Etat Libre d’Orange’s Etienne de Swardt (Mostly) Unfiltered

Since its launch in 2006, Etat Libre d’Orange has gained notoriety and a large international cult following with its provocative perfumes and tongue-in-cheek humour. With perfumes such as Putain des Palaces, Attaqeur le Soleil Marquis de Sade, Fat Electrician and Encens et Bubblegum, Etat Libre d’Orange has walked a fine line between shock value and scentsory awe.

ROYAL WHORE: Putain des Palaces.

The man behind this Paris-based niche perfumery, Etienne de Swardt, was born and raised in South Africa. The name “Etat Libre d’Orange” is a witty word play on the Orange Free State, the South African province where De Swardt lived during his formative years.

After working for big fragrance names like Givenchy and weary of the conventions and limitations of perfumery, De Swardt launched Oh My Dog! and Oh My Cat!, his fragrance range for pets, which humans could wear too. Cheeky bugger!

My first encounter (“experience” is too tame a word) with Etat Libre d’Orange was with Je Suis un Homme, launched in 2006. Although that bottle was emptied many years ago, I still remember it as a heady collision between citrus, spice, leather and cognac notes. Not the usual, for sure.

I wangled my South African background to get an email interview with De Swardt. For a change, I had to turn off my overly vigilant inner editor to retain the drama and flow of his manifesto-like answers. So mostly I have shortened and explained his answers where necessary for clarity.

BOTTLED MISCHIEF: The Etat Libre d’Orange collection.

After more than 10 years in the industry, has Etat Libre d’Orange achieved what you set out to do? The objective is still too confused to measure a pertinent achievement. Sabotage will be the final destination, with all our narcissism, scented exactions, calculated pathos and endorsements of rogue heroes and heroines blended on one magnificent fire. I would love a purifying fire at 69 Rue des Archives [the address of the Etat Libre d’Orange store in Paris] to consume a decade “à tout faire de travers [doing it our way]”.

You started out as an agent provocateur in the industry. Is that still your motivation? I was born a sophisticated Shakespearean impostor, lost in between South Africa and New Caledonia. I was shaped by womanity, materfamilias, gay but elusive multiple (step) fathers, literature, cloud soaring, instants in the wind and, of course, my own departed. Hence, I am fucking confused and disturbed. But thankfully I have all the codes of vanity, arrogance and narcissism, knowing all that will be gone with the wind, revenged by our finitude and hazardous biology, so I bow to Diogenes’s cynicism.

EXISTENTIAL AESTHETICS: You or Someone Like You.

Using your latest fragrance, You or Someone Like You, as an example, briefly talk us through your conceptualisation and creative process. Just a good name to ignite the process and federate the passions, and a good extra bonus of existentialism with my knowledgeable Chandler Burr [the acclaimed American author, journalist and perfume expert] on board. Chandler is a crusader of aesthetics on the road less travelled. Alive and kicking this is what we are, knowing the end is a Greek tragedy. In the meantime, let’s be dramatic, frivolous and genuine.

With its notes of blood, adrenaline, sperm and saliva, Secretions Magnifiques created a huge sensation when it was launched in 2006 and still upsets or delights people. Looking back now, what do you think of it? My beloved virus, my favourite crime scene, why did you betray me, trapping for so long our land of plenty in a swamp of miasma, saliva, sperm and other encoded fluids of duplication and reproduction. I was born in 1970, the year of the dog, and I sniff around not like a perfumer, but like a hound, hunting high and low body intimacies.

SCENTED FREAK: Fat Electrician.

What’s your favourite Etat Libre d’Orange fragrance? I love all my scented freaks equally. They all speak my very universal disorders. Etat Libre d’Orange is a land of plenty, inclusive of all neurotic but charming darkness. It’s where a Fat Electrician shall dance an eternal farandole with a powdery slut, a leathery Tom of Finland, an abject ylang-ylang Charogne, the synaesthesia of a Nijinsky dancing the faun in 1912 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the eternal feminine killer’s kiss blending jasmine at twilight with a seductive cigarette, a naive Justine lost in between vice and virtue, but deliciously perverted by a Luciferian Marquis of Sade. They are all for You or Someone Like You.

