Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sel de Vetiver

Today we continue our scent journey with Sel de Vetiver. Vetiver is one of those words I see a lot in the soap/bubblebath/shower gel aisle. I know it to be a manly scent like sandalwood, but get it confused with vervain and verbena, the perfume that schoolteacher Miss Beadle wore on Little House on the Prairie. Remember her?

As I was looking for a picture of Miss Beadle, I discovered that she has a bit of a cult following. Guess it wasn't just Half Pint who felt that way.

Back to the vetiver. Here it is:

It's a long grass native to India whose essential oil is distilled from its roots. Because vetiver roots grow straight down instead of in a horizontal web, it is used for erosion control. How practical. Useful both in and out of the ground. And non-invasive to boot. If only I had a backyard, I would grow some.

But we know what the true test is. After several well-placed dabs of Sel de Vetiver in the "cleavage,"--whoo! Sharply cedar-shaving overwhelm like I had just stuck my head into a freshly changed hamster cage. But it mellowed out pretty quickly and became spicy, smoky and warm, not at all sweet, a little confusing frankly. It had hints of unwashed hippie, which must have been the patchouli, but instead of the ringing of skirt bells (the hippie girl soundtrack, doncha know), I'm getting a more sophisticated, sensual vibe. I'm not dancing in a muddy field, entranced by my own hands and rank body odor, no. Maybe I'm in a cafe, or a train station, world weary and smoking a clove cigarette. Perhaps there is romance. But maybe also espionage. Treachery. This scent smolders. It slips into shadows. Etc.

Perfume Smellin' Lady has this to say about S de V. These reviews are starting to make a little more sense to me, but I don't get what she means by "tasteful wetness" of this scent. Obviously I have a lot more to learn.

Oh, and verbena? It's the same thing as vervain. Did you know that? I didn't. Heck, I only recently realized that a cougar, mountain lion, puma and panther are the same animal and I live in an area that has these ... large cats.

Sel de Vetiver: B+. I would wear this again if given to me, but not buy it at $150 a bottle. Or $50. But you know I'm a cheap bastard so you should take these things I say with a grain de sel.

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