The Scent of Spring

Posted by: on Mar 22, 2010 | One Comment

So I spoke last week of spring colors and fabrics, but rising temperatures require more than just stashing away the flannel until fall. The amber, tobacco, and spice laden fragrances I generally favor just don’t do so well on my skin when the weather turns warm. I begin to perspire the tiniest bit, and suddenly smell stale, sour, and heavy. The first tinge of this odor begins my yearly quest for something that is light enough for summer, but that I feel comfortable spritzing on every morning. I think limes and orange blossoms smell lovely, but they just don’t smell like me.

This year, I have fallen in love with the scent of vetiver. Woody and slightly herbal, but not heavy and lingering like the usual woods I gravitate towards, but fresh and crisp and invigorating. After doing some research, I found that vetiver is a relative of both Lemon Grass and Citronella, and has been used in ritual medicine on the island of Java for hundreds of years. It’s first big appearances in perfumery were in classic masculine fragrances post World War II, when the first big split between men’s and women’s perfumes occurred. Guerlain, Givenchy, and Creed all had (and still have) big, bold vetiver scents aimed specifically at men, and marketed as hyper-chic, hyper-masculine alternatives to more “effeminate” fragrances. This has changed, and a great variety of vetiver-based scents are now widely available, ranging from floral to fruity to intensely spicy.

After much deliberation, I chose to go with the very straightforward and non-overbearing Vetyver from Jo Malone, but the decision was difficult. There are many great scents out there, and the hunt for a new one is always exciting for me. I just put some of my new elixir on before writing this, and it smells like today is going to be a good one.

1 Comment

  1. Easy and Elegant Life
    March 22, 2010

    Lucky Scent is a go-to for trying any number of new scents. USD$3-8 gets you a very small phial of very expensive stuff. I, too, have taken to Vetivers of late.

    Guerlin and Givenchy verisons can sometimes be found at TJ Maxx, too.


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