Romantic panic? How to buy fragrance he’ll actually love

Valentines Day – love it or loathe it – is just around the corner, and it’s still the day that generates the most fragrance sales, peaking at 42% of all prestige beauty products sold. So if you’re thinking of splashing out on a scent for your significant other, follow our guide to ensuring success…

If you already know what he loves

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 like, 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.

Plus, we now have a dedicated Men’s fragrance section, full of detailed descriptions we’ve sourced directly from the fragrance houses and perfumers themselves. And, because we know so many of us wear fragrances with no regard to gendering (yet so many houses still categorise them as ‘male’ or ‘female’), we’ve given you the option of choosing ‘shared‘ in your scented searches.

If you have no idea what he likes

A selection box of scents showcasing a range of fragrances with differing styles is your saviour. They can try them all at home, taking time to choose their favourites, and most likely discovering scents they had never heard of or perhaps would have walked past were they not temptingly waggled beneath their noses…

Amouage Men’s Discovery Set £50
Amouage are a luxury niche house that can never be accused of ‘following the flock’ – this stunning collection will wow whomever is lucky enough to recieve it with incredibly impactful, long-lasting and utterly unique fragrances. With this beautifully-composed collection we invite you to discover the many characters of these accomplished fragrances – a dozen ways to wear and enjoy Amouage, encompassing all the masculine fragrance families.

With its roots in the Sultanate of Oman, the very ‘cradle’ of perfumery, this is a luxury perfume house with its finger on the pulse-point of what modern fragrance-wearers want. So we are proud to introduce this truly decadent collection featuring TWELVE MEN’S AMOUAGE FRAGRANCES, allowing you to explore and delight in these creations at your leisure.

Mr. Scentastic Discovery Box £19 / £15 for VIP Club Members
For those wanting to begin (or expand) their fragrance wardrobe, we’ve put together a thrilling collection of simply the finest men’s fragrances out there. Where do we start..? Certainly with the so-modern 6ml MUGLER ALIEN MAN as well as a 30ml DEAR BARBER WITH CONFIDENCE fragrance for those who like traditional scents. But we’ve also added incredible niche fragrances from perfume houses such as Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Prosody, Hugo Boss, BulgariLalique and more.

So whether you are planning cliff-top walks, a trip away, cosy nights in or some dress-to-impress evenings, there is a fragrance for every occasion in this collection. We have also included two GROOMING EXTRAS – because Mr. Scentastic wants to look as good as you smell. Check out the fantastic travel size Jack Black Double Duty Moisturiser SPF20 and Pre & After-Shave Balm from the divine Atkinsons Grooming Collection.

Escentric Molecules Discovery Set £25
Revolutionising the fragrance industry with their now cult-favourite scents, these EIGHT fragrances take a man-made molecule that smells fantastic in its own right, and then combines them with naturals that help enhance the incredible depth found in that single molecule. These are duos to explore and fall in love with – especially good gifts for the scientifically inclined, or those who yearn to know more about the world of fragrance (and to smell utterly unique).

In each duo, the Molecule and Escentric companion allow you to experience the wonders of science and art in harmony – truly a treat for the senses, and we think you’ll be blown away by how long these last on the skin (and, of course, how fabulous he’ll smell…) For rebels, artists and scientists everywhere, why run with the pack when you can smell so delightfully different?

Jo Malone London – something for the chaps

We know countless men who swathe themselves in Jo Malone London creations, from the zestily iconic Lime, Basil & Mandarin through to darkly sensual Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense. And very lovely they smell, too. So lovely that – to be honest – it had never really dawned on us that the perfume house has never put men centre-stage of its creative focus.

All that changes right now with a just-unveiled collaboration between Jo Malone London and that snappiest of Savile Row tailors, Huntsman. Quintessentially British, they’re the go-to for the cool, the smart and the traditional – and these four fragrances capture the spirit of the bespoke tailor. As Jo Malone London put it, their first men’s line-up ‘brings together four refined fragrances tailored to the modern man. For laidback days, wild nights and everything in between.’

The bottles are certainly extremely well-dressed in their own right, emblazoned with the classic Huntsman typography in glistening gold, capped in matte burgundy. (And positively begging for the acquisition of all four in order to create the line-up you see above and below.)

But – and we know you’re waiting for this bit – what of the scents themselves? Well, just as the men in our lives have often half-inched our bottles of Jo Malone London scents ‘for women’, we’ll be returning the light-fingered favour with this lot. Like most perfume world insiders, we’ve never paid much attention to the gender of fragrances, frankly, believing that you should wear what you love. So, we encourage you to check out…

Amber & Patchouli

And we quote: ‘Decadent evenings, wrapped in the sensuality of amber. A heady pairing of a legendary ingredient with deep, characterful patchouli. The tempting smokiness of guaiac wood. A supple, suede-like finish. Seductive.’ We’re finding that the amber softens the earthiness of the patchouli in a wonderful come-closer way. Pair with a sharp suit, a loosened tie and some pulsing beats, in a darkened nightclub.

Assam & Grapefruit Cologne

‘The lively, full-bodied aroma of a cup of tea in the morning. A citrus burst of grapefruit. A black tea note of Assam, unfolding. The herbal scent of maté, infused with spicy cardamom and the warmth of patchouli.’ We love the freshness of the tea notes, contrasted with the warmth of cardamon and then given that dirty-in-a-good-way, earthy edge of patchouli. Of the quartet, we reckon this is the one best suited (and booted) to wearing to the office – and the boardroom.

Huntsman fragrances line-up for Jo Malone London

Whisky & Cedarwood Cologne

Probably the most unashamedly masculine of the lot, this is ‘Footsteps after dark on waxy wooden floors. An enigmatic nightcap. Fine whisky, edged with spiced pimento, finished with warm cedarwood. A fragrance for the small hours. Daring and intriguing.’ We raise a Waterford crystal tumbler to the booziness of this, but are taken by its pencil-shavings woodsiness, too. One for pairing with a velvet jacket and jeans, we figure.

Birch & Black Pepper Cologne

‘Britain today. Its rebellious roots in punk, yet with an enduring respect for tradition. The cool spiciness of black pepper and cardamom, juxtaposed with smoky birch and an accord of magnetic ink. A scent of subtle contrasts.’ Birch & Black Pepper is tarry, leathery – and equally interesting on a woman’s skin, too, we’re finding – seasonally perfect, with its whispers of bonfire. (Would be great, worn with a chunky knit, cords and Hunter wellies, on a brisk walk.)

As wardrobes go, this pretty much covers it.

Jo Malone London Huntsman Collection £120 each for 100ml Cologne
Find them at Jo Malone London stores, Huntsman of Savile Row and

By Jo Fairley