If your goal is to smell really fabulous and like no-one else you know, you need a niche fragrance. This expanding, influential sector of the fragrance industry has moved from the fringe to become a major trendsetter. Intimate boutiques in prestigious locations, footholds in luxury department stores and knowledgeable, attentive staff have helped give niche perfumery an edge over the predictable offer found in duty-free and on the high street. To be niche, considered distribution is vital.
With 36 years in the game, Les Senteurs has continually brought together some the best niche perfumes under one, cosy roof (currently situated at 71 Elizabeth St, Belgravia). “When Michael and Betty Hawksley founded the boutique back in 1984 their remit was to curate a collection of little-known but intrinsically significant and innovative fragrances from all over the world,” explains resident fragrance archivist, James Craven. “With hindsight one could say that the Hawksleys introduced niche perfumery – a term then unknown – to the UK and in many ways helped define this concept.” Indeed, Les Senteurs introduced Byredo, Diptyque, Creed and Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle to the UK. So, can we still count these hugely successful, international houses as niche?
“Ironically, the term itself has become rather ubiquitous, and one could even say it now dominates the fragrance world – a far cry from its origins,” says James. “As such, some perfume brands that naturally fall into this category might prefer to describe themselves as ‘creative’ or ‘artistic’ fragrance houses. Now, despite the common usage, there is still a certain expectation when it comes to ‘niche’ fragrances.” Craven outlines the hallmarks of a niche fragrance: “one expects an emphasis on the juice (quality, originality and creativity thereof) as opposed to the marketing of the brand; a sense of authenticity, of it being born of an individual’s personality and creative viewpoint, often experimenting with a more extensive olfactory palette or more original accords than is evident in commercial fragrances.”
Does that mean the commercial houses have lost their edge? “I don’t believe the major brands have stalled – they still continue to do what they’ve always done very successfully,” James explains. “The difference is the rapid rise and success of niche brands which is appealing to a much wider audience and therefore growing at a much faster rate in comparison. The major brands are proactively embracing elements of the niche market – smaller launches, more interesting fragrances, less reliance on the advertising campaign and more focus on the juice but ultimately their appeal is geared towards the universal whereas niche focuses on the individual.”
It’s all about us, you see, and we’re a picky bunch. Consumers are “more demanding in their desire for novelty, quality, variety and transparency – all of which keeps perfumers up to the mark. Previously ‘underground’ brands can now have their own share of voice. Independent brands are often able to offer something unique and many shoppers are on a quest to find a scent that is unknown by anyone else and therefore feels like their own signature, or ‘the one’,” says James.
They also keep the tills ringing. In 2019 the Fragrance Foundation released a report showing that the fragrance industry was worth £7.1 billion to the UK economy in 2018, with 24% – or £1.8 billion – spent directly on perfume, eau de toilette and aftershave. This is understandable when you consider that the average price for a quality scent has been heading north for quite some time. Is this to take advantage of the super wealthy who stalk the floor at Harrods, or are the steep prices justifiable? “Perfume creation is rarely low cost especially when it comes to producing innovative fragrances in small batches,” explains James, “it is not a case of choosing a high price point to give the impression of exclusivity. Generally, the price will reflect the careful sourcing of raw materials which nowadays is much more discerning and ethical, and methods of production which are extremely precise and exacting.”
Reassuringly expensive, beautifully packaged and pushing the olfactive envelope, a niche fragrance can feel like a true ‘find’. Here are eight names and a mix of new and well-loved scents to seek out.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Key Scent: L’Homme À la Rose
Francis Kurkdjian is a prolific fragrance creator, working with some of the biggest houses in fashion and fragrance from Burberry, Kenzo and Giorgio Armani to Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Davidoff and Guerlain. His stellar career began with Jean Paul Gaultier Le Mâle – a global best seller.
