No, smelling like roses isn't only for women. In the last several years there has been a move towards unisex fragrances. The result is scents featuring dominant floral notes that work great for both - men and women.
Even before this trend many traditional masculine fragrances do feature floral notes. Green Irish Tweed by Creed, for example, has a healthy dose of violet leaf and iris. Iris is also one of the key notes in Dior Homme.
In spite of already wearing fragrances featuring flowers, many men are cautious of wearing full-fledged floral scents. The most common objections I've heard are "I don't want to smell feminine" and "this is not what a man should smell like".
If you pull the brakes on florals using these arguments, remember this: the most masculine men are those who have the balls to wear whatever they feel like without fearing what others might think about them.
To get you started on your floral scent game this summer, I've put a list of 9 fragrances that feature rose. Some of them are marketed as masculine but many are unisex. They all, however, have a strong masculine bent and you won't feel "too girly" wearing them.
1. Declaration d'Un Soir by Cartier
I don't even know if the right word for this fragrance is a flanker. It is an off-shoot of Cartier's iconic Declaration (Amazon) but it smells nothing like it. You get spices and sandalwood but the dominant note is green fresh rose.
At fist sniff you may not even know this is a rose fragrance. You won't get any of the jammy and syrupy accords associated with many of the typical rose scents. In Declaration d'Un Soir you get the rose stalk and the green part of the flower.
Unlike the original Declaration, this version does not have the signature cardamom. At least, it does not define the fragrance.
If you are looking for a fresh green rose scent that reminds you spring, look no further. Declaration d'Un Soir is the right choice for you.
This fragrance works better in warm weather, so I usually wear it in the spring or summer. It works great as an office scent, so get an extra bottle to keep at your desk.
Your can get a bottle here. (Amazon)
2. Lumiere Noire Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
This juice defines sexiness. Its simple composition packs so much seductive power, I keep it in a vault I open only for special occasions.
The rose in Lumiere Noire Homme is velvety. It is not jammy, even though it has some sweetness to it. A healthy dose of patchouli in the mix gives a dense, earthy character to the composition.
Lumiere Noire Homme is long lasting and stays close to the skin. It allows only someone in your personal space to detect it on you. I find this juice works great for a night out, and especially well on a date. Two sprays on the neck will guarantee you that your late night rendezvous will end with a brunch the morning after.
3. Rose Anonyme by Atelier Cologne
Rose Anonyme is a happiness in a bottle. It's fresh and zesty, full of sunshine and rainbows.
It is probably the most feminine scent on this list but it still works great on a guy.
Rose Anonyme opens with bergamot, ginger and rose. As it dries down, the composition becomes denser and notes of patchouli, oud, and benzoin emerge. The blend is superb, so you may not be able to pick out the separate notes. Nonetheless, you'll be able to appreciate the quality.
To me, the rose accord in Rose Anonyme is ephemeral. It seems light and fleeting, yet it sticks with you for the whole journey. Spray on this bad boy liberally on a cool spring day and let it lift up your spirits.
4. Oud Silk Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Oud Silk Mood is an oriental take on rose with a touch of French elegance. This fragrance is more than the sum of its parts. The backbone is the classic jammy Bulgarian rose and oud. Francis Kurkdjian added some chamomile and papyrus to lighten up the composition.
What makes Oud Silk Mood a masterpiece is the quality of the ingredients. Medicinal oud offsets the jammy rose and the papyrus lifts up the blend. The result is a very well blended fragrance that will stay with you for 20+ hours.
5. Lyric Man by Amouage
Lyric Man deserves the hype. It opens with fresh notes of lime and bergamot, which accompany a soft rose accord. There is some sweetness to the rose but nutmeg and incense temper it. A light accord of saffron gives the composition a slightly dusty feel and adds to its airy quality.
If you are looking for a rose fragrance that works for any season, Lyric Man is the one.
6. 06 Incense Rose by Tauer Perfumes
If Andy Tauer had called the 6th creation in his collection Majestic Rose, he would have described the scent just as well. 06 Incense Rose is a superbly done rose fragrance. Cardamom and incense balance off the fresh rose accord.
Unlike in other fragrances, the rose here is green and yet potent and present. You don't get as much of the ephemeral, fleeting nature of the accord you find in Rose Anonyme, for example.
06 Incense Rose is an attention grabber. It has a strong projection and you can easily overspray. Go for 1 spray and on the chest and you are set. If you really want to get noticed, go for two sprays.
06 Incense Rose works great for spring or a cool summer day. I've worn it a couple of times in hot weather and it does well, however, it is at its best on a cold day.
7. Noir de Noir by Tom Ford
Chocolate, wine and roses. This is what sums up the seductive power of Noir de Noir (Amazon). The literal translation of the name is Black on Black and it refers to a certain type of bi-product of wine making.
A heavy wine accord is present in the composition but what shines the most is the rose accord. Just like Lumiere Noire Homme, Noir de Noir is a seductive fragrance that works great for a night out. It is more intense than Lumiere Noire Homme even though it has some lightness.
Noir de Noir works great for a black tie event or a dressy night out.
8. Hippie Rose by Heeley Perfumes
James Heeley is the king of fragrances for the modern gentlemen. His compositions are modern, elegant and well put together.
Hippie Rose is an elegant combo of rose and patchouli. The rose in this composition is jammy and well balanced by the earthy patchouli note.
Fragrances heavy in patchouli are often associated with dirt and grittiness. Not here. Somehow Heeley manages to keep Hippie Rose clean and presentable. It's the kind of juice you put on Friday at the office. You want to show your wild side but at the same time you want to keep things PG, so you can go back to work on Monday.
I truly enjoy Hippie Rose. I am yet to find another fragrance that bridges the gap between clean and dirty in such an original way.
You can get a bottle at Heeley's website.
9. Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle
If you feel particularly daring, then you've found the right juice. Portrait of a Lady has nothing lady-like about it. It works great on both, men and women.
Dominique Ropion, spiced-up the rose-patchouli combo by adding tons of clove, cinnamon and incense. The result is something sublime and dirty.
Portrait of a Lady is a great scent for colder weather, especially on a day when giving fucks is optional.
You can get a bottle on Frederic Malle's official website.
Wear any of fragrance on this list and you will stand out... in a good way. As you sample the perfumes on this list, you will notice they are not your standard designer kind. They are all unique and daring in their own way. I picked them to be different and yet wearable on purpose. I want to challenge you to wear a perfume you haven't worn before. I want you to wear something out of your comfort zone not because it is cool or daring. I want you to do it, so you can push the envelope in any other area of your life without fear of judgment. True living starts where your comfort zone ends. Now, go ahead and smell pretty.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Feel free to share this list with anyone who needs some masculine roses in their life.