5 things women look for in men’s fragrance

Make sure you're not falling short, gentlemen

“When looking at the key senses and why desire and attraction can be evoked a woman looks to visual, auditory, olfactory, taste and touch as measures of a man. Evidence shows that women look to the olfactory much more than their male counterparts who’s initial sense is visual” says Alex Oprey, Head of Marketing at Floris.

The fragrance you wear is important, and it says a lot about you. People say that it’s subjective, that you should wear what you (and only you) like, but that’s not strictly true. While you’re obviously you’re not going to douse yourself in something you hate everyday, there’s also someone else to consider: the woman, or potential woman, in your life needs to love it. So what should you be looking for?

“Scent has a power to evoke long forgotten memories buried in the subconscious and this has the potential to un-tap any number of emotions. In a positive light this could be a sense of warmth and trust, or equally a sense of sexual appeal and desire. Beware however, that the wrong sense has the potential to bring out negative associations with betrayal, arrogance and threat.” – Alex Oprey, Head of Marketing at Floris.

Covering yourself head-to-toe in fragrance is one of the quickest ways to put a potential partner off. It was okay when you were 13 and had just discovered Lynx but you’re a gentleman now, and gentlemen are all about subtlety. How much fragrance you spray each time totally depends on the note structure of the fragrance.

“Strong woody and oriental scents should applied lightly and sparingly. They may smell great when you apply them at home, but your nose will adapt and dismiss the scent quickly, while to others it could still be too strong long after.”

…yet long lasting. You need to invest in a fragrance that isn’t immediately obvious, but one that will last you the whole day and that women will only smell when they are within close proximity to you. Perfume, rather than cologne, is what you should be looking for.

Victoria Christian, global ambassador for Clive Christian says, “when a drop of Clive Christian perfume is placed on the skin is that it begins to warm and unravel slowly, revealing all of the different facets of the perfume with great longevity but also lying close to the skin and discretely telling its tale to those allowed close enough in to smell it. Clive always says that your perfume should be no more than an extension of your handshake.”

While everything that each and every one of us like is totally subjective, and that we all have different tastes and styles, it’s important that you listen to her opinion when trying a scent. Listen to what she has to say, take in her opinions – remember, you’re not the only one who’ll smell this.

Oprey says, “Always check with someone else, and listen to compliments. They are the best measure of scent appeal. To use scent to improve attraction, you want the object of your desire to be in close vicinity. Her being able to smell you from across a crowded room is a no no.”

While it’s important to have a fragrance that defines you, every gentleman should understand the importance of mixing things up occasionally, especially with the change of the seasons. In the summer, stick to bright, citrus fragrances as women find these invigorating. In winter, stick to something warmer and deeper.

Christian says, “(women like) for the fragrance to be warm like an embrace – rich, deep, warm notes like amber, leather, sandalwood, tonka bean, vanilla and Vetiver tend to be in the base notes of a perfume and lend a warm ever so slightly sweet glow to a perfumes complexity, subtly enveloping the wearer – and also those that the wearer embraces.”

It’s very easy for a guy to walk into a shop and pick up the first relatively nice looking fragrance on the shelf, but what women like is to know that you’ve really taken your time over it, that you’ve done your research and that you understand and appreciate every top, middle and bottom note throughout the fragrance. James Craven, Les Senteurs Fragrance Specialist, gives you the rundown of what you should be looking for:

What it is: “Green, woody, fresh, aromatic, sharp, reviving.”

Why you should wear it: “Nearly all women adore the scent of vetiver, but its dark, earthy rooty quality has for so long been associated with men’s fragrances – for centuries past – that it is often (erroneously) regarded as too assertive and masculine an oil for women’s perfumes. Many ladies, however, are very happy to snitch a spritz from their partner’s shelf.”

What it is: “Cold, chilly, invigorating, cooling, immaculate.”

Why you should wear it: “Women love to smell lime, lemon, bitter orange and grapefruit on a guy. Citrics are clean, austere, smart, sharp, cool: like a well-pressed new Egyptian cotton white shirt and newly washed hair. Citrics make a girl think of her man in the bathroom – perfectly shaved, buffed, coiffed, cleansed and charged up with energy – crisp and fresh and wholesomely handsome : making himself gorgeous just for her and with no apparent effort. Unconscious sex appeal: the best sort.”

What it is: “Breezy, bluff, forthright, fresh, outdoor, sporty, athletic, ozonic: all the nice girls love a sailor.”

Why you should wear it: “And they love the carefree, energetic little boy still inside the man. Aquatics are straighforward, joyful and uncomplicated. Their accords of wood, clear transparent musk, spices and hesperidic notes are all handled lightly with a burst of joie de vivre and lightheartedness. Aquatics really do indicate a man who doesn’t have to try too hard – as the old slogan has it.”

What it is: Taboo, forbidden, narcotic, smokey, golden, honeyed, dangerous, edgy, controversial.

Why you should wear it: “Yes, some folk still squeal, squeak and protest at the idea of tobacco, even in a scent. It is a paradoxical oil which – maybe depending on one’s age and generation – can be simultaneously exotic and reassuring. Explore the adventure of raw honeyed tobacco leaf on the African/American plains or seek refuge in cosy studies and snugs.

What it is: Sandalwood, cedar, juniper and other precious scented woods to enhance the natural fragrance of male skin. Smooth, suave, poised, assured, manly, opulent, centred, aristocratic, powerful.

Why you should wear it: Woods have been used in men’s fragrance for millennia. They give a sense of power, easy confidence and authority – the fragrance of Man’s natural habitat and his occupation: the farmer, woodsman, hunter/gatherer. Woods are confident and magisterial; solid and true; faithful and trusty!

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