How to shop for men’s fragrances? Spread the love this Valentine’s Day (and beyond)

Are you looking to treat the man in your life with a new fragrance for Valentine’s Day, or a chap who’s just exploring the fragrant world for himself, those endless shelves of scented posibilities can seem daunting. 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. Better to tell him that something exciting’s on the way and treat him to a selection box of new scents – take a look at some of the suggestions, below. And first, ask yourself this:

Can the man in your life still wear, with no shame, the same jeans he was wearing aged 17? We’re hardly ones to judge, 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?

What type of a chap are you buying for?

Age, character, hobbies and career are all pointers, 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 ‘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 ambrées 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 a selection of 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.

The Men’s Edit Discovery Box £19 (£15 for VIPs)

A new season is approaching – and this is time for any man to switch heavier winter scents to a new fragrance wardrobe. We curated this selection especially for chaps looking to find something new, so there’s something for every man (and plenty of ‘borrowable’ finds) – including Bentley, Parfums de MarlyCristiano Ronaldo and TWO duos from cult brands – Escentric Molecule and Clive Christian – among others. This is a thrilling collection to sniff your way through, and with two added extras from Penhaligon’s and Aromatherapy Associates, this box is worth over £40 to begin with, and is priceless when you discover that new favourite…

 

Niche Collection II Discovery Box £19 (£15 for VIPs)

Our first Niche Collection sold out in record time, so we’ve chosen even more scents this time, including a 7.5ml of Anima Vinci Neroli Wisdom. Alongside treasured houses such as Amouage and Atkinsons we’ve included exciting newness from Parterre, Stories by Eliza Grace, Memoize, The Modernist, Tom Daxon. But it doesn’t stop there… We added skin-loving treats for chaps who know that pampering is self-love they can take part in, too. Keep your face glowing with the recent GOLD AWARD winning skinSense Overnight Leave on Mask (WORTH £8.50) – and ensure your hands smell and feel wonderful with the bestselling Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream (WORTH £10).

Miller Harris La Collection Voyage Pour Lui – was £70 NOW £35!

A versatile selection of Miller Harris’ best selling male scents, what an opportunity to try something from this always wonderful British fragrance house. Inspired by dreamy journeys conjured with every spritz, each of the three fragrances come in luxurious 14ml travel sizes, and are presented in precious miniature versions of their full size bottles. Miller Harris Étui Noir – suede-like leather is supported by the woods and powder of iris. Miller Harris Vetiver Insolent – bergamot and cardamom is balanced against black pepper and balsamic elemi. Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac – an addictive blend of rich woods, honeyed tobacco leaves and hot spices.

If you’re treating yourself:

It’s best to try a whole range of differing fragrances – that way you can narrow down exactly what it is your nose is loving best. With each of our boxes, some of which you can explore above, we’ve created Smelling Notes to guide you through the process, but here are some handy tips to keep in mind:

– Try the fragrance on a blotter (also known as a perfume ‘spill’); these should be available on perfume counters – and when you buy a Discovery Box from this site, you’ll find a handy pack of blotters already inside.

– Write the name of the fragrance on the blotter, otherwise you’ll definitely forget it, later (and chances are, that one’s bound to be the best!)

– Wait a few minutes for the initial alcohol and the top notes to subside – a lot of people take huge whiffs immediately and then complain ‘it smells of alcohol/hairspray!’ Let it dry a little, first. At this stage you may be able to eliminate one or more, if they don’t appeal – but it is really the heart notes and the lingering base notes which you will live with, and which are crucial.

– You really need to smell a scent on your skin! Remember: blotters are a useful way of eliminating no-hopers and lining up possibilities, but they’re not really enough to base a perfume purchase on. We’ve lost count of the number of scents that didn’t particularly appeal at first-sniff, but which a few minutes/hours later we realised we adored. Fragrances are made to be worn on and warmed by skin, not paper…

– Ideally, try no more than two at a time on the skin – one on each wrist. We don’t believe fragrance-shopping should be rushed, but we all live busy lives. You can try one more, on the inside of an elbow – the elbows also happen to be good pulse-points.

