L’Artisan Coeur de Vetiver Sacre (Patty)

Before we kneel at the temple of sacred hay vetiver, we have the profane pisstivity. Where the hell is Etro Messe de Minuit?

Oh, wait, I don’t want to forget.   Serge Lutens Boxeuses sample winners: waftbycarol, K.R. and patuxxa.  Clickety-click on the contact us link on the left, remind me what you won,and I’ll get your sample in the mail!

Now, back to missing, murdered midnight mass.  Just a few short months ago, Messe de Minuit was available at discounters everywhere for the price of cab fare from the Denver Airport to my house. Rumors abound it has been discontinued’ish.  One of those rumors that never seem to be official, but the dwindling availability and the rising price (retail?!?!?) for it give you pause to believe it truly is going, going…

…gone.  I have scoured everywhere, even calling Bergdorf, who used to carry the entire Etro line, willing to pay any inflated price to put another bottle in my empty moldy incense fragrance quiver, and they have dumped Etro – the whole line.  Discounters – absolutely nothing. One place let me order four bottles for $50 apiece, but I have no bottles after a month of waiting.  Aedes says it is on backorder and they should have some in two weeks. My fingers are crossed, because if they do get it, I’m gonna have to pay the 4x cab fare price to get it. It was one of my first oddball niche fragrances (Oh, March, don’t cry, you know I love it, but it is a musty weird thing and should have been on your weird list if it wasn’t) and one of a few fragrances that I have absolutely clear memory about how it smells.  Borneo is another.  So is Pink Sugar. I never claimed that I only had good taste in my scent memory.

If any of you know a source (European?) for bottles of this, would you drop me a note or comment and tell me where, how, how much? I somehow feel naked with none. And Christmas is around the corner, and I switch this out with Nuit Noel for Christmastime.

Did you guys know March and I met over a decant of Messe?  It was back when I was on eBay in the days they still allowed decanting, I’d only been decanting all of like a month or so as a hobby I took as seriously as I take politics (not at all, they all lie), and she ordered some Messe from me. After patiently waiting a couple of days for it to arrive (kidding!), she e-mailed me to find out where her damned decant was, thinking I’d never sent it. I knew I had sent it, I had the confirmation number to prove it. She’s thinking thief, I’m thinking liar (wonder where that “Dodgy last name” came from?), but I sent her another one, which arrived in a few days.  She graciously e-mailed me saying it was there, and thanks, and then proceeded to pour her heart out about perfumes over a series of e-mails for the next couple of months. I had two teenagers, a new marriage, a full-time job and that pesky, annoying decanting thing I was doing, and as much as I loved reading her e-mails, which were so well-written, interesting, odd, finding the time to respond to them with the care I should became a challenge. I had the blog then, but only had time to post a couple of times a week, and I’m thinking, hey, she needs someone to talk to like — commenters!!!!!! I asked her to write some blog posts to help me out, and the rest is history.  My e-mail got a rest, I still got to read her perfume thoughts and giggle over the things that came out of her head, like comparisons to wet possum, old socks and decaying bones, but in a good way, etc., and y’all got the same rich gift of peeping into her fascinating head two days a week. How lucky we all were because of that missing Messe de Minuit decant. So help me find some more, we all owe it a debt of gratitude!

I smelled the new L’Artisan Coeur de Vetiver Sacre when we were at Robertet in Grasse this summer.  I didn’t  get enough time to spend with it, no sample to take with me, but I loved it immediately.  Notes of bergamot, black tea, date, dried fruits, saffron, ginger, pink berries, vanilla, incense and musk.  My nose joyously shrieks “ginger tea and hay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  and then does little carthwheels in the cobwebs where things I don’t remember used to be.  I don’t know that anyone else reads hay when I do, but the vetiver in this takes me right down the hay path, I’m guessing with some influence of the ginger and some of the sweeter notes with that brightening that adds some sharpness.  Don’t care, it’s a hay fix for me.  The open is more tea and bergamot, but as soon as they get out of my way a bit, yup, hay, hay, glorious, delicious, yummy, delirious hay.

Is this a vetiver fragrance? No, sure isn’t.  Thank goodness. There are plenty of great ones out there that are full of that scratchy, earthy vetiver. I’ve got a bunch of CB vetiver accords I love to sniff to get my vetiver fix.  If I want polished vetiver, I drown myself in Vetiver Tonka, which never fails to make me swoon and roll my eyes back in my head.  For a refined, but still vetivery vetiver, nothing really beats Malle’s Vetiver Extraordinaire.

