Suits You: a made-to-measure fragrance guide for men at weddings

What fragragrance to wear at your / a wedding’ perfume guides are plentiful, but almost exclusively aimed at women (either as brides, bridesmaids or guests). This isn’t a phrase you’ll often hear me utter in life, but: ‘what about the men?‘ Sometimes they attend weddings, too. Sometimes (more frequently than ever, these days) they even like to smell nice. While the ripples of shock subside, I present for your delectation a guide that proposes [warning: other puns will follow] a selection of scent suggestions for men to wear at a summer wedding, and exactly how to go about finding the perfect one…

What are you wearing?

Yes, okay, extremely likely to be a suit if you’re in the Western hemisphere, but think about the colour and material. Our senses are complexly intertwined, so tones and texture of fabric can genuinely give you a head-start into fragrance families to look for. Silk blends suggest cool, smooth compositions perhaps with cardamom or sandalwood as notes, while light wool might suggest a drier, woody scent – something with cedar, vetiver or guiacwood in the base.

Even consider ‘matching’ the colour of your suit to the packaging or bottle a brand has put their fragrance in – they spend considerable amounts of time and money ensuring the way a fragrance looks evokes something of the way a composition smells. If your suit is black or grey, look instead at the accessories (tie / cravat / handkerchief) – dark red or plum colours could lead you to an opulent rose (yes, it works amazingly on men’s skin and features in many masculine launches of late!) or something with berries, pink pepper fruity notes.

This isn’t a strict guide, because everyone has differing opinions on what certain colours ‘smell’ like; but it’s a starting point. And when you’re suddenyl struck wide-eyed with terror at the overwhelming choice in the perfume shop aisle (before heading up the aisle to the altar), you need somewhere to start.

 

If you already love a fragrance but want to try something different

It’s a good idea to have a differing scent for a wedding – particularly if you’re the one getting married – because smell is the sense that’s most closely plugged into the section of our brain that stores memory and emotions; therefore, you can tap into those happy times again whenver you wish, simply by spraying that particular scent again. Also, we hope you’re treating yourself to a new outfit, not just whatever happens to be the cleanest and least-creased thing knocking about on the bedroom chair; so why wouldn’t you wear a new scent, too?

Have a look at our genius Fragrance Finder – simply input the name of a scent you already wear, and it’ll give you SIX suggestions of new fragrances to try with similar notes, themes or ‘feel’ about them, all in differing price ranges. It REALLY works – just try it for yourself to see!

Know your skin type.

Fragrance can waft fabulously on some people for hours, while that same scent might only have a mere whiff left after an hour of you wearing it. It depends, basically, on how oily your skin is naturally, and the climate you’re in. Fragrances are generally composed of oils in an alcohol base, and these evaporate at differing rates (hence Top / Heart / Base notes); so the drier your skin, the hotter the weather, the more quickly your scent will disappear.

If this is your experience, you might want to avoid a scent that’s mainly citrus-based or a very light formulation (such as Cologne) as those notes can evaporate within half an hour; though having said that, modern advances using aroma chemicals can help vastly prolong some citrus scents. See if the fragrance has an Eau de Parfum or ‘Intense’ version – these have a highter fragrance to alcohol base ratio so last much longer – or layer with matching products such as shower gel and body lotion. The more moisturised your skin, the longer the fragrance will cling to it.

Also consider carrying a pocket-sized version for on-the-go top-ups – many houses offer travel sizes, or you can buy brilliant (and very stylish) mini atomisers, such as Travalo, in which you can safely decant from your full-size bottle.

 

Travalo atomisers £28 ab-presents.co.uk

 

 

BRIONI
Brioni
Characterful, suave and assured as the perfectly tailored menswear it’s the fragrant emblem of, founded in Rome in 1945, the pared-back style is perfectly reflected in Master Perfumer Michel Almairac’s hands. Green apple studded with pink pepper feels like a cool sip of gin, while violet and Ambroxan are perfectly blended with tonka bean and musk, like a second skin. Instant classic, aisle be bound! [You were warned about the puns], and there’s two other versions – one fresher, the other an Intense – also available.
£95 for 100ml eau de parfum (60ml exclusive to retail)
brioni.com

 

PS: You can try a sample of Brioni in the Niche VI Discovery Box (along with nine other niche scents for £23 / VIPs £19)

 

 

DUNHILL
Icon Racing Red
There’s some extra pep in this engine – perhaps the sizzle of spicier notes with the warm glow of that rich amber base does it, but nonetheless we can say the red is rather racier than its somewhat sleeker (but still fabulous) Racing Blue garage-mate. Sun-filled solar notes remind us of driving, top down, ‘round winding lanes on holiday (perhaps pressaging the honeymoon?) with a carefree abandon, the zing of the citrus speeding the verdant freshness of leafy fern and geranium – a welcome reception before the nuzzle-me-closer frankincense-y infused church pews base kicks in.
£94 for 100ml eau de parfum
fenwick.co.uk

 

 

 

PENHALIGON’S
Constantinople
One for gents that desire being veiled in something more opulent and exotic, this highly refined, almost leathery iris feels like an intricately carved wooden shutter suddenly flung open to welcome evening air and blazing skies, a tang of salty shores nearby carrying waves of delicate, powdered spices on the breeze. Beneath an earthy, mossy layer nestles seams of liquid vanilla, milky ripples later reflect moonlight, harbouring the expectation and tingling anticipation of tonight’s nuptial adventures…
£178 for 100ml eau de parfum
penhaligons.com

 

 

 

