Scenting Off-beat Dads for Father's Day

16th June, 2016

Back in the day when I first worked in the fragrance industry, researching the latest scents proved frustrating. The only way to learn about the latest launches were fragrance ads that only focused on bare-chested, tuxedo-coiffed or Brylcreemed hotties with a sidebar of poetic nonsense. It was hard to know what type of fragrance it was! nor were any fragrance notes or classifications mentioned, but the emphasis was loud and clear: how we should unrealistically envision what a real man should look and smell like. Aside from books on fragrances, beauty magazines had very little to offer the fragrance junkie.

As fragrance profiling became the staple of my work, for fun I decided to write columns and group the different kinds of wearers into something palatable that I thought most could relate to. Conjuring up headings of fragrances into Sports, Casual, Corporate, and Sexy scents was a new approach back then; one that took off very quickly. Today, these personality profiles have either stuck with my initial list or jumped to superhero lifestyles, which no man can truly emulate nor wish to be.

Through the years, my clientele and acumen has evolved into a better understanding of the male fragrance consumer and his tastes. "Dads" are not prototypes anymore. They have very real quirks, those memorable unshakable strange passions, reactions and thought processes that impact our perceptions and memories of them. They are real men living out real lives.

Forget idealistic. Let's be realistic for a change. Father's Day is nigh and it's time to explore all the very real gloriously irritating and incredibly memorable facets of his personality with some suggestions for your unique Dad or Father figure.


Image credit : dglimages / Fotolia

‘Animalic’ Dad

This Dad is “da man!” Yep, you will clearly hear him talking and laughing a mile down the beach before seeing him introducing himself to all your fellow tourists as the local concierge. He will know everyone's name by day's end; kindly grab a few prized beach chairs for those who weren't fast enough and attract a group of worshipers from day one. Rounds are on him! He is never embarrassed to be the life of the party and you love him for it.




Image credit : / Fotolia

‘Woods’ Dad

This Dad will never leave his comfort zone. Thanks, but no thanks to those new purchases of socks, shirts, ketchup/ mustard brands and travel tickets to that hot destination. They must all be returned, Pronto! What were you thinking? International cuisine is not his thing either nor will he buy another brand of car but he knows how to budget to the max. It took years of convincing so don’t expect things to change anytime soon. If something is proved successful, why stir the pot? Tradition has to stand for something.




Image credit : elfgradost / Fotolia

‘Aromatic Fougere’ Dad

You have probably heard for the millionth time "When I was your age…" followed with a "hah" or snarl or shaking of the head. Yep, this Dad has put in serious hard work in everything he puts a hand to. He is a true grafter and is honest as the day is long. He doesn't stomach B.S., embellishments and grandiose statements. You might hear him say “There are no short-cuts kid” but he does know you inside and out and he is proud of who you've become.




Image credit : Viorel Sima / Fotolia

’Ouds and Patchouli’ Dad

Some think he's cool, others, well, interesting. This Dad is living as if he is still in his early 20's. That outdated ponytail, Elvis coif or big Afro has seen better days and no, he won't part with his grotty old "T" from his head-banging days. He blew your woofer listening to old-school music and your "Uncle"; his best mate is still in his life, loyal as ever. Now to get him to stop wearing those Crocs outside the house can be challenging. He will always be young at heart.




Image credit : melissadoar / Fotolia

‘Nautical/Ozonic’ Dad

This amazing Dad has the patience of a flea. When you regale him with an incredible story that happened to you, you can actually watch his eyes slowly glaze over, focussing on a knat of a spot that only he can see. He doesn't mean to blank you but his mind is always full. His idea of pure joy is sitting down with a good book or better yet, fishing in complete silence with only the sounds of lapping water against the boat but he does enjoy you sharing those moments with him.




Image credit : gpointstudio / Fotolia

‘Hesperidian/Citrus’ Dad

This Dad has a serious sports addiction. Every TV in the house is programmed with either hockey, basketball, baseball or soccer games that will practically wipe out all PVR memory. Yes, he also yells and swears at the TV when things fire up. He will wax philosophical with names and sports scores excitedly as if they happened to him personally. No, he won't be free Sunday afternoon either because he is meeting up with the guys but the idea of camaraderie is important to him as it should be to you.