– Try to live with a fragrance for several hours, or better still, a whole day/evening) before you part with your cash. That might mean getting a sample, if it’s available in store (or exploring the Fragrance Discovery Boxes). Try to wear the scent more than once if you’re properly testing it: mood, weather and what you’ve eaten can all seriously change how a fragrance works on your skin, and how you feel about it.

– Spray a darker-coloured scarf or inside of a jacket lining, too, and sniff it later. That way, it still warms with your body heat, but you’re not everwhelmed by it. And you can take it off!

Book a fragrance consultation if you’d really like to make a special occasion of it. Many fragrance houses and department stores now offer this service, some of them are completely free and others you have to pay for (but it’s usually redeemable against purchase). Have a look at our round-up of some of these services; we originally wrote it for people wanting wedding fragrance consultations, but it applies whatever the occasion!

When you’ve fallen in love, only then go back and make your purchase – or flag-up to loved ones which ones you liked most, so they know for future gift-worthy occasions…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Shay & Blue launch Kings Wood…

Shay & Blue have been exciting fragrance lovers since 2012, founder Dom De Vetta’s previous roles being Senior Vice President at Chanel and Global General Manager of Jo Malone London, joining with talented Grasse perfumer, Julie Massé, to create his very own fragrance house.

We were thrilled to get the opportunity to exclusively preview their latest – Kings Wood – in our New Man Discovery Box, and now the fragrance has officially launched, we’re able to fully celebrate. Scroll down to watch our Unboxing review of the fragrance…

Shay & Blue say: ‘Kings Wood is a unique men’s fragrance. Different and distinctive it is a real statement of confidence. Bursts of fresh pineapple are blended with the natural aromatic of fearn leaves to create layers of freshness with an intriguing depth. The base notes of fine leather and English oak leave an impression of classic masculine refinement.’

We’ve noticed a resurgence of heritage woods being used in contemporary fragrances – and here, English oak is showcased in all its majestic glory, and the pineapple makes for welcome change to those who prefer something a little more adventurous than citrus in the opening notes. Crisply green fern leaves are enhanced by a sprinkle of warm pepper on a luxuriously smooth and reassuringly solid base, and the supple leather in the dry-down just makes us want to snuggle up for a deeper sniff…

We filmed an Unboxing session live on our Instagram channel, and have now uploaded this to YouTube so everyone can enjoy – watch it, below! We get sniffing Shay & Blue Kings Wood around 23:50 on this video if you want to skip straight to it, and Part 1 of the Unboxing is also available on our channel if you want to sniff-along with all the scents.

We’re absolutely loving the pineapple in Kingswood, it’s a different kind of fruity – lusciously juicy but with a spikiness that cuts through the smoother, richer notes. But did you know that pineapples were once a symbol of wealth and welcoming, being so expensive they could be rented (at extortionate prices!) for hosts anxious to prove their importance, and still adored for their thirst-quenching exoticism?

If you want to try a sample of Kings Wood along with our other carefully curated fragrance selection, you can buy The New Man Discovery Box here. And we know those of you who’ve already got in touch to tell us how much you love Kings Wood will be anxiously counting the hours until it officially launches on 1st September, so you can finally get your hands on a full-size bottle in-store.

Shay & Blue Kings Wood £85 for 100ml natural spray
Buy it at shayandblue.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Follow our step-by-step sniff-along!

Socks. Cufflinks. Slippers. Perhaps a ‘novelty tie’. The options for Father’s Day presents haven’t exactly kept apace with the vast array of gifts for Mother’s Day, so maybe you’d like to consider giving something really special this year? A fragrant gift that will keep on giving…?

It can be difficult enough to select a new perfume for yourslf to wear, but when it’s a gifting occasion, where do you begin?!

We specially curated The New Man Discovery Box to be a starting point to exploring fragrances. Choosing a wardrobe of scent styles, with something to please every age and occasion, there are thirteen in all to explore, plus a full-size scented shower gel and generous travel-size shave gel. Each fragrance has a web page devoted to describing it in greater detail, giving some of the notes you might smell and an idea of the inspiration behind it.

But we didn’t just want to leave you there. Oh no. How about following us on a step-by-step sniff-along? On our Instagram channel, we filmed two live ‘Unboxing’ videos, to show you exactly what you’re getting and try and answer some of your questions about buying fragrance for men. Infact, there were so many scents to sniff, we had to split the videos in two parts, otherwise we could have been there all day!

