Vetiver Perfume – Comprehensive Guide to Best Vetiver Perfumes

Vetiver perfume – earthy, almost loamy, often thought of as one of the more masculine notes.  When I do these guides, the characteristics of the note seems to invade how I write about it.  Vetiver, while thought of as refined, more masculine, can also be warm, nutty, spicy, green, fierce.  It definitely defies gender, so never be afraid to try any vetiver perfume, regardless of notes on whether it is homme or femme.  

vetiver perfume, best vetiver fragrance

I used to think just boring bankers wore vetiver.  Hermessence Vetiver Tonka was the fragrance that turned me around completely on it.  If this is what you’re thinking, well, read on. There is a big, wide, not boring world of vetiver fragrance!

Normal rules – vetiver centric, not just be a supporting note.  We will do a giveaway of all/most of the vetiver perfumes referenced in this post, and this will include some vintage treasure that you definitely want to have a shot at winning.  Details on  how to enter (more than once!) at the bottom of the post.

Classic and Must Smell Vetiver Perfume – Hey, boys, move to one side, these are for me as well!

The iconic vetiver fragrance for the last few decades is Guerlain Vetiver.  It’s been out there forever, and deserves its reputation as The Vetiver Fragrance.  I’ve got it in the pre-reformulation and current iterations.  As a starting point for vetiver, you can’t go wrong just starting here to get the full-on vetiver experience.  If you hate it? No harm, no foul, you’ve tried the best, and you can now move on.  Older Guerlain vetiver in the EDC is brighter, more lemon and bergamot.  The later EDT is dry, austere, less sunny.  

Creed Original Vetiver opens all citrus brightness and is a classic men’s cologne. Incredibly easy to wear, I can’t think that this would ever be found annoying smelling it on the guy next to you.  Spices and woods combine in the drydown to give this nice depth.  It’s not a groundbreaking classic vetiver perfume, but it doesn’t need to be.  It  just needs to smell great, and this does.

Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire is at the top of every vetiver perfume list since it released in 2002.  Created by Dominique Ropion, it is everything a fragrance should be when centered around one note. Opening with spices and pepper and a blast of citrus, that open is mesmerizing because you just don’t know what to pay attention to first.  Mossy, green, spicy, and a truckload of vetiver. Despite the variety of notes, this is a polished rock of vetiver that glistens with moss, but you never can quite touch it.  It is my favorite vetiver perfume evah.

The Sahara Desert and Taj Mahal of vetiver perfume is Guerlain Djedi. Dry as old toast, weird as being on another planet. There is nothing else like it.  Doesn’t mean you’ll love it at all. It’s a little freaky, and it’s not beautiful as much as it is something that stepped out of time and place. I normally don’t like to include the discontinued/vintage stuff in these posts because they are so hard to get, and this one has hit impossibility.  The rare bottles that do show up on eBay are in the 2k range plus range, which is insane.  I just horde my bits of it and smell it when I want to experience another country. I think of this as No Country for Old Men, it’s definitely from a Cormac McCarthy novel and tells its story they way he does – in weird prose that you may not always understand, but speaks to you under the skin, crawls around inside your head, and you never forget.

The scarcity of Djedi leads us to Vero Profumo Onda, which is the closest thing still made to Djedi.  They are different, but Onda has that deep foreboding otherworldly feel, like you woke up on Pluto with a hangover and very little memory of the previous night except it may have involved Elves.  Leathery, rich, it is life lived lustily with some weird not regretful bitterness  — the dregs of the coffee that you appreciate as well because that drink was so rich and amazing.  While Djedi stays in weird and will never let you feel comfortable, Onda dries into a soaring floral note.  Rescue?  Redemption?  Do you care?

Hermes Terre d’Hermes for me is more of a mineral smell, but there’s enough vetiver in it and most people refer to it as a vetiver perfume, so it’s getting tucked in here so y’all don’t wag your fingers at me and ask me why I left it out.  I don’t have more to say because I love this scent.  It’s so well-blended, it never seems like “just vetiver” to me.  Try it for yourself, you may have a completely different experience!  It is a classic and keeps topping about every best-of list for men since its release.  You can’t take a tour of vetiver without including it.

Vetiver Perfume Crack

Hermessence Vetiver Tonka stands alone and takes the cheese on this one for me.  Who knows what it is exactly that makes one fragrance perfect and enjoyable and addictive?  The gourmand take on vetiver that created Vetiver Tonka just does it for me.  I love it, adore it, and nobody gets to talk bad about it, dammit!  So no hatin’ on th VT.  This is velvet, nutty vetiver, and it makes me happy beyond words.

Modern Vetiver Perfume Classics

Annick Goutal Vetiver is a modern classic, salted roots overlaid with the Goutal restraint and elegance.  Not so refined that you feel too dressed up, but casual refinement, a wee aquatic, like the salt air blowing gently across your face.  Christian Dior Vetiver is nicely rendered green vetiver perfume with a little coffee thrown in. 

A modern mainstream classic done right is Tom Ford Grey Vetiver.  This doesn’t happen that often, so we should throw a party!  Opening brightly, warmed with tonka, nutmeg and woods.  It’s not covering new vetiver territory, but it smells really good to great, and I’d far rather smell this all over a lot of men in public than half the other crap out there, so I give it a toss over the fence into modern classic keeper as a defensive move.

Refined, elegant vetiver oozes from Chanel Sycomore, and I think it’s one of the best modern vetiver fragrances.  Smoky, peppery, it replows some old classic ground and improves it.  As much as I rag on Chanel for the stuff they screw up (oh, Hi Chanel Coco Noir!), I always given them major credit when they get it exactly right.  Sycomore is right and falls in the easy to wear, beautiful, can’t screw up how you smell today category.  The vetiver bargain of this century is  Lalique Encre Noir.  A great vetiver perfume at any price, but when you  can pick up a 100 ml bottle for under $50, that’s a sweet spot you don’t find often in perfume.  Peppery woodsy vetiver, it is a vetiver bonanza – not too rough, not too smooth. It’s the Middle Bowl of Porridge, and the price seals it as perfection.

