You Can’t go Wrong With Vetiver – Carven Vétiver Perfume Review

The Carven Man

The Carven Man

A few weeks back I slapped on some of Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver (the Eau de Parfum) and commented on my instragram, that “when in doubt, go for vetiver”.  A flippant comment for sure, but it is one that seems to ring true, and let’s face it: you really can’t go wrong with vetiver.  Vetiver, a fragrant perennial grass native to India, is so successful as a perfume ingredient because it is so distinct – there isn’t really much else that smells like it.  Of course, being distinct does mean that it is less versatile as a note than some others (rose, for example), but many perfumers have found interesting ways to utilise the ingredient as a main feature or a supporting act.  I like vetiver very much and when one is in the mood for something clean, sharp and dashingly dapper, there’s not much else that can beat it.

There are many excellent vetiver fragrances out there, many of which are aimed predominately at men.  Classics such as Guerlain’s Vetiver (Jean-Paul Guerlain; 1961) immediately spring to mind, but one can’t ignore wonderful modern interpretations such as the aforementioned Grey Vetiver (Harry Fremont; 2009), Etat Libre d’Orange’s Fat Electrician (Antoine Maisondieu; 2009), Lalique’s Encre Noire (Nathalie Lorson; 2006) and Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle’s Vétiver Extraordinaire (Dominique Ropion; 2002), to name but a few.  Each one does something entirely different with this incredibly familiar note, whether it be amping it up to the armpit-like spice of the Malle or pairing it with gorgeously creamy and smoky resins as the Etat Libre d’Orange does.  Vetiver may not be a shape-shifting material, but it certainly does have an element of range.

One vetiver that doesn’t get a huge amount of press is Carven’s.  Now, this may be due to the fact that it has been in and out of production since its launch in 1957, but now its back and should be considered as a serious contender for any vetiver afficiando.  Housed within a new and gorgeously modern bottle, coloured with the most attractive shade of green Carven’s Vétiver, is that rare thing – a casual vetiver.  This is not a vetiver fragrance to be worn with a sharp suit or a crisp white shirt, no, no, no.  This is a vetiver to pair with a chunky piece of knitwear in muted, earth tones.  It’s a relaxed vetiver to cuddle up with – to explore softly and quietly – a vetiver that salutes introspection rather than attention seeking ostentation.

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New Escentual Post: A Vetiver Mini Guide

A Vetiver Mini Guide

A Vetiver Mini Guide

Is there any perfume ingredient more enjoyable than vetiver? I mean, sure, floral notes can be great, and oriental materials are often sumptuous and exotic, but vetiver is consistently good as well as being completely distinct. As a celebration of this most important and most beautiful ingredient, I compiled a mini-guide of vetiver fragrances for my Escentual column last week. The guide takes a look at a classic, modern and contemporary example of vetiver and is an essential peek at the world of perfumery’s staple ingredient. Click here to head on over to Escentual to read the guide, and don’t forget to let me know about your vetiver fragrances whilst you’re there!

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Mr. Butterworth & Mr. Ford – Tom Ford For Men, Oud Wood and Grey Vetiver Perfume Reviews

Mr. Butterworth & Mr. Ford

Two Handsome Men

Mr. Butterworth, my rather lovely partner-in-crime and Mr. Ford, the dashing designer behind Tom Ford go hand-in-hand. Well, not literally of course. I know that you know that I’d never allow that kind of shenanigans! What I mean is that, whilst not being a fumenerd like you are I, Mr. Butterworth does have a certain penchant for fragrances bearing Mr. Ford’s name.

If you were to take a peek into mine and Mr. Butterworth’s bathroom you would find a big collection of perfumes and although we share a lot of scents there is most definitely a ‘his ‘n’ hers’ thing going on. So if you look hard enough you will see a small contingent of masculine fragrances that belong solely to the Butterworth (although I do occasionally raid his stash), and three of his favourites are by Tom Ford.

Tom Ford currently has four masculine fragrances and about a million unisex private blends to choose from. Mr. Butterworth, with his ever-discerning taste, has found love for Tom Ford for Men, Oud Wood and Grey Vetiver, you could say that he’s a little bit obsessed. Should I be worried? Let’s just say that I will be keeping a close eye on him next time we’re near the Tom Ford counter

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