Some days call for a vetiver perfume: bold, crisp and no-nonsense. But even within the vetiver category one can go in different directions, and Patricia de Nicolai has certainly taken her Vetyver to some exotic places.
Vetyver by Parfums de Nicolai is a delicious spice fest. It opens up very peppery with that zing you often smell in masculine scents. But that's the only traditional part about Vetyver. The other spices emerge behind the pepper, warm and inviting. Not truly foody, not really sweaty despite the cumin; everything is quite well-behaved and balanced, perfectly measured and smelling like a million dollar.
The Blonde is the man of thousand vetivers. He agrees that de Nicolai's Vetyver is quite unusual and distinct in its warmth and the way it blooms on the skin. He said something about a skin scent, and while I wouldn't go that far I know what he meant. There's something very intimate and personal about this perfume, not that it's dirty or animalic, but there is a muskiness in the dry-down.
Women who enjoy wearing masculine scents would most likely adore Vetyver; I'd also love to smell it on just about any men in my life.
Notes (from Luckyscent): vetiver, cumin, black pepper, clove, coriander, ylang ylang, jasmine, tonka bean absolute.
Vetyver by Parfums de Nicolai ($45, 30ml EDT) is available from Luckyscent, BeautyHabit and New London Pharmacy.
Photo of vintage spice tins from an online auction.