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Haitian Vetiver


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#1 Elfbait

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 01:50 AM

Vetiver is easily one of my favorite base notes. Dark, earthy, and somber, it makes an excellent perfume fixative, and radiates a scent that is profoundly relaxing and gently grounding. In aromatherapy, it is used to treat stress disorders, anxiety, and soul-weariness. It is a truly multidimensional scent, possessing more than a hundred and fifty aromatic molecules, and its fragrance grows even deeper - richly sweeter - and more intense with time.


This oil is dark and thick, first of all. A droplet on my wrist looked like a cross between a tear from a mascaraed eye and maple syrup. I imagine this could stain your clothes, so I recommend applying it and letting it dry before putting on anything light colored. Now to the scent of it.

This vetiver is so complex, and full of glorious contrasts. Intensely grassy and viscous, it smells like the supplest suede and the richest soil, like sacred smoke and lime zest. Sweetness rises to the surface as time passes, but it's an enigmatic, lilting, new-mown sweetness that has to work its way up through miles of the darkest, warmest earth before it blooms on the skin. In conventional perfumery, we talk about a perfume as having top notes, heart notes, and base notes. Vetiver embodies all of these tiers as it develops, and this particular vetiver embodies these tiers in beautiful ways. And it is gorgeously funky, as well as profound, soothing and centering. I can smell why so many people find it therapeutic.

I really love this, and if you're a vetiver lover, you probably will too.

#2 whataboutprom

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 01:27 PM

At first this is very, very smoky. I was kind of hoping that this vetiver wouldn't be so strong on the smoke, but that does fade after a while. After that, the scent is a rich, green/brown smell with hints of grass, hay, and soil. It morphs a lot but is always quite earthy. I think I am going to tuck this bottle away for a year or two and see how it ages. It's a bit too sharp for me right now, but I want to see how the vetiver changes with time.

#3 joyfulgirl

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:58 PM

whoaaa complexity! smelling/wearing this was an EXPERIENCE. i had never been able to detect vetiver as a note in a blended scent, and NOW i know why. (and this is why i was so excited about SNs!)

when i opened the bottle i smelled...bacon. that's it. applewood smoked bacon. as a vegetarian, you can imagine, this was simultaneously kind of appealing and kind of appalling. i sat it down and moved onto sniffing my other newly-arrived bottles, but there was something lurking just beneath that waft of bacon that drew me back in, so a little while later, i decided to skin test it.

open the bottle: more bacon. deep whiff...bacon and...something woodsy? green? hard to tell...onto the skin it goes!

wet on the skin: heavy. medicinal (oh no, there it goes, that was a quick impression). smoky. dark green. deep and warm to the point that it's almost uncomfortable...clinging, humid. there is just SO MUCH HERE.

dry on the skin: wow, does this ever have throw and ongoing complexity. the two strongest impressions i get from it are smoke and greenery. it is absolutely delicious. and i totally agree with beth's description: it is earthy and grounding and has a softly relaxing effect (despite how STRONG it seemed).

and uhhh...:blush: this may be TMI/coincidence, but i feel compelled to mention it: after skin testing this, i crawled into bed with my sweetie and despite him whining all evening about how tired he was, he seemed to have plenty of energy for some seriously rockin' booty...perhaps this was vetiver-induced booty? :blush:

verdict: i am SO glad i snagged a bottle of this, and i will certainly be interested to see how it ages. and now that i know what to look for, i will be interested to try blends with vetiver! :)

#4 kirakira

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:17 AM

Over the summer, I went to a craft fair and a woman was selling vetiver plants (I guess technically grass) and teas. I became interested, especially after learning that vetiver helps with problem symptoms around menopause and menstruation, and that it also helps with memory. I didn't buy her female tea at the time and regretted it. So when I saw Haitian Vetiver listed as a single note, I wanted try it out for its medicinal properties, and after smelling the actual plant, I knew that I didn't find the scent offensive.

It is a dark oil and when first applied, it smells really smoky. After drydown on my skin, it ends up being a grassy, almost lemony scent. What I love, is that it has sillage (unusual because perfume oils tend to stay close to my skin), so if I move my hand anywhere near the center of my face, I can smell it. It also has staying power of hours. This won't be for everyone, but it works for me.

#5 Alethia

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:02 PM

I've never smelled vetiver before, and I jumped at the chance to educate my nose! Wet, this is very smokey, deep, and slightly astringent/medicinal. But as it dries, the astringency goes away and it's just this lovely smoke scent. I don't know how often I'll be wearing this by itself, but I'm willing to let it age and do some layering experiments!

#6 Antoinette

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 03:15 PM

I have grown to love vetiver, so I knew I needed this SN. Vetiver absolutely has a calming, grounding effect on me and I have come to rely on my BPAL vetiver blends whenever anxiety comes calling.

