Fragrance Friday: 6 Best Smelling Men’s Perfumes Inspired By Travel
— Updated on 27 December 2022

Fragrance Friday: 6 Best Smelling Men’s Perfumes Inspired By Travel

— Updated on 27 December 2022
Chris Singh
WORDS BY
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.

Sensory information is the most important thing in travel writing. That’s what I’ve always been taught. And since my main focus during my career has been writing about travel, being able to express and illustrate any context as a function of the senses has been the most deeply embedded lesson for me.

And perhaps that is why, when joining Boss Hunting back in late 2020, my interests floated toward men’s perfume. Aside from the highly sophisticated and dynamic way fragrance can add to your personal style, I wanted to be more diligent when it comes to recognising, describing and expressing scent. Next time I’m strolling through a European market or a Japanese food hall, I’ll be more vigilant in writing about this crucial layer of the sensory experience. After all, the main trade in travel writing is empathy, so to speak. And being able to transport someone to a destination through words and really sit them inside the experience requires a high level of sensory information.

So perfumes inspired by destinations are, unsurprisingly, the ones that fascinate me the most. Some of the most renowned perfumers in the world are commissioned by these luxury fragrance houses to create olfactory profiles that distil an entire scene, with the brief often including highly detailed scenes that have inspired these creations.

As such, this week I want to highlight six great men’s perfumes that I feel really transport you to a scene and help build the imagination. Whether it’s a spice market in Morroco or a beach club in Capri, the scenes given to these perfumers have been articulated well through artful layers of top notes, heart notes and base notes, usually with ingredients sourced directly from the destination to better invoke a sense of place.

See below for five best bottles of men’s perfume travel enthusiasts would love.

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Five Bottles Of Men’s Perfume Inspired By Travel

Memo Paris ‘Moon Fever’

Memo Paris is probably the most obvious choice for a round-up of travel-inspired men’s perfumes like this. The entire brand identity is built on a sense of place, each expression attempting to capture a personal travel memory for design duo and owners Clara and John Molloy.

The label is perhaps best known in Australia for its various expression of travel-inspired leather perfumes like African Leather and Sicilian Leather – both perfumes that are well worth the investment – but I want to break convention here and highlight Memo Paris Moon Fever.

One of the brand’s most recent releases, Iberian Leather is, to me at least, a disappointment. Which made me want to seek out alternatives to restore my faith in the brand. That’s when I came across Moon Fever, which focuses on the Ethopian city of Lalibela which sits at an altitude of 2,500 metres above sea level.

Considering the city’s cherished collection of churches, Moon Fever has been worked in a way to articulate something ethereal and slightly spiritual. It might sound like a bunch of fluff, but the Molloys imagining a lunar surface and a ritualistic celebration has resulted in an arresting profile of citrus, neroli and slightly juicy vetiver tied into a woody aromatic family and complemented by notes of lemon verbena, fresh clary sage and tonka bean.

Top notes: Bitter orange, lemon, grapefruit
Middle notes: Lemon verbena, clary sage, neroli
Base notes: Leather, tonka bean, vetiver


BDK Parfums ‘Villa Neroli’

Capri is the port of call for BDK Villa Neroli, a new expression from the highly dependable label which has been released in Australia this year alongside the incredibly addictive Tabac Rose. Truth be told, I would go for Tabac Rose if I wanted an introduction to BDK – it’s a well-projecting, fresh and slightly fruity perfume that would easily turn heads.

But Tabac Rose isn’t nearly as expressive about travel as Villa Neroli is. It’s a homage to a Mediterranean upbringing, with BDK founder David Benedek adding to the Azur Collection by revisiting the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Using Verdelli lemon from Calabria, Neroli essence from Tunisia and petit-grain essence from Paraguay for the opening notes, Villa Neroli makes a huge impact with a slightly aggressive brush of freshness that breezes into a garden of orange trees in Capri. Perfumer Alexandra Carlin then tightens this with an air of sweetness, resisting the usual dry-down into heavy leathery notes and instead using vanilla absolute from Madagascar and Labdanum resinoide from Spain to restrain the patchouli and vetiver in the base.

