Scent The Boyfriend!

Readers, I turn to you in my time of need. In one week, my boyfriend Drew is turning 22. I would like to get him a signature scent for his birthday, but after a discouraging hunt in the Saks Fifth Avenue fragrance department today, I realize that I need to call in outside help. Please give me your recommendations! I would also love to heard about which fragrances your significant others wear!

Here is what I can tell you about Drew. Drew is a Political Science/International Relations double major who will be graduating from Hopkins with honors this May. We met at a frat party, and have not been back to one since. Drew is from Iowa and makes me listen to country music in the car. He is a former jock who was much cooler than me in high school. He helped me pick out Zelda and is planning to adopt an Alaskan Klee Klai of his own. He got me a pearl ring and a Captain Kirk bobble head for my last birthday. His favorite Star Trek character is Worf. He watches more House Hunters than anyone I know. I need to find a fragrance as wonderful as he is!

Drew does not need his fragrance to be specifically designated as a masculine, but he would prefer a not-particularly-girly bottle. Some of Drew’s favorite smells are “roses, coffee, sunscreen, freshly-cut lemons, new cars, Indian spices, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and orange blossom trees”. He does not like to smell anything “bitter, musky, or dusty”. His favorite perfume on me is L de Lolita Lempicka. He has tried Bond No. 9 Little Italy, which he enjoyed on paper but found too sweet on his skin; Hermes Eau d’Orange Verte (exact same criticism); Hermes Ambre Narguile, which he found delicious, but has been DISCONTINUED IN THE USA WTF HERMES; Bond No. 9 New Haarlem, which he was meh on; and Jo Malone Grapefruit Cologne, which he liked better as a smell than as a personal fragrance.

Get scenting, y’all!

38 thoughts on “Scent The Boyfriend!

  1. All I can say is Terre d’Hermes! It has the bright, sparkling orange of Little Italy (before it becomes the seventh fermented circle of hell) with warm woody and mineralic notes. Definitely not too sweet πŸ™‚

    1. “The seventh fermented circle of hell” is my new band name. I don’t think we got to try Terre, but I know we tried Voyage- it was great in the bottle, and less nice on skin.

  2. I turned my husband on to Boucheron Homme EDT and he loves it, plus he receives compliments on it wherever he goes. It’s pretty fabulous. However, for a crisp, citrusy man’s fragrance, nothing beats Christian Dior’s Eau Sauvage. Vintage Eau Sauvage. It shouldn’t be too hard to find. Oh, almost forgot — Givenchy’s Insense. Also wonderful, but probably better in cooler weather. Hope this helps!!

    1. Oh, I wish I could find Givenchy Insense! I’ve been on the lookout since reading about it in The Guide, but I haven’t yet encountered it. Eau Sauvage is so wonderful. Drew found it a bit old fashioned, but I love it! More for meeeee!

  3. Try your sample of Fils de Dieu on him when you get it. (I’m under serious contemplation to get it for Al as his Eau Duelle might be TOO much for the summer in the daytime.)

    Also what about Jo Malone Blue Agava & Cacao or Hermès Eau de Pamplemousse Rose?


    1. I just got the sample today and will be sure to test it on him! We tried the Jo Malone, but he had trouble smelling it. I loved the Pamplemousse Rose, it will be miiiiine.

  4. What does TSO wear around here? That I like? My top 5 descending to best.

    Arran Aromatics Bay Citrus (It is what it says, the bottle is all masculine, clean lines and 100ml is around $40 from Bath & Unwind)
    Lanvin Oxygene (Womens because the mens’ is a bit yuck on him, read coughing fit and streaming eyes)
    CK Euphoria Extreme (Sweet and sexy)
    Burberry The Beat for Men (Fresh, Spicy, Dead Sexy, CHEAP I don’t understand why this hasn’t been a hit)

    Embarrassingly though, my all time favourite on him, and stolen for me, is Tabac Original by Maurer & Wirtz Cologne Splash. Do yourself and him a favour.

    I know none of these are niche or uber expensive but you want him to smell good, not be a bragging plate, right?
    Good Luck,
    Portia xx

    1. You’re right, I haven’t heard a peep about Burberry The Beat for Men! I will absolutely hunt it down now that it has your endorsement.

  5. I’m not really up on men’s frags b/c my husband is anosmic. However, I think A*Men has a coffee note. Oranges & lemons sounds as though he might enjoy a classic cologne like No. 4711. Caron also makes a couple of nice men’s colognes, one citrus and one lavander. “Sunscreen” made me think of Hermes Eau des Merveilles, which reminds me of the beach.

    1. Oh, I’m sorry, Patty and husband! My father is anosmic too, so my mother never wore perfume either. I actually cannot stand A*Men. I don’t know what it is, but I find it absolutely hideous. But I tried a great coffee scent this week- Jo Malone Black Vetyver Cafe! Have you tried it?

      1. I’ll second the Caron rec – either Yuzu Man or Pour Un Homme might suit him (though Pour Un Homme is built on lavender, which you don’t record an opinion on.)

        Guerlain’s Eau de Fleurs Cedrat would be gorgeous (this is the one my friend referred to as reminding her of her father’s lemon trees) but it’s pricey and doesn’t last.

        Lollia Believe, cabbage rose and citrus, is very lovely, if he doesn’t mind the ridiculously girly bottle (decant it?)