His own line, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, launched in 2009. His latest release, L’Homme À la Rose, is a celebration of one of the lesser used florals in men’s fragrance. During his Zoom presentation, he talked about how rose is often paired with dark woods or patchouli and how geranium is the typical floral associated with men. Kurkdjian saw an opportunity for something new; he wanted to pair rose with something ‘light and bright’. The result is a woody floral, with two types of fresh, green rose – Damask and Centifolia – as the central character, with side accents of grapefruit and sage.
“Raw materials have no gender, but social codes give them meaning. Rose is not feminine or masculine; it’s how I blend it. Masculinity is a state of mind. It used to be set around social codes, but these are falling apart. The notion of masculinity, in 20 years time, will not be relevant anymore,” he says. Kurkdjian is claiming rose for stylish men everywhere – wear it with pride.
Shop now at Harvey Nichols
Key Scent: Molecule 05
If the measure of a great scent is comments from peers and strangers alike, Escentric Molecules is a good place to start. Self described as radical, purist and singular, one of the earliest scents, 101, has achieved near cult status for its street-stopping quality and chameleonic ability to take on a different vibe with every wearer.
Each launch consists of a binary pair of numbered fragrances, the Molecule is the single aroma, the Escentric plays with the molecule using further ingredients. The newest addition, Molecule 05, focuses on cashmeran, a synthetic molecule that combines musky woods with sweet, resinous pine. Perfumer Geza Schoen was inspired by the aromas of sun-baked coastal paths around the Med.
Escentric 05 brings together bergamot, orange, laurel, rosemary, juniper and cypress, underscored by labdanum and mastic, with cashmeran and fig. He describes it like “a radiant summer’s day.” Yes, the seasons are changing, but an Indian summer is the best kind of autumn, so we’ll be clinging onto the sun with this.
Shop now at END.
Acqua Di Parma
Key Scent: Colonia Futura
Can a brand still be considered niche if it’s well known? It can, according to Craven, when it stays “true to its brand origins and continues to produce creative, trendsetting, luxurious scents.” Put a tick in the box for Acqua Di Parma.
Sustainability is everyone’s favourite buzzword at the moment but the Italian house are putting it into practice with Colonia Futura. The composition is 99% natural, Protected Designation of Origin ingredients – which is no mean feat. The bakelite lid has been replaced with a recycled and recyclable matt plastic cap and the outer cylinder is made from FSC cardboard. The dispenser can be easily removed for ease of recycling and the label is made using scrap dust from marble quarries (Italy is a major source of both carrara and calacatta).
There’s the common citrus element that ADP is known for; Bergamot from Calabria, as well as lemon and grapefruit. But the combination of clary sage, lavender and pink pepper create a mature, woody scent with a spicy dry down of vetiver, unlike anything else in the ADP range.
Shop now at John Lewis
Key Scent: Irish Leather
Founded in 2007 by French-Irish couple Clara and John Molloy, Memo Paris has a distinctive look of maximalist gold patterns and a line of unique scents, created with the help of perfumer Aliénor Massenet, and inspired by their collective travels to distinctive destinations.
There is a boutique in Paris, but you can order to your door via Harvey Nichols and Cult Beauty. Irish Leather is an ode to John’s childhood homeland, and relatable for anyone who’s ever fallen for the damp charms of the Emerald Isle. Juniper, birch and clary sage, green maté (tea) and flouve (hay oil) create an earthy vibe with a smoky leathery undertone that captures the essence of the great Irish landscape.
Shop now at Harvey Nichols
Key Scent: No. 02 L’Air du Désert Marocain
An independent Swiss house, Tauer was launched by perfumer Andy Tauer in 2004, initially as a side hustle from his main job. His scents have been described by admirers as “fragrant sculptures” and the striking deep blue bottles help to convey this message into the world.
His output is divided into self-titled categories: Classics, Homages, PentaChords and Collectibles, which feature variable availability, exclusive ingredients and high concentrations of natural oils.