What we don’t have enough of is fragrances that give me hay and tea and ginger all in one place.  Fortunately, this one doesn’t change after the first opening gambit.  Good thing, or I’d be huffing a spritzer on me every 20 minutes.

I’d like to tell you there was enough in the sample I got in my Barney’s bag to give some out, but there isn’t, I’ve used almost all of it, rolled around in it, it’s all used up. Sorry!  But if anyone will give me a lead that scores me some Messe de Minuit, I’ll go beg, borrow or steal a sample, if necessary, to send you.

So favorite vetiver? Do you even like vetiver?  Messe de Minuit?  Good oddball weird or just plain old weird weird?

  • Winifreida says:

    Well perfume insanity knows no bounds!!I too went to ebay Germany and just did the transaction in an entirely foreign language! Complicated by some sort of paypal diversion to the seller’s shopping cart!! In German! Cross our fingers!As much as I like my ‘new’ bottle of M d M (yes its sort of fresh and lemony, hardly any mould at all!) I just ADORE the old mildew version, so hopefully that’s what I’m getting!

  • Cheryl says:

    I love vetiver. I even buy it straight as an essential oil. But Encre Noir is just a hands down great vetiver. The men’s version. the women’s version is a mess of not-vetiver.

  • DinaC says:

    It’s such a coincidence that your post should be about how hard to find MdM is, because I’ve been looking for it for the last month. I ordered a sample back in early September, looking forward to Halloween, fall, etc., and then decided to scout out a FB. Well…they are rare as hen’s teeth right now.

    I’m relatively new to incense, but I’m liking it. Wore Timbuktu yesterday, which was nice, but I had to re-apply four times. Also like Silver Factory quite a bit.

    I’m a big fan of vetiver. I started off loving the classic Guerlain vetiver and Vetiver pour Elle. It’s a note in many of my favorite scents, since I love all things green. This fall I’ve been wearing Sycomore in heavy rotation. I’m eager to try out this new L’Artisan vetiver, even if it does give you more of a hay vibe. Sounds good to me.

  • Winifreida says:

    OMG ESP – I was going thru’ a huge philosophysing thingy yesterday about these exact ‘fumes – and now I’ve missed the comment boat but I have to express myself and say something…I can’t BELIEVE you talked about these…
    I generously sprayed the L’A Heart Vetiver yesterday, and got haunted – and found the last few drops of my precious Djedi from TPC – I’ll be FB-ing the L’Art because I’ll swear it has the ghost of Djedi in it…yes I know its probably just the vetiver…but…swoon…
    and M d M…also got the sample from TPC – MAD must have – got a bottle from the Shoppe in Canada – excuse me if I’m mixed up – obviously a new vintage because not quite as hugely crypt-like and mouldy, but still wonderful – you can only assume the scarcity of this is due to some STOOPID reformulation; don’t get me started…

  • nozknoz says:

    Messe de Minuit was one of my first Etros, after Palais Jamais, and I love it in December, especially. Another alternative would be Armani Prive Bois d’Encens, which is really delicious but so pricey.

    I have a veritable savanna of vetivers, but the AG is a particular fav – it’s so soulful.

  • AnnieA says:

    Didn’t care for L’Artisan Coeur de Vetiver Sacre at first sniff, but might try it one more time before passing the sample to a pro-vetiver friend. It might be that Vetiver Pur Elle will be the only vetiver for me.

    My favourite incense is Comme des Garcon Avignon, but I haven’t bought a bottle yet, as I’m not sure whether I think of it as a room fragrance.

  • Louise says:

    I like, don’t love vetiver. My favorites by far are the smoky Le Labo version, and the smooth Hermes Vet Tonka. The latter is very nutty and pleasing to me.

    Messe has always been good to me. I don’t much musty at all, but rather a lot of incense, vanilla and a touch of rose. I have an older bottle, and a recent reformulated one-and it’s a minor tweak, with a touch more sweetness to it. Those scared of the old might even find the newer easier to wear.

  • dleep says:

    So sorry you can find Messe de Minuit. It was one of the first niche fragrances I purchased and I bought it unsniffed. I just knew by the description that I would love it. I haven’t worn it in a while but I am going to spritz some on this evening.

    Good luck in your search.

