Elisabeth King IDENTIFIES THE SUAVE SCENTS THAT WILL GET YOU NOTICED AND ENHANCE YOUR REPUTATION AS A MODERN GENT.
Scents for the modern gentleman... or the guy who aspires to be
Many men pore over the finer details of tailoring and study the manners of the classic notion of a gentleman but today’s rules are more about re-interpreting what Miuccia Prada calls “the emblems of a gentleman”, rather than slavishly morphing into a young fogey.
Three-piece suits and sports coats remain mainstays of the wardrobe, but the modern gentleman is an all-rounder. He knows how to do a grease-and-oil-change, but knows he doesn’t have to. He can effortlessly organise a romantic dinner for his partner, but still enjoy a night out with the boys.
A love of symphonies and sports isn’t mutually exclusive.
Gentlemanliness isn’t a question of wealth. As Steve Friedman, the best-selling author of The Gentleman’s Guide to Life, puts it – “It’s about living large, loving well, feeling strong and looking good.” Good grooming is a given and so is your choice of fragrance to carry off the role effortlessly.
BOTTEGA VENETA POUR HOMME PARFUM
Gentlemen and the rich smell of leather are natural go-togethers. Bottega Veneta also defines its fashion rep with the finest of hides. This long-lasting version of the ancestor juice of 2013 – woody, spicy, with a leather accord – is all about upscale males at leisure who love hiking in the woods, the scent of cedar underfoot and comfy Chesterfields for a wellearned rest. Great-looking bottle, too. From $135; David Jones and selected Myer stores.
JIMMY CHOO MAN INTENSE
There’s a hint of Dior Eau Sauvage overlaid with a rock edge about this sophisticated, sultry scent. Black pepper and tonka bean add just the right depth of darkness to the fougere/woody/oriental template. Housed in an antique hip flask, it’s a Sean Connery interpretation of an old school smoothie – a manly ladykiller. From $105; Myer stores.
ROYAL MAYFAIR BY CREED
Why royal? This lime-fresh, soapy floral was inspired by the Duke of Windsor. Ignore the waspish character on the Netflix series, The Crown – the former King Edward VIII knew how to dress and dress well. Mayfair is, of course, the stamping ground of the English gentleman and the refreshing juice leans heavily on ingredients linked to the glory days of the British Empire – gin, Jamaican lime, Scottish pine and Australian eucalyptus. Sporty, classy and a cut above, let the top notes die down before stepping out on the town. $369; agencedeparfum.com.au
TOM FORD RESERVE BOIS MAROCAIN
First launched in 2009, this underrated gem has been brought back by popular demand by those with deep pockets. A standout of the incense category, it’s resinous with pine, cypress and vetiver. If you really love woody fragrances then make the investment in this limited edition for the olfactory equivalent of a vintage E-type Jag – smooth and powerful. $485; selected David Jones stores.
CZECH & SPEAKE NO. 88 COLOGNE SPRAY
Traditional but uncommon, this masculine chypre debuted in 1980. Named after Czech & Speake’s original address in Jermyn Street London, a stone’s throw from the gentlemen’s clubs of Pall Mall, the aromatic notes and intense florals leave a lasting impression for hours. The posh Brit brand takes its cue from the Edwardian era for its shaving brushes, manicure sets and toothbrush stands. Vintage yet individual at the same time. $199 for 100ml; mensbiz.com.au
CALVIN KLEIN ETERNITY INTENSE FOR MEN
The original Eternity for Men – circa 1989 – was a well-balanced fougere that quickly reached classic status for its understatement and class. This newbie shares the same name but is a different fragrance, thanks to a heart of orris (the favourite fragrance ingredient of Louis XIV) and geranium. Black tea and white pepper add spice. You get a lot of bang for your buck. $59 for 100ml; 1800 812 663.
AQVA POUR HOMME ATLANTIQVE
In the days when yachts had long keels, gaff rigging and cotton sails, tactical racing to windward was deemed ungentlemanly. The rule that hasn’t changed is that a love of the sea remains very establishment. Bvlgari’s answer to Bleu de Chanel, this refreshing aquatic is anchored by a sea amber accord for an energetic whiff of the ocean. From $95; department stores.
JO MALONE THE BLOOMSBURY SET
Bloomsbury in London’s West End is home to many of the British capital’s finest garden squares, the British Museum and is most famous for The Bloomsbury Group of artists, led by Virginia Woolf. This five set collection features three masculine scents redolent of brandy snifters, fat cigars, polished floors and an era when gentleman meant being of private means – Tobacco & Mandarin, Whisky & Cedarwood and Leather & Artemisia. Limited edition; $95 each; jomalone.com.au