It may seem like cologne for men is a product of the 1970s. After all, it was the time when scents like Hai Karate and English Leather wafted across discos and locker rooms. But the history of fragrances goes back much further, all the way to Cologne, Germany, in 1709. It was here that Giovanni Maria Farina, an immigrant from Italy, invented Eau de Cologne, naming it after his new home.
Farina wrote to his brother in 1708, telling him that he had created something special.
“I have discovered a scent that reminds me of a spring morning in Italy, of mountain narcissus, orange blossom just after the rain. It gives me great refreshment, strengthens my senses and imagination.”
A little more than 300 years later, those words still build a picture. And whether you choose a cologne, or a stronger eau de toilette or eau de parfum, a man’s scent helps tell a story. Like fashion or grooming, scents are a form of self-expression, just one that appeals to the sense of smell. And, if you find the right one for you, it can leave a lasting impression. After all, that suit and haircut leave the room with you, but the right scent will linger.
It’s no wonder Tom Ford, fashion designer and parfum maker (see below), said, “Good manners and good cologne is what transforms the man into a gentleman.”
If you’re looking for a fragrance that will help transform you, here are some of our recent favorites for fall and winter.
1. Gucci Guilty Pour Homme Eau de Parfum
2. Burberry Hero
3. Dior Sauvage Elixir
4. Giorgio Armani Aqua di Giò Eau de Toilette
5. Calvin Klein Defy
6. Versace Eros Eau de Parfum
7. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia Cologne Forte—Eau de Parfum
[$135, neimanmarcus.com, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, bloomingdales.com, nordstrom.com]
8. Tom Ford Ombré Leather Parfum
[$160, 50ml, sephora.com]