No. 02 L’Air du Désert Marocain sits in the Classic collection as one of his most popular scents that cemented his reputation as an artist in the fragrance world and it is brought to you exclusively in the UK by Les Senteurs. Spicy top notes of coriander, cumin and a hint of petitgrain reveal a heart of jasmine, rock rose, labdanum and birch and base notes of amber, patchouli and cedar. The balsamic, woody accord conjures Andy Tauer’s own memories of the spicy, dry air of the Maghreb Desert.
Shop now at Les Senteurs
Key Scent: Santal 33
When a big conglomerate starts snapping up independent brands you know they are on to something. Estée Lauder acquired Le Labo in 2014, eight years after it was founded by Eddie Roschi and Fabrice Penot in New York City.
Buying a niche brand is often easier than creating one, because commercial success is never guaranteed. However, Le Labo has a proven track record of cult unisex scents such as Rose 31, Thé Noir 29 and Baie 19. As a quick explainer, the name is the primary scent and the number refers to the total ingredient count.
Santal 33 is perhaps the most well known – and for good reason. The inspiration came from a particular brand of cigarettes. Think of a cowboy riding the great American plains and you’ve got the idea; crackling campfire, leathery boots, big sky and freedom, conjured by notes of sandalwood, cedarwood, cardamom, iris, violet and ambrox.
Shop now at Cult Beauty
Key Scent: Black Afgano
Founded by Alessandro Gualtieri, Nasomatto takes an eccentric approach to scent. Earlier in his career he worked various big brands and in the UAE. He’s travelled to Oman, Iran and Saudi Arabia and his interest in Middle Eastern perfumery can be felt in his work – these are bold scents.
There are 12 fragrances in the collection and each bottle looks like a small work of art or sculpture, due to the caps crafted from precious woods. Black Afgano is arguably the most well known. The inspiration is hashish and the sweet spot of being stoned (before the paranoia or munchies kick in). Cannabis, coffee, tobacco, incense and oud make up the notes. Green, herbal and a touch soapy – it may temporarily invoke the resinous bud, but it won’t send you as far as the corner shop on the hunt for snacks.
Shop now at Selfridges
Key Scent: Santal Volcanique
Being a well-heeled, well-travelled European seems to be the basic prerequisite for becoming a perfumer. Thibaud Crivilli isn’t about to break the mould here: he hails from France, spent time China, and his main inspiration stems from our precious natural world.
Santal Volcanique is a mix of fiery spices including cardamom, ginger, coffee and ‘carbonised ylang ylang’ to evoke scorched woods. Hot stuff.
Shop now at Harvey Nichols
The post 8 Niche Fragrance Houses You Should Know appeared first on Ape to Gentleman.
By: Jessica Punter
Title: 8 Niche Fragrance Houses You Should Know
Sourced From: www.apetogentleman.com/niche-fragrance-houses-to-know/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=niche-fragrance-houses-to-know
Published Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2022 08:00:34 +0000
How to wear your watch correctly
As much as you won’t like hearing this, you’re probably wearing your watch wrong.
It’s not your fault; you may have never been taught how to wear a watch properly. After all, there is more than one way to wear a watch.
But how do you know which way is the right way?
Don’t worry, gents; as always, I’ve got you covered. I’m here with the best way to wear your favorite timepiece properly and look as stylish as ever.
In today’s article, I’ll be covering:
- Origins Of The Wrist Watch
- What Wrist Do You Wear A Watch On?
- Should You Wear Your Watch Facing Inward Or Outward?
- The Stylish Way To Wear A Watch
#1 Origins Of The Wrist Watch
When it comes to wearing a watch correctly, it’s important to note why the wristwatch came about in the first place.
Dating back to the 1800s, the first watches modified to be worn on the wrist were primarily worn by women as accessories. One of the earliest was created by Patek Philippe as a fashion accessory.
At the start of the 20th century, watchmakers became intrigued about using a wrist-worn timepiece for men in the military. They believed it would help them tell time quickly while on the battlefield.
