Happy Father’s day to you all – fathers and grandfathers and everyone that celebrates with you. Check my newsletter for some fatherly thoughts for the day. For today on SmellyBlog, I decided to make a list of my favourite manly fragrances.
I haven’t tried nearly enough masculine fragrances, especially when comparing them to all the “feminine” scents I have tried. However I do have a few favourites and Father’s Day seems to be a good time to mention them – as well as a few significant males in my life.
1. Eau Sauvage
Always at the top of my masculine scents, Eau Sauvage is THE classic men’s fragrance there is. It was perfectly made by Edmond Roudniska and the combination of spacious hedionic jasmine with mossy base and herbaceous-citrus top notes is unbelievably gorgeous. I can’t think of any man in particular that I’ve known that worn it, but it always brings a sense of familiarity and recognition when I smell it.
2. Old Spice
An old-time classic and my grandfather used it regularly, but if you think it’s “too old” think twice; - my 21 year old brother adores it and wears it with passion in every form available – eau de toilette, after shave, body spray, deodorant, soap, you name it. It makes the whole house smell like Old Spice and when he goes through the whole ritual so to speak we are both sedated by clove and allspice.
Rich, bold and green - this fougere has something quirky about it even though one of my customers claims it smells exactly like Canoe by Dana (that can be had for a fraction of the price). I have nothing to compare it to (Canoe pops up in drugstore only once in a Christmas-y blue moon) but I’m all the same curious.
With its soft, creamy sandalwood, Egoiste is the masculine answer to Bois des Iles and you really need not be selfish to enjoy it – I’m sure those around it will appreciate it too. Beware: Egoiste Platinum has nothing to do with it besides the name. Unfortuantley, it is not available in Canada – at least not on the West Coast.
5. Bel Ami
Bel Ami is dressed up entirely in leather like a hardcore fetishist, yet manages to conceal all that with its well-mannered attitude and elegance that has become the signature element in all the perfumes that come from the house of Hermes. I don’t smell it often on people around me, and I wish I did.
Without being either particularly masculine or feminine, M7 is just different from what is out there among the thousands of department store fragrances. And that says something. It’s woody and sweet and although not exactly as oud-y as I would have liked it to be, it is a good way to get initiated into the secret society of oud admirers. If you’ll stay there long enough you may get to smell the real musty animalic wood. I think this would be my youngest brother’s next fragrance gift from me, since he’s always been fond of woods (Tam Dao and Dior Homme have become staples in his collection).
7. Cool Water
I’m just as surprised as you are to find this in my list of favourites or at all mentioned on SmellyBlog. . Just for reference: I used to compare Cool Water to a jacuzzi spray cleaner back in the day. Sometimes it’s all about the context, and even the most common, overly used and most synthetic cologne of them all can smell like a special perfume on the right person. I am fortunate to have had that experience and now I am quite fond of it – even though you won’t find me calling it a masterpiece anytime soon.
8. Bvlgari Black
Smoke, rubber and tea are hardly anything that one would imagine would go well together, let alone in a perfume. Bvlgari Black proves that darkness can be warm and cozy even with the strangest elements, and it has that addictive lapsang suchong tea note that echos the tea notes present in most (if not all) Bvlgari’s fragrances. It would make a perfect scent for my oldest brother, Yotam, who is particularly fond of the scents of gas stations and
9. Poivre Samarkand
Another favourite of my peppery brother Noam, it just smells incredible on him and in fact on all the people that I have come across smelling. It turns up more frequently that I would expect on the Latin dance floors which can be a relief in more ways than I can explain (compensation for lack of sense of rhythm is one instance).
10. Guerlain’s Vetiver
A very non-perfumey fragrance – Guerlain’s Vetiver is clean, fresh, citrusy and classy. It can be embraced by nature lovers and fragrance lovers alike, and can please both the country mouse and the city mouse – not to mention both sexes. If my second brother Yohai were to wear a fragrance again, I imagine it to be something like that.
11. Terre d’Hermes
A new discovery for me, and since vetiver is taking a very fond spot in my heart, I don’t feel ashamed of having two of this category here today. It is balanced, elegant, edgy, universal and still masculine enough to want to smell on a man.
12. L’Herbe Rouge
This is my quite personal interpretation of the scent of a man. Of course I have a history with it by now, and it’s too long to be told now. Ironically, it does make me travel in time just like the book that inspired it is all about. Now it belongs to a man of my past and a great love. And when I smell it that bittersweet longing for someone I lost creeps in and makes me wonder if I should ever let a man close to me wear my own fragrances. It is particularly dangerous to seal chapters of my life with my own perfumes.