One of the things I’ve noticed over the years living in the northeastern quadrant of the US; summer comes in a day. Every year everything is cool mornings temperate afternoons. Then overnight humidity and heat takes hold for the next 100 days. When that happens there is one perfume ingredient which seems as if it was designed to be worn in the warmth, vetiver. There are lots of great vetiver perfumes out there. When I am asked to recommend a luxury vetiver my answer has been the same for a decade now, Chantecaille Vetyver.
Vetyver was one of a trio of fragrances released by Sylvie Chantecaille in 2010. They weren’t the first Chantecaille branded perfumes, but they are the beginning of the line that currently is available. All three are full throttle examples of their keynotes. patchouli in Kalimantan, gardenia in Petales and Vetyver wears its exuberance in its name. Pierre Negrin was the perfumer for all three. They rank among his best. Its one thing to go big. It is entirely another thing to make it compelling.
What makes vetiver so good for the summer is its dual nature of green grassiness and earthy woodiness. Depending on what you choose to surround it with one or the other of those faces takes the lead. M. Negrin uses a top accord to enhance the green and a base accord to find the woody depths.
That opening is built around grapefruit given some texture through nutmeg. The freshness finds a harmony with the greener pieces of vetiver. This is a luxurious tonic to begin the day. The citrus and the vetiver are like a crisp linen shirt. What makes me enjoy this perfume is the slow evolution over hours from that into a darker version. It occurs as sandalwood displaces the citrus. Once that happens the earthy piece of vetiver comes forward to meet it. This is the flip side of the first few hours. It has gone from crisp linen to sultry looks exchanged at twilight. This is one of the perfumes I own which really does change dramatically from the morning until the evening as if it has an internal sundial.
Vetyver has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
If you are looking to add something new to your vetiver fragrance shelf for this summer, you need to put Chantecaille Vetyver on your radar.
Disclosure: This review is based on a bottle I purchased.