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.