: it all sags down a bit. Too soon. It still remains great, pleasant, natural, vibrant, with a superb balance of components; but still, all just "tones down" far before you expected and wanted, since as I said, it smells gorgeous, so you wouldn't really want it to wash away so quickly. This is the only "con"; apart from this I really like this scent. A pleasant, vibrant, elegant and persistent "eau de cologne" which deserves its place in the "classic heritage" side of vetiver fragrances.
Very true to its name, this one is certainly vetiver through and through, the very dark and earthy kind for real vetiver lovers. Intensely rooty and almost bitter, that note dominates everything in this fascinating composition. Off-set primarily by a prominent rosewood and austere green notes of celery, patchouli, and a typical Villoresi potpourri of wild herbs (here, mostly sage), the insistent vetiver remains the single central focus throughout. The overall effect is one of damp fertile soil shaded by thick tropical vegetation. There is very little development or variation, except maybe for the steady expansion of the monumental vetiver which intensifies even further in the later stages.
Villoresis Vetiver is undeniably a wonderful and very worthwhile fragrance, but its almost fundamentalist reliance on the darker aspects of vetiver also makes it very linear and, before long, quite monotonous. For that reason, it is not the easiest wear and probably only for true vetiver fans. But if you really like vetiver, this one is a must-try.
Probably one of the most difficult vetivers out there. It explodes out with a mix of fetid musty bergamot and fetid musty celery over a pool of leathery old man stink. Over time, the celery smell morphs into something akin to warm lettuce going bad in the sun, while the actual vetiver takes its time arriving. The leathery man odor stays around all day, while the vetiver and vegetables slowly fade into a base of mossy geranium.
I'm fully aware that I'm making this sound pretty awful, and I can absolutely see how many people could hate this, but I've found its resolute lack of prettiness to be fascinating, if not endearing. For something with a similar funk but without the vegetable weirdness, I personally prefer Le Labo's Vetiver 46, which I actually find quite sexy.
An extremely sophisticated and very different interpretation of the vetiver idea. It is evocative of piney woods and lavender with a whiff of nutty character from time to time. There is nothing sweet, citrusy, spicey or powdery to upset the mix. And then there is the celery, which may seem stronger than its actual proportion in the mix. It is really quite unique. The whole thing comes off as mysterious and masculine. It is long lasting on me, and I find myself returning to sniff my arm as the hours go on.
A hat tip to Lorenzo Villoresi. This is pure artistry. Five stars out of five.