8 Classic Fragrances for Gentlemen – Scents & Colognes from Dior, Creed, Guerlain & More

8 Classic Fragrances for Gentlemen – Scents & Colognes from Dior, Creed, Guerlain & More

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette!
in today’s video, we discuss the eight top classic fragrances for men. In the
last two decades, fragrances and colognes for men have exploded online and in
blogs, as well as YouTube channels,.There are things like Basenotes, Jeremy
Fragrance, or Fragrance Brothers that are all about just the scent.
Colognes can create really powerful emotional ties. Style authorities such as
Bruce Boyer argue that you should have a wardrobe of fragrances just like you
have a wardrobe of clothes. That way, you can pick and choose depending on the
season, your outfit, your mood, and the needs of the moment.
The problem is fragrances are often expensive and not everyone wants to own
50 different fragrances or let alone 20. This issue is perpetuated by the fact
that many colognes contains stabilizers meaning that they will smell differently
five years down the road. So no matter if you have 10, 20, or 50 bottles, chances are
you have to just throw them away after five or six years and do it over
all again. Colognes are also heavily faked and because of that, you can’t return the
bottle once you’ve removed the cellophane wrap from the packaging.
Fortunately, there’s samples so that’s the way to go. Fragrances are profitable
and so pretty much every brand under the sun out there has their own fragrance.
For this video, we wanted to choose a selection of classic fragrances that
have stood the test of time. Now, these days, the scents launched with the biggest
hype and marketing budget are usually ones that sell the most but it doesn’t
mean that you actually get the best quality scent for you. In fact, most
larger fragrance company have a goal to have the content cost less than a dollar
or two, with the bottle costing a little more depending on how intricate it is
but ultimately, it’s a high margin business. Of course, there are also very
high-end colognes on the market that sell for thousands of dollars.
So for today’s video, we’re just focusing on scents that have been around for at
least thirty years. We narrowed it down to the ones that got the best reviews
then got all of them, smelled them once, put them on, or then smell them twice. So we
talk about the base notes, the heart note, and the top note but also about our
just personal impression, review, how long it
lasts, and we’ll share how much the bottle costs, what the top, heart, and base
notes are, our personal views on it, and how they compare to one another. The
first scent is Acqua Di Parma Colonia. Translated, that means “Water of Parma” which is
a city in Northern Italy. The small fragrance house created their first
Cologne in 1916. The colonia scent became a symbol of Italian chic in the 30s, 40s,
and 50s. Both David Niven and Cary Grant were admirer of the scent and someone
even said, it smells like the golden era of Hollywood. Even though the brand
struggled from the 60s onward, it was purchased in 2003 by the luxury
conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy. Like many colognes in our lineup, it’s
considered to be a citrus fragrance because the top note is a sicilian
citrus. After a little while, it fades a little bit and you get heart notes of lavender,
rosemary, verbena, and damask rose. Base notes include the vetiver, sandalwood, and
patchouli. Right out of the box, we felt that the hint of citrus was light and
pleasant and unlike that of a strong cleaning product. Acqua di Parma Colonia
is not a strong scent, it’s more on the lighter side and therefore, suited for
spring/summer, in our opinion. It is by no means heavier or substantial, it’s the kind
of scent that anyone likes. It’s not offensive at the office but at the same
time, it’s not the most unique fragrance out there. Personally, I think it’s a bit
too light for the fall/winter season nevertheless, it can still be considered
a great all-rounder. On a very personal rating, I would give it a four out of
five, maybe even more if it would have lasted a little longer. On my skin, it only
lasted about sixty to ninety minutes and it was not very strong, to begin with.
Considering the eau de cologne cost around $160 for 3.4 ounces or about a
100 ml, means that you pay a lot for something that doesn’t smell
very long or strongly. The second classic fragrance in our lineup is the Guerlain
Vetiver. Even though Guerlain is better known these days
for their cosmetics and skincare, it was originally founded in 1828 by Pierre-Francois Guerlain
as a perfume. So over much of the 19th century, Guerlain created scents
from their headquarters in Paris for the entire royalty of Europe. The
company was passed down through the generations of the Guerlain family until
the 4th generation master perfumer created the Guerlain Vetiver in 1959.
Just like with so many other luxury brands, Guerlain was eventually sold in
1994 to Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy. Now, while some saw it as a cheapening move for the
brand, it is successful today and in 2000, the Vetiver formula was reformulated
probably to save some money or to just update it for more modern tastes. Usually,
it’s described as a scent that is woody, earthy, it smells like leather or
balsamic notes. Vetiver is often used in men’s fragrances because it’s a very
good stabilizer and it has a more masculine smell to it. So what is the
modern Guerlain Vetiver smell like? You have top notes of bergamot, lemon, neroli,
and coriander. After a little while, the heart note of the vetiver and the cedar comes
out a little stronger. In the base note, you have a tobacco, nutmeg, a little bit
of pepper and tonka bean. Out of the box, we didn’t like
this one as much as the Acqua di Parma Colonia because it was sharper and
stronger smelling. The bergamot, vetiver, nutmeg, and cedar is just a little
too strong. Now, when I tried it a second time around, I found it more pleasant
than when I originally smelled it. I don’t know if that had to do with the fact
that I had it before but it was definitely growing on me. Personally, I
