Le Labo Vetiver 46 and il Profumo Vetiver de Java, like yesterday's Vetyver by Parfums de Nicolaï, are not unadorned renditions of vetiver: if you want the root, straight up and simple, you'll have to look elsewhere. Vetyver highlighted vetiver's earthy green properties with strong spices; in the two fragrances considered here, the focus is on wood notes.
Vetiver de Java is from il Profumo, the Italian perfume house created by Silvana Casoli. It has notes of lavender, vetiver, birch, incense, red rose, Cashmere cypress, gaiac wood and oak moss. The opening is a burst of lavender, slightly harsh, with a touch of citrus. It settles into a mild blend of mossy-earthy woods, tinged green, with occasional drifts of incense smoke and a bit of rose hovering just underneath the surface.
It is a calm, relaxing fragrance, and my favorite from this line so far. I do keep meaning to revisit Café Vert (please comment if you've tried it), and must also give props to Mandarine for being that rare thing: a long lasting orange scent. It is not quite satisfying to me on its own, but one of these days I will experiment with layering.
For buying information, see the listing for il Profumo under Perfume Houses.
Vetiver 46 is from Le Labo. It was created by perfumer Mark Buxton, has notes of bergamot, black pepper, clove, cedar, vetiver, ladanum, olibanum, gaiac wood, amber and vanilla. It opens on the smell of peppered band-aids, slightly singed, brightened by the bergamot and given a generous dusting of dried clove. The medicinal undertones calm for the most part as it dries down to dusky woods, very deep and warm, with a murky quality that calls to mind Yves Saint Laurent M7. The amber and vanilla lend some sweetness without tempering the intensity of the woods; and while it is quite earthy, I would have guessed patchouli rather than vetiver.
It is a considerably stronger and probably less "wearable" fragrance than the Vetiver de Java, and while both are masculine, the Vetiver de Java, which smells almost clean in comparison, might be easier for a woman to pull off. All the same I prefer the Le Labo.
For buying information, see the listing for Le Labo under Perfume Houses.