As a Grooming Editor one of the most common question I get asked is what my favourite fragrances are. To me, scents are a bit like lovers – you can play the field and sample everything that’s on offer but you always retain a certain fondness for your first true love. In my case, my ‘signature scent’ (i.e. the one I wear most and always return too) is Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene. Launched in the States back in 1975 it’s something of a curio in the UK these days. In fact, I’ve only ever met one other British Grooming Editor who’d even heard of it. But I love it now as much as did when I bought my first bottle of it back in 1985. A simple combination of violet, lemon, orange, oakmoss, sage and sandalwood it has a sweet, floral smell (think parma violets) that still manages to be masculine and quiet different from the raft of generic smelling fragrances around today. If you like something a bit different, give it a go.
What else in on my shelf? Well, Tom Ford’s smoky Oud Wood is a recent favourite and is one of the warmest and down-right sexiest men’s fragrances you’ll ever come across. Creed’s Original Vetiver is another of my all time favourites and is as masculine as it is expensive. Not everyone likes vetiver’s grassy earthiness but I love it. It has a strength and longevity that’s also present in Givenchy Gentleman, another classic men’s fragrance (which has also been around since the mid seventies) but this one’s signature note is patchouli. If you want something that lasts all day (and well into the night) it’s an ideal choice!
And finally, in my desert island fragrance list there’s Czech & Speake No 88 – for me the ultimate smell of the Eighties! Launched at the beginning of the decade, it’s a powerful mix of fresh bergamot, geranium, vetiver and sandalwood and comes in a fantastically Gothic bottle. If you want proof that the Eighties wasn’t actually the decade that style forgot this it it!