Bel Ami Vétiver (2013)

Bel Ami Vétiver by Hermès
8.2 / 10     231 RatingsRatingsRatings
Bel Ami Vétiver is a popular perfume by Hermès for men and was released in 2013. The scent is leathery-woody. It is still in production.

Fragrance Notes

Vetiver, Leather

Ratings

Scent

8.2 (231 Ratings)

Longevity

7.7 (153 Ratings)

Sillage

6.8 (162 Ratings)

Bottle

7.4 (160 Ratings)
Submitted by Freeestyler, last update on 23.09.2019
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Reviews

6.0 7.0 8.0 7.5/10
Zirkon

9 Reviews
Zirkon
Zirkon
Chronologie III - Neo old school 2013
Groups: leather and at times wooden chypre, but that can be discussed.

I agree with what some are saying - that this damn beautiful piece of men's perfumery earned a special name. You can smell traces of old Bel Amy, but still this is a different smell.

When we're speaking of good perfumes with vetiver prefix, there is no similarity to 'FM Vetiver Extraordinaire' nor 'Chanel Sycomore' but it has some similarity to 'Sel de Vetiver The Different Company' without its recognizable dryness. This is not just a concidence, knowing that Celine Ellena created 'Sel de Vetiver' and J.C.Ellena created 'Bel Ami Vetiver' and I can't help feeling that the father had his nose in daughters creation.

However, this similarity doesn't even come close to saying that Bel Ami Vetiver is not original enough or is already seen. Sel de Vetiver is one of the most original scents ever made, while Bel Ami Vetiver is more aristocratic and slightly pulls on the wonderful smell of barbershops. It is not a smell that is rude and pushy but very serious, of character, elegant and very comfortable to wear. Very good stability and good projection.

Bel Ami Vetiver is not a restoration of Bel Ami from 1986 and it doesn't associate of Coppola restoration digital edition of The Godfather trilogy from September 2008. This is neo old school which marked 2013 as successfull when it comes to a new perfume creations.
7.0 8.0 8.0 8.0/10
Augusto

0 Reviews
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Augusto
Augusto
5
Vetiver - the ultimate genderbender?!
Bel Ami Vetiver starts off trés bel with a serh pretty, more dreamy than splashy citrus note, which flies by quickly and drapes into the soft spice leather known to the inclined Hermès wearer of Bel Ami. Very soon an extremely velvety vetiver appears, amazingly clear and at the same time completely harmonious, which sometimes superimposes the well-known scent building, sometimes underplays it. This turns the fragrance from a soft men's classic into a unisex flatterer, into a women's fragrance with a twist. An amazing trick the first time, when Vetiver is the gentleman among the grasses. At AugustA, he uses it to run open doors every time. That's how times change: Gentlemen welcome...
1 Replies
ColinM

516 Reviews
ColinM
ColinM
Helpful Review    9
Distinguished vetiver win
So finally I was able to try this flanker of the glorious Bel Ami. I never cared to approach the current version of this timeless masterpiece, I only know and love the vintage one (not a matter of snobbery; I just like that, and don’t want to cope with disappointments), but the reviews for this Vetiver take were quite good and generally positive, so I was quite sure it would have been a good fragrance. And it totally is, in fact. What I like about Hermès scents, besides their nearly-consistent high quality over the years, is that the name often reflects the content with sharp, no-frills precision (something you wouldn’t take for granted with other brands); and in this case, in fact, you can safely expect Bel Ami with a deeper, richer presence of vetiver. So imagine that smooth, elegant, youthful suede-floral chypre wrapped in smoke with a sort of Oriental, “organic” added value provided by a tremendously pleasant note of fresh, earthy, sweet-salty and totally good quality Haitian vetiver supported by some subtle dusty and exotic sweetness – an accord which reminds me a bit of Vetiver Tonka (and this means also Pal Zileri Viaggio d’Africa). A vetiver accord which will be the true, and nearly only star of the drydown – extremely discreet, but really pleasant.