Has your definition of success changed since you launched Etat Libre d’Orange? Penitence is my lot in life, stoicism and cynicism my brothers in arms. I hope that all these existentialism-scented manoeuvres since 2006 will help me to buy a Jonker JS-1 Revelation sailplane, designed in Potchefstroom, South Africa, by two talented brothers. Soaring is a place where everything starts and ends, driven by humility.

SOARING IS EVERYTHING: De Swardt’s dream Jonker JS-1 sailplane.

What fragrance are you working on now? Vos Beaux Yeux Vont Pleurer, inspired by the poetry of Ray Bradbury and David Bowie (Martian Chronicles + Serious Moonlight), the curse of beauty of Rock Hudson, Edna “E” Mode [from The Incredibles], Roxy Music’s Love is the Drug and WD-40 Multi-Use products to keep our souls away from rusted parts. Disturbed, isn’t it?

What are your thoughts on the current state of the perfume industry? Mutation and survival of the fittest.

Are your fragrances distributed in South Africa? No, we are too “incompris” [misunderstood].

BODY INTIMACIES: Secretions Magnifiques.

Apart from its name, does South Africa inspire your fragrances at all? Etat Libre d’Orange is the best blend of 21st-century Voortrekker spirit and existentialism à la française. Tell the Ruperts [the wealthy South African family who founded Richemont] that I don’t want to sell my house to LVMH or L’Oréal. But I would be happy one day to dance the carmagnole in the Great Karoo around the camp fire with protective laager people, my family, Walt Whitman or Alan Paton – the same universal, drifting, contemplative saga of pain and beauty on the limitless borders of New Caledonia, Colorado or Kroonstad. I am the true son of a Free State farm boy with vast memories of Bothaville and meat pie…

Want to read another intriguing interview with one of the masters of modern niche perfumery? Check out my interview with Bertrand Duchaufour here.

3 Fresh Fragrances To Try Now

Fresh Main Pic

Fresh fragrances are always a good choice, when they offer the right amount of uplifting and invigorating appeal. They run the gamut from citrus bursts to marine splashes. Of course, they make the perfect choice for summer, but there’s no reason why you can’t wear fresh fragrances year-round if they work for you.

I recently tried these three different takes on fresh fragrances . Here are my quick impressions of each.

HUGO BOSS HUGO ICED EDT

There’s a simple note structure to this fresh fragrance – lots of mint (very nice!), wild tea, juniper, bitter orange and vetiver – and all are given the iced treatment. On my skin, Hugo Iced EDT dissipates very quickly, but I like the crisp vibe when I wear it to gym. I will be passing this on to my fashion-conscious 19-year-old son, who’s very much its target market.

R845 for 75ml and R1 155 for 125ml.

HB Iced Pic

BULGARI AQUA POUR HOMME ATLANTIQUE EDT

I did not like this fresh fragrance at all when I first tried it. Perhaps I was expecting a salty marine offering. But the more I wear Bulgari Aqua Pour Homme Atlantique, the more I “get” creator Jacques Cavallier’s interpretation of ambergris, sea accord, in this EDT. If you’re looking for more of the same Bulgari Aqua formula, with a few tweaks, you’ll be surprised.

R 1060 for 50ml and R1 480 for 100ml.

Aqua Pic

BOSS BOTTLED TONIC EDT

After the potency of Boss Bottled Intense EDP, the latest addition to the Boss Bottled range is admirably restrained. Notes of grapefruit, bitter orange, lemon and apple set the tone for this fresh fragrance, and there’s also ginger and vetiver in the mix. I like Boss Bottled Tonic because it doesn’t try too hard to be sophisticated and grown-up.

R955 for 50ml, R1 265 for 100ml and R1 755 for 200ml.

Bottled Tonic Pic

PS: I haven’t smelt them yet, but I am looking forward to trying out two other fresh fragrances when they arrive in South Africa: Jimmy Choo For Men Iced EDT and Thierry Mugler A*Men Kryptomint.

Too fresh for you? Want something more sensual? Read my fragrance review of Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo EDT here.