First impression upon opening the bottle was of smoke and bacon. The bacon is more of an impression, really, it's not like I want to start eating or anything. The vibe of this oil is earthy and immediately grounding.

On my skin it develops into a smoky, earthy scent with a green quality to it. It's seems complex, deep and rich. It does lighten up over the next few hours, but it has great staying power and throw.

I agree this scent isn't for everyone but I am so happy to have it in my BPAL armory. It is definitely a therapeutic, rather than a perfume, oil for me. Love it!

#7 OctoberGwen

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:24 PM

What an interesting scent vetiver is! Very smoky, green and brown. Deep. I think of places hidden in the earth and covered with ornamental grasses when I smell this.

I will enjoy having my decant, but do not need a bottle.


ETA: I put this on again today, and I have to say...I have found a whole new appreciation for vetiver thank to Beth. This now smells delightful to me: very smoky upon application, as in actual brushfire, then it settles into a mellow, earthy scent with a touch of smoky grass. I just freaking love it, and am sad that I didn't continue with my campaign to get all the single notes in bottle form.

Edited by OctoberGwen, 12 January 2013 - 05:33 PM.


#8 VioletChaos

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:47 AM

In The Bottle: Green, smoky, resinous. A vetiver's Vetiver.

Wet On Skin: The smoky aspect is coming out a bit more now. I'm loving this.

Dry Down: True to form of the other single notes, this Vetiver seems to be staying the same, from bottle to dry down.

In All: Medium throw. Rich, smoky, and as with the Siberian Musk, a little goes a deliciously long way. I personally love vetiver, I find it a great earthy note that can be used when patchouli feels too obvious or overdone, and this one is a great addition to any collection. I can easily see adding this to a sweet foodie blend for instance to ground it, or to a floral to add depth. And I would bet dollars to donuts this is going to age fantastically.

Well done- glad I have a full bottle, might even try to get a back up! :)

#9 DarkSinestra

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:33 AM

I adore Vetiver. I love it in Malediction and Saturnalia, so when this came up as a single note, I knew I had to have it. It doesn't disappoint. In the bottle, it's rich and redolent, very smoky and resiny. This is a grounding, grounded scent, like a base note played from a cello.

Wet, the smoke really comes out. I get the bacon comparison that some mention, but without the meaty part. It's all vegetative and strong enough to leave a slightly bitter taste at the back of my tongue just from smelling it.

The smokiness fades as it dries. It retains all of its earthiness. For a single note, this is one rich, complex scent. It even goes just a tiny bit sweet, like sweetgrass. I'm thrilled I had the opportunity to get this. I'm going to blend it a lot with other things as well as wear it on its own on days I want to feel centered and focused while staying relaxed.

#10 zankoku_zen

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:01 PM

Haitian Vetiver starts as the scary bacon smoky vetiver, and then dries down to a green, smoky, vetiver (you know scorched grass type).

I'd be very interested to see how this ages.

By itself this is WAY too overwhelming on me, but I can totally see using this to make something smokier and more interesting.

#11 jolarocknrolla

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:33 PM

smells like dry twigs and smoke. I'm so pleased i got this, so THIS is what i liked so much in "The Hag"!

#12 marared

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 03:04 AM

Pretty much what everyone else has said. If you don't already like vetiver, this isn't going to make you a fan. If you're on the fence, you need to give it some time to settle before you decide if you do or don't like it, because it's powerful, smoky and strong right out of the bottle. Not a huge amount of throw, but it's pretty intense. It mellows out pretty quickly though, into smoky/scorched green wood. It'll age nicely, too.

#13 Nadirah

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 07:31 PM

I already love Vetiver, I keep the essential oil/ooze with me in case I want to ground a bit, So I know I love the stuff. BPALS is that deep dark earth with a smokey edge to it. Haitian Vetiver comes out of the bottle as a thick dark oil, it has good throw and I am very happy with it. I think it may be my new favorite scent! Still, I need to try a few more, but this is really good-
A lovely single note! :wub2:

#14 Little Bird

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:20 PM

I love vetiver oils when they're softly earthy and reminiscent of dry grasses. I dislike vetiver when it's smoky and reminiscent of mesquite bbq and charred cedar planks. This seems to be that smoky, heavy, charred bbq variety. The drydown has a weird green note underneath the smokiness, but mostly just reminds me of bbq.

#15 Midnight Aeval

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:47 PM

I have been putting off even OPENING this bottle even though I received it over a month ago :lol: Vetiver is very intimidating. Like the bad-ass chick in class, you really want to talk to her, but are scared she will set fire to your eyeballs. Well, this SN is sort of like that.

