How to choose men’s fragrances

Shopping for the men in your life can be a major challenge – especially when it comes to fragrance. A new cologne is one of the most personal (and special) gifts to give, but for that same reason, it’s tricky to get it right.

“Scent is intrinsically linked to memory; whether you want to evoke memories of the past or create new moments together, fragrance is always a meaningful gift that lasts far beyond the life of the bottle itself,” says MECCA fragrance specialist Amy Kacelnik.

Whether you’re buying a birthday present for your partner, best friend, nephew or son, or searching for the perfect Father's Day gift, here are Kacelnik’s expert tips on choosing fragrances and cologne for men.

What are your top tips for gifting fragrances to the men in your life?

“When gifting fragrance to the important men in our lives, it is always helpful to keep in mind how and when the person wears fragrance,” Kacelnik explains. “Do they wear fragrance every day, or do they reserve it for special occasions? Are they an experienced fragrance connoisseur, or are they new to fragrance? Each of these preferences assists us in finding a tailor-made fragrance gift.”

It’s also important to do your research: “Being aware of how well you know someone, as well as previous and current scents they wear, is key,” says Kacelnik. “They may have mentioned a particular scent they have on their wish list, but if not, it can be difficult to know where to start.”

Her suggestion? “If you’re unsure if they enjoy wearing a personal fragrance, gifting an interior scent such as a candle or diffuser will leave a la sting impression. If narrowing the gift down to one fragrance is a challenge, discovery sets are also the perfect gift to allow variety and exploration!”

One of Kacelnik’s favourites when it comes to home scents? The Malin+Goetz Cannabis Candle: “Combining bergamot, black pepper, magnolia, cedar, patchouli and sandalwood, this effortlessly cool interior scent adds personality to any space. Perfect for those who love unique aromatic, woody scents.”

Another tip from Kacelnik is to be inspired by experiences and happy times you’ve shared with the man you’re shopping for: “Letting memory lead in selecting a fragrance means that dads, brothers, partners and friends will be gifted a scent that honours something unique to themselves and your relationship,” she explains. “Think back to times and places that are important to your loved one, and there is sure to be a fragrance whose scent and story will bring them joy well into the future!”

Are there any rules when it comes to scent gifting for men?

The short answer? No! “There really are no absolute rules when gifting fragrance to the special men in your life, as each personal and interior scent can be enjoyed by all,” says Kacelnik. However, “one guideline that always proves helpful when gifting is knowing their comfort zone; do they gravitate towards a particular category of fragrance, or do they love to explore and be surprised?

“Fragrance is a personal and meaningful gift, and choosing a scent that complements your loved one’s personality and current fragrance favourites is always a great idea if you’re unsure.”

Are there any fail-safe scents you’d recommend gifting to men?

Here are some of Kacelnik’s favourites:

  • Comme des Garçons Amazingreen EDP: “This a signature fresh and grounding scent. This unique ‘green’ fragrance is perfect for those who appreciate something refreshing yet complex. With notes including green pepper, ivy, vetiver and gunpowder accord, it’s enjoyed by all.”

  • Maison Margiela REPLICA Jazz Club EDT: “Reminiscent of a modern Brooklyn jazz club, this intoxicating woody scent is notorious for the many compliments it garners! Comprised of notes such as pink pepper, tobacco leaf and rum absolute, this is a must-have for men who love to make a lasting impression.”

Another option Kacelnik recommends is an in-store MECCA Fragrance Consultation. “This is a personalised, one-on-one experience with one of our dedicated fragrance specialists, in which your loved one can explore and discover their new signature scent,” she says, adding, “It’s perfect for both those new to fragrance and experienced scent lovers. Better yet, you can also book in for a MECCA Fragrance Consultation for Two for some quality time delving into fragrance with one of the special men in your life!”

What are your personal favourite fragrances for men?

Here are the expert’s top gifting picks for the guys in her life:

  • Vilhelm Parfumerie Morning Chess EDP: “Fresh bergamot, green galbanum and warm and woody amber and patchouli give this stunning fragrance a sense of both freshness and warmth. Created with the memory of playing chess during the Swedish summer with his grandfather, Vilhelm Parfumerie founder Jan Vilhelm Ahlgren sets the scene for a fragrance imbued with shared meaning and memories with your loved one.”

  • diptyque Tempo EDP: “An homage to the vibrant fragrance evolution of the ’60s, this sophisticated patchouli scent is both earthy and refined. With the addition of pink pepper, violet leaf and clary sage, Tempo lends a sense of worldliness to all who wear it.”

Shop MECCA’s full edit of men’s cologne and fragrance here.


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