Vetiver: Notes on Notes

Hello APJ, Welcome to our small scale collaboration project. Old Herbaceous (OH) of Serenity Now Scents and Sensibilities and I will be doing a monthly post on different perfume notes. We are not perfumers but aficionados of fragrance. So lots of our information will come with links for further reading or text references. We are learning as you are learning, or refreshing.

Oakmoss Notes on Notes BANNER

Vetiver: Notes on Notes

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Saturday Question: What Is Your Vetiver?




Hello Fellow Fumies,

At APJ we have a Saturday Question. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it’s a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back regularly and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them. The aim is to generate real conversation and connection even though we are scattered around the globe.


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Vetiver Carven by Edouard Hache for Carven 1957

Hi There Fume Friends,

Recently I was looking at vetivers and up came a sample of a modern version of a fragrance that I had blurred memories of smelling as a kid on Jim, my Grandma’s second husband. We may even have bought it for him for a birthday or Christmas. Really blurred memory. Anyway My Perfume Samples was having a sale on it, sold out now, and I wanted to see if the modern one bore any resemblance to my poor memories.

Vetiver Carven by Edouard Hache for Carven 1957

Vetiver Carven FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lavender, mandarin orange, clary sage, petitgrain, lemon
Heart: Carnation, sandalwood, orris root, jasmine, vetiver, cedar, bergamot
Base: Amber, musk, oakmoss, myrrh

Righto! So I spritzed about 1ml on my chest and hand. I am now sitting in a lavender fugue with lovely citrus sparkles. It doesn’t smell terribly expensive but it does smell nice and clean. It stays citric through the heart with a little earthy vetiver but by this time it is quiet and unremarkable unless you are sniffing very close. Just a very muted fragrance that is nicer than nothing, really it is quite sweet and not aggressive or in your face. I miss most of the bouquet, there’s some nondescript woods and maybe a nod to oakmoss or it may still be some vetiver, there is a vegetal green that doesn’t smell like a stand out note but is there.

Vetiver Carven Water_drops_green_leaf WikipediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

If you respritz over your initial ones at the 2 hour mark it’s extraordinary how much fuller and more lavish the whole fragrance becomes. Now I get a definite vetiver and the woods are differentiated though I still couldn’t tell if they were cedar or sandalwood but they are woodsier.

Vetiver Carven smells nothing like what I remember Jim wearing, this is a soft scent, a hint, and would be an excellent choice for someone on a budget who may be working in very close quarters, needs something barely there for after the gym or wants to keep a fragrance in their bag that can give them a quick pick me up. Unless the people around you really know their stuff this is not decidedly different from many WAY more expensive options that could cost up to 20 times more. I won’t name names but you know some of the ones I’m talking about….

Vetiver Carven Perlmutter Grandfather WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

Further reading: Perfume Shrine
FragranceX has $23/50ml
The Perfumed Court has the VINTAGE from $6/.5ml

Do you have olfactory memories of Grandparents? Are they as blurry as mine?
Portia x