Unboxing Part One

Unboxing Part Two

There are so many things to consider when buying fragrance as a gift, particularly if you don’t just want to keep on getting them the same ol’ thing every year. So, here are some of our thoughts about the fragrances, as we explored them during filming…

– A great fragrance we thought would be perfect for a chap who doesn’t like anything too overpowering is Issey Miyake L’Eau Mjeure D’Issey – slightly salty, softly balanced with smooth woods and one of those ‘lean closer for another sniff’ type scents, the bottle is stunning, too.

– Others may like a more ‘punchy’ scent, and Creed Viking certainly hits that spot, with warm spices and mint coursing through the composition to get those senses tingling. We loved the quote from fragrance expert James Craven at the launch: when someone asked if this could be worn for work, he replied, ‘This isn;t for the man who feels he has to ask…’

– There are times you can’t pick out a single note at a time in a scent, as they’re so well blended and harmoniously balanced. Jimmy Choo Man Blue, we decided, gave the overall impression of a ‘sexy man smell’ that’s somehow quite classic and yet modern all at once.

– It’s really important to smell the fragrance on the skin, and live with it for some hours, to get a real feel for its character. Shay & Blue Kings Wood was a case in point: it smells so much more juicy and playful on the skin, and really takes you on a journey through the ingredients. The wood used, here, is (unusually) English oak – strong, smooth and wonderfully dry to smell.

– The ingredients need your body heat to develop and bloom to their best. We particularly loved the sweetness underpinning Mugler Alien Man, for example, which doesn’t come through as much on the blotter, but on the skin is incredibly addictive! This one definitely needs time to appreciate the unusual subtleties.

– Suave, sophisticated and traditional-smelling at first, Dunhill Racing Green takes an unexpected path with a twist of seductively heady orange flower and a healthy dose of black pepper. With a bottle that just won a Fragrance Foundation award for best packaging, the scent inside is sure to be a winner for many gents, too.

– Lists of notes aren’t always useful when considering a fragrance. Someone who says ‘I hate patchouli’ would be surprised how many fragrances use that ingredient, and you may never even know it’s there! In  Jack Piccadilly ’69 it has a leathery, rounded smokiness that feels like you’re in an illicit gentlemen’s club (and with a touch of Earl Grey tea) – certainly not the stereotyped ‘hippie’ smell many still associate with that ingredient. And can you guess which famous actor is behind this house…?

– We loved the collaboration between a traditional men’s tailoring company and the oldest perfumery in the UK, Floris Turnbull & Asser 71/72 smells like a freshly ironed, immaculately made men’s cotton shirt, we felt; an aromatic steaminess with a G&T on the side and a stunningly luminous jasmine in the heart.

– Many people ask which types of fragrances are best for hot weather, and we felt Goutal Bois d’Hadrien would be one that’s ideal: cool, crisp but still with a characterful complexity beneath, it’s like a walk in a pine forest beside a sun-warmed lemon grove. Divine.

– Looking for a fragrance that transitions effortlessly from day to night? We felt Michael Kors Extreme Speed did just that, suitably fresh enough to wear to the office without filling the room, but with a great depth as the fragrance develops.

– Men’s fragrances have come on leaps and bounds, now offering a more diverse array of choices (rather than simply ‘sporty fresh’). Floral notes in fragrances smell incredible on a man’s skin – we thought Mont Blanc Legend Night was stunningly soft, powdered with woodsy violet, snuggly smelling in the best possible way.

– Cologne is a traditional favourite, now updated and with a touch of Turkish barbershop exoticism in Ted Baker Grooming Room Cologne. Ultra green petitgrain sparkles on the top as the heart nestles geranium against leather and saffron, and we loved the rich dry-down of frankincense, amber and musk.

– The majority of niche and high-end designer scents say they are ‘unisex’ or even ‘genderless’ these days. We urge you to put aside preconceptions and just smell… if you like it, you should buy and wear it! Although this is presented as a ‘masculine’ scent, we both enjoyed wearing Nejma KoEptYs, which has a deliciously silky coconut milk note balanced by vanilla, tolu, warm spices, and smells fantastic no matter who wears it.

