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The Les Parfums Mythiques - Vetyver by Givenchy bottling is a fantastic and exemplary scent that pays homage to the original creation, Eau de Vetyver in 1959 by Hubert Givenchy.
I have and know the original bottle - pristine & stored away (it is divine!) This review is for the Les Parfums Mythiques bottle. I bought this for wear and sheer enjoyment with a lot of hope after discussing it with people who have wonderful noses and a deep passion for vetiver, as do I. I've actually had this in my collection for a while now, but held off writing a review, yet I adore it...so, it was only a matter of time. I have pointed several people to it as a truly exceptional vetiver that stays in the classic realm - yet is gorgeous & timeless. In the modern world of reformulation and with Givenchy's line of Les Parfums Mythiques having some bottles fall way short of their original juice (Xeryus, for example)...one must be selective and judge each bottle on its own merit.
Vetyver shows incredibly well - elegant, refined and with the classic four-note composition. The splash of bergamot on top is wonderful - not too loud, but crisp and inviting. No bitters, just a nice squeeze of juice that refreshes with nice vibrant, sharp vetiver showing immediately upon application (not dark or brooding - this is beautiful, rich, and very green vetiver!) With the bergamot, it is slightly "wet" and very fresh - even a touch "rooty". Please note, this is a true vetiver composition - which will show as the dominant note throughout (from the moment it leaves the atomizer and hits your skin), vetiver is the absolute focal point.
It is simply accented by the three other notes in the top, heart and base - but done so well. The coriander is a very key note in the heart, adding a nice earthy and wonderful spice to the composition. The vetiver gets a little drier at this point as the bergamot fades away and the famous "nutty" vibe begins to emerge. Still a radiant green, but slowly drying on your skin...the vetiver dusted by the coriander allows you to smell the earthiness of the root. The "nutty" vibe is different from other famous bottles and I will refrain from comparison. I will say, that this is simply amazing! I, personally, love the use of coriander here and understand the historical context back to the original bottling. Very warming on the skin...it also starts to wear a bit closer - but still very good projection for a "classic" vetiver composition. A little body heat, and this radiates wonderfully - but not too loud.
The is a refined composition that exemplifies, not amplifies, the vetiver and the accompaning notes to offer you three different accords. It is about balance and displaying the glorious root from its opening of radiant freshness (with bergamot) to accentuating its earthiness (with coriander) in the heart and finally its woodiness with the final note in the composition, sandalwood.
Late in the heart, the coriander slowly begins to fade - the vetiver root now has the dry, slightly crunchy nutty accord. One can breathe deep and it smells like the vetiver has been laid under the hot sun to dry out the root. The rich earthiness of the root shines through, slightly accented and assisted by the deft use of the dusty coriander spice.
The sandalwood enters quietly and shows us the amazing depth of the vetiver in this bottle. It is very warm and woody at this point with a hint of earthiness (which is the vetiver itself, not the coriander - that has since faded). It is distinct and very gentlemanly. The sandalwood is smooth and has a light creamy texture. This never stops projecting wonderful, rich vetiver - but what you smell in the dry down is the woody vibe that still maintains the "nutty" texture that was established before. It is so brilliant! Although the sandalwood is not loud, it blends wonderfully with the vetiver - letting it breathe on your skin for hours with a nice subtle, smooth texture with a warm, radiant glow.
Some have described this as linear - but I believe it is a perfect display of balance and symmetry. This is an olfactory metaphor for the life of the plant and its glorious root - pulled out of the ground and rinsed off, lied out in the sun to dry out in a bushel and then the root separated from the plant - becoming a semi-hardened 'wood' full of precious essential oil. The vetiver in this bottle is of very high quality. The use of bergamot, coriander and sandalwood is done to perfection - letting the vetiver root shine and offering nice touches & nuances of flavor. It has confidence, poise, beauty and perfect harmony. There is never a moment during the wearing that anything feels unnatural or out-of-place...all the accords and subtleties merge into one another.
It is, if I may...a classic string quartet with a virtuoso violinist supported by a 2nd wonderful violinist to offer nice bright accents (bergamot), a mid-range that allows the harmony & sound to fill out and offers great ambiance (coriander) and finally, a cellist (sandalwood) who delivers the warm undertones and offers fantastic foundation. Most importantly, all follow the awe-inspiring lead player - who shines above all in the spotlight, and whose name is on the marquis... "Vetyver".
Near perfection. Outstanding. A truly wonderful, modern bottling of a timeless classic.
05 September, 2012