How To Leave Your Fragrance Comfort Zone

How To Leave Your Fragrance Comfort Zone

It’s easy to get oneself into a fragrance funk.  After all, we know what we like so why mess with perfection and go for something that may be a bit out there for our olfactory tastes? This is compounded by the fact that there simply is so much out there – there are literally thousands of fragrances launching every year, and with all that noise it’s sometimes a lot easier just to stick to what one knows. But as easy as that is, it’s hardly exciting and with so much out there, staying within one’s comfort zone means that so much beauty and interest goes unnoticed. Well, we can’t have that now, can we?

In this piece I’m encouraging you to get out of your fragrance comfort zone – to step away from those signature scents or styles you’ve always worn and to try something different. Sure, you may come across some duds on the way, but I can guarantee that when stepping out of that scented safe zone, you will find something new and spectacular to enjoy. So, whether you have never crossed the gender lines in your scent, or if you have one signature you always wear, or if you’re just faithful to one singular style, it’s time to be brave and rock the boat a bit. Don’t worry, you’re in safe hands!



Thierry Mugler Angel Muse Eau de Parfum

If you like a touch of sugar…

Do you have a sweet tooth? Have you been loving the likes of Armani Si, Lancôme La Vie est Belle, and Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb?  If so, kudos to you, because I have a sweet tooth too! But it’s time to put these pure sugar bombs down and reach for something a little bit more complex – something multifaceted that contrasts deliciousness with dark, twisted accords that bring an entirely new meaning to the word ‘gourmand’. Lucky for you I have the perfect thing: Angel Muse by MUGLER.

Angel Muse is an entirely different take on MUGLER’S classic Angel. It subverts Angel’s famous chocolate-patchouli accord by throwing in a creamy hazelnut note, making a fragrance that is soft, buttery and delicious, almost as if Angel’s angular edges have been rounded off into something completely smooth. The sweetness is contrasted by the darkness of vetiver, which gives Muse a rebellious, punky edge.  Where La Vie est Belle et all demonstrates the intimacy and glamour of gourmand notes, Angel Muse presents the style with one hell of an attitude. It’s time to upgrade our gourmand.


Juliette Has A Gun Lady Vengeance Eau de Parfum

If you are clinging on to the classics…

I love the classics. Give me a powdery oriental from the 1920s and I am a happy boy. But the classics can sometimes feel dated and it’s good to take the things that make those perfumes so beautiful – the animalics, the aldehydes, the hedonistic flowers, and the sumptuous powder – and give them a modern twist. Modern perfumery often takes cues from the classics and if you open your mind, and step out of that classic comfort zone, you may just find something that brings a new approach to those iconic fragrances you love so much. If you love Shalimar or Nº5, then this section is for you.

One beautifully modern take on a classic is Lady Vengeance by Juliette Has a Gun. Now, don’t let the name fool you, this fragrance is not out to seek revenge, it’s actually a rather gorgeous rose perfume, beautifully executed by none other than legendary perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. Lady Vengeance centres on a neon purple rose that is illuminated by the sourness of patchouli, but also softened by powder. It smells like vivid coloured fur and it’s the type of scent to give Shalimar a run for its money in terms of old school glam. So cast out that classic and muse over something modern instead.


Etat Libre d'Orange You Or Someone Like You Eau de Parfum

If you live for freshness…

We all love a bit of freshness from time to time (especially in this heat, let’s be real) and there is often nothing more satisfying than a hearty spritz of something refreshing and zesty. Colognes and aquatics tend to be the most popular, with the likes of Acqua di Parma Colonia, CK One and Davidoff Cool Water dominating the wardrobes of many a fragrance lover. It’s easy to see why too, these scents are great, but to take you out of your comfort zone (as this piece intends to do) I’ve selected a little something with a different kind of freshness for those endless summer days.

You or Someone Like You by Etat Libre d’Orange is probably the safest offering from a brand that bottled bodily fluids and took inspiration from homoerotic artists, just to name but two of their scandalous exploits. But whilst it may be their least daring fragrance, it is one of their freshest, using rose, mint and geranium to bring a sense of calm refreshment as opposed to citrus or marine notes. The result is a fragrance that seems to capture the exact moment where rose and mint meet in the middle, creating a wide and expansive freshness that lasts, and lasts, and lasts. It’s time to step your freshness game up, folks.


Alaia Paris Eau de Parfum

If you’re a guy who has only ever rocked a masculine…

Fragrant gender bending can be the most daring way to take oneself out of their perfume comfort zone, which means it’s often the scariest. But hear this, dear readers, fragrances do not have genders because they are inanimate, so wear what you damn well please, just make sure it smells good, OK? Gents tend to be less adventurous when it comes to stepping over to the feminine side of the fragrance aisle, but guys, trust me when I say I’ve found something that smells so good you won’t even care whether it’s masculine or feminine – that scent is ALAÏA PARIS.

Azzedine Alaïa is a legendary designer who creates clothing that is sculptural, dark and glamorous. It, therefore, makes a lot of sense that his debut fragrance ‘ALAÏA PARIS’ comes across as sculptural, dark and glamorous. With its chilly incense and glowing white florals, ALAÏA PARIS creates an interesting conflict between hot and cold, using the idea of cold water thrown against hot chalk walls as its inspiration point. It’s an androgynous fragrance that would add that extra je ne sais quoi to any smart outfit. Do you dare wear it?


Prada L'Homme Eau de Toilette

If you’re a gal who has only ever rocked a feminine…

For the ladies, we have something that has a lovely feminine softness, despite the fact that it boasts ‘Homme’ on its label. Prada has always made excellent fragrances, many of which could be worn by anyone, regardless of gender. L’Homme Prada is one of their most handsome and whilst it smells smart and introspective on a man, it could just be the perfect everyday scent for women. L’Homme Prada is grey and soft, like luxurious suede. It’s peppery and powdery, with facets of earth and a sugared almond sweetness. L’Homme Prada may be out of your comfort zone because it pretends to be for men, but secretly it’s more than comfortable adorning the skin of women too. You should give it a try because I’m sure you’d find it rather comfortable too!



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  • That ALAIA Paris is my favourite, it’s so comforting and warm, the closest I’ve found to my signature! I’m very intrigued to see how it smells on a guy!

    • escentual

      We’d have to agree, Kirstie, it’s a truly beautiful fragrance! And we can report it’s just as embracing on a man.