Sneak behind the scenes at Trussardi's film & meet the perfumer…

Rather fittingly for a campaign inspired by memories, there’s a definite retro hint to Trussardi‘s latest launch, Riflesso – something we at The Perfume Society tend to call ‘sexy man smell‘ – but done so in a modern way. The bottle follows the same lines, in fact – vintage chic with contemporary cool. The leathery-ness comes through in soft waves through a misty fougére style top-half of the fragrance. Think cool herbacious breezes and tumbles in heather-strewn hills with a man wearing a leather jacket atop a cashmere sweater…
And when you’re done thinking about that (take your time – we certainly did) why not feast your eyes on the fabulous ad campaign starring model Andre Hamann, below?

We had to watch the campaign several times to check the quality, but feel assured our hard work has been worthwhile. You’re welcome.
Trussardi say: ‘With its woody and oriental notes of bergamot, pink grapefruit and green apple, Trussardi Riflesso tells the story of a man who considers sport a lifestyle. Life is not a competition, but an expression of self-confidence, which is shown through notes of geranium, violet leaves and lavender, before making a nod to tradition with olfactive hints of Italian leather, vetiver and tonka bean.’
Scroll down for a Q&A with perfumer Véronique Nyberg to find out more about the inspiration and composition…


Want even more? We’ve been given access to the behind-the-scenes footage from the advertising film and campaign, with all images shot by photographer/director Mark Segal telling the story of the new Riflesso world, and which we’re thrilled to share with you, here…

Senior Perfumer Véronique Nyberg was chosen to compose Riflesso, and took time to answer some questions regarding her inspiration and the way the fragrant ingredients were chosen. She began by discussing

What inspired your creation?
‘I was inspired by leather – an iconic symbol of Trussardi’s heritage that is part of its DNA. Leather is masculine and sexy. It can be rough or soft, and it’s very versatile. That was the starting point for my creation combined with other fine materials able to represent Trussardi’s signature style, dynamism and tradition.
It’s been fascinating, almost like being in a movie! Adrenaline, motorcycles, sports cars, a classy environment, Italian landscapes, family warmth, and the beauty of the Trussardi tradition. Everything inspired me in this sophisticated yet dynamic world, which I interpreted by using the finest materials and latest technologies, such as the innovative Jungle Essence that was part of the uniqueness of my creation.’
How do you describe the head notes?
‘A burst of freshness and pure energy, thanks to the sparkling notes of Italian citrus fruits and crisp undertones of green apple.’
And the heart?
‘It is a modern interpretation of style, where elegant traditional masculine elements such as geranium, violet leaves and lavender are reinterpreted from a different approach to the Jungle Essence technique that provides a subtler version of the lavender flower.’
On the dry down…
‘It is the quintessence of Trussardi’s trademark elements: precious woods like vetiver for refinement, soft leather for its unmistakable quality and tradition, and a hint of tonka bean for sensuality.’
Why was tonka bean used in the base?
‘It’s sensual, warm, and smooth with an addictive touch that blends perfectly with the vibrancy of woods and the texture of leather. I couldn’t ask for anything better to complete the fragrance and make it a stylish tool for seduction.’
 
How do you define Riflesso?
‘The Italian lifestyle: an ability to enjoy life with class and enthusiasm…’

Trussardi Riflesso from £47 for 30ml eau de toilette
Exclusively at Debenhams
Written by Suzy Nightingale

