Airing it Out: Floral Cologne

Airing it Out is a new monthly column featuring a more in depth look at what the hell we are misting ourselves with each morning. 

Not just for dead royalty, floral notes are making a comeback to the men’s fragrance market. Calm down, it’s not like we are telling ya to wear ladies perfume. Florals smell clean, fresh and aren’t overpowering. Basically, gals dig ‘em on guys.

They are making a comeback because there are so many airy, synthetic smelling melon aquatics (I’m talking to you Acqua di Gio) that permeate locker rooms and dusty vanity cabinets everywhere.  Guys, it’s time to differentiate; not only will it set you  apart from the crowd, but these smooth, more natural smelling scents are pleasing to the nose (not just the ladies) and don’t smell like your grandmother. So let’s lose the stigma and branch out a bit, shall we?

From designer to mainstream, there are plenty of options available to sniff.  Here are a few of our favorites that are perfect for the upcoming spring and summer seasons:

Entry Level

Mugler Cologne

This is a crisp, clean, almost soapy scent.   A perfect option for warm climates and absolutely appropriate for any occasion, it is the least likely to offend and smells like really expensive laundry detergent, but in a good way!

A more niche approach to a super clean genre would be Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino.

Sure, the ads are oversexed and over hyped, but the scent is a luxurious dose of clean, bright Neroli notes that just last and last on the skin thanks to a light, clean amber construction in the base.  You get what you pay for.


From Grasse, which is in the South of France and the arguable capital of the perfume industry, we have Le Labo –  Rose 31

This isn’t your grandmother’s rose.  Starting off with a spicy kick, this eau de parfum is constructed with rose and cumin, incense, guaic wood, and vetiver.   Worth adding to any collection are their excellent accompanying shower gels and lotions as well.

Next up, Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur du Male

If you enjoy the intoxicating smell of orange blossom and similar white flowers, but prefer a more masculine approach, Fleur de Male is worth looking into.  Here you have bright, almost green orange blossom accompanied by a soft, barber shop base accord.   This scent isn’t overly sweet, but it is pretty damn bold it’s tad stronger than the other two, so be careful on the trigger.


Montale – Black Aoud

Crossing over from Europe into the Middle East, we have the house of Pierre Montale.  His Black Aoud is a deep, boozy rose accompanied by some light patchouli and a bold dose of oud wood, which has a deep story of its own, and is the popular trending note in the fragrance industry at the moment.

Oud wood’s unique sour, lactonic (read: yogurt like), medicinal aroma stems from its preparation. Get ready for this. Small batches of wood from the Aquiliara tree are placed in caves and achieve noble rot, similar to some wine making processes.  This process is time consuming and extremely low yielding, and results in prices per pound higher than gold in some cases. We told you it was deep!