Blog post by Gwen
I am a vetiverivore. I thrive on vetiver fragrances. I love its woody, verdant earthy odour profile and its bitter, smoky facets. It smells manly, which is why vetiver is to masculine fragrances what the rose note is to feminine fragrances.
I’m immune to gender designations in fragrance and happily choose among my vetiver fragrances to wear any time of year. Vetiver has a depth that shines in cold weather and a heft to withstand summer heat. Choosing a scent from a group of vetiver fragrances is a tough task - like choosing between puppies, unicorns and ice cream.
But sometimes I want to experience vetiver's beauty without experiencing its heft, especially on hot summer days when it feels like Earth is six inches from the Sun. That’s when I wear Vétiver pour Elle by Guerlain.
Here’s the story: when Jean-Paul Guerlain launched Vétiver, originally called Vétiver Pour Homme (Vetiver for Men), in 1959, it was so successful with men and women that he was asked to create a vetiver fragrance just for women. The challenge was not to compromise vetiver’s nature or hide it behind ‘girlie’ floral notes but to create an elegant and chic vetiver fragrance. It was in 2004, after a trip to Shanghai, where, it seems, he found the inspiration he needed to create Vétiver pour Elle (Vetiver for Her).
I don’t know what happened to him in Shanghai, but I know what happens to me when I wear Vétiver pour Elle – I tend to gush.
It opens fresh and green from bergamot, with orange blossom adding a slightly sweet, floral note. This pairing gives Vétiver pour Elle a lovely, light elegance that perfectly counters summer heat. I smell a subtle note of vetiver here, too, that lasts throughout the fragrance's development. As it blooms, a garland of lush, feminine florals – I pick up honeysuckle, jasmine, lily of the valley and neroli - surround the vetiver as nutmeg and pink pepper add a touch of gentle summer warmth to the heart. Then, Vétiver pour Elle goes through a soapy, clean phase that could be off-putting if it weren’t tempered by the vetiver. At the base, vetiver becomes more pronounced - its woody facet highlighted by cedarwood, its grassy aspect hinted at and sweetened by Tonka bean while musk keeps Vétiver pour Elle smooth as suede.
The drydown is a confident, elegant floral and vetiver combination that can be worn any time of the year. And when it comes to taking the bite out of summer heat, this vetiver fragrance is the perfect choice.
Check out Vétiver pour Elle in our Shop.