The Scent of a Gentleman

The finishing touch for many a well-dressed gentleman is his scent.  That is, his cologne.  That hint of fragrance that lets you know he’s taken the extra time and attention to complete an image of sophistication.

A man’s cologne should never arrive before he does and it should not linger or leave a long trail after he’s gone.  It should, however, be noticeable in close conversation or in more intimate physical contact (a greeting hug, for example).

A scent should match the occasion and the season.  And it should blend well with the man who wears it.

When selecting a cologne, don’t merely go by what smells nice on the paper sample card they hand you at the store.  Try it on YOU.  Place some on your wrist and get the first impression.  Then let it sit and linger for five or more minutes and see how it does after blending with your skin.  Take a friend with you and get her impression.  And remember, you are the one who will be smelling it more than anyone else — make sure it makes you happy and completes your image nicely.

I recommend fragrances from Penhaligon’s.  They tend to be subtle, elegant, and quite impressive. Plus, not every man wears them – so you won’t smell like everyone else.  Here are some scents I enjoy most and when I wear them:

Lp. No 9 is simply exquisite.  It is like being enveloped in luxury.  A rich, soft scent perfect for the dressed-up occasion.  But most perfect in the cool winter months as it radiates warmth and light.  I wear it nearly every day with my suits in winter. I find it lifts my spirits and makes those around me smile.  Too rich for the heat of summer, this cologne is long-lasting and the fragrance shifts pleasantly over the course of a day.  As this winter has been unusually warm, I’ve only just re-opened my bottle and I’ve fallen in love all over again.

Sartorial was designed to mimic the scent of the fine tailor’s shops of Savile Row.  As such, it wears well with the classic suit and is the essence of the successful man.  For my taste, this is also too rich for the warmest summer months.  But in the cool mornings and crisp evenings of fall and spring, Sartorial is quite simply perfection.  I sometimes use it as an alternative in my lineup for winter as well.  The scent is fresh, crisp, and all man.

I first discovered Quercus in the form of shower gel on a stay in Seattle.  It was August and the sun was shining up to 10 PM.  The days and nights were warm and moist.  And Quercus was simply luscious.  Bright, fresh, citrus it lasted all day and warmed me as the sun went down.  The cologne is equally fabulous and is my go-to in the heat of summer.  Some have said Quercus blends well with sweat and I’d say this is its magic.  You will sweat in the summer heat, even in your casual polo shirt.  A fragrance that not only tolerates, but welcomes this perspiration is certainly a wise choice.

While I shy away from suggesting that a gentleman have one signature scent, if there is a fragrance that I most often adorn, it is Blenheim Bouquet.  The fresh citrus notes are amazing in the warmth of spring and summer and the woody undertones work wonders in the fall and winter.  When I’m looking for a simple, incredible cologne to go with a suit, I choose Blenheim.  This is the scent that is classic Penhaligon’s.  On occasion, I receive the generous compliment of a lady regarding my cologne.  More often than not, it’s when I’m wearing Blenheim Bouquet.

So, gentlemen, there you have it.  Four fine recommendations on fragrance.  Our friends over at Of Iron and Oak have some great suggestions on how to apply your chosen scent.  We suggest you pay attention.

A Gentleman and Valentine’s Day

A gentleman always celebrates Valentine’s Day in style.  That, of course, means giving exquisite gifts that reflect care and thought.  It always means being in style yourself — being the man who makes your lady proud.

And the lady who loves a gentleman is certain to also give a great gift.  While a true gentleman considers it an honor to be accompanied by his lady – and that is surely gift enough — his heart melts when she takes the time to give him a thoughtful gift.

Our friends at Penhaligon’s have a few suggestions for Valentine’s Day and we adore their advice.

A gentleman must take great care in selecting a fragrance for his lady.  It is not simply what smells nice in the bottle.  It must embody her true spirit and essence.  Penhaligon’s takes great care in the crafting of each of their fragrances.  While I prefer some more than others, such is the nature of the craft.  Nevertheless, selecting from the Penhaligon’s line is sure to impress your lady.

My personal favorite Penhaligon’s scent on a woman is Lp. No. 9.  The fragrance is elegant, electric, exquisite.  The woman who wears it well is beautiful, confident, and glides through social settings with a sure smile.  Her scent is seductive and in command.  Only a true gentleman is worthy of her time and attentions.

For the gentleman seeking to impress his Valentine, he may choose to wear Blenheim Bouquet.  Blenheim is the classic Penhaligon’s scent and is especially nice in the cooler months, though also wears well through summer.  It is bright, citrus, and fresh yet woodsy and robust as well.  It is perhaps the fragrance chosen by Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey.  Strong, confident, bold.  A man sure of who he is and where he is going.

The scents of Penhaligon’s are notable for their subtlety.  Perfect, really.  A true gentleman’s fragrance does not “announce” his arrival.  It does not linger many minutes after his departure.  But it does enhance the pleasure of his conversation and in especially close greetings, is a refreshing finish to the refined man.

So, as Valentine’s Day nears, gentlemen should take care in selecting gifts — possibly fragrances — and focus on providing their ladies with a wondrous celebration of love and passion.

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