Creed Vetiver Geranium (2014) is part of Creed's "Acqua Originale" collection based on Olivier Creed's supposed world travels. Regardless of the story or circumstance around the creation of Vetiver Geranium, what we get is a modern fruity floral take on an old dandy theme. Geranium has secretly been a key ingredient to masculine perfumes for over a century, but usually paired in a tandem with lavender like with Avon for Men (1949) for a classic clean, or used in place of rose and gussied up like in Salvador Dali Pour Homme (1987), but never really emphasized as the core of the scent. Creed isn't the first to do this, since Paco Rabanne put geranium at the center of XS Pour Homme (1993) decades earlier, but in recent times it has been the luxury/prestige side of the niche perfume world that has attempted to market mostly-geranium fragrances either as ultra-luxe masculines or male-leaning unisex scents as evidenced by Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Géranium Pour Monsieur (2009), Diptyque Geranium Oderata (2014), and this. Luckily Creed knocks it out of the park with Vetiver Geranium and walks away with an absolutely gorgeous interpretation of the flower.
The opening of Vetiver Geranium is a simply gorgeous tart green apple, bergamot, lemon, and geranium. The latter is bright, but not so much like rose as one may suspect thanks to the juicy apple and all the while, the vetiver sneaks up to add a bit of verdant charm usually given to verbena in these compositions. The vetiver isn't smoky, but more of the grassy/nutty Haitian variety, and it gets spiced a bit by cinnamon and flanked with some Turkish rose in the heart to start drying up that happy green and sweet geranium opening. The base is subtle, with Creed house ambergris (likely cetalox), and a concordance of more green as patchouli mixes with cedar over a subtle white musk base to assist the ambergris. This is a proper gentleman's floral despite the unisex tag but anyone can really wear it. Performance is stellar and because of it, I do warn going easy on the trigger. Expect 10-12 hours easily and sillage can be monstrous, especially if you make yourself anosmic from the ambergris accord, but use pretty much anytime or anywhere outside maybe winter or romantic occasions.
This is just so classy, fresh, unique, and well done that I honestly forget it's from Creed, who usually have stayed in their lane since Aventus (2010) with well-executed but sometimes boring mass-appeal scents designed to be a "better" alternative to designers. They've beaten that horse to death even since Green Irish Tweed (1985), but after all the faux-history and "vaulting/unvaulting" shenanigans, I had lost hope of Olivier or Erwin doing anything that didn't play into the hands of nouveau-niche "dudebros" looking to impress or intimidate with their clouds of sillage not altogether removed from more "plebian" try-hards like those who still abuse Joop! Homme (1989) on busses. However, this sophisticated green and gorgeous geranium sweeted just right and touched with a perfect amount of vetiver is a breath of fresh air I'll never grow tired of walking into. Yeah, it's still expensive as Hell so look for deals and please test first, but if Creed stopped trying to reinvent history or dig into the pockets of guys too self-absorbed to give two shakes about that history, this style should be the direction they pursue going forward. Thumbs up!
Vetiver Geranium is heavy on fruity elements (the Granny Smith apple note - yum!) plus compulsory citrus aromatics (bergamot and lemon) that slide effortlessly into the rose-like geranium note accented by patchouli and cedar wood. Cinnamon, rose, musk and amber are lightly perceptible and appear to act as flourishes to the dominant geranium flower.
Fresh, bright, clean scent with an aromatic edge, Vetiver Geranium is a credible entry in the Creed line.
Simple, as stated. Solely vetiver and geranium. Longevity leaves some to be desired, but it's a safe scent for any occasion, dignified, and smells great in summer heat.
And you can find it for a steal on eBay.