Going another direction with vetiver is Diptyque Vetyverio.   Green and peppery, beautifully warmed and spiced with nutmeg and clove.  The vetiver almost crunches on the open, then just gently warms.  Not your rooty vetiver, so it’s a great pick if you like some aspects of vetiver, but just don’t want it to be all-in metallic earth/root.

Salted vetiver is The Different Company Sel de Vetiver.  Where Goutal salts the roots, TDC dumps a shaker, the lid falls off and creates a crystalline, transparent vetiver that is an entirely different thing. Salty sun-warmed skin after a day at the beach, this is one of my favorite vetivers.

Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental is green, iris, chocolate, gaiac, labdanum, amber, musk.  A distinctly more sensual take on vetiver.  While I always admire this one a lot, there is a lush overripeness that feels vaguely malevolent and somewhat disturbing.  Such an odd thing for a vetiver scent! I never can manage to love it, it sorta spooks me. 

Jo Malone Black Vetyver Café shows that an odd pairing has some great results.  Vetiver and coffee, mai oui!  The play of the forceful nature of coffee, spooning up the vetiver like fragrant steam.  It is genius.

Mark Buxton gave us Le Labo Vetiver 46, so it has a decided incense slant to the vetiver.  Le Labo sometimes seems not to have so much of the main note in their perfume, and Vetiver is one of that variety.  You’ll get the vetiver – sorta –  but you’ll wade through a gorgeous river of incense to arrive on its woody green shore.

Atelier Vetiver Fatal is another great entry in the modern vetiver perfume classic family, and a recent one.  Violet, lemon, plum lighten the woody vetiver, and it cheerfully smokes up the area with oranges and vetiver. What’s not to love?  After being bounced around on whether it’s a limited edition or a main perfume for Guerlain,  Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle deserves a spot on Guerlain’s counters permanently. First available only in duty-free shops, then more widely available, then gone for a while, then back, now the word is it is gone for good again.  Really?  Lord, Guerlain, give this thing a permanent home!  This is vetiver for a bright summer day. Men need not worry about that “pour elle’ piece in the name.  It’s not that feminine. It’s just a glorious vetiver infused with orange blossom, tonka, muguet, and you could probably wear this every day for the rest of your life and never be unhappy again. 

Straight-up Vetiver, no chaser

AbdesSaalam Attar Vetyver is all earthy roots, all vetiver.  This is a great reference point that is well worth smelling because it’s a great example of vetiver without a lot of fuss, but it also smells great as a vetiver fragrance.  

Tauer Vetiver Dance is thick, chunky vetiver soup.  Probably one of the most long-lived and potent vetivers.  Even though it does have a chaser. I think of it as lush, jungle vetiver.  Lily of the valley and other notes plump this up, keeping the vetiver front and center.  If you don’t want a strong fragrance or will be in close quarters with other people, you might want to select another scent for the day.  This thing is not shy.

CB I hate Perfume vetiver accords go in here because they are well worth smelling if you have them. CB is removing all of his regular accords for purchase from his store, so I should probably avoid talking about them. But if you want to smell vetiver in the wild and get an idea of the differences between Haitian, Javanese and Indonesian vetiver, these were/are a good place to start. He may still have some accords sitting around, if you are at all tempted to try to run them down.  

Lorenzo Villoresi Vetiver approaches vetiver with his normal approach, walks up behind it, clubs it over the head and puts it in a bottle.  That’s NOT a bad thing some/most/all of the time!  This is green, woody, it doesn’t restrain the vetiver and try to civilize it much, except with a little spice.  Along the same Vetiver Raw theme,  Maitre Parfumeur Gantier Route de Vetiver is one of the bellwethers.  I am going completely by memory because this wasn’t one that I loved and kept, but it is fierce – green, rooty, it is raw meat for vetiver fans.  You’ve been warned.

I Profumi di Firenze Fresco di Vetiver is a refreshing, crisp vetiver scent, perfect for summer.  Nothing complicated, but a simple; well-made citrus-vetiver blend is often just perfect on a hot summer day. 

LezNez Turtle Vetiver Front, what happened to this one, did they discontinue it?  Damn shame. They had the original Turtle Vetiver, then issued this, and now it seems gone.  Smoky, rooty, and almost ice-cold.  It’s a wonderful full-on vetiver that doesn’t try to disguise vetiver at all.  Prada Infusion de Vetiver is perfectly fine, perfectly vetiver, and it’s really light and airy.  If you want a little vetiver smell, this is your go-to spot.  I don’t hate it, I just don’t really get it.  It’s like vetiver air.

Odd and off the Beaten Vetiver Path

Montale Red Vetyver strikes me as odd, but an interesting odd.  Grapefruit, elemi, cedar. An interesting woody warmed coolness over all of that woody heat, it has contrasts.  I’m never sure if I like it or not, but it always gets my attention..  Mona Di Orio’s les Nombres d’Or Vetyver is another oddball vetiver perfume – musk, tonka, sage, vetiver, ginger, violet.  It’s a wild ride and complicated. Sensual, mysterious, dry, warm, an unusual and out of the ordinary vetiver ride.

 Miller Harris Vetiver Bourbon is a surprise from the normally laid-back Brit line, but there is a family vetiver resemblance to Djedi.  Not super-close, but enough of that weirdness, the other-worldliness, green, the booziness lays in some lushness that takes out enough dryness and separates it from Djedi.  But this is a vetiver off the beaten path that is absolutely worth following.

Parfums de Nicolai Vetyver lands in the off the beaten path because they throw in some cumin and other interesting bits to make their vetivery concoction something else more interesting.  Well-made, the cumin in here isn’t of the body odor type. It hints at it, but you’re not going to smell like you were just in the locker room.  The spices warm it a bit,  masala vetiver is my best sketch of it.  So it veers spiced/gourmand vetiver, but doesn’t ever really land in the gourmet camp. Dolce & Gabanna Velvet Vetiver never got much attention when it came out, but I like the notes used in it – fig, vetiver and galbanum.  It lends a milky incense quality to vetiver that I think is unusual. I’m not entirely certain I like it.  It falls more in the gourmand family with the fig. I think the price point of the D&G Velvet Collection punted a couple of the best fragrances out of people’s minds, but this one struck me as something different in the world of vetiver and at least worth a mention.

