I decided to try this after I heard it was a dupe of Byredo's Bal D'Afrique, which I adore. They are similar; however, VdA lacks the butteriness of BdA. In addition, on my skin, VdA has a smoke element, which BdA does not. I think the smokiness is an effort to further masculinize VdA, and I do think BdA is more unisex while VdA falls on the masculine side of the spectrum. Still a decent scent, just lacks the magic of BdA for me.
There has been quite some talk about this fragrance, mostly for being allegedly a ten times cheaper clone of Hermès Vetiver Tonka. Since I happen to quite like Vetiver Tonka but nothing on Earth could ever make me spend that money for it, I decided to give Viaggio d’Africa a chance. If you want to skip the boring part: yes, it’s tremendously similar to Vetiver Tonka, especially for the opening phase. I don’t know if this means that Pal Zileri turned into a charity superhero to offer solid fragrances at cheap prices, or if Vetiver Tonka should cost ten times less its price; in any case, Viaggio d’Africa is just plain great. It has one of those openings that make you wish they could last forever: a warm, exceedingly sophisticated and smooth accord of vetiver, tonka and something powdery with a shade of cocoa, infused with earthy smoke, darker woods (guaiac) and some slightly musky coffee. Basically a true “brown”, rich and dusty fog; imagine the earthy-grassy texture of vetiver, the exotic sweet-vanillic dustiness of tonka, and a blurry, refined sort of powdery-coffee accord as if someone at 30 metres distance from you is wearing Rochas Man, with a faint echo of Dior Homme too. Both of you standing in the breezy middle of a desert. This is Viaggio d’Africa.
I admit Vetiver Tonka has a bit more vetiver (and a more elegant, rich and crisp one – shortly, more quality) while Viaggio d’Africa tends to drift more towards tonka and smoky-spicy-earthy territories; but nonetheless it’s really, really pleasant to wear. It feels elegant, warm, smooth without smelling formal or generic. It’s exotic, distinguished and mellow. And most important, besides being satisfactorily persistent, it’s decidedly unique for being a cheap mainstream. It obviously has some “cheap” nuances and if you smell it carefully you definitely get some usual aromachemicals you can find in many fragrances of the same price range (especially if you compare vetiver here with its Hermès more expensive twin); but the guys at Mavive were more than good in disguising them and bringing the best out of their budget. You can wear it and tell anybody it’s a niche scent, none will doubt it (and for once I won’t imply that this would happen because most niche scents are mainstream scraps in disguise). Recommended.
Excellent fragrance. Candied sugar and smoky vetiver + a touch of wood notes, with very good performances as well.
It does indeed remind me of a sun-burned savana in Africa.
I like Vetiver and Vetiver Tonka, but not enough to pay the amount of money they want for a bottle. When I bought this I was looking for something I could wear as my formal fragrance and this didn't disappoint. Does it smell like Vetiver Tonka? Yes it does and the nuttiness stays all the way through the dry down. Just the right amount of sweetness and I like how the jasmine brightens it up. This does have a richness and depth which you don't find in fragrances at this price range. I would go as far to say that this is as good if not better bang for buck than Encre Noir.
You know the saying, "good things come to those who wait." Well I waited and Viaggio d'Africa arrived. I absolutely love this fragrance, from the moment I sprayed it on I knew it was special. The Tonka bean, vetiver and cedar come together to make this fragrance magical. I also smell chocolate in the dry down. I will be wearing it often from now on.