Ways to wear… vetiver

‘A sack of potatoes’ – that’s what legendary ‘nose’ Jean Kerléo told us to close our eyes and think of, when smelling vetiver. While hardly romantic-sounding, it’s SO true: fabulously earthy, damp, woodsy and smoky all at the same time. Just like a hessian sack of potatoes that’s been left at the back of your grandfather’s shed, when you peel back the drawstring and b-r-e-a-t-h-e it in.

It’s almost impossible to believe, actually, that this grounding, dry smell comes from the roots of a perennial grass – also known as Khus-khus grass – rather than a wood. Vetiveria zizanoides grows like crazy in marshy places and riverbanks in places that are drenched by high annual rainfall:  countries like India, Brazil, Malaysia and the West Indies (Haitian vetiver is probably the most famous of its type). In some hot places, vetiver is woven into blinds and matting, which are not only wonderfully fragrant as the breeze wafts through them or they’re trodden underfoot:  vetiver has cooling properties.

Used in perfumes since ancient times, vetiver’s more popular than ever and features very, very widely in the base of fragrances because it works brilliantly as a ‘fixative’ – and so far, nobody seems to have come up with a satisfactory synthetic alternative.

Creed‘s relationship with vetiver goes back a long way – it’s a fragrant note they have built several of their most iconic scents around, in fact…

Creed say: ‘Vetiver is derived from the Tamil word vettiveru – vetti meaning ‘to tear up’, ver meaning ‘root’. From its tropical grass roots in India over 400 years ago, it is now a highly sought-after ingredient by perfumers across the globe as they attempt to capture the essence of a sultry evening with smoky notes of oud, or the mysterious petrichor – the earthy scent arising when rain falls on dry soil.’

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‘Now found anywhere from India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, to Haiti, Indonesia and Kenya, the vetiver in Creed fragrances is sourced from Haiti, which provides a resinous, slightly sweet variation of the oil. It is grown for up to a year and harvested in the dry season, when quantities of essential oil in the roots are highest, before bundles of its roots are taken to be distilled.’

 

 

‘As an oil, vetiver has a dry muskiness, with hints of leather and nutty notes.Suitably smoky, yet strangely fresh, it’s complexity and versatility, coupled with its fixative powers – no synthetic molecule can mimic it – has enticed perfumers since the 19th Century.’

 

‘Traditionally, it is only this fixative essential oil from the roots that goes into the making of a vetiver fragrance, to give it longevity. However, it is the combination of the fresh, green notes taken from the vetiver leaves and the rich heart, as well as the woody and earthy notes extracted from the roots that you will find in many fragrances from The House of Creed today.’

 

ORIGINAL VETIVER

Dramatically reinventing the traditional vetiver scent, The House of Creed is the only perfume house to infuse all three parts of the vetiver plant in one fragrance with Original Vetiver: the earthy root, the verdant leaves and the rich heart, for an alluring air of invigorating freshness. Grassy, citric notes dance over pepper before diving into the depths of the damp soil for a fresh, green scent that also retains the earthy and leathery characteristics of the complete vetiver plant.

RRP: £175 (50ml), £245 (100ml)

 

VÉTIVER GÉRANIUM

Capturing the majestic landscape of Indonesia’s vetiver adorned mountains, Vétiver Géranium is balanced with the soothing essence of geranium, to create a woody scent with an ethereal freshness that exudes from the vetiver plant and the earthy characteristics of the roots. Citric notes make a luminous debut, whilst rose, cedarwood, patchouli and Creed’s signature ambergris complement the vetiver found in the base, strengthening the fresh, aromatic offering of this fragrance from the Acqua Originale collection.

RRP: £220 (100ml)

 

 

 

BOIS DU PORTUGAL

Taking its name from the word ‘bois’ meaning ‘woods’ in French, this timeless and elegant Eau de Parfum captures a stroll through the forests of the Iberian Peninsula and the aromas that exude from the shaded forest floor in summer. Bottling the rich, woody and earthy air, Bois Du Portugal leans on a base of vetiver, combined with cedar and sandalwood to transport the senses. Citrus top notes spiral together with exotic dry spices for an uplifting opening to this otherwise rich, warm and refined fragrance.

RRP: £175 (50ml), £245 (100ml)

 

VIKING COLOGNE

The latest addition to Creed, Viking Cologne finds rich, woody notes of vetiver nestled into the base of this crisp and aromatic fougère Eau de Parfum. Recreating the energising freshness of a classic cologne, zesty citrus notes and pink pepper combine with warming herbals for an invigorating opening, but it’s the rich, woody base that provides a striking point of difference from traditional colognes. Sandalwood, frankincense, patchouli and cedarwood mingle with vetiver to create lasting depth and strength.

RRP: £175 (50ml), £240 (100ml)

Pssst! You can try a sample of Creed Viking Cologne in our Suave Scents Discovery Box… one of 13 incredible fragrances (plus two fab extras) for only £19 (VIP price) or £23 RRP!

 

Creed’s sensory dinner & cocktails!

Now is the season when restaurants and cocktail menus get sparkled-up, aiming their wares at customers in the festive mood. But we’ve found something extra special for fragrance-lovers looking for something a cut above: Luxury fragrance house Creed is partnering with award-winning Kensington restaurant, Launceston Place to create a scent-inspired cocktail menu and a four-course sensory experience dinner with specially paired wines!

Available from now until 9th December 2018, mixologist Giorgio Tosato worked with Creed to create four limited-edition cocktails inspired by some of the fragrance house’s most desirable scents – Aventus, Aventus For Her, Green Irish Tweed and Royal Princess Oud.