Nasomatto Absinth  is equal parts vetiver and absinth, plus there are some nutty, gourmand notes in it, and it has that same addictive quality  of some perfumes that are like peanuts – you just want another sniff.  Farmacia SS Annunziata Vetyver Incense does an odd pairing of incense and sweetness with vetiver. I wasn’t really sure where else to put this one.  It was an interesting approach to vetiver, and I’m not sure if I like it, but I might!  It does meander over into Hermes Terre d’Hermes territory, but if you like incense and vetiver and Terre doesn’t do it for you, this one might.

Il Profumo Vetiver de Java has notes of lavender, vetiver, birch, incense, red rose, Cashmere cypress, gaiac wood and oak moss.  I love this take on vetiver. It’s a lovely, warm, woody and well done. I’m not that familiar with the Il Profumos, except through doing these guides, but so far I really like the couple I’ve tried.  Easy to wear, beautiful, what more could you want really?  L’Artisan Coeur de Vetiver Sacre is a beautiful tea and vetiver mix.  I probably should have included this in my tea post, it’s got a quite strong tea feel, and with the lovely osmanthus pairing. Ginger, incense, tonka, amber, woods.  I sorta remember there wasn’t universal love for this when it came out?  I smelled it when we were at Robertet in Grasse, Karine Vinchon, the nose behind the fragrance, presented it to us.  I still really like it like I did then.  You do have to have patience for the vetiver to show itself.  It’s a really beautiful tea/vetiver combination that veers gourmand, but never seems to tip over it.  It’s unique for me in vetiver, so it should have a spot on your to-try lists for vetiver.


Budget vetiver perfume, but still worthy

I don’t have a lot of other comments about these, but vetiver is a great note and plays easily in the budget end of things too, so try any of these if you just don’t want to spend a ton on a really good vetiver perfume – Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vetyver Haiti, Demeter Vetiver, Korres Vetiver Root Green Tea Cedarwood, Tesori d’Oriente Sandalo del Kashmir e Vetiver.  

So where did I go wrong?  Any glaring omissions? I hate asking this question because there is usually at least 1-3, and I cringe!  What’s your favorite?  Hate vetiver, love it, indifferent to it?    The drawing!  Below is the little gadget to do more entries. You must comment on this post to be entered, but you can earn additional entries by tweeting, liking, sharing, etc.  Entries will be accepted until next Monday, 1/21/13, and then I’ll draw the winners of the two vetiver sample sets that will include all or almost all of the vetiver fragrances in the post. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All samples were provided from my private collection or donated by Surrender to Chance

  • Jessi bowler says:

    Love tauer vetiver dance!!

  • Hofken says:

    I like spicy and woody scents

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  • sherobin says:

    I like several vetivers, but I love Coeur de Vetiver Sacre and Sycomore. Vetiver Fatale would be perfect if it were a bit louder. Theonone I’ve been most wanting to try is Black Vetyver Cafe. Thanks for the rundown and the draw!

  • Ninara Poll says:

    Huh… vetiver makes me think of Southern Louisianian Lawyers of a Certain Generation… the older gentlemen who were both gentlemen outside the courtroom and incredibly cutthroat inside a courtroom. They weren’t the ones wearing Polo/Drakkar Noir/Big 80s cologne scents used as a substitute for age and wisdom 😉

    • Ninara Poll says:

      I forgot to mention that I grew up in south LA in the 80s and my parents knew a lot of people in the legal profession 🙂 And those 80s powerscent wearers tended to discard their armor once they were a little more seasoned and a little less cocky 😉

  • Amer says:

    Back from vacation and I stumble upon a vetiver article? Lucky me! I love vetiver. I am one of those people who don’t seem to believe there is enough of the stuff in the world. Among the countless choices it is the deepest, dirtiest, heaviest ones that trully rock my world. Having said that I must also tell you that I loath TF Grey Vetiver. It is a sterile rendering of the note, deprived from all the characteristics that make it so dear to me. May it burn in the flames of eternal damnation. Amen

  • Dionne says:

    I’m kind of meh about vetiver on myself, but on The Engineer…… oh my! (yes, in a George Takei voice.)

  • lilybiscuit7 says:

    I loved your review. I’m a novice in the fragrance world and appreciate the information. Thanks!

  • Lynne N says:

    I haven’t really met a vetyver I didn’t like. My faves are Vetiver pour Elle- Guerlain, Sycomore-Chanel, Vetyver- Jo Malone, Vetiver Tonka- Hermes,,,,etc,,,

  • sunnlitt says:

    Thanks for this amazing post.
    Very educational….
    I do enjoy Vetiver pour Elle. Yummm….

  • Andrea says:

    Great review! As always. I have loved vetiver in the last few months! I have vetiver Extraordinaire which i love, sel de vetiver which i Like because it is dry and genial, and vetiver tonka which I love wearing in the day time.

  • FeralJasmine says:

    I love the Chanel Sycomore for workdays when I’m expecting a rough ride. It’s attractive, but something about it suggests that I’m not in the mood for nonsense. The Mona di Orio is too strange a ride for me. I guess there’s a point at which I expect a perfume to settle down and be a perfume, not a ProcessArt exhibition. But then, I’ve only used it once so far, and it took me a while to warm up to her Vanille, which is now one of my favorites.

  • Jennifer M says:

    I am a huge fan of vetiver love sampling different vetivers. Didn’t see Comme de Garcons’ nor Jalaine’s vetivers listed. Keeping my fingers crossed

  • Trixie says:

    The only vetiver im familiar with is Fat Electrician. Luckily for me i am planning on taking a friend fragrance shopping soon and i think while i help him discover his tastes i will focus on exploring vetiver. This is a great guide for this!!

  • Dan says:

    I am begginig perfumery education and I have to say this post and others in this blog are really interesting and helpfull! Congratulations! I am really curious about Djedi!

  • Isabelle says:

    A newbie in the fragances world, I’m still educating my nose to disitinguish the notes from each other.
    Still, loved Encre Noire even if I didn’t have much disponibility for it at the time… and the list of perfumes to try is ever expanding !

