Men aren’t always great at figuring out what works for them — behold the existence of cargo shorts. We’re no better with fragrance than we are with fashion — terribly inconsistent and unfaithful, hopping in and out of bed with any number of scents wafting our way at the airport.
To help narrow down your options, look no further than Perfume: The A-Z Guide, by fragrance freaks Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, a mine of pithy reviews of the best and worst scents out there. Turin, in particular, does not mince words. “The cheapness of the formula is the main reason why most ‘fine’ perfumes are total crap,” he writes in The Secret of Scent, his exploration of the science of smell. “Other reasons include slavish imitation, crass vulgarity, profound ignorance, fear of getting fired, and general lack of inventiveness and courage.” As for so-called sports fragrances, his advice is blunt: “Just say no.” Below, Turin’s greatest sniffs — and four to avoid.
“CW belongs to the category of things done right the first time, like the first Windsurfer and Boeing 707s. Countless imitations, variations, and complications failed to improve on it or add interest to this cheerful, abstract, cheap, and effective formula of crab apple, woody citrus, amber, and musk.”