A distinctive aroma that entices with a refreshing, masculine aura, vetiver has long captivated master scent mixologists with its complex, woody notes, citrusy zing, and fragrant rootiness. It’s derived from an Eastern Asian grass, giving it a robust earthiness. But what really sets vetiver apart is its contrasting nuances that evoke both aridity and verdancy along with heat and coolness, making it a timelessly elegant addition to any essence.
While snippets of vetiver can be traced in many an eau, some fragrances truly celebrate its full-bodied spirit. Venture into the realm of vetiver and get a whiff of these options to add to your cologne closet.
In the beginning, there was Vétiver by Carven. Born out of love, Madame Carven created it for her first husband, Philippe Mallet, in 1957. It is recognized as the first vetiver-based fragrance on the market, inspiring countless other perfumers to create similar scents. This new edition of the original is a citrusy-aromatic-woodsy combo that opens with zesty grapefruit, bergamot, and lemongrass followed by a heard of lavender and orange blossom. Vetiver comes in with the base that also includes a seductive mix of cedar, benzoin, and sandalwood.
The first olfactory potion by Jean-Paul Guerlain, Vétiver is an iconic rendition of vetiver proper, perfuming every decade since its creation in 1959. This is the classic vetiver that has inspired many a subsequent scent with its raw grassiness and timelessly sophisticated French panache. The dual evocation of freshness and warmth along with the woody, refined elegance of spices and tobacco are nothing short of handsomely captivating for this “perfume of the earth.”
Vétiver Babylone, Armani Privé
Fresh, verdant, and elegant, Vétiver Babylone is meant to exuberantly reflect the wonders of the ancient Hanging Gardens of Babylon with its green, leafy terraces that emerged from the desert sand. Light and contemporary, despite its storied inspiration, the scent’s tropical grass features an appealing contrast between dryer notes and refreshing lushness — such dichotomy is what makes this Armani spritz so compelling.
Le Troisième Parfum, Coolife
Coolife’s Pauline Rochas and Carole Beaupré believe in the power of scent as a means of artistic expression — and each of their fragrances activate one of the chakras. Le Troisième’s worldly, unique blend of French vetiver is softened with vivid, sunny notes of Italian citrus, Neroli flower, and Egyptian jasmine. It’s meant to elicit clarity and inner strength through the third chakra. The bright yet deep scent also features notes of Guatemalan cardamom, musk, and juniper berry from Eastern Europe.
Tom Ford Grey Vetiver
Much like Tom Ford the fashion designer, his Grey Vetiver cologne sits at the epitome of provocatively masculine and charismatic style. The crisp, statement scent stands out with its ode to vetiver that veers away from the classic, straightforward incarnation by blending it with sunny citrus, rich spices, and robust woods.
Tempered by a fresh, floral bouquet, Vetyverio is a unisex fragrance from the French house of Diptyque. However, the notes of powerful, viril vetiver leave no question that this one is still perfectly well-suited among the guys. The contrasting temperatures of the scent are what create the strong impact and the mystique.