Watchmakers started modifying pocket watches to fit on a bracelet worn on the wrist. Men would not wear the first iteration of the modern wristwatch until well into the 20th century.
Then developed as a ‘trench watch’ for military use, the earliest wrist watches offered something the pocket watch didn’t have – convenience.
After the wristwatch became less of a fashion accessory and more of a functional tool, watchmakers would spend the next century modifying them into the modern wristwatches we enjoy today.
#2 What Wrist Do You Wear A Watch On?
The age-old question: what wrist to wear a watch on? The answer – it depends.
The reason it depends is that since the creation of the wristwatch, men have mostly worn their watch on their non-dominant wrist. And since most people are right-handed, you would wear your watch on your left wrist.
But this isn’t always the correct answer. You may want to wear your watch on the right wrist if you are left-handed. But you may also want to wear it on your dominant hand.
So how do you know for sure?
The most significant benefit of wearing your watch on your non-dominant hand is that you can quickly put the watch on and navigate the dial more efficiently than with your non-dominant hand.
Wearing your watch on your non-dominant hand is less likely to damage the watch as you tend to do more with your dominant hand. If you were to wear it on your dominant hand, you’re more likely to scratch or ding the watch than on your non-dominant hand.
So the rule of thumb here is to wear your watch on your non-dominant hand for the best way to navigate and protect your watch.
#3 Should You Wear Your Watch Facing Inward Or Outward?
The next question is, why would a man wear his watch facing inward on his wrist instead of outward?
This trend is seen primarily in individuals who need to check their watch frequently and in the most efficient way possible. Among the many reasons you should wear a watch, one of the most common is to support you in your profession.
You will see men in the military do this, as it’s easier and prevents sun glare better than when it’s on the outside of the wrist. It also offers faster convenience to other tools on the watch in addition to the time.
Another reason you may want to wear your watch facing inward is that it can help protect your watch from scratches and dings. Again, this is just a preference.
But you’re a stylish guy looking for the best way to wear his watch. What should you do?
The answer here is to wear it facing outward, as that is the most common way to wear a wristwatch. It shows off your timepiece that you love while also still being functional.
Unless you’re in a profession where you need to check your watch quickly while managing other tasks, the best way is to have your watch facing outward. After all, you probably didn’t spend money on that beautiful timepiece to hide its character.
#4 The Stylish Way To Wear A Watch
Now it’s time to find out exactly how to wear a watch in the most stylish way a guy can.
Assuming you’ve selected the right size watch for your wrist, the first thing you want to do is figure out if you’ll be wearing your watch on your right or left wrist.
As mentioned above, traditionally, the watch is worn on your non-dominant wrist. So if you’re right-handed, this means wearing your watch on your left wrist. For left-handed guys, this means your right wrist.
After you figure that out, it’s quite easy. The first thing you want to do is locate your wrist bone.
You want to wear your watch face up just above your wrist bone. If done correctly, your watch should slightly peek out from under the cuffs of your shirt when wearing long sleeves.
Next, you want to tighten the strap so it’s loose enough to be comfortable. You don’t want it so loose it can spin freely around your wrist. You also don’t want it too tight, or it will feel uncomfortable, especially when you bend your wrist.
After doing this correctly, you’ll be wearing a watch in the most stylish way possible.
There you have it, gents.
Now you no longer have to worry about wearing your watch incorrectly.
There is more than one way to wear a watch, so find what’s most comfortable for you personally, and rock your favorite timepiece accordingly.
If you want to take your watch knowledge to the next level, check out this article I wrote about the difference between quartz and mechanical watches.
The post How To Wear A Watch The Right Way appeared first on Real Men Real Style.
Title: How To Wear A Watch The Right Way
Sourced From: www.realmenrealstyle.com/wear-watch-right-way/
Published Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2022 10:19:42 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
Fall Capsule Wardrobe Preparation (Buy Now and Get $$$)
We’ve all been there – fall comes around, and you open your closet only to find you have nothing but polos and shorts.
