Can men wear florals? The answer: a resounding yes. And why not? There are no hard and fast rules. Let floral fragrances surprise you with their sheer variety and depth - with their diversity of aroma and dynamic range of styles.
There is a floral for anyone - and everyone. We acknowledge that men have been hardwired to associate florals with feminine fragrances, and so we hope to disrupt this way of thinking, demonstrating that at the heart of even the most masculine fragrances there’s often an excellent floral core to be found. Walk before you begin to run: slowly introducing florals into your fragrant diet is the perfect way to undo conventional binary thinking about what’s masculine and what’s feminine. It’s not about experimentation: it’s so much more profound than that. Rather, it’s about being open to the whole breadth of fragrant connoisseurship, acknowledging that not all florals are the same. Some are fresh and almost citrus-like, some luminous and profound, and others deeply rich, sumptuous, and exuberant. In this article, we’ve shortlisted a curated selection of the best florals for men, designed for the curious and the hardcore floral fan alike.
Even the most traditional of masculines have a floral core. When you first smell Czech & Speake’s No. 88, you’re immediately wrapped in a complex and full-bodied fragrance that pulsates between light and dark. Bright and leathery bergamot, smoky vetiver, and shady oakmoss form the general skeletal structure of the composition, but it is an unctuous and spicy rose note that all of this hinges on. A rich and inimitable note intensified with the cooling lemony freshness of geranium. The rose here modifies the fragrance, providing impact and depth, lending No. 88 its sense of confident austerity that is impossible without it. Overall, No. 88 is indubitably a floral fragrance.
Honourable mention must be paid to Bois du Portugal by Creed, which serves as a reminder that lavender too is a floral, and serves as the all-important heart to some of the most memorable masculines on the market today. When paired with sandalwood, cedar, and vetiver (the woody trinity), and the clean soapy rush of bitter orange leaf, it makes for an honest scent: refined, sophisticated, and sensible. Dressed up or dressed down - it’s magnificent.
We think Amouage has produced some of the most formal and extravagant florals on the market today, thanks to their high concentration of essential oils, quality of ingredients, and a creative spark unique to excellent perfumers alone. Amouage has never been shy about their use of florals in their masculine offerings, and the recent Interlude Black Iris highlights the aristocratic note of iris - a misnomer actually referring to the aromatic roots of the flower, properly referred to as orris. When injected into the formula already featuring smoky oud, thick plumes of incense, and resins, it adds a tame and quietly confident softness unique to florals alone.
Eschew the dark and brooding tones with Amouage’s Reflection Man, never diminishing the quality of its materials or blending, and centering the fragrance around an utterly charming combination of chewy orange blossom and tender jasmine flower surrounded in purifying herbs. With magnetic force, Reflection Man is grounded with quality musks, rich sandalwood, and tempting patchouli.
We call the most direct floral fragrances soliflores: single florals that demonstrate the perfumer’s evocative vision of the flower. Starting with rose: it’s easy to love roses - and it’s equally easy to smell why. It is such a dynamic note in perfumery that no two rose fragrances are ever truly the same, and because of this - you’re bound to find a rose suited to your tastes. In fact, we love roses so much at Men’s Biz that we’ve put together a sample pack of eight - yes - eight emphatic rose fragrances that gives wearers the opportunity to try rose in all of its metamorphic capability.
For a straight up dose of rose, Eau de Protection by Etat Libre d’Orange is a fistful of crushed roses - petals, stems, and thorns altogether: like a magical soliflore. A bit of danger is good, and Eau de Protection is your personal bubble: spicy roses, green stems, and bloodied thorns. Enlivened and shaded with a veritable blend of ginger, black pepper, cumin, cocoa: this is not merely a singular rose, but a symphony of roses that forms the ideal soliflore.
Etat Libre d’Orange similarly knocks it out of the park with Jasmin et Cigarette, yet another magical soliflore where a clever dose of spicy smoky tobacco and the creamy tint of apricot generate a nocturnal ‘film noir’ portrait of the jasmine flower. Jasmine’s innate creamy facets are bolstered in this composition, and its overall body shimmers behind seductive wisps of smoke. A bold and androgynous jasmine.
Bold & Adventurous Florals:
Start with the haunting and deep Black Aoud from Montale, which is a bewitching and complimentary exchange between rose drowned in incense and oud wood, where freshness meets the raw intensity of a soul-stirring agarwood note. A synergistic combination is further met with earthy patchouli and ambery-leathery labdanum resin. Finally, Nuit de Bakélite by Naomi Goodsir will change everything you expect of tuberose, rendering it a retro green by balancing the heady intensity of tuberose flower with a dewey, mossy, and vegetal base with a delightfully piercing bitter counterpoint. And if that wasn’t enough, this is all then varnished in the humid yellow tone of tropical ylang-ylang.