TOP 10 FORMAL COLOGNES FOR MEN
Why vetiver is the scent to suit your summer
The fragrance world is wont to use words to describe its wares that mean little to the man on the street, no matter how cultivated. Sandalwood, oud, bergamot – all key ingredients in classic scents, none of which resonate with anyone but potpourri salesmen.
So how best to convince you that vetiver – a key ingredient in Burberry’s new fragrance,Mr Burberry– is the most important addition to your toiletries bag this summer? “The key is its versatility,” says Lizzie Ostrom, author of Perfume: A Century of Scents. “Some vetiver oils smell citrusy and clean, but they can be woody at the other end of the spectrum.” It’s this diversity that makes vetiver unique.
Vetiver became popular in the late ’50s in fragrances by Givenchy and Guerlain. “Before then, men’s choices were limited,” explains Ostrom. “Vetiver fragrances changed all that. Men were becoming smarter, demanding better, slicker suits and a fragrance to match.”
(Related: The proper way to put on a fragrance every morning)
A repeat of this trend for sharp tailoring in recent years might be responsible for vetiver’s revived popularity. “It also blends really well with citrus and is very cooling,” says Ostrom, “which is why it makes such a good summer scent.”
Francis Kurkdjian, the perfumer behind Mr Burberry agrees. “Our main idea was grapefruit and vetiver because they’re both classic yet diverting,” he says. The result is light, complex and unshowy, as all good scents should be.
But Ostrom says vetiver fragrances exist on a spectrum. For something more evening-suitable, considerTom Ford’s Grey Vetiver, the aftershave that arguably reignited the ingredient’s appeal, or the superbOriginal Vetiver by Creed. For a more classic redolence, look toGivenchy’s Gentlemen OnlyorVetiver de Guerlain – one of the original olfactory trailblazers.
So there you have it.
Should you find yourself in conversation with a perfumier, you should now be able to hold your own. More importantly, you know what you should be picking up in Duty Free this summer.
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