Review: Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire Parfum

Review: Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire Parfum

Breaking boundaries and exploring scents: Blurring the line between men’s and women’s perfumes

Scent is a powerful thing. Certain aromas can remind us of childhood, improve our memory, or even help us when choosing a significant other (if someone smells good to you, it means you have a varied genetic makeup). The scent of our surroundings can completely change our experience, which is why some businesses even pump in specific smells to complete an atmosphere and set the right mood.

Because our olfactory system plays such a major role in our lives, it’s no wonder the perfume industry has been booming for centuries. While there have been unisex scents on the market for a while, it’s only in recent years that the line differentiating men’s and women’s fragrances has begun to blur. After all, what makes a scent more masculine or feminine than any other?

When searching for a new scent for fall, I wanted to try out a fragrance that’s had my attention for a moment, but I hadn’t had the chance yet to try: Frederic Malle’s Vetiver Extraordinaire Parfum.

This is a traditionally “masculine” fragrance designed by the perfumer Dominique Ropion. It begins with top notes of bitter orange, bergamot, and pink pepper, followed by a heart of vetiver, cashmeran, cedar, and sandalwood, which then dries down into a base of oakmoss and musk.

Overall, this is a crisp and woody bouquet that flows with elegance, class, and charm.

An aromatic scent, this perfume perfectly balances between a light and dark fragrance. It’s not overpowering but instead is fresh and transparent, despite its woody focus. It’s composed of roughly a quarter vetiver—three times more than what’s typically used in perfumes—and yet it’s not bitter at all, but plays into the crispness of the scent.

I am extremely pleased with this perfume. Despite it being marketed as a masculine scent, it’s not too sharp to wear as a feminine fragrance. It can add a slight edge to a look without screaming “I stole this from my boyfriend.” I’m looking forward to trying more scents from this brand in the future.

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