  • greennote2 says:

    I saw the comment about the L’Artisan sale and raced off to have a look, had a small bottle of Coeur de Vetiver Sacre in the basket, and then was completely unable to order it!!! Very not happy. That would be because I live in Australia, sigh, the tyranny of distance. I’ll just have to add it to my decant wishlist. Along with quite a few others in the post. The L’Artisan (vetiver, tea AND osmanthus, that’s ticking most of my wishlist notes!), and the ones labelled as weird piqued my interest.

    I love Sycomore, and, like many others here, Encre Noir. Both in very high rotation for me. The Malle’s been getting a bit of an outing as well. I’ll have to revisit Vetiver Tonka. I may have cast it aside as it may have tipped over my sweetness threshold.

    As always, thanks Patty, these posts are fabulous. I’ll be rereading quite a few of them before my next decant order. And thanks also to all those who post comments, there’s always great suggestions tucked away in them. Someone mentioned Profumum Fumidus in a positive light, I’ve been toying with trying that for quite some time, I may just have been persuaded…

  • rictor07 says:

    There sure are lots of vetivers, huh? Seems like I have tried a good many of these you mentioned, so i feel like i am pretty well educated in vetiver now. Two of my favorites, which i have owned full bottles of, that i dont see mentioned here, are Lubin Le Vetiver, and Etat Libre D’Orange Fat Electrician.

    Le Vetiver is a fresher take, similar to Tom Fords.
    Fat Electrician is much more rooty/earthy and suited for colder days.

    I always have a vetiver in my rotation. Currently it is Montale Red Vetyver.

    I am curious about what type of vetiver is expressed in Givenchy Vetyver. If anyone has experience with this one, which of the ones iin this post does it most resemble?

  • Your Guide to Vetiver came at exactly the right time – I ordered some Guerlain Vetiver last Monday and am absolutely jonesin’ for the stuff – hope it gets here soon! I would love to try everything on your list, especially the FM Vetiver Extraordinaire and the Hermessence. I’ve noticed that Clinique Aromatics Elixir has lots of the spicy, nutty vetiver you described.

    • Mary Jane says:

      Thank you Joanna, I thought I didn’t know vetiver yet, but I just replaced my bottle of Aromatics Elixir. Is that vetiver I’m loving?

  • Maria says:

    Thanks for the post, it seems like I am forever hunting after vetiver. I love Different Company’s Sel de Vetiver for a warm beachy day or a gray and rainy one too, and then for times when I hanker for caked hot sand beneath shady trees, I reach for the Les Nez Turtle Front. Love these. and always looking for more….
    thanks for the post!

  • DaveStPaul says:

    I really love Comme des Garcons’ Vettiveru. It’s from their Cologne Series, so it does have a bracing, lighter feel, a cologne-ish neroli/floral thing; but it also has a warmth to it, and a depth that keeps it going all day long, even while not projecting very far. It’s like a little bit of the good parts of several of your categories. =:o) Not expensive, either.

    Great article!

  • Shelly says:

    Diptyque Vetyverio is my absolute favorite. Thank you for the great list of other vetiver scents to try. 🙂

  • Karen Kinkel says:

    This is a very complete vetiver review. I agree with most of the comments, particularly with FM’s vétiver extraordinaire coming close to perfection and makes me think of the purest and most natural vétiver although à little harsh. Sycomore is the most féminine vetiver. Unfortunately it doesn’t last more than 3h. It invites to meditation and an afternoon for yourself.

  • susan says:

    I have not really been able to fall in love with vetiver. I like Vetiver Dance okay, but I think I like the Andy-ness more than the vetiver-ness. I do like Atelier Cologne Vetiver Fatale on muh man. That might be my favorite vetiver so far.

  • Tan S Yan says:

    I’m absolutely in love with Guerlain Vetiver! Unfortunately I gave a bottle to my dad years ago, and now it smells like ‘dad’ to me!

  • Miss Heliotrope says:

    Am wearing Sycamore today – I love vetiver & find that I wear it a lot in the hot weather: such as at the moment. That it is not girly is an aspect I prefer. I have always adored an (scented) image from the British Raj in India: big blinds made out of woven vetiver, dampened, and moved like large fans to cool – and perfume – the air; so decadent…

  • Rosalyn says:

    I bought of bottle of Coeur de Vetiver Sacre cheap at Winners in Toronto last month; a lot of Artisan stuff was showing up there amongst the usual crapola. I hadn’t sampled it before but figured it Vetiver was in the name I was probably safe. I like it well enough but (sadly for me) I do get the tea a lot more than the Vetiver — it sort of struck me as a un-exoticised Tea for Two — I am going to try it again now.

  • Rosalyn says:

    Vetiver just may be my favorite note and I love this enticing list! Wish I could posses them all but alas . . .I love Sycamore and I do appreciate Vetiver Extraordinaire, although I find the former a tad too refined and the latter a bit blunt. Would love to find something that walks a blurry path between them. I really liked the Diptyque Vet. from what I remember but it just seemed too fleeting. Craving to try Sel de Vetiver, Addesaalam Attar Vetiver, Lorenzo’s take and Nombres d’or Vet. after reading these delicious descriptions.

  • Mary Jane says:

    Describing vetiver, you had me at “refined” and “masculine” then, “warm, nutty, spicy, green, fierce”. I’m a relative newbie to this lovely, intoxicating, exciting world of fragrance. Hard to put the essence of a perfume into words, but somehow you manage to paint such lovely, incredible, irresistible images.

  • tomate farcie says:

    I know it’s not too original, but I like Roger & Gallet Vetyver

  • Kafkaesque says:

    Fabulous and very thorough list. I haven’t smelled a lot of these. Just Sycomore, Terre d’Hermes and the old version of Guerlain’s Vetiver. I lurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrved the old Guerlain.

  • Eloquence says:

    Ooh, I look forward to trying one of these out!