GIORGIO ARMANI
Acqua di Giò EDP
Requring the comfort of familiarity with a fresh feel? ‘An eternally iconic fragrance reinvented for the future’, this new interpretation reflects Armani’s sustainability commitment. Aromatic and luminous, the consciously-sourced ingredients fizz with the freshness of green mandarin, lightly musky, tobacco-like notes in the clary sage heart, and a sheer yet enduring patchouli essence. An instant hit when it was launched in 1996, this so-stylish contemporary and eco-conscious (refillable) update is to be celebrated again – Alberto Morillas working his magic with the planet in mind.
£98 for 125ml eau de parfum
boots.com

 

 

 

PARFUMS DE MARLY
Greenley
A distinctly greener vibe for this much-loved niche house, bringing the feeling of a contemporary Cologne but (importantly) with the benefit of far greater staying power in a concentrated eau de parfum. Bursting with citrus up top, the petitgrain grants an immediate freshness, a fruity interpretation of cashmere wood fused with crisp apple and the shady cool of violet. Amberwood ripples throughout, making this feel like a much-needed stroll through the woodlands if you’re feeling the need to escape the wedding-planning madness.
£175 for 75ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

 

 

Juicy mandarin is married here to the powerhouse icon that is Molecule 01 – the first fragrance that propelled this house’s perfumed fame. The sophisticated freshness just keeps on going (and helps you hang on) thanks to perfumer Geza Schoen. ‘I’ve touched it up with a little extra shading to extend it, adding a mandarin ingredient used in flavourings to give it super-juiciness’ he explains. Then the warm-skin purr of ISO E Super sashays in: ‘That’s unusual – for a top note ingredient like Mandarin and a base note like Iso E Super to dance together naked like this, without other notes coming between them.’

Escentric Molecules M+ Mandarin £95 for 100ml or try a sample in their M+ Discovery Set £20

 

 

 

Here’s a thought – if you’re nervous about that first dance, or ‘dad dancing’ as a guest, simply spray the M+ Mandarin and imagine everyone naked. Well. Maybe not everyone, depending of course on how you feel about your in-laws. But seriously, the right fragrance truly can give you an extra boost of confidence, helping you feel stronger and energised throughout the day as well as making scent memories to last a lifetime. I so hope this little guide has given you some help to finding yours…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

 

How to choose fragrance as a gift (with men in mind…)

How to choose a fragrance as a gift is something we get asked a lot – from those looking to treat the men in lives with a new scent, and from people just starting to explore the fragrant world themselves. Either way, those endless shelves of scented posibilities can seem daunting – especially if you’re shopping online.

With Father’s Day around the corner, fragrant gifts are much on our minds, but we wanted to create a guide that gets your started on your journey and, even better, can be used for any time you find yourself confused while pondering perfumes.

If you’re buying a scented present:

Don’t leave it to random chance – that could go wrong. Tell him that something exciting’s on the way and treat him to a selection box of new scents (you can always buy the full-size of the one he loves most, later!)

Take a look at some of the suggestions, below. But first, ask yourself this:

Can the man in your life (or you) still wear, with no shame, the same jeans he was wearing aged 17? We’re hardly ones to judge (especially after lockdown!) but we’re betting most could not – and even if they could, that it would be really quite inadvisable for them to do so.

Why, then, do some poor chaps keep getting given the same old scent they’ve been using since they were first shaving?

Let’s change it up… So, think about:

 

 

 

 

What type of a chap are you buying for?

Character, hobbies and personal style are all pointers, but can never be an absolute guarantee of what he’ll prefer – he might just surprise you (and himself!) That’s why a selection of samples to try at home is the best bet. Masculine fragrances have moved on somewhat since the ‘splash it all over’ one-size-fits-all sporty-fresh-or-nothing days. Now there are ‘gender fluid’ fragrances categories, and men are offered opulent ambers along with sophisticated fougéres; addictive gourmands, bigger, bolder Colognes and even floral-forward scents that smell utterly incredible on a man’s skin.

Where to begin?

1: If you already know a fragrance they like

Have a look at matching products available, such as a gorgeously decadent grooming products like body/beard oils and shower gels or body lotions. It’s often possible to find travel-size versions of fragrances (which are always useful and well-recieved).

If you don’t want to get them the same old thing, then take a look at our genius Fragrance Finder – simply input the name of a scent they already wear, and it’ll give you SIX suggestions of new fragrances to try with similar notes, themes or ‘feel’ about them, all in differing price ranges. It REALLY works – just try it for yourself to see!

 

 

 

 

2: If you’ve no idea what they like / How to choose fragrance

Think about how they dress, or the way they decorate their home – this is an excellent indication as to their character, and therefore the style of scent they probably prefer. Are there particular materials they’re drawn towards, or colours they normally go for? Fragrance, texture and colour and have many qualities in common.

Look for scents packaged in those colours – huge amounts of time and money are spent ‘matching’ the juice to the mood evoked by those hues – or described with those words, such as ‘velvety’, ‘suede’ or ‘crisp cotton’ in the notes. Or consider their interests: sporty gym types might prefer fresher scents, artistic types might prefer a more opulent aesthetic.

But scent selection isn’t always a matter of joining the dots – some people like fragrances you’d never guess at! So the absolute best solution is to buy them a Discovery Box so they can try all manner of differing fragrances in their own time. They may even surprise themselves with their favourite!

[Pssst! We’ve also extended our offer of 20% off Men’s Must Have, Suave Scents and Niche VI Discovery Boxes to treat your papa, a father-figure or special guy in your life to perfume for Father’s Day! Use the Code: FATHERS22 at the checkout to redeem!]

Father’s Day Gift Guide – fragrance ideas for all!

With so many olfactive options, we had to split our Father’s Day gift guide into two parts (for the first fragrant list of suggestions, click here); this second-half focuses on curated selections that showcase the entire range from a single house, or perhaps highlight their all-time classic best-selling buys. With scents ranging from cool and contemporary to smooth and sophisticated – spanning new niche names to much-loved designer favourites – there truly is something for all tastes…

[Pssst! We’ve also extended our offer of 20% off Men’s Must Have, Suave Scents and Niche VI Discovery Boxes to treat your papa, a father-figure or special guy in your life to perfume for Father’s Day! Use the Code: FATHERS22 at the checkout to redeem!]

