Vétiver Extraordinaire by Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle

Year: 2002

Notes: bergamot, bitter orange, pink pepper, nutmeg, floralozone, Haitian vetiver, myrrh, cedar, oakmoss, sandalwood, cashmeran, musketone, tonalide
There was once a time when one was repelled by vetiver-dominant fragrances. Their musty, earthy and pungent woody greenness was something that both one's brain and olfactory senses couldn't competently decipher nor appreciate. As a result, Vétiver Extraordinaire was approached with a lot of apprehension. Looking back, one is now able to fondly reminiscence on how this creation radically changed one's opinion of vetiver.

Although it currently possesses the highest concentration of pure vetiver on the market (at 25% concentration), Vétiver Extraordinaire isn't the typical vetiver scent that one once disliked and nor is it a hardcore vetiver either. Instead, it's exactly what its name implies – a rendition of vetiver, which has been extraordinarily composed.

It's very much crisp and minimalist, with a grassy (and yet slightly nutty) vetiver accord that's refreshing. With a zesty opening, the pepper and nutmeg provide a mineral dimension to the composition, while the integration of florazone (an ozonic note) imbues an airy or ethereal effect. With discreet woody mid notes of cedar, oakmoss and sandalwood, its musk and cashmeran base acts as a perfect foil for its fresh demeanour.

However, it still manages to retain its earthy, damp and musty attributes – perfectly encapsulating the aroma of moist rocks embedded in mossy soil, the damp and grey urban aftermath of a persistent deluge, and the dewy mistiness of green fields in the early hours of the morning. The balance between its fresh and earthy properties are masterfully interwoven, with its deceptive linearity being nothing short of reserved complexity.

Vétiver Extraordinaire is ultra-modern, sophisticated and very masculine. While it could be considered by many to be more suitable during the warmer months, there's also a poetic or introspective quality about it that's best witnessed on colder days. With excellent longevity and discreet projection, not only is it one of the best vetiver fragrances ever created but it's also able to miraculously convert those who previously disliked vetiver in general (including yours truly).