Picking the right fragrance tends to be a personal endeavour. In a lifetime, you might be lucky to find one or two that really work, that really are your olfactory signature. If you haven’t found it yet — or if you’re just feeling a little adventurous — here are a few to consider adding to your arsenal, and a few tips on wearing them right.
1. Jimmy Choo Man Intense ($99 for 100mL)
Jimmy Choo’s second scent for men is an intensified take on the original Man fragrance. Traditional masculine notes of tonka bean and patchouli heart receive an oriental twist with mandarin and davana oils, and floral notes of lavender and geranium.
2. Valentino Uomo Intense ($115 for 100mL)
This fragrance starts with musky black suede, and adds clary sage, vanilla bean, and iris. All that and it comes in a spikey, studded bottle.
3. Oscar de la Renta ($88 for 100mL)
Yes, this fragrance is a giant domino — an ode to the late designer’s love of the classic game. The scent is also inspired by some of de la Renta’s favourite notes, with a base of earthy vetiver layered with black oolong tea and grapefruit champagne.
4. Giorgio Armani Acqua ($200 for 200mL)
Armani’s Acqua Di Giò is turning 20, and to mark the occasion the Italian brand has released a supersized version of its most classic fragrance, ensuring you won’t run out of the airy and aquatic scent any time soon.
5. Diesel Bad ($95 for 175mL)
Playing off of Diesel’s biker image, Bad’s etched glass bottle is designed to evoke the texture of a leather jacket. The scent takes a woody base of tobacco and iris roots and offers a refined counter point by pairing them with salty caviar and fragrant lavender.
You’re Wearing Cologne Wrong
We’ve all experienced it: you pass a man on the street and all of a sudden you’re enveloped in an overbearing cloud of cologne. Do not, under any circumstances, be that guy. When it comes to fragrance, less is usually more. Stick to a single spritz on your chest and one on your wrists, which you can then rub under your ears on both sides of your neck. This will give plenty of coverage without overwhelming those around you. If anything, a lighter application is more alluring; a hint of a signature scent will encourage people to get closer, which is really what you’re after when you put on cologne (assuming you’re standing near the right people).
Let It Ride
The King of American cool is back with a new fragrance, John Varvatos Dark Rebel Rider ($110 for 125mL), a heady scent with a rich base of leather and wood. Varvatos spoke to us about the inspiration behind the brand’s latest signature scent.
What was the inspiration for Dark Rebel Rider?
I work with perfumist Rodrigo Flores-Roux, whom I’ve worked with on every one of the fragrances, and we talked about doing something much more aggressive than we’ve ever done. Something much more badass. Something that shakes shit up a bit. It isn’t just the same formula that everybody follows — really fresh or really musky — we wanted to do something completely opposed to that, something rebellious and tough.
What is the biggest change you’ve noticed since you entered the fragrance world?
When I first launched, there were probably about 500 new launches a year. Today, there are, like, a thousand. So you have the whole celebrity fragrance thing, everybody puts their name on a fragrance, and that’s why we’re so particular on how we do them, when do we do them, why do we do them. That’s why the scent and the packaging has to be incredible, because you need to say something different.
Fragrance is often tied to memory — is there one that stands out for you?
For the first John Varvatos fragrance, there was something about my grandfather’s bedroom that I always remembered. We worked for a while to capture that because it was always intriguing, walking into my grandfather’s bedroom and there was some kind of scent in there that was really exotic and intriguing and smoky to me.