an outlaw perfume
that doesn't recognize any rules or regulations
it hasn't been tested on animals
but one Turtle with his kind consent
|Matthew Stoned for Dazed & Confused Oct.2011|
Thus is Turtle Vetiver Front, the second installment in the limited edition series that began in 2009 with Turtle Vetiver Exercise No. 1, being introduced to us by Swiss niche line Les Nez, uncompromising in its catering for individuality and art-concepts. The new fragrance is part of the Turtle Salon (if you don't know about it, here's your chance to discover), hence the Turtle referenced, and was composed by ISIPCA teacher and perfumer Isabelle Doyen.
According to the blurb "For Turtle Vetiver Front, the smoky and flinty facets of vetiver are brought to the fore, with carbon paper and freshly printed newspaper effects; an unexpected coconut note softens this austere blend and makes this iteration more easily wearable than the first, while preserving its raw power".
Indeed the new Les Nez fragrance opens intensely, with the swamp-like qualities of vetiver grass oil, which recall vast expanses of muddy waters where crocodiles might lurk, rather than techno-age associations; Creature of the Swamp more than 9 to 5 with its carbon papers, even though there is a hint of inkiness possibly due to quite a bit of oakmoss in the formula and a 3D quality thanks to a drop of natural ambergris. Les Nez doesn't really have to be IFRA compliant, nor is it cost-effective bound. The effect is overall flinty, inky, swampy, even phenolic from a certain angle when sprayed. Almost immediately Turtle Vetiver Front takes on a very discernible fig leaf facet with cedar wood, sweetened with the milky note that is inherent in the fruit's sack: the whiteish, coconutty-laced note we have come to get introduced to from Premier Figuier and really now find in Santal Massoia (Hermès) and Santal Blush by Tom Ford (as well as in a woody butch iteration in Santal 33 by Le Labo). Coconut has a reputation to scare the horses, as it's been played to death by aroma-care companies that churn it out in devilish cones lurking at the back of Ukranian-driven taxis and overdoses that can turn rotten-sweet in suntan lotions and Pina Colada cocktails, but if those are your associations you need not worry: This is a new development in the industry we will be seeing more of, using coconut lactone to soften woody compositions and with the usual refinement of both Les Nez and Doyen the coconut facet is both subtle and delightful, merely giving a caress. If you liked that element in Santal Massoia, you will most definitely like it here too.
Compared to Turtle Vetiver Exercise 1 (the first edition), the original was rawer, more robust, with a pronounced salty true aspect to the vetiver, iodine-like and sea-reminiscent, with that "briny/marine" tonality in Goutal's Vetiver, also composed by Doyen; unique, delightfully bracing, for hard-core vetiver fans! In Turtle Vetiver Front, the greener and milky elements are that of the shore which solaces the wounded under the shadow of the fig trees, providing a softer turn which would make it very wearable for men and women alike.The inky top notes reminiscent of Lalique's Encre Noire swirl back and forth between rawness and the softness of fig/coconut, producing a lasting vetiver fragrance that will get discussed (and which I personally liked a lot). NB. When stocks run out, the third iteration, Turtle Vetiver Back will challenge us more with an edgier interpretation!
Notes for Les Nez Turtle Vetiver Front: vetiver, coconut lactone (synthetic coconut note), moss and ambergris.
LesNez Turtle Vetiver Front is available in Eau de Parfum, 50ml/1.7oz for $120 on the official Les Nez site. Profits are given to Turtle and there are only 90 splash bottles available. There are also samples available for purchase.
I have a deluxe sample atomiser for one lucky reader.
Please say what you like or not like in vetiver & coconut fragrances in the comments to enter. Draw remains open till Sunday midnight.