Choosing a fragrance is rarely easy, let alone when it's for someone else. So when it comes to someone as important as Dad, how do you get it right? Expert Marian Bendeth, of Sixth Scents, specializes in helping clients select fragrances that suit their body chemistry, personality and lifestyle. We asked her to spritz through an array of the latest men's scents to help us decide which might best fit each of the following types of dad.
1. The outdoorsman
Characteristically this dad is the real nature-loving kind of dad who could spend hours strolling in the forest without ever getting lost. A man who prefers cottage life to the city, he knows the difference between a false boletus and a true boletus mushroom. The outdoorsman dad naturally appreciates mossy woods scents such as Hugo Energise by Hugo Boss (74 mL, $60, amazon.ca), fresh woody fragrances such as Allure Homme Sport by Chanel (20ml x 2 refills, $72), and citrus, ginger and bamboo scents such as Nomad by Crabtree & Evelyn (100ml, $44.95).
Inspector Gadget or James Bond -- is your father a gadget guy? Does he have an iPod, a PDA, a GPS device, a remote car starter, a webcam, cordless and Bluetooth computer gadgets -- and that's all just the tip of the gizmo iceberg? Hook him up with Boss Soul by Hugo Boss (90 mL, $80) or Hummer Limited Edition (125 mL, $74), both woody oriental scents.
With an arsenal of degrees and certificates chronicling an illustrious education, this father is the distinguished gentleman who might have read Hemingway or Kant as your bedtime stories. His varied tastes would encompass oriental woody fragrances such as Armani Code by Giorgio Armani (50 mL, $70) and The Body Shop's Javari (100 mL, $29); fresh woody aromatics such as Boucheron Pour Homme Les Editiones Blues (100 mL, $82); and leather, spice and herb scents such as Crabtree & Evelyn's Sienna (100 mL, $44.95).
Highly creative and eclectic, this dad sees things a little differently from everyone else. His is a uniquely detailed, unconventional world and rich in inspiration. Artist dad's vivid imagination responds to woodsy fragrances, such as Ralph Lauren Polo Black (125 mL, $90) and Arpège Pour Homme by Lanvin (100 mL, $86); as well as to Sandalwood by Crabtree & Evelyn (100ml, $44.95), another leather, spice and herb scent.
This active dad taught you how to throw a wicked curve ball, still jogs 10 km every morning and skis better than anyone you know. The sporty dad is drawn to the watery freshness of Lacoste Essential (125 mL, $83) and the fresh, spicy Tommy Bahama (90 mL, $82), an aromatic fougère fragrance with notes of bergamot, pepper, patchouli and vetiver. Arber by The Body Shop (100 mL, $29), a woody citrus, is also in the running, as is the crisp, fresh yet slightly woody and spicy Daytona 500 by Elizabeth Arden (100 mL, $55).
The corporate dad fits this type well, as does any father who is a born leader with an entrepreneurial spirit. Play to his strengths with Onyx by Azzaro (100ml, $79), an aromatic fougère with zippy notes of bergamot, citrus, vetiver and musk, and Armand Basi in Blue (100 mL, $74), a fresh, woody fragrance.
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If Dad doesn't usually wear cologne, Bendeth notes that many fragrance lines include hair-and-body shower gel, soap, deodorant and after-shave, all of which are good ways to introduce someone to a new scent. The fragrance in these is also generally more subtle and dissipates more quickly.
Key application tips
1. "Eau de parfums, colognes and toilettes are meant to be worn from the collarbone down," says Bendeth. "Don't put them on the face or neck because the concentration of oils in those fragrance formats can cause breakouts or infection." Aftershave lotions and gels, on the other hand, are designed for safe application to the face and neck.
2. Just one spritz of fragrance each on the insides of the arm and the inner wrists is enough, and hold the atomizer at least four to five inches away from the skin when applying.
3. Do not rub wrists together after applying the fragrance -- it can ruin the scent. Also, says Bendeth, "do not spray fragrance into palms then rub them together and touch your face." (See tip one.)
4. Spritz skin, not clothing. Cleaning-agent residue can turn the scent, and oils from the fragrance can stain the fabric.
Most of the above fragrances are available at Sears or The Bay across Canada. The Body Shop and Crabtree & Evelyn fragrances are available exclusively at their respective retail locations and online. Boucheron is exclusively at The Bay. Lacoste Essential is available at Holt Renfrew and Olgilvy.
Fragrance profiler Marian Bendeth cannot provide online consultations, but she can be reached at SixthSen@aol.com.Page 1 of 2