Discontinued for many years but reintroduced in 2007 to celebrate 50 years of Givenchy

Vetyver / Vétiver fragrance notes

    • Bergamot, Coriander leaf, Vetiver, Sandalwood

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Latest Reviews of Vetyver / Vétiver

Eau de Vétiver has been launched in 1959 contemporary of Cabochard, and aimed at a fresh, woody, natural, sober and elegant fragrance. With Vétiver launched in 2007, Givenchy offers a different and original interpretation of Vétiver. Whereas one is fresh and woody, the other is just as woody but more aromatic. Givenchy Vetiver is definitely a great scent, evoking different nature-related associations and visions. It is very fresh and green, yet rustical and earthy.

The citrusy opening does go woody relatively quickly. The vetiver becomes more woody and less grassy-it's rootier qualities emerge, along with some earthiness. Here, it presents a balanced and well-done middle-of-the-road vetiver supported by notes of soft amber and sandalwood. Overall, this is just a great vetiver experience in a bottle. You get it's various facets at different stages, and while Vetiver never really delves into thest darker, earthier side of the plant, it presents enough variety to remain interesting and compelling.
1st September 2022
Givenchy has stated that this fragrance began life as Eau de Vetyver by Givenchy (1959), and was bespoke made for Hubert de Givenchy the same year Monsieur de Givenchy (1959) was composed and released for mass consumption as their first flagship male offering in fragrance. Perhaps Hubert wasn't really enamored with the soapy musky citrus chypre style popular in the mid 20th century, or perhaps he saw what Carven had done with Vetiver Carven (1957) a few years before and told his perfumers "gimmie sum o' dat"; either way, we'll never really know the conversations that took place between him and his staff at that time since he has left us, and nobody seemed brave enough to ask him beforehand. What else is known about this scent also comes from old Givenchy market copy, which stated that Eau de Vetyver was blended from rare vetiver varieties and only four other ingredients for support, including bergamot, coriander leaf (as opposed to spice), sandalwood, and oakmoss. Smelling the oldest specimens of this, I can definitely see that being the case, even if there are likely more ingredients than that hiding between the cracks. Lastly, this was originally sold as a "couture" fragrance only in Givenchy boutiques located in Paris and New York respectively, never to be distributed in department store chains, making the original bottles painfully rare and expensive to find in the aftermarket. Luckily, Givenchy would remedy that after seeing how successful Guerlain Vetiver (1961) would become later on, giving Eau de Vetyver a bit of a makeover and releasing it just as Vetyver Givenchy into the 70's alongside Givenchy Gentleman (1974). This didn't last terribly long however, and Vetyver Givenchy soon disappeared from the market as well, allowing decades of unobtainium status to grow its mythic status.

The thing that's really impressive about Vetyver Givenchy is just how focused on vetiver it truly is, and you can see in the distant future how Tom Ford was inspired by it for his own Tom Ford Grey Vetiver (2009). This single-minded focus on vetiver gives Vetyver Givenchy a timeless quality that helps it avoid smelling particularly musty or old like other vetiver treatments of the era which embellished the subject more with ingredients that were "conventionally masculine" for the era, and this includes the much-lauded Guerlain Vetiver as well. Lanvin and Parfums d"Orsay would both release vetiver-centric flankers to existing lines or stand-alone fragrances like Monsieur Lanvin Vetiver/Vetiver Lanvin (1964) and Eau Fringante by Parfums d'Orsay (1969) respectively, but these would have heavy doses of oakmoss or orris root, and other things that wrinkle the nose of someone not particularly interested in "vintage" smells. Vetyver Givenchy on the other hand, smells natural and singular like many a modern (and much more expensive) niche vetiver offerings from the usual luxury "haute parfumerie" crowd these days. Indeed a noticeable bergamot riff opens the Givenchy, before the nutty and grassy qualities of vetiver come to the fore. Givenchy opted for a more photorealistic take on vetiver, rather than concentrating the essence to bring out smoke like many 80's vetivers do, nor is there a noticeable tobacco and leather bottom end like with Guerlain's more-popular take. Sandalwood, and unlisted notes of cedarwood and oakmoss hold this together for me, with the mentioned coriander leaf just adding some dustiness that sucks all moisture from the composition, which is perhaps the only thing that "dates" the scent; utter dryness was very popular in men's fragrance mid-century.

