Is it too late to go into what to wear this winter? Of course not- especially with how crazy the weather’s been, it seems that winter, will be here for a while!
So what to wear? In our previous post we touched on the ins and outs of winter scents here, our Editor-At-Large, Alejandro Ortiz, talks about his favorite 5 fragrances for the season:
by: Alejandro Ortiz, Editor-at-Large
THERE are some absolutely astonishing men’s fragrances which have come my way, and as always, it’s the craftsmen, the true perfumers, outside the reigns of big multinationals which just want to create the season’s moneymaker, which are truly crafting great stuff:
[Samples were provided/sourced by/from Lucky Scent and Aedes de Venustas]
Memoir Man by Amouage
An immediate hit on the nose of something both mysterious and familiar- an Orange Julius tone of creamy bergamot whose mild powderiness unfurls to reveal a wooden core of mild-sandalwood tamed by something “darker.” The fragrance continues to evolve as it settles into base notes of musk, myrrh, and nuanced fragrances that take me to a Sufi temple somewhere in ancient Samarkand.
From Aedes de Venustas:
Heart- and basenotes that include Frankincense, Lavender, Oakmoss, Leather and Tobacco provide a resonant backdrop for beguiling top notes of Absinth, Wormwood and Basil.
Feuilles de Tabac by Harris Miller
When most people, men especially, see “Tobacco” in cologne they assume that it will smell like a well-aged Cohiba but what most don’t know is that the tobacco plant’s flowers are highly fragrant. Noctania Azteca intensely so… I keep a plant in my garden to keep the pests away from my vegetables and in the evenings, when the flower decides to express itself, it does so intently as to make anyone who’s near slightly dizzy due to its pungency.
This cologne catches just a glimpse of that: Top notes of sweet tobacco (flower) and Javanese cloves. Intense and beautiful- it stays singing a high note for a while. Soon it’s spicy core begins to surface with an array of Christmas spices (mace, ginger, allspice). This may be more apt to wear by a fire or a holiday party. Base notes of tonka beans, cinnamon, and cloves.
From Lucky Scent: (buy it here):
Cuban cascarilla oil, pimento berries, pine needles, sage, tobacco, tonka bean, Malay patchouli
Sartorial by Penhaligon’s
Top note-sharp!- of licorice, fennel and gin. This kindly gives way, as the frgrance ‘turns the page’ into slightly greener notes, something reminiscent of an apothecary and greenhouse—this mismatch of smells bgins to, after a minute or two settle into something a but more focused… sensual yet masculine. A slight smokiness that wafts the room with mild scents of tobacco, flowers (aldehydes) and a mix of botanicals which recalls a gin-based-tonic and therefore: juniper, coriander, citrus peel, powdered ginger and nutmeg. BUT do’s let this hyperbole mask the fact that this is a taut and tight-lipped (and very English) scent. IT is very nice actually… I would wear this to the opera, a social benefit, or something of the sort as it does scream old-world sophistication.
As the quintessential English dandy and couturier to the Queen Hardy Amies once said: “A man should look as if he bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, then forgot about them.” That’s Sartorial: tough and smooth, playful and elegant, impeccably tailored and as easy to wear as a bespoke suit.
From Luckyscent.com: (buy it here):
Aldehydes, ozonic effect, metallic effect, violet leaf, neroli, cardamom, black pepper, fresh ginger, beeswax, cyclamen, linden blossom, lavender, leather, gurjum wood, patchouli, myrrh, cedar wood, tonka bean, oakmoss, white musk, honey effect, old wood effect, vanilla, amber
Oud 27 by Le Labo
A masterpiece of Oriental this fragrance is a breathable tale of Thousand and One Nights… amazing. Oudh, a fungal growth on old/fallen wood, produces an aroma so mesmerizing as to make one forget where they’re standing. It is woody all at once with notes of frankincense incense; cedar and spice which makes me think this is what the temples of Ancient Egypt smelled like.
This is the fragrance that will get someone to cuddle up to your neck to try and decipher the siren’s song emanating from it.
From the guys at Le Labo (buy it there):
As always, don’t expect just pure Agarwood in this perfume. It’s even more. It’s a lot of Agarwood, Cedar Atlas, Incense, Patchouli, Black Pepper, Safran, and Gaiac, just to mention the most prominent ingredients (there are 20 more…). Oud 27 is oriental in the purest form, overwhelming and disturbing in its signature and power. Think Genghis Khan meets Shah Jahan for tea with Scheherazade. Or even less politically correct, it’s 1001 Arabian Nights distilled into 27 intense ones. You will enjoy it.
My personal favorite:
Jasmin et Cigarettes by Etat Libre d’Orange
“Long Live Perfume, perfume is dead” Is Etat Libre’s motto which has declared its independence from the “normal universe of classic perfumery…” These guys are out of their minds and gentlemen everywhere should be happy for that!
I was intrigued by this fragrance when I heard about it, especially because the company that makes it: Etat Libre d’Orange, have some crazy-arsed perfumes for men such as “Fat Electrician” and “Don’t Get me Wrong Baby I don’t Swallow…” But the master behind their scents is Antoine Maisondieu who has created other highly regarded perfumes for Comme des Garcons (Hinoki, Stephen Jones and Patchouli) as well as Van Cleef & Arpels (Muguet Blanc) as well as a host of others…
Jasmin et Cigarettes captivates you with a mild and absolutely sexy nuance of jasmin peeking through a captivating body of tobacco flowers, hay, oriental spices, woods and then settles into a beautiful muskiness tamed by dried Turkish apricot. My first reaction when I smelled this for the first time was “Holy shit…” I will be wearing this for years…
From the loons at Etat Libre (www.etatlibredorange.com)
It is the era of Harcourt Studios when Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich magnetised men with a Hollywood look in the eye, smoking a cigarette in a smoky black and white ambiance. Jasmin et Cigarette is also the slightly jasminy smell of a woman’s skin when she exposes her freshness to the dark seduction of night. A hazy atmosphere. The reminder of a fantasy, of an indelible trail she leaves on a dress at the break of day or in the intimate memory of the man who made love to her. It is elegance seen by Gainsbourg, the woman from the 80’s who smokes Gitane cigarettes and wears jeans and who, with astounding naturalness, claims her sensuality as a right. Transparency in sophistication, just a trace of jasmine mingled to the so far neglected smell of a cigarette. Jasmin et Cigarette is the twilight zone, the banned, addiction. Nicotine woman or heroine, she is an icon, the woman one longs for.
Composition: Jasmine asbolute, tobacco notes, apricot, tonka beans, curcuma, cedar, amber, musc…
(buy it here)
– Wear these with confidence and enjoy!