Vetiver In A Summer Dress – Review: Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle

I received a sample of Vétiver pour Elle quite some time ago and, typically for me, ignored it, because I am – to a large degree – influenced by name. To my vindication I have to say, there must be something I go with, because my sample box is so full, I cannot possibly smell everything I get, immediately. And if a perfume has the bad luck to be called a name I don’t care for, well, it gets pushed back. Guerlain or not.

Vétiver pour Elle was initially only made for duty free sale, but has been made a part of the Les Parisiennes collection. The Non-Blonde recently reported that it is discontinued along with Iris Ganache (What? WHAT?)

Notes include bergamot, orange blossom, honeysuckle, muguet, nutmeg, vetiver, and tonka bean. Vétiver Pour Elle was created by Jean-Paul Guerlain in 2004.

The male counterpart, Vétiver, is the more famous part of the two perfumes and rightly so. Vétiver is a classic masculine, I like it a lot on a man, but would not wear it. (Mostly due to the fact that my father in law wears it and it is firmly associated with him in my mind, which is a good thing, but ultimately keeps me from wearing Vétiver.)

Vétiver pour Elle opens fresh and green, a bit soapy at times, at develops into a heart of dominant lily of the valley and subdued orange blossom, with a twist of nutmeg. The vetiver is very prominent to my nose, although I have read (and puzzled over) reviews that do not find the vetiver to be present at all in there. To me Vetiver pour Elle is what it says on the bottle – a vetiver presented in a cute floral dress and a little lipgloss. It never completely loses the clean-soapy feel.

Since I am no great vetiver lover (although there are exceptions), I rather like the “feminized” version presented here, but I suspect true vetiver lovers will find this a bit too cushioned and decorated, too lovely and cute.

Vètiver pour Elle is a perfume for vetiver-shy people with a lot of money on their hands. As a next step on the vetiver ladder, I’d try Hermessence Vétiver Tonka.

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35 Responses to Vetiver In A Summer Dress – Review: Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle

  1. Asali says:

    Hi Birgit, Monsieur Guerlain, Ulrik T, says it’s not DC, only Iris Ganache is to be DC for now. Thanks for the lovely review:-) Hope you are well again.

  2. GeM says:

    Such a pity it is discontinued!
    I don’t understand… I still think despite the hard times, people still end up buying perfumes!
    But one thing for sure: finding an audience by such a randomy way of launching & discontinuing items all the time…. it’s a total mess!!! I think very rarely are fragrances ever completely out of production… So what’s happening here? Sure are they telling us the truth… or just using the word ‘Discontinued’ just as a commercial interest strategy… just like to say ‘Buy another one!’? 😦

    • GeM says:

      (I meant that apparently the Retailers aren’t telling us the truth very often – while supposedly, the Main House are!-). I am sick and tired of the major perfumery departments and regular stores where it’s often told that a perfume is being DISCONTINUED because they won’t have it anymore…!!! I’m sorry but F**’em All!

      • Olfactoria says:

        That is horrible being lied to by a retailer. But maybe they are often just not very knowledgeable or too lazy to find out what is really up with a perfume… sad sigh.

        • GeM says:

          Right, I agree, but that’s the problem. I’ve learned being skeptical towards the ‘ignorance’, and sadly now I’m always thinking the worst = because one thing follows another. So before admitting they’re not knowledgeable or too lazy or telling us about selling policy of some shops owners (they don’t want a brand in particular anymore, or they don’t come to an agreement with the brand or they don’t make too much profit with a perfume, or even if TEMPORARILY they don’t have the perfume you want), they prefer to say ‘Sorry, may it be discontinued??’ / ‘I haven’t heard of this perfume [anymore/ since a long time ago/ etc] so I’m pretty sure it’s being discontinued’/ [et al… ]. If they’d just shut up… Even when it’s hard to believe that a certain perfume is not selling well, or when you are pretty sure that it’s a must and it’s impossible that they discontinued it! If they’d just shut up, or if they just said ‘We won’t be getting it anymore’ … but instead, they prefer to induce people to confusion! that to me it’s like comitting a swindle by leading us under a misunderstanding -and possibly also intending to try to make us buy another thing-.

          I can’t stand it.

          This does not take away the mainstream perfume houses predatory procedures to create the ‘fast food’ contemporary ‘FASHION item’ releases which hardly last more than 3 years… that is an excuse to sacrifice the beauties of the past, often presented as New, but ‘remade’ and desvirtued.

          I don’t know how I still can love Perfume after all…. This world stinks.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Apparently it isn’t after all – we’ll see.
      But I totally agree with your sentiment, all that juggling around with limitations and discontinuations is exhausting and frustrating.