– When searching for any fragrance gift (or treating yourself!) our Find Your Next Fragrance section is here to help. Simply type in the name of a scent you know they (or you) already like, and our clever database will present you with six new fragrance options to try with several budgets in mind.

The New Man Discovery Box £19 (VIP price £15)

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Eight & Bob’s Robert F. Kennedy edition reveals all

Ever wondered how the world’s most powerful (and glamorous) people actually smell? Well settle down for a tale that involves a president, his brother, a sarcastic socialite, a butler and a beautifully presented (we think very sharable) sensational scent…

The Story: ‘One night during the summer of 1937 in the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur), Albert Fouquet, a young socialite and perfume connoisseur, met an American student who was touring France: John F. Kennedy. Within minutes of being introduced, the vain JFK was captivated by the essence that Albert wore. John’s charm and congeniality persuaded Albert to leave him a sample of his cologne with a note at his hotel the following morning:

In this bottle, you will find the dash of French glamour that your American personality lacks.’

(The shade of it all! Rather daring to address one of the Kennedy’s in such a manner, but we guess if you were a particular kind of socialite, such cutting remarks were part of your stock in trade…)

Eight & Bob continue the story by describing how, on returning from vacation, ‘Albert received a letter from JFK thanking him for the fragrance and informing him of its success amongst his friends. He requested that Albert send him eight samples, “and if your production allows, another one for Bob”.

 

The order wasn’t fulfilled until Philippe, the family butler, found beautiful glass bottles in a Parisian pharmacy for the cologne to be housed in. Albert ordered several boxes with the same pattern as the pinstripe shirt that JFK was wearing when they met, and then labeled the bottles and boxes with John’s request: “EIGHT & BOB”.

A few months later, Albert began receiving letters from America with requests from various Hollywood directors, producers, and actors such as Cary Grant and James Stewart. Everyone wanted their very own piece of “EIGHT & BOB”.

In the spring of 1939, Albert died in a car accident near Biarritz (France). Philippe, the only person who could create and handle the orders, continued Albert’s legacy and in his final shipments hid the bottles inside books to prevent the Nazis from seizing the cologne.

The Fragrance: Decades later, thanks to the family of Philippe, the formula for “EIGHT & BOB” has been completely recovered, along with its carefully crafted production process. Once again, it has become one of the most exclusive colognes, worn and desired by the world’s most elegant men and women…’

Top notes: pink pepper, cardamom, lemon

Heart notes: violet leaf, labdanum, dry woods

Base notes: sandalwood, amber, vetiver

The Review: A warm tingle of pink pepper ripples through breezy lemon infused with the cool, aromatic cardamom. A whisper of green violet leaf cuts through the resinous sensuality of the heart, leading to a musky, woody trail that’s devastatingly suave. Think sneakers worn with an impeccable suit, tanned skin and crisp white shirts worn with minimal accessories and a dazzling, heartbreaking smile.

The Special Edition: To mark the 50th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s death, Eight & Bob have partnered with the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation, ‘a prestigious and internationally recognised organisation managed by Kerry Kennedy, daughter of RFK.’ What’s more, they will donate a percentage of the revenue received from this special edition fragrance to the foundation, ‘as a tribute to RFK’s dream of a more fair and peaceful world.’

Eight & Bob RFK Special Edition £110 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at harveynichols.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

How to choose your perfect wedding fragrance…

The flags are flying, excitement is mounting, and everyone in the fragrance world is wondering which fragrances HRH Harry and (soon-to-be HRH) Meghan have chosen for their wedding…

But a more pertient question is to ask: how on earth should you go about choosing the perfect scent for your ‘big day’ (or any special occasion) anyway?

Follow our guide to choosing his and/or her scents to create an olfactory memory that will last a lifetime…

– It’s vital to live with a fragrance for several hours (better still – an entire day) on your skin. That scent you spritz and immediately fall for may turn into something less than loveable as the notes develop.

– The very best way to try is in the comfort of your own home, with zero pressure, scroll down to our hand-picked selection of samples for you try, below (they’re perfect for bridesmaids gifts and wedding favours, too!)

– Try not to test more than a few fragrances at one time, because too many at once = a muddle (and you’ll likely forget which is which, anyway!)