So what’s a stylish guy to do? Pay a premium to build an entire fall wardrobe last minute? Sure, if you’re loaded. But not every guy is that lucky!
Don’t worry; as ever, I’ve got you covered. In today’s article, I’ll show you how to get the best bang for your buck when building your fall capsule wardrobe.
We’ll be covering:
- What Are The Advantages Of A Capsule Wardrobe?
- How Do You Build A Fall Capsule Wardrobe?
- Where Can You Find Deals On Fall Clothing?
- What Are The Best Fall Capsule Wardrobe Essentials?
#1 What Are The Advantages Of A Capsule Wardrobe?
One of the most common headaches guys run into in their closet is having too many clothing options to choose from but not enough of the right options.
While more options aren’t bad, they can be overwhelming, especially when you rarely wear most items. This is where building a capsule wardrobe comes into play.
A capsule wardrobe is a limited selection of clothing items that complement each other. This means you can buy a smaller selection of items and create a larger number of outfits.
This is crucial to understand because most guys don’t have an unlimited budget for buying clothes. A capsule wardrobe allows you to purchase and use items frequently with little redundancy.
But where do you start in building your fall capsule wardrobe?
#2 How Do You Build A Fall Capsule Wardrobe?
After you have put together the perfect capsule wardrobe, you can start to add a few fall-specific items. This is done by adding a few staple pieces that complement what you already have.
For most, fall offers mild temperatures mixed with slightly warmer temperatures.
This means that layering will be of the utmost importance because you may leave the house needing a jacket, but it might be warm enough by midday to sport only the t-shirt underneath.
Start with the basics when building your fall capsule wardrobe and add pieces accordingly.
Keep It Simple
Fall is primetime for layering, so you only need a few outer layers and should focus more on the innermost layers.
You want to make sure that interchangeability is at the top of your list when it comes to your wardrobe. Everything should complement each other for ease of use.
With that said, having a few staples and adding additional items as you change seasons is essential.
For this reason, ensure you have the following items in your fall capsule wardrobe:
- A dark three-piece suit
- A light-colored tweed blazer
- A leather bomber or biker jacket
- An overcoat (dark or light)
- A formal button-up shirt (white)
- 2 casual button-up shirts (flannel or chambray, you choose)
- 2 sweaters (1 shawl, 1 crew neck)
- 2 t-shirts (1 white, 1 black,)
- 2 pairs of Jeans (1 dark, 1 light)
- 2 pairs of slacks/chinos (1 dark, 1 light)
- 2 belts (1 black, 1 brown)
- 1 pair of black dress shoes
- 1 pair of brown oxfords (leather or suede, you decide)
- 1 pair of sneakers (plain white or brown)
- 1 pair of military boots (black or brown)
When it comes to accessories like watches, scarves, or gloves, you can use what you have as most men won’t need all of them, so I won’t count them in.
#3 Where Can You Find Deals On Fall Clothing?
As it is the middle of summer, fall will be approaching quickly.
Now is a great time to snag up some of last year’s sale items at department stores as they usually have sales on previous season items. By now, most men aren’t thinking about what to wear in the fall.
While you still might be able to find good deals on last year’s fall items, it’s usually the most optimal time to purchase these items after the season has ended. This is when retailers try hard to clear space and make room for the next season’s clothing.
When they do this, it is a great time to get excellent deals on items that have just gone out of season.
Another great option to buy men’s clothing is online at your favorite retailers, as they will often have sales and discounts on items they have in their online inventory but are not yet in prime season.
The most expensive items in your fall capsule wardrobe are the ones you want to focus on, as you can often save a significant amount of money out of season for them.
These big ticket items include:
- Your dark three-piece suit and blazer
- Overcoats and jackets
- Dress shoes and sneakers
These items will be some of the most expensive items and can be found discounted out of season. Put these at the forefront of your fall capsule wardrobe search.
#4 What Are The Best Fall Capsule Wardrobe Essentials?
