Normally when June rolls around, I am in wedding and party dress mode. This June, however, I’m in man-mode, or, more truthfully, Indiana Jones-mode. I find Harrison Ford in his Indy incarnation almost irresistible. There’s something about his rueful smile, the scar on the chin, and all those rash decisions, combined with undoubted smarts and masculine strength, that makes me want to head out for parts unknown with nothing but Indy and my favorite bottle of perfume in tow.
With men on my mind, I’ve sniffed out two of my current favorite men’s fragrances. If the man on your mind is your father, see my Father’s Day fragrance picks.
Juicy Couture continues to surprise me with the excellence of their fragrances. Their first fragrance, Juicy Couture, was, despite the lurid pink packaging, a lovely tuberose, and Dirty English, released in 2008, is very good as well.
It has top notes of peppered mandarin, blue cypress, Calabrian bergamot, caraway and cardamom, a heart of marjoram, black leather, “Santal Fatal” (a mix of woods and vetiver), and base notes of agarwood, ebony wood, black moss absolute, and amber musk.
Dirty English opens with a peppery citrus and bergamot mix with just a hint of the cardamom coming through. It dries down to a faintly sweet, woody musk that I find very warm and sexy; it’s just the sort of fragrance I like to inhale close to the neck of a good-looking man. My scent double also loves Dirty English, and wore it herself for several days. She found it musky and salty and said it reminded her of sexy young men on leather couches. It may not be as much of a bad boy fragrance as the ad copy would like us think, but it is certainly seductive and has good lasting power, which is good enough for me.
The bottle is great—a masculine version of the Juicy Couture bottle. The cap has chains and charms and the packaging is very Juicy and over the top.
Eau de Toilette and other products, $18–$85, Available at department stores, including Bloomingdales.
For anyone who finds a whiff of coffee seductive, this is your fragrance. Released by the niche perfume house Bond No. 9 in 2004, New Haarlem has top notes of lavender, bergamot, and green leaves, with a heart of coffee and cedar and base notes of amber, vanilla, tonka bean, and patchouli.
New Haarlem opens like a pungent cup of dark roast, with the lavender and bergamot swirling just beneath the surface and providing just a bit of bite to offset the rich coffee. As New Haarlem dries down, it mellows into a rich vanilla woodiness which blends very nicely with the coffee. I think New Haarlem could be worn by men or women, as does my scent double, who thought it was sweet and spicy and just a little feminine for a man’s fragrance. New Haarlem has excellent lasting power, so a little goes a long way.
The bottle is the recognizable Bond No. 9 shape, with a lavender background on the label.
Parting note: Why are women wearing perfumes that smell like flowers to attract men? Men don’t like flowers. I wear a scent called “new-car interior.”—Rita Rudner
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