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Fragrance Friday: Best Men’s Perfumes Inspired By Your Favourite Spirits
— Updated on 5 July 2023

Fragrance Friday: Best Men’s Perfumes Inspired By Your Favourite Spirits

— Updated on 5 July 2023
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.

After Kilian Angels’ Share came across my desk a few weeks ago, I’ve been fascinated by men’s perfumes that rely heavily on boozy notes and use supporting notes to bring out different nuances of the expected profile. From gin and cognac, there’s no storage of men’s perfumes inspired by spirits.

Rum, whisky, gin, absinthe and cognac seem to be the most common, but there are apparently some perfumes out there that draw on tequila, white wine and even sake.

I thought I’d take a look at 5 fragrances inspired by spirits that present something interesting and complex, from Amouage’s brilliant smoked fruits and cognac of Overture Man to Penhaligon’s homage to gin with Juniper Sling.


4 Great Men’s Perfumes Inspired By Spirits

Amouage ‘Overture Man’

I had a hard time getting into Amouage’s Overture Man when I first received a bottle earlier this year but, as with a lot of Amouage perfumes, this one has a way of creeping up on you with how unique and memorable it can be. Perfumer Karine Vinchon made a smart choice working in cognac to the opening notes and flanking this with a lot of myrrh, sandalwood and some beautiful smoky frankincense. With grapefruit, ginger and saffron on the top, Overture Man is able to present some dramatic smoked fruits and set this against a very strong, pleasant cognac accord that sticks around well into the base of sexy smoked woods.

Overture Man is now one of my go-to perfumes when I want something unique without being too divisive and overbearing – the reliable black dinner jacket of men’s perfume and a sure-shot for a more sophisticated occasion.

Top notes: Grapefruit, cardamom, cumin, ginger, nutmeg, saffron, cognac accord
Middle notes: Cinnamon, lentsique, benzoin, cistus labdanum, patchouli, geranium, myrrh
Base notes: Sandalwood, smoky leather, clary sage, animalic accord, incense, frankincense, myrrh

Kilian ‘Angels Share’

This could have just as easily been Vodka On The Rocks or Apple Brandy from Kilian’s Liquors Collection, but there’s something about Angels’ Share that really gets at just why this Parisian house is such a reliable house. Killian Hennessy – no, the name isn’t a coincidence – really proves his worth here, presenting something that’s focused on the sweeter notes of cognac but remains rather restrained, given you can get past that strong opening. The sillage is great, the projection is excellent and the overall profile will have you nosing yourself over and over again for this very vanilla-focused scent.

Top notes: Cognac
Middle notes: Cinnamon, tonka bean, oak
Base notes: Praline, vanilla, sandalwood

L’Artisan Parfumeur ‘Fou D’Abstinhe’

L’Artisan Parfumer turns to the strong scent of absinthe with this one, but really restrains things with great supporting notes like ginger, patchouli, nutmeg and star anise. Wormwood is of course the overarching note here, but the spices really bring out something pleasant about the heavy note, which is then taken in a woody, smoky direction. It’s a must if you’re looking for men’s perfumes inspired by spirits.

Top notes: Wormwood, angelica, black currant
Middle notes: Star anise, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, pepper, patchouli
Base notes: Pine tree needles, balsam fir, incense

Penhaligon ‘Juniper Sling’

Iconic UK perfume house Penhaligon presents one of the best gin-focused perfumes on the market with Juniper Sling, avoiding that overwhelming hammer of London Dry Gin with a lot of spice and fruit thanks to black pepper, brown sugar and black cherry. Trust this quintessentially British perfume house to really put its best foot forward when it comes to crafting a gin perfume that’s balanced, considered and incredibly sensuous while still being fresh and vibrant.

Top notes: Juniper berries, orange, angelica, cinnamon
Middle notes: Pepper, cardamom, leather, orris root
Base notes: Vetiver, sugar, cherry, amber

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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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