would rather wear it during the fall/winter season rather than this summer. Now, with
it being a little sharper, it’ll last a lot longer than the Acqua di Parma. On my skin,
about 6 to 7 hours. For the price of $99 for the 3.3 ounces or 100 ml bottle of
eau de toilette, I thought it was pretty good. Generally, eau de toilettes are
supposed to be less strong than an eau de Parfum but in this case, it lasts
quite a while. My rating for the Guerlain Vetiver alone is three out of five.
The third classic men’s fragrance we picked was Dior Eau Sauvage. Even though Dior is known as a fashion house, their fragrance history dates all the way back
to 1947. Eau Sauvage was launched in 1966. It’s considered to be a classic citrus
fragrance. Out of the box, we like the citrus
woody and spicy base. It’s about more substantial than Aqua Colonia without
having the sharpness of the Guerlain Vetiver. Top notes include lemon, bergamot, a hint
of cumin and rosemary. The heart note, you have petitgrain, jasmine, and patchouli,
as well as a bit of carnation, basil, and coriander. For the base note, you have vetiver,
sandalwood, amber, oakmoss, and musk. to me To me, Eu Sauvage is the perfect year-round
fragrance. It is light, it has some citrus but it has substance that makes it
office appropriate or also suited for a cocktail party or basically, any other
event. I’d happily travel with just a single scent.
While the top notes faded rather quickly, the base notes were still there solidly
for about two to three hours. Afterwards, it turns more into a skin
sent. For an eau de toilette, that’s okay. It’s priced at $95 for the 3.4 ounce or
100 ml bottle. My rating for the Eau Sauvage from Dior is four out of five.
The fourth fragrance in our lineup is Knize Ten.
Knize is a Viennese tailoring house known for their store designed by Adolf Loos. I have been at their Vienna headquarters twice and it’s quite an experience. Now,
the scent Knize Ten was developed in 1924. The number 10 didn’t mean it was a
tenth fragrance but it was a dedication to the polo game because Knize was
associated with polo long before Ralph Lauren was. The fragrance was famously
designed to imitate the scent of a leather. Now, while some people may
describe Knize Ten as a young Marlon Brando scent, personally, it was my least
favorite of all eight of them and honestly, I wasn’t alone. Our entire
team felt the same way. Knize Ten is definitely a little more
unique. It is a heavier scent, more powerful but to me, it doesn’t quite
smell like leather and it has a certain kind of sweetness to it, definitely
smells old-school and heavy and because of that, in my mind, it’s not at all a
spring/summer scent but maybe only suited for the fall/winter season.
That being said, personally, I would likely never wear it.
Of course, for the review, I tested it a few times and I got top notes of bergamot, a
hint of lemon, a bit more orange, but also petitgrain and rosemary. Now, while these
ingredients are similar to many of the other colognes, the ratio makes all the
difference and it makes this one smell a lot different than the others. The heart
note, for me, was more flowery, there was carnation, rose, and geranium but also a
little bit of wood in there like cedar, maybe even a hint of cinnamon and
sandalwood, as well. In the base note, it has more like leather, musk, moss and
amber and with this being a perfume from 1924, I think the recipe is a lot
stronger than modern colognes. So when I put it on, I could still smell those base
notes the next day if I didn’t take a shower, which I thought was quite
impressive. Price of $120 for the 125 ml bottle, it’s quite fair and
even though it’s just an eau de toilette, it’s just very intense, strong, and
long-lasting. That being said, it’s just not for me
and so I gave it a 1 out of 5 stars. The fifth scent in our lineup is Green Irish
Tweed from Creed. Creed, today, is one of the longest standing fragrance houses in
the world. It was launched in 1760 in London by James Henry Creed. He was supposed
to create a scent for King George the third. The scent is known today as Royal
English Leather. So even though the brand is more than a quarter millennium old,
Creed fragrances didn’t become available to the public until 1970.
Green Irish Tweed wasn’t launched until 1985 but today, the house of Creed is
still run by the 6th and 7th generation of the Creed family. Creed’s most popular
scent was launched in 2010 that is named Aventus. I own the scent but we
didn’t include it in this lineup simply because it is not 30 years or older. On the other hand,
Green Irish Tweed has been around for longer and it has stood the test of time.
It’s considered to be a classic fougere fragrance which means as much as “fern” in
French. It comes from a family of perfumes that is based on lavender, oakmoss, and coumarin. Coumarin is a scent derived from the tonka bean and it’s
often described as the smell of newly mown hay. If you read the reviews about
Green Irish Tweed, it’s often described as an herbaceous and woody scent. It also
plants notes of verbena, sandalwood, violet leaves, and iris. So on the top, you get the
lemon and the verbena which is a very nice scent that I typically like in
soaps. The heart note is more the iris and the violet leaf but I can always smell
this freshly mown hay which is very pleasant, in my opinion. In the base note,
there’s a little more sandalwood and ambergris. Frankly, in this group, it was
my personal and the group’s favorite by a long shot.
Maybe it’s because it was the youngest scent in the lineup but it had this unique
scent that was very mesmerizing. It was masculine but had a level of freshness,
it can be worn year-round and is office appropriate. Unfortunately, it is quite
pricey, 100 ml or 3.3 ounces retail for $395 to $415 dollars
depending on where you buy it. And for some reason in Europe, it just costs a
little more ithen 210 euros which is a lot less expensive. It
seems like, overall, they definitely increased their prices over the last
decade. With it being so expensive, it, at least, last for quite a while. On my skin,
I could notice it for six to eight hours and then even next day there was kind of
