Blog post by Gwen

Vetiverissimo – mellow and easy-going and irresistible

The number of blogs I’ve devoted to fragrances centred around vetiver, makes it safe to say that I have a weak spot for chrysopogon zizanioides, the fast-growing perennial bunchgrass, a.k.a. vetiver, which belongs to the family Poaceae. Though it originated in India, it is now grown in tropical regions everywhere, with Haiti, China and Indonesia among the top producers. The long, grassy leaves of this tall fragrant plant aren't important here – it's the essential oil from the long web-like roots that gives vetiver value.

Long ago, in India, vetiver essential oil was a common ingredient in incense powders, while in the west, it was used as a fixative in fragrances. Nowadays, vetiver is more than just a fixative – it's become a classic scent on its own. Its complex dry, earthy, woody, balsamy, leathery, smoky, and even green aspects give perfumers so much to work with, so much to explore, and so much room to create something original. It's why so many top niche houses like Guerlain, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Dior, Annick Goutal, Serge Lutens, Heeley and Nicolai Parfumeur Createur, have a vetiver-based fragrance in their stable. Today, I'm going to add FZOTIC, the umbrella brand for fragrances, art, and home goods from American self-taught perfumer Bruno Fazzolari. His Vetiverissimo is my current vetiver crush.

At this point, I usually talk about the perfume, the inspiration for it, the story behind and the notes. Let's see what Fazzolari gives us.

On the FZOTIC website, he says of Vetiverissimo: 'This is a vetiver that I created for myself out of my love for this beautiful and complex material. I set about highlighting a specific facet of vetiver that doesn't get emphasized so often: a bit of sparkle, spice, resin, woods. I also wanted something versatile. This vetiver is casual and dressed up, appropriate for staying home, going out for the night or going to work.

As for the notes well, Fazzolari says there are no top notes and only lists spice, vetiver, cedar, resins, and woods. Let me tell you – it's enough.

On me, the opening is fresh and green and sparkling, with just a whiff of vetiver smokiness and dustiness. In time, it gets earthy - not dirty, but clean and light - it's subtly warmed by spices that, if I'm being honest with myself and you, I couldn't name. The warmth surrounds the woods: a balsamy note of cedar and milky, green-tinged sandalwood that lingers for hours.

Vetiverissimo is, in fact, a soliflore – what you smell at the start is pretty much what it stays like, and that's what I like about it. In a way, it's simple, but that simplicity leaves room for pleasure.

Don't get me wrong, I still love the pungent complexity of vetiver – its dirtiness, its darkness, its deepness, its raw earthiness, but Vetiverissimo is showing us a different vetiver. Vetiverissimo ticks all the vetiver boxes, but Fazzolari's elegant approach results in a mellow, easy-going, casual vetiver without any big drama right to the drydown. And that is what makes it so irresistible.

Check out Vetiverissimo in our Shop.