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!’
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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

Love to Smell review our Scent of a Man Discovery Box – so full they had to sniff it twice!

We already loved Love to Smell – the YouTube channel set up by fragrance experts and friends Pia Long and Nick Gilbert to make perfume reviews both fun and informative. But when they had to split their latest review – all about our Scent of a Man Discovery Box – into two parts because there’s so bloomin’ much in the box, we fell in love all over again…
You can watch the video yourselves, below, but we thought it worth a recap of some of the amazing things in store if you haven’t already explored. Firstly, let’s just accept that size sometimes matters and the Scent of a Man Discovery Box is a whopper, featuring 13 fragrances in all, plus luxurious grooming additions (worth £40.25 alone!). We think you might have to agree, it’s just the best gift for a male scent-lover, ever…
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So what’s in the box? *Deep breath* It’s quite a list…
Penhaligon’s No 33 eau de Cologne, 1.5ml eau de Cologne
Lalique Encre Noir à L’Extrême, 1.8ml eau de parfum
Paul Smith Essential, 1.2ml eau de toilette
• Carven L’Eau Intense, 1.2ml eau de toilette
Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme, 0.8ml eau de toilette
• Eight & Bob Original, 1.5ml eau de parfum
• Illuminum Piper Leather, 2ml eau de parfum
• Miller Harris Vetiver Insolent, 2ml eau de parfum
 Prada Luna Rossa Eau Sport, 1.5ml eau de toilette
• Yardley 1770, 1ml eau de toilette
• Beaufort London Coeur de Noir, 2ml eau de parfum
• Gruhme for Him, 5ml eau de toilette
• Montblanc Legend Spirit, 1.2ml eau de toilette
Elemis Ice Cool Foaming Shave Gel, 100ml
Penhaligon’s No 33 Beard Scrub, 5ml
Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream for Men, 15ml
Phew. You can see why they couldn’t fit it all into one episode!
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Pia makes a really good point at the start of the video, saying if you’re a woman who happens to prefer fresh or less obviously ‘feminine’ fragrances, then you should also get the box for yourself. We happily wear several of the ‘male’ orientated scents in the box, but called it ‘Scent of a Man’ because this was the first ever perfume box curated for the chaps. In a world where everything can now be seen as ‘shared’ or ‘unisex’ we kind of wanted to point out this was created with them in mind (but nothing to stop us gals from helping ourselves, too!)
So if your appetite has been whetted you can watch part one of the video review below, and then pop here to buy the box – only £15 for VIP Subscribers or £19 otherwise.
Or, if you have the box already, why not join Nick and Pia in a sniffalong as you watch the video?

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Abercrombie & Fitch break the mould with new men’s launch First Instinct

Abercrombie and Fitch have been a brand synonymous with gorgeous boys, polo shirts, muscly abs and horse riding, but not any more. To go with a brand new look they have in store, all slick shirts and modern cuts, they’ve released a new fougère fragrance for men, First Instinct.

Inspired by the fearless male, perfumer Phillipe Romano created First Instinct with the hopes of blending a contemporary fragrance that took the fresh facets of fougère scents and combined them with the warmth of orientals. And what he produced does just that.

First off, it breaks the mould with an unusual top note of melon; fruity notes are uncommon in male fragrances, and with good reason, but this melon blends beautifully with a gin and tonic accord to make for a sparkling and refreshing opening. Clean and crisp on the nose.

Moving on to an inviting heart of green and slightly aqueous violet leaves, there’s a touch of citrus that adds evermore to the freshness of the whole affair, it later trails off with a spicy but soft black pepper. The base is rounded off sweetly with cashmere woods, warm and rich amber, and sueded musk.

Housed in a sleek textured glass bottle that gives the affect of rippling water, we can picture it perfectly on the neck of a sea swept and sun-kissed man. We urge you to have a sniff.

Abercrombie and Fitch First Instinct £30 for 30ml eau de toilette
At Selfridges

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Jean Paul Gaultier gets eau fraiche with Popeye & Betty Boop!

Every year, fans of Jean Paul Gaultier‘s Le Male and Classique fragrances are treated to a new incarnation of the iconic bottles – always dressed to impress and collected by ‘fume-heads the world over, we think the comic-book inspired duo of Popeye and Betty Boop bottles may be the cutest yet, and with a tonque-in-cheek advertising campaign to match!

From a sassy comic book called Spinach & Stockings to flick through online, to adorable downloadable postcards, we totally heart the high spirits of it all – so in tune with Gaultier’s own wink-wink humour and a paean to the originality and way-ahead-of-their time nature of the scents themselves, now getting eau fraiche with extra ingredients added to the juice for the (hopefully) warmer months ahead…

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‘A sexy fabric softener. A fragrance built on fabric softener accord; clean and fresh like an immaculate tank top ready to slip into. Created by perfumer Nathalie Gracia-Cetto. Neroli flower and mint enrich the base. Sage, a welcome and gentle gustatory ripple marries the Tonka bean, sandalwood and vanilla, the sensual base notes because a tank top is always sexy.’

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Mâle Eau Fraiche £54 for 125 ml eau de toilette
Buy it at The Perfume Shop

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‘A torrid, sugar syrup. An unusual blend assembled around white flowers created by perfumer Daphné Bugey. Ginger, indivisible from Classique, is found as an overdose of gourmand: crystalline, reminiscent of a lemon sorbet; sharp, yes, but sweetened with sugar cane juice. Sugar cane, with a sensual edge from the Labdanum Neo. Vanilla is also present. But musk has the final word and rushes to let the brain know we’ll be back for more.’

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Eau Fraiche £67 for 100ml eau de toilette
Buy it at The Perfume Shop

Written by Suzy Nightingale