We go behind the scenes with Acqua di Parma's heart-melting ad

Acqua di Parma have been serving us stylish Colognes since 1916, their heritage leading us to beautiful city of Parma – famous for its violets, and strong cultural traditions. With their original Colonia, Acqua di Parma offer something crisp, subtle, utterly refreshing elegance – the sense of Italian style, bottled. Refined and wearable, Colonia became an instant – and now timeless – classic.
The fragrance was worn by stylish men, movie stars and those who understood luxury. (And borrowed, we’re sure, by many of the women in their lives – just as today.) The chic hand-made Art Deco bottle and vibrant yellow hat box style packaging graced many a smart bathroom shelf – and by the 1960s, it was a ‘best-kept secret’ shared by those-in-the-know. Rich in Sicilian citrus (bergamot, lemon, bitter and sweet oranges), this sparkling creation unfolds to a heart of lavender and Bulgarian rose, on warm, woody base notes – a formula that’s never changed…
But now, there’s a new Cologne in town, with Acqua di Parma launching Colonia Pura – a contemporary and highly refined interpretation of the Italian classic. Fresher still, balancing delicacy and boldness, the top notes of spicy coriander harmonise with the classic citrus burst, while in the heart we encounter sambac jasmine and petit-grain with the startling sensuality of the ultra-green narcissus absolute. In the base, musk and patchouli sink into the soothing woodiness of cedar, and all things said, this has to be one of the sexiest just-out-the-shower, gorgeous-man’s-skin scents we’ve sniffed for quite some time…

As for the ad campaign  (see the video, above) – oh it’s just heart-meltingly lovely, and not only for the fact it stars model Will Chalker (whom we’d be happy to look at under any circumstances) but because his adorable family star alongside him. Shot by photographer Josh Olins, we’re loving this modern take on ‘masculinity’ focusing on a man’s contemporary life – and one that very much that includes the model’s wife, Chloe, and son, Arthur.

Will Chalker says: ‘I have known about Acqua di Parma for a long time, it’s a brand you kind of associate with Italy and the sun, elegance and style. It is one of my favourite campaigns, just because I get to shoot with my wife and son. It makes it feel more about us just having fun as a family and creating these little moments that, you know, we can capture in photos.’

Talking of capturing the mood, we were thrilled to get a sneak peek at what happened behind-the-scenes during the shoot, and share it with you, below…

A shot of sunshine and warm feelings is exactly what we need right now, seeing as autumn has arrived way before we were ready for it. Watching the campaign videos and spritzing Colonia Pura could be the only way we get through the grey-er months at TPS Towers, frankly. And yes, we’re ‘borrowing’ this, too. (He totally nicks our luxe beauty products, so share and share alike, right?)
Acqua di Parma Colonia Pura from £66 for 50ml eau de Cologne
Buy it at John Lewis
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Missoni Parfum pour Homme (you'll want to cuddle up…)

Missoni Parfum por Homme is the first foray into male fragrance for the Maison in some years, and having had a sneaky sniff before it launched – although Missoni describe the scent as being ‘…unquestionably masculine’ – we think many ladies might feel the same as us, and not only want to cuddle up to this, but permanently ‘borrow’ it…
Missoni say: ‘The captivating freshness of the Missoni Parfum pour Homme is inspired by the Mediterranean landscape warmed by the sun. A woody frgrance both fresh and luminous, full of contrasts.’
Top notes: green lemon leaves & pulp, pink pomelo, lavender aspic
Heart notes: Mediterranean Maquis herbs, ginger, pomarose, jasmine
Base notes: patchouli, sandalwood, oakwood, birch, musk
So how does it smell? Imagine a walk through the lemon groves at dawn, dew-speckled leaves swirled with an early morning mist that precedes a scorching day to come… The unexpected mix of freshly cut ginger and aromatic lavender proves opposites definitely can attract – zingy spice meeting soothing wafts in a snuggle we want to last forever. Talking of snuggling (and we very often do), there’s a particularly cuddle-some quality to this fragrance, and a deliberate one, at that…
We note from the press release that the dry-down – smooth sandalwood melting into the musky woodieness of the base – was composed to be ‘as enveloping as a precious Missoni cardigan.’ We’re never quite sure how perfumers can translate fragrant ingredients to smell exactly like certain materials feel [shhh! See the Fashion & Fragrance edition of our Scented Letter magazine for more on this olfactory alchemy, next month!] but that’s exactly what’s happened, here. All the cosiness of borrowing your other-half’s best sweater and delighting in the comfort of the soft texture while breathing in their scent.
With the juiciness of the fruity top notes working well in the heat and the soft muskiness of the base just perfect for cooler temperatures, it’s almost enough to have us wishing for snow, so we can get super snuggly in a lavishly scented way…