Product Review: Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver

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I don’t enjoy shaving. And can’t remember the last time I shaved on a daily basis. But as I am a hirsute man, I need to do the deed, on average, every four days. By day four of not shaving, I start to walk the line between rugged and ragged. And by day five, what a mess! And we’re not talking a hot mess. It also doesn’t help matters that I have sensitive skin.

I usually use Gillette Sensor Excel blades to do the job. Then during one of my recent tidy-ups, I re-discovered the Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver in my grooming product drawers.

How could I have forgotten about this wet and dry electric shaver? It’s specifically designed for men with sensitive skin and comes with a load of nifty features? These include comfort rings with anti-friction micro-bead coating, a GentlePrecision blade system and five-direction DynamicFlex heads for a smooth, trauma-free shave. Plus, it provides 50 minutes of cordless shaving (it takes an hour to charge fully) and there’s a SmartClick beard styler.

My last experience with an electric shaver was with a Braun something-or-other way back in the 1990s. I eventually abandoned it, as it could not deal with the rigours of my stubble. Would the Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver fare any better?

My first few shaves with the Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver were a failure and I had to finish the job with my Gillette. Not because this Philips is a piece of rubbish, but because a) I didn’t read the instructions properly and b) I gave it the impossible seven-day Richard stubble challenge.

Shaver Other Pic

I must have been in a good mood this morning, because I gave the Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver a more reasonable test – four days of stubble growth. While not as dense and tough as a week’s worth, it would still test the shaver’s agility and precision.

At last! The shaver handled my stubble with aplomb, gliding with ease. Sure, I had to finish up under my nose with my Gillette, but overall I was impressed with the Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver’s performance. Now I just need to remember the four-day rule when using it in future.

3 tips for buying an electric shaver

* Make sure you buy an electric shaver that suits your lifestyle and your shaving needs. For example, if you prefer to shave at gym before going to work, you will want one that’s light and good to go. Similarly, if you travel frequently, make sure it is travel-friendly. The Philips Series 7000 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver comes with a handy travel lock.

* There are generally two types of electric shavers: rotary (revolving blades) and foil (a thin layer of metal covers the blades). Rotary is best for men who have thick and coarse hair and prefer not to shave every day. Foil is best for men who don’t mind shaving daily and have finer hair.

* An electric shaver isn’t for everyone. If your razor is a top performer, there’s no need to go the electric route.

Shaver Secondary Pic

Fragrance Review: Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo EDT

 

SF Art Work

Tiramisu. Undoubtedly, one of my favourite Italian desserts. When I am at a restaurant, I can always rely on a well-made tiramisu when it’s time to order dessert. Why am I banging on about tiramisu? Well, when Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo was first launched internationally last year, I read that one of its dominant notes is tiramisu.

On paper that sounded deliciously intriguing, but I wasn’t entirely convinced either. Would it be sickly sweet? Would it be one of those generic, ready-made tiramisus all too common in pizzerias? Or would it be a refreshingly modern and stylish take on the classic?

When Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo officially arrived in South Africa in March 2017, I was impaziente to get my nose around it. I arrived at the launch before most of the other media contingent (blame that on my German ancestry!). Not such a bad thing, because it gave me the opportunity to spray this EDT before everyone else.

Pssss! Pssss! And there it was! The unmistakable smell of tiramisu. And not just any ol’ tiramisu. An authentic and joyful tiramisu. La dolce vita! But let me not give you the impression that Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo is just about tiramisu…

I have spent the last three weeks living with this EDT. The more time I spend with it, the more I notice its nuances. That’s a word I use deliberately here. This is not a loud, macho Italian fragrance. This is Salvatore Ferragamo, after all. So we’re talking elegante. Notes of black pepper, cardamom, bergamot, orange blossom, ambrox, cashmere wood, sandalwood and tonka bean all play their part to create an eminently smooth, sexy and sophisticated scent.

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GET A GRIP: Whichever way you look at it, what a handsome bottle.

This should come as no surprise, as Alberto Morillas is one of the co-creators of this fragrance. The Spaniard knows his stuff and has a long list of top scents to his name, including Bulgari Man in Black, cK One, Panthere de Cartier, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio, Givenchy Pi and, most recently, Gucci Guilty Absolute.

Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo is also very versatile and works day or night. I find it especially appealing as a bed-time scent. Not because it’s an aphrodisiac as such, but because it’s so comfortable and soothing to wear.

The reassuringly solid bottle deserves a special mention, too. The combo of glass and logo-ed black sides makes a suitably luxe statement.

Something tells me that Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo is going to be one of my favourite fragrances of 2017.

Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo EDT, R1 000 for 50ml and R1 380 for 100ml.

Want to know more about the top fragrances of 2016? You will find five of the best here. Continue reading “Fragrance Review: Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo EDT”

4 Top Grooming Tips: How To Apply Your Eye Cream, How To Store Your Fragrance

Tips Eyes

Grooming can be hard work if you’re not equipped with the right tools and essential know-how. For myself, I know there’s always (g)room for improvement. I hope these top grooming tips help alleviate any confusion.

HOW TO APPLY YOUR EYE CREAM

Up until a few months ago, I used to apply my eye cream/serum with a heavy hand. Like many of us, I rubbed it under my eye, the inside outwards. And then Dermalogica’s national training manager, Diana van Sittert, put me right with these top grooming tips. As the skin surrounding the eye area is super-thin and sensitive, it needs to be treated with the care it deserves.

  • Dispense a pea-sized amount onto your ring fingers.
  • Dot the product under your eyes, moving from the outer corners inwards.
  • Circle the product around your eyes three times.

HOW TO DRY YOUR HAIR

Easy enough, right? Shower, dry vigorously and off you go. Absolutely – if you want to damage your hair. But if you want to maintain the condition and shine of your hair, best follow these top grooming tips from hair salon owner Penny Cheong:

  • After hair has been shampooed and conditioned, use a smooth, absorbent towel, preferably one made of a micro-fibre fabric, not a rough cotton terry towel.
  • Remove the excess water by gently pressing the towel to your head. Avoid vigorous scalp rubbing.
  • The aim is to remove excess water, but to keep some moisture and allow your hair to naturally air-dry further.
  • Aggressive towel-drying damages the hair cuticles and can also damage the follicles, leading to premature hair loss – something all men would rather avoid

Tips HairHOW TO PERK UP TIRED LOOKING SKIN

You haven’t slept well again or you’ve pulled an all-nighter. And your face is looking haggard as hell. While there are plenty of products that promise a quick rescue job, there’s a highly effective solution right inside your freezer. Ice cubes. These are great for increasing facial blood circulation and de-puffing the eye area, among other benefits.

  • Wrap the ice cube in a paper serviette and circulate around the problem areas. Don’t apply ice directly to your face, as this could cause broken capillaries.
  • If that’s too extreme for you, a good splash of cold water also helps banish a multitude of sins.

Tips IceHOW TO STORE YOUR FRAGRANCE

Did you know that if you don’t store your fragrances the right way, they can spoil over time? What a waste that would be! While you don’t need to build a Chateau Lafitte Rothschild-worthy cellar for your precious perfumes, think of them as a composition of fine molecules that needs to be protected from the harsh elements.

  • Keep your fragrances out of direct sunlight.
  • Your stash of fragrances looks mightily impressive in your bathroom, but all that steam and up-down temperature is not going to do them any good.
  • Some aficionados insist that the refrigerator is the best place to store fragrances, but there’s not much consensus on that. The main thing is to store them in a cool, dark place. A cabinet or box will do.

PS: While Zadig & Voltaire This Is Him! makes for a cool photo prop, it’s also a darn good fragrance. So while I have your attention, I will give it a well-deserved punt. The notes of grapefruit, incense, sandalwood, vanilla and black pepper come together beautifully in this one. Simplicity is the ultimate seduction.

Tips Fragrance

3 BARGAIN FRAGRANCES TO ADD TO YOUR COLLECTION

Bargains Main Pic

I love popping into stores to check out the latest fragrance launches and to sniff out those I might have missed. Those fragrances are inevitably on the expensive side. I have learned, though, that if I step away from the branded, fancy counters, there are remarkably good bargain fragrances to be discovered on the cheaper, less glamorous shelves.

If you’re going to be doing some bargain hunting yourself, the trick here is to be patient. You will need to sift through a lot of bottles to find the bargain fragrance that appeals to you. But the rewards, in terms of money saved and fragrance gem found, will be well worth it.

