This time I’m FragRanting about my top 10
men’s fragrances for spring!
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So, here’s my top 10 spring fragrances. I’ve
included designer and niche, some familiar
and one or two surprises. So, let’s get on
At number 10 you never know what the British
climate is going to do. So, I will always
have one or two of my winter fragrances or
a flanker on hand, which is the case here,
like the Valentino Uomo Acqua.
Just ignore the name Acqua it’s not that kind
of fragrance. Yes it is a refreshing fragrance
but its a green freshness. The Acqua opens
with a mandarin orange and green tomato leaf
which really does make the opening stand out.
The heart is sage and patchouli, while the
base brings in the leather DNA from the original
Valentino Uomo, together with a glorious and
elegant iris, which is delicate but sharp.
This is a fragrance that I will also use in
summer. It does fade to a skin scent quickly,
in around three hours on my skin, but I will
re-apply as often as I can, as I really enjoy
this fragrance. So at number 10, the Valentino
At number 9 is an old school fragrance. Classed
as a woody aromatic it’s a freshie that’s
got some bite! It’s the Aramis Adventurer.
Adventurer is a structured fragrance. Although
the layers have notes common to many masculine
fragrances, each layer contains something
a little different. In the top you have those
summer citrus staples lemon and bergamot.
But, there’s also black pepper which gives
it some zip! In the heart, old school geranium
and lavender are blended with wormwood, which
gives absinthe it’s flavour. In the base you
have patchouli and cedar, again quite traditional,
but here with seaweed.
It’s not a groundbreaking scent. It’s Aramis
heritage is obvious. The citrus, as you should
expect, quickly fades but what you are left
with is a clean, semi-aquatic, spicy floral
with some depth. The sillage is moderate with
good longevity. So at number 9 Aramis Adventurer.
At number 8 great longevity, good sillage
but…a fragrance to ‘try before you buy’!
It’s Bond No9 Riverside Drive.
A blast of the past and not everyone’s ‘cup
of tea’, Riverside Drive is very different
from the rest of the Bond No9 range.
A complex scent, it opens with a sweet fig
note and a blast of basil. The basil does
shift into the background…eventually…but
stays for the duration of the scent. So if
you don’t like basil, this is one to avoid.
On dry down, sandalwood, and sweet violet
come to the fore with a green pineapple. Oakmoss
and cedar in the base combine with the heart
notes to give a fragrance that is lush, green
It’s definitely a more mature fragrance harping
back to my misspent youth in the 80’s! So
at number 8, Riverside Drive from Bond No9.
At number 7 an affordable, very much unappreciated
fragrance that performs better than some would
have you think! Wanted from Azzaro.
Wanted is another fragrance that steps apart
from the previous catalogue of the fragrance
house in terms of scent and bottle design.
The opening is sharp and spicy with lemon,
ginger and just a twist of mint. The heart
is warm and smokey with cardamom, juniper,
or rather cade oil. As the drydown begins,
geranium adds a subtle floral and green apple
makes it fruity yet still crisp. A base of
tonka, vetiver and amberwood give it some
depth. There’s an underlying sweetness to
Wanted which gets sweeter throughout it’s
life. Not too much, but enough to keep things
interesting. Sillage is medium and longevity,
I get a good six hours on my skin. So at number
7 Wanted by Azzaro.
At number 6 an absolute belter from Bentley!
It’s the Bentley for Men Azure.
Another fragrance that doesn’t get the appreciation
it deserves. Possibly giving Orcanox as one
of the notes didn’t do them any favours? Orcanox
is another name for Ambroxan that you’ll find
in fragrances such as Dior Sauvage.
Violet leaf gives Azure a sharp almost metallic
opening, but within a second this is blended
with fruity citrus from tangerine, bergamot
and lemon. The heart is aromatic with lavender
and clary sage. There’s a touch of spice from
paprika, and tea keeps it green and fresh.
All of this sits on a base of cashmeran, tonka
bean and Orcanox, the ambroxin, which is not
as heavy or raucous as it is in Dior Sauvage.
The Azure is a fresh fragrance with a hint
of luxury soapiness to it. Above all its clean,
smooth, and on my skin has excellent projection
which last and lasts and lasts. So at number
6 Bentley Azure for Men.
At number 5,turned twenty years old this year
with more class than it’s younger brothers,
it’s Allure Pour Homme from Chanel.
This is a fragrance that does not rely on
a typical pyramid structure of top, heart
and base notes. Instead, it’s built around
four accords. Green freshness, peppery spice,
elegant woods and and a sensual warmth. But
this, is not a linear scent.