 

 

 

Escentric Molecules Discovery Set: £25

Utterly unique duos of these cult fragrances combine a man-made aroma-molecule with naturals that boost that main scent. Rebels of the perfume world, founded by maverick perfumer Geza Schoen; Escentric Molecules allow your lucky gift-recipient to share a journey of fragrant exploration via their brilliant Discovery Set. Try each of them in turn, compare the FIVE pairs, and find out why this continually innovative house are set to blow your mind…

The Escentric Molecules Discovery Set includes FIVE duos x 2ml samples. 

Escentric 01 – the Iso E Super molecule features heavily, with the remaining formula using ingredients ‘designed to underscore its low-lit mood.’

Molecule 01 – the ‘partner’ to Escentric 01 contains nothing but Iso E Super – a single ingredient

Escentric 02 – vetiver, synthetic musk, Muscone plus powdery orris, elderflower extract and hedione

Molecule 02 – unadulterated Ambroxan

Escentric 03 – a tribute to the more familiar side of vetiver: its dark, slightly exotic woodiness.

Molecule 03 – Vertiveryle acetate, a refined vetiver note is celebrated at its purest

Escentric 04 – pink grapefruit, rose and pink peppercorns

Molecule 04 – a seriously room-filling sillage of smooth sandalwood

Molecule 05  – consists of the molecule Cashmeran pure and singular

Escentric 05 – dry, radiant, warm and woody with a touch of pine resin

 

 

 

 

Banana Republic: £8

Created in 1978 out of an intrepid travel-inspired couple’s dream, Banana Republic went on to become a GLOBAL FASHION BRAND. Now, they bring us an oh-so-cool, niche-inspired fragrance collection. Developed with perfumers such as Claude Dir and Patricia Choux, to mark significant dates and personal memories for the brand, though incredibly affordable, they certainly don’t compromise on quality, and have seriously impressed us at Perfume Society HQ!

Neroli Woods – with oodles of neroli and orange blossom, evoking holidays to the South of France (1.5ml eau de parfum)

17 Oud Mosaic – a mosaic of internationally-beloved aromas

78 Vintage Green – leafy and green, it captures the fantasy of travel and freedom

90 Pure White – transparent yet sexy, with a blend of musk and lavender

 

 

 

Cochine: £20 / VIPs £16

Inspired by the exotic escapism of world travel and enjoying long summer evenings somewhere in the tropics, these unique fragrances capture the very essence of adventure (and the adventurous spirits of those who choose to wear their scents). Yes there are florals, but this niche house are unisex, and they’re composed with such a freshness, it’s as though the salty ocean air carries the fragrance on a scented, balmy breeze. And we happen to know they smell amazing on men’s skin!

Vanille & Tabac Noir – This alluring scent captures the magic of sunset evenings. Sensual notes of tobacco flower and vanilla blend with hints of patchouli, cardamon and basil in a scent that swirls with rich, delicate spices.

Frangipani & Neroli – A scent that will sweep you away to white, tropical sandy shores. This exotic fragrance blends smooth, honeyed notes of frangipani with the delicate freshness of neroli.

Tuberose & Wild fig – A rich, indulgent fragrance that captures soul-reviving sun-warmed evenings. Enchanting tuberose is combined with earthy notes of wild fig and hints of vetiver and cedar wood to create this inescapably romantic scent.

Tuberose Absolute & Sandalwood – This is the scent of exotic and unforgettable nights. Intriguing tuberose combines with rich leather and sandalwood in this intoxicating, utterly addictive fragrance.

White Jasmine & Gardenia – An exquisite floral fragrance that captures a feeling of joyous freedom. Soft, white petals of rich jasmine, gardenia and peony come together to create this unforgettable scent

 

 

Floris Classic: £35

Founded in 1730, Floris is still operating out of its original premises, run by members of that same family, creating beautiful fragrances for men and for women…We have long adored Floris at Perfume Society HQ and with creations here ranging from crisp citrus to rich and woody, we are so excited to share this Discovery Collection containing five cult classic, completely timeless fragrances he simply has to try.

Special No.127 – a refreshing citrus blend of bergamot and orange with petitgrain introduces the heart of lavender and geranium.

Limes – a vibrant burst of the lemon entwined with lime blossom, neroli, and lily of the valley, sustained by a musky base.

Cefiro – crisp lemon and lime, punctuated with bergamot and mandarin, warmed by spicy notes of cardamom and nutmeg.

Neroli Voyage – opening with a citrus burst of neroli and lemon, complemented by marine notes and enlivened by spicy notes of ginger and aromatic fennel seed.

Leather Oud – the freshness of new leather compliments the smoky aspects of the oud oil and geranium at the heart.

 

 

 

 

Map of the Heart: £35

Co-founders Sarah Blair and Jeffrey Darling have long collaborated in writing, design and film. For them it was a natural step to take that into fragrance – a wearable art form. With full-size bottles designed by the legendary Pierre Dinand, each fragrance resembles an anatomical model of the human heart, featuring Australian sandalwood as a signature written in scent. So let him dive in – and see which fragrance draws his heart closer.

Clear Heart v.1 – Australian summer: surfing, swimming, hot days, cool breezes and the salt that hangs in the air promising more.

Black Heart v.2 – Smoky. Impolite. Dangerous. It’s smoky heart of mysterious spices is shot through with shards of fresh eucalyptus and citrus to create an impolite mix of opposites.

