Vetiver is one of my fave perfume notes. It’s earthy. It’s woody. It’s smoky.
Too often, it’s also an afterthought in women’s fragrances. Just a pinch here or a sprinkle there to add some warmth and earthiness to the drydown, but that’s about it. You have to shop in the men’s aisle, if you want a vetiver that really packs a punch.
At least, you had to. London-based perfume house Miller Harris has just launched Vetiver Insolent, an unisex vetiver scent that’s as bold as it’s intriguing. If you’re the kind of girl that only likes delicate floral scents or uber sweet gourmand concoctions, Vetiver Insolent will make you run a mile. Everyone else, prepare to fall in love.
This is the part where I should describe the perfume, and I will. But, you should know, it’s incredibly difficult. I went to the launch of this perfume, where I had the chance to smell it on lots of other bloggers (we all doused in it, really), and I can tell you, it smells completely different on everyone.
Of course, we know that perfumes interact with the wearer’s body chemistry, so they are going to smell slightly different on everyone. Well, this stuff smelled completely different on everyone. This is really one of those scents that you have to try it in person – you can’t buy it without giving it a sniff first.
So, I’ll just tell you what it smells like on me, ok? The opening is spicey, with a hint of brightness. The brightness is due to Italian bergamot, but I could barely smell it on my skin. Much more prominent was the blend of elemi, a earthly and slightly sweet resin, black pepper, and cardamom. I almost felt like I was in the middle of a spice market in the East instead of a crowded perfume shop in London. That’s the magic of perfume.
Now vetiver’s starting to make its appearance. Its woody, smoky accents embraced a subtle floral bouquet of iris and lavender. Yet, Vetiver Insolent doesn’t really smell floral. The smokiness of the vetiver and the warmth of the amber, which is also part of this accord, prevent that.
The drydown has a bittersweet taste: it’s made of vetiver, tonka beans and moss, and, like the rest of the scent is absolutely divine. And, insolent. This is a scent that demands attention. It’s loud. It’s complex. It’s something strangers can smell on you even if they don’t stick their noses to your wrist (are you tired of “no perfume” perfumes, too?).
And, it lasts. I’ll spray it on in the morning, and, by the time I go to bed, I can still smell it. Of course, by then, it’s subtler, but definitely there.
Basically, if you’re tired of all these insipid fragrances that have invaded the market in recent years, and are craving something new, different, and exciting, get yourself to Miller Harris and smell Vetiver Insolent. I’m sure you’ll want to take it home, too.