Photography by Joshua Scott
What does power smell like? “It has a lot to do with memory,” says Carlos Huber, founder of Arquiste Parfumeur. “That’s why we like muskier elements on a man—things like amber or something woody. It’s raw, natural, and evokes the image of a life well lived. It suggests health.” Colognes have long been luxurious indulgences for high-ranking members of society. Perfume house Creed’s first fragrance was a royal commission for King George III in 1781.
“A fragrance should marry well with your body chemistry,” Huber says. Don’t discount stereotypically feminine florals, either, as they have their own sensual charms. “White florals can be incredible, almost carnal, on a man,” he says. “You want to have your personality expressed through the fragrance, a feeling that you’re finished.” He also emphasizes the ritualistic properties of using fragrance in one’s grooming routine: “When you put it on, you should feel dressed-up and ready to face the world—that’s what makes it powerful.”
Clockwise, from bottom left: Bleu de Chanel Eau de Toilette, $84, 3.4 oz; Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza Eau de Cologne Spray, $158, 6 oz; Montblanc Legend Eau de Toilette, $72, 3.3 oz; Kenneth Cole Vintage Black Fragrance, $67.50, 3.4 oz;Prada Amber Pour Homme Intense, $76, 100 ml; Santos de Cartier Eau de Toilette Spray, $105, 3.3 oz; Clive Christian ‘X’ Perfume for Men, $355, 50 ml