Now, there’s something I don’t do (and also don’t like being done to me): asking friends “the cologne question”, i.e. name of their fragrance! But in exceptional cases where my curiosity becomes irrepressible, I usually brace myself to ask. So, on this day I was with this convivial media bloke, I held myself from asking him “the cologne question”. It was a moment of verbal paralysis for me and I ended up choosing to bask in reveries while the pleasant notes of his fragrance serenaded my senses. Sadly, not a few guys have a “cologne ID”.
The nerve to even pick a fragrance isn’t there. This is understandable as price tag on these colognes is a turn off. But again, don’t we all buy and wear pricey garbs and daps? I’ll seek to touch generally on what guys should know about fragrances. This gender specific post is also ideal for ladies who want the man (or men) in their lives to smell sexy. Let’s skip the history of perfumery and briefly examine the various classifications of perfume.
CLASSIFICATION: BASED ON CONCENTRATION
We have four classes of perfume namely (in order of their concentrations): the relatively unknown Espirit de Parfum, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Eau de Cologne. The first one comprises a very strong aromatic compound; the next is Parfum, then Toilette and Cologne. Currently (and fashionably), Eau de Toilette is in vogue as fashion houses are churning out more exotic scents from this class. Prices and availability vary. But with just N7, 000 or less, one could pick a decent fragrance.
CLASSIFICATION: BASED ON NOTES
“Notes”, are the scent we perceive at various times of the day from a good fragrance. We have:
Head notes: These are the initial scent we pick out from any perfume. They usually fizzle out within 5-10 minutes of usage. This note plays a vital role in the marketability of any fragrance as it serves as a “signpost” directing prospective buyers to the product(s). E.g. La Nuit De L’Homme (by Yves-Saint Laurent).
Middle notes: are usually perceivable after the head notes dissipate. It is known for “masking” any initial pungent head notes. With time, say 20 minutes, it becomes more pleasing to the olfactory senses. A good example is JOOP!, XS (by Paco Rabanne).
Base notes: are the “pillar” of any perfume. It blends seamlessly with middle notes and is usually sensed within an hour of usage. These notes usually maintain the “depth” of the perfume and could stay for hours or days on end! E.g. 1 Million (by Paco Rabanne).
CLASSIFICATION BASED ON “FAMILY”: Every fragrance belongs to a “family”. The five fragrance families are: Floral (scents from two or more flowers); Oriental (complex scents from ambergris, flowers, woods and vanilla); Woody (scents from amyris wood, sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, etc); Fougère (basic scents from coumarin and lavender); and Fresh (subtle combination of floral, oriental and woody scents). Also, there is a sub-division of the family into olfactory group namely: Aromatic, Aromatic Aquatic, Aromatic Fougère and Aromatic Fruity.
According to the world’s only professeur de parfums Roja Dove, examples of woody and spicy fragrances include (but not limited to):
Terre d’Hermes, Bleu de Chanel, Acqua di Parma, BVLGARI Man (2011), Gucci by Gucci, The One Gentleman (by D&G), etc. On the citrus or fruity side, we have: 1 Million (my fave), One Summer (by CK), Ultraviolet Man, La Nuit De L’Homme. For the fresh notes, example includes: Allure Homme Sport (by Chanel), Versace Pour Homme, Tom Ford Grey Vetiver, etc.
To complete my story above, when we touched down in Abuja, I decided to put my olfactory instincts to test the following day by visiting a popular mega store where perfumes are sold. Within twenty minutes, I was able to pick the fragrance my media friend dabbed a day before (maybe I’m wrong o)! It was lovely to behold! Sanni, the sales attendant advised I should pick it (he must have seen how gushy I was)! While contemplating and comparing notes, I spotted the new “Play”, picked it and told Sanni I’d be coming back for my “first love”!
To the blokes out there, it’s important we dab a little cologne before stepping out.
Also, preservation matters a lot when it comes to perfume. Ideally, fragrance bottles should be stored in a cool, dry place. Don’t leave it in a car as the scent will be “killed” if car is parked outside on a sunny day.
On a final note, I’m a sucker for woody and fruity scents. You could call me a connoisseur of perfume which I’m yet to be anyway, I’d stop at nothing but to smell exotically nice in the midst of ladies (and men of course)!
PS: FOR ADVICE ON PRICES, STORES, SHOPPING, BRANDS, NIGHT/DAY SCENTS, FEEL FREE TO REACH US VIA EMAIL: info@PassionistaHub.com