Growing up, fragrance was something that only the women in my family used; the most my dad ever applied, was Old Spice aftershave … the scent will forever remind me of him. As I got older and understood that there was a whole world of men’s scents out there, I began gravitating to those counters and more often than not, would spritz several varieties along my wrists. To this day, I actually enjoy wearing a more masculine type of fragrance — which brings me to today’s post. It may be all about the guys, but to paraphrase a famous jingle, “I like it too” (if you’re old enough to remember where this is from, leave me a note in the comments below!)
I originally intended to have this post up for Father’s Day, but life got in the way [sigh] and while it caused me some stress to not publish on time, I realized that men’s fragrances are not just for one specific day of the year, am I right? So that said, I’ve rounded up some of the latest that have come in to share with you all.
Bleu de CHANEL Parfum (CAN $163.00/100 ml) | The original Bleu de CHANEL Eau de Toilette was created by perfumer Jacques Polge in 2010, followed by an Eau de Parfum version in 2014. This newest release has strayed into uncharted territory with the creation of the first of it’s kind in the realm of men’s fragrances: a perfume. The original cedar-citrusy base has been tweaked to incorporate sandalwood from New Caledonia, a rare species that is in fact protected by CHANEL through sourcing via a sustainable supplier. This lends a lush & creamy tone to this woody scent, elevating it to intense new levels: absolutely sensual, powerful, and yet so totally wearable. For what it’s worth, I am obsessed with wearing a light spritz of this for evening.
PS: I’m planning on devoting an entire post to this perfume, so stay tuned.
Sauvage Eau de Parfum (CAN $110.00/60 ml) | First created in Eau de Toilette form back in 2015 by François Demachy, this intense new version was inspired by that magical “twilight hour”, that time right before evening falls and when you can let all your instincts out. The original woody composition that featured notes of Bergamot, Sichuan Pepper, Lavender and Ambroxan has now been enriched with spices such as Star Anise and Nutmeg along with Papuan Vanilla (originally a Tahitian variety) that is picked green then plunged into hot water, followed by being treated using a solvent-free CO2 extraction method that helps to maintain all its heavenly aroma while also protecting the environment. Rounding things out are dashes of Vetiver to offset all that creaminess and keep things just this side of wild. By the way, Johnny Depp continues to be the face of this fragrance — Sauvage smells EXACTLY the way I always imagined Johnny does … and if I ever got close enough to prove my theory, I’ll let you know.
Habit Rouge Dress Code Eau de Parfum (CAN $130.00/100 ml) | Created by master perfumer (and my friend!) Thierry Wasser in late 2017 and described as an Oriental Woody fragrance, this is the James Bond of the group — the Daniel Craig version, that is. You know what I mean; so elegant & refined on the outside wearing that killer made-to-measure tux, but seething with power and raw sensuality on the inside. Guerlain’s iconic gourmand facet starts off with a fizzy citrusy Neroli-Bergamot combo touched with Rose (you’d think this last one would turn this scent somewhat feminine, but it adds a surprising roundness instead). This deceptively light beginning leads up to a heart of Spices, Patchouli, Leather and Cedar, finally culminating in a base of Vetiver, Tonka Bean, Praline and Vanilla. Basically, this is a fragrance that you won’t forget and one which will have you leaning in for more. Oh, and this is another one that I’ve pretty much appropriated from my husband as well.
Givenchy Gentleman Eau de Parfum (CAN $119.00/100 ml) | First created in 2017 as an Eau de Toilette by perfumers Nathalie Lorson and Olivier Cresp, this new iteration comes at you in stealth mode. Described as an aromatic woody-floral-oriental, it starts off with a riff of Pepper and Lavender, quickly followed up by a heart of Tolu Balm and an overdose of Iris Pallida, with earthy Patchouli and seductive Black Vanilla bringing everything to a lush close … and thereby perfectly countering any initial powdery sweetness. The face of this scent is British actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson (google him: OMG material) and the black & white campaign photos so perfectly capture the essence of this fragrance: elegant, sensual and 100% male — but one who’s not afraid to show his vulnerable side either.