        But a dude that cool deserves a cool dude fragrance. I can’t quite think of something as Cool as he is to recommend. Will keep thinking…

        Atelier Orange Sanguine is a very easy to like orange cologne-into-longer-lasting-scent.

    1. We went and tried the Orange Blossom, but got too claustrophobic in the tiny Lush store to form much of an opinion on it. I will have to go back and try it myself later. He hasn’t tried Rochas Man, but he’s meh on New Haarlem, and since they are essentially the same fragrance… πŸ˜‰

  6. As I said on Twitter, I’m more than happy to pick up some Ambre Narguile at the Hermes boutique in San Diego – I bet they have some left. If not, I can see if they still have some of their large samples, which they are very generous with. I’m surprised at that decision though, I’d imagine it was probably one of the top selling Hermessences.

    My husband does not wear any scent, being that guy with the migraines. He did wear a few that I gave him before (a discontinued L’Occitane, Hyssop and a surprisingly good Gap one), but after coming down with a migraine while wearing fragrance, he has nixed that completely. If he did, I would buy him some L’Occitane Eau de Baux stat. Cheap and so delicious.

    What about Bulgari Black – if nothing else, a cute hockey puck bottle!

    1. Hey, I want some Eau de Baux for *myself*! Good stuff.

      16yo son has been enjoying his newly acquired sample of Bond No.9 I Love New York For All, and it’s got a strong coffee note. He smells really good in it.

      1. I really like ILNY For All! I’m especially fond of the low price point, for a Bond. The other two I Love New Yorks aren’t worth even that lower price, though.

    2. Thank you so much for your offer! A woman who is currently in Paris has actually offered to pick up two 15 ml bottles for me, so I have it covered. I can’t believe they’ve discontinued it either! It’s such a great, accessible fragrance! I’m honestly baffled.

      I made Drew try Bulgari Black, but he has decided that he doesn’t care for leather, on himself or on me. He was, however, tempted by the hockey puck.

    1. Oh, I wish I had time to order him a sample of New York! And I wish I had more access to the PdN line in general 😦

  7. I gifted my ex a bottle of John Varbatos Artisan. It is a wonderful orange blossum/orange-y cologne. It smelled amazing on him and he got compliments on it all the time. As a bonus, the woven bottle is one of the most covetable I know.

      1. But then I may have had to forfeit the By Killian Back to Black travel scent he gifted me…I think I came out ahead πŸ˜‰

  8. My husband will not wear anything except Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules. And I LOVE it on him AND so do many others. People stop him all the time to tell him how great he smells. Women have actually followed us down the street and then sheepishly asked what he was wearing! Waitresses and bartenders often comment.
    Even though I do take a certain amount of pride in this, mostly to my dismay, it is he who gets the most scent compliments in my family. πŸ˜’
    When I bought a bottle for him at Bendel’s the store manager told me it’s what he wears too.

    1. Oooh, what a ringing endorsement! Is that the one ingredient that’s used in all of the Ormonde Jayne fragrances? I never, ever get scent compliments either, except from Drew. I’m not sure if I’m not wearing enough perfume, or just the wrong ones… :O

      1. I got a scent compliment recently on Neela’s Trayee, but Dave wasn’t standing next to me at the time otherwise I am sure HE would have stolen my compliment!! Lol
        It is a running joke in our marriage that I am in constant competition to get someone to notice my scent over his. He’s even offered not to wear his sometimes! How sweet and sad is that?
        I will look to see if I have a sample for you but I don’t think I do, if I had supplies I would make you one. Why oh why haven’t I gotten it together yet to buy some decanting supplies?!?! Sorry. 😞

  9. Oh no! My comment got lost! That makes me so sad. Dumb WordPress.

    Anyway, my man is an AldeHo, which won’t help Drew much, however I would recommend Chanel Egoise, I’d second Terre d’Hermes from above, and throw in a Montale Oud— Black Aoud is a nice choice for a handsome man! πŸ™‚

    1. I can’t fiiiiind Egoiste! Only Egoiste Platinum! I will never know the glory of this frequently-recommended scent 😦 You must be one of the only women on the planet who can call their husband an Aldeho! I haz a jelus!

  10. What about Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling? It’s fresh and crisp. I would suggest Sartorial, but fear it may be too sweet? Or how about Ormonde Jayne Zizan? I think L’Occitane’s original men’s fragrance (with the purple label) is a sort of unsung hero of men’s scents, but he might also try Badien in the yellow label, which is brisker.

  11. OH! L’Artisan L’Eau du Navigateur. Still findable, for at least a little while. You should test it but I doubt he will find it fusty or musty. And great lime coffee note.

  12. In addition to Terre d’Hermes that I recommended above under CPB’s comment, I want to add one more Jo Malone’s scent – Black Vetiver Cafe (they’ve just released it in a small bottle): I enjoy coffee note in there.

    I love Molecule 01 but it will be hard to find it for testing in time for the birthday.

    Have you tried anything from Atelier Colognes? They have small bottles so you do not have to commit to a gallon of a perfume he doesn’t like.

    Last recommendation: Spicebomb (Viktor&Rolf) is getting nice reviews. I like it though I’m not sure if it’s unique enough to make it into my (my vSO’s) collection, but you should try it.

  13. My recommendations are:
    Terre D’Hermes
    John Varvatos Artisan
    Eau d’ Guerlain
    and my most favorite on my husband, Mechant Loup. It smells like the Pacific NW woods. Moss, honey and hazelnuts. It is fabulous on him. Good luck in your search.

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