When I started at Kent of Inglewood back in 2014, I knew essentially nothing about perfumes. I thought the word perfume meant it was for women, I thought they all essentially smelled the same, and I definitely thought I had to spray it 10-20 times for it to work properly. What can I say, sometimes looking at your past self is a little painful.
The more time I spent in the shop surrounded by the finely crafted scents from Floris, Czech & Speakeand the like, the more I realized how incredible the world of perfume was. Before long my feeling on fragrance did a complete one-eighty. As I fell in love with D.R. Harris’s Arlington, then Castle Forbes’ Vetiver, then just about everything by Floris, I had a realization: perfume is amazing!
In reality, fragrances are a lot like nice clothing. If you’ve invested in a really nice pair of jeans or a properly fitted shirt, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It makes you feel more comfortable in your own skin, and it allows you to express yourself in a fun and unique way. The right fragrance can add an extra spring to your step, even give you confidence that you didn’t know you had.
For folks like me that fall in love with perfumes, you may find that having one good scent just doesn’t cut it. I don’t own a single pair of shoes, I don’t have one jacket for every occasion, why would I have just one scent for every one of life’s moments? By building a scent ‘wardrobe’ of sorts, I’ve found the perfect fragrance to accompany me through the many different moments of my life. I wear Floris 1976when I wear purple, because it feels right. I spritz on Castle Forbes Vetiver for dates because it makes me feel refined, and I positively douse myself in Arlington on hot summer days for its crisp, refreshing feel.
This doesn’t need to happen all at once, I’ve had years to build my collection. If you’re curious about how to build a scent wardrobe I have some advice. One mistake I’ve seen over and over is when folks stick to what they know and end up with several scents that are all fairly alike. An entire collection of musk, or a whole bouquet of florals. There’s nothing technically wrong with this at all, but branching out a little gives you more versatility for different occasions. These are the categories that I think every collector should start with:
This one seems obvious, but it’s important to have a reliable fragrance that you can fall back on, something that is truly YOU. For many, it’s a fairly straightforward scent such as Windsor by D.R. Harris or Sandalwood by Truefitt & Hill, These are scents you can wear daily without breaking the bank, and they’re generally subtler. My ol’ faithful is Crown’s Eau de Parfum.
If you find yourself at fancy events from time to time, this is a must. Much like owning one good suit or a fine cocktail dress in your closet, a truly impressive scent to bust out for weddings, galas and the like is a necessity. Personally, I always go for A Rose For… by Floris for its sexy, elegant nature. Many folks fall in love with the similar Leather Oud and Honey Oud, also by Floris, but even a simple elegant eau de parfum like Persons of Interest Tabac Noir is guaranteed to turn heads.
For those blazing hot and sunny summer days, there’s nothing like a refreshing burst of citrus (These scents are also great if you’ve had a late night the night before and need a little pick-me-up). Many folks choose Truefiit & Hill West Indian Limes, a truly refreshing blast, or Persons of Interest Supernova which is equally soothing with its lush, green aloe vera notes. If you’re feeling boujee, Caste Forbes Keig is a zesty herbal lemon cocktail that perks you right up.
Sometimes, you’re just feelin’ yourself. When you feel extra zesty, like you can take on the world, you deserve to smell like it. I’m obsessed with Floris Vert Fourgere’s vanilla-juniper greenery, and Czech & Speake’s austere dry character that they call Spanish Cedar. Both are stark, distinct and super fun. Oxford & Cambridge by Czech & Speake is a customer favorite ‘treat yourself’ scent, while Booze & Baccy by Captain Fawcett is like a cigar and scotch that you can appropriately enjoy any time of day.
At this point, you can see where I’m going. It’s great to have a spread. You’re probably not wearing the same scent to a date that you’re also wearing to a work meeting, a wedding, or when you’re lounging on your day off. For those of us that have become a little obsessed by scent, it can be a sort of game to seek out the perfect scent for a mood, season or outfit. For me, playing with different combinations is half the fun. Having a variety of options allows me to select based on mood, so I can enjoy that perfume to its full potential.