These bargain fragrances get the Fragroom thumbs up:

QUORUM EDT

Originally launched in 1981, Quorum packs an old-school power punch with dominant notes of oakmoss, leather, tobacco, artemisia and sandalwood. This bargain fragrance is super-masculine stuff, irresistibly earthy and is as far from generic as you can get. It’s not often you will find quality at this price, so hunt it down now.

Price: R220 for 50ml and R320 for 100ml.

Bargains Quorum

4711 ORIGINAL EAU DE COLOGNE

This bargain fragrance is apparently still made according to a secret recipe from the late 18th century (yes, it’s been around that long). While 4711 Original Eau de Cologne lacks staying power, it more than compensates with its uplifting mix of lemon, bergamot and orange oil. More than a fragrance, it’s a superb pick-me-up tonic.

Price: R280 for 100ml and R395 for 150ml.

Bargains 4711

JEANNE ARTHES COLONIAL CLUB EDT

Jeanne Arthes might not have the immediate prestige of some of the more high-end fragrance companies, but it still produces some goodies. A tad on the sweeter side, Jeanne Arthes Colonial Club is a sophisticated take on jasmine, musk, patchouli and cedar notes. It smells way more expensive than its price suggests.

Price: R200.

Bargains Colonial Club

PRODUCT REVIEW: LA PRAIRIE LINE INTERCEPTION POWER DUO

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The last time I did Botox was almost 10 years ago. I enjoyed the novelty of trying it out for myself. Partly for financial reasons, I didn’t continue doing the Botox thing and made peace with my wrinkles and lines. I liked to call it my “rugged” look.

Now, aged 47, while I am not keen on an expressionless look, I am all for aesthetic assistance in the form of a product or two to help smooth out the signs of ageing here and there. After all, there is a fine line between “rugged” and “ragged”.

Created as an alternative to treatments like Botox, La Prairie Line Interception Power Duo makes very assured promises that a journalist can’t resist putting to the test.

It claims to fight all types of wrinkles – expression lines, UV- and gravity-induced – with noticeable differences within just 14 days and 14 nights of use. This is largely achieved through a combination of powerful peptides and La Prairie’s Cellular Complex.

Oh, and did I mention the price? 5 900 bucks. If you’ve ever browsed the La Prairie counter at a swanky department store, you will know this Swiss brand is premium stuff. So no surprises that it comes with a super-luxe price tag.

I have been using La Prairie Line Interception Power Duo for a few weeks. As a 24-hour treatment, it’s to be used morning and night. It comes in a very impressive-looking, dual-barrel pump bottle – shiny silver for day, matte black for night.

La Prairie Second Pic

While my wrinkles have not been zapped into oblivion within 14 days (and I was not expecting any such miracle), I have noticed they are not as pronounced as they used to be. I also like to think that a colleague’s recent “vampire” comment/compliment regarding my age is a reflection of the efficacy of La Prairie Line Interception Power Duo.

I will definitely continue to use La Prairie Line Interception Power Duo until it runs out. And then it’s the stark reality of affordability for me.

La Prairie Line Interception Power Duo, R5 900 for 50ml, is available at Edgars stores nationwide.

FRAGRANCE REVIEW: AZZARO WANTED

Azzaro Main Pic

The first BIG men’s fragrance launch of 2017, Azzaro Wanted, is here – well, in South Africa, at least. Judging by the TV advertising, massive window displays in my local shopping mall and heavy-handed influencer marketing, there’s a fair amount of money behind this one to ensure it’s one of the year’s top sellers.

The revolver-like cylindrical shape bottle has already generated reaction and will no doubt see a lot of Instagram action.

I am always intrigued by the type of man these big-name fragrances have in their sights, so allow me to share the following from the Azzaro website: “The story of Azzaro Wanted is the story of a Wanted man. He’s charismatic, talented and radiant, desired by women, envied by men. He boldly takes chances with complete confidence and dares to change his destiny to get whatever he desires.”

Okay, so Azzaro Wanted is definitely created to be a seduction scent. But the problem with hype is that we can easily forget what’s really important, so putting all of the above aside, is Azzaro Wanted any good?

