The Top Ten Male Designer Fragrances Every Beginner Should Sample
(Page 1 of 11)

11th February, 2016

If you’re newly bitten by the fragrance bug, you are probably reading Basenotes and feeling like the proverbial kid with his nose pressed up against the glass – everyone’s talking about their latest niche acquisition, debating the pineapple-ness of Aventus batch codes, and comparing the current Dior Homme with the silver stem one (what is a silverpoint stem?!). It’s like everyone’s figured out where the good stuff is and you haven’t a clue.

Well, don’t worry. You can easily get a good grounding in the basics of fragrance by testing the mainstream designer perfumes available to you on your local high street. There’s a lot of dross out there, of course, but this article should help you to hone in on the ones that are classics for good reason and the ones that blazed a trail in their category way before niche even turned up to the scene. You might not like them all - but even the ones you think are awful will help you hone your personal taste.

What do I mean by “designer”? Technically, the term “designer” is used to describe any company that also designs clothing, jewelry, and watches. But in more realistic terms, for you, it’s going to mean that the fragrance is widely available on your local high street and you don’t have to send off for a sample of it via the Internet.

Comme des Garcons 2 Man
For example, although Comme des Garcons is a designer and produces fragrances, they are not widely distributed in high street stores (unless you live in a major city). More importantly, Comme des Garcons employs a sort of “niche” sensibility in their fragrances, meaning that they are more experimental than your typical mainstream choices. So Comme des Garcons the company is designer, but their fragrances are niche.

Chanel, also a designer company, produces a wide range of designer scents that are available in mainstream channels, but they also have a line of exclusive perfumes (called Les Exclusifs de Chanel) that can only be found in Chanel stores or at Chanel booths at big luxury department stores. Therefore Chanel is designer, but they have a niche “department”. Slamming your head against a wall yet?

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To make things fair, the top ten fragrances I’m going to be recommending are all fragrances that you can find and test for yourself on the high street of any biggish town. You can then use those ten fragrances as jumping-off points for further exploration of your taste, in both designer and niche categories.

I intended to make this list a unisex one, like the niche list I did here, but in mainstream perfumery there seems to be a bigger gulf between male and female fragrances, not least in the way they are marketed. Strangely, it is the SAs that tend to care deeply about how fragrances are classified, so don’t be alarmed if one of them tries to head you off at the pass if you try to visit the women’s section. I myself have been cock-blocked more than once when trying to buy Bulgari Black.

A separate list of top female fragrances that every beginner should sample will be coming shortly. But don’t feel hemmed in by the label with which companies have chosen to market their fragrances – both men and women should sample everything on both lists and make their own decisions about what they like and can wear. I myself own 5 out of the 10 fragrances listed below and I am definitely maybe a woman.

A word about reformulation. Reformulation happen to all fragrances - some secretly, some publicized - and since they are as inevitable as taxes and death, try not to worry about it too much or let it impede on your enjoyment. The only reformulations that matter are the ones that gut a fragrance of important raw materials or aromachemicals that have either been restricted or replaced, such as Mysore sandalwood, oakmoss, or whatever it was that made that gasoline note in Fahrenheit. Some fragrances relied so heavily on those now-restricted materials that they are now mere shadows of what they once were and are not worth recommending.

So the fragrances I’ve nominated here all still smell excellent today, are in relatively good shape (if limping a little) after reformulation, and are generally true to the original intent behind the perfume. If you fall in love with one of these choices, then by all means chase down vintage versions if they are supposed to be superior to the current version. But if the current version smells great to you and you are happy with it, then don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you have the “wrong” version. Honestly, if you think your girlfriend will take one sniff, wrinkle her nose, and chew you out for wearing the current version of Eau Sauvage instead of the vintage, then YOU ARE CRAZY. Nobody can tell except you. And maybe not even you.

Click through to find out which I’ve selected as the top ten male designer fragrances every beginner should sample:

About the author: Claire Vukcevic

Claire Vukcevic is an Irish freelance writer, contributor at Basenotes,, and author of the blog



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      • epapsiou | 11th February 2016 14:35

        Excellent article. Wish you had done this when I was starting out. Would have saved me time and money :).

