The best black tie fragrances to buy this Christmas

Categories: Gear, Grooming, Style

With the party season soon upon us, it’s time to unearth the tux and polish off the oxfords. And, because you’re slipping into a black tie ensemble, you’ll need to wear a fragrance that’s just as special as your garments. But if you can’t decipher your pink pepper from your petitgrain, then let us give you a hand. Here are five of the very best bottles to buy this winter… 

As someone who’s renowned for crafting outstanding formalwear, Tom Ford should know a thing or two about concocting an evening-friendly aroma – and although there are some impressive options in his grooming cabinet (Oud Wood, Tobacco Vanille et al.), Venetian Bergamot is a standout. Based mainly around bergamot (an Italian citrus fruit), this bottled beauty hits your nose with a fresh and sweet scent, before giving off an undercurrent of woody and spicy notes. So, if you’re looking for a more contemporary black tie fragrance, this is the one to cop.

For a Riviera-inspired take on black tie, try this. Remixing Acqua di Parma’s 1916 classic Colonia, the Colonia Essenza takes the amber-citrus base that made the original such a cult hit, adds in hits of grapefruit, mandarin and petitgrain and ties everything together with a subtle touch of spicy clove and musk in order to give off a warmer, smokier and more alluring scent. Our tip to you? Don’t go crazy with the sprays; it’s bold, long-lasting and will be detected way past the after-party.

Molecule 01 is unlike anything else on the market. You can’t exactly pinpoint its heart or base, and it has no obvious resemblance to any specific note. Yet, when you spray it, you instantly know that it’s Molecule 01. The idea is that it’s only made up of one key aroma chemical – Iso E Super – which creates a “comforting”, alluring and ambiguous scent which fades in and out throughout the evening. As a result, the wearer may notice a subtle woody aroma which will vanish then re-surface after some time. It’s this seductive, unconventional effect which makes this Escentric Molecules product one of the more unique items on the grooming market. 

A classic fougère (a fern-like fragrance that’s mixed with notes such as lavender), Royal Oud by Creed features an eclectic mix of pink pepper, Lebanese cedar and angelica. Strong hits of sandalwood and musk also give it a smooth, masculine and timeless feel. The signature clear glass bottle – which features Creed’s brand crest motif – is worth buying alone.

Whether you’re using one of its shaving sets or grooming kits, Czech & Speake certainly knows how to prep you for an event. And the No.88 cologne – the brand’s signature scent – won’t disappoint. Infused with a smoky, intense base of vetiver and sandalwood, the No.88 is as dark as the bottle that it’s packaged in; however, a sharp burst of bergamot and geranium and a dash of frangipani helps keep it from feeling overly heavy. And, thanks to a finely balanced blend of oils, this is a product you can wear all-evening long without having to top up.

Need some new evening wear? This is the ultimate black tie wardrobe.