The "Reference" Vetiver...
Jean-Paul Guerlain's Vetiver was one of the the first fragrances composed primarily around Vetiver, and it has become a classic ever since.
For me, when I first opened this and sprayed it I was shocked. It smelled like an old man! Not just that, but an old people's retirement home! I was horrified, and for a long time I couldn't get this image out of my head!
But I gave it time (like all Guerlain's), and guess what? I love it now! I wouldn't be without it. I now think that if I only had to choose two fragrances to wear for the rest of my life, it would be this and Habit Rouge.
So, what's not to like here? You have fresh, bright Lemon and dry, spicy pepper in the opening, joined by Nutmeg, a hint of Tobacco, and raw, earthy dry Vetiver throughout. Jean-Paul Guerlain made this when he was only 20 years old (an amazing feat for a perfumer), and he based it on the smell of a gardener, working in the crisp, early morning. Whilst wearing this you really do feel active, dynamic and alive. If you close your eyes you can imagine what the air smells like at dawn in a dew-covered field in the early morning mist, the crisp, cold air mixing with the smell of earth and grass.
It's very green, very fresh, very alive. This one really lifts you up and it sets you up for the day brilliantly. Like standing in a field and taking in the cold morning air. It also reminds me of green jungles, and it's no surprise because this product was originally sold to Mexico, where they imported the Vetiver essence exclusively from Guerlain, and there was a huge demand for the smell of Vetiver in Latin America. For that reason, I also think it works (exceptionally) well in hot weather, cutting through the heat beautifully... the fresh lemon lifting up the green, earthy Vetiver and making it a very clean, almost soapy smell.
Look, I know not everyone will like this one at first, but if you like green, earthy and fresh... you'll really love this one. Just try it on a spring or summer morning just before stepping out of the house into the air. You'll see what I mean, what kind of effect it has. I love this one, love it, and love Guerlain for making this. No Vanilla, no Amber or heavy Florals. Just pure green, refreshing energy! Great stuff.
This is a review for the vintage/pre-reformulated Guerlain Vetiver [rectangular bottle, small square green label in center, straw color juice].
Stunning. A beautiful, sunny masterpiece.
This version is less dry and acidic than the iteration in the frosted bottle (which has thankfully been discontinued but will live on forever on eBay).
It opens with a citrus blast; photorealistic lemon and bergamot followed in short order by notes of pepper, nutmeg and a wonderful grassy, earthy vetiver. It's sparkling and fresh - without use of any ozonic or artificial 'clean' notes. Longevity is great. I can easily detect it on my skin 8/9 hours later. Hearing the fragrance was inspired by the scent of a gardner is no surprise - in fact, it's perfect.
It's pure class in a bottle and even though it's been long discontinued, I've acquired a lifetime supply (TWELVE 3.4 ounce bottles and SIX 6.8 ounce all over body shampoos!) because I don't ever want to be without it!
This is a review for L'Instant Magic...I can't seem to find it anywhere in the reviews section? I adore this! I don't care so much for the original Guerlain L'Instant so I this was a big surprise for me to enjoy this one as much as I do. Infact, I decided to make it my wedding day fragrance. Also when I've worn it, I've received lots of compliments...once a woman followed me and made me write the name of this scent down for her so she could find it. She said she could stand and breathe me in all day! :) How nice was that?!! I love that it smells a little almondy and powdery.
First, this is a review of Guerlain Vetiver pour Homme Eau de Cologne, vintage around 1960. Second, I don't care what notes Fragrantica, Perfume Intelligencer, anyone puts in for this. Here is what I smell: lemon (ok, I smelled lime, but I'm not perfect with this so I'll say lemon), soft soapy musk (Egyptian type), vetiver, sandalwood, dry green herb (coriander?), oakmoss(?).
Now, the gestalt: a smellalike for L'Artisan's Santal, and that is a huge compliment. Yes, I realize this came first, which is also a very interesting factoid. I also realize that the "notes" officially listed for the vintage version of this do not include sandalwood or musk. I have a little investigating to do. My decant came from a friend and it has all manner of label stating it is Guerlain Vetiver 1960's vintage. Still, I'll go to Sephora and try the 2000 re-issue. If I can, I'll get another sourced sample to compare. And I'll do a side-by-side to make sure this isn't mislabeled L'Artisan Santal. But right now I'm sticking to this story: the decant clearly labeled Guerlain Vetiver pour Homme EDC is a complete smellalike for L'Artisan's Santal and was probably the inspiration for it, whether Santal's creator realized it or not.
It opens in a soft, elegant waft of Egyptian musk-y, soapy musk with a top of dry citric (I smelled lime but it may be the combo of green herbal and lemon), a heart of dry green herbal/oakmossy chypre not unlike #19, Vent Vert, Ma Griffe, etc's Green Gang note, and an under note of dry green vetiver (as opposed to the smoky vetiver) and sandalwood. It is medium sillage in the EDC so it must be Big Sillage in edt. The drydown opens out the dry green notes, musk, and vetiver, and midway through this begins to turn into a cousin of Ma Griffe, but does not loose the beautiful soapy musk. Stunning.
EDIT: I've checked a more modern version. While the newer Vetiver is a little more citric, my EDC is indeed vintage Guerlain Vetiver, and both vintage and new are smellalikes for the increasingly impossible to get L'Artisan Santal. Oh Frabjous Day!