Fragrance Friday: 4 Best Gourmand Fragrances For Men Who Want A Michelin-Star Scent
— Updated on 8 December 2022

Fragrance Friday: 4 Best Gourmand Fragrances For Men Who Want A Michelin-Star Scent

— Updated on 8 December 2022
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

Welcome to Fragrance Friday, where each week we’ll be keeping you abreast of the newest and most iconic releases in the dynamic world of men’s fragrances. Born out of the desire to showcase one of the most overlooked, yet versatile, elements of any discerning man’s style this weekly column will help you finesse your own signature scent. This week we focus on the best gourmand fragrances for men.

What’s a gourmand fragrance? Folks who don’t pay much attention to fragrances wouldn’t really be familiar with the term, but it’s not hard to guess what it means. A gourmand fragrance simply means one that is dominated by notes of synthetic edible ingredients with primary examples being honey, chocolate, nutty textures like almonds, spices like cinnamon and, of course, vanilla. Tonka bean should be the first note that springs to mind here.

But there’s also so much more than vanilla-leaning notes when we’re thinking about the best gourmand fragrances for men. They fall into the oriental fragrances family, with brighter, vibrant notes that smell like things you’d find in a spice market, produce pantry, or kitchen. By nature, this also means that they can be incredibly divisive, which is exactly what you should be going for if you want some fragrances with presence and personality.

Check out some of the most recent Fragrance Friday columns:

Best Gourmand Fragrances & Perfumes For Men

Casamorati ‘Italica’

This amber woody fragrance from luxury Italian perfumer Xerjoff and its Casamorati collection hits the mark when it comes to complex gourmand fragrances. Too often you’d get a gourmand scent that is fairly straightforward and a bit one dimension, so Italica is hard to pass up for blokes who really want to milk such an edible fragrance for all the inevitable compliments.

Throughout the entire profile, you’ll get this really warm and full-bodied display of almonds and milk that provides a nice little backbone before the perfume dips further into those spicy saffron notes that lead into boozy bourbon, vanilla and toffee. The perfumed is postured with a base of those more creamy woods like sandalwood, cedar and musk, rounding out a brilliant performance that’s strong but not overwhelming.

Aside from Lira, it’s one of the best examples of the sophisticated softness people oft associate with the Casamorati collection, skewing unisex and presenting scents that are flowery and vibrant while still being something a man would want to wear.

Top Notes: Almond, milk, saffron
Middle Notes: Toffee, vanilla
Base Notes: Sandalwood, cedar, musk

Tom Ford ‘Black Orchid’

I’ve always been a big fan of Tom Ford’s perfumes but Black Orchid would have to be the one I return to the most. I have a few bottles of this bad boy sitting in my room, not just because it’s one of the best perfumes of its kind out there but because it’s always a really reliable anchor if you want to get into layering as well.

And while I have love for Tom Ford perfumes, they’ve never been the most impressive when it comes to projection and longevity. The darker, more chocolatey Black Orchid is a nice exception to that rule, with a very complex gourmand body that has no less than 22 notes. You’d think it a Roja the way perfumers David Appel and Pierre Negrin have piled on the layers here, creating something rather remarkable with notes such as truffle, black currant, ylang-ylang, bergamot, Amalfi lemon, lotus, Mexican chocolate, patchouli, incense, amber, sandalwood, vetiver and white musk.

As I mentioned, Black Orchid is a great anchor as well, so if you really want to take those gourmand notes further I suggest spraying on some of this and then wearing either Tom Ford Lost Cherry or Tom Ford Bitter Peach on top.

Top Notes: Truffle, gardenia, black currant, ylang-ylang, jasmine, bergamot, mandarin orange, Amalfi lemon
Middle Notes: Orchid, spices, fruity notes, lotus
Base Notes: Mexican chocolate, patchouli, vanilla, incense, amber, sandalwood, vetiver, white musk

RELATED: Best Smelling Perfumes & Colognes For Men 

Serge Lutens ‘Jeux de Peau’

What Christopher Sheldrake and Serge Lutens have done with Jeux de Peau, one of the most popular and well-known for Luten’s eponymous label, is nothing short of genius. Really. The profile of Jeux de Peau reiterates what an art perfumery can be and how much skill it takes to manipulate these synthetics to help evoke scents and certain scenes.

That scene here is an alluring bakery on a nondescript street in Northern France, pushing those caramelised, charred accords to the front to resemble toasted bread and buttery croissants. Yes, it’s probably one of the only examples of a gourmand fragrance that really favors those bready notes over vanilla, filling that frame in with notes of milk, coconut, spices, licorice, apricot, frankincense, sandalwood, woody notes, toasted notes and amber. All this without coming across as to yeasty.

Toasty and rich, this is essential if you want to collect the best gourmand fragrances for men out there. But it also can be highly divisive, which as mentioned above, is kind of what you want with a gourmand fragrance. It’ll attract and repel in equal measure. You just have to see the value in that.

Do note that the fragrance is not a bit hard to find so if you want to track down a sample you might have to look outside of Australia.

Top Notes: Wheat, milk
Middle Notes: Licorice, coconut, immortelle
Base Notes: Sandalwood, apricot, spices, osmanthus, amber

Penhaligon’s ‘Babylon’

There are plenty of fine examples of vanilla-centric men’s perfumes out there. Amouage’s Vanilla Bark from the Amouage Attar collection is one of the better ones, as is Kilian Angel’s Share. But I think a good balance that’s a bit more reasonably priced is Penhaligon’s Babylon, coming from the iconic UK brand with a considerable hold on different shades of vanilla and spice.

The Amber Spicy fragrance is soft and milky, centered around a very expressive Cypriol oil that helps tie all that smoke, spice and wood together while keeping the focus on a heady dose of vanilla and saffron. And it’s that interplay of vanilla and saffron that really definess the perfume and helps it come through as one of the most best gourmand fragrances of the past few years.

There are few perfumes I use more when I want something a bit stronger and longer lasting than your typical everyday office fragrance.

Top Notes: Saffron, nutmeg, coriander
Middle Notes: Cypriol oil
Base Notes: Cedar, vanilla, sandalwood

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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