What is Prince Harry doing up there?
The Husband and I were discussing our love for Bel Ami Vetiver, and he said that it gives him an image of a guy playing polo. My mind went immediately to the Royal Family, and I let the Blond pick between the Duke of Cambridge and his brother. It was an easy choice for him: the more relaxed and casual Harry seemed to fit his idea better than the always proper future king, Prince William. So, why polo (and a prince)? Bel Ami Vetiver is theoretically a flanker for the classic Hermès Bel Ami. The original has been reformulated at least twice (probably more, but who knows?), but is still a lovely smooth suede/leather perfume from Hermès' masculine line. Earlier this year, Hermès released the vetiver flanker, composed by their in-house perfumer, Jean-Claude Ellena. And as you may have guessed, I think it's wonderful.
I was trying to think if any of the leather perfumes I know also has a dominant vetiver note. I can't think of any in my collection, and indeed, Bel Ami Vetiver is not just delightful but also quite original. There's a very pleasant balance between the vetiver on all its facets (green, fresh, dry and crisp) and the smooth well-oiled leather that leans a bit sweet. There's also a surprising vinatge-like richness to this fragrance, not very Ellena-ish (not complaining here). Other things I smell are a light sprinkling of spice, and a round mouth-watering fruit note (peachy-plummy) underneath the more ubiquitous citrus.
Bel Ami Vetiver has become one of the Husband's go-to perfumes, something he wears when he travels to see clients or just as an easy to wear, easy to be around, and thoroughly enjoyable. It doesn't hurt that longevity is excellent and projection is a civilized affair. As for me, I spray myself silly with this one, enjoying every minute of every hour. The masculine label doesn't scare me. I think it's an excellent choice for any woman who enjoys beautiful leather fragrances (and also loves vetiver).
Hermès- Bel Ami Vetiver ($125, 3.3 oz) is available at select department stores, Hermes boutiques and online.