  • March says:

    DAMMIT WHO BOUGHT ALL THE ETRO MdM FROM THAT SELLER!?! I go to the gd dentist and come back and …. oh.


    Never mind.

    Would you laugh if I told you how long I looked at that page in German, looking for the Buy It Now button? I’m thinking: Dieses Angebot wurde beendet. means this auction has ended…

    • Patty says:

      Well, I only looked at it for 2 minutes before figuring out why I wasn’t seeing them on regular eBay. They keep changing their damn search engine, which is so annoying.

      I have plenty now, and if you need a bottle, I’ll gladly part with one in my now expansive MdM collection.

    • Louise says:

      Check out that page again-those original 3 bottles are sold, but there are several other listings for the MdM below.

  • violetnoir says:

    Woman, I knew from the moment I tested it at Barneys in SF in July that I had to have a bottle of CdeVS.

    My darling daughter was studying in Paris over the summer, so the first text I sent right after I left Barneys was to her, lol! I’m like, “Please get your butt over to the local department store and grab me a bottle before you head home! I don’t care about the price.”

    And, she did. For once, a happy ending for me!

    And, I am so happy. This is my favorite fragrance of the year…so far! It combines the black tea, with the berries, with the cardamom, with the ginger, with that slight hay accord you mentioned, P. I am in heaven.

    Hugs and love!

  • Disteza says:

    I love me some vetiver, and Messe de Minuit; I’ll have to go lovingly stroke my bottle of it as soon as the SO’s head cold clears up. I wore a little of the Amouage Memoir Man out last night and it just about killed him, poor thing. I must admit that I never got the mold in MdM, to me it always just smelled of lovely incense. I do hold much affection for Profumum’s Olibanum becuase of the unholy helping of both incense AND vetiver. Although I like Vetiver Tonka immensely, I find myself veering in the direction of Sycomore so often that I foresee a FB in my future. I also love the mess outta some Turtle Island Vetiver–you want your musty moldy smell, there it is.

  • Musette says:

    I love that story of you and March – like sweetlife and everybody else on here I’m SO glad that first Messe was missed! 🙂

    I’m not much for incense (does Passage d’Enfer count? I like that but it’s the peppery parts I like). But I LUHS me some prehistoric vetiver. The bitier, the better. The pretty ones are for when I’m going out in extreme heat but…by my lonesome? Digging in the garden? Bring on the Bad Dogs. I’m talkin’ essential oils! Eden Botanicals, Aroma – great stuff. Weirdly cooling. Keeps the bugs away, too. I run vetiver-scented palms through my hair – I’m good for several hours out in the buggy heat.

    xo >-)

    • Ann N. says:

      Hi Musette, you are too funny! I love your buggy story. Will have to remember that next time I’m out gardening. Just a dab of vetiver keeps the critters away, eh?

      • Masha says:

        Vetiver or rhus khus has worked well with wasps for me, but a huge horsefly bit me in my garden despite the vetiver (and DEET), and the bite lingered for 4 months!

        • Musette says:

          Horseflies care for NOTHING! They are the scourge of the Universe, IMO. Vet (not a dab, more a ‘rub on your palms and smooth over your skin and hair’) keeps most things away – I’m fine with bees but wasps and hornets! OW! They stay away from the vetiver. Ditto regular flies and most deer flies. Horse and blackflies….whole ‘nother story! Maybe napalm? 😕

          xoxo >-)

          • Masha says:

            Well, I grew up partly on an American cattle ranch, so I’d been bitten by horseflies before. But nothing like this. The bite was bright crimson and 7cm in diameter for months! Hurt like #(#%#). Alpine horseflies are the devil, I’m sure of that. And nothing scared this critter away. It was Biblical….

          • Musette says:


            xo >-)

            I wonder if they’re tougher because they have to survive in the Alps? 😕 Of course, that makes NO sense but it sounded vaguely ‘thinky’ – something I’m not often accused of! :d

            xo >-)

  • sweetlife says:

    How great to hear the story of you and March. I’m SO glad you provided the forum for her writing.

    I do get vetiver from the L’Artisan, but I can see how you’re reading it as hay. For me it doesn’t show up until the dry down, and even then it is very dry, and still sweetened by the tea/ginger. I have to dump my little sample in a sprayer to do a true test, but I was surprised by how well done it was after the meh reviews I’d been reading. Yay, L’A!

