We’ve all seen the adverts. Gerard Butler posing against a city landscape in a Hugo Boss suit. Jonny Depp prowling some rural terrain wearing a little too much eyeliner. David Beckham reclining in a luxury apartment, looking all shirtless and serious. But, with the extensive collection of TV adverts, billboards, magazine editorials and pushy sales-assistants – choosing the right men’s fragrance is no simple task.
I visit Selfridges and find myself walking aimlessly around the stark, glass cabinets filled with bottles and tonics wondering – am I a Butler, Depp or Beckham? It’s just too bad that James May never released a fragrance… In all honesty, finding the right colone is a tricky assignment but with this terrific guide to men’s fragrance, you might find your next visit to Boots a little easier.
So perfumes and fragrances are categorised by their scent characteristics. These scents can be found on the traditional ‘fragrance wheel’ which divides scent classifications by their fragrant notes. There has since been a range of sub-categories, which identify certain hybrids in perfumery but the four primary fragrance types include floral, oriental, woody and fresh.
Floral doesn’t necessarily mean feminine. Floral fragrances are one of the most popular fragrance types for women and men. Lavender, Jasmine, Rose and Orange Blossom are all popular (and expensive) ingredients in floral men’s fragrances and when combined with the perfect accents, can produce a scent which is rich, smokey, expensive and nothing like your Great Aunt Mable’s signature scent.
If you’re on the hunt for a floral fragrance that’s masculine and mature – we recommend the Jo Malone ‘Amber and Lavender Cologne’.
Description: French lavender and petitgrain bring a fresh luminosity to amber. Cultivated yet cosmopolitan.
Cultivated yet cosmopolitan? Yeah I can relate to that….
Oriental fragrances are often described as warm, exotic and mysterious. With notes of amber, musk, leather, vanilla and smokey accords, oriental men’s fragrances are a must-have for the bold and sensual gent. An oriental fragrance is the perfect accomaniement for evening and will deliver a little opulence to the man who wears it. If you’re looking for an alluring, oriental fragrance, we recommend the forever popular Atelier D`Orient Rive D`Ambre by Tom Ford.
Description: Ambre is a golden-toned Eau de Cologne with a veil of colonial elegance. Precious citrus fruits – a talisman of good fortune in Asia – are beautifully illuminated by a warm and seductive, amber background.
Woody fragrances are timelessly masculine. Typically built on earthy base notes like bark, moss, sandalwood, oud and patchouli, woody fragrances are strong and classic. Don’t be mistaken though – wordy fragrances, aren’t always all earthy. Many woody fragrances use citrus and herbal blends to keep them fresh on the senses. We recommend the, ever popular, unisex fragrance Yves Saint Laurent – ‘Splendid Wood’.
Description: Beneath a floral heart, oriental woods whisper their dark sensuality. The warm depth of cedar and cypriol essences is set ablaze by the smoky accents of the agarwood accord.
You’ve managed to identify the kind of scent that suits you but did you know that there’s five different types of fragrances to consider? Admittedly, not all fragrances are available in all of these types but it’s worth thinking about when buying online and comparing price and value.
Eau Fraiche is the most diluted version of a fragrance. Something to spritz on for wuick refresh. This fragrance type only usually contains around 1-3% perfume oil and alcohol and water, so it will last about an hour per spritz. Not neccesarily ideal if you want a fragrance that will stay put all day.
Cologne (Eau de Cologne)
Cologne contains a little more perfume oil than Eau Fraiche, usually 2-4% which means that although it will last a little longer than Eau Fraiche, it will probably disappear two hours after application. Eau de Cologne’s are a good alterantive for young men, who want to keep their fragrances a little lighter.
Toilette (Eau de Toilette)
Eau de Toilette’s are one of the more popular fragrance styles. These typically have a light oil concentrate around 5-15% of pure perfume diluted by alcohol. This fragrance type will last around 3-5 hours before you’ll need a top-up, so it’s a good value option for day-time.
Perfume (Eau de Parfum)
This is the style of fragrance, we typically associate with aftershave and colognes. Eau de Parfum packs in around 20% of pure perfume essence, which means it will last without fading for up to eight hours. Eau de Parfums are often more expensive than the Eau de Toilette but offer greater value in delivering a stay, put scent.
This is the most expensive fragrance variation and lives at the top end of the luxury scale. Parfum is the more heavily concentrated option, composed off around 30% pure perfume essence. A single application can last up to 24 hours, so go steady with this option.
Any ideas on what’s going to be best for you? We hope this helped you make a decision!