You may have heard the phrase, “a designer attempt at niche” before, but I often find it not to be applicable or to be at least somewhat misplaced, though I think this is the perfect way to regard Ferrari’s Essence Vetiver (though not successful, IMO). Fragrantica.com lists the notes as:
…Calabrian bergamot, red and Sichuan pepper and cardamom. The heart includes aroma of coffee, orris root and essence of vetiver. Patchouli, tonka and hazel wood form the base of the perfume.
The first time I wore it, a dab sampling, I didn’t smell much at all, so the second time I decided to go with four sprays to the chest. There’s an orange-ish quality that’s a touch sour and sort of bounces around at low volume, which is more odd than irritating or pleasant. My review included the following:
… I can’t say I smell an obvious vetiver note but it does smell like an odd murky composition. Yes, it seems that spice, patchouli, etc. and even coffee is present, but it’s sort of like taking bright oil paints and blending them together until you get a medium brown color with just hints of the original pigments. So I do find it interesting but not all that enjoyable. It’s not sweet, nor animalic, at least not yet. I’ll update if anything changes. The dull color of the bottle certainly seems appropriate!
And it didn’t last all that long either, which was another disappointment. If this was a typical Lutens with the same notes I would be really interested in sampling it, and I would be surprised if I didn’t like it. Most likely it would have a heavy amber, patchouli, and/or tonka base, but this one just peters out over time, never really smell more than somewhat interesting. Here’s another Fragrantica review that is similar:
Down right disappointing 😦
Nothing in this fragrance smells genuine!
Not the vetiver (what I bought it for.. no wonder people say “not for vetiver lover”), not the cardamon (silly me, hoping for something like Voyage d`Hermes), not the bergamot (I just smell something sour and fresh-ish green), and definitely not the potentially gourmand hazelnut and coffee (one can only hope)…
However, it does deliver the sharp peppers [opening] and the patchouli [drydown], which doesn’t help -_-
Interesting maybe, but overall a pretty messy cheap smelling commercial type
I wish I had perceived strong patchouli with the drydown, and I didn’t get the sharp pepper he did, but it does give me an idea! Next time I should apply a strong patchouli scent underneath where I spray Vetiver Essesnce. If and when I do that, I’ll update this post. Otherwise, my experience is that these “niche-like designer” scents are really “hit or miss.” Franck Olivier’s Oud Touch is really great for the $15 I paid for 100 ml, by contrast. There were some very positive reviews, though, such as:
I really enjoy this fragrance, everything works well together and it’s almost like nothing I have smelled before, least in my neck of the woods. Drydown is amazing. Like what you like and wear it, I do…
And there was also the idea that it’s a good “starter vetiver” scent, but I got so little vetiver that I can’t agree with that notion. However, I did pay less than $18 for 100 l new, and so if you like the note list and can sample it, I’d certainly say try it, but as a blind buy I can’t recommend it. Even if you like the scent you might be disappointed with the longevity and/or projection.