Two more vetivers, slightly higher end I’d say.
The reason I started trying out all these vetivers was after I read somewhere that Les Nez’s Turlte Vetiver Exercise 1 smelt like the marine/tortoise tank at the zoo – raw, salty, a bit dirty, pungent… sounded amazingggg. Of course this isn’t available any more so I went for the new release – Front.
Turtle Vetiver Front opens with vetiver of course. It’s smokier than that I have tried already, and also has some strange green spice to it that I can’t quite identify. It’s definitely earthy, but not like soil or mud or mushrooms – the type of earthy I’m used to and look for.
To me, it feels like it goes on feeling damp and fresh and in a matter of seconds turns around and dries out. What I smell now literally after a minute, is dry earth with withered, spicy greenery sprouting through cracked ground. On first blast there seemed to be a coconut/fig vibe but that vanished pretty quickly, I think that provided the fleshy/dampness.
Sniffing this more, I’m actually really enjoying it!! I applied pretty liberally which I didn’t do the first time I gave this a quick sniff, it’s coming out much stronger this time. I still feel like vetiver has an empty vibe to it which I described in my previous posts as being light or aquatic – I was wrong. It feels sparse, similar to how to the frankincense feels sparse to me in Avignon. With the vetiver however this seems to be consistent unlike the frankincense which in some fragrances is full and luscious – Incense Rose for example.
Anyway, without confusing myself and going off topic – yes, this feels slightly sparse again to me, but I guess that is something I am going to have to get used to. Everything around the empty spaces, I really like, it’s unlike anything I would normally wear and that’s what I’m finding interesting.
So far it is definitely my favourite vetiver soliflore. It is dry, slightly dusty, with a spicy/smoky vetiver and the occasional flash of green coconut. Recommended for vetiver lovers that’s for sure :)
Vetyver doesn’t open with a recognizable vetiver, of course that would be too obvious for a Mona creation!
Instead it’s actually quite hard to dissect! It’s a whole bunch of notes that combined together don’t feel familiar, but are instantly quite comfortable.
The opening burst is that of a tart but bitter citrus (which I’m guessing is grapefruit) and spice which gives in pretty quickly to a semi-mentholated smokiness with the spices still strong up top. They seem quite foody, kitchen spices if you will, and I think it’s a nutmeg almost cinnamon spice I can pick up? It’s kind of a chinese-five spice thing. But don’t let that put you off, everything surrounding it keeps the fragrance from turning foody.
A good few minutes later and the vetiver peeks up it’s head and stays there. It is not as raw as in Turtle Vetiver Front, and is instead very green, a little fresher, and definitely spicier. The five-spice remains layered on top and creates a vetiver soliflore that seems a little bit more complex than everything else I have tried – it sounds ideal, if only I really enjoyed all the surrounding notes! I enjoy the cedar which comes through around the 10/15 minute mark. It helps to dampen the fragrance more so and provide some much-needed woody support.
The base of creamy tonka mixed with the vetiver is unique as it provides a complete contrast to what I expected from the base (a woody/earthy/dirtiness), instead its velvet soft, musky, but with that spicy vetiver floating above it.
The combination of spices and vetiver is rich, semi-oriental and translucent… it’s very unusual and unfortunately for me starts to get uncomfortable to wear yet bizarrely familiar. If you’re after a straight-forward vetiver, this isn’t it – but like all of Mona’s soliflore creations for the Les Nombres d’Or line, the title notes all have clever support, unfortunately the foody notes in this one don’t really seem to work well for me.
I do find this fragrance clever, even though I have crap exposure to vetiver fragrances. It is nothing that I would personally want to wear, and it’s definitely not the vetiver for me, but I would happily recommend it, even if I’m not as wowed by it as I had hoped.
Turtle Vetiver Front – Les Nez 50ml – $120 Luckyscent
Les Nombres d’Or Vetyver – Mona Di Orio 100ml EDP – $190 Luckyscent