Bel Ami Vetiver carries and develops Hermès’ trademark sense of understated “luxury” : it feels bright, refined, smoky but somehow clean, feeling natural but also “bourgeois” - not exactly aristocratic, just more of an upper-class distinguished, quiet yet practical elegance. An impeccable suede-vetiver blend on the smooth-fresh side, lasting decently long and projecting just fine (quite discreetly, as most of current Hermès fragrances). Slightly overpriced, but totally bottle worthy if you can get some discount. The only “cons” I would mention are basically two: first, that for some reasons, Bel Ami Vetiver smells a bit restrained, even dangerously tending towards “boring” after a while, and surely not that “unique” if you care about it (and I mean both per se, and if compared to Bel Ami); and second, well... I can’t help it: if you really love perfumes, for the same money of a 100 ml bottle of this, you can probably get a 50 ml bottle of vintage Bel Ami. Half the size, but all considered, double the joy. Nonetheless I don’t really want to play the “vintage nazi” card, since this is not even Bel Ami but a new, specific different version of it. So judging the fragrance per se, my opinion is that for nowadays’s depressing market, Bel Ami Vetiver is a solid win.

7,5-8/10
Olfactics

4 Reviews
Olfactics
Olfactics
Very helpful Review    5
Bel Ami Vetiver by Hermes
“Without disrupting the past order – the same balance, the same confident elegance, the same classic structure – Jean-Claude Ellena created his own interpretation of Bel Ami based on a new ingredient: vetiver. From chypre leather to woody leather: now the light of warm, woody, green vetiver, with a very subtle smokiness, becomes the centrepiece, replacing the patchouli of before.” – Hermès on Bel Ami Vetiver.

Many fragrance blogs and websites are filled with stories of individuals losing their favourite fragrance. I think when you find your signature fragrance it must feel horrible to find out that it has been either discontinued or reformulated to an extent that it is no longer recognisable. The current Bel Ami on offer today in Hermès boutiques is, as you can infer, nothing like what it used to be. I am instantly reminded of Fahrenheit by Dior and Mitsouko by Guerlain in which many individuals stopped wearing these fragrances because it became and smelt nothing like what is used to be; the same runs true for Bel Ami.

Strictly speaking, Bel Ami Vetiver is a flanker of Bel Ami, however in my opinion could easily replace the Bel Ami that exists today, rather than act as a younger brother. I myself prefer Bel Ami Vetiver over the reformulated Bel Ami without a doubt. And if it wasn’t obvious, Jean-Claude Ellena is my favourite perfumer, and this fragrance showcases why he is without all the minimalist excuses. Ellena is perfectly capable of making slightly denser and less translucent fragrances. This fragrance in particular highlights new facets of Ellena’s ability in both the conservation, restoration and creation of perfume.

This fragrance is refreshing whilst being both masculine and intellectual. It takes a retrospective look at 1980’s and 1990’s powerhouse fragrances given the twenty-first century sense of modernity and restraint made very popular in niche perfumery. This fragrance reminds me of Terre D’Hermès in two ways – in that the possibility for another breakthrough is there for Bel Ami Vetiver, and that Bel Ami Vetiver seems somewhat ahead of its time, despite being a ‘vintage’ inspired fragrance.

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Bel Ami Vetiver has a very distinctive barbershop chypre and oriental tone, calling to mind cremes emulsifying into a rich lather, scented lightly with soapy leather and musk. However, Bel Ami Vetiver still smells very modern, as if the barbershop style of leather/woody-chypre fragrance served only as the inspiration. This fragrance is neither vintage, dated, nor conforming to fragrant trends, but rather it seems like a comfortable hybrid of these features.

How? I have come to the realisation and the resultant conclusion that Bel Ami Vetiver recalls the era of heavy perfumery from the very late twentieth century (Antaeus, Egoïste, Fahrenheit, Bel Ami, Lagerfeld Photo) with an Ellena-esque set of characteristics, with these fusing wonderfully to display a neo-approach to perfumes. If we look at the Hermessence line, JCE’s ‘children’, we discover watercolours and effortless transparency, certainly without lacking gravitas or persuasion. Thus, for Bel Ami Vetiver, we get a very powerful foundation of an old school firmness, and a contrapposto of weightlessness and diffusion – a chiaroscuro of differently patterned scent profiles.

