For the past five years, I’ve been completely obsessed with scents, which initially stemmed out of my love for nature and the outdoors. Have you ever been in the middle of a forest and breathed in that intoxicating mix of trees, grass, dirt, moss, and everything else earthy surrounding you? That’s what I want to smell like – all the time.
After exploring the different perfume notes, I was drawn to two in particular – vetiver and oakmoss. Both are very earthy notes that instantly ground me. Vetiver in particular is my favorite, and while fit for both men and women, it is found most often in what’s labeled as men’s fragrances. (Sadly, when perfumists create ‘women’s’ versions of these scents – like Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle – they tend to tone the vetiver and hide it in the background of more intense florals or citruses.)
So while in my search for the perfect vetiver scent, I began experimenting with men’s fragrances and never turned back. After trying out countless samples from The Perfumed Court and Posh Peasant, I discover my favorites – Miller Harris Vetiver Bourban, Lalique Encre Noir, Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire, and Chanel Sycomore (which is actually marketed as unisex).
This month, I was in the mood to try out a new, lighter vetiver scent for summer, and ended up grabbing a generously-sized sample of Tom Ford Grey Vetiver Eau de Parfum* through Scentbird.
Tom Ford Grey Vetiver Review
In Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver Eau de Parfum, vetiver takes center stage, with complementing notes that enhance it’s freshness. It opens with citrusy top notes of orange flower and grapefruit, along with sage. Orris, nutmeg, and pimiento form a complex yet clean middle layer through a balance of dirty florals and spicy sweet notes. At the base is oakmoss, a woodsy-green note that rounds off the freshness of the vetiver with a deep, smooth, and grounding finish.
“The fragrance moves vetiver from the background to a signature placement that develops from top note to drydown. The scent revolves around ultra-pure essence of vetiver, obtained by a revolutionary extraction technique.”
The freshness and transparency of the vetiver is the first thing that stands out to me when I catch a whiff of this. The spiciness of the nutmeg and pimiento hit my nose next, and immediately turns this from a unisex scent to a masculine scent for me. Fortunately, because the scent is light with a fairly simple ingredients profile, it can be easily layered with other note/scents to ‘sweeten it up’ a bit and pull it back into the unisex category. The absence of heavier base notes makes it perfect for Summer wear, but again, it can be layered over richer base notes to create a deeper, warmer feel for Winter.
Overall, while I enjoyed Grey Vetiver, it hasn’t earned a spot among my favorite vetiver scents. I personally like my vetivers inky and swampy, like in Encre Noire by Lalique, with warmer, smokier base notes rather than spicy and citric notes.
If, on the other hand, you’re a fan of vetiver and prefer it crisp and dry with a more masculine vibe, you’ll like this one. It makes for a very clean, fresh summer scent that I find works particularly well on men (I gave this to my boyfriend and much prefer it on him!).
Try Out New Scents Each Month
If you too are looking to experiment with some new scents without committing to a full-size bottle, I recommend trying out Scentbird’s monthly perfume subscription. Since I first gave their service a try, they’ve expanded their selection to include over 450 fragrances, including a number of luxury and niche brands to satisfy even perfume snobs like myself.
How does it work? For $14.95/month, they’ll send you a 8 ml decant of your choice of perfume (about the size of a roller-ball), along with a reusable, travel-friendly case to carry them in. As a member, you’ll also get a monthly $15 credit towards a full sized purchase if you end up finding something you like.
Want to give Scentbird a try? Sign up for your 1st month, and get your 2nd month FREE using my invite link here!
What’s your favorite fragrance note? Have you discovered any new scents recently?
*Sample generously provided for review consideration.