What is still missing when the suit is perfectly tailored, the shoes polished, the beard trimmed and your haircut is just that perfect mix of dandy and gentleman you like?
It might be the distinctive smell of a man that takes good care of himself. A friend of mine said once something over men’s perfumes I remembered. She said: “A men just smells perfect when you are not sure if the smell surrounding him is his shaving cream, his washing powder , the smell of the old beautiful castle he lives in or the wood behind the house where he has just been hacking firewood”. First I laughed but then I thought that she is probably right. A man’s perfume is that certain smell you are not sure what it is, but you are sure you like it. I consider perfume as the very last finishing touch of a well dressed man. When everything is taken care of then you just finish you work with a few drops of the smell you think matches your wardrobe and personality best.
What are the rules you are asking? Of course as always I can say: whatever makes you feel comfortable, there are no rules. That is true. But there still are a few perfumes that are traded as the “Gentleman’s perfumes” for decades. Men who use them will recognize them and give you silent credits for your good taste.
It’s comparable with shoes: there are a lot of great shoes with good quality, but a man who wears Santoni shoes will always spot another man who wears them too and give him credits for his great taste.
Did I make you curious? Which are those perfumes I am talking about? I started a list of some of the most classical perfumes, but I am very curious what you consider the “one and only perfect smell”.
This legendary perfume from the designer Halston is still a secret tip especially in Europe where it never became as popular as in America. It’s a modern but still not a fashion smell and it’s described as the smell of men who dress modern without forgetting about the classics.
This was a secret but loved smell until 1994 when Diego Della Valle took over the brand and made it very popular. Men who always used Aqua di Parma weren’t very pleased about that of course, who likes to share a style secret?
It’s the mix of Bulgarian roses, lavender and rosemary that makes this perfume special and recognizable.
This one of a few other perfumes that carry the name of a certain vetiveria zizanioides root, but Guerlain’s Vetiver is the most famous one. It’s the sweet smell of wood and earth and the little bottles are found in many men’s bathrooms.
This perfume is since 1976 a companion for the classic wardrobe. Grey Flannel sounds serious, classical and distinguished, pretty much the opposite of “denim”. It really smells like what the name promises.
If you hate the big perfume stores, well, don’t go there for this one anyway. You won’t be able to find this special lime perfume there. But whenever a shop makes you think about Savile Row or whenever you are in Savile Row or Jermyn Street you can try to ask for it. It’s the smell you will find next to English shirts, ties and shoes, in a shop where the walls are wooden and the door handle is golden.
This is the Hermés bag of perfumes. Unchallenged, always good and accepted around the globe. Christian Dior created an evergreen among the old-timers. I personally think it got a little boring because you smell it a lot.
So, I am curious: what are your favorites? And do you agree with my list?