– Following on from the previous point, when testing a fragrance, be sure to write down the name of it on a blotter or jot down on your phone. By the time you get home a pile of random bits of scented paper will mean nothing to you!

Scared to branch out? Type the name of a fragrance you already know you love into our Fragrance Finder, and we’ll immediately suggest six new scents we think you’ll fall for!

Don’t know where to start? Book a bespoke fragrance consultation as a couple (or on your own if you prefer) – we’ve listed seven scent sittings for you try, and many are completely free, so what do you have to lose?

– When you find a fragrance you love, consider following the fragrant theme through to your floral arrangements, colours, mini-versions (to give as bridesmaid gifts or wedding favours), and matching scented candles to use for table decorations…

If you can’t indulge yourself while choosing a wedding scent, when can you? Take time to sit back and explore these fabulous fragrance selections we’ve specially curated – bringing you an extensive range from cult niche houses to luxury designer, with iconic classics and a few scented treats to enjoy along the journey…

The whispered breeze of Amouage Beach Hut is perfect for seaside weddings, while Sana Jardin Berber Blonde will whisk you to more exotic shores.

Fragonard Verveine will sparkle the whole day through and Estée Lauder Modern Muse Nuit is ideal to smoulder softly as dusk falls.

The Beautiful Mind Series duo celebrate intelligent, creative and inspirational women, as two perfumers for Miller Harris Tender and Scherzo uniquely interpret F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night.

Indulgent are here to help de-stress with : a sumptuous Heathcote & Ivory Lavender Fields Hand Cream (don’t forget those hands will be photographed close-up and on show all day, so pop this perfectly sized nourishing and relaxing cream in your pocket!) and from Aromatherapy Associates, Deep Relax and Support Breathe Bath & Shower Oils. Much needed, we sense…

Treat Yourself Discovery Box £19 (VIP price £15)

An utterly delectable range of new fragrances, recently launched by founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed, this stunning portfolio of perfumes reflect her life-long love of fragrance – nurtured on travels through the Middle East with her inspirational grandmother. A box of delights to discover for nomads, free-spirits and all those who love clasically composed yet contemporary scents. Close your eyes and bask in these…

Savage Jasmine Night-blooming jasmine, wrapped around intoxicating musk. 

Sandalwood Temple Moroccan neroli oil, enveloped it in Atlas cedarwood, Haitian vetiver, creamy vanilla and East Indian sandalwood.

Tiger By Her Side Showcases Moroccan rose alongside Somalian incense and Indonesian patchouli.

Berber Blonde Filled with the light of Sana Jardin’s signature orange blossom, alongside Moroccan neroli oil and musk.

Celestial Patchouli Exotic aromas of patchouli, leather, cinnamon bark and Australian Sandalwood give way to the abundant warmth of rose, jasmine, osmanthus and Moroccan orris.

Nubian Musk A sensuously inviting blend of musk and vanilla, rose, jasmine, Moroccan grapefruit flower, Haitian vetiver and Australian sandalwood.

Revolution de la Fleur This is a sultry, sun-filled melody of Madagascan ylang ylang, Moroccan jasmine, frangipani, rose, vanilla and sandalwood.

Sana Jardin Discovery Set £30

An entire wardrobe of masculine fragrances for him to try before he buys (and for you to approve, perhaps?) there’s a wealth of choices from fresh and reviving, crisply stylish, designer favourites to ultra-luxe new houses to discover, and a FULL-SIZE face wash by cult male grooming brand, Heath! Also great for gifting to the Best Man or splitting in to wedding favours for hard-to-buy-for male guests…

Cartier L’Envol Sunshine diffused through golden droplets of amber, a canopy of forest trees with resinous, woody depth. Perfect for outdoorsy types and nature-lovers.

Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 Not only for football fans, a spritz echoing that first sip of whiskey, or sinking gladly into your favourite leather armchair in a gentleman’s club.

Coach For Men Thirst-quenchingly green with citrus enhanced by a herbaceous waft of coriander, sensuous geranium, fragrant cardamom and softly suede dry-down.

Dunhill Racing A nod to heritage gentlemen’s fragrances: citrus, lavender, pepper and musk, but a juicy twist of grapefruit, orange blossom and guaiac wood set this scent apart.

