Do you have a signature scent?
I like to say that it’s a rite of passage for a man to have 1) a signature scent and 2) a signature drink. Both feel like distinct tentpoles on which to hoist the flag of adulthood, and you’d hope that by now you’ll have settled on some sense of who you are and what you like (though of course, that can evolve).
These calling cards also leave people with a lasting impression of you. Just like when an old girlfriend thinks of you every time someone orders a Manhattan, wearing a signature scent is like leaving behind olfactory fingerprints. Who wouldn’t want to be remembered every time an old beau got a whiff of your scent, even when it’s not on you?
There’s also freedom in removing choices—less to think about each morning as we gear up for our day, and evening when it’s winding down—and couldn’t we all spend our energy elsewhere?
Below, 9 picks that have serious “signature scent potential”
1. Byredo “Velvet Haze, 50ml, $125
Wear it well: Get ready because a lot of these scents are unisex. Don’t let it freak you out. Instead, embrace the ability to steal your wife or girlfriend’s fragrance when you run out of yours.
2. Le Labo “Santal 33” 1.7 oz, $180
Wear it well: Another fan favorite of your gf’s, this kinda schmancy-but-still-accessible brand is muy popular in NYC right now, and I for one am honestly not mad at it.
3. Tom Ford “Oud Minérale,” 1.7 oz., $230
Wear it well: Tom Ford’s “oud” scents now encompass 29 different unisex varieties, and I’m obsessed with at least half of them. The latest, Oud Minérale, counts salty seaweed, pink peppercorn and fir balsam in its ingredient list in a play on surf and sea. Perfect for getting through winter with dreams of summer coming.
4. Yves Saint Laurent “Y” 2 oz., $72
5. Givenchy “Gentleman” 1.7 oz., $65
6. Commodity “Wool” 100 ml, $105
Wear it well: This is the scent I’m wearing this winter. Again: don’t worry, it’s cool for guys to wear, blah blah blah. Not that this totally matters, but I also love how the bottle feels in your hand..sturdy and substantial.
7. Coach “Coach for Men” 1.5 oz., $48
8. Creed “Viking” 100 oz., $495
Wear it well: Okay yes, is this cologne wildly expensive? Sure. It also smells like what you expect Erik the Red as played in a biopic by Chris Hemsworth to smell like, and as a lady, I’m very into it. Just saying, if you have the money, treat yo’ self.
9. Commes des Garcones, Wonderwood 50ml, $103
Wear it well: Described as “a positive overdose of woods,” this scent boasts cedar and sandalwood notes, with bergamot, Madagascan pepper, Somalian incense, and even nutmeg for a toasty warm finish.
At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to experiment
Of course, once you have a go-to scent, you can feel comfortable breaking out from your regular routine. Maybe you want to change things up by the season, or have a special date night scent, or even drop the olfactory baggage and buy a new scent when you find yourself in a new relationship. Knowing what you like already will help the shopping process be less daunting the next time you hit up the fragrance counter at the mall.
DO YOU HAVE A SIGNATURE SCENT, OR DO YOU LIKE TO SWITCH IT UP?