Flowers, pour hommes? Mais oui!

Flowers, pour hommes? Mais oui!

A flower on the lapel, yes. But don’t stop there. Men’s floral fragrances are chic once more.

Cue the man-bun! Bring on the sexual fluidity! Men of the world know it’s best to keep an open mind, especially when it comes to the return of floral-based scents for men.

“Return” is perhaps not the right word. Most men’s fragrances already have floral notes at their hearts—orange blossom, gardenia, geranium and violet—it’s just that no one talks about it, certainly not the TV commercials. It’s simply not manly enough.

Masculine Florals: Flower power since Napoleon

The truth is that men have been wearing florals practically since ancient Egypt. Roman party hosts would spritz dinner guests with rosewater between courses and Napoleon placed small bottles of orange blossom in his boots before heading into battle. That’s manly. Weird, but manly.

“A floral fragrance is disruptive in a man. It makes women notice them—and they are drawn to it,” says Carlos Huber, founder of the Arquiste fragrance brand. His Boutonnière No. 7, launched in 2013, harkens back to the Belle Époque, when Paris opera-goers flirted during intermission, the men enticing women with gardenias pinned to their lapels. Huber says men are still looking to use scent as a seduction tool, noting that today’s florals are more “leathery, earthy, dirty and animalistic—closer to real facets of nature, and this makes them much more appealing to men.”

Flower scents worn by men: unexpected, ultra-modern—and sexy

And it’s not just the niche brands getting in on the floral act, but the mainstream ones as well, their sights set on the unisex market. Anyone who’s stayed at a Fairmont recently knows Le Labo Rose 31, the fragrance brand adopted by the hotel chain for their amenities, which manages to soothe both sexes at the same time. No small feat.

“Most men are still a little reticent to wear a fragrance that proudly claims floral ingredients,” Huber adds, “but young guys that want to be cutting edge have embraced it with a lot more panache.”

On your lapel or otherwise, tap into this new-found flower power and watch it go to work.

Floral perfumes for men: the line-up

1. A full-on heart of Gardenia. Arquiste Boutonnière No. 7 EDP, $213 (55 ml),


2. A rose essence amped up with spicy, woody notes. Le Labo Rose 31 EDP, $325 (100 ml),


3. A mix of Turkish rose petals and raspberry. Byredo Rose of No Man’s Land EDP, $245 (50 ml), www.holtrenfrew.comByredo_RoseOfNoMansLand_FloralPerfumesForMen

4. A “collision” of rose and patchouli. L’Artisan Parfumeur Voleur de Roses EDT, $187 (100 ml),


5. A blend of wildflowers and jasmine. D.S. & Durga Isle Ryder EDP, $232 (50 ml), www.smallflower.comDSandDurga_IsleRyder_FloralFragrancesForMen6. Focused on orange blossom. Jean Paul Gaultier Fleur du Male EDT, $110 (125 ml), www.lastcall.comJPG_FleurDuMalle_FloralFragrancesForMen


7. Geranium gentlemanliness. Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur EDP, $170 (50 ml), www.holtrenfrew.comFredericMalle_GeraniumPourMonsieur_FloralFragranceForMen


PHOTO: Kissy’s Blog
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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.