Missoni Parfum pour Homme £33 for 50ml eau de parfum
Exclusive to Harrods from 7th August (nationwide, October 2017)
Written by Suzy Nightingale
 

Scent in stone: Comme des Garçons get CONCRETE

What comes to mind when you picture concrete? Urban cityscapes are bound to be involved, but for design-led style leaders, Comme des Garçons, they always like to play with traditional expectations, and their latest fragrance is anything but conventional (but oh-so wearable, we’re glad to report!)
We had the pleasure of being present at the press presentation of CONCRETE – the new CDG scent launching today and exclusively first available at Selfridges. ‘A versatile material finds an unpredictable form’, they say, and from the pleasingly tactile concrete-clad bottle that will age as flagstones do – leaving a part of yourself imprinted every time you touch it – to the intriguingly soft juice inside (as we said: unexpected!) we have to concur…

So what does CONCRETE smell like? Well there’s the CDG signature of peppery notes, though this time very much white pepper, we’re thinking… then a mineral-ic waft of slightly metallic mistiness, but the framework here is bound to the rich, soothingly creamy essence of sandalwood and the most transparent rose, created by synthetic rose oxide – a molecule that turns old-fashioned rose on its head and adds acres of crystaline lightness and air to the mix.
CDG say that ‘…layers of resinous warmth are lacquered with metallic seams’ – by which we understand that the scent smells somehow both warm and cold at the same time. And it really does! We’re super-impressed and see this as a totally sharable fragrance you could easily wear every day.
CDG are renowned for collaborating with ground-breaking contemporary artists and Graham Hudson has been working with the house for 10 years, this time creating an exclusive installation in the Beauty Hall (and window) of Selfridges, Bond Street.

Comme des Garçons CONCRETE has been imagined as a kind of love story in scent and its artistic expression through all the senses. Music plays on records as sculpted figures and textural shapes abound. The installation is only up for a week, so do pop along and see it while you have the chance!

Comme des Garçons CONCRETE £115 for 80ml eau de parfum
Exclusively at Selfridges until 25/09/07
Written by Suzy Nightingale

War of the Roses: Jo Fairley judges a fragrant Fume Chat 'fight' between Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunckley…

Fume Chat is one of our favourite podcasts (for the uninitiated, think of podcasts as online radio shows you can subscribe to and download to listen later), from the offset aiming ‘…to have fun with fragrance – after all, it’s just perfume, so why it take it so seriously?’ Regular hosts Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunckley (a.k.a. fragrance blogger The Candy Perfume Boy) may be perfume experts in their own right, but they genuinely bring a sense of the joy of discovery along with down-to-earth accessible information to their weekly show.
Most episodes sees the fragrant twosome sniffing exciting new scents both old and new or discussing topics relevant to the world of perfumery – a brilliant recent episode was dedicated to Aroma Chemicals (or Synthetics) and exploring what the giddy hell they actually are and where best to sniff them out.
Our favourite episodes have to be the ‘Battles’, in which Nick and Thomas each bring to the table their favourite examples of a particular perfume genre. Often they’ll get a guest to decide the outcome (and overall winner of the battle!) and the latest – The War of the Roses –featured none other than our very own co-founder and editor, Jo Fairley as the judge. We wont spoil the surprise, but suffice to say it was a close battle and you’ll be wanting to scatter rose petals at the feet of the victor…

 
Do go and have a listen by clicking the Fume Chat logo, above – who do YOU think will win? – and have a pad handy, because the way Nick and Thomas so breathlessly describe their favourites makes us want to go and sniff (and douse ourselves in) them immediately…
(If you’re not an Apple user, you can find the Fume Chat RSS feed here).
Written by Suzy Nightingle
 