  • David says:

    I have loved vetiver since experiencing dried vetiver roots used as a means of scenting clothing drawers… a unique smell. I keep on looking for the perfect vetiver fragrance and the Guerlain Vetiver gets some of the way there…

  • matterjam says:

    Wow. I wear a lot of vetiver and was surprised not to see two of my mainstays on your list: Givenchy Vetyver (classic) and Comme des Garcons Vettiveru (killer bang-for-buck when you buy it in the 500ml keg).

  • Artist says:

    wow, this is fascinating. Vetiver is one of the notes I know almost nothing about, have experienced least of all in all the scents that I have sniffed and/or worn. Several years ago I purchased a large sample of SL Vetiver Oriental and never tried it. I just opened it and now there is a dab on each wrist…yes, I smell green and chocolate…and yes…iris…none of which I normally gravitate towards but, for me, it must be the musk that makes it lovely. It’s calming down to be quite beautiful, not spooky at all, but yes sensual.
    I would love to pursue vetiver more…yes, the Malle, yes the Hermessence and yes yes yes to the Mono D’Orio! My favorite scent right now is Mono D’Orio Musk ( I am a muskophile).
    Thank you for this post…and contest!

  • kizzers says:

    Another note I love and another great list! (Can’t wait for Iris). I love the masculinity of Vetiver. I started off with Sycomore, then Vetiver Tonka. If I spray 28 La Pausa in my hair I get lots of Vetiver too. My husband recently stole my bottle of Coeur de Vetiver Sacre, I may return the favour with his Grey Vetiver!

  • I have only tried a little vetiver but I love earthy scents and would love to try more. I find that vetiver adds a surprisingly nice accent in sweet scents.

  • jen sz says:

    Great run-down!

    ETRO Vetiver could go into the brutal category with the Villoresi.

    My gateway to vetiver was YOSH’s Sombre Negra (the new version). It’s vetiver, incense, and woods, and was the first time I sniffed vetiver where I didn’t feel it was too astringent. Now, I have become such a vetiverphile that I adore the Villoresi and wear it regularly; it’s so primal it sort of makes my teeth chatter.

    Would love to be entered into your drawing, as there are many, many I would love to try!

  • Robert Williams says:

    I have Terre de Hermes and Tom Ford grey. Love them both. To me the T.F is more for warm weather and TdH for cooler months. Hope to try some of the classics soon.

  • Trey says:

    I’m not a layer-er at all, but at times that I feel the Guerlain is just a bit stark for me (I wear it almost weekly), I add a bit of Vetiver de Java, which is “friendlier.” Also, I don’t think the Creed Original Vetiver is either original or Vetiver.

  • Das says:

    I tried Diptyque Vetyverio and purchased it on the spot. It’s one of those perfumes that feels very naturally ‘my scent’ if that makes sense.

    I’m excited to explore this note further. So far my sampling has been limited to Sycomore and Vetiver Fatal but I really liked both of those too, so it seems I’m becoming a vetiver fan! I’m so glad you created this post and the others in the series. Thank you!

  • Adam Griffiths says:

    What an exhaustive and entertaining survey! I now feel an overwhelming compulsion to explore the seemingly endless and exciting world of vetiver. Well done and keep up the inspiring work!

  • João Andrade-Ribeiro says:

    Excellent review! Thanks, congratulations!
    From your list, I have a compromise on Onda and a secret lover on Sel de Vetyver, don’t tell ’em 🙂
    Your fan, Insensé

  • ange says:

    As a newbie, the next note that I want to do explore is Vetiver! This came at the right time!!! I’m waiting for some samples, Coromandel that is and 28 La Pausa! I’m going to use this as my guide. Please put me in the draw! Thanks so much!

  • kathleen says:

    Funny, I resurrected JM Black Vetyver Cafe, only yesterday

  • VB says:

    Thanks for the opportunity. This list makes any parfumaniac greedy!

  • bidemic says:

    Sad to say I haven’t tried any of these, but ready to after this post. Thanks!

  • cyndee anthony says:

    After reading this post, I am off to search out a Vetiver sampler. Great post, there is so much to learn about perfume, the more I learn the less I know.

  • CeciliaT says:

    I’m another who adores vetiver, and have tried many on your list. I don’t know that I have a favorite, although Lubin is one I wear a LOT in the summer — it’s fabulous and cooling in hot weather. Oddly, haven’t tried the Guerlain yet, which I know is considered a benchmark. Will have to rectify that. Thanks for the great article (and the giveaway!).

  • Meghan says:

    Let’s not forget L’Occitane Vetyver, a dirty, creamy and rich option that I often layer with Guerlain Vetiver.

  • PianoGirl says:

    What a wonderful post! It makes you eager to discover more. Learned so much about vetiver fragrances. Sycomore, Coeur de vetiver sacre and Grey Vetiver are the only 3 I tried. I want to win!

  • I only recently became a vetiver fan- and now it has to be very dark a tarry. Best I have found so far is Profumum Fumidus… delicious on women too…

  • I don’t have many vetiver-centered scents, but hay has been my latest obsession (maybe as an escape from winter). I would be interested to see how much hay I can find in these scents. Otherwise, the Artisan Coeur de Vetiver Sacre is calling out to me . . .

  • Ceil says:

    My favorite vetiver is Armani prive Vetiver Babylone. I also like Bois 1920 Vetiver ambratto. It would be fun to try some new ones.

  • MariaA says:

    I love love love love Vetiver!!! Vetiver pour Elle is one of my most favorites and Atelier’s Vetiver Fatal was a great surprise also!!! As far as cheapies go I have he Korres one, will look up the Tesori d’ oriente one as well!!

  • Yuki says:

    I have only just started exploring vetiver-centric perfumes. The only one on this list I’ve tried so far is Atelier Vetiver Fatal, which I liked very much!Vetiver Tonka is one of those perfumes that I’ve heard so much about that I don’t know why I haven’t tried it yet, but so many of the others sound wonderful too 🙂

  • Ines says:

    In couldn’t find any missing vetivers (was checking to see if Mona’s will be there as I love it). Personally, vetiver is a note I enjoy a lot and I have many vetiver perfumes in my collection – I find them soothing, with that greenish-hay, warm feeling. 🙂

  • shylotus says:

    I believe I’ve turned into a Vetiver fanatic. There isn’t, so far, one I have tried that I don’t like! However there are several on your list that I’ve not yet tested. I’d love to be entered, thank you for the draw!!