On Monday 3rd December, the restaurant will also be hosting a Creed x Launceston Place Sensory Dinner. Fragrance expert, Eva Carlo and Head Chef, Ben Murphy will guide guests through a sensory experience including a 4 course meal and cocktail inspired by Creed Fragrances. A once-in-a-lifetime event, what an incredible gift this would be for the perfume lover in your life, or a treat for yourself…

You can purchase tickets here – there’s the option of having the specially created four-course dinner (£60.00), or plumping for the extra lavish option of the four-course dinner with wine pairing (£90.00) which we must admit would be our choice!

We’ve long been fans of mixing up the senses, and taste and smell always pair particularly well together – we rely so much on our sense of smell to taste the delicious nuances in food and drinks – so this has to be the perfect pre-Christmas treat for any perfumista/foodie and their fragrant pals. We’re drooling at the very thought of it…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

THE NEW MAN: Creed Viking

FRAGRANCE FAMILY: WOODY

Top notes: Calabrian bergamot, Sicilian lemon, pink peppercorn
Heart notes: peppercorn, Bulgarian rose, peppermint
Base notes: Indian sandalwood, Haitian vetiver, Indian patchouli absolute, lavandin

Winner of The Fragrance Foundation 2018’s coveted Award for Best Male Fragrance, Viking captures the spirit of adventurous souls traversing far-flung shores, launching the wearer into bracingly fresh citrus top notes, perked-up by the warm tingle of freshly ground spice of pink pepper.

This interplay of cool and heat continues as peppermint and peppercorns cocoon the rose-rich heart. A remarkably tenacious dry down leaves an irresistibly woody trail, evoking grand adventures on the high seas and long ships laden with precious cargo. At times Viking feels classic – as though an undiscovered gem of a gentleman’s fragrance has been rediscovered – but this effortless stylishness, mixed with wearable modernity, is a trademark of a house who’ve been creating fragrances for an incredible 260 years.

Founded in 1760 by James Henry Creed, the story began in fine tailoring, delivering a pair of their scented leather gloves to King George III. Embodying a unique creative spirit, together with a keen inherited nose, passed from father to son through seven generations; Olivier Creed (sixth generation perfumer) was inspired to create Viking by ‘…the unwavering commitment to discovering new territory, both physically and metaphorically.’

Creed Viking £185 for 50ml eau de parfum

Try this fragrance in The New Man Discovery Box now!

Creed launch Aventus for Her – described by fragrance expert James Craven as for ‘…a woman greedy for life!’

Following in the footsteps of the phenomenal popularity of Aventus, Creed launch Aventus For Her – finally, a sister-scent of the original, for the many women who may well have enjoyed wearing the ‘for men’ verison themselves, but are ready to have their own sniff of that succcess, thank you…

We had great pleasure in attending the launch of the fragrance this very morning, with the sun shining (finally) through the windows of the gloriously airy Spring restaurant within Somerset House. A fine setting for such a fragrance, and made all the more enjoyable for the presence of fragrance expert and perfume archivist, James Craven, to talk us through the noble heritage of the brand, while pointing out some of the reasons for their longevity – founded in London 1760 and still in same family, seven generations later – and yet highly contemporary appeal.

Creed customers seem to remain so loyal to the house, though of course they attract new people with each launch, and we wondered why James thought this might be?

James Craven: ‘It’s not oldest fragrance house, but the only one with a true blooded pedigree. Creed is unique, with an extraordinary, indefinable addictive quality to their fragrances. It’s always the same, when I see [at Les Senteurs] people smell a Creed, their faces change. They say they never smelled anything like this. It’s the power, the intensity, you can smell how perfume’s assembled, somehow. You can sense and detect the love and craftsmanship of how they’re made. This is 51st now, but whichever one you smell you feel you’re on the hands of a master. It’s completely authentic, rounded, complete. Like all great luxurious things – it’s as though it’s effortless.’

Creed_Avenus_for_Her_shot
Following the incredible success of that original Aventus, James commented on why he thought it had (to put it mildly) hit the ground running: ‘It has that magic. As soon as it was launched it just seemed to click, it captured a certain zeitgeist, one of a handful of scents to do that. It’s very difficult to pigeonhole, instead you need to concentrate on how it makes you feel, how it stirs your imagination. It’s got a paradoxical heart of two dimensions. Men of all ages love it, it spoke to the young – it seemed to pack in all that history but still remain youthful.’

But how does Aventus for Her resonate with the original? As we discovered, this is no mere copycat scent with a few florals thrown in for good measure. That’s simply not the way Creed work. ‘The top notes have to be enticing,  green apple echoing the top of the original, a stunning Calabrian bergamot and then fleetingly pink pepper, sometimes called rose gold. It’s like a blush, like the fleshy nudes of Rubens made real! Then you get crisp apple and spicy patchouli – another link to original. The rose of course is a symbol of divinity, love and passion – one of the earliest flowering plants. There’s an audacious twist in the base – where you’d expect traditional woods and spices, here we have peach, cassis and ylang ylang. But nothing’s too sweet, all is perfectly balanced.’

‘There’s almost the smell of a peach stone, and the skin, as though you’d gone out into a hot garden and plucked it fresh from the tree. A woman who’s greedy for life, a sense of sinking your teeth in to ripe flesh; and an intriguing animalic twist to Aventus for Her with the blackcurrant – overall it’s elegant and still feminine without being frilly’

Top notes: green apple, violet, pink pepper, bergamot
Middle notes: rose, styrax, mysore sandalwood
Bottom notes: peach, cassis, amber, ylang ylang

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Creed Aventus for Her from £120 for 30ml eau de parfum
Buy it at John Lewis

Written by Suzy Nightingale