This time on the Battle of the Vetivers, I am going over one of the most classic smelling and versatile vetiver fragrances, Vetiver by Guerlain.
The notes are very well blended in this fragrance, with the heart notes being far more prominent than the top notes, even at first spray.
Vetiver by Guerlain comes in three standard sizes, 50ml, 100ml, and 200ml. The prices vary widely, but it is rather inexpensive as far as fragrances go. For example, Target sells the 100ml EDT bottle for about $35USD. You can find it on grey market sites like www.fragrancenet.com for about $48USD for the 200ml (6.7oz) bottle.
The scent was originally launched in 1961 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Jean Paul Guerlain. There was a reformulation and repackaging in 2000 (designed by Robert Granai). The bottle was then redesigned again in 2011 (the new bottle is shown in the image above). It is been said that the quality of the fragrance is still just as good as it was in the 60s.
The presentation is part of the course for many modern Guerlain bottles. The bottle is made of clear glass revealing the greenish color juice. The bottle is tall, rectangular, and plain. The cap snaps on nicely and the sprayer is impressive for a fragrance in this price range. The 2000 bottle was shorter and wider, with ribbed glass and the 1961 original bottle is very similar to the current bottle just that the juice was yellow instead of green (there are examples online).
Even though the top notes listed are primarily citrus, I don't get that from this fragrance at first spray. What I get almost immediately is that earthly grassy vetiver scent blended very well with the smooth cedarwood. There is a bitter citrus undertone, but unlike what others claim to be a lemony scent, I feel the Neroli (bitter orange) stands out far more than any of the other citrus notes in the composition. It isn't a strong sort of bitter either; it is much more like a flirtation of zesty orange peel. As the frag starts to dry down, this is where the tobacco and tonka bean really start to make their appearance and it gives off a soft powdery vibe.
This fragrance embodies what a vetiver should smell like, as it utilizes the vetiver note to its fullest. It sets the bar and is usually what most reviewers will fall back on and compare other vetivers to. I imagine green fields on a calm day. I get a sense of peace when I smell this. It is very earthy and grounded. As with most vetivers, this one is mature and manly, but it also has a softness with a hint of sweetness to it, very welcoming and relaxed. And yet, you get whiffs of this dirty side, this sort of smokiness that only a vetiver can bring to the table.
Some reviewers claim this "oozes" sophistication, elegance, and class. I can definitely see it being a go-to office or frag. That is what I tend to use it for, as it is pleasing without being in your face. It smells clean, fresh, and warm, which is perfect for an inoffensive work fragrance.
As for the season to wear this, unlike Creed's Original Vetiver which is bright and springy, this Guerlain's Vetiver is more dry and earthy and could be worn during any season besides the dead of winter. I feel it is just that versatile.
As for age range, I would say it is most definitely mature. I would say 30+, or a young man who feels more mature for his age and frequently wears suits or stays sharp at the office.
Many reviewers claim that this lasts upwards into the 7-hour mark, I find that to be quite accurate. However, the scent dries down to a very soft scent after an hour or so. For an office scent, that can be preferable, especially for how dirty/aggressive this can smell at first spray. That said, it can be easy to underestimate just how much this is projecting, even if just subtly. For that reason, I would take it easy with the sprays, maybe just 2 or 3. You can always reapply with a spray or two after a few hours if desired.
Jim Quantrell Review
The value of this fragrance cannot be understated. It is my personal go-to work frag. There are other frags that are excellent for work as well, and I may start a different myTake series, but this one is a pretty easy wear for me. Other reviewers, like Dracdoc feel this is too "dirty" or "aggressive" for the office, but I don't agree in the slightest.
I might even say it would be effective for a first date as it really is a safe scent as long as you aren't happy with the trigger. If you like vetivers and are a mature type of man, this is a must-have. It is a classic and has immense value for such versatility, what more is there to say?
I am rating this a 9/10. It isn't an artful masterpiece like Encre Noire, but it is much more wearable.