The Italian niche perfume company Mazzolari also owns perfume shops in Italy that sell other brands (so don't be confused if you log onto their site and see lots of non-Mazzolari products listed). Mazzolari supposedly began as a barbershop in the late 1880s and became a perfume shop chain in the 1960s. Mazzolari's own perfumes debuted in the early 1990s. Vetiver is the first Mazzolari perfume I've smelled, but Now Smell This reviewed other Mazzolari perfumes back in 2006: Alessandro, Patchouly and Zagara. I chose to start my Mazzolari journey with Vetiver,* since vetiver is one of my favorite fragrance notes.
Mazzolari Vetiver starts with a mossy, slightly indolic floral-citrus accord, creamy/sweet and cheerful. (Summer flashed before my eyes.) Slowly, a pungent vetiver emerges; the vetiver has 'heft' and presence at first, but then becomes soft and mellow. There's an interesting musk present, too; it's semi-dirty (think hairy musk after a rain-y rinse). The base of Vetiver is interesting — a mixture of vetiver, hay, musk and sandalwood (smelling of coconut and fresh bread). Though vetiver, the ingredient, is smack dab in the center of Vetiver, the perfume, this is not a solo-note fragrance (a 'caution' for those who want a pure/purer vetiver experience).
Vetiver smells like perfume; though it's an Eau de Toilette, it has a depth and presence and multi-tiered development vintage fragrances possess. Vetiver immediately went on my summer to-buy list (yes, my to-buy list is so extensive now it's divided into seasons)! And I have to decide fast on the summer candidates — I always buy my summer perfumes when the weather is still temperate, before my mailbox becomes a perfume-destroying furnace.
The review above was written after wearing Vetiver twice; my application method was a drop of perfume on the wrist spread over my forearms. I kept putting my nose to skin during the first hour of development. When I finally got to task and sprayed Vetiver on my body for a few days (seven spritzes each day...at least), my review changed dramatically:
Mazzolari Vetiver starts with a too-sweet, floral-citrus-creamy cosmetic accord (the citrus is flat). Quickly, vetiver emerges but is almost immediately swallowed up by musk that smells like burning hair. The base of Vetiver mixes weak vetiver with sour/bitter notes (think rhubarb or red currant), more synthetic musk and "wood." Vetiver smells discount perfume-y — a wallop of inexpensive-smelling notes crisscrossing some vetiver. On a masculine-feminine scale of "1" being Caveman and "10" being Marilyn Monroe, Vetiver is a 7. I wanted to scrub Vetiver from my body.
Have you ever had such an experience? Light application = Bliss; heavy application = Is This the Same Perfume? If so, share!
Launching soon: Mazzolari Nero Vetiver (Black Vetiver). I'll try it, but my expectations are low.
Mazzolari Vetiver Eau de Toilette is $150 for 100 ml. For buying information, see the listing for Mazzolari under Perfume Houses.
*Listed fragrance notes of: lemon, orange, bergamot, nutmeg, vetiver, tobacco, sandalwood.