Style

Meet Tom Ford

The fashion guru talks Grey Vetiver - his new fragrance

What inspired you to create a vetiver as the third Tom Ford men’s fragrance?

Vetiver has always been one of my absolute favorite essences. It’s a universal menswear staple —it evokes the 1960’s mannish style that I find so elegant and that has shaped my menswear world. It is solid...like the man who wears a custom-made suit or invests in handcrafted shoes.

What is vetiver?

It is a classic fragrance ingredient that is often considered a wood note, but many people don’t know that it is distilled from a plant with very fibrous roots, similar to, but a little fresher than, patchouli, which is my other favorite scent of all time. For this fragrance, we developed a proprietary extract that is the purest form of vetiver you can make, distilled at a very low   temperature. Without this method, vetiver can sometimes smell too earthy, almost musty  or smoky. That’s partly why it is often used as an accent, not a main ingredient. But this new   process gets the absolute purity of the vetiver, and it has a powerful, grounded feeling. You are  as the perfumers say, “getting back to the roots” and you feel that it has solidness to it. The other ingredients in the juice, from the sage and grapefruit to the modern woods and the orris, bring a modern twist to this classic ingredient.

What was your aim with this vetiver scent?

I wanted Grey Vetiver to be the best and most authentic vetiver possible. Originally this fragrance was developed for Private Blend, so we used the best quality vetiver ever. I loved the juice so much that I decided to launch it on a larger scale as a men’s fragrance for my signature collection.

Is there any significance to the grey in the name?

Well, we’re grey. In our packaging, in our carpets, our store interiors--it’s our color. And vetiver is very cool, and silvery, so it sounded like a good name.

If Grey Vetiver were a piece of clothing, what would it be?

A classic blue blazer. Of course there’s nothing wrong with a guy in a T-shirt and a pair of jeans wearing it, as the fragrance would probably say the same thing about him as a blazer, a good watch or a good pair of shoes. It would say he has an affinity for classic masculine style. It has a lot of character and personality in that sense. Men respond to it—even the ones who on the surface aren’t conventional tell me they immediately like Grey Vetiver. Underneath, they have a grounded masculinity, and it speaks to them.

How does it reflect your own style?

What I do with clothes and accessories is very classic. As I get older I’m returning more to my preppy origins. It’s more natural for me and true to my taste, than being trendy or current, at least in menswear. So Grey Vetiver fits into this world perfectly. It is tailored and iconic.

For more from Tom Ford, click here...

Picture: Getty Images