What Makes A Classic?
There are literally thousands of great men’s fragrances out there from designer to niche, but truly classic scents are an altogether rarer breed. Among all the amazing concoctions, there are probably fewer than fifty that have survived fads and fashions to achieve iconic status and meet men’s, rather exacting, demands.
“Men often judge fragrances in the way they do cars,” says perfumer Azzi Glasser. “They want sophistication but demand reliability and performance too.” And while fancy flacons and big budget marketing campaigns may make an impact on us, ultimately, a scent survives because men – and women – keep coming back for another sniff.
So whether you’re a fragrance newbie looking for your first signature scent, a fraghead wanting to compliment your collection or a significant other in search of a fail-safe gift for the man in your life, I suggest you start with one of these timeless classics…
Yves Saint Laurents M7
Created in 2002 by perfumer Tom Ford, M7 became a byword for sexuality.
M7 is a heavy, rich, intensive and masculine fragrance, dominated by dark, warm and dry precious woody notes with an accord of raw materials and a heavy, natural, earth-like note originating from vetiver.
The formula of this perfume encompasses assorted trees and raw, odorous plants. The composition begins with elegant citrus notes of Italian bergamot, Sicilian mandarin and rosemary from Southern France. The warm heart contains one of the most expensive components—Agarwood, followed by vetiver. The perfume closes with a soft ambergris trail and musky notes.
Green Irish Tweed
Of all the Creed fragrances Green Irish Tweed is probably the most famous. Fans of this green, woody and powdery number (which features notes of violet leaves, sandalwood and Iris) allegedly include Hollywood A-listers Russell Crowe, George Clooney and Clint Eastwood, along with rock royalty like Robbie Williams and real royalty in the shape of Prince Charles.
Its enduring success (it launched nearly thirty years ago) might be down to its wearability as a fragrance. “Green Irish Tweed is a wonderfully constructed sophisticated fragrance,” says Grant Obsorne, founder of Basenote.com. “It has amazing versatility in that it works just as well whether you’re wearing a t-shirt and jeans or a smart suit.”
Millésime Impérial from the House of Creed is breath taking. A juicy burst of citrus and bergamot with undertones ofwood make this not only a fresh scent but one a true Classic Man should wear. Reminiscent of gold in a bottle, this breathe taking elixir launched in 1995. The nose behind this fragrance is Olivier Creed Sixth Generation.
Bleu de Chanel
Few truly stand-out fragrances have emerged in the lastdecade or so. With many perfume and fashion houses chasing a quick buck and the cost of bringing new products to market so high, it’s all too easy for companies to retreat into the safety of the focus group and produce scents that follow the market trend rather than create something unique.
There are exceptions to the rule though.
A woody aromatic fragrance for men, the fragrance features labdanum, nutmeg, ginger, sandalwood, patchouli, mint,jasmine, grapefruit, citruses, vetiver, incense, cedar and pink pepper.
Launched in 2007 and sold in more than 120 countries,Tabacco Vanille is still going strong thanks to its warm, intensely masculine blend of tobacco leaf and spicy notes; middle notes are tonka bean, tobacco blossom, vanilla and cacao; base notes are dried fruits and woody notes.
A classic chypre fragrance (characterised by a warm combination of oakmoss, florals, spices, gum resins, vetiver) it’s a big, punchy scent that’s perfect for evenings – conjuring up images of dimly lit gentleman’s clubs, precious leather bound books and the evocative aroma of cigars.
Tenacious and enduring, it’s everything a modern classic should be: timeless, masculine and perennially popular with women.
Do you have a favorite fragrance that you consider to be a classic? Let us know about it and why you rate it using the comments section below…