The Two Faced Perfume: Vetiver Dance- Andy Tauer (and samples giveaway)


Vetiver Dance is not what it seems.

Some vetivers are rich and lush. Think about the chocolate and jungle greens in the velvet that is Vetiver Oriental (Serge Lutens). Then there are the cold, crisp ones like Encre Noir (Lalique), Vetiver Extraordinare (Malle) and the wonderfully bitter and astringent Route de Vetiver (MPG). Guerlain Vetiver is crisp and dry, but oddly warm, and the same can be said about Lubin's Le Vetiver, though its opening is a lot more interesting than the drydown.

Andy Tauer's Vetiver Dance is all of the above or none of the above, depending on what your skin and your nose make of it.

I fisrt tried it several months ago, when the weather was still very warm and unforgiving. While the very first try of a minuscule amount was very Taueresque and promising, a full wearing on a hot day nearly killed the fragrance for me. There's a very strong lily of the valley note that jumped at me right away, suffocating the top notes completely. It surprised me, because a similar LOTV treatment in the mythological Hyacinth And The Mechanic was lush wonderful. Then again, I only tried it in those bitter cold days of late winter when one is willing to sell her soul for any promise of spring.

The thick LOTV made it hard to focus on the other notes, even though the perfume's development was interesting even then. There were all the loved companions to the vetiver: an herbal note, a bitter crispness, the return of the promised grapefruit peel. I liked the late drydown, with its hint of dry Tauerade: ambergris, cedar wood, tonka and cistus are signature notes. But the mean and green was still somewhere there. It didn't look promising.

As the weather became cooler I tried Vetiver Dance again and again and again, discovering it does much better when allowed to bloom outside. I found sweetness in the top and middle notes and an incredible dry vetiver later on. There's a point after about two hours on the skin, when the perfume changes direction right under your nose. Literally. It becomes something else entirely. While I've learned to appreciate the artistry of the first phase (face?) of the fragrance, what I would have loved is a bottle containing only the second one.

Vetiver Dance is incredibly strong and potent. It lasts all day even when applied lightly, which is probably the right way to go given its strength. My guess is that it's a challenging scent only if you have muguet issues (I can't stand Diorissimo), and even then it's worth a try because it smells like nothing else. The amazingly rich drydown alone is worth the experience, even if you decide the whole thing is too much.

Thanks to Andy's generosity, I have some samples to give away, so please leave a comment if you're interested. I'll do a kitten-assisted draw next week and announce the winners.

Vetiver Dance is available in the USA from both Luckyscent (Scent Bar) in L.A. and Aedes in NYC. Bottles and samples can also be purchased directly from Tauer Perfumes in Switzerland. My samples were free.

Image: Organic Forming No. 3 by
Heidi Vaught

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