Traditionally valued in masculine perfumery for its fresh but rugged presence, vetiver has been done more times than we care to count. But this is Alberto Morillas’ take, and for a man who’s penned modern masterpieces ranging from the ultra-fresh CK One to the saffron chai oriental of Bvlgari’s Omnia, we’ll gladly take a ticket and get in line.
For a vetiver fragrance, the first surprise is that Mythique Vetiver not a very vetivery vetiver. Rather, vetiver weaves in and out of the picture, a ghostly image suggested by the other materials in the composition. A mouth-puckeringly bitter opening of bergamot and lemon over a palette of matte, smoky greens, for example, points in the direction of fresh, traditional takes on vetiver such as Guerlain Vetiver and Malle’s Vetiver Extraordinaire. But focus and you’ll notice that the raw rootiness of vetiver is kept to a minimum, consigned to the background. In the heart, the minty rosiness of geranium bourbon and patchouli enfold the vetiver, adding layer upon layer of velvety depth. Finally, a rustling papyrus and a rich, whisky-ish labdanum come together to suggest two important facets of vetiver: smoke and leather. Starting with rooty freshness and ending with powdered ash, Mythique Vetiver is a scent of subtle gradients and transitions, all expertly handled by a master perfumer. It is this smoothness, as well as the soft, rich rosy-herbal notes that flank the vetiver, that makes Mythique Vetiver a worthy addition for anyone who loves vetiver but is also a teeny bit afraid of it. This subtle, oblique-angle treatment of vetiver is tailor made to win over those teetering on the vetiver fence.
Calabrian bergamot, Sicilian lemon, bourbon geranium, labdanum, papyrus, Haitian vetiver, patchouli