Perfume your papa! A fragrant feast of ideas for Father's Day…

We’re banishing all dated ideas of fuddy-duddy fathers’ here at The Perfume Society, with a carefully curated selection of scents to present to your dear ol’ dad. From the vibrantly refreshing to the downright delicious – we absolutely guarantee one of these scents will garner you more ‘perfect offspring’ points than a basic pair of socks… plus, read on for how to WIN a whole swag bag of scented goodies for your dad, courtesy of Kenneth Cole!
Ormonde Man just exudes exoticism, including notes of black hemlock , vetiver, cardamom and juniper berries resting on a resinously musky base. Infused with a touch of oud oil, it’s definitely one for creative chaps with their minds on higher things. A mystical miasma that’s full of charm – if your dad’s an armchair philosopher, let him waft through the library on a wave of sophisticated ambience.

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Man, £110 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at ormondejayne.com
Nuit de Issey Bleu Astral offers a whole new meaning to ‘night light’ with a fragrance that shoots for the stars.  Lime and coriander shimmer celestially in the top notes as soft leather meets the aromatic sweet woodiness of gentian. With a darkly glimmering base of warm amber and cool vetiver, it’s a whole galaxy of other-worldliness, bottled. We think dads who appreciate something that’s classically inspired but with a classy, contemporary twist will be reaching for this and thanking you for aeons.

Issey Miyake Nuit de Issey Bleu Astral, £43 for 75ml eau de toilette
Buy it at johnlewis.com
M03 is composed entirely of one ingredient – an aroma-chemical named vetiveryle acetate – that somehow conveys every single facet of the vetiver root. Sparkling sunshine swoops to newly mown lawns and welcome shade. Digging deeper we get earthiness, lush undergrowth fresh from a monsoon and a final soft balminess that feels like a long, cold glass of gin and tonic after a long day. Why not try this alongside its scent ‘twin’, E03, in our fantastic Men’s Edit box of carefully curated scents (and two grooming goodies – one of them full-size!) so he’s really spoilt for choice…?

Escentric Molecules M03, £72 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at libertylondon.com

The Black Rose (yes – roses for men are definitely a thing. Get with-it, grandpa!) is a stunning evocation of the mountains of Saudi Arabia. Composed by perfumer Pierre Constantin Gueros, think shimmering mirages in steamy air scented with oppulent Taif roses and sprinkled with pink pepper. Warmly oriental in the base, it’s a trail of vanilla, musk and patchouli-infused amber, for a journey he’ll definitely want to follow.

Trussardi The Black Rose, £77.50 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at harrods.com
Silver Mountain Water is a soothingly composed cool breeze of a scent, hand-picked by our fragrant friend, The Rare Tea Lady, who described it as having ‘…a milky sweetness on the skin – so it needs something elegant, smokey and masculine behind it. There’s actually a smoke note in Mountain Silver Water, but to bring it out I’d suggest a Keemun tea.’ So how about paring it with a pot of that delicious Rare Tea Company Keemun brew for a gift that really keeps on giving?

Creed Silver Mountain Water, £108 for 75ml eau de parfum  Buy it at selfridges.com

Musc Impèrial is directly inspired by the Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona and the suites “impériales” in which Atelier Cologne founders Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel stayed, coupled with the vibrancy of the Catalan capital. Effervescently intriguing, it pairs herbaceously smoky clary sage with bergamot and a warm waft of musk for a father who likes to travel in the most elegant way.

