September 15, 2009

Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford

Posted in Tom Ford at 11:10 am by Curtis

I’m pretty sure I’ve always hated frosted glass.  I don’t think there’s really anything masculine about it: it’s sort of clouded and translucent, soft in texture; I think clear glass, clean, crisp, strong, cold and hard, with nothing to hide, is much manlier.  I also think clear glass would have been much more fitting for the bottle of Tom Ford’s new Grey Vetiver.  It’s a shame they decided to use frosted glass, but I guess they felt that switching from gold to silver trim and having an entirely different colored juice inside wasn’t enough to differentiate the new launch from the line’s previous two men’s scents.  Oh well. Now that I’ve said something negative about it, let’s continue.

I’m pretty sure I’ve always loved vetiver.  Okay, probably not always, but I’ve loved it ever since I started paying attention to scents and knew that it was okay for men to wear eau de parfum (even though I’ll continue to call everything I wear cologne regardless of concentration, though, to be proper I should say scent or fragrance) and was able to pick out that divine root in the drydown of Eau Sauvage.  It’s not that I love every vetiver scent, but I love vetiver itself.  I don’t much care for Guerlain’s Vetiver or Creed’s, and while I hope to have a bottle of Encre Noire someday, it’s just a bit too harsh for April’s taste, so, other than Eau Sauvage, which hardly counts, the only vetiver-prominent fragrance in my wardrobe is L’Occtitane’s Eau de Vetyver (which, I’ve found, is quite polarizing; some people appreciate the scent while others discount L’Occitane wholesale based on it’s presence in malls across the country and think of it as sort of a Frenchified Bath & Body Works; I’m in the former category).  Eau de Vetyver is very strongly vetiver and cedar, and I like the pairing of the coolness of vetiver with the warmth of the cedar, though at times the cedar really overshadows the vetiver.  Grey Vetiver isn’t nearly as strongly woody and thus is a much colder scent than L’Occtinae’s, though it also keeps quite a distance from the icy depths of Encre Noire.

Grey Vetiver opens with, of course, vetiver and a strong and sour grapefruit note, which, as grapefruit tends to do, sits somewhere between sour-as-in-citrus and sour-as-in-body-odor, with spices and mild woods hovering in the background.  Once the citrus dies down a bit, it gets woodier, spicier, and slightly smoky, and this is probably my favorite phase of the scent (another scent that offers a lot of smoke and woods, and one that I’d like to have someday, but that’s currently a bit too smoky for April, is Gucci Pour Homme).  Grey Vetiver reminds me a bit of Armani’s Bois D’Encens, which I liked but which I found doesn’t last nearly as long as this single phase of Grey Vetiver.  Thereafter, I get a sea-side salty note and something that’s a bit like the smell of wet paint.  While some people might not smell those things, and if they did, they probably wouldn’t like them, I tend to like strange smells, and I also tend to find them in fragrances.  The vetiver is strongest to me in the drydown, where its cool wetness manages to keep the warmness of the spices and woods in check.

Grey Vetiver has a decent amount of sillage and lasts fairly well on my skin, probably 6 or 7 hours, which sort of disappointed me, actually, considering it is an EdP and I generally get more wear out of my EdTs. It’s a multi-purpose scent, good anytime and anywhere, and on anybody. I think this is going to be a success for Mr. Ford, and it’s probably something I’m going to keep around in my wardrobe for years to come.


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