Almost half a century ago, Yves Rocher, a French entrepreneur set up a cosmetics brand with a clear focus on botanicals. Fragrances are an integral part of this brand’s wide portfolio that is mighty proud of its respect for biodiversity and the environment. It’s this romance with botanicals that is the key theme in the brand’s latest men’s fragrance launch for India. It has taken some time getting here after its global debut though.

Déjà vu

Narciso Rodriguez’s Bleu Noir was one of my favourite scents from 2015. That scent reminded me of one of the classic Hermes scents – Terre de Hermes. If you like either of these scents you will love the mild warmth and intensity of Cuir Vetiver. This scent was envisioned by the same perfumer – Sonia Constant, behind Bleu Noir and the similarity is hardly uncanny.

Packaging

The mock-wood, light oak bottle cap is the defining element in the packaging. It reveals the scent’s woody slant and is the only embellishment in an elegant, transparent bottle with clean lines and a minimal font.

Vetiver to the fore

Most scents save vetiver for the end, it’s a recurring base note in numerous scents. Not with this scent. True to its name, this perfume opens with the strong presence of Vetiver. The warm and intense notes continue into the heart of the scent with a blend of sandal, leather and cedar. These intense notes find the perfect counterfoil with the mildly sweet tonka bean that’s saved for the base of the scent. We really dig how this scent develops on your skin with the perfect dry down. It’s the vetiver and cedar in Cuir Vetiver that overlaps with the fragrance notes in Bleu Noir. Vetiver has been a ‘go to’ ingredient for men’s scents over the last few years. Scents like Cuir Vetiver suggest that it’s a good thing that this note is trending.

Warm and versatile

Cuir Vetiver does quite well on the sillage front. It certainly won’t fill a room but it won’t escape the attention of your dinner date. It does reasonably well on the longevity front. Despite the strong presence of vetiver and the woody notes, this is a scent that’s not too heady. It’s easy to wear, even on a humid summer’s day and yet has enough allure for that first date. It’s the age of Tinder, so blind dates are hardly a thing. Cuir Vetiver is among the new men’s scents with a distinct personality. That’s something that fragrances that are priced way more expensive than this scent can’t boast of.

Cuir Vetiver by Yves Rocher Men costs Rs 2200 (100 ml) and is available at leading department stores across India.

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