Atelier Cologne Musc Impèrial, £110 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Atelier Cologne
Black Bold is inspired by the characteristic ‘boldness of New York life,’ featuring a chilly blast of cedar leaves and nutmeg with a complex background breeze of lotus flowers and a hint of incense being burned in a loft appartment. Smoothly balanced woodiness harmonises violet leaves and misty ambergris on a softly sueded base – for the metropolitan man-about-town who’s at home wherever he leaves his hat…


Kenneth Cole Black Bold £40 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at houseoffraser.co.uk
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Calling all 24-hour perfume people…

Who wants to travel with hefty and/or fragile perfume bottles – in a handbag, hand luggage or suitcase? Not us.
So – in time for summer holidays – we are delighted now to be official stockists of Travalo. Each stylish and refillable decant spray enables you to carry up to 5ml of your own favourite scent with you, wherever you go.

Travalo sprays are approved for hand luggage – and glass-free, to avoid risk of breakage. You can even colour-code your collection, as they’re available as sleek metal Classic and chic leather Milano designs in the range of colour options, as seen above and below.

On-the-go spritzing with Travalo is from just £12.49 with FREE p&p!

Who's the daddy? Help him hit all the right fragrance notes this Father's Day…

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so they say, but let’s push the positivity and imagine there was a way to gently guide your papa (or perhaps any man in your life) toward a whole new era of perfumed wonders…
Though some fathers’ are doubtless swanking about in all the latest scents, we have to face facts here and accept that, occasionally, stereotypes exist for a reason, and one of those is that dads of a certain age like to cling, comfort-blanket like, to jeans that no longer fit them and fragrances that make them feel like they’re starring in a 70s cop show – all hairy chests, gold medallions and witty one-liners.

It’s time to tell him (subtly, let’s be nice) that he’s not going to be sliding across the bonnet of a Dodge Charger any time soon (especially not in those jeans), take him by the hand and nudge him toward trying something new.
Now, with our carefully curated selection in the Men’s Edit he’ll get to try absolutely everything you see here; so instead of ‘who’s the daddy?’ perhaps the question should be, ‘which daddy does he want to be, today…?’
Dandified
Crisp apple top notes studded with peppercorns are freshened further by bergamot as waves of mandarin meld in to the smoky lavender of a suitably masculine floral heart. Violet, jasmine and geranium entwine with comfortingly creamy base notes of guaiac wood and vanilla – like a corsage worn in the button-hole of an immaculately tailored suit hiding a charmingly quirky lining.
Parfums de Marly Layton 1.2ml eau de parfum (normally £145 for 75ml)
Fastidious
With the marmalade tang of bitter orange switching to the sauna-like steaminess of cardamom and black pepper, there’s a particularly intriguing tingle of warm spices added to the laid-back aloofness of the sandalwood and vetiver. A fragrance for the gentleman who’s naturally nonchalant but with a keen eye for the small details, everything just feels effortlessly laconic and refined – so, even if his dressing gown’s frayed, he’ll feel like James Bond in this.
Dunhill Icon Elite 1.5ml eau de parfum (£95 for 100ml)
Free-spirited
Appealing to his bohemian spirit, this tobacco-laden scent speaks of long liquid lunches in smoky French brasseries padded with faded leather and panelled in dark wood. Musky Cuban cascarilla oil is pierced by the piquancy of pimento berries and a cool shot of pine needles with herbaceously aromatic sage. The gently smouldering base of Malaysian patchouli gets comfortable with a boozy cherry-like sweetness of the toasty tonka beans – perfect for the dad who rather fancies himself as an undiscovered artist.

Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac 7.5ml eau de parfum (£95 for 100ml)
Genius
Composed entirely of one ingredient – an aroma-chemical named vetiveryle acetate – this somehow conveys every single character that vetiver can transform in to. Starting high it’s all airy, sparkling sunshine, before swooping apace to newly mown lawns and welcome shade. Digging deeper we get earthiness, lush undergrowth fresh from a monsoon and a final soft balminess that feels like a long, cold glass of gin and tonic after a long day of thinking too much.
Escentric Molecules M 03 2ml eau de parfum (£72 for 100ml)
Adventurer
A tropical journey to the darker side of vetiver’s nature, here we follow the trail of the aroma chemical vetiveryle acetate (used in isolation in the M 03 version, above) as it meets the fizzy warmth of freshly peeled ginger shot through with lime. Think jasmine tea incongrously sipped in the shade of a wooden hut, the tanned skin warmth of amber mingling with smooth sandalwood and a cracked leather muskiness that’ll make him feel like the Indiana Jones of his dreams.
Escentric Molecules E 03 2ml eau de parfum (£72 for 100ml)
Artistic
Taking its inspiration from one of the Rococo period’s most loved stylistic icons, the magnolia here is beautifully clean and waxy, while infusing with it the softness of a dry, mossy rose. If your dad’s a ‘man’s man’ and would shy away, get him to try it at least before (perhaps) permanently ‘borrowing’ this one for yourself. Not your fault if he misses out on the sense of frivolity and freshness of sweetpea while zippingly juicy bergamot, cassis and mandarin give a green tanginess and the cinnamon, clove and sandalwood of the dry down leave a trail of spiciness that hints of exoticism.
Clive Christian Nobile VIII Magnolia 1.5ml eau de parfum (£350 for 50ml)
Charmer
Infused with the infamous ‘everlasting flower’, there’s a definite snuggly fuzziness imbued with woody undertones of calming papyrus, warm amber and the tender coolness of vetiver. Elegant and as pleasingly long-lasting as the name might suggest, this is at once characterful and noble. Not the kind of fragrance that loudly declares itself and enters the room before you – it’s noticable all the same (and for all the right reasons). Doesn’t your dad deserve some understated luxury for a change?
Clive Christian Nobile VIII Immortelle 1.5ml eau de parfum (£350 for 50ml)
Cool
Crystal clear limoncello slowly poured over ice cubes until you hear them begin to crackle, droplets of cold water forming on the glass as humidity hits, a distant buzz of traffic fusing with the hum of bees – we’re somewhere on the Amalfi coast in your dad’s head, in a villa he happens to own but doesn’t make a fuss about. Lagubriously lounging in the shade it’s all easy-breeziness as the sun sets and the earthiness of patchouli rises to meet the warmth of ambroxan. Just make sure he loans you the keys to the villa sometimes, eh?

Jimmy Choo MAN ICE 2ml eau de toilette (from £30 for 30ml)
Lothario
Yes, yes, we know it’s uncomfortable to think about, but chances are your dad still retains something of his youthful swagger and would very much like to be thought of as the dashing cad (rather than the slipper-wearing dad). Let’s just say this is jam-packed with musk all the way through – from highly refined, eyebrow-waggling mischievousness to the rugged wolfishness of the dry down – and let him be.
Initio Parfums Magnetic Blend 7 1.2ml eau de parfum (£154 for 90ml)
CEO
He might not be able to drive the real thing, but at least he can wear it and dream with this cleverly composed fragrance that somehow evokes contrasting textures and terrains. Zesty bergamot suggests speed and excitement before a cool – almost metallic sheen – of violet leaf segues from saltiness through misty undergrowth to a highly refined heart of suave sandalwood, and the luxurious softness of cashmere and nestled in moss.

Bentley Momentum 1.8ml eau de toilette (£59 for 100ml)
Athletic
A hint of soda-fizziness in the opening notes could be a cheeky nod to the half-time refreshment of the legendary football hero behind this brand. Indeed, your father opening a can of fizzy pop might be the only connection he has with Ronaldo (in reality), but wearing this flamboyant yet assuredly rugged scent will be at least one step closer to the real thing. We’re particularly loving the floral notes of peony and violet here – not what you might expect from a sporting scent, but wonderfully soapy and clean on a man’s skin.
Cristiano Ronaldo Legacy 2ml eau de toilette (£29 for 30ml)

As though this wardrobe of fragrant personalities weren’t enough, there’s two generous additional gifts of the (full-size and worth £31 alone!) Aromatherapy Associates Refinery Eye Gel to refresh his peepers and wonderfully soothing Penhaligon’s No. 33 Moisturiser 5ml (normally £38 for 75ml) – so we think you’ll agree, The Men’s Edit is a gift that will keep on giving long beyond Father’s Day…

Written by Suzy Nightingale
 

Jasper Conran gets Naked!