It reminds me of burning, wet foliage. Moss, soil, wet leaves, but smoldering. The throw is nothing short of amazing. My husband started asking if something was on fire hahaha This blend is not for the feint of heart! Nor someone who might have an issue with smelling like burning.

#16 Helas

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 04:54 AM

I was interested to hear that vetiver is used for relaxation purposes in aromatherapy since I started wearing vetiver oils to bed months ago without being aware of the connotation. It is definitely a comfort scent to me.

In the bottle, this is a thick, opaque, muddy oil. The initial scent is very strong and a bit of a turn-off - a mix of roasted peanuts, burning wood, and carnivorous greenery. Fortunately, the initial acridity fades and the scent blooms into something complex and evocative. It smells in turn like grass, ivy, decaying tree trunks, thick loamy soil, hope chests and woodsmoke. Wearing it feels like witnessing the life cycle of a forest.

I purchased this primarily for layering purposes, but I will probably just end up wearing it on its own. Why mess with perfection?

#17 Aldercy

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:01 AM

Wow, the oil is almost black! And very opaque.

Unfortunately, on me, this is the "meat on a charcoal grill" kind of vetiver. :( I do find milder, more buttery vetiver notes to be very soothing and cozy, but this is about as harsh as it gets. I'm hoping aging will make it into something as wonderful as I'd hoped, but at this point I'm glad I didn't cave and buy a full bottle.

#18 Ordo_ad_Chao

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:19 AM

A thick, dark oil. In the bottle it was harsh and burning. I questioned whether I would care for it at all, in spite of my love for vetiver in blends.

Wet: Criminy that's powerful! I had to just breathe through the wet stage, because it was insanely potent. Dark, harsh burning grass.

Dried: It's still very dark and dry with the distinctly pungent aroma that is vetiver, but it's no longer so shocking and it's doing vetivery magic on my skin.

2 hours later: The man walked up and started sniffing me, went straight to my testing wrist, and expressed great approval of this scent on me. "you like it? really?... Oh, wow- THAT kind of like!"

5 hours later: I may possibly need more of this. Yes, indeed.

Remarkably, this lasted over 24 hours on my skin, and for me it turned into one of those scents that isn't so much a scent on the body, but almost an extension of what is naturally there.

Verdict: dark, intense, scorched and dry. Also, remarkable for loving my chemistry and having impressive influence on the man. Definitely a keeper, and I'll keep my eyes open for more.

#19 liquidtrance

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:13 PM

For the longest time I have been convinced that vetiver is a death note to me. I realized, though, that I've never smelled vetiver by itself. So, for the sake of scientific research I decided I needed to bite the bullet and try the vetiver single note!

Verdict:

In the imp-- At first whiff, this is smokey, scorched, earthy and very strong. Everything I have ever feared to be caused by vetiver. But taking a few more breaths of the scent alludes to a more complex and layered aroma.

On skin-- This quickly morphs into a scent that is rich and dark. Still quite 'earthy' smelling, but now so much more of a perfume scent than a deterring, scary smell. I can definitely relate to the sentiment that this is a grounding scent. The scent really covers a wide range as it wears, subtly morphing throughout the wear time. I can only imagine how this oil will age.

This is so much more than I was expecting, and so much less scary! Hah! Now I'm starting to wish I had ordered a bottle and not just a decant! I am now a total vetiver convert. No longer will I avoid all scents listing it as a note!

#20 sunlitgarden

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:23 PM

I am not a fan of vetiver, for the most part. But this vetiver SN, on its own, was less objectionable than many vetivers I've smelled in blends, leading me to wonder if it is less the vetiver itself, and more its combination with other notes, that I find so distasteful. I have smelled a vetiver oil from a local medicinal shop as well, and that oil was much more burnt and ashy smelling than this. The Haitian Vetiver SN smelled strong, deep, smoky but planty and earthy. There was a definite "mesquite barbecue potato chips" scent to it though, which kind of precludes me wearing it as a perfume. But I can see how it would be a good ingredient in atmospheric blends.

Edited by sunlitgarden, 02 December 2012 - 10:25 PM.


#21 milo

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

I'm not a fan of vetiver heavy blends, but I do like it blended with other notes (Death Adder is in my top ten). I got this mostly for it's aromatherapy qualities. This is definitely the vetiver note in Death Adder, smooth and rich with a musky, earthy overtone. I'm surprised that I actually like this. It did start out as charred meat, but quickly morphed into the slightly sweet earthy musky goodness. My bottle has been sitting awhile, so this has aged a couple of months. I'm quite impressed, and glad that I have a bottle. As a side note, wearing this now, I feel rather calm and clear headed, though that could be because I'm on holidays too. :lol:

*This to me, seems to be more of the scorched grass version to me, though it is pretty charred to begin with, and develops into the lovely scorched grass note.

Edited by milo, 30 December 2012 - 08:40 PM.