Red Heart v.3 – Explosive. Seductive. Addictive. A composition of feijoa, tuberose and spices with sensual notes of musk and vanilla.

Gold Heart v.4 – Nurturing. Precious. Ancient. An exotic warm breeze that wraps around to protect and nurture.

Purple Heart v.5 – Brave. Instinctive. Triumphant. Inverying the olfactory pyramid by opening darker and then brightening

Pink Heart v.6 – Mingles on the skin with the spiciness of the sumac accord and cistus absolute for a mesmerising ride.

White Heart v.7 – The ethereal and sharp opening of French lavender, aldehyde and cardamom coolly invite us into the vast landscape of love.

 

 

 

Memoize: £57

Our sense of the smell is the most powerful emotional link we can trigger – and Memoize London set out to create a collection of scents that did much more than simply make you smell exquisite. As they explain, when smelling a fine fragrance, ‘the merest hint of something familiar can trigger a special memory or wonderful moment in our lives that we treasure forever.’ Using scent as a journey, the Light collection is an invitation to clear the mind and enhance the soul. One for stressed-out peace-seeking chaps, perhaps…?

Castitas – The essence of purity, honesty and innocence, to remind you of your purest moments.

Industria – The essence of strength and perseverance, the tenacity to fulfil your hopes and dreams.

Caritas – The essence of generosity, charity and kindness, to remind you of the goodness held within.

Temperantia – The essence of calmness, modesty and great wisdom, reminiscent of that moment of pure calm and tolerance.

Patientia – The essence of patience and tranquillity, the endurance and resilience to stand firm and strong.

Humanitas – The essence of kindness and compassion, wraps itself around you like an old friend.

Humilitas – The essence of modesty, humility and grace, aware of your greatness, without the need to prove it to the world.

White Castitas – The essence of great honour and integrity, your body and soul are cleansed, your mind is clear.

 

 

 

Contradictions in ILK: £48

Asking the simple question ‘how do you feel today?’ is the starting point of this personality-led, unisex perfume collection. This collection beckons him to ‘go within’ and celebrate his complexities through scent. Face up to dark and provocative thoughts or dare to daydream, using his emotions as a guide. But, say the house, we are complex beings, and we do not always feel one emotion at one time; so artistic types are especially drawn to expressing themselves by layering these intriguing fragrances.

Devious – inspired by the poisonous effect you can have on your own mind when over-indulging in dark and devious thoughts

Fantasist – a fantasia of delectable treats and mystical promises from distant and otherworldly lands

Infatuated – an ode to the all-consuming feeling and whirring thoughts of a lovelorn teenager endlessly daydreaming of unrequited love

Libertine – imagining a palazzo in Venice, home to Casanova – the most famous libertine of all time, with a note evoking his favourite exotic tipple, known as ‘cordial orgeat’

Nonchalant – inspired by Josephine Baker, the first black film star, world renowned dancer, bisexual, wartime spy and American expat living in Paris, who is still the epitome of timeless, glamorous cool

Realist – follow a monk’s journey up a mountain and capture his enlightened spirit by inhaling the smell of the crisp mountain air and forest trees

Sincere – inspired by the sincerity of a mother’s love

Virtuous – taking its inspiration from the words of Dante: ‘Beauty awakens the soul to act’

 

 

 

 

AromAtom: £69 / VIPs £65

Offering close encounters of the fragrant kind,  wannabe astronaut or space-mad dads will go on journeys further than they ever dreamed possible with this unique collection! Planetary Scientist, Astrobiologist and perfumer Marina Barcenilla created four transportive fragrances, combining her love for science and skills as a perfumer, each of them existing in their own scent universe. Showcasing this way of travelling the solar-system with our sense of smell, these are undeniably quirky yet utterly wearable scents that are bound to be a talking (and sniffing) point.

Ground Control – black hemlock, cedars, spruce and fir trees. The heavy smell of sap hangs in the air.

Moon Walk  – the serene landscape in fragrance form – a world of sparkling dust and silvery mountains.

We are the Martians  – the alien, metallic and dusty smell combined with home comforts astronauts crave.

Out of this World – from planet Earth to the heart of the Milky Way via saffron, raspberry and rum.

 

 

 

 

MALIN+GOETZ: £22

Hailed for their strong visual aesthetic and their portfolio of award-winning skincare formulations, MALIN+GOETZ made a natural progression into the world of fragrance via a range of hand-made candles, long-lasting perfume oils and progressive fragrances for us to enjoy on our skin. Experience the entire collection of eau de parfums in one beautifully packaged discovery set which includes the following six fragrances… 

Bergamot – a citrus orchard in bloom, with the spice of bitter fruit, bell pepper and ginger, with undertones of earthy musk and woody notes.

Cannabis – rich and herbaceous, with soft, floral notes of muguet and magnolia, on a base of earthy cedarwood, patchouli and sandalwood.

Dark Rum – a refreshing dark and spicy aroma, sweetened with plum and bergamot, with notes of leather, rum and creamy milk.

Leather – a formula of muted florals with smooth leather while rustic wood notes call to mind the softness of a well-worn vintage find.

Stem – luscious notes of green hyacinth, muguet, mandarin leaves, and green elements from wild freesia, all softened by a trio of modern musk molecules.

Vetiver – a combination of fresh citrus peel twists that are warmed by savoury celery seed, amber and guaiacwood.

 

Fathers Day gift guide – your fragrant toolkit to find the right one

The options for a Father’s Day gift haven’t exactly kept apace with the vast array of more meaningful presents proffered for Mother’s Day, so maybe this year you’d like to consider giving something really special this year in the form of a specially selected fragrance?

But it can be difficult enough to select a new perfume for yourslf to wear, so when it’s a gifting occasion for a wonderful man in your life – be that a dad, father-figure or perhaps the father of your own children, where do you begin?

