Vétiver oriental (2004)

Vétiver oriental by Serge Lutens
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Vétiver oriental is a popular perfume by Serge Lutens for women and men and was released in 2004. The scent is woody-spicy. It is still in production.

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Fragrance Notes

Amber, Coppice, Gaiac wood, Iris, Labdanum, Mosses, Musk, Plant juice, Sandalwood, Chocolate, Vetiver

Ratings

Scent

8.1 (156 Ratings)

Longevity

7.9 (123 Ratings)

Sillage

6.7 (121 Ratings)

Bottle

7.8 (117 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 07.09.2019
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Reviews

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Can777

6 Reviews
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Can777
Can777
Greatly helpful Review    35
The Jade Pearl
Vetiver! I have always loved these fragrances and always liked to wear them again. At that time it was Vetiver by Goutal and Vetiver by Guerlain. Earthy,green,spicy,smoky,humid-earthy,humid-warm,crystal-clear,razor-sharp or somber-smoky. Vetiver can be so multi-faceted. So many faces he came to show. Vetiver is for me the epitome of green, vegetation, forests and wild fauna and flora. Vetiver always awakens in me a very specific old instinct...to hunt down and explore the instinct. Vetiver and also oakmoss throws us olfactory back through the time when we still lived in the woods. Its fragrance awakens something original in us!

Vétiver oriental
Vétiver oriental is not so easy to put into words. If the scent were a gemstone, it'd be jade to me. A light, milky green with white streaks. Soft, noble and supple in its aura. Nothing is hard or sharp on this scent once it is on the skin. All fragrances listed seem to be dissolved in warm cream. A citric-resinous Labdanum chord combines very quickly with a mossy-soft vetiver. Milky green plant juices with delicate hints of anise go hand in hand with creamy tones of guaiac and sandalwood. Buttery soft light musk and an almost caramel amber blend in. The chocolate listed here is a patchouli for me, but one of the most chocolaty of all. Earthy, whispering and sweet-warm. Everything flows together like the colours of a watercolour in light and soft shades of green on a damp canvas. No corners, no edges, only soft, smooth and sensual tones from Vetiver.

Conclusion
My favourite fragrances from Serge Lutens have always been Chergui and Muscs Koublaï Khän. Who knows me here knows that I prefer the animal scents very much. This fragrance does not contain one of them, but still it has something incredibly "alive" in a very different way. Rarely have I found such a successful combination. Vétiver oriental spreads on the skin a very sensual, humid, sultry green warmth. Very subtle and diffuse. The fragrance has something creeping and smooth in its aura. He's not provocative, but he's not harmless either. I haven't smelled a vetiver in a long time what appeals to my instincts like Vétiver oriental. For a long time now I have not been challenged in the most pleasant way and have been surprised by vetiver, as with this fragrance. For a long time I have been looking for a Vetiver which fits to the current Can,...I have found it!

The Jade Pearl
25 Replies
5.0/10
Greysolon

88 Reviews
Greysolon
Greysolon
5
Truth in advertising: Musc Oriental
The first thing to catch my eye as I read descriptions of Vetiver Oriental is that it shares a couple of eccentric, earthy essences with two of my favorite Lutens fragrances, Chene and Fille en Aiguilles. Where else, but in a Sheldrake formula, would you find “undergrowth” and “plant juice”? Unfortunately, those very notes, which are responsible for my deep visceral bond with Chene and Fille, also give the fragrances strong personalities. I only feel comfortable wearing them when the season is just right and I’m in the right frame of mind. In other words, I wear them just a few times a year. My hope was that Vetiver Oriental would retain a few of the unusual qualities I love while being a bit more friendly for general wearing. Sure enough, moments after spritzing, I smelled the medieval notes of Sheldrake’s alchemist's brew along with other, friendlier elements. Taken altogether it seemed to hold promise of Vetiver Oriental being a regular part of my fragrance wardrobe.

Within minutes I was typing my way through Amazon looking at full bottle prices. It was about that time I noticed another note coming to the fore. The note was familiar, but for some reason I couldn’t place it. Oh well, no worries, it would come to me eventually. Besides, all that mattered was that I liked this new note and that gave me yet another reason to think seriously about buying a full bottle. Back to Amazon.

