It is no easy task pinpointing what an office fragrance might mean, or smell like, but what we imagine is virtually universal affability - scents that are immediately pleasant and undemanding to both the wearer and those around them. In this article, we’ve listed a number of fragrances perfect for the office, ensuring there’s something appropriate for everyone’s tastes and environment.
You are remarkable, and Etat Libre d'Orange wants to remind you of that with their fragrance Remarkable People. It begins with the citrusy energy of tart grapefruit mingling with dry Champagne, with the convivial energy of a toast in your honour. Around this are flashes of interesting spices: black pepper, cardamom, and even curry leaf, drying down on a base of resinous and ambery labdanum and warm sandalwood. Remarkable indeed; charming and cordial? Definitely.
A similar effect is achieved with Creed’s Original Santal, perfectly taking on spice notes. Cinnamon, juniper berry, and lavender create an unmistakably captivating spice accord, that - when combined with milky sandalwood - is like pouring warm cream over fresh wood.
For a fresher and less decadent take on woods, try Montale's Aoud Forest, which is wood drenched in solar warmth, like a clearing in a pine forest that eventually hits the sea. The secret is a combination of rose and ginger, which ties bright salty citrus fruits and coniferous woods together, adding an extraordinary freshness to the mix.
Finally, Amouage's Interlude Black Iris gives you pure and pristine smoke balanced with the tender softness of iris root, or orris, which achieves the effect of superimposing a lustrous varnish over the heart of the fragrance, taming the intensity and leaving it to smoulder, making it perfect for the workplace.
If beguiling is less your style, and quiet and understated is more like it, Silver Musk from Nasomatto is a clean and shimmering second skin scent that makes use of a large cocktail of white musk molecules that are effervescent with a citrusy counterpoint. Silver Musk sinks into the skin and radiates a soft and clean soapy aroma; subtle but not weak.
Penhaligon's Sartorial maintains this metallic sheen and builds upon it with lavender, violet leaf, beeswax, and leather, recreating - in perfume - the atmosphere of a tailor's workroom on Savile Row to great success. Reminiscent of a number of conservative masculine fragrances - from Brut to the sizzling Fahrenheit and the moody Grey Flannel, Sartorial is a modern aromatic fougere for the twenty-first century, and is as elegant as a double-breasted suit.
For woody understatedness, 1828 from Histoires de Parfums appeals to typical masculine demands for both cleanliness and freshness. 1828 is like a marine breeze over a wild heath, as scratchy cedar is combined with tender nutmeg, pepper, and enlivened with crisp eucalyptus.
If you're a hardcore traditionalist, Etat Libre d’Orange's Eloge du Traitre is an absolute workhorse, returning to the dusky spiciness of pine resting on a bed of inky oakmoss and bitter herbs, including bay leaf and distinctively spicy and green artemisia.
This is similarly made popular in classic masculines such as Trumper's Eucris and Czech and Speake's No. 88 - where beautiful barbershop accords of refined woods and powders and lifted up with spice - in both instances cassis, and a deeply gothic floral heart, in many ways reminiscent of Victorian England.