As I’m sure you are aware, Father’s Day is just around the corner (15 June 2014, to be precise) and if you weren’t aware of this fact then shame on you! I kid, I kid, but it is important that one takes this opportunity on this one day of the year to celebrate the years of dedication and the many life-lessons that our fathers or father figures have bestowed upon us.
Fragrance is a good gift for any occasion and on Father’s Day it can serve as a touching present, that when picked correctly, can be very thoughtful indeed. To help you navigate the often-baffling array of fragrances in the world to pick something that matches the character of one of the most special guys in your life, I have put together this handy gift guide.
Here you can choose from; the ‘safe bets’, those easy-to-love fragrances that are likely to please any recipient; the ‘adventurous buys’, those slightly more unusual perfumes for the discerning fragrance connoisseur; and the ‘big splashes’, those luxurious treats for the dad that really deserves something special.
When it comes to picking a an easy-to-love- fragrance for Father’s day, one cannot go wrong with a traditional Eau de Cologne, and perhaps one of the most enjoyable fragrances of this style is Acqua di Parma’s Colonia. This is a long-lasting citrus cologne, accented by green Italian herbs and a solid wood base. Few fragrances can be referred to simply as ‘handsome’, except for Colonia, which, with its refined and easy-breezy vibe, really lives up to this moniker, making for a perfect gift for those relaxed dads out there.
For something less easy breezy and a bit more macho, one must look towards Etat Libre d’Orange and their forest-y masculine, Eloge du Traitre. Translating roughly into English as ‘Elegy of a Traitor’, this is a classically butch and herbal fougère with the sharpness of pine needles and the animalic feel of beeswax. This one is perfect for the old school dad who likes to smell smartly turned out, classic and manly all at the same time. It’s a complex perfume for a complex fellow.
Something slightly less classic and altogether more modern would be Comme des Garçons’ Blue Encens. Incense is one of perfumery’s most famous ingredients, and deservedly so, it is after all, a multi-faceted material that can smell; sweet, smoky, cool, woody and camphor-like. In Blue Encens, incense is at its coolest and most sparse, thanks to a variety of clove-like spices that give the impression of a grey, barren landscape. It’s impossible not to enjoy a fragrance that is so modern, yet so familiar.
Etat Libre d’Orange’s Fat Electrician is an adventurous buy for two reasons; not only is it a slightly unconventional take on the familiar note of vetiver, but it also has a name that could be taken the wrong way by any recipient without a sense of humour. I’ve picked it because it’s a thoroughly enjoyable masculine that takes the earthy and root-y qualities of vetiver and envelops them in a blanket of creamy vanilla and smoky myrrh. The result is something that smells neither delicious nor sexy, making for a comfortable yet masculine perfume that smells pretty damn fantastic.
Olfactive Studio’s Autoportrait definitely has a more approachable name than the Etat Libre d’Orange, but it is no less unusual when it comes to its olfactory profile. Taking inspiration from the self-portrait, Autoportrait is a reflective perfume cast in silvery grey hues. Spice, woods and the soft crackle of elemi come together to create something that smells cold and metallic but simultaneously soft and furry. It’s a handsome and sleek affair that is way cooler than any Instagram-filtered selfie could ever be.
Whilst on the subject of silvery grey things, one would be remiss not to discuss the phenomenal Narciso Rodriguez for Him – a fragrance that, despite being from a mainstream designer brand, smells anything but conventional. Focusing on a central core of grey, vegetal and mushroom-y musk, For Him is a cool, earthy fragrance with touches of sweet violet leaf and smooth amber. As far as masculines go, this masterful creation from perfumer Francis Kurkdjian (he of Le Mâle fame) is subtly unconventional and perfect for any man that is quietly awesome.
No father’s day gift list would be complete without an entry from luxury Omani fragrance house, Amouage. Nobody does luxe and beauty quite as expertly as this brand and their Library Collection houses a plethora of artistic and grand perfumes that range from the symphonic and the beautiful to the challenging and the edgy. Opus VII is perhaps the collection’s edgiest perfume and with its curried spice, black leather and bitter green galbanum, it conjures up the image of a James Dean character – a rebel without a cause, smoking a lone cigarette and rocking an old, black, cracked leather jacket.
If the father figure that you’re buying for deserves a luxury treat but isn’t quite as rebellious as one would need to be to rock Opus VII, Aramis’ Perfume Calligraphy Rose would make a good substitute. Presenting a more masculine take on the humble rose, Perfume Calligraphy Rose pairs a delicate rose water with smoky woods and leather to create a perfume that straddles the gender gap between masculine and feminine in perfect balance.
Mark Buxton’s Wood & Absinth however, is a decidedly more masculine affair. As the name suggests it’s a fragrance that predominately displays notes of spicy cedar wood and the acidic bitterness of the deadly Green Fairy. But whilst that may make this perfume sound like it’s dark, destructive and deadly, the truth is quite the contrary and Wood & Absinth displays a fresh and biting odour profile that is a like a cold shot of absinthe over ice – a feeling that is worthy of the luxurious price tag.