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Tom Ford Grey Vetiver Review: Got Grass?

tom ford gray vetiver review

Table of Contents

Few things in this world are truly clean. Instead of operating in hard lines, they shift and swirl, turn you around and leave you wondering where you started and where you hoped you’d end up.

Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver isn’t anything like that; it truly is clean, offering a modern-professional scent for men that manages to be both woodsy and modern-classy at the same time.

I don’t say this often, but Grey Vetiver more than deserves it — this fragrance is signature scent worthy. It’s superbly versatile, and I know it sounds crazy, but the cologne seems to smell different at different times and on different occasions.

 I may be crazy. Sue me. But I’m also a big fan of this perfume, and in this review, I’ll break down everything you need to know about it, including personal impressions, note breakdown, overall vibe, performance, where to wear, and who I think this scent is best for. 


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Personal Impressions

I’m not usually blown away by a scent. Usually it’s the other way around. xD

In this case, I was surprised in the best way — I wasn’t at all expecting it. 

You see, I’m not the world’s largest fan of vetiver, a prominent note in the composition (as you may have guessed), and I usually steer clear of scents that are “clean” and “professional,” because in my experience, that is usually synonymous with “generic” and “boring.” 

This scent is none of those things; or at least, it isn’t any one of those things. 

To me, Tom Ford has created a masterpiece that molds itself to the wearer. It’s different things depending on what you, the wearer, are. It’s the metaphorical scent equivalent of a mirror. 

Enough of my nonsense. Let’s get into the actual scent.


Grey Vetiver is one of those scents that belies its composition. No other scent on the market has the same versatility, while simultaneously smelling incredibly classy. Here is a breakdown of the notes that make up this masterpiece:

Top Notes:

  • Grapefruit
  • Orange Blossom
  • Sage

Middle Notes:

  • Nutmeg
  • Orris Root
  • Pimento

Base Notes:

  • Vetiver
  • Woodsy Notes
  • Amber
  • Oakmoss

As you can see, the composition has a lot of different notes leaning in a lot of different directions. The vetiver lends it a certain earthiness, like the smell of freshly-cut grass in the sun, or damp leaves. The citrus in the opening provides an uplifting zest, while the sage adds in an herbal accord. For more on vetiver, check out our article article on vetiver for perfumery.

In the middle, you have nutmeg and pimento adding in some spice, playfulness, and depth. The orris adds in a serious element of classiness. Without these notes, I personally think the whole thing would stumble into the world of generic and supremely boring “freshies.” Instead, the middle is where it begins to blossom.

In the heart, the vetiver really comes to play. The earthiness takes itself up a notch, with a hearty helping of oakmoss and woods to lean on. The amber also makes an appearance, warming up the scent and playing very well with the nutmeg, orris, and woods. 

It smells good on the skin, but the scent trail is amazing. It’s like being in your own little grey cloud. This is not an intimate scent; for that, check this or this. 

While notes are one thing, the overall vibe can sometimes differ from what the note breakdown would have us believe. In this case, the fragrance bounces around a bit; it is earthy, but in a fresh green grass kind of way; it is professional, but in an “I’m not always like this” kind of way; it is warm and subtly playful. 

Seriously, I mentioned how it smells different at different times; warmer in the winter, spicier in the fall, sweeter in the evenings, more uplifting in the daytime.

While it does smell clean, I don’t believe that it falls in the traditional category of clean fragrances. It’s much more versatile than that, and I can see it worn pretty much anywhere. 


Performance is a factor to consider on any fragrance, but it’s particularly important when paying Tom Ford prices.

Longevity wise, you’re covered for the day. I mean on lockdown. This scent will be with you breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ll catch whiffs of yourself throughout the day, and just smile to yourself. Seriously, just a few sprays and you’re good. When I wear this fragrance, I spray my neck twice and my wrist once or twice — and I can usually still smell it on my clothes when I take them off at night..