  • Katrin says:

    Guerlain’s Vetiver pour Elle has been one of the few Guerlains that I could not stomach. I thought it’s because I did not like vetiver. But then I tried Sel de Vetiver and Montale’s Vetiver des Sables, both of which I found utterly wearable and gorgeous.
    So is Sycamore. After reading this post I am dying to try out FM Vetiver Extraordinaire.

  • Matt says:

    I like vetiver a lot, but have not yet bought any vetiver fragrance. I have a couple of samples of Terre d’Hermès, I have tried and liked Guerlain’s Vetiver and Vetiver pour elle, and was overwhelmed by the weirdness and complexity in Mona di Orio’s Vetiver. When I’ll be ready to buy something different from my orientals, I think vetiver is what I’ll be looking for!!


  • Jules says:

    i’ve only tried guerlain vetiver but i’m very fond of it! would love to try more, but i’m just starting out…

  • Barbara says:

    Have not tried any vetiver fragrances but would like the opportunity!

    Years ago Bath and Bodyworks had a vetiver fragrance which I just loved. Used up a bottle of fragrance and about six shower gels. Why can’t they bring that kind of thing back instead of the dreck they have now?

  • Joaquim says:

    My favorite vetiver is Onda, I don’t know how this can be the creation of an human.

  • Twitchly says:

    Great list. I’m keeping this one for future research. Love me some vetiver.

    Hove in New Orleans makes a great straight-up vetiver fragrance (Vetivert). Earthy, smoky, just like the root itself. I have the solid parfum, which I sometimes dab beneath other fragrances in order to amp up the vetiver. It’s great with Chanel No. 5! Hove also sells the vetiver root itself, or at least they did when I was there. Another New Orleans house, Bourbon French, makes a feminine, powdery vetiver, called Vetivert. Powder fans would love this.

    I may be alone in this, but White Linen smells like a very ladlylike vetiver to me. I don’t think that note is even listed, but I’m sure it’s in there somewhere.

  • Farouche says:

    My favorite vetivers are Vetiver Pour Elle and Mona di Orio’s Vetyver. I would like to try Vetiver Tonka!

  • ewewhojane says:

    So many sound wonderful! Vetiver Tonka is a favorite of mine, however, I was wearing it the day Hurricane Irene flooded my Vermont village, including my house, and I can’t wear it without being transported back to that horrible day, so I need another vetiver to go to with the same comforting quality.

  • Claudia says:

    I am not terribly knowledgeable about vetiver, so your list appears to me to be more than complete. I’ve learned so much! Thanks for the giveaway. 🙂

  • Amanda G. says:

    I love vetiver but I haven’t tried any of this.. I am most interested in Vetiver Tonka!

  • Julie F says:

    I haven’t tried any of these but I need to – rooty and earthy is right up my alley. I have a small sample of Attar Bazaar vetyver perfume oil and have been dabbling in it.

  • Vlada says:

    My favorite is Pink Grapefruit & Vetiver by Henri Bendel. I would like to try Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire.

  • Merlin says:

    Vetiver is a bit of acquired taste for me as I am typically averse to notes I find dry. Still, I did learn to like it so much that I have Encre Noir, which I love because of the dark woodiness with its secret, subtle sweetness. Also, I like it very much in Dzongkha with iris, incense and papyrus.I haven’t tried Vetiver Tonka, but I would probably like it as I do love Vetiver Oriental – though its too expensive to buy. I don’t find it at all ominous: instead I like the balance of dry sharp vetiver with the luscious sweet gourmand-ish notes…

  • Ramona says:

    New territory for me as well! I also am leaning towards Vetiver Tonka but I have to admit the Turtle Vetiver Back-Front- and Sideways wins it for Creative Names! I remember the first time I saw the name in print I thought it must be a funny typo- Alas, I show my perfume ignorance and newbiness once again!

    Thank you so much for the great post- I want to try them all but will probably kick the bucket before I am able to do so =P

  • Lynne Marie says:

    Once again you have outdone yourself! Vetiver is new territory for me, I feel as though I know nothing about it. Given your descriptions, I might start out with Vetiver Tonka since my likes tend to lean in the gourmand direction and then maybe follow that with Creed’s Original Vetiver to sort of ease my way in slowly. Any other gourmand-y vetivers out there? Your comprehensive guides are always so educational ( and hard on the budget – but hey, food is highly over-rated, right?)

  • 50_Roses says:

    I haven’t tried very many vetivers. There are just too many perfumes and too little time (and skin space). I do like the smell of vetiver; it was one of my favorite notes back when I used to play around more with essential oils. I was a bit alarmed to read that Vetiver Pour Elle is d/c. Now I need to make the trek up to NM to see if they still have any stray bottles and to give it a good sniff. I do have a tiny sample of Djedi, and I don’t find it as weird as you do. To me it conjures up an enchanted forest full of elves and unicorns and other magical creatures. OK, I suppose fairy tales are a bit weird, and those enchanted forests always seem to have their share of not-so-nice creatures, such as dragons, witches, trolls, and so on, but still–I wish I could come across a small stash of it somewhere. It doesn’t even have to be a FB, just a few ml, enough for me to wear it once in a while when I am in the mood for elves and unicorns.

  • Martha says:

    The only vetiver I have tried is the Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire. I liked it, but gave the sample to my boyfriend and now it’s lost somewhere, probably under the dresser or something. Aargh! I want to smell it again. Probably I’ll have to crawl around on the floor under the dresser, bed, who knows where, to find it!

  • Lisa D says:

    I was calmly perusing all the lovely comments on vetiver scents, until I saw the post about the L’Artisan sale (thanks, E. Lime!). Threw the Ipad to the side, and literally ran for the wallet. A giganto bottle of the Coeur de Vetiver Sacre is now on its way to me, despite any promises I made to myself on the cusp of the new year about curbing my fragrance purchases. Ah, well. I was good for a couple of weeks, anyway.

    Like many here, I love Vetiver Tonka, and I often use Lalique Encre Noir as a room spray without a second thought (it’s so affordable!).

