Highly Efficient – Review: Hermès Hermessence Vétiver Tonka

I have stated before that Vetiver is not necessarily my favorite note, at best I don’t mind it, but I am far from seeking it out. I like it here for example and in Vétiver Tonka I found another scent where I like how it is paired. And besides, I really would like to review all the Hermessences, you know how I like to complete sets. 🙂

Vétiver Tonka, an Ellena creation from 2004, is a gourmand vetiver, and since I am in a major gourmand phase right now, this sample finally got its minute in the limelight. Notes include vetiver, neroli, bergamot, grilled hazelnut, dry fruit, cereals and tonka bean.

Vetiver is dominant here, from first spray there is no doubt what this is about, but around the dry and reedy vetiver there is a lovely cloud of hazelnut, tonka bean and wheat packing the distanced and cool vetiver in a soft halo of sweet and yummy notes. Like a cushion those gourmand notes serve to make vetiver comfortable and comforting for me.

Vétiver Tonka is perfectly balanced in every respect: warm versus cool, dry versus sweet, edible versus inedible, feminine versus masculine. Vétiver Tonka occupies the coveted middle ground where everything is just right. The more I wore Vétiver Tonka, the more I liked it. It is refreshing and cooling on a hot day, as well as providing me with the sensation of deliciousness without being foody. It is unobtrusive, but has a greater presence than most other Hermessences. It holds up much better too. Wear time is about six hours which is unheard of among the rest of the line, as much as I like them, long wearing they are not.

This is not a perfume that inspires me to great flights of fancy, but – on the contrary – seems to center me,  it makes me aware of the necessity to put both feet on the ground and move. It enables me to clear my head and focus on things that have to be done, on the mundane tasks that might not be glamorous or demanding of intelligence, but have to be done anyway. Vétiver Tonka brings out my efficient and practical side, and that is something I really need sometimes and therefore highly appreciate.

Vétiver Tonka gets things done.

Other Hermessences reviewed: Ambre Narguilé :: Iris Ukiyoè :: Osmanthe Yunnan :: Poivre Samarkande ::  Rose Ikebana :: Vanille Galante :: Santal Massoia :: Brin de Règlisse

Image source: hermes.germany.com, vintageadbrowser.com
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About Olfactoria

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This entry was posted in Fragrance Reviews, Gourmand, Green, Hermès, Woods and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Highly Efficient – Review: Hermès Hermessence Vétiver Tonka

  1. lady jane grey says:

    Now I’m a Vetiver person (have I already mentioned that your bottles would be safe stored at my place ? 😉 )
    And Tonka beans are a much beloved ingredients of mine when cooking (aaah, Tonka Creme Brulee…). I quite tend to neglect Hermes (the very simple reason for that : I just can’t afford to like it, really…) , but recently somewhere this very Vetiever Tonka was jumping into my face (unfortunately it was on the www only, quite a cyber-tempting) – so “to be tested” was etched in my brain.
    Your review made this etching only more dominant and urging, dear Birgit.

    One more agreeing note : yes, Vetiver has that “centering” effect on me as well – one of the reasons I like/need it that much.

  2. *jen says:

    This was the first Hermessence I tried, and still my favorite. I toggle between vetiver and patchouli as my centering scents, and this is a great version of the former. This blend keeps the vetiver from becoming sharp on my skin, for which I’m thankful, and the tonka gives it a homey twist.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Did you try all of the Hermessences, Jen?
      I would love this even more with more nuttiness, less vetiver. I guess that shows I am no vetiver fan, but the cooling and centering properties of it cannot be denied. 🙂

      • *jen says:

        I haven’t met Brin de Reglisse, Osmanthe Yunnan, or Paprika Brasil. I love lavender but not licorice, tea notes give me a headache a lot of the time, and nothing has compelled me to try Paprika Brasil, so far.

        Go ahead, with your stellar Persuasive Writing Skillz, and convince me I’m wrong to skip these! 🙂

        • Olfactoria says:

          Paprika Brasil and Brin de Reglisse are the two I am still missing. As far as Osmanthe Yunnan goes – it is one of the best in my humble opinion, I can only reference you to my review, where my “writing skillz” are at their most persuasive! 😉

  3. KathyT says:

    Vetiver Tonka is my favorite of the Hermessence line, and it is the one fragrance that my husband will ask me to wear. I only have a decant now, but it is enough because I save it for special occasions. Unfortunately the special occasions don’t seem to happen too often anymore with 3 children! I do want to try the new L’Artisan Vetiver to see if it could be an everyday vetiver for me.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I hear you, Kathy! Special occasions and children do not mix so well! 😉
      Do you mean Coeur de Vetiver Sacré or the vetiver from the Mon Numéro collection? The latter is extremely masculine and very far from the Hermes. Coeur is more of a gourmand vetiver too.

      • KathyT says:

        The Coeur de Vetiver Sacre is the one that I want to try. Your review pushed me to it! I now have a large sample order in my cart at Luckyscent and at the Perfumed Court, and I may never catch up at this rate. I am in a gourmand stage again myself. I used to love fluffy vanilla fragrances until they just got too sweet for me, but now I want vanilla again – but less sweet. Diptyque Eau Duelle and Atelier Vanille Insense are winners so far. Vetiver Tonka fills a spot for me as a gourmand type fragrance without the dessert association. Thanks for the wonderful reviews!

        • Olfactoria says:

          I would love to hear how you like the L’Artisan!
          Parfumerie Generale also makes wonderful gourmands that are not heavy.
          Thank you for reading, Kathy! 🙂

          • KathyT says:

            I love the Parfumerie Generale line, but I am a bit behind in sampling. The newest ones sound lovely. I personally wouldn’t turn down a single bottle from the line. L’Ombre Fauve is one of my favorites as well as Bois Blond. And Cadjmere. I even like the strange Psychotrope.

            I will get that sample of Coeur Sacre de Vetiver this weekend. And I really need to find samples of the Mon Numero series! I just can’t keep up.

          • Olfactoria says:

            Nobody can keep up! It is just too much! 🙂

  4. deeHowe says:

    What is interesting to me, is that I never really know what is going to set me all aflame with desire— turns out, “gourmand vetiver” is it. Lot’s of things have caught my interest of late (Honour, the Parfums d’Empire scents, etc), but none until this moment inspired me to leave the page half-way through a comment, and buy 8mL (which I just did)!

    Can’t wait ’till it arrives…

    You minx! Are you on salary at Hermes??? 😉

  5. Interesting effect this one has on you. Based on your appreciation of this I would suggest you to try Montale Red Vetyver and Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental

  6. Tara says:

    I did go to the Hermes boutique recently but didn’t try this. It was really hard to think straight with a SA hovering over me! They didn’t have any samples of Poivre Samarkande but I sprayed it on skin and liked it a lot. Got samples of Iris Ukiyoe and Vanille Galante which are the two I’m least intereted in but never mind. Iris Ukiyoe reminds me of furniture polish but I liked Vanille Galante more than I thought I would. Love that your review created such a lemming for dee she had to stop reading and make a purchase. You may have to put a warning on OT saying “This blog may cause involuntary unsniffed perfume purchases. Read at your own risk.” 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Lol, maybe I should put up a disclaimer and take it to heart myself, sometimes my own reviews convince me of needing a full bottle. 😉

      You went to Hermes, yay! Too bad that the SA didn’t stop hovering, but at least you came away with some samples. 🙂

    • dee says:

      Yes, I need a disclaimer! LOL, I think this may have been the first time I’ve done that… but there’s a first time for everything 😉

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