Sillage is good too. You’ll occupy your own little scent cloud and leave a trail trailing behind you. Not good when you’re running from the law, but in most cases, it’s very nice. Keep in mind that this isn’t a very loud fragrance. It’s more understated, and it plays on the senses without you necessarily becoming aware of it. 

Overall, performance is nothing to worry about, and you can rest assured you’re tackling your day as your most aromatic self. 


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Who Is This Scent Good For?

This scent is good for anyone looking for a versatile fragrance that stands out from the crowd. Not necessarily the loudest, or most noticeable scent, but the one that subtly announces you as a confident, self-sufficient, and profound gentleman. Its effect is undeniable. It smells like a man who gets what he wants because he goes looking for it, fights for it, not because it was handed to him. 

I would recommend this scent for the man who likes to mow the lawn on a Sunday. Kidding, this scent is for you if you like staring at nothing; if you believe in the power of a well ironed shirt; if you write your hopes down so they don’t disappear; if you look down when she looks back because you don’t want to seem presumptuous. 

I have heard people say that Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver is quite professional; that it smells like the definition of an office fragrance. They confuse themselves. It works in the workplace (haha), but it also works at dinner, or at the grocery store, or at the park. It works everywhere.

Simply put, if you’re a man on the more self-aware side of the spectrum, who wants a great scent he can wear anywhere, Grey Vetiver is for you.

When To Wear It

One of the best things about Grey Vetiver is that it works anywhere. Not just works, but shines. 

In the summer, the vetiver takes on a summer-lawn kind of vibe that incites an herbaceous experience and brings to the mind’s eye sparkling visions of picnics in parks. 

In the fall, the woodsiness comes out; this is obviously great for autumn-time, as it compliments the leaves and the smell of their colors. The nutmeg and pimento also shine, as the spiciness cuts through the cold.

In the winter, the orris and amber unite to combat the cold. They add warmth while adding a seriousness much akin to the calm of freshly-fallen snow.

In the spring, the floral elements come out and dance with the fresh air and the fresher blossoms.

In terms of occasion, the scent works in all of them. While I wouldn’t necessarily wear it to the club, you still could (I guess). Regardless of the occasion, this has the rare ability to actually uplift your overall style and make those baggy sweats look like something contemporary instead of something clean.

Similar Fragrances

If you’re looking for a scent similar to Grey Vetiver, we have a few options for you to choose from. 

  • Terre D’Hermes is a similarly classy woodsy scent, except taken up a notch. It’s also less warm, more citrusy, and arguably even more elegant. Check out our full Terre D’Hermes Review here.
  • Encre Noire, by Lalique, offers wearers a similar woodsiness with a darker, smoother, stormier vibe. It smells like a forest, but more like a lonely one. Check out our full Encre Noire Review for all the deets.
  • Guerlain Vetiver, a more vetiver-heavy take on a men’s vetiver cologne. It’s good, and quite dynamic. If you’re looking for a scent that evolves less, and smells more vetiver-y, this is one that should be on your radar. Check out our full Guerlain Vetiver review for more.

If This Was A Color…

It would be a deep, smoky gray with streaks of silver. Like a sky threatening to rain, particularly one you know is only posturing.

Where To Buy

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Overall, Tom Ford’s Gray Vetiver is a masterful creation we’d advise picking up. It’s versatile, unique, and smells fantastic. Often mislabeled as simply a professional scent, wearing it instantly ups your versatility game.

We hope you enjoyed this review of Grey Vetiver. Happy sniffing!


Isaac Marks

Isaac Marks

Isaac is a fragrance expert from Chicago, Illinois, specializing in smelling good at all times. When he isn't sniffing things, Isaac likes to read, write, run, bake, and play the guitar.

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Jack Harbor

Full Time Fragranista

Jack Harbor is an expert in all things scent – from wearing, to mixing, to making perfumes, his expertise is varied and robust. He loves to smell good, and loves helping other’s smell good – for the good of us all!

Jack Harbor

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