        Of course there are many that I would like in there but since we are limited to 10 I don't think I would change anything

        I would probably mention Baldessarini somewhere in the article. I think everyone should try it.

        Waiting eagerly for "Top 10 Female Designer" article.

      • rum | 11th February 2016 14:54

        Holy smokes, Claire! Another wonderful article.

        EDIT: I loved this bit the best: [referring to Dior Homme]

        "It seems to come in as many variations as Aventus, so it should be easy to find one that you like."

        I haven't laughed so hysterically in quite a while...!

      • hednic | 11th February 2016 15:21

        Wonderful article with very interesting info. Lucky to have experienced a great number that she cited.

      • andym72 | 11th February 2016 15:27

        "A*Men is one of the most subtle scents on the market, and its barely discernable sillage makes it a perfect choice for when you know you’ll be in crowded quarters with other people"


      • Bavard | 11th February 2016 15:32

        Claire makes good sense.

      • freewheelingvagabond | 11th February 2016 16:30

        Very good article, and should be a reference to many.

        I appreciate the eclecticism in the selections - would provide enough variety to anyone.

        The best feature is the description of similar fragrances in detail and enough 'additional' recommendations in relation to the principal fragrance under discussion - gives one much to think about and sample, while still maintaining sense and structure and not being overwhelming.

        Excellent! * double thumbs up* :)

      • raygsoko | 11th February 2016 16:37

        Thanks Claire V!

        I appreciate your insight and take your words to heart. Your advice is so applicable to my thoughts and decisions towards fragrances. I like that you offer suggestions based around a fragrance and open my inexperienced eyes to the other similarly "scented" brands that are unfamiliar to me.

      • harper | 11th February 2016 16:58

        extremely entertaining and well written. brava :-)

      • Scarce | 11th February 2016 17:13

        Excellent, as always.

      • RedRaider430 | 11th February 2016 17:44

        Some nice recommendations!

        Love that she recommended staying away from Sauvage.

      • Darvant | 11th February 2016 17:47

        Thanks dear for your precious contribution.

      • superfluousPastry | 11th February 2016 19:55

        Yes. as usual! I've been on the fence about Eau de Baux but now I'm going to buy it.


      • ClaireV (article author) | 11th February 2016 21:18

        Thanks very much all! I'm glad you're enjoying this series, which is a lot of fun to write as well, I can tell you!

      • obahnas | 12th February 2016 00:24

        Beautiful article! A very solid and informative starting point for beginners!

        if I were to add something - in my very humble opinion - I'd add Pour un Homme de Caron as an example for lavender, Al Meeqat from Abdul Samad Al Qurashi as an example for middle eastern rosey-oud, Kalemat by Arabian Oud for amber, White musk from Arabian Oud or Abdul Samad al Qurashi for the straight up white musk (same for Montale), Versace Pour Homme for aldehyde notes.

        Dior Homme is also a very good example for leather, along with Davidoff leather blend and AdP colonia leather

        Personally, I am not really a big fan of Dior Homme's iris note, but I am swooned by the beautiful leather drydown with that hint of vanilla, and for that very reason I couldnt take my nose off my wrist and the same reason I bought a bottle and actually thinking of buying the EDP version :)

        if there would be a part two for this article, please add some recommendations for mint, leathers (including cashmere, suede...etc), fruits, more florals, and alcoholic drinks (rum, whiskey...etc)

      • Darknotes | 12th February 2016 02:56

        Definitive! By far the best article I have ever read for beginners, This will be a staple link to provide to anyone that asks about getting in to the fragrance world! Very well done!

      • MysteryBuff40 | 12th February 2016 05:19

        Very well-written article that's both informative and fun. Look forward to more by Clare.