a skin scent similar to the Knize Ten in intensity. So honestly, my rating is a
5 out of 5. My wife even said that her gift to herself would be a bottle of that
cologne for me so she could smell it. Obviously, I won’t argue with that and
she was so excited about it that she showed it to all her girlfriends which,
for the record, loved it too. Scent number 6 was the Floris London no. 89.
Even a little older than Creed, it was founded in 1730. Even though it’s
less well known than some of the continental European
counterparts, it is still family-owned today. Winston Churchill was a fan of
their scents and so was Ian Fleming, the author of James Bond. Floris no. 89
was launched in 1951 and is reminiscent of the number of their German Street
shop in London, 89. It is, by many, considered to be the quintessential
scent for the English gentleman. When we tested it out of the box, there was a spicy
nutmeg in the top note. The base notes were more like sandalwood, cedarwood, and
vetiver. In the heart notes, I got a lot of
florals. The first impression I got from this scent was old-school barbershop.
Overall, it was not offensive by any means but it wasn’t as great as, let’s say, the
Green Irish Tweed and also not like the Eau Sauvage from Dior. In my mind, the
scent felt a little more dated rather than
like a great vintage classic. It lasts about five to six hours on my skin which
is quite good and a 50 ml bottle of the Eau de Toilette costs 80 bucks.
Overall, my rating is three and a half stars out of five for the Floris no.
89. The seventh classic scent is the Blenheim bouquet from Penhaligon’s. Launched
in 1902, it is another one of Winston Churchill’s colognes. In my mind, it smells
like a classic cologne even though it has more lemon and citrus notes than the
Floris 89 does. I can also get notes of a lavender and overall, it’s not too
overpowering but in my mind, very well befitting of an English gentleman. I
definitely prefer it over the Knize 10 or the Guerlain Vetiver. For the top notes, you got lemon, lime, and lavender so it’s very fresh. Interestingly, there’s
not much of a heart note but it goes right into the base note. There is a bit
of pine, musk, and black pepper. In my mind, this is a great spring/summer scent for
men, not so much for fall/winter. I would also call it much more linear and
straightforward and less complex than, let’s say, the Green Irish Tweed. the
Blenheim Bouquet lasts about 4 to 5 hours on my skin which is quite good for an Eau de
Toilette. At $132 for a
100 ml bottle, it’s not cheap but it’s a classic and not a bad
investment. If you like a citrusy, limey, summer classic, I think it’s a 4 out of 5.
For an all year round one, it’s more like a three and a half. Last but not least, we
have the Polo scent from Ralph Lauren in the green bottle. I think there’s also a
modern one in the blue bottle but this is the classic from the green bottle.
Ralph Lifshitz created the eponymous Ralph Lauren brand in 1968
starting with ties which, at the time, were quite wide because that was opposite
the trend of slimmer ties. He launched his first two scents ten years later in
1978. The Polo in a green bottle was one of them. Top notes include basil, thyme,
and cumin, but for me, the strongest one was pine. In the heart note, there is some
coriander, patchouli, oakmoss, and vetiver. In the base note, there is more
leather, tobacco, and thyme. In my mind, the green bottle Polo is in an intense
masculine scent. I also think the green bottle is befitting of the strong pine
top note. The heavy pine notes in combination with the herbals make it a
very woody and earthy scent. Interesringly, it disappears more over time and also
the second time around I smelled it, the pine wasn’t as strong anymore as it was
initially. In my mind, this is a great cold-weather scent where you can put it
up in a club bar or if you go to some of his restaurants. I think the scent fits
right into the aesthetic that he wants to create. For office wear, it maybe be
too bold for some, it is definitely bolder than, let’s say, the Blenheim Bouquet or
the Floris 89. It lasts for about 6 hours which is quite nice and overall, my
rating would be a three and a half out of five stars, maybe a four if you like
the pine scent that disappears over time. The eau de toilette costs $85 for four
ounces or 120 ml. At the end of the day, scents are a deeply personal and
emotional thing and just because we like something, doesn’t mean you will. That
being said, these eight classics have stood the test of time, there are a lot
of people who like them and some who dislike them so
if you want something classic that’s befitting of a gentleman, you can’t
really go wrong with any of them, as long as, of course, you enjoy smelling them.
Also, keep in mind that super strong scents that are not office appropriate
can be a bother to others so it’s probably best to only use them outside
your work environment. If you enjoyed this video, make sure to check out our
general guide on men’s colognes which contains a number of videos and all
about the history and just more information about mens colognes and how
to choose one that you like. today’s outfit was a little bit inspired by the
Green Irish Tweed scent it is actually not a tweed jacket but part of a green
suit but it has these kind of multi tones of green which is something you
typically find in Ireland I am combining it with a shirt with very small green
blue and white houndstooth and paired with a turquoise tie with a diamond
pattern from Fort Belvedere you can find in our shop just like the pocket
square that picks up the tones of the orange the turquoise and the blue in the
rest of my outfit my pants are solid Navy with two inward-facing pleats I
combined them with a pair of dark green suede tassel loafers with brown leather
elements that provide a little bit of contrast and make it a little more
casual to get the transition right between my shoes and my pants I chose a
pair of shadows striped socks in navy and blue from Fort Belvedere which you can also
find in our shop here of course my scent is the green Irish
tweed from Creed which was my favorite