Image credit : Czanner / Fotolia

’Gourmand’ Dad

No, he is not a Master Chef in the kitchen yet he still thinks he's Gordon Ramsey. Who else would eat curry, pasta with tomato sauce and scrambled eggs all at the same time? The kitchen is a tip, and there are black smudge marks on the ceiling but those eyes beaming with pride say it all. Kitchen time is family time.




Image credit : Edler von Rabenstein / Fotolia

’Oriental scent’ Dad

This man is a powerhouse at business and has steadily built up his empire (real or imagined) over the years. Yes, he is also ambitious, calculating and infuriatingly anal. If you wanted to enlist, you would have already. That look makes you feel five all over again. It’s all notated there on the list! See? checks, points and balances that must play out in his methodical order for you to be successful like he is. He just wants you to succeed and have and be, the best right?



Image credit : Focus Pocus LTD / Fotolia

’Green’ Dad

No Dad, you can't fix it. You can’t turn away from viewing his unsuccessful remnants of really bad handiwork everywhere. Unfinished renos, lop-sided hangings, dusty crooked shelves that have sat untouched for years. His investment in tools, auto parts and machinery fill the garage to capacity. He has yet to master any of them but he will, hopefully one day. Still, he can and does cut a mean lawn.



Image credit : Galina Barskaya / Fotolia

‘Fruity/Woody’ Dad

Dad, can you turn the TV down a bit please? He can still rollerblade, waterski, power-surf the huge waves on vacay and put the petal to the metal when you least expect it. He’s also had to live in a few white arm and leg casts but hey, it’s worth it. To live without hot sauce, would be truly devastating! Unthinkable! Living, laughing and enjoying out loud is what life is all about. Never miss out and have regrets about anything.



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No, your Dad isn't perfect but who is? Only glossy male models who in reality too are also flawed in the real world. He is a man with human attributes that makes us laugh, smile and reminisce when we think of him. We rejoice in his individuality and quirky traits and possibly also reflect on our own foibles too. Is there a little of him in us?

What attracts him to particular fragrances speaks volumes about his self identity. Our perceptions of him should mirror back life lessons in a bottle.

One thing is for sure. You know him pretty well and your fragrance selection for his special day will stay with you all the days of your life

I used to buy Canoe by Dana for my Dad on Father's Day. He sadly is not with us anymore but I still have that bottle and bring it out for a sentimental sniff. Ah, I'm instantly reminded of spontaneous day trips and picnics by the side of the road. Vinyl-backed folding chairs, bed pillows, one humongous over-sized cooler filled with sandwiches, tea in a thermos and assorted fruits. Blankets, toys, transistor radio, plastic cutlery and paper plates were jammed in around us in the back seat. My brother, dog and I trying to find a place for our feet. My Father yelling at us at the top of his lungs to move our heads because he couldn't reverse properly; ah yes, Canoe. Good memories to smell by.

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About the author: Marian Bendeth

Marian Bendeth is a Global Fragrance Expert based out of Toronto, Canada. Marian has won six fragrance industry editorial awards for her writing. You can find out more on her website



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      • Prince Barry | 17th June 2016 06:17

        A brilliant read, thanks for sending me the link Marian. Geranium is one of my favourites, and the description is just like me hahaha.

      • hednic | 17th June 2016 15:20

        As I posted in a similar thread (can't find it now) I see a little of myself represented in all those dads.

      • CollectorCT | 17th June 2016 16:19

        NIce article. I just can't see a father wearing Only The Brave.

      • Ken_Russell | 17th June 2016 16:32

        Great article, enjoyed reading it: my dad is probably the best example that it is never too late to discover and enjoy fragrances, while he did become interested in fragrance only in his 40-50s, now, in his mid 60s, his fragrance hobby is going as strong as ever, covering nearly all categories mentioned here (proud to have contributed as well a bit, with a few fragrance presents, to this particular hobby of his).

      • Andrewthecologneguy | 20th June 2016 00:07

        Enjoyable read indeed. 'Tis an arduous task figuring out what would smell good on a certain type of dad.

        I remember asking my dad if I could look in the pouch that contained the smell-good he had just acquired.

        Decades later, after becoming a frag head, I came to realize it's Geoffrey Beene's Grey Flannel that was in that pouch. I can't get enough of it still today.