Ferrari Man in Red Thrill-seekers with a softer side should reach for a fruity-spiced opening, golden plum entwined with orange blossom and soothed by lavender.

Jaguar Black Chromite A flash of just-peeled mandarin, crisp tartness of green apple and a background of incense and patchouli add mystery and sophistication to the journey.

Jovoy Private Label Originally made for a client who just happened to be an Arabian prince, this one will have all and sundry swooning when they smell the woody, musky trail…

Kenneth Cole Mankind Nuzzle-up to succulently juicy fresh pineapple warmed by ginger and cardamom, tarragon and cinnamon enveloping vetiver on a greenly mossy base.

Missoni Parfum Pour Homme Head-clearing lemon leaves and pomelo dress up fougère notes of lavender, jasmine and herbs to a stylishly snugglish finish. A new go-to. (With matching shave balm & shower gel!)

Vince Camuto Homme Citrus and juniper = G&T, with Italian fennel, blue cypress and balmy lavender to soothe the nerves while taking a walk in the cool of the spruce trees.

For Him Discovery Box £19 (VIP price £15)

For the ultimate in luxurious was to try a selection of fragrances – these don’t just look pretty (perfectly presented in a vintage hatbox-style gift box), all the Valeur Absolue scents were created specifically to evoke particular feelings. Featuring an incredible seven 14ml bottles, each flacon has semi-precious gems to further enhance the perfume’s emotion. And if you can’t quite stretch to the full collection, we suggest putting this on your Wedding List to enjoy exploring together long after the confetti has blown away!

Harmonie Takes you to a safe and invigorating place, serene and welcoming: a world of absolute harmony.

Confiance Offers intense and comforting aromas, from the tones of Bourbon vanilla and cedarwood.

Vitalité Develops around citrus and acerola: bold and resolutely optimistic.

Joie-Éclat Gets it spirit-uplifting power from essential oils of Florida grapefruit and Haitian vetiver.

Sérénitude Creates the essence of an empty beach, via floral and woody tones.

Sensualité Embodies the sensuality of a serene, beautiful and self-assured woman.

Rouge Passion Is a floriental with enchanting tonalities – alive, seductive and radiant.

Valeur Absolue Deluxe Coffret £112

Whichever fragrances you plump for, we wish you all the best of luck and a lifetime of happiness with The One (your other-half and the scents you fell for), and hope our guide has helped settle any scent-choosing anxieties!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

7 reasons no man can resist these scents…

Is there a man in your life that’s tricky to buy for? Or perhaps you’re a fragrance-loving chap who’d like to branch out a bit?
We’ve got just the answer…
Asking some men to write a list of what they actully want for Christmas is like trying to get blood from a stone. You might as well pose the question to the cat, so instead of fretting, we’ve made things easy by curating a hand-picked collection of irresistible scents in our For Him Discovery Box – for him to discover, and for you to possibly ‘borrow’ – or just spoil yourself with for a change. And it’s not a subsciption service – so you know exactly what you’re getting, and wont be stuck if it was just a one-off gift you wanted.
Here’s 7 reasons we think you’d mad to miss out!
1) Stuffed to the brim with an impressive 10 fragrances, this is a whole wardrobe of masculine scents in one stylish box. Perfect for the person who’s always been wanting to widen their fragrance collection but has no idea where to begin… (PS: If you went out to buy a full-size bottle of each scent, you’d have to spend £526 to try all these fragrances!)

2) How can you embody the scent of an Arabian Prince? Find out with Jovoy‘s Private Labelit was originally a bespoke fragrance for Arabian royalty!
3) Everyone those who purchase a For Him Discovery Box will be entered to win a FULL SIZE BOTTLE of the ten featured fragrances or grooming extras. But hurry – this prize draw ends on 9th December 2017!

4) Perfumer Mathilde Laurent is one of the rock stars of the fragrance world – in-house perfumer for Cartier, she created L’Envol eau de toilette as an airy Ambrée that smells like flying above a forest in luminous sunshine (and it’s one of the sexiest things we’ve smelled on a man’s skin!)
5) He can be one of the first to try Missoni’s new fragrance: Parfum Pour Homme,  together with the accompanying Shave Balm AND Shower Gel.

