Yeah, right! Dudes wearing rose perfume? No way! Rose is strictly for grandmas and little girls.
That's how my gym rat friend responded when I told him I'm writing an article on the best men's scents featuring rose. True, he is a little boorish and any kind of men's grooming is uncharted territory for him. Still, I can't blame him for thinking that rose is a note reserved for old ladies and maidens.
Of course, you and I know better. I'm sure you've also indulged in secretly sniffing the mesmerizing florals your female friends start wearing at the first sign of spring.
If I got it completely wrong, and you are not that kind of a creep, then, not to worry, the perfumes below are 100% macho-approved. In exchange for a dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse buffet, I got my gym-rat friend, Jason, to pick out rose-based scents he would consider wearing this spring. Here are the results:
Rose 31 is a soft rose. It reminds me of a soft blanket that envelops you and keeps you warm and cosy during those chilly spring mornings.
Jason didn't express the same sentiment about Rose 31, but he did like the spicy facet of the fragrance. Caraway, vetiver and musky woody base move Rose 31 in the masculine half of the gender spectre.
Both, Jason and I agree that Rose 31 would work best for casual day-time dates and relaxed strolls through the city. Think of it as your lazy Sunday go-to perfume. It is an excellent choice to wear it to the local farmer's market and the perfect invitation for a lazy afternoon under the blankets with the favourite person.
If lounging around is not your thing and you are the type to get up early and get things cracking, then Declaration d'Un Soir is just right for you. Crisp, fresh rose boosted by black pepper and cardamom for extra spiciness makes this Declaration flanker my go-to scent when I'm on the roll.
This rose fragrance is so green that and fresh that just a whiff of it makes me perk up and get in gear. Jason thought it might be a good gym scent, even though he admitted he would never take the risk to wear any perfume (except Axe) in front of the gym bros.
I agree with Jason for an entirely different reason that Declaration d'Un Soir is not right for the gym. The projection of this juice is beastly. Two sprays on the neck radiate in a radius of two meters - not the kind of head-turner you'd want to get on the treadmill.
Use Declaration d'Un Soir as your get-shit-done scent instead. Its freshness will keep up with you all day and won't let you relax for a minute.
Some roses are just meant to be pretty. The rose in Incense Rose is precisely this kind. It is big and radiant and fills up the whole universe with its smell.
Before the words "what the..." leave your mouth, let me get something straight: Incense Rose is one of the more masculine rose fragrances on this list. Yes, the opening is an amazing radiant rose and a man who can bravely rock this shows nothing but supreme confidence.
Jason found the opening a bit feminine but once the cardamom and incense emerged, he was on board wearing it.
Amouage is known to make fragrances that have beastly longevity and projection. Lyric Men is no exception. Despite its green-floral character, two sprays of Lyric Men will easily get you through a full day and a night of adventure. It's no exaggeration: Lyric Men can truly last 24 hours on your skin.
The longevity, however, is not what makes Lyric Men great. It has won an iconic status among perfume aficionados as one of the best masculine roses on the market.
The rose accord here is well balanced against a woody, resinous base. The light citrus (bergamot and orange blossom) in the opening emphasize the fresh character of the rose. Just like the rose in Incense Rose, it never turns too sweet or jammy - it remains fresh and aerial with the woods acting as an anchor to give it some weight.
Lyric Men works for just about any occasion and any weather. I won't wear it to the gym, but there are few other places where it won't make for a great scent.
This anonymous rose is very well known to bring happiness just with its presence. You spray it on, and suddenly you feel like you could actually last through your three-hour staff meeting, or run that marathon you've sort-of been training for.
The credit for this spur in happiness goes to the ginger and bergamot, which form a sharp
I find Rose Anonyme to be the most feminine one on the list. That's why I was surprised when Jason said that he could easily wear this on a daily basis.
Indeed, Rose Anonyme is the fragrant equivalent of a white shirt - it works great anytime, anywhere.
All the rose fragrances I wrote about so far are great scents for any occasion during the day. None of them, however, are purposefully well-suited for a night out.
It's not that they won't work as evening perfumes. They will get the job done, but you know there are better fragrances for those late nights of seduction you want to brag about on Monday.
Lumiere Noire translates as a black light from French. There is something very apt about the name of the fragrance and its character. The main player here is the rose again but this time, it is a musky rose.
Lumiere Noire is the male counterpart of Narciso Rodriguez for Her - a beautiful muted rose for the woman who knows what she wants. Lumiere Noire, respectively, represents the man who knows how to give it to her.
When I smell Lumiere Noire, I picture a confident man in his mid- thirties, who exudes an aura of quiet confidence. This is how this perfume behaves - it envelopes you and creates around you a peaceful aura that draws you in.
Next time you want to impress without seeming like you are trying too hard do this - put on a fresh white shirt, a navy blazer and two sprays of Lumiere Noire. Then just be yourself. Things will magically start to happen.
I don't know if it is just me every time I inhale deeply Noir de Noir I get this accord, which reminds me of Burgundy red wine.
Noir de Noir is a reference to one of the wine-making bi-products, and maybe the wine accord is not just in my head.
The key player in Noir de Noir, though, is a red rose, which has been soaked in the darkest wine you can imagine and then served on a platter with dark chocolate and some spices. The result is a deliciously seductive fragrance that will make you wonder whether all these people trying to cosy up to you are after you or your cologne.
If the description above didn't give you a clue, Noir de Noir would probably work best as an evening fragrance in the spring. I've discovered that the dark rose and
As compared to Lumiere Noire, Noir de Noir is the more mature of the two and, therefore, it takes some maturity to pull it off. In other words, if you plan to wear Noir de Noir on a drinking night with your college buddies, you will be better off putting something more fitting of the occasion - Paco Rabanne's One Million for example?
Jason found Noir de Noir a great scent for a night out at a jazz club. A dinner at a swanky restaurant, a bottle of wine while listening to a live cover of Ella Fitzgerald and curtains down after you disappear into the bedroom with your favourite person.
If at the mention of a hippie you think of unwashed
No, there is no unwashed funk in the smell of this fragrance - just tons of patchouli mixed with dirty jammy rose. The result is something marvelous.
James Heeley - the creator of Hippie Rose - is the epitome of a British gentleman and his whole line shows it. Hippie Rose is the difficult one in the line-up, but it hasn't fallen far from the tree and keeps its noble character.
If you want to show the middle finger to the world and still keep your day job, then Hippie Rose is an excellent compromise. The elegant rose will make some people believe that you are a sensible human being while at the same time, the dirty patchouli will make them questions this very assumption.
How it all plays out is up to you. I can tell you for sure, however, that Hippie Rose is a lot of fun to wear.
What do you think of these fragrances? Have you worn any of them? Are there any other rose fragrances for men that I'm missing from this list?