Buying a fragrances is not a task to be taken lightly. Choosing as scent with just the right balance of notes takes time and if up until now you’ve relied on friends, family and partners to buy your fragrances, stop! We’re going to guide you on how to choose the right scent for you and what fragrances are on our radar this spring.
Hit the right note
Most modern men’s fragrances are composed of a series of fragrance ‘notes’ that combine together to create a bigger picture. Top notes are the ones you smell first and are often zingy and smell of fresh citrus. They can last just a matter of minutes before the middle (or ‘heart’) notes emerge. These are followed by the appearance of base notes, which can appear an hour or more later. These are the rich, heavier ingredients that have more staying power and are similar to the finish in a good glass of red wine. It’s these you smell hours after applying and are the ones you have to live with.
Try before you buy
It’s all very well smelling something on someone else but chances are it’ll smell totally different on you. That’s because each of us has a unique skin chemistry. Your skin type can affect things too. Fragrances tend to last longer and come across as more intense on oilier skin, for example.
Choose your moment
If you’re going to hit the mall to look for a new fragrance, try doing so in the morning. Not only are your senses sharper, the air in the store won’t be full of other fragrances, which will make the process easier. Use the blotter cards to narrow down your selection but once you find a couple of fragrances you like try them out on your skin. Then give each fragrance an hour or more to dry down – this will allow it to ‘mature’ and develop on your skin. Yes, we know, an hour is a long time, just go grab a coffee to pass the time. If possible go outside to see how it smells away from the fragrance-filled air of the store. Only then think about buying.
Treat it nice
Prolonged exposure to strong sunlight or extremes in temperature can disturb the delicate balance of a fragrance and change its scent, so to ensure yours doesn’t spoil always keep it in a cool, dry place (bathrooms aren’t great) and out of direct sunlight. If possible, keep it in its original box. Fragrances have no set shelf life because ingredients vary hugely but, if opened, most will last for around two years and, if unopened and stored correctly, they can last for up to five years.
Our current favourite five
- The sophisticated, flawless, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio Profumo (from R1 399 for 750ml) is an intensely masculine fragrance. It’s been nearly 20 years since this fragrance was first released and this version is just as good, if not better.
- The Lacoste L.12.12 Jaune (from R815 for 30ml) is an ode to happiness. The scent triggers optimism, joy and positive energy with its fresh and citrusy notes – perfect for the season.
- Boss Bottled Intense (R1 450 for 100ml), the masculine and luxurious fragrance by Hugo Boss, is designed for the man of today as a refined interpretation of the original Boss Bottled from 1998. It’s composed of woody notes of sandalwood, cedar and vetiver.
- David Beckham Beyond (from R550 for 90ml) is a light and sophisticated scent. The fragrance opens up with crisp mojito and hints of vanilla and leather, which develops into something powdery, sexy and subtle.
- Described as a deep and seductive scent, YSL La Nuit De L’Homme Intense (from R1650 for 100ml) has notes that include iris concrete, vanilla, tonka, patchouli, violet and sage.