Fragrance, cologne, perfume, whichever you’ve selected as the language of scent has an impactful and discerning mark of claim. You are asserting the aroma to which you enter and exit a room and it is a significant wardrobe selection that many dismiss. Men who are nervous of loud prints or bold fashion statements are typically uneasy about a unique scent. There is a correlation between the confidence of fashion and of fragrance. I always found it mysteriously intriguing when I walked into a man’s bathroom or bedroom and saw his lineup of fragrances on the counter. I can summarize who he is just by this indicator. Similar to a man who turns to fast fashion for reassurance, this type of man sticks to “safe” fragrances. The kind that makes everyone in an elevator think “oh, he’s wearing Million”.
Cult like fashion brands have this effect on individuals, to make them feel as though their fashion statements will never be out of line or have an outsider effect. But when has it ever been on fashion to fit in? Don’t we spend the big bucks to stand out? To differentiate ourselves? Consider: what makes a business successful, it’s ability to be exactly the same as the next? Think beyond trends, consider defining the other.
Price & Strength
The quality is not completely suggestive of its price point. You can have a beautifully curated fragrance that is made of simple citrus or herb. But of course as you find creators who are at a certain luxury price point, this typically indicates that they were able to access a vast majority of the world’s finest ingredients.
More importantly than a fragrance’s price point is the language of it. Eau de Cologne, de Toilette and de Parfum are commonly seen on each bottle. These labels are suggestive of the fragrances strength (3-8%, 8-10%, 15-20%). Cologne was initially made to be reapplied three times a day, meaning that if you are not changing outfits, you should consider de Toilette or Parfum for longevity.
Application & Quantity
A common mistake is one spritz on the wrist followed by a rub. If you are so inclined to stretch your fragrance to the other arm, try tapping. The rubbing breaks apart the authentic scent.
Similar to a selection of statement ties or coats, you can have multiple fragrances to select from. A fragrance should mirror your mood, the atmosphere, occasion, and weather. Between Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino and Tuscan Leather you can smell a shift in story lines. Neroli Portofino with its top notes being a combination of bergamot and mandarin begins on vacation in the south of France, wearing a linen statement sports jacket, with a glass of bubbles in hand. Tuscan Leather on the other hand, consisting of jasmine and black suede, evokes a night out in London, whiskey neat, wearing a navy blue slim fitted suit. Don’t be afraid to mix up your script and bounce between completely different scents. I find many men who get used to a particular scent try to replicate it by selecting one close to if not almost identical.
Selecting & Tips
In the same respect as selecting the perfect suit or partner, do not settle. Test drive your fragrances the same way you should your next car. I know it’s easy to brush off the many samples being thrown your way as you walk through the cosmetics isles of a department store but make a habit of scouting out a few to try for the week. The process is a journey like getting acquainted with your pick of a well-refined wine or whisky. If you’re a fan of potent fragrances, look for Extrait de Parfum which is becoming increasingly popular. Anything you select to wear, wear it with pride.
Tom Ford Black Orchid
Maison Margiela Replica Jazz Club
Cuir 28 by Le Labo
Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille
Gypsy Water by Byredo