We’ve curated a fragrant toolkit of a gift guide be a starting point for your favourite chap(s) to explore fragrances. These Discovery Boxes have been chosen to encompass a wardrobe of scent styles, with something to please every age – or occasion. Because you don’t only have to buy these for giving on Fathers Day, do you? Why not consider purchasing ahead of time for other occasions. Especially considering we have an extra special promotion to announce  

Running until June 8th, we’re delighted to offer you all 20% off Men’s Must Have, Suave Scents and Niche VI Discovery Boxes to treat your papa to perfume for Father’s Day!

Use the Code: FATHERS22 at the checkout to redeem!

  

Men’s Must Have 

RRP (before discount) £15 / VIPs £12

The perfect treat or gift filled with all the fragrances men simply must have! This collection of male and unisex fragrances features globally adored best sellers and just launched scents from THoO, Jeroboam, DSquared2, Paco Rabanne, Bentley, Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace & Initio. Delve into the collection and get ready to be truly addicted to your new favourite fragrance….

 

 

 

Suave Scents

RRP (before discount) £23 / VIPs £19

A stellar line up of globally adored perfume houses, here:  Creed Viking Cologne to celebrate the explorer, Parfums de Marly Greenley for a burst of green freshness, and Comme des Garçon Rouge for an earthly and elegant spritz. Showcasing the incredible Floral Street Black Lotus (10ml)! And even more loved names including Bentley, Eight & Bob, JUSBOX, Mercedes Benz, Molton Brown, Paco Rabanne, Salvatore Ferragamo and Versace. We also bring you two fabulous grooming products! The divinely scented Molton Brown Re-Charge Black Pepper Body Wash (100ml), and Ultrasun Lip Protection 30spf to keep you, you guessed it, effortlessly suave…

 

 

Niche VI

RRP (before discount) £23 / VIPs

Help him prep for a perfume ‘holiday’ with these newly launched and cult classic niche unisex fragrances – that really are some of the best in the world. Escentric Molecules Molecule 01, we believe, should be part of everyones perfume wardrobe, so we’ve included a generous 7.5ml to spritz and layer, alongside the decadent classic 24 Old Bond Street from Atkinsons! Also including the newly launched Brioni, Lalique Noir Premier Plume Blanche 1901 and Sånd from ånd fragrance.

We’ve also included trailblazing and frankly exquisite fragrances from some of our best-loved brands; J.U.S Parfums Sexycrush, Paco Rabanne Pacollection Strong Me, St Giles The Writer, Initio Addictive Vibration, Eight & Bob Annicke 1 and this addictive extra from A’Kin with the cooling Cleansing Micellar Water. Spray away!

Still stuck for ideas? Searching for any fragrance gift (or treat yourself!) – our Find a Fragrance tool is here to help. Simply type in the name of a scent you know they (or you) already like, and our so-clever database will present you with six new fragrance options to try, with several budgets in mind. Scented and sorted!

Fragrant gift ideas for men this Christmas

Looking for fragrant gift ideas for men but don’t know where to start? Follow our handy guide to find the perfect one…

The days are long gone when chaps wore one scent for life (possibly something sold on TV by an ex sportsman) which they were urged to ‘splash all over’, and those in their immediate vicinity likely wished they hadn’t.

Indeed, we know many of our readers and subscribers are men who love exploring the wider world of fragrances available to them now. But if you’re scent shopping for the special guy in your life – perhaps someone who’s interested but hasn’t quite figured out his personal scent style yet – it can be a tricky business thinking of something that shows you’ve been thoughtful and considered their character, but also pushes them (gently!) out of their comfort zone a little.

So, where to begin?

If you happen to know some names of fragrances they’ve loved wearing, type one in to our simple Find a Fragrance tool: the so-clever algorithm suggests six new scents with similar characters to try. Narrow down the selection by asking yourself…

What type of a chap are you buying for?

Age, character, hobbies and career are all pointers to fragrant gift ideas for men, but can never be an absolute guarantee of what he’ll prefer – he might just surprise you (and himself!) Masculine fragrances have moved on somewhat since the one-size-fits-all sporty-fresh-or-nothing days. Now there are ‘gender fluid’ fragrances categories, and men are offered a fragrant feast along with sophisticated fougéres; addictive gourmands, bigger, bolder Colognes, opulent ambers and even floral-forward scents that smell utterly incredible on a man’s skin.

However, we know not all chaps will be as open to more experiemental scents styles, so we’ve put together the ideal starting point with a selection of Discovery Boxes, specially curated with a range of fragrances to suit all tastes – from more classic and designer names to cult, niche houses they’ll love to explore.

Have a look at our current top picks of fragrant gift ideas for men, below…

 

 

Contemporary scents putting a modern twist on a local apothecary approach to luxury, MALIN+GOETZ have excelled with this NEW Discovery Set of SIX invigorating fragrance delights. £22

 

 

 

Music-lovers will adore these stunningly packaged, musical genre-inspired fragrances. Each of the 14 JUSBOX scents pays homage to an icon or era in music, with their own playlists on Spotify! £35

 

Paring fine fragrance with fashion-leading (cruelty free) pampering treats since 1973, iconic British brand Molton Brown built a global reputation on modern classics, with scents suit all tastes. £33

 

 

Founded in 1730, Floris create beautiful contemporary-style fragrances, as well as true classics. Still run by members of the family, heritage is taken to new levels with this niche-led collection. £35

 

 

The perfect gift for scent lovers to create their own bespoke fragrance, Emmanuelle Moeglin started Experimental Perfume Club in 2016. Now you can share & compare your layer combos! £32

How to choose a men’s fragrance

How to choose a men’s fragrance is something we get asked a lot – from those looking to treat the men in lives with a new scent, and from chaps’ just starting to explore the fragrant world themselves. Either way, those endless shelves of scented posibilities can seem daunting – especially if you’re shopping online.