      • Sybarite | 12th February 2016 07:17

        An indeed most excellent & comprehensively spot-on must-sniff starter list ... it has my wholehearted endorsement (*wait, is that the right word ?*) - Regardless, a small round of applause from me - nice one! :)

        Only one small, um, bone-of-contention(?) stood out to me ... but it's so glaring that I'v been left wondering if perhaps you only inserted it to see if we were actually paying attention ?? So, not entirely sure if I should now even mention it or ignore it with a knowing/winking smile ... Buuut, what the hell : The "barely discernible sillage of the subtle scent that is A*Men" - now there's a sentence that almost gave me whiplash. :D - (Well, unless it's been reformulated to within an inch of it's life, and is now a v. pale shadow of it's former self, since last I suffocated upon it !?) ;) ...

        You were/are just pulling our leg with that one, aren't you ?

      • rum | 12th February 2016 09:27

        I read passed that one at speed and realised it must be some sort of pun - it's got Claire's witty banter written all over it :)

        Have to say though, it is one of the most popular smells in the atmosphere over the UK. And yes, it stinks to my nose.

      • Grant | 12th February 2016 10:09

        re: a*men -- I think Claire is being naughty....

      • andym72 | 12th February 2016 10:29

        Yes, that's exactly what I thought she was up to - mischief making!

        It's a good way to check if everyone's paying attention though :)

      • Joe C | 12th February 2016 12:18

        Thank you Claire,

        Lovely writing as always and a terrific list! The world would smell much better if the average beginner started with this list.

      • DrJeff | 12th February 2016 14:53

        Good summary -- need to add Foguere Royale in there -- def a classic.

        Thanks for posting!

      • Heathhaze | 12th February 2016 18:34

        An excellent orientation guide to the dazzling world of men's designer fragrances. It was not only entertaining but very instructional (I now know what a 'cock-blocker' is). While this article provides valuable reference points to help provide orientation for each of the base elements, in my own experience as a novice, it is not always quite so simple and straight-forward. For example, I love the scent of Iris, Vanilla and Cocoa (and Swede makes me weak in the legs), but I absolutely abhor Dior Homme to the point that it makes me nauseous. Which I guess is why this weird and magical world of perfume alchemy attracts us all in the first place!

      • Starblind | 12th February 2016 20:58

        Once again, a wonderfully comprehensive (and wittily informal) article by Claire! These are so great and helpful, and I'm betting that female readers would love to know which 5 of these designer frags Claire, herself, owns and wears.

      • ClaireV (article author) | 12th February 2016 21:10

        Hi Starblind, thank you very much! The ones I own and wear myself are Dior Homme (Intense), Egoiste, Bvlgari Black (my signature before discovering Basenotes and Fragrantica), Encre Noir, and Kiehl's Original Musk. All of those, save for the Kiehl's, I was able to find and buy in Montenegro, which is a tiny country with not much of a perfume selection!

      • EF44 | 12th February 2016 21:25

        Great article. Thanks for the suggestions and explanations. Always enjoyed your writing.

      • Darjeeling | 13th February 2016 04:54

        Another great article.

        I'd say Bulgari Black was also the scent that helped me find that I don't mind vanilla in some scents. Actually, I think it helped me find that I like how Annick Menardo uses vanilla, because I've also got a thing for Bois d'Argent.

      • adam090273 | 13th February 2016 05:11

        Great to see Bulgari Black in the mix. It's a fragrance I think all guys should own.

      • Bal a Versailles | 16th February 2016 01:15

        They are great selections, loved reading this, thanks. My husband is sixty seven. He loves Habit Rouge because Keith Richards waxed lyrical and of your list he owns or has owned just about everything mentioned. Today we are sharing Musc Nomade, he has driven off to another city. One of his great loves was 'Devin' but of course it lacks the oak moss of prior incarnations. He can't stand Yatagan though, or too much vetiver. Of his cheapie collection I think he likes M Generation by Mauboussin and Quasar by Jesus Del Pozo best

      • kbe | 16th February 2016 03:16

        One of the best fragrance reads yet. Bravo!

      • Diamondflame | 16th February 2016 11:58

        Brilliant! I didnt bother to count them but there are probably around 100 fragrances in this article for everyone to try. Too bad some of you couldn't simply play along and let a beginner discover for himself the 'magic' of A*Men at full blast within an enclosed area. Guess you just had your first taste of Claire's wickedly irreverent wit.

