Vetiver vs vetiver

Vetiver is a classic ingredient in men’s fragrances. While Guerlain’s iconic Vetiver remains the benchmark, many perfume houses have a vetiver in their catalogue. Here are two successful interpretations that recently came to our attention.

Etat Libre D’Orange’s Fat Electrician is beautifully packaged in a self-consciously contemporary way and is even subtitled “semi-modern vetiver”. Of course, what counts with fragrance is whether it’s good or bad, and this one's decidedly good.

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The older, and more elegant of the two meanwhile is from Santa Maria Novella, a Florentine pharmacy founded by medieval Dominican friars in 1221. While the Vetiver eau de cologne isn’t that old it’s clearly old-fashioned, but in all the right ways.

Fat Electrician, £44, by Etat libre d’orange available from Les Senteurs
Vetiver Aqua di Colonia, £85, by Santa Maria Novella (020 7460 6600)