  • Ana says:

    Wonderful list! So many vetivers I haven’t tried!I absolutely , insanely love Onda in the extrait! But it’s so expensive! I really can’t justify to myself buying it ! But maybe one day!

  • Austenfan says:

    I missed a few on this list:
    The Givenchy Vetiver, MPG Racine, a very accessible vetiver, and I suppose much easier to wear than Route du Vetiver, Etro Vetiver and Kenzo Air.
    My own favourites are the Goutal, Route and either Racine or Encre Noire.
    Wonderful list anyway!

  • Samantha Lowry says:

    well….you made it sound so appealing and since 50 ml bottles of Coeur de Vetiver Sacre are currently on sale for $40 at L’Artisan I just had to go buy one! I’m sure I’ll like it and if not, it was almost free!

  • tammy says:

    Pretty sure I don’t know what vetiver smells like. I have sniffed Sycomore and Djedi, but I can’t recall any similar note they shared. ( Admittedly, I do not have a very sophisticated nose. ) I think I have the femme version of the Lalique; I need to see if it has a prominent vetiver note and sniff it again.

    I really enjoy these kinds of posts, Patty; thank you.

  • Dana says:

    In my experience, you’ve pretty well covered it. I like my husband to wear Terre d’Hermes and Encre Noir. I enjoy Guerlain’s when I’m really hot in the summer. It seems to have a cooling effect. Would love to smell the differences in these other samples.

  • I love these explorations of notes. You always make me laugh and list things I’ve managed to NOT try. . .so I have to go out and sniff them, posthaste! (Grey Vetiver and Encre Noir of all things!) I agree with Monkeytoe and SusanLabben that KenzoAir is a good one for the list. It is a great light bergamot/vetiver that is a great starter vetiver–it was my very first. I didn’t know then what the interesting note was, but knew it was refreshing. Y’all will get tired of me bringing up SMN’s Eva, but I love it, so classic, and easy to wear in all seasons. I’d say it was genderless, despite the name, in the way a vetiver based cologne can be. Be well.

  • susanlabben says:

    Forgot to mention Kenzo Air! Great vetiver and anis combo by Maurice Roucel! Pity it is discontinued…

  • Gisela says:

    Another one that’s really well done in a classic way: Lubin’s Vetyver. I like Terre d’Hermès (it’s my dad’s frag) and Vetiver Tonka. Guerlain’s pour Elle is gone in minutes, Sycomore gets sour on my skin and Prada’s Infusion de Vetiver is mostly estragon to my nose, but Onda – perfection! 🙂

  • lorrainetao says:

    Great post as usual. I’m so glad you like JM Black Vetyver Cafe – there’s so much Jo Malone bashing out there I usually keep that love to myself 🙂

  • ccm33140 says:

    Hi Patty, I just want to say I love these guides. Thank you! In your honor, I am wearing Hermes VT … tee hee! Haven’t tried very many of the ones listed except for the Tom Ford GV (like!) and I have some 80s Guerlain Vetiver and a small bottle of a newer version and I find the older one much stronger. I am anxious to sniff some of these other great suggestions, especially Sel de Vetiver.

  • Shiloh says:

    Vetiver. I am not sure I like this note. I smell it in fragrances like Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver, and I think, “Whoa! That is MALE and strong! I’m not sure I like it.” Then…..I can’t stop sniffing it. Suddenly, I’m trapped in a green, spicy world and I feel a little naughty breaking gender roles by wearing it. Later on, I don’t care what those around me think, I’m rocking it! I feel sexy, powerful, and cozy. What a strange, strange note.


  • reglisse says:

    Vetiver, whoot! It’s a note that my skin doesn’t fight with, as a rule. Special shoutout to Encre Noire, the frag that I get the most compliments on, ever. It’s extremely worth the price, and would probably be the one scent I’d stockpile. Thank you for the vetiver love!

  • Lynley says:

    Woohoo! I’ve been so looking forward to the next installment, and it’s here and it’s vetiver! I lurve vetiver, and as it’s summer here I’ve been wearing it a lot. One of my absolute faves is AbdesSalaamAttar Persona. Simply Divine.

  • rosiegreen62 says:

    I love vetiver. I have not tried most of your list but I do love Terre de Hermes on my husband, it is too much for me. I also love Etro Vetiver, a dry spicy vetiver that I use to ameloriate the smell of sunscreen. The Etro makes it much more palatable. I have a split of Turtle Vetiver Back on its way to me, really looking forward to smelling.

  • Kathy B says:

    Love the vetiver in Sycomore and really want to try the Le Labo vetiver. thanks for the giveaway

  • jirish says:

    We are a vetiver loving family. My husband wears the Guerlain, my son wears Terre d’Hermes, and I am often in Vetiver Extraordinaire, or Sel de Vetiver, or Vetiver Bourbon, which I was thrilled to see mentioned here, as it is so often overlooked. And Onda is on my full bottle wish list. But a chance to smell even a drop of Djedi? That would be heavenly!

  • I have been in love with vetiver ever since I first smelled it in plain essential oil form when I was a teen sniffing things at the health food store. My favorite vetiver from your list is Mona D’Orio’s Les Nombres d’Or Vetyver. As was mentioned above, not your average vetiver, but a delicious ride through a very unique take. Perfectly unisex in my mind. And yes Encre Noir often hits the spot, especially for the price. I love the dark, almost inky rendition of this fume. Many thanks for the draw!

    • Heather Wood says:

      I know that when I smelled the pure essential oil for the first time I was repulsed, but strangely compelled to go back and sniff some more. Did you like the pure oil right away, or did it take time?

  • monkeytoe says:

    There are a few that I either really like or love not on your list: Le Vetyver by Lubin; an incense vetiver; MPG Racine which is at the midpoint between Guerlain Vetiver and Route de Vetiver; Kenzo Air: a wonderful transparent anise Vetiver that is perfect for the over-sprayer in your life–I can’t imagine someone could OD on this one; and Givenchy Les Mythiques Vetiver, which may be my favorite of the bunch smelling somewhere between the old and the new Guerlain.