6) New ‘cult’ men’s skincare brand Heath has got rave reviews from beauty bloggers and glossy magazine editors alike – and we’ve popped a full-size Face Wash in the box!
7) With scents from Dunhill, Jaguar and Ferrariluxury car lovers and perfumistas’ alike will have their pulses racing as soon as they sniff these…
Here’s a run-down of of exactly what you get:
Cartier L’Envol 1.5ml eau de toilette
Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 2ml eau de toilette
Coach For Men 2ml eau de toilette
Dunhill Racing 2ml eau de parfum
Ferrari Man in Red 1.2ml eau de toilette
Heath Face Wash 150ml
Jaguar Black Chromite 1.8ml eau de toilette
Jovoy Private Label 2ml eau de parfum
Kenneth Cole Mankind 1.5ml eau de toilette
Missoni Parfum Pour Homme 5ml eau de parfum
Missoni Parfum Pour Homme Aftershave Balm 25ml
Missoni Parfum Pour Homme Bath & Shower Gel 25ml
Vince Camuto Homme 1.5ml eau de toilette

The For Him Discovery Box is priced £15+ p&p* to VIP Subscribers/£19+ p&p* to non-subscribers – be sure to log in to your account to take advantage of the special VIP Subscriber price. (Not a VIP yet? Sign up here…)
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
 

Design In Scent: WIN The Wedding Fragrance Discovery Experience

Looking for a unique wedding gift or a bespoke scent for your happy day? We think we’ve found it!
What could be more special than making your wedding totally tailored to you, as a couple? For those about-to-be-weds who long for something truly memorable, Design In Scent offer Fragrance Journeys™ – not only for couples to wear on their wedding day, but with complimenting candles and ambience mists to scent the celebration itself.
And, very generously, they are giving away a Wedding Fragrance Discovery Experience for you to explore, and a bottle of your favourite perfume!
Read on for details of how to enter the competition…
Design In Scent say: ‘We are giving away a Wedding Fragrance Discovery Experience and a bottle of your favourite fragrance from the new Design In Scent Wedding Collection. Searching for your perfect wedding scent is a beautiful experience for you to enjoy with your partner during planning. When you scent your wedding venue with the fragrance you love and gift it to guests it becomes an incredibly meaningful part of your day.
The Design In Scent Wedding Collection features four Fragrance Journeys™ for couples to wear, scent their wedding with and gift to loved ones. Each Fragrance Journey™ contains three complementing fragrances – a Feminine eau de parfum, a Masculine eau de parfum and a Union ambience fragrance that fuses the two into a new but recognisable scent. Capture the precious memories of your wedding with the magic of scent…’

Founded by Gemma Hopkins in 2015, Design is Scent utilises Gemma’s early career as a multi-sensory designer, coming into contact with Heston Blumenthal’s revolutionary work and inspiring her to enrich our most neglected sense: smell. Gemma teamed up with lawyer turned wedding-planner, Meghan Fay, after Meghan attended a wedding Gemma had created a bespoke fragrance for – so taken by the scent that she tracked Gemma down, eventually becomming the Partner and Managing Director of the company.
Until this year, their work was purely for VIPs on a couture basis, creating fragrances for exclusive events at luxury venues such as The Arts Club, The Shard and Battersea Power Station. Now the fragrant duo are opening up their world of scent by allowing couples to explore four ‘masculine’ and four ‘feminine’ fragrances together, along with four other ‘Union’ scents to try – and it’s definitely a case of exploration, as they ‘…encourage people to break the fragrnce ‘rules’ and simply choose what they love A bride may wear a Masculine fragrance and vice versa,’ and of course they can be layered together.
To find out more, visit Design In Scent’s website
How to win: Simply fill in your details, below, and we’ll enter you into the prize draw.
Prize: A beautifully presented Wedding Fragrance Discovery Collection and – once you have chosen your favourite –  a bottle of your favourite perfume!
Closing date: No further entires will be accepted after 10am Thursday 10th August, 2017
Good luck!
[contact-form-7 id=”145448″ title=”Design In Scent Wedding Collection Competition”]

Terms & Conditions: No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice. Closing date for entry will be 10/08/2017. After this date no further entries to the competition will be accepted.

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