5 Cult Classic Men's Fragrances.
Author.
Liam Sardea
We highlight five fragrances that all share a cult-like following - frequently spotted on bestseller lists and critically aclaimed by experts and fragrance lovers alike.
 

L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer Perfumes
Released: 2005
Perfumer: Andy Tauer
Fragrance Family: Woody Oriental 

A list of cult classics wouldn’t be complete without Andy Tauer’s L’Air du Désert Marocain—an absolutely mesmerising fragrance, at once lavish yet sensible in its dosage of spice, woods, and resins.Tauer achieves a luminous and shimmering quality to his work, like smelling a fragrance from a distance and just out of reach.The salubrious and pure dry air of the Moroccan desert is captured, harmonised with the warm ambery tang of spice markets, and the austerity of taut cedarwood. Praised and raved by fragrance bloggers and the foremost fragrance authority, scent scientist and ‘perfume pope’, Luca Turin, as one of the greatest works of fragrance in the twenty-first century, with an enduring quality like Chanel’s eternal No. 5. L’Air du Désert Marocain is exoticism on the skin. 

Sartorial by Penhaligon's 
Released: 2010
Perfumer: Bertrand Duchaufour
Fragrance Family: Fougère

Fragrance at its most nostalgic, memories of fascination towards paternal figures splashing on Brut or Old Spice are reignited through Penhaligon’s Sartorial. A considerably well done and highly imaginative reconstruction of the classic fougere perfume: defined with notes of lavender, amber, and tonka bean, this classical blueprint is projected into modernity by situating it into an idealised tailor’s workroom.The scent of thread through beeswax, the hot metallic burr of steam irons, and a puff of chalk dust are all present. Sartorial flirts with this childhood fascination for masculine shaving preparations and the romantic anachronistic values of fine tailoring and the even finer manners of a gentleman. 

 

Jubilation XXV by Amouage
Released: 2007
Perfumer: Bertrand Duchaufour
Fragrance Family: Woody Oriental 

Jubilation is the result of two excellent things: intersecting cultures, where the opulence of the Middle East meets classical French sensibilities; and an absolutely unlimited budget towards superlative fragrant materials. French perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour has created a modern Middle Eastern scent, where the dust has been removed from Aladdin’s Cave. It is the scent of celebration, launched in 2007 commemorating Omani brand Amouage’s 25th anniversary. Opulent but not gluttonous, Jubilation XXV is richly oriental, loaded with generous lashings of balsamic resins and spices, balanced with silver frankincense (the best you can get), then cut effortlessly with a counterpoint of tart blackberry and sweet honey, resting on a base of firm woods. Rumoured that bottles of this scent are gifted by the Sultan of Oman, Jubilation XXV is quite literally fit for a king, or at least those that are kings at heart. 

 

Colonia by Acqua di Parma
Released: 1916
Perfumer: In-House Perfumer
Fragrance Family: Citrus

With an impressive pedigree of wearers: Cary Grant, David Niven, and probably every Italian grandfather, Colonia is a cult fragrance of celebrity proportions. From small factory beginnings in Parma to a prestigious status as a 100-year-old classic cologne, Colonia bursts with a vibrant Italian energy full of vim and vigour—like bottling Mediterranean sunshine—by the way of sharp citruses and a cooling rush of aromatic herbs. At its depths, Colonia has reverberations of classical lavender and musks to give base and a nuzzle-worthy warmth. Quite simply a life-giving tonic that cools the body and warms the soul. 

 

Black Afgano by Nasomatto
Released: 2009
Perfumer: Alessandro Gualtieri
Fragrance Family: Woody Oriental 

A fragrance of intense gravity, Nasomatto’s perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri undertakes a heavy-handed maximalist approach in his quest to capture the narcotic effects of hashish. Gualtieri achieves a style of organised chaos, captured through large brush strokes to enhance the mesmerising idea of hashish through additions of coffee, tobacco, and precious oud wood. The shadowy severity of this fragrance is intensified and a hypnotising sense of mystery is created. At the very centre of this fragrance lies a moment of calm and mellow serenity—an assurance of classical, well-groomed masculinity. Black Afgano is notorious for pushing convention to the edge, favouring raw and brutish rather than cerebral. Consistently producing works of confidence and shameless sensuality, Nasomatto plays no games and is a favourite amongst men with a daring streak. 


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