It opens with succulent fruits, there’s peach
in here along with mandarin orange, lemon
and bergamot. There’s also a touch of ginger
and spice in there with lavender. From the
word go it’s almost a traditional barbershop
fragrance, but not quite. As it dries down
it becomes floral with gardenia, jasmine and
rose, but it’s still masculine. Further down
it becomes woody with cedar, rosewood and
sandalwood. It’s also warm with amber, benzoin
and a touch of coconut.
This really is an elegant classic with more
sophistication than it’s sporty siblings.
Sillage is moderate to good and on my skin
I get a good five hours before Allure becomes
a skin scent. So at number five Chanel Allure
At number four is a jealously guarded, as
I only have a very small amount left, very
personal indulgence of mine. It’s Sandalwood
Sacr� from Le Jardin Retrouve.
Niche fragrance started here. Le Jardin Retrouve
was the first Niche Fragrance House founded
by Yuri Gutsatz in 1975. Sandalwood Sacr�,
like all Le Jardin Retrouve fragrances, is
based upon Yuri’s original formulas and ideals
of traditional French perfumery.
Sandalwood is one of my favourite notes so
for me this is pure self indulgence, but it’s
not all about the sandalwood. The opening
is sharp, there’s spice in there with coriander.
The sandalwood is not heavy, it’s clean, it’s
qualities enhanced with patchouli, oakmoss
and balsam interlaced with highlights of orange
blossom and petitgrain.
It’s exquisite! It’s personal and it’s intimate.
It’s my ‘thinking’ fragrance. Soothing, calming
and reflective with a touch of melancholy.
On my skin sillage is moderate and longevity
is around three hours, but three hours of
bliss. So at number four, Sandalwood Sacr�
from Le Jardin Retrouve.
At number three is a fragrance with some grandeur.
A woody, floral musk that yells ‘spring’ while
asking the butler to have the chauffeur fetch
the car. It’s Dior Homme EDT.
For me it’s all about the iris. There’s an
initial fresh burst of lavender, sage and
bergamot before the iris in the heart asserts
itself. The iris is waxy and elegant. Sprayed
on the blotter I do get a vibe of lipstick,
however this doesn’t translate when it’s applied
to my skin. What I get is a gentile powderiness,
tempered by the patchouli and vetiver on the
dry down before the tannin sharp leather rolls
For me, Dior Homme is sophisticated and elegant
with enough class to be almost regal. Sillage
on my skin is very good and longevity is between
five and six hours. So, at number three Dior
At number two is a new niche fragrance that
combines the ancient perfume traditions of
6th century Arabia with a modern, western
fragrance palette. It’s 774 from Jamal of
For a detailed review of the Jamal range check
out Ellie’s review up here! Mo, the perfumer
that created 774, is a good friend of Ellie
and I. He very kindly gave me a bottle of
his 301 fragrance for Christmas. Amazing stuff!
However, this bottle of 774 he gave to Ellie
but I’ve appropriated it, and for a very good
reason! It is fantastic!
774 opens with an explosion of green leaves,
water lily and nutmeg. A fresh, green floral
underlined with spice which then expertly
blends with a warm, luxurious and woody heart.
In the heart there’s cedarwood, sandalwood,
patchouli, amber, saffron and orris butter.
Ingredients that are both extraordinarily
beautiful and extraordinarily expensive. The
base provides originality and a fruity twist
with plum, vanilla and a rich musk.
Like all Jamal of London fragrances, which
are Eau d’ attars, sillage is excellent as
is the longevity. On my skin 774 will last
twelve hours and more without being overpowering
and compliments abound. Do try it! So, at
number two, it’s 774 from Jamal of London.
At number one a fragrance released back in
2010 but a recent addition to my collection.
A green, woody, floral musk that is pure class.
It’s Voyage d’Hermes Parfum.
A total breath of fresh air, Voyage d’Hermes
Parfum opens with an absolute blast of cardamom,
lemon and spice. To me it almost smells like
freshly cut cypress. It is so green! So fresh!
As it slowly dries down floral notes emerge
from the heart,with rose especially accented.
There’s hedione in here which gives a hint
of jasmine but along with tea keeps the florals
fresh and subtle. The base is woody, but warm
with amber and musk. Altogether it’s fresh,
green, with a dark undertones. A beautifully
balanced fragrance hinting at warmer days
but reminding us of the darker ones just gone.
Astonishing! So my number one men’s fragrance
for spring, Voyage d’Hermes Parfum!
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