The fact that luxury car manufacturer Bentley are making excellent fragrances is a surprise to pretty much everyone. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not surprised that a brand who is responsible for some of the highest quality motor vehicles in the world gives a damn about quality when it comes to their diffusion products – that actually makes a lot of sense. But, this is not just acceptable perfumery from a brand using good quality materials – this is really well thought out and executed perfumery that fits the spirit of the brand and the man who one would expectg to wear such fragrances. In short: Bentley is doing some great stuff so don’t sleep on them just because they also make cars…
Bentley’s latest launch is the Bentley Beyond collection, which consists of three fragrances: Exotic Musk (Mathilde Bijaoui) Majestic Cashmere (Julie Massé) and Wild Vetiver (Sidonie Lancesseur). The collection is an exploration of exotic places – Acapulco, Goa, Java – through singular materials, a story that is not new, but is really well executed here. Both Exotic Musk and Majestic Cashmere are delightful olfactory experiences, but it is Wild Vetiver that is the gem of the collection. It’s a vetiver that, even after all of the other vetiver fragrances in the world, feels new. That, my friends, is something worth turning your attention to.
Bergamot, Pepper, Verbena, Vetiver, Birch and Amber Wood
How Does it Smell?
Wild Vetiver opens up with, you guessed it: vetiver, and lots of it. It really feels like every element of the vetiver is laid out on the table all at once. There’s a sharp tang of grapefruit, a nutty warmth, earthiness, greenery, anise and smoke – it’s all there, and in perfect balance. You might be wondering how this differs from other vetivers out there, after all, it sounds like a pretty straightforward take on the note, right? Wrong! Wild Vetiver has a ruggedness – a grainy, ashy, mineral quality to it that makes it stand out from the pack.
Where Wild Vetiver also differs is in its warmth. Other warm vetivers, the likes of Hermes’ Vetiver Tonka et al, pull focus on the nutty, almost gourmand facets of vetiver, evoking wool and neutral shades. Wild Vetiver stays away from this tendency, using smoky woods (which boast a touch of ambery-sweetness too) to provide a more austere, leather-like take on warmth. Somehow this all feels rugged without impeding the overall smooth, luxurious feel. It’s somewhat perplexing, actually, but I’m happy to go along with these contradictions when the results smell so darn good…
Wild Vetiver is an elegant take on the material that beautifully straddles the line between the sophisticated and the casual. I honestly think it would suit any occasion, pairing perfectly with a tuxedo or a white t-shirt and jeans. It is an expertly woven fragrance, where strands of vetiver and paired with materials that accentuate its many facets, making for a well-rounded perfume that shines a light on the beguiling facets of vetiver. It’s lightweight and diffusive, with good longevity and presence. Wild Vetiver is an exceptional piece of work and more evidence that Bentley are doing some wonderful things.
Wild Vetiver is available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for £165.
Sample (pictured) sent by Bentley for consideration. I was not paid for this review and Bentley had no input in the contents of this article. Notes and quotes via Bentley. Images are my own.