Just about the time my head was beginning to reel from sticker shock, I actually started to feel physically woozy, slightly sick and my ears were ringing. Something about that mystery note was getting to me in an unpleasant way. Just as it felt as though I'd stepped off a carnival ride I had my “duh” moment of recognition.

Musk.

I have an extreme sensitivity to musk of this variety and I strongly suspect it’s a matter of transdermal absorption rather than a respiratory issue. I’ve had the same reaction to similar smelling musks used Musc Ravageur, Musc Nomade as well as other fragrances in the Lutens' line. Nonetheless, I made the sacrifice and gave Vetiver Oriental a full wearing.

A full, head spinning, ear ringing wearing.

However, let me be clear: anything negative I have to say about Vetiver Oriental isn’t based on my sensitivity. As a matter of fact, I like the smell of musk. Unfortunately, Vetiver Oriental suffers from issues that have nothing to do with my apparent musk sensitivity.

I would agree with other reviewers and say that Vetiver Oriental’s biggest flaw is the lack of vetiver. I do smell vetiver but it's not the main event. And that’s too bad because the vetiver has a beautiful, sweet, hay-like quality. Furthermore, the opening held so much promise for something wearable and yet carry Lutens’ trademark eccentricity. Vetiver Oriental is more accurately described as a musk dominant scent and that descriptor should really be in its name.

If you’re hoping Vetiver Oriental is your answer to finding an unusual, vetiver based fragrance from Serge Lutens, you’ll be sorely disappointed. If you’re looking for a musk based fragrance similar to Musc Ravageur or Musc Nomade, you might find Vetiver Oriental interesting but chances are you’ll prefer something that actually has “musc” in the name.
10.0 5.0 5.0 10.0/10
MemoryOScent

37 Reviews
MemoryOScent
MemoryOScent
Helpful Review    5
the olfactory oxymoron
Vetiver is one of my favourite notes. It is part of the base of more perfumes than one can detect. It gives a warm, woody facet to them. But it can also shine as the star in many performances. It can play the fresh, young, casual, lemony vetiver in Mugler Cologne or Paul Smith Story. It can also be the sophisticated, reserved vetiver of Guerlain or Vetiver Extraordinaire. It can bring on the darkness of Route du Vetiver and it can also play the Devil himself as in Lorenzo Villoresi’s rendition.

All this versatility seems to have an invisible barrier: the oriental family. It seems quite difficult to build an oriental perfume based on the earthy, smoky, woody vetiver. So when Serge Lutens decides to come up with Oriental Vetiver, this sounds a little pretentious and very interesting!

And in fact it is! Being a hardcore vetiver fan I had a really hard time finding the vetiver in this one. Once I did though, I realized that this wasn’t because it was discretely blended but because it was in such unlikely company that the surrounding notes distracted me. Unlike any other vetiver fragrance it opens with a sweet, velvety accord. I can smell the iris and the tonka, the expensive tonka, the one with the slight bitter almond note. It is sticky sweet with a powdery hue. There is a point in the development where vetiver breaks through the vale of thick and sweet notes to reveal its rubbery, rooty character. Think for a moment Vetiver Extraordinaire blended at equal volumes with La Guerlinade.

I cannot help thinking of Habit Rouge whenever I smell VO. It is not clear to me exactly why. It is not the similarity in notes per se but I believe it must be the intricate use of many different ingredients from across the spectrum of notes. Everything but the kitchen sink struggles inside the bottle for dominance and when they hit the skin hell breaks loose. A sweet hell. In fact Vetiver Oriental smells like the potion the Evil Queen soaked the Apple in for Snow White to eat. The intense edible sweetness seems to be there just to conceal the deleterious bitterness of vetiver and labdanum. It feels like danger in a bottle. But its elegance is undeniable. Every contradiction is under control in this composition. It wears like a green velvet frock coat: it is definitely something out of grandpa’s closet but worn in today’s context is totally eccentric.
2 Replies

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