Montblanc Legend Night Eau de Parfum (CAN $107.00/100 ml) | Created by perfumers Antoine Maisondieu and Olivier Pescheux, this falls in the oriental woody category, although that might be an oversimplification as this scent is so much more than that. It’s magnetic, in fact. Usually when I think of Montblanc, what comes to mind is exquisite writing instruments (I have been using a Montblanc pen for decades and I’m definitely due for a new version. In fact, I’ve had my eye on the Marilyn Monroe edition for some time now; I just have to summon the courage to fork over the $1,000 for it. Yikes), and yet the brand has been steadily carving a name for themselves in the men’s fragrance genre. The original Legend launched in 2011, followed by Legend Spirit in 2015 — a fresh & lighter version, which leads to this newest iteration: deeper, sophisticated and with touches of mystery. The opening of Clary Sage and Peppermint is enhanced with cool spices such as Bergamot and Cardamom which adds a bright little kick. The scent then moves on to a surprising floral-leaning heart via Lavender and Powdered Violet, but is kept firmly grounded by touches of cedar wood. Finally, it closes the deal with the brand’s signature counter-accord of dense and vibrant Vetiver and Patchouli on one side, with Musk & Black Vanilla on the other, thereby perfectly representing the duality of light and dark. You can think of this as that naughty boy in the gentleman’s club.
Emporio Armani Stronger With You Eau de Toilette (CAN $90.00/50 ml) | Created by perfumer Cecile Matton, this was released late 2017 in tandem with the feminine counterpart ‘Because It’s You’, and from the moment the duo arrived over here, my husband (who happens to be a long-time fan of Armani fragrances), was immediately hooked. To be perfectly honest, I absolutely love this on him and even though I prefer switching things up with my own fragrances (I literally spritz according to mood), I’m not mad that he sticks to this one: it’s so AMAZING. Described as a spicy oriental, there’s a decadent tone that weaves in & out and it basically exudes sensuality & confidence. The top notes — a mix of Cardamom, Pink Peppercorn and Violet Leaves, give way to a smoky Vanilla Jungle Essence™ which includes Sage and Crystallized Chestnut (this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this last ingredient in fragrances), and while the whole jungle thing sounds a bit excessive, I have to say that it really does seem to fit — albeit in a lush & mysterious way — think: sun-dappled canopy of leaves with orchids all around, and not the menacing variety i.e.: being stalked by something ferocious. Oh, and I also have to say that I prefer wearing this over the female version, so my husband now hides it from me. Guess I need to get my own bottle.
Paco Rabonee Invictus Aqua Eau de Toilette (CAN $105.00/100 ml) | Described as a woody aquatic fragrance, this newest release from Paco Rabanne was created by perfumers Nicolas Beaulieu and Juliette Karagueuzoglou. A fresh take on the 2016 original, this scent can almost be considered unisex due to its unique composition of light and airy notes. The opening of Grapefruit and Violet Leaf merges seamlessly into a heart of Sea Notes (not sure what that is exactly, but the ocean-lover in me is happy), Palisander Rosewood, Violet, and Woody tones, finally ending in a base that holds Ambergris and Amberwood. To me, this entire composition says more “evening driftwood bonfire on the beach” as opposed to “crashing surf”, although the wild nature analogy of the latter seems to fit in as well — it all comes down to one’s body chemistry and how it adapts to its sexy beachy vibe.
True story: Several weeks ago, I was invited to meet spokesperson Nick Youngest (former rugby league footballer and now certified yoga instructor & practitioner … and drop-dead gorgeous human being. Seriously: google him too) at the launch of this fragrance, and due to a massive traffic snafu, I was unable to get to the event. I’m still crying over that.
It occurs to me that with the exception of Invictus Aqua (that said, there’s a sizzling element here too, so it still manages to fit in), all of these scents seem to be following a similar theme: sensual, boozy-ish, and spicy. I don’t hate it, because even though these may be geared for men, it’s the fragrance family that I always gravitate to. At the end of the day, it’s about personal preference & body chemistry — not to mention the entire olfactory experience. As I said at the top, there’s something about men’s fragrances that so totally draws me in, so ladies, you can think of this selection as a way to expand your own scent wardrobe to interesting new heights. Who else is a fan of men’s scents? Let me know & include your faves too!
Kindly provided by PR for my unbiased consideration