How to buy perfume for your husband, boyfriend

How to buy perfume for your husband, boyfriend

This scent-shopping scheme will make it easier to find the perfect fragrance for your special man.

The holidays are a great time to buy something your giftees would never buy for themselves. So yes, for many men, it’s fragrance. But because scent is such a personal thing to give as a gift, we know selecting the ideal toilette can be a stress-inducing exercise. How, you ask, do you go about choosing one he will like? Here, a few tips on how to buy perfume for a man:

Take a look at his soap

Scour the shower to see what he’s washing with. Is it a bar of Irish Spring or a deluxe cake of L’Occitane? Take note.

Scout out his fragrance wardrobe

Somewhere near the cufflinks and around the pocket squares, you’ll find his cache of scents. Root around, without knocking the dust off any of the bottles’ shoulders, and see which flasks are running on fumes. Those, are top choices for gifts. Ah yes, the replacement solution.

Enquire at his favourite department store

Con store clerks at your man’s favourite store into looking up what he bought last time and when. (Therein lies the beauty in a great database.) Maybe his current supply needs a top up, or perhaps you can buy the matching body lotion or a travel size of his go-to spritz for his stocking.

Match up his personal brand

Completely unsure of what to buy? Ask yourself “Who would he align himself with on the cool factor quotient of celebrity fragrance endorsers”? David Beckham? Tom Ford? Brad Pitt (Chanel)? Jared Leto (Hugo Boss)? James Franco (Gucci)? Eric Bana or Clive Owen (Bulgari)? Matthew McConaughey (D&G)? That hot polo player in the Ralph Lauren ads? The Old Spice Man?

There you go, then, another great strategy in ID’ing a well-suited scent.

Consider what you want him to smell like

Let’s face it: Since you’re the one who has to live with the fragrance you select, it had better be something you not only like but find irresistible, yes? This is not rocket science. Self love is also true love after all.

Still stuck? Here are some starting-point suggestions to help you pick the perfect fragrance this holiday season.

Dior_Sauvage1. Christian Dior Sauvage

Bergamot, pepper and bitter fruit make up this Francois Demachy-created eau. Give to the man who fancies himself a Johnny Depp-style rebel, someone who loves a good rebirth-of-a-classic story, or for the aesthete who appreciates a good ombre—that bottle is sleek! $102 (100 ml), www.thebay.com

Hermes_CuirdAnge_20142. Hermes Cuir d’Ange

Marketed as a unisex fragrance, this leather-inspired spritz from Hermes smells like an old library full of leather-bound books. Leather, musk, violet and heliotrope make for a striking—but soft—ode to the masculine textile. $270 (100 ml), www.hermes.com

Adidas_BornOriginalForHim_20153. Adidas Born Original For Him

This spicy-fresh fragrance features notes of rhubarb, sandalwood, orange, sage and black pepper. It’s well-suited for an active man who appreciates a little bite in his scent—but avoids anything too dark or intense. $45 (75 ml), www.shoppersdrugmart.ca

Lacoste_JauneOptimiste_20154. Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Jaune-Optimiste

Perhaps your giftee could use a little sensory pick-me-up? Try this sunny pick from Lacoste. Lemon, pink pepper, grapefruit, apple and amber mingle to create a bright and upbeat scent that’s a spot-on anecdote to the dark days of winter. $81 (100 ml), www.thebay.com

PHOTO: FlickrCC/Barney Bishop
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Doug Wallace is a Toronto-based writer who began his fragrance wardrobe with a bottle of the now-iconic Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel and hasn’t looked back. A big fan of scents by houses Lalique and Boucheron, he is currently having a fling with all-things-British, including Clive Christian, Floris and Penhaligon’s. He treasures the dusty shoulders of some of his more aged bottles just as much as he does the shiny young ones.