MINI PENNY: Obsessed // Men's Fragrance

Friday, April 4, 2014

Obsessed // Men's Fragrance

I'm as big a fan of borrowing from the boys as any — blazers, oxfords, haircuts. But a long time ago I discovered my very favorite thing: men's fragrances. Now, I'm not talking gross sweaty hockey gear (ew, seriously... get that on lock down, dudes). I'm talking woodsy, leathery, and earthy scents that have now taken over my vanity and home.

Recently I started getting Allure Magazine in my mailbox for who-knows-what reason. I haven't subscribed to a magazine in years, but I started flipping through this issue to kill some time. There was an article on fragrances that women should wear — and I kid you not, the first section was about how women who wear tobacco scents are not desirable by men. Oops. Well, needless to say that magazine went in the garbage real fast. I've found over the years that the scents I wear fit me in the same way that a floral scent may fit another woman. The key is to take your time and find what works for you and don't listen to some of the things those weird magazines say. (Full disclaimer: I've not once had an issue attracting men while wearing men's cologne).

For the longest time I wore CKOne, which is an awesome unisex scent. I was ready to graduate from the 90s and went looking for something a little more precise. That's when I found London. It's safe to say that Burberry London for Men was my gateway drug. Shortly after, I discovered my all-time favorite, West Third Brand Tobacco 1812. This is my holy grail and sometimes it's hard to find in the stores around my neighborhood. I've used other West Third scents (Road Trip is another good one), but always come back to Tobacco 1812. Demeter Mahogany is another good option if you're leaning more towards a woodsy scent. Looking to splurge? Tom Ford makes a Tobacco Vanilla option.

Peoples' reactions are sometimes odd when they ask what I'm wearing and I respond with something along the lines of tobacco. I'm not a smoker and I've never been a smoker (and quite honestly, I despise smoking), and many people don't realize that tobacco smells nothing like cigarettes. It's much more earthy and fresh than you would expect.

I discovered Prospector Co.'s Burroughs Body Wash after using it at an ex-boyfriend's apartment. It smells like a wood shop — not too strong and so relaxing in the shower. They make a Cedarwood version (as well as fragrances), but I haven't tried any of those yet. Cedar Wood Soap is a great hand soap that I leave by my sink. If you're unsure about breaking into men's cleansers, Dove Men+Care in Extra Fresh is a nice in-between.

It was Bath & Body Works's Sandalwood Vanilla Wallflower back in 2008 that really pulled me into scents in the home. I had just moved into a new apartment in downtown Columbus and there was just something about this particular combo that I loved. Scents can bring back very strong memories, and this is certainly one that I think of fondly. It's a lot sweeter-smelling and makes for a nice neutral home fragrance. From there I have tried other varieties (their seasonal Flannel is a good one) but always comeback to Sandalwood Vanilla. Bergomot Tobacco and Dark Rum candles are a great scent for spaces as well.

Now, obviously we all can somehow relate to Ron Burgundy's mahogany and leather-bound books, but the key with any scent is moderation. As mentioned above, you never want to be that Axe Body Spray teenager who sits in front of you on the train. You know, the one who doused himself so much that you can practically taste it. Keep it simple and light and if the fragrance fits, you'll have no problem working it.

What are your favorite fragrance?

Header photo by Steven Sampang.

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