L’Artisan Parfumeur Coeur de Vétiver Sacré indeed smells like the “sacred heart of vetiver” — unlike many fragrances which list vetiver as a note, this scent is based around the dry, grassy scent of vetiver itself. However, its concentration on one single note does not deter from its beauty, and it is far from boring.
The opening reminds me of what Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea wanted to be, for about forty five seconds: bergamot black tea makes a sharp statement, but refrains from being harsh. The top notes begin to evaporate from the skin immediately, like most L’Artisan Parfumeur scents, taking away a bit of the sweetness of date and dried fruits. From there, it reveals a more peppery, exotic base, with saffron and ginger reminiscent of an ancient spice market, softening the feel with sweet, pink berries.
Finally, Coeur de Vétiver Sacré dries down to a gorgeous vetiver mingled with incense, musk, and just a touch of vanilla. It has a divine ancient-spice quality in its sillage, but close to the skin, it’s deliciously woody and practically edible, evoking memories of saffron rice and other delightful dishes.
The vetiver in this blend is grassy — not green in a stems-and-leaves kind of way, but grassy as if you’ve literally taken a (wonderful!) nose-dive into a pile of vetiver. No dirt, nothing mulchy, just clean and dry, made woody and spicy by the incense and ginger. Vetiver, as if it was grown in eroding desert soil, then pulled from the sand, left to dry in the hot sun, and sold in a spice market.
Overall, I do think that Coeur de Vétiver Sacré is gorgeous, but not the type of fragrance I’d wear. It’s very fresh and grassy-green (neither of which are my usual “type,”) and has a feel that is almost… sour. It’s certainly more masculine and feminine, and is by no means the star of the L’Artisan Parfumeur lineup, but do I think it would be amazing on the right guy (or girl, depending on your fragrance tastes!)
Availability: In the US, Coeur de Vétiver Sacré will launch exclusively this month to Barneys New York, but will expand to other retails in the new year. In Canada, it will launch in Ogilvy’s.