Continuing on our theme of blameless young men, and their faultless, light colognes (see Signoricci and Original Vetiver), we find ourselves today revisiting Vétiver Babylone, a perfume that forms part of the Armani Privé Collection – one of the most overtly superbist lines in the world of perfume: at least four times as expensive as his regular scents, immaculately blended and housed in stylishly low key flacons of African Kotibe wood; scents that always smell rich, soigné, but never stray beyond the faultlines of taste;  and never take that extra, daredevil risk that would make them smell truly exciting. Like a faultlessly made-to-measure suit, his clients can swan into the Armani boutique, have their scent chosen from one of the muted, glorious blends in the selection; and put their trust in his wise, been-there done-that, hands.





















One can easily imagine Signore Giorgio some afternoon in June, with a young, exquisitely dressed and handsome companion, getting ready for their day ahead, and, before clothing himself and at the behest of the maestro – several, light but perfectly judged spritzes of the immaculate Vétiver Babylone sprayed in all the right places as they descend from their balcony and head out into the streets of Milan  – the celebrated, experienced master designer, and his bright-eyed willing consort.



The scent of his giovane on this day is a sharp, refined and masculine tea citrus, crisp and new, with echoes of woods, patchouli, and a purified, vetiver delicately poised somewhere in the distance. The contemporary, metallically preserved top notes (bergamot, cardamom, mandarin, pink pepper, coriander), stay pure and crystalline as a Dolomiti stalactite;  the stately, more suggestively sexual undertones taking hours to appear, finally later at dusk, when this beautiful man is  back at the villa being undressed.








Filed under Perfume Reviews, Vetiver


  1. Never heard of this one. Every time I make my mind up on Vetiver and think I am content I discover there is more.

    • ginzaintherain

      I am constantly niggled by vetivers as well, but you don’t need this one, trust me. It is just a more perfected version of high street sporty scents. Nice in its own way, especially in the scenario I have imagined here, but not something I would ever consider wearing. Which ones do you like?

      • Encre Noire, Autoportrait and non-vintage Sycomore. Autoportrait is currently SotMonth, make that two months. Curious about Vetiver Velour.

      • ginzaintherain

        Tell me about Vetiver Velour; I haven’t heard of it! And Autoportrait too. I am obviously out of the loop.

        Sycomore is exactly the kind of vetiver I don’t like, to be honest. I nearly bought it at one point, but there is something throat-drying about that kind of scent for me; too….moisture stripping ultimately, elegant though I realize it is.

  2. brie

    You are really on a vetiver theme here! Curious as to what you think of Laurie’s all natural take on vetiver…..
    I have also been wearing your blend for a few days (which I have loaded with vetiver, at least so it seems to my nose!) and am loving it. Had it not been for you vetiver would probably still be on my “verboten” list!

    • ginzaintherain

      Can’t wait to smell it!

      I have Laurie’s vetiver on my hand as we speak. Shall tackle it over the next couple of days. I like it.

      • brie

        I beyond like it….am anxiously awaiting the release of it so that I can get my hands on a full bottle!!!!!

  3. Ah, Sycomore, it is the dryness I like with that one. I will send you links right now by email on the other two rather than posting the links in the comments. Not sure of the etiquette here. Clayton has reviewed Vetiver Velours. It is from Keiko Mecheri, a name I am sure that you can pronounce with precision. I have reviewed Autoportrait with interesting findings.

    • ginzaintherain

      Haven’t had any luck with her offerings, but I will see if they have it in Isetan next time I am in Tokyo.

      Thanks for the info.

  4. O brave new world. What a beautiful young man in that last picture. … 🙂

  5. Marvellous review as ever. Mr Ginza, you really do storm my senses with these olafactory offerings. I do so love vetiver. Guerlain’s Green Vetiver is my weekly wear. Tell me, have you ever reviewed Trussardi Uomo? It is rather fine.

    • ginzaintherain

      Actually Mr Roberto (is that you or Terence Stamp by the way?) I did come across a miniature bottle of Trussardi Uomo yesterday while cleaning out my closets. Perhaps I should look into it further? What do you like about it particularly?

      As for storming your senses, that is an amazing compliment, but also a problem: I get so wrapped up in the scenarios sometimes that the words give the impression that I am actually recommending the scent. In the case of Vetiver Babylone, I was trying to say that I could understand the attractiveness of the scent, which is quite nice, but also trying to show its limitations. Not sure if that came across or not.

  6. How dare you sir! I am General Zod, King of the Kryptonites. Do you not fear the rod of Zod! Terence Stamp, who is he? But you can call me Roberto, or Seafarer if it suits. As for storms – you do storm – You STORM, you STORM, your reviews are a veritable orage, an ORAGE of sensory delight. You move me from the comfort of my Guerlain Vetiver and Nuit de l’Homme, opening my nostrils to new possibilities. Yes, you are very clear in your measure of passions – nuanced in your delineating of limitations, your hints of caution to perfume novices, etcetera etcetera. It is clear you are not in the pockets of the evil corporations nor a gusher but a genuine perfume lover, a connoisseur, an honest chatterer, and I am delighted to sail on your boat. Forgive my effusion. STORM ON EARTHLING!

    As for Uomo. It’s a gentle but manly scent. Smells wonderful under a crisp, clean shirt. Lasts all day. I like this about it.

    • ginzaintherain

      A beautiful, divine torrent from yourself, sir! ( and very nice of you to say this: it gives me power, as sometimes I do feel that I SHOULD try and be more commercial, or tame, or more generally likable to the populace, but then I just think fuck it and continue as usual…)

      Regarding your identity, but this picture surely IS Terence Stamp, who, in his heyday, was considered one of the most beautiful men alive, so it is hardly an insult!


      • Ah yes, but in this picture the lovely Terence has given o-er his soul to one of the greatest characters of all time – Zod the God! Did you never see Superman 2? What were you DOING in 1980??? Darling, anyone who was anyone in MY neighbourhood saw THAT divine little piece of celluloid action three times over. Oh the joy! One just knew the days of mullet and tartan were gone when one clapped eyes on that fine fella. And he was most DEFINITELY the STAR of the show. I rather offended Ms Olafactoria on first meeting when I declared Superman a geek. But the difference, c’mon! You are excused, Ginza. I take it as a compliment. And I do look a little like him, but my beard is a more grizzled and my eyes set a bit closer together. I am too shy-shy to post a mugshot.


      • Loving the Limahl reference: NOW you’re talking. I must admit to being completely indifferent to the whole Marvel thing, but I did of course see Superman back in the day and I can remember its peculiar crystal glow. I loved it, thinking about it.

  7. He was a total doll – exquisite. I had a strange yen earlier to seek him out in the annals of cyberville and see wherein and what he potters over these days. I wish he would make a come-back. If Rod Stewart can age gracefully with a spikey peroxide barnet and tasteful roots, I’m sure Limahl could. In fact he would OUTSHINE the jock in all ways vocal and coiffeuered, this I know. Yes the crystal glow, that strange green absinthe-like scene where Superman begs for his father to reappear and restore his powers after being duffed up in a diner by the lumberjack letch lasciviously pawing Lois! What a hero (not!). Geek! It is well worth a revisit if you have a spare afternoon. Sir, you will not be disappointed. But tell me, do you happen to know what cologne or aftershave Terence Stamp might wear? Would it be a slap of Old Spice I wonder (I can imagine this), or something more refined?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s