Surprisingly, colour is the key when it comes to building your fragrance wardrobe. Just as designers from Valentino, Givenchy and Christopher Kane to Jonathan Saunders and Paul Smith peppered their collections this season with feel-good yellows, powder blues and multi-coloured prints, fragrance houses, too, have recognised the visual importance of colour. But there is more to this than aesthetics: the shade of the bottle provides a strong clue to the scent inside. Here’s how to pick just the right one for you...
Inexorably associated with luxury, gold fragrances are often complex and opulent. Atkinsons Oud Save The King and Amouage Gold Man (right) are both housed in opulent flaçons and feature ingredients like frankincense, myrrh, jasmine, sandalwood and rich, smoky oud, which have long been valued by perfumers. They’re showy, punchy statement pieces – none more so than No 1 For Men by Clive Christian.
Chances are if the bottle is green, the fragrance itself will have a ‘green’ aroma, without being citrussy. Paul Smith Men, for example, uses violet leaf and fig notes to give it a vegetal edge. Creed’s Original Vetiver (right) – a superb fragrance every man should try – also follows suit, even though vetiver, the note around which it is built, actually comes from a root. ‘The first commercial vetiver fragrance, by Carven, came in a green box and the association has continued ever since,’ explains perfumer Roja Dove.
Black is often used to give an air of mystery and depth or to lend a little masculine edginess and evening appeal. Tom Ford Noir is right on point: this rich, creamy and sensual scent is perfect for nighttime. John Varvatos’s Artisan Black is an enduring woody fragrance with a musky base, while Gucci Guilty Black Pour Homme (above), with notes of lavender, coriander, orange flower and patchouli, was created to be a hedonistic, more mysterious version of Gucci Guilty.
Many fragrances use hues of sea-blue to signal their freshness – sometimes capturing a distinctly Mediterranean vibe – perfect for work or holidays, where crisp and clean scents are key. Bentley For Men Azure and Acqua di Parma’s new Blu Mediterraneo Ginepro di Sardegna (above) both contain summery citrus and herbaceous notes (think holidays in southern Europe). Others, like Davidoff’s iconic Cool Water, have a marine freshness redolent of the sea’s salty tang.
See red, and energy, danger and passion may come to mind. Which is exactly what the fragrance companies want you to think, of course. Ralph Lauren’s feisty fragrance Polo Red, for example, is aimed at the ‘risk-taker’ (it contains sparky red saffron, red wood cranberry and red grapefruit). Givenchy’s Xeryus Rouge (left), meanwhile, is fiery and spicy and Czech & Speake’s Cuba Cologne exudes Latin sensuality with its energetic notes of bergamot, lime, clove and intoxicating rum.
and are inspired by public-transport prints. READ, WATCH AND SHOP NOW > Three style tricks for SS14, plus what to
wear to San Francisco film festival. READ AND SHOP NOW > The story behind Humberto Leon and Carol
Lim’s label, plus the pair’s rules of style. READ AND SHOP NOW >