Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone 
Giorgio Armani (2008)

Average Rating:  23 User Reviews

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Reviews of Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone by Giorgio Armani

There are 23 reviews of Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone by Giorgio Armani.

Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone (2008) now goes by the name of Vétiver d'Hiver, but is for all intents the same scent (besides the change in juice color from gold to blue), and really isn't a vetiver scent at all. It should be noted my review is of the older version. Alberto Morillas composed this one, and in all honesty, I could have confused Vétiver Babylone for something composed by Francis Kurkdjian, because it has that same light white floral citrus and woody white musk vibe many things from MFK have, but is saved by the fact that it predates most the existence of the house by a year. Armani was dipping its toe into "niche" level scents like many designers were in the late 2000's, trying to cash in on the growing wealth gap and rise of the millionaire and billionaire classes, who all thirsted for exclusivity and conspicuous displays of wealth during a time when most people were suffering the "great recession". Niche perfume houses were keep to sell this kind of luxury, and brands such as Creed lead the way, but it was only a matter of time before corporate interests like that of most major designers wanted in too. The Armani Privé was Giorgio Armani's particular answer to that calling, and Vétiver Babylone was one of the earlier examples of what it offered.

Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone opens with a familiar floral citrus volley of bergamot, lemon, orange blossom, and citron. There's a bit of litsea cubeba in here as well, and the overall vibe is very similar to Maison Francis Kurkdjian Petit Matin (2016), making it quite possible that Kurkdjian found inspiration here in this scent for his later masterwork. The heart of green cardamon, coriander, and pink pepper varies a bit from the later Petit Matin, but the base carries a similar tune of ambroxan (a very early usage of it here), karmawood, white musks, and the slightest hint of vetiver. These trace vetiver amounts combined with the pink pepper and a lack of rose denote the biggest difference between Vétiver Babylone and the later Petit Matin, otherwise they are kissing cousins. Clean citrus, white florals, and a breezy transparent base that leaves a sharp trail are what lies in store for you with Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone, but at eau de toilette strength rather than the usual eau de parfum concentration in which these kinds of fragrances tend to be found. Inoffensive, fresh, unisex, light, and airy simplicity is what you'll find, with decent sillage and longevity, but maybe a bit too cheerful for a suit-and-tie office. Spring through summer weekends or day outings? Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone has got you covered.

The elephant in the room is whether or not to get the older Morillas take on this subject, or the newer Kurkdjian take, and I guess that comes down to what you're looking for in the genre. Other folks compare this more directly to Prada Infusion d'Vetiver (2010) or Roja Dove Elysium Parfum Cologne (2017) but I just really don't see it myself, having worn the dickens out of the MFK, my mind more closely draws parallels there. For me, this is a clean citrus scent with florals first just like the MFK, and the vetiver is an afterthought. Cost per milliliter is lower on the Armani Privé, but the quality and blending is much higher on the MFK (sorry Morillas), making Petit Matin feel more luxuriant. I also have to give fair warning that I hate so directly comparing two fragrances side by side as the bulk of a review for one of them, and perhaps things might have happened in reverse had I discovered this before MFK, but seeing as Armani Privé Vétiver Babylone gets less attention overall and is harder to sample (mine comes from a decant given by a friend), it's unlikely this would have happened the other way around. In short, you've probably smelled this, and smelled it done marginally better, if you're familiar with niche freshies of the 2000's and 2010's. Thumbs up.
Sep 15, 2020

What JDBIII said. If inoffensive vaguely citric woodiness is your thing you can do better for less almost anywhere.
Sep 29, 2019

This smells of green citric vetiver. It is definitely the Haitian kind of vetiver due to its citric and light qualities. But the dominant note in this is not actually vetiver, but to my nose green bergamot with coriander and hints of pink pepper and cardamom. I kind of get a neroli-like note as well, maybe due to the mandarin. It is overall a greatly pleasing fragrance and actually very similar to Mugler Cologne or Creed's Original Vetiver but with a different sort of twist on the same theme. Sillage is moderate while longevity is quite good for a fresh fragrance on my skin at about 6 hours of strong projection, and many more hours as a skin scent.

Jun 16, 2018

Vetiver? I don't like vetiver...but there is none here that I can detect. Opens like any generic dept. store frag. Citrus. Linear Pink pepper and citrus. Boring.
Jul 15, 2017

I would have expected that all privé offerings were eau de parfum. But nope, Vétiver d' Hiver, as Vétiver Babylone is renamed, is an edt. Not that terrible, you will say. Well, let's move on the experience of VdH on my skin. It kicks off brilliantly with esperidic notes. These last for a couple of hours and are wonderfully green and yellow, and maybe the intensity I detect is due to some spiciness. Then VdH turns into an airy green citrus fragrance slowly fading away into a thin green accord. The overall development took on my skin maybe 4 hours, which is not bad. However, the dry down is a big let down. I can't overcome the thinness and commonplaceness of what is left of VdH. Now, I may be very wrong thinking that VdH would perform better if it was an edp, oilier and somehow deeper. In any case, for its retailing price VdH ought to perform much better. This is certainly not recommended for blind buying and even to frivolous perfume collectors I would suggest multiple testings. The neutral is because although the opening 2 hours of VdH are heaven, the dry down is truly uninspiring.
Jan 4, 2017

Hmmm. An appealing scent with a very nicely blended citrus vibe and some woodsy tones. There's just a hint of vetiver in here somewhere to ground it and make it a little "chewier," which makes it worth having, at least to me. But if a full vetiver experience is what you're after, this isn't the place to look.
Nov 17, 2016

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