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Le coeur vert/The green heart
Without question! I love both versions of vetiver, but I only wear the old formulation. Why is this so? Let's put it this way! Let's imagine that both versions are pictures of the same motif. One is painted in oil. You can see the traces of the brush on the canvas. You can feel the grooves and bumps as you glide your fingertips over them. You can see different warm light refractions and reflections on the surface when you move them around the oil painting. The other picture identical to the motif is a digital art print. It is printed on paper. The surface is clean, smooth and flawless. No ridges or bumps. There are no lows and highs. The reflections it throws back are distorted and blinding. It looks perfect, but is very cool and static! Personally I would prefer the oil painting. It's similar with vetiver in the old formulation!
I wore my first vetiver at twenty-one. This is now thirty years ago. I have been looking for a long time to get a bottle that is as old as possible and if possible goes back in time. And it still exists! However, I was more than lucky to get one of the really, really old bottles that were even sold with propellant for a short period. This one seems to be from the 70's in the early 80's. It is perfectly preserved both externally and internally. This version and formulation is virtually unchanged and unaltered. It is so to speak the quintessence of the old vetiver and still the old handwriting of Jean-Paul Guerlain!
If you spray the old formulation of vetiver on the skin, it is nothing charming, pleasing and gentle. The perfume is an elemental force and nothing for delicate minds and noses at first. It's as if all aromas and fragrances hit you in a bundle. Powerful, wild and quite unbridled. In a fraction of a second you can recognize the bergamot and citric, which quickly disappears. Immediately a green-brown, rich and almost fleshy tobacco is very present. Ripe and not yet harvested. A sultry, earthy and sweaty note is mixed with the oil of the gostus root. Accompanied by a slightly pungent and subliminal civet note. These two notes have completely disappeared in the new formulation. They were never officially mentioned in the fragrance pyramid, but were always present in minimal doses. By the way! Spicy, hot and crushed pepper and vetiver are also instantly recognizable. After about five minutes this tornado of aromas subsides and the fragrance calms down. It seems to disintegrate into its components and dissolve, which is deceptive and not the case. It just rearranges itself and comes up again. All the notes come together in perfection and harmony. Earthy and spicy nutmeg work their way up and the probably unique wild-green and smoky vetiver that gave it its name. After about a quarter of an hour, the fragrance no longer seems to be on the skin, but to float above it like a second transparent skin. Lightweight, but incredibly dense. The fragrance has something pulsating in its aura and charisma that is like a heartbeat. If you are calm and relaxed it is also. If you get hot, the perfume radiates immensely and pushes forward. Something that personally likes very much! In contrast to the new formulation, which tends to remain fresh and spicy, the old formulation has a slightly subliminal, warm, sweaty and human undertone with much more depth and warmth. The stronger concentration and density is already optically recognizable. If you place both versions next to each other, you can see that the older version looks like golden yellow camomile tea that has been drawn too long and the newer version looks like tender green, watered down wheatgrass juice. Concerning the shelf life, the old vetiver is far superior to the newer one. The shelf life is twelve to sixteen hours and even longer. On clothes even days. It's almost never completely gone!
Like I said. Both versions have their advantages, which are reflected not only in the composition but also in the price. An old version sometimes costs much more than a new version. But it is worth it if you want to have the old spirit of Jean-Paul Guerlain and his vetiver around you. A perfume that spreads an almost impudent and provocative, masculine and wild elegance. And this for sixty-one years now. You should only decide which version you want. The smooth, light and soft version or the rough, heavier and more angular version with much more depth. Each has its lovers and advantages. And to come back to my introduction...
I prefer the oil painting,... still!