I am missing the “black” part here, at any stage, but nonetheless... what a compelling smooth and modern vetiver this is. Along the line of Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver, but noticeably more quality to any extent for me: crisper, more natural, more vibrant, with a more “dimensional” texture, slightly rawer too (or, say, maybe just more “genuine-smelling”). A bit similar to Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier’s Racine as well, mostly for the citrus-vetiver combo, but somehow more transparent, slightly colder and overall more “minimalistic” than that – shortly, more contemporary. The evolution of Black Vetiver is quite simple, basically it starts off with an invigoratingly vivid splash of zesty lemon supported by an initially toned-down elegant accord of smooth, salty vetiver infused with something which smells like a sort of aldehydic musk to me; it’s very subtle, but it gives a peculiar texture to the woody base accord, making it smell as a sort of a greyish, breezy vetiver “mist” sprayed on dry concrete. Well, I’m making it sound more avantgarde than it is, but that’s more or less the effect I get here.
Once most of the greenish top notes of lemon fade away, it’s all about some really great, high quality, vibrant yet pleasantly civilized grassy-salty vetiver still surrounded by that breezy sort of dusty mist I mentioned above – and still lightly infused by some citrus nuances. But most of all it’s vetiver though, and it’s completely, indisputably pleasant as only good vetiver can be. It smells very natural, very woody and grassy-salty (no “inky” nonsense or whatever other ill synthetic rendition of it). And like good vetiver does, it smells also at once very elegant, yet terribly laid-back and easy to wear. As the drydown progresses, some more somber, smokier and slightly sweeter nuances arise, but at no point it will get too “black” – just a bit quieter and moodier, but with a palpable salty-breezy feel underneath. More than “black”, a “grey-yellow vetiver”.
That’s it, it may sound simple and it actually is, but it’s a pure, vibrant kind of simple, something more than pleasant to wear. Thank God none of Guillaume’s trademark mish-mash concepts are here, no weird mojitos and no chubby gourmands gone wrong. This doesn’t smell at all like one of his creations for me, and maybe that’s why it smells so nice. By far my favourite “modern” vetiver, a refined everyday gem and a perfect contemporary companion to the nicest old-school vetivers like Guerlain’s or Carven’s. Still quite overpriced but totally worthy if you can get some discount.
As a vetiver lover, I find that Black Vetiver holds up to it's name. At first spray I smell pure vetiver, then gently mixes with the citrus and pepper. I can actually smell the vetiver throughout the day. I have worn it in the hot South Florida days, and it balances out very well. Longevity is very good.
A wonderful smoky and tarry vetiver brightened up not by citrus but by green lemon leaf. The note breakdown for Black Vetiver is so simple: vetiver, tar, lemon tree leaf and pepper (which I would presume to be black pepper). The black pepper gives the vetiver a nice tickly texture. While this vetiver perfume (it is an EDP) comes off as a lovely dark and woody concoction, the lemon leaf brightens the composition up to render it wearable in any season although I feel autumn is when it would really shine. It is rather linear but in the base it's all about the vetiver. This would be a great choice for those who don't like the mothball and tobacco like accords of Guerlain's classic Vetiver. It comes off as far more modern as the previous reviewer states. My only negative for this heavenly but simple vetiver is that for an EDP it should perform better. At least on my skin. The sprayer is stingy so extra sprays are required for a good wearing and then the projection and longevity are average to below average. With that being said, for those who love their vetivers I do deem this full bottle worthy.
Pros: A fantastic vetiver that I can't stop sniffing.
Cons: A high price tag for average to sub-par performance
27th August, 2014 (last edited: 07th October, 2014)
Sober but not sombre
This is a lovely vetiver scent. There's a clear, non-sharp lemon top note, very much like that in CdG 2 Man, which lightens the scent for the first hour or two. The 'black' is provided by birch tar. It isn't dosed sufficiently highly to render this scent pseudo-leathery (see Knize 10). Instead it augments vetiver's natural smokiness, without overwhelming it.
This citrus/vetiver/smoke conjunction does bear some similarity to Guerlain's classic, with birch tar in place of tobacco. This probably makes it smell less dated to modern noses.
There is plenty of gassy, grassy, vetiver here, enough to remove it from the 'starter' vetiver echelons, such as Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver. I presume the name of that scent inspired this one. Well, this is heavier than that certainly, but not particularly 'dark' in absolute terms; I think Encre Noire's crown remains unslipped there. There is no hiding from the vetiver though, so I think this is one for the true believer.
This is the first Phaedon scent I have liked. Pierre Guillaume is rather better known for gourmands but this is thankfully nothing like those.
Described as a 'high concentration eau de parfum', it does not lack projection, nor longevity (8 hours).
Pros: A novel twist on vetiver