Vetiver Tonka by Jean Claude Ellena for Hermès 2004

Hello Fellow Fumies,

I don’t know what’s going on lately but it looks like vetiver has overtaken my big white flowers as favourite note. This was unintentional, surprising and I hope it doesn’t mean my love for the BWF is dying. Also, I’ve been doing some reading, always a dangerous course for the half educated like myself, and it turns out that vetiver is becoming the plant de jour around the world for a number of things other than perfume. There are 2 types of non invasive, clumping vetiver that are being used world wide for their ability to leech the toxins from soil and water, they are also excellent for stabilising erosion, holding banks/mountains in place and creating sea walls. This is only the tip of the iceberg I feel and will be interested to see it used in the future for self-sufficient-household sanitation and water cleansing.

Hermessence Vetiver Tonka by Hermès 2004

Vetiver Tonka Hermes FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Vetiver, tonka bean, lily of the valley, tobacco, caramel, praline, sandalwood, hazelnut

The caramel/resinous/LOTV open is joyous all by itself. So full throated and filled with call, like a siren or water bird floating across the brackish water of river and sea land junction. The foody stuff all combines with the tonka to create a wonderful sweet amber or crispy toffee scent that makes me want some salted caramel ice cream and honeycomb. YUMMY stuff indeed.

Vetiver Tonka Hermes Roots vetiver.orgPhoto Stolen vetiver.org

The fragrance then takes a decidedly vetiver turn on my skin, giving me a gorgeous earthy, salty, green smell like sitting on a dock above or the verandah near mudflats at low tide, it must be cooler months because there is a smoky waft carrying across to you from someones fireplace, or maybe it’s a summer Bar B Q and the sweetness still lurking is caramelising onions and sausages.

The feeling I get from Vetiver Tonka is a sense of space and freedom. It’s like a holiday, there is time to smell the unfolding of the story, the sweet warmth and earthy dankness combine to form a welcoming and pretty adventure that is both warm and very, very cool. Though it is not a sillage monster Vetiver Tonka does waft a trail and if you spray a card and leave the room, when you return it has tinted the air with a very slightly foody sweetness underlaid with a wetland breeze.

Heftier than many of the more recent J C E offerings and lasting power is decidedly longer, around 4-5 hours before I lose it, or the ability to notice it. Lately I have been using the Olympic Orchids Patchouli Lovers Soap and it is adding a very green baseline to Vetiver Tonka that darkens it and adds a couple of hours life to the whole also. The tobacco and LOTV seem to completely bypass my skin, with or without the soap, but I probably just miss them in the seamless mix that is a J C Ellena trademark: a scent story that has the most beautifully gradated transitions.

Vetiver Tonka HermesPhoto Stolen Hermès

Further reading: What Men Should Smell Like and Bois de Jasmin
Hermès does a great set of 4 x 15ml Hermessence of your choice $180
Surrender To Chance has Vetiver Tonka on sale for $4/.5ml

Are you a J C Ellena fan? Have you tried Hermessence Vetiver Tonka or are there favourite Vetiver or Tonka frags that you’s like to share with us? We’d love to read your thoughts.

See you tomorrow
Portia xx

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