There is something very distinctive about fragrances that are marketed towards men. They usually have a deeper, more musky scent. They were leaning into rich ambers and smokey woody scents.
Some fragrances become a classic because they sell in huge volumes. Others are because of their luxurious nature, their high price tag, and their rare or interesting ingredients.
“The best investments in every man’s life are a custom tailored suit and an expensive cologne. It’s like buying the best first impression.”-Massimo Ferragamo.
There are also many celebrities throwing their hat in the ring to create iconic and timeless scents. It doesn’t always work. There are some men’s fragrances and designer brands that seem to stand the test of time due to their clean designs and gorgeous products. Balmain for Men, GUCCI, Parada, Tom Ford and so on. All synonymous with quality, luxury and being coveted.
Christian Dior is a timeless classic in both items of clothing, makeup and scent. Eau Sauvage made its name this year and has been around ever since. Why? It’s got light crips notes, but it is versatile too. You could wear it to work, a breakfast meeting or an evening meal all with the same ease.
Aramis might be something of a legendary scent. It was the very first prestige scent to be sold in regular department stores. It looked like honey and had all of the hallmarks of a rich and luxurious scent. The amber, jasmine, sandalwood, and leather combination is still as interesting and recognisable as ever.
Everything in the ’80s was big, bold and a statement. The scents of the era are no different. They have however remained popular all the way up until today. But the ’80s was also an experimental time for scents too.
Fahrenheit from Dior is punchy, bright and super quirky. This isn’t to everyone’s taste, but it sure is a statement by those who wear it. The violet leaves, patchouli, leather and mandarin really pull away from the ambers and woods into a bright but strong fragrance.
Creed has some classics to its name, but in the 80s, in particular, they offered up the Green Irish Tweed scent. If you wear this, you’ll need to learn how to have a balance because too much of this and people will smell you before they see you. The matte black bottle is a thing of beauty too. This Creed scent is woody, it is deep, and Clint Eastwood wears it.
Joop! Homme was massively popular through the 80s and 90s. The bright colours and the sweet smell had many a teenage boy investing for the first time in fragrances that weren’t Lynx (Axe). While the sent leans more to the sweet and floral direction, the vanilla warms it up and keeps it an inviting scent.
Notable launches through the 70s, the herby, earthy and a little bit fern-like scents became very popular. Givenchy Gentlemen is a deliciously rich scent. It is a heady patchouli based-scent. And while patchouli in the 60s and 70s was considered a bit ‘hippy-dippy’, Givenchy still rose in popularity. It was released in 2017, with a different range of notes.
The 1974 version is rich and has honey, cinnamon and rose as some of the top notes: cedar and patchouli and jasmine in the middle and patchouli and leather in the base note mix.
The 2017 version has pear, pineapple and cardamom as top notes, lavender geranium and iris as middle notes and leather, patchouli and black vanilla husk for base notes.
Paco Rabanne Pour Homme is a 1973 scent bomb. It pulled the men’s fragrance industry forward by throwing in more botanicals and floral scents. The rosemary and sage notes, mixed with oakmoss, give it a distinctive smell.
There are a few scents that have just stood the test of time. Maurer & Wirtz 4711 has a recognisable turquoise, gold and red packaging. It is an ultra-fresh, citrus-based cologne. It is also one of the most pocket-friendly scents around.
Guerlain’s Mouchoir de Monsieur is spicy, floral and dates all the way back to beyond 1904. The top notes here are Lavender, lemon verbena and bergamot - which brings the heavy citrus tones. The middle notes of neroli, tonka bean and patchouli bring a depth and then base notes vanilla, iris and amber warm the scent up.
Old Spice. While this isn’t worn as much as in previous years, it enjoyed a revival with some quirky adverts in the 2000s. It has been on the shelves for years, and there is something about the spicy-floral scent that keeps people coming back to it.
Most Expensive Men’s Fragrance
When you talk about the most notable fragrances for men, then you should always take into consideration the world's most expensive! When you get over a few thousand pounds or dollars, you are talking about rare ingredients, gem and gold-encrusted bottles and serious extravagance.
Clive Christians Imperial Majesty Perfume for Men is almost half a million dollars. Yes, really. It comes in at a massive $435,000 for 16.9oz. The bottle it is in has solid gold details, and 5 carats of white diamonds encrusting it.
In at number two, Clive Christian No. 1. The limited-edition bottle was created in collaboration with Baccarat (as was the one above) and is a crystal bottle. The limited-run only had ten bottles in 2005.
Creed makes the most expensive list a few times, as done Caron Poivre for men (this has a really unique bottle), and Penhaligon’s The Tragedy of Lord George. The latter has a more simple bottle design, but the stag head top gives it something pretty cool.
The most popular men’s fragrance at the moment is Creed Aventus, which comes with a sizable price tag. What makes the price worth it? All of the ingredients are natural-based. Synthetic ingredients are in general cheaper to produce, don’t last as long.
“Good manners and good cologne is what transforms the man into a gentleman!”- Tom Ford.