      • Ken_Russell | 16th February 2016 12:17

        My rather belated thanks, Claire, very much enjoyed reading this insightful, down to earth and highly nuanced article, with lots of complexities regarding the spectrum of solidly good, not just designer, but also niche and designer exclusive fragrances available.

        It is these truly special contributions, containing the right and highly interesting, fascinating, compelling amount of knowledge for both beginner and even suitable for expert fragrance hobbyists alike that make BN such a great community and highly useful, informative database.

      • L'Homme Blanc Individuel | 17th February 2016 23:52

        This was such an excellent article. I wish I could have found something like it when I was first starting out. I would definitely consider this a Best Of Basenotes article. I feel inspired to revisit a few of these now!

      • AlHamr | 18th February 2016 09:07

        I lurk round here mostly these days but simply had to come online to say what a brilliant article this was. I find a lot of perfume writing either a touch pretentious or heading into the woo-woo territory. This was straightforward but really insightful, funny, irreverent, a very thoughtfully chosen selection and, most of all, just really good writing. Grant, this one's a keeper!

      • Grungevig | 19th February 2016 04:13

        Excellent, excellent article! Many thanks for compiling it. My only criticism? A hapless newbie might read your A*Men entry, last paragraph, and not know you're jesting about dosage. [Fingers crossed] Here's hoping that hapless newbie sets no feet in my state :-)

        Again, thanks for your article. Very well done.

      • Foustie | 19th February 2016 19:49

        Another great instalment in this terrific series! A wonderful read. Thank you Claire.

      • beretta1963 | 20th February 2016 06:55

        love the article Claire,

        I have only been serious about fragrance since last summer but already have a nice collection including 8 of your top ten! love the way you have formatted your article to include other fragrances in each class...Great help for beginners. Articles like yours and others on sites like Basenotes are much more constructive and helpfull than the ones found in the general non-trade press, who's articles of the ''top ten mens fragrance that women love'' usually looks like ''the top ten dross perfumes of all time''!!

        PS: Love your bit on A*men...Which i adore by the way! :)

      • ClaireV (article author) | 20th February 2016 20:18

        Thank you all so much! I can't tell you how touched and encouraged I am by your comments and feedback - now I have to go dust myself off for the women's designer list!

      • Mr. Bon Vivant | 24th February 2016 05:00

        Great reference article! I like how you allow a person to fall down the rabbit hole of their preferences. Packed quite a lot of information in there, actually. Witty writing, too. An informative and fun read!

      • darcy666 | 25th February 2016 12:38

        Fantastic article. Wish this had been written when I first started with fragrances.

      • ThatguyIjustmightmaybebe | 26th February 2016 00:11

        Great insight! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your analogies!

      • Dandy Lion | 5th March 2016 00:40

        great great article. i learned a lot. thank you Claire.

      • ubose | 6th March 2016 19:11

        A very nicely laid out and written article. Instant bookmark.

      • jgold47 | 7th March 2016 02:09

        Glad I have almost all of the 10 and several you mentioned!

      • Jowan | 7th March 2016 04:36

        I just absolutely enjoyed reading this article. Thank you! I laughed out loud @ cockblocked, high tourist season, and Savauge. You are very good at what you do.

      • jpdnkr | 7th March 2016 10:20

        This is so much fun to read! Not only if you never tried any of these but also if you tried all of them. When I started I thought that something was wrong with me. After all I did not like my blind buys which had 5 star raving reviews. But in my relentless quest for my holy fragrance grail I learned that, in the end you only have to rely on your own nose. Now I can proudly say that I intensly hate bulgari black and the day I stopped trying to like that one and binned it I was freed. So freed that I walked in one of those snooty Chanel boutiques, pass the impressive bouncer/doorman and actually started spraying and sniffing the exclusives. Mind you it can just be for reference to know what they smell like. The mainstream Dior Homme is as fantastic as the exclusives. But in the end, the journey is as exiting as the purchase, maybe even more so...

