I don’t know if you have wandered over to the men’s fragrance counter lately, but there are so many new colognes, it’s impossible to know where to start sniffing. If you are shopping for something that will make you smell yummy, it can be overwhelming. With each successful fragrance, another two or more or are born. Sexy Beast, Sexy Beast Night, Sexy Beast Black, Sexy Beast Growl Gold etc etc etc. The lack of imagination and originality is staggering. Many top selling scents smell generic and common. Oh sure, there are exceptions. The world of niche perfume is full of all kind of different scents – some gorgeous, many expensive and some a little too different for my taste. We just want a man to smell good. And, as with any scent, you want it to draw you in because you’d to smell more, not repel you because you can smell it across the room. Seriously, who likes that? Over-sprayers give all of us fragrance enthusiasts a bad name. Stop doing it!
So guys, you want to smell good. You want to smell sexy and even manly. Or, you may want to smell interesting and different, without being weird. Easy.
I’m not sure when Old Spice became a punchline, but this sexy and gentle (yes, that’s right, gentle) scent needs to be worn by more men. The blend of vanilla, orange, and musk melts into the skin and really takes on the personality of the wearer. It’s been around since 1938, so it’s clearly doing something right. It does not “Drakkar Noir” (sorry Drakkar lovers) you into submission, and is a fragrance every man should have. Hint: the classic deodorant in the original Old Spice scent is irresistible.
I bet Don Draper wore Guerlain Vetiver. It was launched in 1959, and is as classic as a slim cut suit and scotch – neat. The smooth, slightly smoky vetiver, tobacco and pepper scent is a man’s man in a bottle. It should be lightly spritzed before dressing, not bathed in. You want subtle, guys. Guerlain Vetiver smells like success and confidence. Guerlain calls Vetiver “the scent of the earth”. I agree.
The sixties ushered in a more casual man, comfortable in and out of a suit. Christian Dior took the classic eau de cologne composition of citrus, herbs and woods and added an animalic and sensuous base to it and called it Eau Sauvage. It has one of the most amazing citrus openings in any perfume, and the sexy dry down makes the juxtaposition audacious. Pro tip: do not judge a perfume on first spritz. Those are top notes and last twenty to thirty minutes- then the magic happens. The dry down and heart of Eau Sauvage balances the citrus and herbal accords with woods (patchouli), mossy earthy notes and musks that turn into the sexiest of skin scents. Trust me on this.
The seventies got sexy with cologne – really sexy – and leather became the note of choice for many. Aramis is the seventies porn moustache of cologne, and is drop dead sexy. It is not soft, and the citrus fruits in the opening have no sweetness thanks to the artemisia (wormwood- the stuff of Absinthe), creamy sandalwood and smoky wonderful leather. It’s the reference leather scent for men, and still one of the best. It is not for the faint of heart, and should be applied sparingly. My other favourite leather scent from the seventies is Halston Z-14. Smooth sexy leather, with almost mouth watering cinnamon notes, this stuff is Magnum PI sexy. And, Halston Z-14 is available for next to nothing online and at drugstores. Meow.
The eighties ushered in what we know today as Powerhouse Colognes – Polo Green, Drakkar Noir, Azzaro, Kouros (sex in a bottle btw) etc etc. Interestingly, a lot of them are built around the classic woody fougère type of scent, but with extra oomph. The era was about excess so I imagine they just adhered to the “more is better” school of thought when they created them. Some are best left behind, but a few are still elegant and interesting and worth checking out. Dior Fahrenheit is one of them. It almost defies description, with notes like orange and an amazing leathery sandalwood, but the note that sets it apart to my nose is violet leaf. If you miss the eighties and enjoy a little excess now and then, try Dior Fahrenheit, and apply sparingly,
Due to popular demand, I will be posting a little more about men’s grooming. Next up will be some skincare for guys, and some softer easy to wear colognes for guys who don’t like cologne. Guys – feel free to request what you’d like to read about!