Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Favorite Masculine Fragrances

In honor of the husband's birthday, I wanted to share a list of my favorite masculine fragrances. Not "best masculines for women", nor officially unisex ones; only fragrances that were created/promoted for men. In no particular order:

Guerlain Derby. Better in vintage form, but the current version is still miles ahead than most modern fragrances. Green, leathery, and oakmossy, Derby is all class.

Speaking of Guerlain, I have to add Arsene Lupin (formerly Arsene Luipn Dandy). An oriental leather, sleek, and elegant.

Terre d'Hermes (both EDT and Parfum). Vegetable, mineral and animal. Also very peppery and alert; modern in the best possible way.

Tauer Perfumes Incense Extreme. This is the cleanest and most austere incense perfume I know. Like stopping by woods on a snowy evening. Its opposite is Tauer's equally unforgettable Lonestar Memories. The prairie at high noon.

Mazzolari Lui is not very well-known beyond the most devoted fragonerds, but it should be. Some say it's all chest hair, but to me it's the million dollar patchouli.

Ormonde Jayne- Ormonde Man is the masculine version of the beloved Ormonde Woman. Can a man smell bewitching? If so, this is how.

Penhaglion Sartorial is a modern fougere, Duchaufour-style. It's formal and elegant, totally boardroom-worthy.

Tom Ford Private Blend Tuscan Leather. I'm cheating a little, because I don't think the Private Blend is marketed with gender in mind, but I suspect that when a man walks up to the counter, this will be one of the fragrances offered (especially now that Japon Noir and Bois Rouge have been discontinured).

Parfum d'Habit by MPG is another one that should be smelled far beyond our little crowd. Leather and vetiver in a perfect balance.

And last, I know I need to pick a vetiver, since it's such a favorite in our house. I waffled a bit, but I think the most beautiful of the one I know is Vetyver by Mona di Orio.


  1. Am I validating my boy cred by loving the picture of the vintage Olds Toronado on front of one of the Bungalows at the Arizona Biltmore?

    1. Tom, the funny thing is that I was thinking of you the first time I saw the photo because of the vintage car.

  2. Terre d' Hermes is one my hubby and I both share, the salty vetiver drydown is so beautiful, and, it lasts forever (14 hours at least). The Liu sounds like a must-try, (I love patchouli, your review is fabulous).

    Two men's scents I adore are Bel Ami by Hermes (vintage version) and Life Essence by Fendi. Gaia, if you enjoy herbal/resin scents like L' Eau Trois, Life Essence may appeal to you. It's beautiful and elegant, with notes of cardamon, coriander, laurel leaves, cedar, moss and labdanum.

    1. Oh, Bel Ami is wonderful. I also love Equipage.

      Both the husband and I love and wear L'Eau Trois, so I'm taking notice. Thanks!

  3. I gave my boyfriend a bottle of Knize Ten for his birthday a few months ago. He was wary of it at first, but now he loves it, and he smells divine! His other favorite is Van Cleef and Arpels pour Homme.

    1. Knize 10 is, indeed, divine. The husband also loved it. We should get a bottle sooner rather than later.

  4. Back in the day, 1980, Watergate, D.C., I bought my Ballenciaga perfumes, and others. They gave samples, but I didn't want any around me that didn't have to do with me. But, I liked this male fragrance, once, and I knew nothing about men's fragrances, so while women recognize the bottles of their fragrance houses, I thought the name of the cologne for men was 'Pour Homme.' So when I was back in town with a sister to pick up some Le Dix, I asked to see the Pour Homme, as well, as we had a gift to take care of. Thank the lord he explained that they were all Pour Homme, and when I spoke the year he knew the ones he had put out to speak of at the time, and we located the correct one and gave it as a gift. Now, don't remember its name, as it was recommended for someone else. So, what was the best seller for 'discriminating' men in 1981, I wonder.
    Only other time I ever bought for a man was also late 80's, early '90s, at the Salvadore Dali Museum. I have always worn the Original as designed by Dali, but they didn't have that, had a bunch of others, I didn't like. Something about an estate issue, I think. Anyway, I found the original Dali for Men., and gave it to an artist friend. I die to hear how it is described on some youtube sights. It is an entertaining world out there, n'est pas?


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