Note that Villa Neroli is yet to launch in Australia, but it should within the next few months. If you can’t wait to get your hands on it you can head over to Selfridges and have it shipped over from Europe. It’s worth it, especially if a men’s perfume travel addict would love is exactly what you’re looking for.

Top notes: Lemon, neroli essence, petit-grain essence
Middle notes: Orange blossom absolute, rose absolute
Base notes: Vanilla absolute, vetiver, patchouli, Labdanum resinoide


Amouage ‘Crimson Rocks’

I couldn’t do a round-up like this without paying at least some attention to Amouage. The famously expensive Omani fragrance house always puts forth its best work when its perfumers are capturing these incredibly detailed scenes and most of that best work recently can be seen in the four-bottle Renaissance Collection.

It’s where Amouage Enclave – still one of my favourites – is from. But I’d say out of all four the best at really transporting you to somewhere else is Amouage Crimson Rocks. For this, perfumer Domitille Michalon-Bertier envisioned the deep crimson hue of Oman’s Al Hajar mountains, although you could just as easily be taken to a Morrocan spice market by the heady cinnamon-spiced and honeyed profile, layered into a woody desert rose for a pleasant amber finish.

With 25% fragrance oils, this is a strong and long-lasting perfume so note that it could be divisive to some. In fact, I’d say it’s the most divisive on this list, melting down into an earthy jujube honey accord that helps texture the central rose with the help of oakwood and cedarwood. Although it’s the cinnamon bark in the opening that should help distinguish this perfume for men who like to make a statement with their fragrances.

Top notes: Pink pepper CO2, cinnamon bark essential
Middle notes: Rose essential, rose ultimate, Jujube honey accord
Base notes: Oakwood CO2, cedarwood atlas oil, vetiver oil


Claus Porto ‘Agus Fougere’

Claus Porto is a fairly new brand to me but a recent batch of testers from their Portuguese-inspired collection has really impressed me. The label is from Portugal and is admirably focused on showcasing different parts of its home country with its perfumes, which have recently launched in Australia.

Agus Fougere is one that I’m liking the most so far, with the scene set south of Lisbon, tracking the Troia peninsula and its golden sand through to a forest full of fresh pine. As such, pine is very much the focus of this travel-inspired men’s fragrance, presenting a pleasant burst of aromatic and aquatic notes from the opening of pine needle and geranium through to the base of sea moss and cedar wood.

Top notes: Pine needle, galbanum, geranium
Middle notes: Transparent jasmin, pepper
Base notes: Sea moss, cedar wood, encens


Goldfield & Banks ‘Sunset Hour’

Never count out Australian label Goldfield & Banks in a discussion on the greatest men’s perfume travel memories are made of. Much like Claus Porto above, this homegrown label is dedicated to telling the many distinctive stories of Australia and gets most of its uniqueness from landscapes up and down the coast.

Its newest perfume, Purple Suede, is a fresh burst of Tasmanian lavender and should easily appeal to anyone who has spent time wandering around the state’s countryside. I didn’t like it too much; it was a bit too much for me and, although it leaned a bit towards masculine leather, was something I found a bit too feminine.

I feel Sunset Hour is much more accessible and would appeal more to men, especially since it was named quite appropriately. This is a sweet, heady fragrance that evokes open-shirt after-hour sessions atop any rooftop bar, whether that be in Sydney or Mykonos. It’s a party fragrance, and you can’t really have a men’s perfume travel round-up with nodding to some sort of party.

Out of all the fragrances on this list, Sunset Hour is probably the most playful and should find its way into your suitcase if you’re jetting off overseas to party through the Christmas holidays. Some may find it a bit too sweet and jammy. And I much prefer Pacific Rock Moss from the brand – which I listed as one of five men’s perfumes you should pack for a European summer. But it’d be hard to deny Sunset Hour if you play your cards right and take the name as instruction.

Top notes: Pear, mandarin, desert peach, raspberry
Middle notes: Jasmin sambac absolute, green mango, ginger, coconut cream, pink pepper
Base notes: Sandalwood, cashmere, benzoin

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Chris Singh
WORDS by
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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