Rav Pahud 10/25/20 06:38
No fragrance is complete without floral notes or their constituents, but in masculine fragrances, perfumers tend to blur the floral notes or hide them behind spicy, woody, and leathery notes. Flower bouquets in perfumery are more often created for women, and although no one can forbid those who want to wear women's fragrances, men's florals can also be found — a kind of boutonniere.
Men's common floral materials are lavender, geranium, and neroli. These have been considered suitable for men since the 19th century, as the green herbaceous freshness brings additional vigor to colognes. The rest of the flowers — rose, jasmine, tuberose, lily-of-the-valley — are usually used on the sidelines in men's perfumery. It was so obvious that in 1999 the American perfume brand Fresh launched Hombre de Flores, a mini-collection of masculine fragrances, created by Lyn Harris. The fragrances Jasminum, Narcissus, and Polianthes Tuberosa were centered on the titlular flowers. Indie perfumer Neil Morris followed suit with the Flowers For Men collection, in which rose, gardenia, and lilac were also addressed to men. Twenty years later, the choice of floral fragrances for men has grown significantly, albeit mainly due to unisex offerings.
How to choose a single masculine rose perfume? We'll have to push aside the traditional oriental pair of rose and oud. A tough and unbearably beautiful version of rose, pepper, and green suede accord in Rose & Cuir Frederic Malle, which, as we know, does not contain the rose essence or rose absolute. But it does include the rose soul, its green and citrus freshness, its berry sweetness, its warm-powdery, cold-spicy and thick, dark green spirit. It is a sweet rose among the poisonous greenery. I should warn you right away that it is not easy relaxation to wear this perfume — it is a kind of labor. For men who prefer soft and supple scents, there are many options like Rose de Mai Perris, Lyric Man Amouage, Rose Collection La Closerie des Parfums, and classic rose water.
Leaving aside the men's fragrances with transparent hedione jasmine (almost all modern fragrances for men), the most jasmine of masculines and the most masculine jasmine fragrance will be Jasmine et Cigarette Etat Libre d’Orange. With a sweet-fruity jasmine beginning, reminiscent of ylang-ylang, and with a tart tobacco smell of a freshly opened cigarette pack, it is an appetizing and inedible fragrance that causes salivation. It is for those men who do not smoke and do not tolerate tobacco smoke, but who love to sniff tobacco unlit, as well as gouache tubes and leather products.
Aqua Universalis Maison Francis Kurkdjian's icy tinkling floral-citrus freshness is perfect for the whole family to have as a shower, or to wash bed linens, white shirts and T-shirts. Like the white color of clothes, it is a completely versatile fragrance (lily-of-the-valley, hedione, and musk), as the name suggests. The subtle bitterness and longevity is enhanced in the Forte version, in which lily-of-the-valley is supported by indole-tinged jasmine, which is why I prefer this fortified lily-of-the-valley in spring and summer. For those who want even more lily-of-the-valley on a leather backing, choose Lily of the Valley Parfums Quartana.
The purest, greenest, and most floral option of masculine tuberose for me is still Polianthes Tuberosa Fresh, but it has long been discontinued. Duos of tuberose and tobacco like Tuberai Beau Kwon and Paloma y Raices Homoelegans are not easy to find. For a long time, the spicy balsamic tuberose scent of Vierges et Toreros Etat Libre d’Orange, with its resinous leathery base of labdanum with animalic costus shade, remained the most popular tuberose for men — until Adjatay The Different Company appeared, the demon of night temptations, a bouquet of tuberose hidden under a black leather jacket... And yes, the vegetable green tuberose of Nuit de Bakelite Naomi Goodsir, too.
Carnation in masculine perfumes has long been at the heart of barbershop fougeres (Old Spice Shulton, Equipage Hermes, etc), a spicy-powdery transition from lavender to coumarin and musk, eventually becoming an old-fashioned note. It is all the more pleasant to announce that the carnation flower is returning to men's perfumery, for example, in the creamiest and most delicate musk, Fugit Amor Jul et Mad, and in the spicy green The Green Carnation Fur Friendly. These fragrances are outstanding in a carefully calibrated spiciness and perfect durability, a polished marble texture (first) and a splinter character (second). It feels like the spirit of dandyism and Oscar Wilde is back.
Narcissus, with its bittersweet animalic-hay-floral smell, is the very welcomed guest in men's perfumes. It works great in leather and fougere accords. Better known are the green daffodils that evoke thoughts of the cold, wet air of the flower shop, such as in Romanza Masque Milano and Jonquille de Nuit Tom Ford, in which narcissus is blended with hyacinth, jasmine, mimosa, moist green leaves, and cold water. My favorite daffodil, Zeybek Pekji, is a tricky one to find, but it's worth the search. This epic daffodil blossoms against the backdrop of a classic masculine fougere on a civet-tobacco base.
I left some of the floral notes — neroli, orange blossom, heliotrope, freesia, acacia, magnolia, mimosa, hyacinth, cyclamen, lime, and cherry blossoms, etc — without my own answers. There are so many flower notes that the article could become endless. I suggest you recall which floral men's fragrances you like the most, and let us know in the comments section below the article.
Sergey Borisov studied Physics at Krasnoyarsk University. He's been known in the Internet perfume world under the nickname moon_fish for more than 15 years. His texts about perfumes have been published in Russian print and online publications such as GQ, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, The Rake, Glamour, and other magazines. He loves oud oils, as well as vintage perfumes, and notes of leather, vetiver, neroli, and orris. In 2013, Sergey joined the Fragrantica team.
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