The unmistakable scent of rose has long been a mainstay of men’s fragrances, though in most cases it’s tucked away deep in the composition and the general ‘rosiness’ is dialled down so as not to make it seem overly feminine. Which is a shame in my book because men smell fantastic when rocking a rose fragrance. I myself am partial to Serge Lutens’ ludicrously sexy Tubéreuse Criminelle, which is the kind of scent you imagine the Marquis de Sade wearing whilst brandishing a riding crop, but even I have to be in the right frame of mind to wear it because rose-based fragrances are never for the faint-hearted.
Many men, of course, are still terrified about anything floral, which is presumably the kind of customer Etro is after with ManRose – their latest fragrance and one whose very name suggests it’s aimed at the kind of guy who can’t smell the nation’s favourite flower without instantly thinking of a diaphanously dressed, soft-focus Jayne Seymour wafting through an English walled garden.
Daft name aside (do we really need to be so blunt in 2017?) it’s actually a great starter fragrance for any man interested in trying florals as a change to the usual woody, smoky or leathery fare. What makes ManRose so accessible is the fact that, though the rose is there, it’s intensity is dialed down somewhat allowing the fragrance to have a delicate, powdery and slightly suedey edge which gives it a commerciality some punchier rose fragrances lack. So if you’ve always wanted to try something flagrantly floral but were always nervous to try this might well be the perfect introduction to the genre.
Top: Bergamot, Sichuan pepper, cardamon, elemi
Heart: Turkish rose, geranium, incense
Base: patchouli, vetiver, musk, leather, ember, woods
Etro’s ManRose is available now from Liberty, priced £118 for 100ml eau de parfum.