      • Theal | 9th March 2016 21:09

        Fantastic article... Eagerly anticipating the next one!

      • epapsiou | 14th March 2016 18:12

        That is not naughty.

        "..try the Dirty Sanchez that is Muscs Koublai Khan " is naughty

      • pluran | 16th March 2016 22:15

        Thanks for the effort.

        Nice photo. Natural beauty like Emily Blunt, but she probably can't write as well. :-)

      • AnthonyG | 19th March 2016 01:05

        Just caught up with this. Quite magnificent. Thanks.

      • PheroJoe | 19th March 2016 04:57

        Great article. Definitely a few I need to get my hands on!

      • VanAllan | 22nd March 2016 17:06

        A very good and insightful article, filled with knowledgeable references. That Mugler 'soft ' mention made my day! I always believed that we fragrances aficionados have a good sense of humour and arts. Nicely done!

      • cytherian | 23rd March 2016 23:20

        Entertaining and informative article, but... I wouldn't be so dismissive of reformulations, as stated at the start ("try not to worry about it too much"). KOUROS is strikingly different from 1st incarnation to more recent versions, going from phenomenal and progressively lessening. After all, in describing Bel Ami Vetiver, it is mentioned as taking the "now sadly thinned down leather of the original Bel Ami" and adding a rich, smoky vetiver. So the lesser reformulation of Bel Ami is acknowledged. Also, regarding Fahrenheit, "its distinctiveness has been worn away through reformulation and although it still smells great, it is not what it once was." I've owned both current and original Caron Le Troisieme Homme and I can tell you, the vintage one survived my last collection culling (the current smells synthetic and unrefined to me).

        It's true some reformulations are not for the worse. I find the current Guerlain Heritage (EDT) to be very faithful to previous releases (with subtle differences). Hermes Equipage is different, although... while not the same, it's a nice "lighter and cleaner" version which is nice for summertime.

        But yes, if you start with the current and really like it, then chasing after vintage is not something to be obsessed about. In time, one can discover the older vintages. That is, if supply holds out!

      • bush420 | 26th March 2016 10:05

        Excellent collection. Wish i could get some samples here in Pakistan but couldn't find any :(

      • highnote | 12th April 2016 14:29

        Thanks for your brilliant article. Great suggestions.

      • Observer 59 | 24th April 2016 22:16

        Dear Mrs Vuksevic,

        For a fragrant expert I find your top 10 pretty conservative. Mainstream, but also a liitle old school.

        Azzaro is from 1978!

        Encre Noir as a reference for a fragrance starter? That would be like feeding Chinese to a baby.

        Furthermore: You overate Dior fragrances, without being critical.

        Dior most succesful frangrances lines, being Eau Sauvage (Too harsh, to acid} Fahrenheit (Petroleum) and Dior Homme (Rouge, not lipstick. Old Ladies scent. In fact too femenine) are just screaming for attention. Trying too hard to be different. But very little to do with PARFUM.

        My impression is Dior fans don't like parfum, they like to be noticed by smelling different. No need for expensive fragrances for that. One can smell different by simply skipping daily shower.

        You disregard Dior Sauvage, like most of the Dior fans. While I just bought recently my first Dior fragrance: Dior Sauvage, because it's a longer lasting clone of my favourite summer fragrance: Bleu de Chanel.

        It's good that people have different preferences, but for me, born in 1959. I own a few old school fragrances myself, but must admit I prefer modern fragrances.

        I would advise for starters:

        1-Bleu de Chanel (Sauvage-Dior)


        3-Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme- Chanel

        4-Allure Edition Blanche-Chanel

        5-La nuit de lhomme, Yves Saint Laurent

        6-Code {ultimate}- Armani


        8-Luna Rossa Sport-Prada

        9-Midnight in Paris- Van Cleef & Arpels

        10-Bottled-Hugo Boss

        11-Terres de Hermes

        21th Century fragrances, for the new fragrance lovers generation.

      • Observer 59 | 25th April 2016 15:16

        Funny, after 4 years searching for best available fragrances, I recently bought my first Dior: Sauvage. Why? Because is a better performing clone of Bleu de Chanel.

