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Groomed: Five men’s fragrances that should be on your shopping list


On the hunt for a new fragrance? This is not going to be just any fragrance, this is going to be your signature fragrance, one that you will take with you through life and keep wearing.

I’ve always been a one-fragrance man, but in recent times, and with the need to review products for work, I find myself spraying different fragrances at whim. While this is something I am aware is a very lucky thing to be able to do, I do long for the days when I had one scent that people associated with me.

So I have begun a quest to find my new signature scent, and here are the first five up on the review block that I think you should know about.

Hermès Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche

Hermès Terre d'Hermès Eau Très Fraîche bottle

Launched earlier in 2014, Hermes’ latest men’s EDT fragrance is a woody, aromatic scent that the brand describes as “a dialogue between bitter orange and woody notes and a clash between the solidity of earth and the freedom of citrus.” The opening notes of orange, citrus and water are lively and punch right to the back of the nose but settles instantly. It’s a bold opening has similarities to the original fragrance but is more well mannered. The composition then settles into heart notes of geranium and then base notes of wood, patchouli and cedar. It settles close to the skin with minor sillage making it a subtle fragrance for everyday.  The bottle is clean and classic with a twist top so it’s easy to store and carry, while the juice is an opaque honey tone.

Hermès Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche is available from Harrods.com for £77


Salvatore Ferragamo Acqua Essenziale Blu

Savlatore Ferragamo Acqua Essenziale Blue

This new eau de toilette from Ferragamo launched in April, it’s inspired by all things water and ocean, obviously – the power of sea waves and nature as a whole. It’s a complex scent with aromatic, balsamic, earthy, spicy and woody accords. The bottle is a striking ombré from dark to light blue, resembling the ocean seas. With top notes of green cardamom and Bergamot, followed by heart notes of cascalone, cedar wood atlas, cypriol and lavender, the fragrance settles with base notes benzoin and ambrox. It’s an intense and energetic fragrance that’s as complex as the inner soul of the Ferrragamo man.

Salvatore Ferragamo Acqua Essenziale Blu is available from Debenhams.com from £36


Mont Blanc Emblem

Mont Blanc Emblem

Launched in the spring, Mont Blanc’s EDT men’s fragrance is a truly masculine scent that pays homage to the essence of the Mont Blanc brand. As the name Emblem suggests, this scent is solid and strong; it holds its identity like a true landmark – powerful with a strong sense of attraction. The fragrance erupts with initial top notes of bitter grapefruit, cardamon and clary sage leaf with black peppercorns for warmth. Emblem evolves into violet and cinnamon leaves for a crisp heat while the intense precious woods and Tonka beans .

Mont Blanc Emblem begins with a splash of aromatic clary sage and cardamom mixed with sparkling grapefruit, which, right from the start, give the impression of a strong and charismatic fragrance full of contrasts. Fresh, green and frozen violet leaves are wrapped in cinnamon to provide elegance to the composition. The base features intense woods and Tonka beans for a surprising dry down.

The bottle reflects the craftsmanship of Mont Blanc pens, it’s modern, clean and intense in its shapely design, the deep balck and shiny finish are set off by the white logo at the top.

Mont Blanc’s Emblem has definitely struck a chord with me, it think it’s the top of my list currently for my new scent.

Mont Blanch Emblem is available from Selfridges.com from £29


Karl Lagerfeld Pour Homme

Karl Lagerfeld Pour Homme

This much anticipated fragrance launched, alongside an accompanying women’s scent, to much furor. An aromatic fougère fragrance, the eau de toilette, Pour Homme, opens with fresh lavender and mandarin oil. The fragrance develops to a heart of green apple and violet, built on a base of amber and sandalwood.

As a huge fan of Mr. Lagerfeld in general I had huge hopes for this scent, the bottle is as striking and grand as you’d expect – watch out for dropping it as I did, I nearly broke a toe – and the fragrance itself is nice and I do like it. My only issue is I don’t think it’s as individual as I anticipated, while smelling great it doesn’t stand out against the rest of the market and simply sits amongst the crowd as a good-for-anyone scent. With the weight Karl Lagerfeld holds in the industry, I would have though he’d have come out with something a little more in your face. The scent doesn’t hang around too long either but does settle close to the skin for a subtle hit that keeps the fragrance very personal – if you are looking for a simple, inoffensive scent then I would recommend checking this one out.

Karl Lagerfeld Pour Homme is available at Selfridges.com from £33


Valentino Uomo

Valentino Uomo

Housed in an ornate bottle that resembles a liqueur decanter, a fitting design for the amber-tone juice of the fragrance, the Valentino Uomo (man in Italian) eau de toilette is inspired by a “specific scene at the end of an aristocratic family lunch, on a huge table set on the terrace of a striking Roman palazzo. The fragrance notes are emanating from the garden of the palazzo, as well as the beverages and desserts that are still on the table after everyone has left.”

Valentino Uomo is a rich and decadent fragrance; utterly refined, it’s an expression of unmistakable style – it’s the olfactory equivalent of the brands iconic aesthetic of sophistication. The bottle is cut in prism studs, reflective of the ashlar bricks on a patrician palazzo.

The scent is a classic accord; smooth and leathery, “the softly smoky wood with a touch of vagueness that upsets the balance.” Top notes of bergamot and myrtle are succeeded by racy roasted coffee, blended with gjanduja cream on a rich base of cedar and precious leather.

Valentino Uomo is a powerful fragrance that demands attention; it’s mature in nature that would complement the suited-and-booted man well.

Valentino Uomo is available at Harrods.com from £46

- Words by Neil Thornton

Follow Neil on Twitter (@IamNeilThornton)

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