Worry not! We’ve made it easy for you. Simply follow our guide of how to start sniffing out a brave new world…

If you’re buying a scented present:

Don’t leave it to random chance – that could go wrong. Tell him that something exciting’s on the way and treat him to a selection box of new scents (you can always buy the full-size of the one he loves most, later!)

Take a look at some of the suggestions, below. But first, ask yourself this:

Can the man in your life (or you) still wear, with no shame, the same jeans he was wearing aged 17? We’re hardly ones to judge (especially after lockdown!) but we’re betting most could not – and even if they could, that it would be really quite inadvisable for them to do so.

Why, then, do some poor chaps keep getting given the same old scent they’ve been using since they were first shaving?

Let’s change it up… So, think about:

What type of a chap are you buying for?

Character, hobbies and personal style are all pointers, but can never be an absolute guarantee of what he’ll prefer – he might just surprise you (and himself!) That’s why a selection of samples to try at home is the best bet. Masculine fragrances have moved on somewhat since the ‘splash it all over’ one-size-fits-all sporty-fresh-or-nothing days. Now there are ‘gender fluid’ fragrances categories, and men are offered opulent ambers along with sophisticated fougéres; addictive gourmands, bigger, bolder Colognes and even floral-forward scents that smell utterly incredible on a man’s skin.

Where to begin?

We have put together the ideal starting point with our just-launched Men’s Must Have’s Discovery Box. This collection of male and unisex fragrances is perfect for those who wish to bush the boundaries and try uniquely bold and statement scents from some of the hottest niche names and luxe designer houses around. It features globally adored best sellers and just launched scents from THoO, Jeroboam, DSquared2, Paco Rabanne, Bentley, Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace & Initio. (Read about each scent individually, here).

Men’s Must Have’s  £15 (VIP Price £12)

If you’re after something a little more traditional in style, but with enough intriguing twists to tantilise the senses, we suggest the Suave Scents Discovery Box. Designed with men in mind (or anyone who prefers a more ‘masculine’ fragrance vibe), the line-up has fragrances for every facet of a personality, the sheer variety of styles exuding everything from outdoors-y adventurous to more classically suave, with Creed Viking Cologne, Parfums de Marly Greenley, Comme des Garçon Rouge, Floral Street Black Lotus, Bentley, Eight & Bob, JUSBOX, Mercedes Benz, Molton Brown, Paco Rabanne, Salvatore Ferragamo and Versace. We also bring you two fabulous grooming products! The divinely scented Molton Brown Re-Charge Black Pepper Body Wash (100ml), and Ultrasun Lip Protection 30spf

Suave Scents £23 (VIP Price £19)

We also have an incredible selection of other Discovery Boxes, specially curated with a range of fragrances to suit all tastes – from classic and designer names to cult, niche houses they’ll love to explore. AND a great range of Brand Sets, which is the perfect way to sample a houses’ collection to get a real sense of their character.

Wherever you choose to begin, this scent adventure of trying new fragrances at home really takes away the stress of happening across ‘THE ONE’ (a concept we don’t really believe in for most people, anyway. A wardrobe of scents to match your mood / time of year / occasion are the way forward…)

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Gentle Fluidity – a fragrant dance of two halves

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Gentle Fluidity – a duo of fragrances encompassing the same ingredients, but with utterly differing characters and, therefore, emotional responses in the wearer. We caught up with Francis Kurkdjian himself, to discover the intricacies of two fragrances with ‘same notes, two identities‘…

Within both the Gentle Fluidity Gold and Gentle Fluidity Silver, you will find juniper berries, nutmeg, coriander, musks, amber wood and vanilla. But surely no scents have ever more firmly proved that mere lists of the materials a perfumer’s used are no better way of judging a final fragrance than being given the names of the paint colours a particular artist favours. What’s missing in the bare bones of a list is the emotional flesh of the fragrance. And MFK’s Gold and Silver get their messages across – clearly, but with infinite subtleties. Such is the skill of Kurkdjian.

So, what do they smell like? Gentle Fluidity Gold is warm, nuzzly – it glimmers the way a gilded bronzer does on the skin before wrapping you in a hug of deliciously creamy woodiness. Gentle Fluidity Silver, meanwhile, is cooler, frosted almost, the ultra refined juniper to the fore as it gently caresses the skin. Two sides of the same coin, or of your own personality, perhaps? Who better to explain them than Francis Kurkjian himself?

Beyond the technical skill of the nose, there is an alchemy that takes place – an invisible message from perfumer to perfume-wearer, and from the person who wears the scent to every passer by that smells it. Our personal reactions may not be the same, but those responses are instantaneous and unbidden. At an event hosted by fragrance writer Alice du Parcq, perfumer and founder, Francis Kurkdjian, told us the story of how the scents were inspired – alongside a glimpse of the stunning new advertising campaign, which expresses the scents in a medium close to Kurkdjian’s heart (and his past, as a ballet dancer).

 

The new Gentle Fluidity campaign draws the artistic and emotional analogy between perfume and dance, an art that deeply shaped Francis Kurkdjian’s personality. The complicity between the two dancers and the fluidity of their movements are a symbol of the synergy among the ingredients of the two Gentle Fluidity eaux de parfum.

 

Within the private area of a restaurant in London, the face of Francis Kurkdjian is virtually beamed across the channel via a large television screen. A small group of invited press are here for a Masterclass in his Gentle Fluidity fragrances.

‘I like the idea of telling a story through ballet, that’s very important to me,’ he says, as the sinuous forms of two dancers weave around eachother on screen – a visual evocation of how the fragrances are united yet apart.