        In my reaction to this article (59th) I gave my opinion why I think Dior fans, which I am not, dislike, if not hate, Dior Sauvage.

      • Scarce | 25th April 2016 17:19

        You'd recomment boring, mostly nondescript and similar-smelling scents in other words (Terre de Hermes, excepted).

        Got it.

      • Observer 59 | 26th April 2016 07:52

        Hello Scarse,

        If your reaction was ment for me: my recommendation is for MALE starters only. Would my recommendation be ment for women, I would for sure have included DIOR Homme line.

      • Observer 59 | 26th April 2016 09:59

        Male Fragrance Oddities

        Dear Mrs Vuksevic,

        After using mainly 1 fragrance for 30 years, my interest for fragrances only started in April 4 years ago.

        I had a dozen of samples in my cupboard, given to me every time I bought a fragrance for my wife.

        I tried a few sprays and end up purchasing 3 of them.

        The very first day I used my new Cartier Roadster EDT, I realized it would be hard to appreciate the fragrance fully, since I was using Paco Rabanne aftershave (by coincidence both an Aromatic Fougere but completely different) and a Nivea Deospray.

        At that point I realized that in order to do it right, I would need 3 of the same. I ordered the same day the Roadster Aftershave tonic and Deodorant spray with a pretty good end result. The aftershave was less good than my usual but the deodorant was really gorgeous.

        With the Joop Homme Aftershave I was less lucky though. Warm and suffocating, not cooling and refreshing.

        I decided not to try the aftershave of the 3th fragrance, since I expected the same outcome. (J.P. Gaultier Le Male)

        Little did I know that 2 out of the 3 fragrances I had picked from my samples purely by coincidence, were among the most potent power house fragrances available. I didn’t even try the others for they were tonics, not sprays.

        Anyway, the Joop Homme aftershave made me realize that some fragrances are more suitable for the colder seasons and others for the warmer! I had been using Hugo Boss Classic almost exclusively for 25 years, Summer and Winter, Night and Day. (LOL)

        2 years earlier my wife had bought me Hugo Boss Bottled for my birthday, a fragrance I now find more suitable for the Cooler Seasons also.

        I didn’t purchase anything else that year.

        With Spring coming in 2013, the interest for fragrances woke up in me again. By now I realized I had 4 perfumes for the cooler seasons but only 1 for the warmer. I decided that I would like at least 6 Fragrance Lines for a full year. By Fragrance Line, I mean EDT, Aftershave and Deo.

        By than I had found on Internet both Basenotes and Fragrantica. I was puzzled that there are no articles regarding Aftershaves & Deo’s. Not even reactions. (Oddity nr. 1)

        I was also soon to find out that the availability of good expensive designer Aftershaves & Deo’s, is less than 25% of the EDT's and Niche fragrances probably less. Even if not every man shaves, you would at least expect that most men wear deo. My conclusion on this is that men may be willing to expend lots of money on a good fragrance but save bucks on the rest and use the Axe’s, Nivea’s & Brut’s of this world. (Oddity nr. 2)

        I realized that my Quest, searching for the best 6-8 male fragrance lines, for me and for me exclusively, could turn out to be more difficult than I thought.

        Although I never have had any skin problems with Parfums (EDT/EDP) I had issues with Aftershaves and Deos in the past. By now, 3 years later and 60+ frangrances in my wardrobe, I am no longer on a Quest. I have at least 15 Fragrance Line and a few half lines.

        By now I am an addicted collector, who keep repeating the same mistakes, by doing blind buys on regular base, with a 50/50 chance of being disappointed.

        I have found a lot of aftershaves to be quite different and also of inferior quality to the EDT. It is always a gamble. Although Cartier Declaration Aftershave is longer lasting than the EDT.

        On the Deo’s a good advice for Stick or Spray, depending on the fragrance itself, is not a luxury.

        Now back to the next Oddity:

        The main reason for using a perfume is to smell better.

        There are 2 main motivators for the choice of perfume:

        1-The ones you like most.

