Angel Belsey is a Londoner. She owns too much perfume and too many books.

Vétiver Oriental

For the first time, I don't get it. Vétiver Oriental goes on with a bit of smoke and a bit of incense, plus a shining greenness that surprises me: I'm not used to finding something so blatantly green in what is supposed to be an oriental fragrance.

Then: nothing, really. Nothing exciting happens. Nothing really changes, except by fading out. Four hours later, I'm left with a tiny, subtle, but pretty scent of sandalwood, a dusting of cocoa, and, I suppose, a hint of vetiver rootiness--but it's certainly nothing to write home about. (Though, technically, I'm kind of writing home right now: hi Mom!)

I think this is probably a failing inherent in wax samples: from what I have read, and from my limited experience of trying a wax sample alongside a liquid sample, with the wax you get a very soft, toned-down version of the fragrance.

The samples I have tried so far have overcome this problem, but I suspect the real Vétiver Oriental is simply too subtle to be accurately represented in wax. For that reason, and because the drydown has that tiny spark of beauty, I must reserve full judgment until I have the chance to sample the real thing.

Vétiver Oriental, Serge Lutens, 2002 Notes: Vetiver, Sandalwood, Iris, Licorice (apparently)


Rahät Loukoum