‘At the very beginning I only had one scent. I thought the idea was close to unisex, or a gender free scent.’ Francis looks into the middle distance and considers awhile, as he recalls his creative influences. ‘During the process I changed my mind. I wanted to form a new shape from the same DNA, like fake twins in a way.’

‘The original name was Gender Fluidity,’ Kurkdjian elucidates, ‘but I had a friend who kept mispronouncing it, and I thought he was right actually. I like the idea of kindness in the name.’ Talking about the term ‘unisex’ and concepts of gender – in fragrance, in life itself – Kurkjian continued: ‘I think the idea of being “gender fluid” will in time even become dated, it won’t be seen as being “different” because we will have lived with [the concept], we will completely accept that. Whereas fluidity and gentleness are timeless.’

‘It’s all about how you put two things together and they can resonate very differently. The magic of using an ingredient with something else is amazing. Lemon on its own is just lemon. If you start to play and add two other notes next to each other, they vibrate differently.

For the gold version there’s an overdose of vanilla and musk. The musk gives an airiness. Like a ballon within the vanilla. In ballet, my teacher used to tell me when I jumped, you need the feeling of balloon, the feeling of floating all the while gravity is trying to pull you down.’

‘Once I’d defined the gold version, I could define the silver version. I looked at how I could reshape and rebalance. The creative process for me is always chaos, but in my head I’m organised’ he chuckled.

 

 

Discussing how it can still be difficult to get some men to try anything other than scents specifically marketed ‘for men’, Kurkdjian smiled wryly as he gave an example he’s often seen:

‘When a woman wears a man’s fragrance she doesn’t question her femininity at all. Maybe because women have worn trousers for so long? Whereas with men, if you give them a scent to smell on a white card they will like it, but then if you tell them that fragrance was made for women, the majority of them completely disregard it. Perfume is a real mirror of society…’

For more on Kurkdjian’s opinions of ‘gender’ in fragrance, do read his fascinating post Raw Materials Have No Gender, on the Maison’s website. Meanwhile, do seek out the Gentle Fluidity duo and allow them to dance on your skin – we wonder which you will be most instantly drawn to, or what occasions you might wish to wear them to express the multiple sides of your own character…

 

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Gentle Fluidity Gold / Maison Francis Kurkdjian Gentle Fluidity Silver £165 for 70ml eau de parfum at harveynichols.com

By Suzy Nightingale

Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal Pour Homme – GIVEAWAY!

Enter our GIVEAWAY to be in with a chance of getting a full-size bottle of Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal Pour Homme – scroll down to watch the stunning ad campaign and find out how to get your hands (and nose) on this fabulous new fragrance, worth over £70!

The new Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal Pour Homme scent certainly packs a punch – in more ways than one. First, there’s the fresh breeze of herbacious sage, with handfuls of ripe mandarin (skin, flesh, pulp, seeds – the whole fruit squeezed into the bottle). Then, toasty tonka bean leans in closer for an addictive, skin-like caress, with the vibrant woodiness of vetiver vibrating sensually in the base. Of course, the house of Jean Paul Gaultier is known for the utterly mesmirising and quirkily glam advertising campaigns, and the one for Scandal Pour Homme certainly thinks outside the box(ing ring)…

To enter this giveaway, here’s what you need to do:

Follow @theperfumesociety on Instagram

Like the Scandal Pour Homme giveaway post there

Tag 3 friends in the comments on that post, who you think would also love this fragrance

The competition closes midnight Friday 24th September 2021 GMT. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted via our @theperfumesociety account. We will not contact winners before the closing date via any external accounts. Please do not accept accounts claiming to be us. The competition is for U.K. residents only. Good luck!

Kenzo Homme is reinvented & reveals new (unexpected!) ‘face’

You’d imagine the new ‘face’ of the newly reinvented Kenzo Homme Eau de Toilette Intense would be a model or celebrity, right? Well think again, as the age of employing people for their looks alone to advertise fragrance seems to be coming to an end. In line with scent ‘celebrating nature’, step forward ‘engaged entrepreneur’ Orin Hardy

First launched in 1991, Kenzo Homme is one of those classics that stood the test of time, but in order to help it move with the times, Kenzo Parfums’ explain the newly invigorated Eau de Toilette Intense is ‘Inspired by the remarkable strength and flexibility of sustainable and recyclable bamboo’ and that the fragrance ’embodies values and engagement.’

For the new Eau de Toilette Intense, Kenzo Parfums’ chose renowned perfumer Quentin Bisch (Givaudan) sprinkles pink pepper for spicy freshness and a molecule called ‘calypsone’ for an extra aquatic dimension (there’s that water-themed trend we’ve seen rising again). Earthy, groundingly cool vetiver is warmed by a woody fig note in the heart, while smooth, calming sandalwood swirls through akigalawood. The marine-woody fragrance evokes sun-warmed salty skin. Eliciting the power of the ocean and the lush bamboo forest, the scent is embodied by Orin Hardy, an engaged entrepreneur who grew up in Indonesia.’

The founder of Bamboo U has a passion for the extraordinary properties of bamboo. The ecological designer hopes to educate a new generation of creative talents about the potential of bamboo as a sustainable building material for innovative living spaces in harmony with nature. The new face of KENZO HOMME, Orin Hardy shares KENZO PARFUMS’ values of  generosity, respect for nature and poetry. To support his work, KENZO has created a scholarship that will enable ten students to study through the Bamboo U Project.

 

 

Director Clément Beauvais and photographer Arthur de Kersauson traveled to meet Orin Hardy to learn more about his ambitious project and shoot the campaign for the new Eau de Toilette Intense. ‘Connecting to nature is really about re-connecting to who we really are. We all want to make the world the best place it can be. And bamboo is one medium to make that happen,’ says Orin Hardy. An immersion into the beauty of Indonesian landscapes, the documentary is streaming on the KENZO PARFUMS website.