        2-The ones that attract the opposite sex the best.

        I have seen on both Basenotes and Fragrantica a lot of female reactions to Male Fragrances.

        In this very well written and really interesting article you herself confirm that you wear/own a few of the male fragrances you nominated.

        But you are not saying what most men would like to hear.

        On my nomination of best male fragrances for starters I had one reaction. A female!

        I only read from women as reaction on Male Fragrances: I love this fragrance myself or I use it myself although I am a woman.

        Rarely you will read: this is a fragrance that attracts me to men.

        (Oddity nr. 3)

        Although the availability of female fragrances is about 5 times bigger than men’s, so I was told, many male fragrances, and I mean male fragrances, not unisex or male labelled but oh so feminine Like Dior Homme, appeal to women.

        So how come I never see a recommendation of a female perfume that can be worn by men?

        I gave my wife 2 fragrances in the past 20 years. She only has 4 and doesn’t want more. One of them is Chanel nr. 5.

        This Parfum has a dominant note that I find quiet common on mainly old school fragrances from the ‘80’s. I wonder…

        This would help man increase their fragrance territory to explore.

        (Oddity nr. 4)

      • Observer 59 | 26th April 2016 10:01

        Also, Terres D'Hermes is the most linear of my recommendation, so therefore the most boring of them all.

      • Bassrazz | 5th October 2016 20:52

        My thoughts exactly! Power bomb of a frag, for sure.

      • cytherian | 5th October 2016 21:26

        I wonder when we'll see "Observer 60" come around.


      • pluran | 6th October 2016 16:22

        Your list is disgraceful but, "The good thing about bad taste is that you don’t know you have it.”

      • JON RODGERS | 6th October 2016 17:29

        What a load of crap.

        Predictably entertaining and superbly written article, Claire - the recommendations are excellent !.

      • badarun | 6th October 2016 18:18

        In any (long running) thread on basenotes, there's always an a-hole that shows up with pretty lame suggestions - here's that one for this (otherwise wonderful article &) thread...

      • pluran | 6th October 2016 22:47

        Back at you IsoESuperman. Dig the name. :-)

      • Bal a Versailles | 7th October 2016 00:55

        In the male environment I work in(builders, glaziers, brickies, drain layers etc) I would be very happy for them to have the sort of bad taste Claire recommends; hell, even axe (Lynx) would be great. There's an older, actually my age, glazier I work with who does most of the putty work. At the end of the day he smells of freshly mixed putty and Old Spice and it's just gorgeous

      • miss mills | 26th November 2016 12:38

        "A*Men is one of the most subtle scents on the market, and its barely discernable sillage makes it a perfect choice for when you know you’ll be in crowded quarters with other people, like in a doctor’s waiting room or a library. It’s rather sheer, so press down hard on that nozzle."

        Hilarious! Needed a laugh. Great article, I've recently started to explore the world of men's fragrances more and this guide is fantastic. Off to see whether you've written the females' must try list now.

      • techt | 26th November 2016 12:53

        Great article!

      • IsoESuperman | 26th November 2016 13:57

        You misunderstood, pluran and I were referring to the alternative list proffered by Observer 59, not Claire's list. Although I suppose your point is the same. Just wanted to clarify where I was directing my "bad taste" label.

      • mmcgill829 | 6th December 2016 00:03

        Haha! When I first read this it made me laugh pretty hard. Very naughty indeed.

      • epapsiou | 6th December 2016 00:52

        Basenote version of Goodwin Law

        ^^^ This and Aventus

      • AouldFactory | 20th October 2017 01:00

        Thank you so much for your well conceived and informative article on where beginners should start on their fragrance journey. Unfortunately, I didn't read this a few years ago when I finally became interested in this endeavor. I could have saved myself numerous hours of stumbling about and untold fortunes if I had found this article prior to my misguided adventure! This effort is a timeless classic similar the fragrances you have highlighted in this article. Brava Madame...

      • keithleo | 21st March 2018 17:34

        Perfect guide for a newbie! I'll recommend this article to my friends who want advise.