smell this: L’Occitane Eau de Vetyver


L’Occitane’s Eau de Vetyver is a rich, creamy vetiver, wonderfully enveloping in the winter months. Here we have a species of vetiver quite distinct from a fresh, bright vetiver (my prime exemplar being Guerlain Vetiver). This is dark and earthy, closer to straight vetiver essential oil.

It’s a shame vetiver isn’t one of the scents we tend to have on auto-recall, like the banana or rose. Please, go smell something that smells of vetiver and teach your nose about this great fragrance. I have yet to smell a vetiver dominated fragrance that I actively disliked. This is personal to some extent, of course, but vetiver has the sharp green brightness of mint as well as the slightly different acidic brightness of citrus (a different quality of light, if you follow), the visceral appeal of rich, healthy earth newly overturned and full of living roots, and that masculine tug that comes from being used at least minimally in the base of nearly every western fragrance (and not so minimally in many of the masculine ones), and so being vaguely, can’t-quite-put-your-finger-on-it familiar.

To all of this, in the case of L’Occitane’s offering, is added a measure of sweet cream, softening all of the edges and giving the fragrance a feeling of warmth, like the illusion of warmth one gets from smelling cinnamon or amber fragrances. It can be used sparingly as it is a powerful concentration and has excellent longevity on the skin (and even better longevity on fabrics).

This isn’t showing up on L’Occitane’s online shop anymore so I suspect it is being discontinued. I snagged a bottle from my local store to have as a backup, is how much I like this fragrance. Many of L’Occitane’s fragrances are pleasant to me though few touch me as personally desirable. I do like the Magnolia & Mûre from their new La Collection de Grasse line but that is a story for another day.