You want to adhere to a few staples when building your fall capsule wardrobe.
Since fall weather can vary, layering will be essential. These few items are crucial as mainstays that can be layered with other items within your wardrobe.
For example, if you experience a rather chilly day in fall and need to wear a suit, an overcoat is essential as that outermost layer because you can simply remove it when you no longer need it.
When it comes to the concept of layering within your fall capsule wardrobe, you want to make sure you nail these following items.
Having a good overcoat to complement your fall capsule wardrobe is crucial.
The overcoat acts as the outermost layer and will be removed whenever you go indoors. This makes for a great option as you can wear it with anything as it offers excellent versatility.
When searching for the perfect overcoat, it’s essential to know your size as they usually come in sizes of suit jackets, not regular sizing. After you’ve nailed the size, focus on color.
Dark-colored overcoats tend to be the most versatile. However, a light camel color can work as well. Stay away from patterns with overcoats as the goal is to be as versatile as possible.
A good leather jacket goes a long way. You can choose a leather biker jacket or a leather bomber; it’s your call.
Biker jackets can be slightly harder to pull off as most of the time, they will have a larger and more aggressive collar, but they still look great.
A leather bomber jacket is an excellent option because it looks great on all body types and often has more options than biker jackets.
For color, opt for black or dark brown, as that gives you the most versatility with other items in your fall capsule wardrobe.
Sweaters are to fall, what t-shirts are for summer. This means they are a critical piece as they are season specific and offer great versatility when it comes to layering.
So how do you find the perfect sweater?
You want options, so have a couple of different collar choices to give yourself the most bang for your buck.
Having a shawl neck sweater and a crew neck sweater ensures you have all your bases covered.
Make sure you choose neutral tones such as greys, creams, and tans for color. This ensures maximum versatility with other items within your wardrobe and gives you the most options.
That’s it, gents.
To learn more about how versatile this concept of capsule wardrobes can be, check out how I turned 16 pieces of clothing into 256 outfits.
The post Preparing Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe (Buy Now And Save $$$) appeared first on Real Men Real Style.
Title: Preparing Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe (Buy Now And Save $$$)
Sourced From: www.realmenrealstyle.com/fall-capsule-wardrobe/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 23:59:00 +0000
The Best Zara Fragrances
We all know of Zara and I’m pretty sure the majority of us own at least one piece from them, but I’m not here to talk about their reasonably priced clothing, I’m here for their fragrance.
Not quite a hidden gem but I don’t feel that they vast range and high quality fragrance that they create is given enough air time, I’m about to change that. The fragrance game is massive at the moment, everyone from the big fashion houses all the way to footballers have a scent on the market and they all carry a hefty price tag, with some of the bigger hitters asking in excess of
£100 for 50ml.
Zara clearly understand the need for a great fragrance but also appreciate not everything has to be overly expensive. I’ve been lucky enough to sample my fair share over the years and wanted to share with you what I feel are some of their strongest.
Tobacco Collective 100ml – £16.99
This is one of my absolute favourites, it works perfectly as an everyday scent. The initial smell is strong and masculine but with undertones of vanilla bourbon help to soften it slightly.
For Him 100ml – £22.99
My current daily spray, its warm, modern and intense. It just so happens to be the perfect blend of three of my favourite scents, bergamot, cardamom and sandalwood. It’s strong yet light, never over powering and leaves a wonderful trail.
Florence 100ml – £16.24
Summer calls for a fresh fragrance and I cannot recommend this highly enough, its light, fresh and citrus scent is perfectly for those warmer days. Notes of black pepper, strawberry and guaiac wood allow this scent to sit gently on the skin with offending the noses of those around you.
Written by Tom Loughran
The post The Best Of Zara Fragrances first appeared on Mens Fashion Magazine.
Title: The Best Of Zara Fragrances
Sourced From: www.mensfashionmagazine.com/the-best-of-zara-fragrances
Published Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2022 09:57:00 +0000
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