THE LATEST SCENTS FOR SPRINGPRING OFFER A COMPLEXITY, WARMTH AND SPICINESS NOT ALWAYS ASSOCIATED WITH RELEASES AT THIS TIME OF YEAR,EAR, WRITES Elisabeth King.
Complexity and warmth offer a point of difference this Spring
Bold usually goes with cold but many of this year’s warm weather fragrance launches aren’t lightweights. Blame the switch on Bleu de Chanel, the global smash-hit that re-confirmed the power of woody, musky scents to set women alight whether the weather is hot or brass monkey. Why? Complex scents make a man seem more grounded and masculine. Here’s a rundown of the new season’s scents that have truly graduated from college.
1 PENHALIGON’S SAVOY STEAM EAU DE PARFUM London barber William Penhaligon developed his first fragrance in 1871 – Hammam Bouquet – after trimming the Shah of Persia’s beard. Powerful as the long-dead potentate, it’s still a cult favourite. This tribute interpretation is less opulent, and is clean, spicy and refreshing, thanks to rosemary and geranium. A touch of eucalyptus in the drydown justifies the word ‘steam’ in the title, as in Turkish bath. $279 for 100ml; agencedeparfum.com.au and selected Myer and David Jones stores. 2 AMOUAGE FIGMENT MAN Amouage, founded by the Sultan of Oman in the 1980s, is stocked by the cream of the world’s department stores. Ten years ago, the luxury fragrance brand had a makeover to appeal to more international tastes but the princely price tag stayed in place. This complex woody oriental is quite a ride from earthy through animalic to warm sandalwood and moss. Test on your skin, not a card, be sparing and allow plenty of development time before a final judgment. Challenging but worth it for the right guy. $446; agencedeparfum.
3 COACH MAN Coach re-entered the fragrance arena last year with a women’s scent that raked in millions in the first three months. No stranger to men’s fragrances, the US bagmaker launched five male juices from 2009 to 2013 but none were backed by major star power. James Franco, the archetypal cool guy, is the face of this new tilt at the big money. A woody aromatic spiced with cardamom and coriander, there’s nothing stoner about a contemporary urban scent that semaphores NYC. From $85; department stores. 4 MISSONI PARFUM POUR HOMME Missoni reached out to young urban males earlier this year through a collab with cult French sportswear brand Pigalle. The Italian heritage brand is zooming in on more tailored types with its first men’s fragrance in a couple of decades. The twang of Mediterranean herbs charges up the heart of this aromatic woody fougere bolstered by oakwood, birch and musk. Gone is the leery outer packaging of yore, replaced with a burnished box and dark-tinted bottle that signals an on-trend take on prestige. $150 for 100ml; exclusive to David Jones. 5 MONTBLANC EMBLEM ABSOLU Warmer and more woody than previous Emblem fragrances, this floral oriental claims to be for audacious types who might as well have the word ‘confident’ tattooed across their foreheads in invisible ink. Hype and the flashy gold bottle aside, the hot/ cold balance of timber and spices make it an automatic buy for the fans. $120 for 100ml; department stores.
6 GUCCI GUILTY ABSOLUTE Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele spent five years as the luxury brand’s leather goods design director. He’s certainly grabbed the bull by the horns with this dark and sexy fragrance which ranks as the scent equivalent of the leather interior of a Porsche. Ace perfumer Alberto Morillas plays to the strength of the hide with an aromatic blend of patchouli, vetiver and cypress. Wait 30 minutes before assessing skin impact or you might feel you’ve been whacked by Jeff Horn’s glove. The primal male drydown isn’t for everyone and it’s not meant to be. From $108; 1800 812 663. 7 Y BY YVES SAINT LAURENT JFK had just been assassinated when YSL last rolled out a women’s classic fragrance simply called Y. Nannas wax nostalgic and it’s still in limited production. There’s also a persistent green note running through this new men’s juice, billed as the first “white and dark fougere”. A new twist on the popular male scent type, it blends bergamot, ginger and geranium absolute (the white as in a classic T-shirt) with fir, ambergris and incense (the black as in a dinner jacket). Sensual whatever time of day you spritz. From $109; department stores. 8 ROBERTO CAVALLI UOMO SILVER ESSENCE Last year’s Uomo kicked off a new fragrance chapter for the veteran Italian designer – powdery, oriental and floral, yet dark and damp. This follow-up is fresher but still rates the woody oriental label. The opening of cardamom and ginger earmarks the juice for Spring casual wear. Longlasting and head-turning. From $80; David Jones, Myer and selected pharmacies; on counter September 10.
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