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.

 

HERO Cologne created to honour frontline workers

Ninteen Symrise perfumers have come together to create HERO Cologne, donated to frontline and key workers dealing with the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Each perfumer added one ingredient to the fragrance,with each one chosen specifically to contribute to the well-being of those who wear it, Symrise say.

‘It has been shown that the addition of fragrance to our daily essentials increases our quality of life,’ explains Ricardo Omori, Senior Vice President of global fine fragrance. ‘In the current situation, we want to do our part to lift the mood of our heroes with HERO and to try to give positive feelings to their lives. In doing so, we show our appreciation for these thousands of everyday heroes who are working hard for us with their dedicated efforts.’

Developed to recognise the incredible efforts of the frontline workers, and donated directly to them in order, hopefully, to provide some moments of scented enjoyment, it’s interesting to see which (sustainably sourced) ingredients they chose for this unisex scent.

‘It interweaves ingredients from traditional eau de cologne and brings in contemporary notes like Ambrostar, a Symrise captive, musk and vanilla. The result presents an invigorating and supportive fragrance that combines energy and comfort.

The top note exudes a composition of Mandarin from Madagascar, bergamot with a boost of peppermint and ginger. The heart contains warm notes of ambrette seeds, orris and rose. The base note gives the fragrance fullness and modernity with guaiac wood, sandalwood, vetiver from Madagascar, cypress and renewable vanillin.’

 

 

I was particularly fascinated to see the mention of vanillin in the base – having previously researched a story and discovering that many scientific tests have proven the calming powers of vanillin. It used to be assumed this was because the scent reminded people of mother’s milk or sweet cakes, but those tests proved it significantly reduced the ‘startle reflex’ even in animals that don’t suckle. It’s since gone on to be trialled in fragrancing particularly high-stress areas of hospitals, such as MRI and CT Scanning rooms, and for patients undergoing chemotherapy.

How wonderful it’s been to see the way beauty and fragrance companies large and small have responded to the crisis, trying to do their bit even as they wonder if they will be able to survive.

‘We believe in the power of scent to touch our senses, our soul and the world,’ says Omori. ‘That’s why we’ve developed a fragrance for all the heroes who, with their tireless and selfless efforts, are helping to fight the coronavirus crisis. HERO is our small token of thanks for the work they do.’

And we’d also like to thank every single one of you out there – medical workers, delivery people and essential shop staff, the beauty industry who so quickly changed their output to hand sanitiser or donated supplies to food and beauty banks – to everyone who had their own struggles at home, shielding the vulnerable, coping with home-schooling kids while trying to work or worrying about not having a job to go to anymore – you are all heroes in our eyes, and we hope you’ve found a calming/uplifting scent of your own to help you get through.

Keep your eyes on our social media next week as we have a new campaign starting, asking just this: what fragrances have helped you, lately…? And there’s some wonderfully scented prizes in store…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scent in stone: Comme des Garçons get CONCRETE

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

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

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

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