Performance is light but persistent; and I can imagine with Hubert de Givenchy's refined personal taste for menswear (when was he ever not in white shirts or tailored suits?), he wanted something that just barely graced the air that surrounded him; which is perhaps the only other element which "dates" Vetyver Givenchy somewhat, as the fashion of men's fragrance in this nascent stage of a separate men's fragrance market was to be discrete and not projecting like women's fragrances of the era. After decades existing as merely a legend (or extremely-overpriced surviving specimen for collectors), Vetyver Givenchy made its return as part of the Les Parfums Mythiques collection, alongside other older masculines like the aforementioned Monsieur de Givenchy and Givenchy Gentlemen. Granted, this return is in much-reformulated form, as real Mysore sandalwood was all but impossible to source in mass-market quantities and other ingredients like bergamot oil and pure oakmoss were being clamped-down upon by IFRA. In short, it simply wasn't possible to make such a rudimentary composition of materials like it was back in 1959, unless it was to be worn bespoke (and thus beyond the reaches of regulation) or made in small and extremely expensive hand-crafted batches a la Areej le Dore. The newest iteration does the best possible job recreating the simple pleasures of bergamot, natural vetiver, coriander leaf, and sandalwood, and I'd still buy this over dozens if not hundreds of other nosebleed-priced niche vetivers competing for its fundamentalism. To be honest, this should have been the "reference vetiver" and not Guerlain's. if only because it is literally a reference to vetiver by design, although Guerlain Vetiver ultimately did more to inspire the progress of the vetiver genre. Thumbs up
19th March 2022

2007's redressing of Eau de Vetyver de Givenchy (1959) is a wondrous ode that mercifully captures the lush essence of the brilliant original at every notch of its vetiver accord and very much an appraisal of past glory fluidly flowing through revived veins, or least now through a frosted bottled... Its delectable charm unfolds with the crispy spirit of bergamot whetting a vetiver thirst with its naturally cool tarty swill before entering a heart seasoned with coriander, pepping an earthy spicy vapour into a slightly sharp, herbaceous green flavour, before an illustrious base pairing delivers a nutty, leathery facet to the balance with a creamy heft from a delightfully buttery sandalwood, possibly butt-ended by a bare cedar edge, that leaves this composition perfectly rounded and free. This minimalist accord with its triple decks of vetiver supported with three perfect hints is absolutely feverish in its suavity and simply soigné. Here we have a full bottomed celebration of vetiver in a classical template of floating elegance, one that is cheeky clean with its Haitian/Bourbon variant loosely held in a velvety barbershop guise; subjectively speaking, one of the best of its kind. Certainly, the longevity and projection is on par to modern standards yet far more satisfying than any other selection from Givenchy's Les Parfum Mythiques series. That said, this frosted version is all that remains of this beauty and faithfully restores its lore for another generation. More than a penchant; Vetyver de Givenchy/Vetyver is for those who enjoy timeless tradition with their seamless blends; regardless of whether one leans a sentimentalist, modernist or a futurist; collectively this is for the enthusiast… In fact, a big hail to Eau de Vetyver de Givenchy (1959), Guerlain Vetiver (1959) and Carven Vétiver (1957) since all three have a common yet distinct thread sewn between; all three were at the forefront of a male regiment change, all three fashioned vetiver as a newer cosmopolitan drift and all three remarkably tailor made for a fine gentleman's wardrobe... Ain't tradition grand!
14th September 2021
The current formulation in Gray/Silver/White Box is a poor representation of the original Vetyver up until 2007. If you can find a bottle from 2007 or earlier I highly suggest this one, otherwise plan on re-applying every couple of hours. Those of us who experienced Givenchy circa 1970's will know how great they once were.
23rd June 2017
I used to wear as my favorite cologne since 1978 until i couldn´t find it any more the last bottlle i can get was in Mexicali Baja Mexico in 1996 i love to wear that aroma .....and when i read here the cologne were back i search the internet and find it on Fragance X ...i ask for it and finaly today i open the bottel and what a dissapointed ...the smell is to far from the oeriginal so i don´t know now ..if this is not original or the Givenchy House change the original scent
9th February 2015
This is powerful from the start. It's a little like Guerlain's sweet vetiver but with more woods and herbs. It's very pungent. The tarragon pungent smell mixes with the bergamot to give off an "herby" floor cleaner smell (not as bad as described) and the leather gives off a stately quality and helps to contrast the greenness of the herbs. In terms of strength, this is stonger than Guerlain but a bit less then Encre Noire. If you like an "herby" pungent scent that lasts long then I think it's for you. For me it's just above average.
22nd November 2014
Genre: Woods