#22 hlinspjalda

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 05:34 PM

In the vial: Deep, thick, dark, smoky, charcoal-y sweet vetiver. This oil is the blackest thing I've seen come out of the Lab yet; it looks like liquid tar. The scent reminds me of Voodoo, which I love, and Rumpelstilzchen, which amused me.

Wet: Sweet for an instant, and then smoky. There is a midrange note I don't recognize, amping to add itself to the mix. This needs to sit.

Half an hour: Still a little charcoaly, but mostly warm slightly sharp vetiver.

One hour: Still very smoky, but otherwise light and warm.

The smoky aspect never cleared off. I bought this hoping for the light, clear, grassy aspect of vetiver like in Spider, Yurei, the Conjure Bag series, and my beloved Common Jezebel. But I knew I would also be okay with the robust Voodoo type as well. This is very pleasant, but a little more than I bargained for; I think it would benefit from the addition of some more carrier oil. As it is it's a little strong for my skin.

#23 PurringPulsar

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:27 PM

Haitian Vetiver

In the vial:
the darkest scent ever. Smoky, gritty, sombre, intense, the thickest and heaviest of vetiver notes. The oil itself is gritty and dark.
Wet on skin: still vetiver, now it’s even smokier.
Dry on skin: this may be the vetiver I tend to call ‘evil’ in reviews, but on it’s own it is very multifaceted. The scent is darkly earthy and ashen with nuances of tar, bonfire, charred grasses, and even something vaguely boozy like aged whisky. Or maybe Guinness. This is not the ‘green’ vetiver with its hint of citrus, nor is it the ‘chocolate’ vetiver, there’s no sweetness in here. It’s also a world away from the sandalwood and incense-tinged ‘khus’ note. This vetiver is almost savoury-there’s even something to it that reminds me a bit of Marmite, of all things.
After a while: there is a moment when it turns unnervingly meaty-almost like beef stock or Bovril (beef extract), which is not something I want to smell like! It also develops metallic undertones, as well as smelling like ashes and burning. I am sure this vetiver is used in Malediction, Brimstone and Saturnalia.
Verdict: this is a little bit like ‘getting to know my note nemesis’, but I’m glad I tried this-it’s a fascinating note. If it were a colour it would be so black that light cannot escape it. If it were a sound it would be that of an erupting volcano, the distant thunder of an approaching storm, the rumble of an earthquake-something primal or even apocalyptic. It seems sinister yet oddly grounding, gloomy and full of forboding with its heavy smoke and ash and brimstone notes, but also rich and organic with almost stout-y or even meaty aspects, but it lacks the chocolate nuances I get from some of the heavy vetivers (I think the Bourbon vetiver may be the sweet one?) Needless to say it’s not something I’d wear much but again I’m in awe at the complexity of these single notes.
Is it a keeper? No-it’s not my favourite note, but testing it was an interesting adventure for my nose…
If you like this, try: Brimstone, Malediction, Saturnalia, Sloth, Love’s Torments, Nephilim, Samhainophobia

#24 Balame

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:54 AM

A wonderful swapper sent me this as a frimp! So glad to try it. Vetiver was one of my first note loves and continues to be today. It's funny, because I've never gotten the "bacon" reference from vet in any oil where it's part of a blend, but here as a SN, I can definitely pick that out from the decant. It's not particularly meaty, but gives off a smoked, BBQ sort of vibe.

However, once I slather some on, it turns into the dark earthiness that I know and love. You know the BPAL oil named "A Blot Upon the Earth"? Well, that's obviously a different scent than this, but it could totally be vetiver's royal title. It's like a void of black. A pool of ink. In fact it literally smells inky, but with a smoky, earthy roundness behind it. I even get the slight sweetness that eventually sneaks out as Sinestra mentioned.

It's very soothing to me. Like being curled up in a cave where there's a bunch of wet earth and grass husks near the opening. I also just had a weird thought association with this... it makes me think of a sith. Yes, from Star Wars. Dark and moody and likely to be dangerous if you try and get too close, but strangely alluring nonetheless. I just want to follow Dark Lord Vetiver around and do whatever he says for a moment's praise. :lol: I so need a bottle of this.

#25 Allumina

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:58 AM

I know Veviter is one of those love/hate things for bpal fans, and for me is is love x100, so I jumped at the chance to get an entire bottle of the lab's vision of it.

This oil is dark, both in color and in scent. In the bottle it's almost overpowering- smoke and earth and licorice and alcohol. On, it's earthy and green with a hint of smoke and sharpness. It smells like I would imagine night in a enchanted forest in some fantasy novel would smell. As others said, if you don't already like veviter, this probably isn't going to change your mind.

I've put this on under pretty much every other oil I have to deepen it. I'm so glad I got this and can't wait to see how this ages!




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