Scents of Self: Histoires de Parfums

Imagine a tuxedoed Diddy, babes in tow, straddling a helicopter or racing along the coast on a jet ski. Likely anyone familiar with the marketing campaign for the mogul’s celebrity fragrance, “I Am King,” has recently questioned the potency of his own scent—or masculinity in and of itself. But a recent study published in the latest International Journal of Cosmetic Science has us re-thinking Diddy’s appeal. According to those findings, perfume’s seductive power lies not in the scent’s aphrodisical effect on potential mates, but rather in the boosted confidence the fragrance bestows on its wearer. Researchers tested the theory by dousing one group of male test subjects with a scented cocktail and another group with a dummy concoction. They found that women who spied on subjects via hidden camera were more attracted to men who wore fragrances than by those who did not. What can we take away from this valuable lesson in “cosmetic science?” You are what you smell like.


May we suggest a range of masculine fragrances by storied French perfumer, Gerald Ghislain, who has created a line called Histoires des Parfums. The line of fragrances are labeled by year, and each bottle contains the distilled essence of a historic Frenchman. Spritz a bit of 1740 to channel your inner Marquis de Sade, whose eponymous scent contains traces of leather and bergamot and may or may not inspire you towards sexual hedonism. Or inject some much-needed romance and charisma with 1725, the year of Casanova’s birth and a scent that consists of lemon, grapefruit, and musk notes. The line will be available in the US for the first time in January from Takashimaya.