Carbone de Balmain
Thread: Inexpensive masculine cologne?
I'm looking for an inexpensive cologne with a masculine scent.
Maybe something similar to Kenneth Cole - Black but a little stronger than that preferably.
And also a little cheaper, turns out being a fragrance enthusiast isn't exactly the cheapest hobby lol.
Carbone de Balmain
I highly recommend you try VanCleef & Arpels pour homme. If you don't think this one is nice, masculine, and authoritative. I'd be surprised. Great scent and longevity.
1.7 oz (50 ml) will run you about $25.
Seasonal favorites :
Winter : The Dreamer & Burberry London
Spring-Autumn : Bvlgari Pour Homme & Aqua Fahrenheit
Summer : Bvlgari Aqva & Bvlgari Extreme
All-Rounders : Prada Man & Bleu de Chanel
Mont Blanc Legend. Can be had for less than $40 on amazon. Great stuff for the price.
Cerutti 1881 Black
Molinard Homme I, II, and III and if you want a proper cologne, as in an eaux then Molinard do one of these too.
Homme I is woody, Homme II is sweet, Homme III is a classy aquatic. All come in sweet looking, ultra-manly 125ml bottles and can be picked up for under $30
As for their EDC you can get a 250ml splash for under $30 and it's great, a bit spicey/oriental but still transparent. Far better than the old 4711.
Anyone new to perfume should be issued these four fragrances as part of a mandatory scheme.
II is my favourite, and one of my favourite fragrances of all time at that price-point. Wonderful, powdery vanilla with honey, patchouli, and (not listed, but I'm sure it's there) strawberry. Very unisex. I love wearing it to bed; it's like a fluffy cotton pillow of delicous fragrance. Sillage is elegant but it lasts, and it develops nicely without going through any unpleasant phases after settling.
I is more typically masculine. Lavendar, Oakmoss, Myrrh, Woods, Patchouli. Comfortable, classy, masculine. Familiar and comfortable but not dull or overdone.
III has sea notes, fern, vetiver, tarragon, cedar and rosemary. This isn't a loud, brash young aquatic. This is an aquatic that went to a private boarding school.
For inexpensive masculine scents that you're still going to want to wear in ten years when your wardrobe is boasting loads of pricey niche and vintage lovelies I put these three Molinards on the same page as the Caron masculines. Genius at stupid prices.
Edit - for that matter Caron also requires your attention.
Pour un Homme - Lavender/Vanilla, elegant, long-lasting, superb projection. Very nice.
Yatagan - I can't really describe this. Savage, primordial, green, maybe. Not for everyone.
L'Anarchiste - as edgy as any $100+ niche offering. Artistic, totally unique. Stunning bottle and packaging. The copper patina added by the bottle will alter the scent over time to ensure each individual bottle has its own unique finish.
The Third Man - ironically I'd call this the most staid of the Carons in its current form though the vintage was a real gender-bender. Still a great barber-shop style scent with some superb floral nuances.
Lastly if you can find the old solid-green bottles of Tzar by Van Cleef (not the new transparent ones) which are still around and can be had for a tiny price... hell yes. This is the Paco Rabanne Pour Homme concept, but perfected for wider appeal and made more approachable. Still it's a real beast. As balls-to-the-wall manly as VC&A Pour Homme but in a more green and aromatic style as opposed to the heavy oriental character of its darker brother.
Oh and one I'm new to but falling in love with. Azzaro Jetlag. Hard to find, but cheap when you find it. A masculine tea rose. Awesome bottle too.
Last edited by Miket; 10th December 2012 at 12:44 PM.
Cool Water or Azzaro Chrome.
Sienna by Crabtree & Evelyn is a nice leather, $45 for 3.4 oz at their website, likely cheaper elsewhere. I can send you samples/ decants of Sienna, Zirh Ikon,and Yatagan if you're interested.
Quorum, Open, Oscar for men
What a broad question. When I think of masculine I think of John Varvatos
great mini reviews on the Molinards Miket
I have II & its a nice one .
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I love this type of thread and its posts. It is soooooooo practical.
Thanks. I don't really have a whole lot to say about I and III as I wear II much more often. Great as I and III are there are other things which do the same job especially in the case of I. III I wear a little more often since I'm pushing forty now and it's one of the few aquatics that doesn't run me back triple digits that I feel comfortable wearing in anything but the hottest weather.great mini reviews on the Molinards Miket
I have II & its a nice one .
II is amazing for me though. Sillage is perfect for a scent of this type (I don't mind smelling sweet and even slightly femenine/foody but I prefer it not to fill entire rooms) and longevity is great. I know of other vanilla/honey scents but none have the same cottony feel and lovely cloudy aura, and rarely are they so cheap and well-constructed.
Don't get me wrong I is of course a great scent, and even if I rarely wear it for the little it costs it's worth it even just for the sense of comfort which you can enjoy for having all three sitting side-by-side. I often find myself loaning my bottle to others, oddly enough.
Molinard is a great house all 'round though I think. Even at full-price they're no more than mid-range designer scents, but they have great options you rarely find from designers. A straight, no-nonsense vanilla for example that isn't crowded out with other notes. Some wonderful soliflores and study scents. A great set of vanilla comps: Vanille Marine is one of the best gourmands available for the price, Vanille Patchouli is just too solid, Vanille Fruitee and Fraicher are both great too. Sure they have a few duds (their musc, at least the reformulation, is pretty awful, but where else can you get a straight musk for $50? Sometimes money talks) but the sheer fact that they have stuff like Habinata which you're simply not going to find in the designer world, and don't charge those big bad prices so commonly expected of niche outfits makes them a brand that more fragrance newcomers need to be put on to.
It's just a shame that so many fragrance types can't appreciate anything that doesn't blare like a fog-horn. I honestly think it's the only reason we don't hear the Molinard Homme series, which are relatively soft even if they are long lasting, lauded alongside the Caron masculines, at least two of which qualify as powerhouses, when it comes to high-end, low-cost scents.
Ahhh let me note another fragrance. Since I mentioned the word powerhouse. It reminded me. This is a beast of a powerhouse with some really individual nuances that is rarely talked-up much on BN: Escada Homme. An 80's powerhouse from the early 90's with a boozy presence. Great stuff.
The Dreamer is another fairly cheap one that's pretty solid, and I if you can get past the wonky box (the bottle itself is top-notch though) check out Escada's Moon Sparkle for men, yes I know it's a laughable name, but this is a great fragrance with a real 'party' feel.
Then of course there's your assorted Joop! stuff. I hesitate to mention Homme because it's so polarizing, but who can hate nightflight? Splash is also pretty nice, if a little generic, and I know where you can still buy the discontinued Rococo (probably the most elegant Joop scent I've ever smelled) for about $30 (they have the femme version too)