Azzaro Second

I have spent the last two weeks living with this woody-spicy fragrance. I get a strong and appealing whiff of apple after the initial opening of lemon, before it settles into a familiar-ish tonka bean and amber wood vibe. Other listed notes include ginger, lavender, mint, cardamom, juniper, geranium and vetiver. On my skin, it fades quickly after a couple of hours, but other online reviewers have reported “beastly” performance.

While Azzaro Wanted is not a bad fragrance, it’s not spectacular either. Apart from the bottle, it does not have enough personality to make it stand out. If you are keen to buy a new designer fragrance this year, I would hold out for Gucci Guilty Absolute EDP, with its sumptuous take on leather.

Azzaro Wanted EDT, R955 for 50ml and R1 200 for 100ml, is available at selected Clicks, Dis-Chem, Edgars, Foschini, Red Square, Stuttafords and Truworths stores.

THE SUNDAY GROOMING SESSIONS

Not to be confused with some post-post-nightclubbing comedown, the Sunday Grooming Sessions are often my favourite part of the week. Relaxation does not come easily to me, so this is the one time of the week I impose some downtime on myself.

The Sunday Grooming Sessions are the perfect time for me to:

  1. Slow down and get off the busy express.
  2. Take care of myself. After all, grooming is not just about looking presentable and well put together – it’s a fundamental act of self-care.
  3. Have some fun and get messy with products.

The products below have all become part of my recent Sunday Grooming Sessions. But a few months from now, no doubt I will be playing with a whole new mix.

SIX SENSATIONAL SKINCARE GLYCOLIC ACID 8% FOAMING FACE WASH

Glycolic acid, one of the main alpha hydroxy acids, is renowned for its cleansing, exfoliating and anti-ageing properties. In small doses, like this face wash, it can form an essential part of your daily grooming routine. Kudos to this South African product for delivering on its promise of breaking down skin surface build-up, without stripping my skin.

Six Sensational Skincare Glycolic Acid 8% Foaming Face Wash, R415 for 200ml, http://sixskincare.com

CRABTREE & EVELYN TAROCCO ORANGE, EUCALYPTUS & SAGE SHOWER GEL

I do love a good scrub in the tub and on Sundays, bathing is not the rush job it is during the week. This zesty shower gel is the perfect accompaniment. It foams up nicely, while the main ingredients condition the skin. While I might be living in an apartment in suburban Johannesburg, South Africa, it does a good job of conjuring up a sunny Sicilian vibe, with its notes of orange, bergamot and neroli.

Crabtree & Evelyn Tarocco Orange, Eucalyptus & Sage Shower Gel, R400 for 250ml, http://crabtree-evelyn.co.za/

DERMALOGOCA DAILY SUPERFOLIANT

Did you know that environmental pollution is a huge contributing factor to ageing? Building on the success of Dermalogica’s superb Daily Microfoliant, this fine-powder product contains several ingredients (including white charcoal; papain, lipase and subtilisin enzymes; malic and lactic acids; and niacinamide) to combat pollutants and smooth the skin. I love the application process (just add water to the grey powder, apply to the face and gently massage).

Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant, R1 180 for 75g, from authorised Dermalogica spas, salons and skin centres nationwide, www.dermalogica.co.za

KIEHL’S CILANTRO & ORANGE EXTRACT POLLUTANT DEFENDING MASQUE

Hmmmm, do I spot an anti-pollution skincare trend? This mask contains a potent mix of ingredients to fight existing damage to the skin and protect against future damage. You are supposed to apply it to the skin, leave for five minutes, tissue off the excess and then sleep with the remainder. I prefer to leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash it all off. This mask gets a big thumbs up for its super-moisturising and -cleansing effects. Cool green colour too!

Kiehl’s Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque, R485 for 75ml, www.kiehls.co.za

ATELIER COLOGNE TREFLE PUR

Sunday Grooming Sessions call for a light, fresh and uplifting fragrance. Well, hello, Atelier Cologne Trefle Pur, with notes of bitter orange, neroli, cardamom, basil, patchouli, oakmoss and cedarwood. Each time I spray this one, I can imagine it in the form of a sparkling cocktail. Actually, pretty much all of the Collection Originale fragrances (with their concentrated citrus accents) from this French maison would do the trick on a Sunday.