July 2009:
The reissued Vetyver from Givenchy features a very spare, nutty vetiver accord that sweetens gently through something vaguely suggestive of licorice to a very suave woody-mossy base. This is not the sort of raw, aggressively earthy vetiver you get from Route du Vétiver, Vétiver Extraordinaire, or Etro's Vetiver, but rather a comfortable men's club vetiver your well-dressed uncle might have worn while lounging in a leather chair. Among the best of its classical, sophisticated, "Old World" breed, even if it's not terribly exiting.

September 2009:
A couple of months, many wearings, and one full bottle purchase later, and I realize I've given short shrift to this outstanding, if highly understated, fragrance. With growing familiarity I have become more and more impressed and enamored of Vetyver's fine qualities. My affection for this scent has come to focus on the “nutty,” almost buttery, quality that distinguishes its vetiver and which comes to dominate its drydown. No, it does not break any olfactory boundaries, explore new territory, or offer any structural novelty. But Givenchy's Vetyver deserves better than to be defined by what it isn't. It is the smoothest, the most suave, and the most comforting vetiver scent I have encountered. (And that includes Chanel's resurrected Sycomore.) It is also the warmest, richest, and most rounded treatment of the vetiver note that I can recall right now. In fact, it is everything that Guerlain's much-vaunted Vetiver should be (perhaps was?) and isn't. A personal benchmark.
15th June 2014
I have loved four Vetivers in my life - Guerlain, Etro, Caswell-Massey, and now Givenchy.

The Givenchy is closest to the Guerlain - green, leafy, dry, pungent - but with the added delight of a burnt caramel sugary undercurrent that manages to "not" be sticky sweet as it tends to be in the Caswell-Massey.

Givenchy takes the essence of these two fine vetivers and blends them in an artistic and natural manner, giving me the best of both worlds. [For the record, the Etro is pure root, harsh and pungent, though unfortunately poor on silage and longevity.

I have tried over 30 vetivers over the years and must agree that Givenchy is the best, with Guerlain running a very close race as second.

Bravo! [For once Turin under-starred. He gives this 4 - it should have 5.]

First Edit: On closer relationship over the past few years, I find that there ares subtle and superbly nuanced note of celery seed and immortelle in this combination - fleeting, but there. Wafting in and out. It continues to be my reference vetiver.
20th February 2014
I am not a salad! I am a free man!