  • Erin T says:

    Messe de Minuit: good oddball weird. I’ve been going through the exact same thing as you, hunting for it desperately, just *after* it disappeared. Weirdly, I mention this in my list that should post to NST today. I managed to get old bottles of Shaal Nur and Anice while the old bottles were still kicking around and cheap, but Messe has evaporated. I’ll check German eBay for the old bottles now – thanks to the commenters who suggested this! I’ve heard from two seperate sources that the version in the new bottle is quite different: less mouldy and animalic, more lemony and light. The “Midnight” part of the name may have been forgotten….

  • Patty says:

    I love you guys. Really.


  • Abyss says:

    I contacted Etro a few months ago (via their website) and they got back to me quickly with details of their (then new) UK distributor. I emailed the distributor who also responded very quickly with a list of stockists and also told me that Messe was in limited distribution in UK. They also sent me some samples. I have since noticed that Etro started popping up at some new retailers so I’m guessing they were going through some sort of distribution shake up.

    Anyway, this is my very long-winded of way of saying that if you shoot Etro a quick email then I’m sure they’ll put you in touch with someone in your area who’ll know what’s going on. This is the email address that I used [email protected]

    I might wear Messe today thanks to this post!

  • mals86 says:

    MdM is one I have not yet laid a nostril on – I do tend to be pretty sensitive to mildew/mold/musty notes, and so I haven’t gone out of my way to try it. I think at this point, I may just give it a miss.

    And am not a big vetiver fan either. I like it in No. 19, I like the vetiver-ish waft in Cuir de Lancome… but in general, just Not My Thing. I’ve been uninspired to try vetiver scents, but since you, like Kevin at NST, got hay and ginger tea out of CdVS, I am intrigued. I love hay, but the quintessential “hay” scent, Chergui, does nothing for me. I wore it for the fourth time yesterday, and it should have been yummy, and it was SO.NOT. It is fairly hideous, in fact, until the drydown, which is plain ol’ powdery amber on me – inoffensive but boring.

    SMN Fieno? Hmmm. Add that one to the test list…

  • Ann N. says:

    Hi Patty, sorry about the Messe. Hope you find some soon. I’m not a huge fan of vetiver, although I enjoy some Vetiver Tonka from time to time. But when you say “hay,” I’m intrigued.
    Might the new L’Artisan be a (albeit distant) cousin to Chergui? Thanks!

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Ah, Djedi! Fantastico. I love SMN Fieno too.

    Now, let me see what I can find for you re Messe de Minuit. It isn’t for me but I am happy to see what is available!

  • dinazad says:

    GAAAAHHHHH! Need.To.Buy.MdM.Backup.Immediately. It ain’t summer (or fall or winter or…..) without it. It smells of summer holidays in the Pyrenees and picknicks among the rosemary and lavender bushes in front of tiny churches in the summer heat.

    Did you ever try Santa Maria Novella’s Fieno for hay? I get dried bison grass (I got a bunch of it in Poland when bison still roamed the primal forests, stumbling over the odd dead dinosaur) from it, a friend gets the air of Mauritius, another thinks of fragrant grass mats in India. Lovely.

    • eelriverrose says:

      Jindra!!!!! I’ve been thinking about you and wondering how you are. Please email me!!!! xo Susan

  • Kim says:

    Messe is just plain weird. Just can’t get into incense, it always smells like mold on me.

    For Vetiver give me Guerlain’s Djedi – discontinued but still available for an arm and a leg. Yes, I know, some would call Djedi just plain weird like I called Messe, but oh what weirdness – a deep, dark, animalistic, dry vetiver. Once you have smelled it, all other vetivers pale in comparison.

    If this new L’Artisan is more like hay, I’m looking forward to sniffing it and comparing it to my current hay love, Chergui – hay & tea & tobacco & leather. Oddball weird but oh so wonderful.

  • Gisela says:

    As a (weird) Vetiver I love my Onda! Both extrait and EdP.:d

    Messe de Minuit – I don’t know if this is any help for you, but on German ebay are quite a few bottles for about 30€ each; the older ones in the brown boxes.


    This seller sends worlwide for 14€, and 3 bottles are available.

    I wish you luck!:x

    • Austenfan says:

      I was going to suggest German ebay as well. It’s where I got my bottle. The e-tailer where I got my bottle still has plenty of Etro but no Messe de Minuit. ( his name was premium parfum) He sells the Etro fragrances and lotions for bargain prices and the transaction was impeccable. But as Gisela suggested there are plenty of bottles still available. I saw another e-tailer who still had around 7 bottles for appr. €30,-.

