Selecting a Fragrance for a Date

Blind date, first date, double date, or the sixth date this month … good impressions count especially when you’re on display (and on the market), and your choice of fragrance is an instantly recognisable feature of your persona. However, it’s ultimately your persona and your persona alone, and we’d never want you to stifle aspects of your identity in the interest of someone else. And so, choosing a fragrance for a date is a careful art that demands a choice that is not only agreeable, but uniquely you and representative of your character. A fragrance for such an occasion needs to be distinctive and memorable. And if all goes well, will be a regular feature that you’ll come to be known by. 

Be Your Most Agreeable Self
Our first piece of advice speaks to both perfume and dating in general: be yourself (and never compromise). Capture aspects of your personality in scent all whilst being agreeable to those around you. Now’s not the time to try out that bombastic new leather fragrance or the most raw oud you can find. Rather, seek out tried and true favourites with a personality isomorphic with yours. And if you happen to know your date’s tastes - even better. Incorporate that into your choice of scent, as long as they align with yours!

Aromatic Fougères are a confident classic, with textural and herbal notes of lavender, patchouli, and oakmoss, often enlivened with memorable combinations of citruses, ambery notes, herbs, and spices. In The Orchid Man (Frapin), an energetic and youthful disposition is achieved with a snappy and punchy top note of spicy black pepper, balanced atop of a sweet-and-sour, hot and cold heart of earthy patchouli, jasmine, and deep lingering oakmoss. In contrast, Sartorial (Penhaligon’s) is another Aromatic Fougère that alternatively appeals to classic and mature elegance, taking a beautiful and pure lavender note, combining it with a bygone blend of warming beeswax, crisp green violet leaf, and clever musk and aldehydic molecules reminiscent of vintage cologne splashes and scented talcum powders. The question then: what sort of person are you, and what message do you wish to convey in scent? Fragrance is a language that everyone understands at its most basic and emotional level.

Play it Safe
However, if you are keen on wild notes that are animalic and bold, and wish to keep wearing an aroma that is totally distinct and adventurous, we’d suggest opting for fragrances that speak to exotica whilst mingling with more accessible notes. If you’re an oud fan, Parle Moi de Parfum’s Oud Papyrus is our favourite discovery of 2020, treating the oud note with a crisp freshness, as it meets the brilliant evocation of green woodland with pine and cedar. With a dose of incense, ginger, and earthy dry papyrus, Papyrus Oud is chic and unexpected. Similarly, swap the blunt for the tender with Histoires de Parfum’s Rosam, a sophisticated rose that is rich and intensely syrupy as it joins the irreducible smell of bright citrus fruit, honied saffron, and deep oud, settling on a fantastic bed of sandalwood, patchouli, and incense. Rosam is pure pleasure, attractive like a magnet, and all at once inimitable and unmistakable.

Add a Dash of Sexiness
We don’t believe in the frou-frou about pheromones and attraction, but we do believe in a dash of sexiness. There’s no use beating around the bush here: make your choice a sexy choice. What another person finds attractive, of course, is idiosyncratic. And so, there’s no magical formula. However, typically musks are touted as alluring due to their sensual aromatic profile. Milky Musk (Parle Moi de Parfum) is like a second skin made of creamy musk and smooth sandalwood, hugging the wearer in a blanket of palpable softness. Moreover, warm spices and smooth ambers have a cuddly and attractive quality. The highly praised L’Air du Désert Marocain (Tauer Perfumes) plays with the intimate and almost bodily aroma of cumin, textural amber, and spicy-cool coriander seed, surrounding the wearer in a beautiful glow of warm and attractive scent, grounded in the humming depth of Texan cedar wood.

Confidence First
The usual pointers apply. Consider the context of your date and wear something appropriate for the time, place, occasion, and the weather. For example, it is best to keep it light if you’re going to a wine tasting so as to not interfere with your nose and palate, but douse away if you’re going to a cocktail bar lit up with tealight candles and soft jazz music. Confidence is (always) key, and we believe fragrance builds into confidence, but will never stand-in for it. On that, sexiness will always start with impeccable hygiene, and from cleanliness and presentation sprouts confidence. Ensure the malodorous is dealt with by way of an excellent deodorant, toothpaste, and body wash, providing an excellent canvas for consequent scenting. The MEN'S BIZ ‘No-Fuss’ kit covers all of the essential aspects.