Men everywhere are taking their grooming rituals much more seriously these days, and that stretches to perfume too. The market research group NPD discovered that retail sales of men’s eau de parfum in the US, almost doubled from 2013 to the end of 2015, and much the same is happening in the UK, which is very exciting indeed.
But it’s still hard for men to discover great new scents. Stores do not make it easy – most fragrance departments are bolted on to the brightly lit beauty section from which many men would run a mile. Lots of fragrances are now unisex, but in our experience, we’ve found that men often want the confidence that comes from a man-marker scent, one specifically designed for them. As ever, we are here to help. In no particular order, here’s our top, ultra delicious, super stylish picks for men that always get a great response.
The Orchid Man by Frapin – Manly style in a bottle
There are some fragrances in our collection that everyone loves. One spritz is enough for even the most unsure perfume fan to understand they’ve got a great one in their hands. So it is with any man who tries The Orchid Man, by Frapin. Not only is it a beautiful fragrance, but the story behind it is inspired by a tough French boxing legend, George Carpentier, who became famous in the US for his elegant style and impeccable manners, as well as his boxing prowess. Read our interview with the artistic director of Frapin, David Frossard for more on this.
David described the scent as “Very fresh…with a head note of bergamot…black pepper…leather and black amber.” The top notes are indeed energetically fresh and smooth, there are no sharp edges here, with the mid tones evolving around warm animalic leather – inspired by the boxing gloves. Patchouli kicks in too, adding the energy found in the fighting ring. Manly scented style in a bottle.
Halfeti by Penhaligon’s – Warm, spiced deliciousness
We got to know Penhaligon’s collection really well this year and can recommend the Fragrance Profiling Service. We also recently met the charming CEO, Mr Lance Patterson, who talked us through the exciting launches coming next year (more on that soon) and mentioned that our favourite manly scent, Halfeti, is one of the brand’s top sellers.
It’s no surprise this is so popular, it’s very beautiful. Richly spiced and strong, but also warmly comforting and reassuringly masculine. The first mist brings a spiced greenness of grapefruit, crushed herbs and a touch of cumin, followed by a warm mash-up of spices – nutmeg and saffron – lightly tossed about with Turkish rose. Eventually everything settles down to a really intoxicating leathery, spicy sandalwood, with creamy, warm edges and just enough rose to keep it rounded. A glorious, confident fragrance that would definitely improve any man who wore it.
Vetiver Insolent by Miller Harris – An earthy, neck-nuzzler
This wonderful Vetiver Insolent from Miller Harris is another crowd pleaser. Both men (and women) have gone directly from our scentorium here at WWP and bought this captivating and earthy vetiver scent. We think highly of Miller Harris’s range of perfumes. They are great quality and all eau de parfum (EDP) which makes them longer lasting (and often better value) than eau de toilette (EDT). And those NPD figures we mentioned above highlight that men are increasingly buying this stronger formulation, so if you were thinking of gifting your man a perfume, you might want to consider this.
On first spritzing, this smoky scent has a pleasing and brightly uplifting cardamom and black pepper hit, which is intoxicating, addictive and demands regular re-sniffing. it settles down in the dry down to a warm, mossy smudge of sooty earthiness, with shadowy hints of coffee and tobacco lingering in the background. Absolutely first class, and neck-nuzzlingly good.