The olfactory pursuit: Finding your signature fragrance

2 min read
29 Jan 2018
2 min read
962 words
We teach you how to master the fine art of smell, as we get to the bottom of all the fragrance lingo and brand info to put you on the most painless path to finding your next signature scent

Friday, fellas! While wearing cologne, eau de toilette, a signature scent or whatever you want to call it is by no means mandatory, it’s nonetheless a powerful extra detail that many men of style swear by. That said, there is nothing more overwhelming than walking into a fragrance store and walking out with a new scent. Even if you make it through the gauntlet of employees wielding test strips and spritzers, you’re guaranteed to not make it past five scents before you can’t tell the difference between any one of them. That’s why the best way to attack the process of buying your first fragrance is by doing your research, getting some recommendations and then harnessing all your patience to test out a bunch of samples on your skin. And it’s here that we teach you how to master the fine art of smell, as we get to the bottom of all the fragrance lingo and brand info to put you on the most painless path to finding your next signature scent.

Go with your gut, your eyes and your nose

Let’s be honest. We’ve all spent too much time buying and selling colognes on the basis of the ‘olfactory pyramid’, which explains in detail what top and base notes are in each fragrance. However, fragrance is like wine. It’s an emotion, a smell, a palette and a sense of pleasure. So, before you go on and ask what’s in the thing, just smell it and see how you react. If it tells you a story then, you already have half the job done.
Next, go towards the bottles that are attractive to you and start trying their contents little by little. Always remember to choose and go for a brand that uses quality raw materials, and then go with your instinct.


Fragrance group: Woody spicy
Main accords: Aromatic, fresh spicy, green
Nose: Fabrice Pellegrin

Try smaller, niche brands

It’s clear that brands and labels spend tons of money on celebrity-endorsed ads, full-featured spreads and mega, mammoth billboards in order to sell their perfume. But quality perfumers simply work with the best natural products. So for a change, look for a perfume that’s not a designer brand, but made by a perfumer. They specialise in one thing and create that thing at the highest quality.
Likewise, when you have 1,200 flankers coming out in one year, half of them, rest assured, will have the same odour. So, learn to find something that is specific to you rather than chase every other edition out there. Get something that you can call yours and no one else’s. After all, real luxury is the sensation that something is made for you and only you.


Fragrance group: Oriental woody
Main accords: Sweet, aromatic, warm spicy
Nose: Alberto Morillas and Aurelien Guichard

Test it on your skin

Your skin chemistry interacts with that of your cologne and changes the scent from what it smells like straight out of the bottle. So, if there’s one rule you need to abide by, it is to test the cologne on your skin. Ask for a take-home sample. After all, if you take 40 different men and put the same cologne on all of them, you’ll have 40 different odours.


Fragrance group: Chypre fruity
Main accords: Fruity, sweet, leather
Nose: Olivier Creed 6th Generation and Erwin Creed 7th Generation

Take someone scent shopping with you

When it comes to men’s fragrances, a woman’s opinion is without a doubt, obligatory. Your fragrance is a seduction tool. And if it doesn’t react well with your skin, then there’s a problem. So you need her to smell it on you.


Fragrance group: Woody aromatic
Main accords: Fresh spicy, aromatic, citrus
Nose: Jo Malone

And if you’re a hesitant fragrance wearer

Go for something fresh. Something recognisable like citrus, fig or lavender but not too sophisticated.  And definitely keep the weather and the time of the year in mind.
If you’re still confused as ever, we’ll try to make it even easier with our favourite, individual recommendations for the season: Happy sniffin’, fellas!


Fragrance Group: Floral woody musk
Main accords: Green, rose, floral