Vetiver is in my veins. I use so many vetiver fragrances I’m sure detectable quantities of Chrysopogon zizanioides oil appear in my blood panels. Vetiver has such a hold on me, I believe it must have been one of the first fragrances I smelled as a baby. When I sniff vetiver, I feel warm, happy, calm, and contemplative. Tom Ford associates vetiver, as he does many of his favorite things, with money and power: “It is solid, like the man who wears a custom-made suit or invests in hand-crafted shoes.”1 That statement robs vetiver of all romance, and as I often feel while reading the worldly wit and wisdom of Tom Ford, I want to renounce my possessions, move to a mountaintop, set up house in a cave and own only a robe and a begging bowl. With Tom Ford, “money talks”…and talks, and talks some more.
(O.K. I admit while searching theTom Ford website for images to use in this review, I saw several coats from the fall/winter men’s collection that ignited the most unenlightened thing possible -- Desire; perhaps I’m not quite ready for the hermitage.)
At any rate, Tom Ford’s coffers are continually growing; according to Women's Wear Daily, in its first week on shelves Grey Vetiver “overshot its sales projections by 25 percent….”2 (Perhaps vetiver is about to make a big comeback in men’s mainstream perfumes?) Grey Vetiver was concocted by Firmenich and, apart from vetiver, contains notes of grapefruit, orange flower, sage, nutmeg, orris, pimiento, amber woods and oak moss.
Grey Vetiver is a subtle fragrance; it begins with warm citrus and moves quickly to a pleasant “smoky” phase. The rich smokiness is followed by a gleam of “sweat” (perhaps the grapefruit making its debut). The heart of Grey Vetiver is vetiver with a touch of toasted tonka and nutmeg. As the scent dries down, I smell pepper and warm woods (cypress-cedar?) In the extreme dry down, the sweaty note reappears, mingling nicely with the notes (now fading) that came before.
Grey Vetiver is a high-quality, pleasing take on vetiver (with an adult/somewhat “corporate” feel); if you love and own many vetiver fragrances, I doubt you’ll need to add this one to your collection — there’s nothing new or unusual in this vetiver presentation. However, for those men who have shied away from vetiver or never tried a vetiver-rich perfume, Grey Vetiver would be a great place to start your “vetiver education.”
A 50 ml bottle of Tom Ford Grey Vetiver Eau de Parfum is $85.
Note: all coat images via tomford.
Ed. note: the original image at the top left of this article, of a naked man wearing sunglasses, has been removed at the request of Tom Ford Beauty, and we should point out that the image was not part of the advertising for Tom Ford Grey Vetiver. I think it's an ad for Tom Ford sunglasses. Anyway, it's gone. In its place, we have Henry Ossawa Tanner - study young man by freeparking at flickr; some rights reserved, and Kevin has kindly added sunglasses to preserve the spirit of the thing. If you want to see the ad for Tom Ford Grey Vetiver, it's here. If you want to see the image we removed, it's currently one of the images that opens the Tom Ford website, although of course I don't know how long it will remain there.
1. Women's Wear Daily, 9/4/2009.