Atelier Cologne Trefle Pur, R2 300 for 100ml and R3 600 for 200ml, Edgars stores

6 CLASSIC MEN’S FRAGRANCES

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While new fragrances come and go amid a blur of marketing hype, these classic men’s fragrances have earned their kudos.

YVES SAINT LAURENT LA NUIT DE L’HOMME EDT

If this fragrance smells very familiar to you even though it’s the first time you have tried it, that’s because it’s become the template for countless other seductive scents. The mix of cardamom, cedar and tonka bean notes is warm and sensual, but never overpowering. This classic men’s fragrance is too good to only wear at night.

YSL La Nuit de L’Homme EDT (R1 550 for 100ml) is available from Edgars, Red Square, Stuttafords, Woolworths, Truworths and Foschini stores.

Launched: 2009

Creators: Anne Flipo, Pierre Wargnye and Dominique Romion

YSL La Nuit de L’Homme EDT (R1 550 for 100ml) is available from Edgars, Red Square, Stuttafords, Woolworths, Truworths and Foschini stores.

Classics YSL

CARTIER DECLARATION EDT

With its fresh, spicy citrus, woody and aromatic layers, this classic men’s fragrance defies easy classification – and that’s part of its complex beauty. It’s a supremely sophisticated scent that achieves that rare feat of smelling expensive without resorting to bling tricks. But then we wouldn’t expect anything less from Cartier.

Launched: 1998

Creator: Jean-Claude Ellena

Cartier Declaration EDT (R585 for 30ml, R820 for 50ml, R1 185 for 100ml, R1 495 for 150ml and R1 510  for 200ml) is available from selected Edgars and Stuttafords stores.

Classics Cartier

EAU DE ROCHAS HOMME EDT

The super-citrus opening (lime, lemon, mandarin, bergamot and lemon verbena notes) of this classic men’s fragrance is wonderfully invigorating, then it settles into something quite subtle (amber and musk notes). So it ain’t a power performer and you will need a few re-sprays during the day, but if fresh, clean and zesty is your thing, this has your name on it.

Launched: 1993

Creator: Nicolas Mamounas

Eau de Rochas Homme EDT (R1 195 for 100ml) is available from Dis-Chem stores.

Classics Rochas

THIERRY MUGLER A*MEN EDT

The ultimate love-it-or-hate-it fragrance, this classic men’s fragrance still gets a big reaction, thanks to the initial explosion of caramel, coffee and patchouli notes. Give it time to settle and you will discover there’s so much more to it than in-your-face sweetness. I can’t wait to get my nose around the latest addition to the range, Kryptomint.

Launched: 1996

Creator: Jacques Huclier

Thierry Mugler A*Men EDT (R790 for 50ml, R1 195 for 100ml and R895 for 100ml eco refill) is available from Clicks, Edgars, Foschini, Red Square, Truworths and Stuttafords stores.

Classics Amen

LALIQUE ENCRE NOIRE EDT POUR HOMME

Yes, there’s cypress, musk and cashmere wood to savour in this one, but the reason we all keep on coming back to this scent is its magnificent take on vetiver. Dry, earthy, dirty – absolutely unique. If you are looking for an intro to the pleasures of vetiver, get your hands on this one pronto.

Launched: 2006

Creator: Nathalie Lorson

Lalique Encre Noire EDT (R925 for 50ml and R1 225 for 100ml) is available from Dis-Chem stores.

Classics Lalique

VIKTOR & ROLF SPICEBOMB EDT

Lashings of cinnamon, hints of pink pepper, followed by seductive leather and tobacco notes make for a thoroughly modern and oh-so-sexy fragrance from the Dutch designer duo. This EDT gets the balance between sweet and spicy so right. And, of course, the super-cool hand grenade design gets mega bonus points.

Launched: 2012

Creator: Olivier Polge

Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb EDT (R1 164 for 50ml and R1 494 for 90ml) is available from Edgars, Red Square, Stuttafords and Foschini stores.

Classics Spicebomb