      I love Vetiver as a note or as a whole perfume. My recently acquiered MPG Racine is possibly my favourite Vetiver so far. Others that I like ( and own) are: Goutal Vetiver, Encre Noir Lalique, Guerlain Vetiver and Vetyver Nicolaï. I still reallly need to sniff the Route de Vetiver, Vetiver Oriental and the Malle one.

      Good luck on getting some more Messe!

    • Patty says:

      yes! I thought my default was worldwide when I was searching ebay, and usually it suggests that there are international things when you search, but for whatever reason, it wasn’t on all of these, but I clicked it on and went and bought them all.

      Thank you so much! Send me your address, if you would like a sample of the L’Artisan vetiver or something else, which I’ll happily send you as a thank you!

      • Musette says:

        I love you. You know that!

        This is one of the reasons I love you:

        “…and went and bought them all”!

        I feel that way about Mallomars! 😡 I just had my local store order some – they asked “do you want one or two boxes?” “six”.

        “Oh! okay!” Apparently they are not hip to the seasonality of the Goodness.

        xo >-)

      • Austenfan says:

        Did you get all the bottles on German ebay or just the ones from the seller Gisela linked to?

        The only fragrance I have multiple bottles of is YSL Paris ( ” vintage”) I just love it that much.

        Glad you filled your need of Messe de Minuit.

      • Gisela says:

        Patty, you’re sweet! I’ll send you my address. Thank you!

  • tmp00 says:

    I have a like/dislike thing with vetiver. I like it but it’s a signature scent (guerlain) of someone with whom I have had a difficult relationship. I have tried the new Escentric Molecule 03 Vet, and boy, it’s the G-d Emperor or Vetiver.

    I’m sad that Etro is going, and that Miller Harris is so hard to find…

  • Jared says:

    Aww, this makes me sad. Messe was one I always wanted to smell. I think I put it off because I am so loaded up on incense. What do you think? Does Messe occupy its own little niche even if I have the CdG line, Jubilation XV, Timbuktu, Dzonghka, Sonoma Scent Studio’s Incense Pure, and Gucci Homme already?? I’m sure it does, but I’m just curious.

    I definitely want to try this “vetiver” at Barney’s next month. I have a load of vetiver scents myself, but the prospect of hay, tea, and ginger is really pleasant to me. It’s Sycomore season, so that’s been getting love lately.

  • Masha says:

    I really love vetiver. Living in tropical or near-tropical climes got me used to its smell, it’s used in linen drawers, and in mats that are soaked in water, so the cool smell blows through when the mats are hung in the breeze. My favorite is Encre Noir, the one by Lalique.
    In India, an attar-making family has recently switched from sandalwood base to vetiver. I ordered some samples, and was leery about earthy vetiver with tuberose, and other flowers. But the vetiver is extremely light and ethereal, so the vetiver with tuberose is my current favorite vetiver! There’s always room for more vetiver! Glad to hear Karine Vinchon’s newest for L’Artisan is so good, I’ll have to seek some out. I love ginger/hay!

    • Musette says:


      do tell on the attar-making family?

      xo >-)

      • Masha says:

        I can’t find their full name, I think begins with G?? WhiteLotus Aromatics and Tigerflag are selling the co-distillations, but I don’t know how to buy them directly. (I don’t work for either company in any case.) It’s one of the old families who have been using sandalwood for centuries, one of the sons has been experimenting with a vetiver base for about 5 years now, and has come up with some good results with several flowers.

  • Tamara*J says:

    I know it’s not a scent totally devoted to vetiver but I’m wearing Divine’s L ‘Inspiratrice and even though it starts out a lovely rose/patch’ it then quickly morphs into a awesome vetiver/vanilla/patch’ perfume and it’s BOMB.:D
    I love this!
    I think I need a FB. It’s that good.


  • Mooche says:

    I have been liberally spraying both Sycamore & Vetiver Tonka lately, can’t seem to get enough of either. Maybe they just work really well in the early Spring weather in Melbourne, it’s been very unpredictable.

  • Lily says:

    Mmmmm vetiver. Wearing vetiver tonka today and have been surreptitiously fluffing my tshirt periodically so as to whoosh a veil of it over me. Weird, much?

    Guerlain vetiver also a favourite, but prefer it on hubby. The L’Artisan sounds delish.