Bel Ami Vetiver begins not predominantly with vetiver, but tonka (akin to Vetiver Tonka from 2004). There’s a slight gourmand edge of roasted legumes, with emphasis on hazelnut and tonka beans. This mellow richness contrasts with a bitter orange twang riddled with lots and lots of warm gingerbread spice.

As with the original fragrance, the leathery suede used here would be a deep chocolate brown colour with an immediately tangible plushness that is soft, melting, and intimate. The leather nuances are muted against a wall of green vetiver, amongst a series of contrasting timbres stemming from amber and styrax resins, giving a really intriguing impression of strong black tea brewed with a hint of sticky and oily birch tar – the shoebox connotation exists, and it is faint. Bel Ami Vetiver hints at sweetness too, but never really is; this is most likely caused by the nutty legume notes and tonka in the composition.

Whilst notes like birch tar, suede and tonka suggest a heavy fragrance, the usage of iris and carnation keep this all in balance. Bel Ami Vetiver is still ridded with little subtleties and peculiarities – whilst the vetiver seems impossibly smooth, whilst musk gives softness and a sprinkling of cedarwood gives dustiness. There is the tiniest suggestion of civet present, adding to the masculine and animalic nature of this fragrance. And also, Bel Ami Vetiver suggests that vetiver takes centre stage in the composition, however it merely belongs in the heart accord that is simultaneously herbaceous, rowdy, meaty and nutty. This also attributes to some of its complexities and pairs wonderfully with the bitter orange laden suede/leather note, making for a wonderfully balsamic drydown.

Effortlessly dandified for today’s dandies, Bel Ami Vetiver boasts an iridescent range of spice notes like cumin and incense, with a wood note also redolent of chypre perfumes – perfect for the contemporary gentleman of today who holds onto yesteryear values, mannerisms and tradition in the cool of autumn and chill of winter.

A smooth and malted fragrance with old school written all over it. Certainly not dated!
7.5 7.5 10.0 8.0/10
Drseid

671 Reviews
Drseid
Drseid
Helpful Review    7
A Rare Flanker Of A Classic Worthy Of The Name...
Bel Ami Vetiver opens with a fresh herb-laden citric vetiver before transitioning to its early heart. As the composition enters its early heart the citric aspects slowly fade as the vetiver becomes quite woody taking on an aromatic cedar bent supported by a slightly sharp leathery undertone derived from its Bel Ami related base. During the late dry-down the woody vetiver shifts to support, turning slightly lemony as tonka bean sweetened leather smooths out to near suede through the finish gradually adding in just a touch of fine powder. Projection is good to very good and longevity outstanding at well over 12 hours on skin.

Bel Ami Vetiver has got to be close to a perfect flanker. It definitely has strong ties to Bel Ami with its tonka bean infused leathery base but adds some versatility to the mix by freshening things up with vetiver and aromatic spice early. The vetiver takes on many forms during the composition's development, starting citric but turning woody and even lemony late. The vetiver used throughout pairs perfectly with the leathery Bel Ami base, making for an excellent option for fans of Bel Ami that want something fresher for warmer months. That said, with the Bel Ami leathery base intact, it balances the fresh elements making the composition super-versatile year-round. When I heard many compare Bel Ami Vetiver to Vetiver Tonka (another Jean-Claude Ellena composition) I feared it might be too sweet just like Vetiver Tonka was to my tastes, but while there certainly is a bit of tonka bean related sweetness here, it is nowhere to the level found in Vetiver Tonka and quite frankly the compositions have less in common than one might think on first glance. The bottom line is when one creates a flanker to a masterpiece level classic like Bel Ami you better know what you are doing and create something worthy of the name's heritage. Happily, the $125 per 100ml bottle Bel Ami Vetiver is a fine example of a flanker done right, earning an "excellent" 4 star out 5 rating and a strong recommendation. In short, Bel Ami Vetiver is the best thing Jean-Claude Ellena has released since Terre d'Hermes Pure Perfume, and that is a large compliment indeed.

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