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How to buy cologne as a gift – and 5 of the best options to choose


How to buy cologne as a gift  – and 5 of the best options to choose

Looking for a men’s fragrance to gift? Wearing and loving, fragrance is highly subjective. That’s why gifting it can be risky business! Get it right though, and you add a special, sensory addition to their day. It’s a personal gift that can remind them of you, every time they wear it. 

When choosing a cologne for someone else there are a handful of things to consider:

  • What fragrance do they already wear and love? Research the notes that make up the favourite they already wear and use those clues to form your decision.
  • Consider the type of fragrance they like. Is it fresh and green? Soft and powdery? Smoky and warm? Crisp and marine? These types of fragrance categories will help narrow down the search.
  • Some people prefer to stick to the same scent for years, while others enjoy switching it up. Which type are you buying for? It will guide you to look for something new and ‘outside the box’ or something familiar. Weigh mass appeal with niche, more unique options.
  • Consider their personality – are they loud and outgoing or shy and quiet? The former may be more willing to wear a fragrance that makes a statement and is bold, the latter may prefer something subtle and nuanced. A fragrance says a lot about who you are, so choose something that affirms what you already know.
  • In which season will you gift it? Some people like a lighter, fresher scent in summer and richer, more intense notes when it’s cooler.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask “what are you wearing?” when you come across a great scent on others. While nuzzling up to a stranger is not recommended, if you happen to catch a hint of a fragrance that resonates,  you can’t exactly use Shazam, like you would for a song. Go ahead and ask in a casual way. For example, “Hey do you mind if I ask you which scent you’re wearing?” is less flirtatious than, “You smell good!”
  • If in doubt, it’s always useful to ask an expert. Experienced staff in dedicated beauty and department stores are well versed in fragrance groupings and which scents are similar, as well as new or best-seller options that might also appeal.
  • While cologne advertisements in particular work to convince you of the type of person that might wear the scent, (or who the buyer might aspire to be!) it’s worth disregarding them. Go on the elements of the scent and what they remind you of or how they make you feel.

While you might not be guaranteed a gifting win, we think it’s worth taking a punt. Fragrance forges connections in the limbic system, a part of the brain responsible for interpreting memories and emotions. It can strongly connect that particular scent with a person or moment, which makes it an unforgettable option!

For some inspiration, we’ve chosen five best-selling options that have made a name in the world of fragrance.

Tom Ford Oud Wood

A popular scent for Mr Ford, this amber-woody fragrance makes the most of smoky and rich oud, a rare, dark, resinous wood that perfumers are currently embracing as well as creamy and soft base notes.

Hermès Terre D’Hermès Eau Givrée, Eau De Parfum

Bright fresh and aromatic, this is the latest in the popular Terre D’Hermès collection. A simple blend of citron, juniper berry and Timut pepper.

Dior Sauvage Eau De Toilette

No list of cologne would be complete without including this hit. Fresh, spicy, confident and familiar, it offers a masculine blend of zesty Calabrian bergamot and marine woody ambroxan.

 Givenchy Gentleman Reserve Privée 

A heady, whisky-inspired fragrance where  floral sophistication meets woody depths. The boozy top note mixes with bergamot and settles into iris and chestnut and then that wood and amber base.

Yves Saint Laurent Y Eau de Toilette 

Another newer Eau De Toilette version of a classic, Y features aromatic and fresh notes of sage and lavender, a crisp bite of geranium and a base of sensual woods and masculine incense.


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