A Masterpiece Vetiver...
Vetifleur opens with a slightly indolic jasmine and citrus bergamot tandem at the fore, with just a hint of underlying transparent vetiver in support before transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the slightly indolic jasmine remains, now as co-star, joining slightly powdery, mildly creamy iris as its co-starring counterpart, with the citrus bergamot joining moderately lush rose, the earlier relatively transparent vetiver and now subtle natural smelling woods and mossy oakmoss in support, as the supporting notes gain a somewhat sharp green tinge. During the late dry-down the bergamot and rose vacate and the jasmine gradually wanes, leaving the vetiver to finally take the fore as it melds with the remnants of the mildly powdery iris, oakmoss and natural smelling cedarwood through the finish. Projection is excellent and longevity approaching outstanding at just over 15 hours on skin.
When I read the official note list to Vetifleur I was highly confident enough that I would enjoy the perfume that I bought a bottle blind, something I rarely do. That said, what I ended up smelling far exceeds even my already high expectations. After last year's (2020) perfume of the year offering in the jasmine soliflore Jasmin Antique it would seem crazy to believe lightening could strike twice with perfumer Manuel Cross delivering back-to-back masterpieces, but as unlikely an occurrence as it is, he has achieved just that, now with Vetifleur. I guess it should not be as much of a surprise as one might think when it is apparent Mr. Cross has borrowed heavily from his two previous best offerings in Chypre-Siam and Jasmin Antique, throwing in some relatively transparent bergamot laced vetiver a la Coeur de Vetiver Sacre (the masterpiece from L'Artisan that went largely unnoticed due to the vetiver being more transparent and not being as prominent as the name implied). With an amalgamation of those three terrific perfumes in perfect balance, how can one *not* score a grand slam? Make no mistake, getting that balance perfect is no small feat at all, and Mr. Cross has cemented his place as one of the best modern day perfumers I have ever come across in doing so. The bottom line is Vetifleur may not be the hardcore offering vetiver purists might expect, but the $156 per 75ml perfume is no less than a "masterpiece" 5 stars out of 5 rated early 2021 perfume of the year candidate from perfumer Cross that merits as strong a buy recommendation as I can muster to anyone with a pulse.