58 thoughts on “8 Classic Fragrances for Gentlemen – Scents & Colognes from Dior, Creed, Guerlain & More”

  1. Have you tried any of these eight fragrances? Do you have a favorite scent? Share with us in the comments!
    – Preston

  2. I really dislike the smell of cheap deodorants. I like to use ones with a neutral smell and put on a nice cologne.

  3. Could you guys do a guide on picking colours based on your hair colour?
    For example as a blonde guy I was told that a Navy suit will look much better than all black. That sort of thing.

  4. fragrances can last much longer than 5 yrs. That's what manufacturers say to encourage more purchasing. The key to longevity is to keep them out of the light and in cool temps. I have over 700 bottles with at least half of them being over 10yrs old and they smell as if I just opened it up freshly.

  5. My recommendation for if you're feeling bold, want to stand out, and have your presence known well before you're actually seen, is to use paint thinner Brut.

  6. Interesting list. Here are eight classic men's cologne… Seven of which, aren't all that good.
    Take away: buy green Irish Tweed.

  7. I did my research on Ralph Lauren upon working for the brand at Macy's. Aside from being a Bronx Native as well, he has an amazing story that inspired me. While I own the basic variants of the Polo cologne (black, red, blue, but not red remix or double black,) the original one is my favorite.

  8. I love your videos and am inspired by your attention to detail. Please pronounce the r in vétiver. From the Dictionnaire de l'académie française:
    VÉTIVER (L’r se prononce.)

  9. Thank you for the reviews, Raphael. My favorite fall and winter scent is Giorgio Armani
    Acqua di Gio Profumo, released in 1996. It does not meet your thirty-year-old criteria, but it is an Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner. Most importantly, my wife loves it. Notes: Marine Notes, Mandarin, Bergamot, Neroli, Persimmon, Rosemary, Nasturtium, Jasmine, Amber, Patchouli, Cistus. If I put it on in the morning, it lasts all day. The 2.5 oz. size is $98 at Macy's. I wouldn't buy it on Amazon or eBay since it is widely counterfeited.

