Like tax and death, scent is one of life’s fickle promises. I have just returned from a trip to New York and I couldn’t help but notice how great everyone smelt (not in some strange Charlie’s Angels hair-sniffer way.) In the returning yellow cab to JFK, my week in the Big Apple flashed before my eyes as a flurry of smiling sales associates and the now dog-eared sample cards currently resonating through my conscience (and bedroom!) Whether you have a Grenouille like nose or are suspiciously blind to the sweet smell of- well smell, ‘cologne’ (or ‘scent’) is something that you need to be firmly acquainted with. The men’s fragrance market (and the cosmetics market in general) seems to be growing at the moment and there is an unbelievably wide range of scents from all the biggest designers. No longer does a few looks in a women’s show represent our male input in the industry but instead we are welcoming the right for men to truly express themselves through fashion and fragrance.
The following list is a collection of the sweetest scents on the market right now (in no particular order.)
John Varvatos Vintage
With a blend of Ashwood, Tonka Beans, White Lavender and Suede Accent to name but a few, this cologne is masculine and strong without being overpowering and ridiculously strong. One of my definite favourites at the moment, it just has a quality that few fragrances manage to create- the Madras Wood and Silver Absinthe give it a unique balance of masculinity however Juniper Berries and Jasmine give it a subtle softness.
Eau de Toilette, 4.2 oz-£35
Polo Ralph Lauren Blue
Okay, okay, so this is my own fragrance but hopefully the last three months have gone some way to instil in you some sense of trust in me. Or not. I have to be honest though and tell you that I’d never been complemented on a fragrance before this one and with a structure of Melon de Cavaillon, Basil Verbena and Washed Suede it is really light and easy to wear for both day and night, summer and winter.
Eau de Toilette, 4.2 oz-£35
Sexual pour Homme by Michel Germain
This fragrance came around by default (aka a store assistant randomly sprayed a shower of scent in my face and it turned out to be a rather nice cologne.) Made from a blend of ‘exotic woods and oriental spice,’ I also hear that it owes part of its brilliance to a mixture of ancient substances used to attract the opposite sex. Enough said.
Eau de Toilette, 4.2 oz-£37.50
Dirty English by Juicy Couture
This is the fragrance I’m getting really excited about- a list of ingredients including Peppered Mandarin, Black Leather, Amber Musk and Blue Cypress combined with a great ad campaign and fantastic bottle design secure this cologne as one of my year’s cosmetic highlights. Unfortunately, Dirty English will not be released in the UK for a few months but I weaselled my way into the launch party and I was gloriously entertained by tales of the scent’s inspiration. The name is derived from links to the Sex Pistols and the design was inspired by founder Gela Nash-Taylor’s own husband (John Taylor of Duran Duran.)
Eau de Toilette, 3.4 oz-£35
Tom Ford Private Blend
Tom Ford’s latest venture within the world of fragrance is this unisex collection of twelve mix-and-match scents. Ranging from the overly-feminine ‘Velvet Gardenia’ to the typically-Ford masculine ‘Tuscan Leather,’ this is a series of scents that will entrance and entertain. I couldn’t believe at first that some of the scents were real. As a friend dear readers I feel a responsibility to be blunt- ‘Tuscan Leather’ smells like a leather couch and most of the scents need to fade slightly before they can be properly judged. Personal favourites were ‘Neroli Portofino’ (a Floral and Citrus scent with Amber undertones,) ‘Japon Noir’ (a darker fragrance including Jasmine and Patchouli) and ‘Black Violet’ (Citrus, Black Violets and Oakmoss together to make a luxurious perfume.)
Tom Ford Private Blend, Only available at select locations in the UK and USA, 50 ml-£82.50