I can't possibly give this one a thumbs down, though I understand the one negative reviewer who wrote that he didn't want to smell like stuffed Thanksgiving Turkey dressing.
Our most prolific reviewer, the worthy foetidus, put it more delicately when he observed that he found himself respecting the frag but not thoroughly enjoying it, so he gave it a "non-enthusiastic thumbs up... "

I have to give this wonderful revived classic a neutral and advise all to get it before it vanishes again--I believe that's already started--and if you can, get a sample vial for a test drive.
No, I got the full bottle and I have to say that the I find the cilantro/coriander note not to my taste. In my defense, I recall a reporter asking Luca Turin if his personal preferences influenced his reviews; to which Dr. T replied that he had no impersonal preferences.

And, since you're dying to know, cilantro refers to the whole plant but sometimes specifically to the leafy part, whereas coriander refers to the seeds.

Now, there's been some discussion of poor sillage/projection (true) and poor longevity (Wrong! It's an illusion. Spray it before you go to sleep, have sweet dreams for 8+ hours and I guarantee you'll still smell it in the morning. )

Whether poor projection/sillage is viewed as restrained elegance or as a damn shame, depends on whether you're an optimist or a pessimist.

Moreover, what smelling like Mexican parsley in a salad is something every vetiver lover also has to decide if he opts for this particular fragrance.

You may very well love this juice. Look at the reviews. Most do, and some go so far as to pronounce this one their Holy Grail. It is very well constructed, indeed.

Besides. how can one not cheer when a classic is resurrected? Perhaps one day Patou pour Homme, Macassar, Royal English Leather, Vintage Tabarome, Versailles pour Homme? --I live in hope . . .

15th December 2013
Very nice scent.This cologne could be the one I've been looking for, for a long time. I smelled one while in the high end stores in the 80's that I never considered, until recently. I had no name or brand on it. They stopped selling it in the stores about 1987. I even barely remember the bottle color,shape or rest of packaging on it. I just mainly remember that the cologne had a dryness to it,and also elegant. After reading different reviews on different colognes from years past,I decided to blindly order this cologne without sampling it first. I ordered mine, thru Amazon.com. It's kind of pricey,according to what I usually pay for in colognes. I just received it yesterday and couldn't wait to try it out. It smells very nice. It's dry and then sort of nutty,and then another aromatic note comes to play. Maybe it's the coriander.? That's one of the notes I heard was in it. This cologne lasts on my skin for hours even though it seems like it doesn't project very far(sillage). Also this cologne isn't too overpowering like some others are. I can't tell for sure if this cologne was that certain one from the stores from years ago. I read that this version is the relaunched version. Also my skin or body chemistry has probably changed thru the years so that can alter the scent of the cologne on my skin as well. This is a very different cologne among others out there. I'm new to vetiver colognes or vetiver in general,even though I may have tried some colognes out, not knowing there's vetiver in them. I've tried "Vetiver" by Guerlain. That one is sort of strange and one has to get used to it,the way it smells. For now, I think I like my new cologne "Vetyver" by Givenchy. I need to wear it more often to get a feel if it's for me,but I think it is. So far, this is the only Givenchy cologne I like. I tried Xeryus and Givenchy Gentlman already.Pros: Nice scent, good longevityCons: doesn't go on strong when first sprayed could seem like it's not hardly there"
14th October 2013
Probably the best Vetyver ever produced.Review for the old version (discontinued in 1995) I could say a lot of things about this "Eau the Vetyver" made in very small quantities only for pleasing Hubert de Givenchy.... but words are unnecessary.This is the best vetyver ever created. Period. Pros: The best one. Period.Cons:
6th October 2013
One of the best bright vetivers
Review of the original vintage version: This is an absolutely delightful bright and sunny vetiver top notes of the highest quality, that has little of the dark earthiness of other vetiver scents. Bergamot adds a refreshing notes, and the drydown adds a nice sandawood component with a hint of coriander. For the first couple of hours silage and projection are good, but after that it is closer to my skin, but definitely present to be enjoyed. The development is limited, but the ingredients are of the highest quality and masterfully blended. One of the best vetivers I know, with an excellent longevity of about six hours on me.
24th June 2013