Scent, not manners, maketh man

Being perpetually presentable goes far beyond just dressing proper and being well groomed, it also means smelling in such a way that those near you want to take your shirt right off your back – for whatever reason – but hopefully because they’re crazy about the scent.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time as a cologne salesman and so I’ve learned the hits and misses of colognes. In this post, I’m not going to present you with some buried gold that you’ll have to scour the cologne specific stores to uncover (at ridiculous prices), but I will present five every day go to’s, each with an individual style and structure.

NOTE: I will NOT be detailing any of Paco Rabanne’s scents as I am not a 16 year old testosterone fuelled high school kid who goes through fifty millilitres in six months. If you do wear it, read this and re-evaluate.

Without further ado, here they are:

1. Bleu de Chanel (Chanel Blue) eau de toilette

Bleu is Chanel’s first major male fragrance since Allure in 2004, and they hit it right out of the park. Created by Chanel’s protege of perfume Jacques Pole, it can be summed down to the phrase “deep blue sea” with a marine sport vibe to it. Notes of citrus are detectable, but peppermint is subtly introduced overtop of cedar.

This scent is very fresh, and feels light compared to the others on this list. I wear this as my daily go to, it brightens up a drab winter day and alludes to flowers in the spring and summer.

2. Mr. Burberry eau de toilette

Described as a very handsome scent, Mr. Burberry is entirely inspired by the quintessential British gabardine Burberry trench coat. Even the cap is designed to look identical to the buttons!

To fit in the theme of the British essence, it’s structured around the classic British perfume style: opening with zest (in this case; grapefruit, cardamom, and tarragon), the middle is a heart of birch, and nutmeg, and the base is created of sandalwood, vetiver, and guaiac wood.

That’s a lot of fancy talk, but what this scent really is, is spiced. Imagine your fresh spring day, undercut with a basket full of cedar. That is the Mr. Burberry experience.

I like to wear this scent on a day when I have something special planned – coffee with someone close, lunch with a friend, or any other kind of occasion with those you want to leave with a pleasant scent of yourself.

3. A*men by Thierry Mugler

Anyone familiar with Thierry Mugler’s clothing design must be able to recognize his signature touch of art on the bottle, like Moulin Rouge meets Circ De Soleil. This scent is the oldest on my list, initially launched in 1996. Also, this one is not an everyday wear, and NOT for the faint of heart. It is deep, and bottomless. When applied straight the the body, the full scent is lost under the tones of coffee and chocolate, but when wafted the scent comes to life as a symphony of lavender and vanilla bourbon which slowly transitions into an intense woodsy composition before erupting into a finale of chocolate and coffee.

Now imagine smelling that with every breath you take next to someone. Yeah. Like I said, not for a walk in the park, but break this one out for a really special occasion, or when you want to make a lasting impression on someone.

4. Givenchy Pi Extreme

A revamp of a 1998 scent simply titled “Pi” by the same house, this can be described as the competent, but nonetheless younger brother of the Mugler powerhouse above. Designed for the man who wants to test his limits daily, and live his fullest life while remaining humble – like his scent.

This is an earthy make in an oriental structure that is very simplistic in nature – it’s woody base contains notes of ironwood, benzene, and (best of all) leather. It’s been described by its frequenters as “magnetically attractive”.

5. Luna Rossa by Prada

Named after Team Prada’s sailboat which translates to “Red Moon”, this masculine scent draws its inspiration from the lust of victory, marine life, and prestige that Team Prada feeds from in it’s American Cup races. The base of this scent shines like a lighthouse in a storm, composing ambrette and ambroxan notes together in such a way that it temporarily hides (without suffocating) the lavender, spearmint, and sage in the heart and top notes.

I wear this like Bleu de Chanel, near daily, but when I’m in need of a more ambitious routine for the day.

Honourable mentions:

  1. Valentino Uomo by Valentino
  2. Gentleman Only by Givenchy, The Scent by Dolce & Gabbana
  3. Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana
  4. Dylan Blue by Versace
  5. Burberry Brit Rhythm
  6. Man by Jimmy Choo

I hope this inspires you to break out of your comfort zone and adventure a little bit with your scent. Charm leaves a good memory, but scent leaves a physical one. Leave your company with fond memories, gents.


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