  10. Great to see some British fragrance houses. The likes of Penhaligons, Floris and Geo Trumper are so often overlooked, but have some real gems in their collections.

  11. Please make a Christmas special. Have a wee Christmas dinner party with the team or do some group activity together. I would love to see something like that.

  12. If you are choosing your first proper fragrance (and moving on from the cheap and eye-watering spray deodorants), then I would recommend taking your parter with you to the perfumery and (after you have short-listed one ones you would be comfortable wearing), let your partner decide what they think smells best on you. At the end of the day, what you smell like is primarily for their benefit.

    It was suggested that you have a "wardrobe" of fragrances, but I would beg to differ with that assessment, because your fragrance will become part of "who you are" as far as your partner is concerned, and that smell is going to get imprinted on them in very intimate way. You don't want to keep changing it. This is especially true for married couples.

    The only other advice I would give is that when applying applying your fragrance, that less is more.
    You want the people you meet to get a mere hint of your fragrance so they sub-consciously want to lean-in to get a better smell.
    Any more than that and it is very off-putting.

  13. My fragrances are in order of awesome – Viking by Creed, Aventus by creed, and Green Irish Tweed by you guessed it, Creed

  14. I wonder if the team that tested these products were not together when doing so.  I ask because testing results can differ when products are tested privately as opposed to testing in a group.

  15. That's a great list! I've owned a bottle of most of them. My favourites of your list are Eau Sauvage by Dior and Vetiver by Guerlain. But, I'm also a great fan of Chanel's Pour Monsieur.

  16. I organize my scents by season. For spring, I use the aforementioned Eau Sauvage. For summer, I switch to Polo Blue Sport, fall is Vintage by John Varvatos and winter is Deseo (Men's) by Jennifer Lopez.

  17. Wasser Kõlnishe 4711, to me is the best, i bought by 1 Lt for some bucks and is refreshing after the shower. Otherwise an English Lavader is a fine option.

  18. This video was very informative and entertaining, Raphael.
    A friend of mine owns a couple of bottles of Creed's fragrances, and they are absolutely magnificent!
    Hoping to see more fragrance reviews from you soon.

  19. I just picked up Windsor by English Laundry, and was quite surprised for a cheap fragrance, the reaction I got from women who were near me, kept coming up and asking what I was wearing as they loved the smell, one women even asked to hug me, I was totally shocked.

  20. Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, Azzaro Pour Homme and Dior Fahrenheit are my picks. YSL Kouros to troll friends on the perfume store.

  21. Polo is the only one on that list that is not a huge waste of money. Classic aftershaves are much better scents for the money. Especially in an era where strong scents are considered unprofessional in most offices.

  22. My wife likes the GIT and it's my signature scent.. Thanks for the great vids.. I follow you very closely and I value your advice.. It's helped me get to the next level very quickly… The biggest thing I've learned is about fabrics.. Now I'm very very picky about my fabrics.. I learned yo learn my measurements.. I learned about duffle coats… Do many things that are all so new to me… Bravo! You guys rock! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  23. I liked this, and would welcome more videos about fragrances from you. I've tried Eau Sauvage. It wasn't really my thing. I guess I don't like earthier fragrances. I was surprised that you didn't talk about 4711.

  24. Just a reminder that LOTS of people are very sensitive (even allergic) to the smell of cologne or perfume, and a good rule of thumb (for you ladies too!) is that the only person who should be able to smell your cologne is the person who is going to kiss you. Any more than that, and you will simply reek to those around you. As a performing artist, I beseech thee; skip it altogether if attending a musical performance, play, opera, ballet, reading, stand-up show, etc. If you yourself are a performer, NEVER wear it while performing. It is a violation of professional etiquette to go onstage wearing fragrance. I also strongly suggest skipping it altogether if you are going to a nice restaurant, particularly for a multi-course meal or chef's tasting menu. Fragrances can really interfere with the taste of food. The people sitting around you might not be thrilled with paying $100+ per person on a special night out, only to not be able to taste anything because somebody invited Ralph Lauren to the table.

    Putting it on your wrists seems kind of… um… feminine, to me. I feel like if you're going to wear some, a man should put cologne on their body before they put their clothes on. It's supposed to be a nice thing for the person who gets to take your shirt off later.

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