Having already been Nude, Jasper Conran’s now getting Naked with a new masculine eau de toilette you’ll definitely want to get beneath the wrappings of…
Can we take a moment to celebrate the fact that men are now getting more variety in the scent world? While it’s not often we shed a tear for the chaps, we must admit they have been horrifically under-catered for until very recently, with only sporty/fresh/musky options in practically all ranges. Now there are more interesting combintions, including (gasp) flowers creeping in, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Floral notes nd softly powdered green touches such as violet leaves (read on, below) smell a-maz-ing on a man’s skin and with the weather (hopefully) warming up, it’s a great time to hoorah about that fact.
Jasper Conran say: ‘Aromatic and effortlessly masculine Naked encapsulates Jasper Conran’s refined approach to scent, first experienced with his signature lines Woman and Man and more recently Nude for women.’ Talking about the inspiration for Naked Man, and how it’s meant to make you feel, they go on to explain it’s all about the emotions beneath that ‘Natural attraction, effortless masculinity…’
It’s a pretty clear olfactory theme – what lies beneath the clothes he’s so famous for? Well as it happens, in Jasper Conran’s world the Nude or Naked skin smells pretty damn great. But what did we make of it? Well, let’s undress this a little…
At first it’s all about the zest – grapefruit and bergamot – a burst of freshness that makes you want to strip off and run through the sprinklers in the park. But maybe resist that urge for now and wait for the intriguing notes of violet leaves, entwined with the shady cool of breeze of vetiver, to take root. Finally, cedarwood slinks to a base of lightly handled patchouli, warm tingles of amber and a smoothly leathery sandalwood. It’s definitely one to
A modern masculine with refinement at its core, we’re loving the elegant bottle and will totally be borrowing this from the chaps!

Jasper Conran Naked Man, £35 for 100ml eau de toilette
Buy it at debenhams.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Alford & Hoff No. 3 – the 'every day sexy' niche scent inspired by cranial cement (yes, really!) and Barry Alford's five favourite smells…