  • pam says:

    I’m with Ayset–I have the Vetiver de Carven, and it’s pretty good. Wanted to get the Guerlain, and suddenly it is in short supply. Maybe I’ll happen upon it soon. The others, well, I have never had the opportunity…

  • Ayset says:

    Vous avez oublié les grands classiques de vetyver l’un est Ma Griffe l’autre Vetiver de Carven….

  • Spiker says:

    I haven’t tried any of the vetiver fragrances yet, so I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for the samples. What a fantastic introduction to a note that would be!

  • solanace says:

    I love Vétiver. Discovered it via Terre d’Hermès, and have since fallen in love with Guerlain and Sycomore. Must try others on the list, and Vétiver Tonka will have to be the first!
    Although it is not a straight up vétiver, Amouage Dai Man has the most delicious vétiver opening.
    Thank’s for the draw!!

  • Irina says:

    I haven’t tried many of the list
    Vetiver Front is weird but beautiful
    I love, love “Vetiver Tonka”
    would love to try many more
    thanks a lot

  • susanlabben says:

    Sycomore, which I expected to LOVE after having read so many glorious reviews, literally stimulated my gag reflex. It was a purely visceral thing… What a disappointment! Especially since the quote (Chandler Burr…?)”…If smelling Sycomore doesn´t give you shivers of delight, go see a doctor…” had convinced me that I would absolutely love Sycomore :-)Vetiver Tonka was love at first sniff, but after a year it also started to give me nausea. But, I have kept the 15 ml decant in case I would fall in love with it again… I still adore Terre d´Hermès and Vetiver Dance on others. I like Vetiver Pour. So there is still hope…

  • Amy V says:

    I’m a new convert to vetiver, after testing the Guerlain classic at Myer. I ordered some vetiver bourbon essential oil, which I hope will help me get to grips with this note. Thanks for the draw, and your fun guide to vetiver! “It may have involved Elves.” 😀

  • FearsMice says:

    Yay! I love vetiver, and have actually tried several on this list! I’ll put in a plug for The 7 Virtues Vetiver of Haiti as an affordable perfume that seems perfect for summer. Thanks to the wonderful Robin at NST for my bottle!

  • Jane says:

    Wow, what a comprehensive report! Certainly makes me want to win…

  • TaffyJ says:

    I know some of the fragrances mentioned, but not many; I guess I’m not that familiar with vetiver. I do have a sample of the Chantecaille Vetyver, which Tatiana mentioned, and that one is really nice.

  • Civet says:

    My favorite vetiver of the moment is Atelier Mistral Patchouli. I don’t get any patchouli, but I do get a beautiful, salty vetiver, not a million miles away frOM TDC Sel de Vetiver. My all-time favorite vetiver is Soivohle blood oranges & vetiver.

  • Heather Wood says:

    I have a much-loved bottle of aged Haitian vetiver oil, far too strong to wear but pod for psyche-clearing sniffs from the bottle. For wearing, Sycomore is hard to improve upon, and the Tom Ford Grey Vetiver sounds like something that I could spray on my husband and get away with it.

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    I am liking the vetivers I’ve tried so far . Totally agree about the Vetiver Tonka -gorgeous!
    Must warn that vetiver doesn’t blend with pink jasmine well though at least Rodger & gallet ‘s didn’t with Fresh’s the resulting combo smelled of burned hair. Just sayin’ .Please put me in the draw.Thanks!

  • d3m0lici0n says:

    I love vetiver as well and the new Turtle Vetiver Back is also a nice addition to the list.

  • Dina C. says:

    I’m a big vetiver fan. There are loads on your list that I haven’t tried yet. My favorites are Sycomore, Guerlain’s Vetiver and Vetiver pour Elle, and No. 19 where it plays a strong supporting role. 🙂

    • Patty says:

      You have some amazing favorites, and they are mine too! Poor Vetiver Pour Elle, I do not know why they keep jacking that one around, it’s just so beautiful.

  • ojaddicte says:

    I finally got to test Encre Noir on paper and it is gorgeous! I couldn’t get over the longevity. It is definitely on my list to test on skin.

    • Patty says:

      Encre Noir is just the best perfume bargain evah. Great scent, cheap, that one makes me so darn happy! It’s like Giselle for me and Gucci EDP. 🙂

  • Tatiana says:

    I used to say I’ve never met a vetiver I didn’t like, but there’s at least one vetiver in this list I don’t like. I have to admit there are many in this post I have yet to try. My favorite by far is Malle’s Vetiver Extraordinaire. Chantecaille also make a straight up Vetiver. Thanks for the comprehensive listing.

  • Jackie b says:

    I am aghast that I have tried so few of these, something I must rectify at once. Love vetiver essential oil, put it in soap often.
    BTW that banker may smell gorgeous but he doesn’t like the smell of the person next to him!

    • Patty says:

      Time to fix that, yes! I love vetiver. I don’t wear it a lot, but it makes me so darn happy when I p ut on one of my favorites.

  • blauriche says:

    Other than Guerlain’s I quite like Etat Libre d’Orange’s Fat Electrician and Frederic Malle Bois d’Orage/French Lover. I like Terre d’Hermes on other people, but upon buying a bottle I realized it wasn’t really me.

  • E.Lime says:

    If anyone is interested in the Coeur de Vetiver Sacre, it’s on sale on L’artisan’s site right now… and extremely reasonable…

  • tourmali45 says:

    Out of all the names you mentioned I only tied and liked L’Artisan Coeur de Vetiver Sacre. I’ll have to pay more attention to veriver perfumes. I’m really interested in Le Labo’s presentation of vetiver – I love their idea of a rose scent (Rose 31), so am eager to try something else by them.

  • nozknoz says:

    Great list! I love vetiver, from the absolute classic Guerlain Vetiver to the art project super limited edition Turtle Vetivers. I would also include Chanel 28 La Pausa as a stealth vetiver, cloaked in a velvet iris cape. It was Bear who orignally pointed this out.

  • Em says:

    You forgot the only vetiver I have ever loved: Ramon Monegal Umbra. I think of it as my Katherine Hepburn scent, all class and good posture and no-nonsense, but softens a bit over time.