Cuir Vétiver by Yves Rocher - A Review
The Scented Salamander Summer of 2016 Selection
Cuir Vétiver by Yves Rocher was a pleasant and unexpected discovery at the end of a hot summer day when serendipity had dit that I sprayed from a tester bottle of it. It immediately felt like the pitch-perfect antidote to extenuating heat and clingy mugginess...
This is a light, subtle and very well balanced vetiver fragrance which is versatile enough to be worn across the aisles. I'm classifying it as a hidden gem in plain view. When it's very hot, the vetiver root seems to exude more dryness and spiciness in contrast with the universal melting point of things everywhere. It's a masterful scent which feels unique.
The eau de toilette can double as a discreet office scent for when the weather cools down. I find then that it's still pleasant and sensual but less therapeutic and exceptional for its capacity to cut through the stickiness of a day thronged with drenched armpits.
The composition signed by perfumer Sonia Constant of Givaudan is intellectually inspired by Terre d'Hermès but is a true reworking of the idea. It does not aim for instance to reproduce the innovative flint-like note of the first. It smells like its own perfume. It is in no way a slavish composition.
Her idea was to make the note vetiver feel very sensual, with a studied affinity for skin. The « leather » component of the eau de toilette is based on the subtle teasing out of the « leathery » nuances of vegetal ingredients. She turned to sandalwood from the Caribbean and essence of cedarwood for this « leathery » effect. So, no, birch, no tar, no castoreum, no Cuir de Russie here, or Spanish leather. It's more delicate than that.
If you think about the socio-cultural context in which this perfume is born, it is a perfect illustration of the forward-thinking research by the fashion industry on leathers deemed acceptable to Vegans, à la Stella McCartney. For the smell of biker leather boots, please go to Bandit by Robert Piguet.
Cuir Vétiver smells nutty without being really gourmand. The absolute of Tonka Bean pulls the scent more in the direction of a soft powdery perfume with accents of hazelnut, almond and sweet smoke ; the vetiver from Haiti is smoky like bacon. It manages to create the smell of just the warm aroma of your skin - a sensation so clear and clean, it is fit even for Vegans, maple-syrup guzzlers and tree huggers.