Modern perfumery is full of classic pairings. They can be the core of something groundbreaking. Or they can just be a version executed well. I think of it as every chef knows how to make an omelet. Every perfumer knows the best pairs of ingredients. What makes the exercise rise above the normal is when a perfumer can make that well-known harmony sing in a different key. Still the same song but not the same. Molton Brown Vetiver & Grapefruit Eau de Parfum finds that.
If there is a mystery I would dearly love to know, it is who has been creatively directing the fragrance side of Molton Brown the last few years. I have been extremely impressed with the perfumes. There is someone behind these recent releases I just can’t find out who. They deserve some credit for creating an aesthetic which allows for enough leeway to make these simple constructs radiate with clever ingredient choices.
For Vetiver & Grapefruit Eau de Parfum perfumer Julie Pluchet follows up last years Eau de Toilette version. That lighter version was just the two ingredients on the bottle plus cedar. Super simple without any new nuance added. This Eau de Parfum version is more fleshed out with much more texture.
That comes through in the top accord as black pepper is the main partner for the grapefruit. This is a piquant citrus given some depth on the fruit side with mandarin and cardamom modulating the grapefruit. I like this rougher version of grapefruit as it has a greener cast to it. That is picked up by geranium and lavender in a floral heart that did not exist in the Eau de Toilette. This key change takes advantage of the herbal quality of lavender and the green rose nature of geranium. The grassier side of vetiver finds that green of the florals and the citrus forming a triad of sorts. The woodier base of vetiver finds cedar in the base for a finish given some warmth through amber and patchouli.
Vetiver & Grapefruit Eau de Parfum has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
This is almost an entirely different perfume from the Eau de Toilette because there is so much more to it than just the title ingredients. The subtleties and warmth make this a great summer evening choice. Sometimes a different key is all it takes.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Molton Brown.