Wednesday, February 27, 2013

If you're anywhere in Canada or the Northern states of the USA right now, the weather is probably a bit on the "cold and damp" side. This weather sets the perfect mood for wearing some of the more warming, complex fragrances available from the traditional shaving brands. Whilst Britain does not have the monopoly on inclement weather that stereotype suggests, the various London based traditional perfumers do a very good line in scents that help lift the mood during the colder, darker months. Here are three notable picks: 

D.R. Harris's "Marlborough" fragrance is one of the lighter and brighter scents that has warming notes, with a slightly citrus opening that settles into a woody, cedar and sandalwood scent. On some people, the Marlborough cologne also has subtle notes of dry tobacco. Overall a subtle and warming fragrance suitable for everyday use.

First made available in 1902, Geo. F. Trumper's "Spanish Leather" is a very well-regarded and quite masculine fragrance. A clean but very warm and heady fragrance, Spanish Leather's main tones are a sensual musk over woody, spicy notes of patchouli. There are elements of something smoky, and on some people, hints of floral notes.

Most fans of traditional shaving products will have tried something in a Sandalwood scent at least once. With so many companies offering a Sandalwood scent, each is a little different from the other. Taylor of Old Bond Street's Sandalwood features a base of woody patchouli and sandalwood, powdery musk and slightly earthy and smoky vetivert. Over this are top notes of fern and orange blossom. This results in a comforting and slightly old-fashioned, woody, powdery and soapy sandalwood fragrance.

The experience of wearing a cologne will of course vary between people. Mood and personal preferences aside, everyone has slightly different body chemistry, and a perfume will dry down. mellow and develop differently for different people as it interacts with their skin. There are even anecdotal accounts of fragrance developing differently on the same person revisiting it months later, due to subtle changes in body chemistry throughout the course of the year.
All three of the scents featured are also available in aftershave strength and as a shaving cream or soap.