The story of Alford & Hoff follows two athlete chums who met at college in America who happened to share a passion for scent and skin care – even though they were mercilessly teased for it in the locker roms – through their incarnation as business entrepreneurs and onto launching their own incredibly successful skin care, luxury fashion and accessories and now fragrance line. Barry Alford told us how their latest scent, No. 3, is ‘every day sexy’, and inspired by a unique (and rather bizarre!) industrial product. Intrigued? We certainly were, and wanted to know his five favourite scents, too. It soon became clear: Alford & Hoff are not your average fragrance house…
As Barry explained, ‘Alford & Hoff is basically a brand that’s about two buddies who were at college together and wanted to start their own gig. We didn’t know what we wanted to do, but we wanted to work together. Eventually we decided on a men’s skincare brand. I know that might seem unlikely, but we were the only two guys in our collegiate football team who were doing all the grooming and getting all the flack. As soon as I saw he had the same fragrances as me – I’m talking Drakkar and Farenheight, here – I knew I was going to be friends with him. I thought, finally, someone else who understands’
Super-savvy, they talked about starting a business together, but ‘…Jefferson [Hoff] went into the financial market on Wall Street. And when we gained success we were both spending more on our products – we just loved them. We still had these dreams of starting a business together, and knew it had to be something we were passionate about. Through my medical contacts I met a plastic surgeon and he helped us brand a male skincare line backed by his expertise and we got into Neiman Marcus on the back of that’
The male grooming market may have moved on in leaps and bounds these days, but Alford & Hoff were way ahead of their time, and that led them into the world of fragrance. ‘I think we were successful because we were two former athletes that were making it okay for guys to take care of themselves. We wanted to venture further and decided to launch a fragrance – which we were always so in to and still were! – and that became our Signature fragrance. It actually started to out perform our skincare line, and when in 2009 the economy crashed we decided to pull back and focus on that. It carried us through. We’ve done a lot of work but now are proud to say in many stores our fragrances are on the shelves next to Tom Ford and John Varvatos, not because of some borrowed glory off the back of another line, but because they’re great fragrances.’
Discussing the fact that for years, men have been under catered-for in fragrance, Barry agreed, saying he felt ‘guys are becoming way more sophisticated, they want more than just a sports splash, a deodorant or something their mom gave them, they want to choose it themselves and they’re hungry for knowledge! And the feedback we get is that more men are after fragrances that not everyone else is wearing. I mean let me give you some statistics. We’re in the top twenty five percent of fragrance brands in stores at the moment based on sales. That’s pretty major for a small, niche company like us!’
rodrigo_flores-roux2
Choosing the right ‘nose’ is essential for any fragrance house, but Barry and Jefferson wanted someone they could have a really close working relationship with. ‘Rodrigo Flores-Roux has done all of our fragrances. We knew how good he was, that he’d worked on so many great brands, but didn’t choose him just for his reputation. We really hit it off, and to have that first fragrance be FiFi nominated in the first year just proved how well it worked! No. 2 was lighter and fresher I guess, perhaps more traditional, more towards the sportier end of the market. But this third one is something really different.’
You can say that again. Having sniffed it – a soaring medley of citrus that quickly deepens to something altogether deeper and sexier – we were astonished to hear that ‘…it’s inspired by days selling medical equipment. I know that sounds completely bizarre but please stay with me!’
alford-no3grouping
 
‘I used to spend a lot of time in the operating room, consulting with surgeons during a procedure. 80% of my business was craniotomies, meaning I’d be working with neurosurgeons, and one product in particular was a cranial bone cement. And this putty, when you mix the sodium solution with the powder, it just makes the most beautiful smell. And everyone in every operating theatre I’ve ever been in says the same thing, for over ten years. “Oh my god I love the smell of this stuff!” I mean they gather ’round to smell it. So that’s what we tried to do with this fragrance – tied to metallics and aldehydes and a blend of vetivers’
‘Rodrigo got this bang on, first go. He delivered a masterpiece I think. I know he was just so inspired to be working from such a bizarre inspiration and it really triggered his creativity. I mean, I know industrial has been done in the niche world, but I don’t think anyone has done craniotomal cement before!’
Having learned of their unique inspirations and varied backgrounds, we could only guess that Barry’s five favourite smells (something we’re always intrigued to ask perfume people about) would be equally ecclectic. And we weren’t far wrong…
1. Gasoline – When my mom would go to pump gas I’d stick my head out the window of the car and love the smell! It does something to my throat, but I compare it to what they call the “drag” in fragrance. You know when you get this dry smell and just can’t stop inhaling?
2. Fresh cut grass – It reminds me of my football days, the peak of the season, being surrounded by people I love and having fun.
3. Halloween costumes straight from the packet – Another bizarre one, I know! But it’s just a fantastic smell, freshly unwrapped from the plastic.
4. Scotch tape – Its so unique and different, I’d recognise it anywhere and I guess those kinds of smells are comforting somehow. I think I have a really heightened sense of smell – I pick up on things others don’t.
5. The monsoon season in Arizona – When its rains in late summer after its been so hot in the desert. It’s unbelievable, and it’s sweet. I really want to use that in a fragrance. It’s gorgeous. I guess I’ll have to get Rodrigo out there to smell it for himself!
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Alford & Hoff No. 3 £75 for 100ml eau de toilette
Exclusively at Harrods
Written by Suzy Nightingale