This ‘invitation to make the world more beautiful’, Says Kenzo Parfums, very much includes the bottle itself. ‘Reflecting KENZO’s longstanding commitment to eco-responsibility, the bottle contains 10% recycled glass and a cap design that saves 34% of plastic. The packaging is made of FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) certified paper, printed with bio-sourced inks. KENZO HOMME Eau de Toilette Intense perfectly symbolizes sustainable beauty.’

So, what does it smell like? Think wind-whipped hair and salt-licked skin, the serene strength of bamboo embracing the freedom of a sea breeze. Punctuated with piquant hits of pink peppercorn and a creamy, comforting caress of fig wood and sandalwood – it’s a moment to feel free, hopeful again, but still in need of that reassuring hug….

 

 

Kenzo Homme Eau de Toilette Intense £53 for 60ml eau de toilette
Try it at theperfumeshop.com

By Suzy Nightingale

Choosing a fragrance for Fathers Day (or whenever!) Male scents we’re swooning over

Choosing a fragrance for Fathers Day (or, you know, whenever) can seem overwhelming, but the best way to match a particular chap to a certain scent is think about their personalities. So, ditch the old-fashioned ‘pipe and slippers’ image still portrayed on many a Fathers Day card and consider his character. Is he…

 

Timelessly Stylish?

 

If he fancies himself as rather dapper and wouldn’t dream of stepping outside the house in joggers and an old t-shirt, we think he’s likely to favour a classic but characterful fragrance. This collection was designed with such men in mind, but here at Perfume Society HQ we implore everyone to explore this divine collection and discover the timeless aromas loved by the stars of old Hollywood.

Created by Albert Fouquet, a member of the French aristocracy, who would surprise his loved ones with exquisite homemade perfumes, blended lovingly with the help of his family butler, Philippe. One evening in 1937, Albert met an American student named John F. K. mesmerised by Albert’s scent, John persuaded him to leave him a sample. The rest, as they say, is history…

Now you can get set to feel truly special by spritzing these timeless and decadent scents, six true icons in fragrant history ready for you explore.

Eight & Bob Iconic Discovery Set £20 for six fragrances

 

Eclectically Heroic?

Okay so he might not exactly be a caped crusader but he tries his best, and he’s your hero. If his taste mightbbe described as ‘changeable’ or he’s not really sure which style of fragrances he likes, this discovery box is your scent saviour! Filled to the brim with something to suit all, it’s for super men everywhere.

We’ve included independent perfume houses making their mark: recently launched ånd fragrance with sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients at the forefront, decadent Italian niche with Laboratorio Olfattivo and Jovoy with their new creation based on the Mayfair store 21 Conduit St. Also including newness from loved names including St Giles, Parfums de Marly, Ruth Mastenbroek, Floris, Caron,Initio, Atelier Des Ors, Kierin NYC and Anima Vinci.

We also bring you TWO GROOMING PRODUCTS! FISH Memory Fish Flexible Gel (50ml), and the divinely scented beard savour WELEDA Skin Food (10ml). Up, up and a-spray…!

The Super Man Discovery Box £22 / £18 VIP price for 14 fragrances + two extra gifts

 

Rebellious Rocker?

 

If he’s still firmly attached to his skinny jeans and faded band-t-shirts (or can sometimes be lost for hours playing along to vinyl rarities) chances are he’s not going to want to smell hum-drum and ordinary. Offering a true sense of olfactory rebellion, dance into this so-sassy collection, all of which should be worn with a devil-may-care attitude.

ROOK PERFUMES are the perfect meeting place between art and science – with more than a little rock ‘n roll in their DNA. They were launched by a frontline doctor/actor (yes, really), Nadeem Crowe, who became enraptured with the world of perfumery, who says ‘I feel totally comfortable with pipettes, beakers and weighing scales. The outcome, though, is a piece of art.’

Discover ALL THREE UNISEX FRAGRANCES, Undergrowth, Forest and ROOK. The latter was created by Nadeem for himself, inspired by his Middle Eastern roots, and described as a ‘diplomat dressed up as a punk rocker’. Nadeem loves to hear the stories of how his fragrances transport others – so let us know which transported you…? 

Rook Perfumes Discovery Set £15 for three fragrances

 

Modern Maverick?

If he’s slightly eccentric, obsessed by science or futuristic technology and always ahead of his time, he’s bound to appreciate the loving fragrance nerd-ery behind this iconic cult house. Perfumer and founder Geza Schoen is, himself, a bit of a maverick. If you’re new to the Escentric Molecules world, you should know that Geza was dedicated to trying something new – and it was seen quite shockingly brave, but caused a scent storm of interest.

The reason? Schoen shook up the perfume world by creating a scent with one ingredient – an aroma-molecule non-existent in nature, called Iso E Super. Now this molecule has been expertly blended with other ingredients to really ramp up the individuality.

Geza says: ‘I’ve used two qualities of patchouli here. The biggest chunk is Patchouli Coeur which is a very clean, soft patchouli oil fraction with the camphor-like topnote removed. I have also included a patchouli oil from Indonesia to round it out with a little bit of a topnote. The result is a sophisticated, clean patchouli that pairs fantastically well with Molecule 01.’

Escentric Molecules M+ Patchouli £95 for 100ml

Geza says: ‘Mandarin is all about the instant hit. It’s so alive, the way it radiates off the skin with that citrus zestiness. But there’s more to mandarin, it’s very fruity and aromatic as well. It’s a beautiful ingredient. Its transparency means that it vanishes quickly. I’ve touched it up with a little extra shading to extend it, adding a mandarin ingredient used in flavourings to give it super-juiciness.’

Escentric Molecules M+ Mandarin £95 for 100ml