  3. andrea says:

    I have started to like the note vetiver in perfumes, I like the Hermessence Vetiver Tonka, even more unnerving is that my son likes it even more and has attemted to swipe this one off me as well as tried to talk me into buying Creed’s Vetiver (13 year old, nope it’s not happening) maybe this will be a vetiver that he can keep his hands off (dependant on if I can get my hands on some)
    I heard that Iris Granache is being discontined so I decided to get my hands on some (a kind fff has gone into the Guerlain store in Paris for me) This is completely unsniffed but I figured what the hell??? Probably why I was not well yesterday with a 2 fb bottle want list…..:-)

    • Olfactoria says:

      You got Iris Ganache, yay! Good thinking! 🙂
      I had to laugh at your son wanting a Creed perfume. The young man has expensive taste. Maybe you’ll be better off letting him have the Vetiver Tonka. 😉

    • Tara says:

      andrea, next time let me know. I could have got it from Harrods for you!

      • andrea says:

        Tara, thank you for your kind offer, there is an ever growing list of Guerlain exclusives that I want so I may be taking you up on that offer sometime soon. (I was not sure even sure if you could actually buy it anywhere in the UK)

  4. Alexandra says:

    I still haven’t forgiven Guerlain for discontinuing Attrape Coeur less than a week before I finally visited their shop on Champs-Elysees – I finally make it to Paris and STILL don’t get to try it. But what are they doing to Iris Ganache? it just doesn’t make sense, I may stop wearing Shalimar in protest… or not…

    I haven’t really explored vetiver as a note, but on the coldest of days I do enjoy a roaring fire, a good book and Lalique’s Encre Noir.

  5. I do hope Iris Ganache lasts until June! I’m saving my pennies for a trip to Paris!

    As for Vetiver Pour Elle, I agree with your review completely, it’s a lovely summery floral vetiver. What I could never understand is that it was a relatively cheap travel fragrance that is now sold for a phenomenal price (in comparison) as part of the Les Parisiennes line.

  6. Tara says:

    Despite not being a vetiver fan I always fancied this one. Probably because it is feminine, dressed up version of vetiver. I was sick when I was at the Paris airport a couple of years back but didn’t have time to go to duty free. I feel better now after reading your review because it doesn’t sound like you fell madly in love with it. That’s good enough for me.

    Like everyone else I can’t get over Iris Genache being discontinued. Très odd.

    • Olfactoria says:

      No, madly in love I’m not. It is nice, but I won’t get grey hair should it turn out to be discontinued after all.

      Iris Ganache – strange indeed. One would think it is a crowd pleaser (relatively speaking for an exclusive perfume) with all the chocolate and yumminess…

  7. deeHowe says:

    I’m just smitten with the cut of the dresses in that photo! How I wish that I had a closet full of them…

    Ahem, back on topic!

    I like Vetiver quite a bit, in certain settings: Vetiver Tonka? YES! Also in the L’Artisan, and alongside the pepper in Carbone & Poivre 23. I like how it can create a sandpaper texture without tampering with the refinement of a fragrance…

    But I’ll probably skip this Guerlie for now 🙂

  8. Bee says:

    I agree with you, it’s a cute vetiver for beginners, in that phase I euphorically bought a full bottle, I still enjoy it in summer, but I do perk it up with a few micro sprays of vetiver extraordinaire – nobody tell Monsieur Malle, please 🙂

  9. susan says:

    Too bad they’re discontinuing this! I had wondered if it might appeal to me, not being a huge vetiver fan.

    • Olfactoria says:

      There have been differing reports so far, another blogger reported that only Iris Ganache is discontinued, but not Vetiver Pour Elle (see the comments above). So until there is more clarification from Guerlain, I’m not sure what is true.
      If you get the chance, give it a try, it is a very nice perfume for vetiver-reluctant people like us. 🙂

  10. Vanessa says:

    I am also vetiver-shy, so I like the sound of this Guerlie scent! Bring on the cute floral dresses, I say… Though I sense there may be a small monetary obstacle, which is what stopped me from buying our much lamented PQJ in a timely manner. Oh, on a side note – I checked with the lady who owned the host bottle – long since sold, she can’t even remember who to…So I wasn’t quick enough off the mark there either.. : – (

  11. I love the vetiver note and have tried many vetivers. this is one of the few that I haven’t tried and want to. The original Vetiver is one of my all-time favourites.

  12. James Dennard says:

    I am a bad person and am just now getting back to your blog again. But this comment gave me a big smile. I talk about Vetiver so much that it shouldn’t be a surprise. In fact, Vetiver is going to be my sotd for Monday. 🙂

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  14. Cybele says:

    I’d like to add here that I always thought it would be hard to sell Vetiver Pour Elle in the Parisienne line- more sporty women would rather be attracted if it was sold as counterpart to classic Vetiver and they would more easily discover it at the counter too. You must be quite into perfume to even approach the elegant Parisienne bottles…Huge loss!!!

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