In the second of our perfume gifting guides we pick the loveliest masculine scents we’ve tried this year, because we want the men in our lives to smell good, right?
First a word on what men call fragrance. Aftershave, cologne, perfume or fragrance, it’s more or less all the same thing, just slightly different concentrations, with aftershave and eau de toilette being a lighter fragrance-to-alcohol concentration and eau de parfum being stronger and a bit longer lasting. The current trend in fragrance is to move away from ‘gender’ and here at WWP we firmly believe anyone can wear anything, although we understand that not all the men in your life will be that evolved, so we’ve covered all bases here.
The Creative Grown Up
For the creative gentleman with a strong sense of style and fondness for good design, look no further than the bright, crisp and beautifully balanced L’Original fragrance from Andrée Putman. It’s a crisp white shirt of a smell, a clean-paged notebook or a perfectly sharp pencil -are we taking this design angle too far? Designed by Ms Putman herself in 2001, the fragrance has just been relaunched and its cologne-fresh notes will keep your creative happy.
For a more sensuous angle, then the rich, camphor tones of Saltus, by Liquides Imaginaires might work. Elegant and sexy, this might suit the thoughtful creative with an eye for style and quality, it reminds us of beautiful churches and very expensive hotels, also the heavy, steel-capped bottle is divine.
The Urban Sportsman
We’re thinking less smelly-kit-bag and more post-work-out-sleekness here, with an eye on the man who likes to look good and feel fit. We have a big crush on James Heeley’s range of fragrances, they are all worth sniffing, but for our agile athlete we suggest Esprit du Tigre, a beautifully engineered balance of camphor, mint and spice. Intoxicatingly different, too.
For the sportsman who can’t wait to be running or cycling out in the fresh air, then The Essence Of Central Park, a collaboration between Carthusia and the Central Park Conservancy department in New York, would be perfect. The fragrance uses plants found in the park as inspiration and is a beautiful green burst of artemisia, magnolia, lemon, lily of the valley and citrus.
The Well Groomed Gentleman
Anything for the Acqua di Parma range reminds us of Cary Grant, each of its colognes has that classic old-school refinement and timeless style that Italians (from where the brand originates) do so well. We’re taken by Colonia Club and the classy green sparkle of its opening notes, but it warms down to a beautifully woody afterglow. Delicious, no-nonsense style.
For a more traditional British gent with sartorial leanings towards Savile Row rather than the Riviera, Penhaligon’s Blasted Heath is a beautiful coastal walk of a spray, warmed up with a mossy undertow that is the perfect finishing touch to an elegant outfit.
For the Cocktail Aficionado
Modern man has come far in the last few years with regards to grooming habits and long gone is the idea that smelling good is not a bloke’s concern. Today, men are receptive to relishing their fragrance choice and are up for building a wardrobe of smells for different occasions. For the evening then, consider gifting your menfolk richer, sexier scents that demand to be inhaled close-up. One of our best finds this year has been the Vilhelm range, in particular Smoke Show, with its leathery, smoky draw. Think late night cocktail bars and whiskies in dimly lit jazz clubs.
Another quality brand full of delightfully manly smells is Shay & Blue, we’re big fans of the richly citrus Blood Orange, but you might like to be of-the-moment in terms of perfume trends and go for one containing of Oud- a richly intoxicating wood note. The brand’s recent release Oud Alif has a deliciously balanced mix of woods and leathery, chocolatey notes that will come in a beautifully wrapped box. Perfect with cocktails.
For The Innovative Free Thinker
For those innovative and creative chaps who are busy doing interesting things and breaking free of corporate-dullness, Haeckels of Margate is your go-to brand. Founded by the inspiring, Dom Bridges, his Margate based store and engaging story (he’s a well travelled ex graphic design and film maker) has generated claims in the popular press that this seaside town is The New Hackney. We’re in love with the mineral marine style of GPS 12′ 0″ E (yep, all fragrances are named by the geographic location of where their ingredients were foraged).
The Comme des Garcons fragrance range is always pushing boundaries and its newest launch, Floriental, is an intriguing mash-up of rose, woods and spices. it’s also presented in a contemporary rose-red metallic flacon that demands respect on the bathroom shelf. This has been a big hit in WWP’s testing circle, with both men and women.
Looking for something for a younger man? Consult our Starter Scents for Teenage Boys.
Looking for a present for your mum or girlfriend? You need our Best Fragrances for Women.