Australian men want to smell good. But it's not the new Lynx or the latest celebrity perfume that is capturing their imagination – it's the hard-to-find, high-end luxury fragrances.
Nick Smart is the founder of Agence de Parfum, which distributes niche fragrances to department stores and specialty perfumeries in Australia. Smart says men are turning from the celebrity perfume push of the past decade to quality.
The big seller these days is The New York Times-approved scent Creed Aventus, which retails at $430 a bottle. Also big in Australia is Bleu de Chanel ($162) and all the Tom Fords (about $300 a bottle).
"Men are frequently stepping over the David Beckhams, thinking 'Why spend $100 on something awesome when I can spend $300 and get something really spectacular?'," says Smart.
Only the best
Celebrity fragrances are a dying breed, explains Smart. Eight years ago, they used to do huge business for the department stores, now they don't have the market share. "Instead, there's a luxury push from all of the houses. Dior, Chanel, all have a luxury line and men, particularly, have embraced it."
Men care more now about how they look and what is the latest and greatest.Nick Smart
It's because, Smart says, "men like expensive stuff". He says it's all about quality these days. "They'll buy the $900 Italian shoe, the beard products, the cleansers and moisturisers. They're aware, they're switched on. Men care more now about how they look and what is the latest and greatest."
State of spray
Young men see what's on Instagram and various blogs, think it's cool and want it. "At our showroom in Sydney we've had groups of young guys in their 20s come in and chip in to buy the large-sized Creed Aventus," says Smart. "Then they'll all wear it, all of the time."
Smart advises selecting fragrances for the occasion. "What you wear to work is going to be quite different to what you wear out," he says. "There's summer/winter and night/day. Men aren't quite there with that concept yet but they are understanding quality."
How much are you willing to spend on a fragrance? What makes you choose one over the other? Let us know in the comments.
A journalist with a history of covering style with style and flair, Natasha Hughes has reported extensively on men's grooming and presentation. With Spit & Polish she also has a commission to write across presentation and deportment.