The Best Winter Colognes for The Funeral Director in Your Life
If you have every walked the NFDA Convention floor, or really any other trade show floor in the funeral profession, you have undoubtedly whiffed a wide array of scents. Some smell great, other smell like grandpa and then there is the occasional whiff of someone who could have used more.
Most funeral professionals need help when it comes to fashion as well as picking the right scent. Since it is the gift giving season we thought we would share the best men’s winter colognes according to Men’s Journal.
This article was published on BusinessInsider.com:
Little can chop block a sense of style like a loud, brash cologne. Too often they smell like guy’s sporto deodorants and, the truth is, they’re probably made of the same synthetic chemicals.
So whether you pick up the new book, Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent, the latest celebration of smell by author and perfumer Mandy Aftel, or pull down an old copy of Tom Robbins’ giddy nose trip, Jitterbug Perfume, the world of natural fragrances is undeniably beguiling. But there are plenty for men to choose from.
Nothing strikes our senses like fragrance, whether the ride is good or bad. It’s primal. And as anyone who has had their nose held hostage by an aggressive cologne or perfume can attest: It’s important to choose a personal fragrance wisely. Yet, all too often, those elevator doors can’t open quickly enough.
Natural producers use no synthetic chemicals in their colognes and the differences are akin to, say, fresh grass vs. artificial turf. Green tea vs. a diet cola. You will definitely notice, and fortunately there’s a whole new generation of scent creators who have returned to taking inspiration, as well as their ingredients, from nature.
More subtle than synthetics, some with actual healing properties, the scents from these small batch producers go beyond the traditional, taking cues in everything from whiskey and tobacco to mushrooms and moss.
And just as the process of creating a natural fragrance is more personal, so is the wearing of one. Natural scents stay closer to your body, where a nose needs to lean in closer to find it. Here are nine completely natural producers to help you smell and feel better — and make everyone around you happier. Even in an elevator.
Juniper Ridge’s fragrances aren’t just wilderness inspired, they’re actually produced from the wilderness.
As founder Hall Newbegin states, “it’s really about getting the good out of the plants and into a shelf-stable ingredient that can be worn.
So we take plants and mash them up, we steam distill wild mushrooms, we put dirt in alcohol, we light bonfires on beaches and smoke ingredients to bring in earthiness.”
Newbegin’s scents are made from foraged flora and fungi and vary from woods to woods and trail to trail. So ingredients for their Big Sur Backpacker Cologne came from Big Sur itself — the woody, green oceanside right off Highway 1 — and is entirely different from their solid Mojave Trail Resin Cologne, with its distinct air of pine and cedar sourced in the desert.
Their earthy scents range from origins in the Siskiyou Mountains of Oregon to California’s Sierra Nevadas, a uniquely wild art of fragrance in either bottle or tin.
[Starting at $35; JuniperRidge.com]
Portland General Store, Farmer’s
Lisa Brodar’s apothecary, Portland General Store, produces natural fragrances inspired by recipes she found from the 1920s and 30s. You’ll get the idea in some of her cologne names alone: Whiskey, Tobacco, Saltwater, Wood. Inspired by the rugged land and rocky coast of Maine, her scents have a rustic yet refined appeal.
“I’ve found that men are surprised by how good a real fragrance smells,” she says. “Most men are used to strong scents that last up to 24 hours. It can be hard to convince them that it’s better to wear an all-natural cologne that lasts 1-5 hours.”
Her newest scent is named Farmer’s, an earthy ode to the American cowboy. But it also embodies the depth in a natural perfumer’s inspirations, having learned in her research that cows don’t like strong fragrances.
As Brodar shares, “I found a list of essential oils that are aromatherapeutic to livestock. Some are supposed to calm them, others are for fertility.” There it began and the result, she says, “is a mildly woodsy scent that is calming to cows and might get you a date Friday night.” As with all her colognes, the effect is subtle and masculine.
[Starting at $98; PortandGeneralStore.com]
Wild Rose Herbs, Wild Man Cologne
Ashley Bessler, founder of Wild Rose Herbs in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, makes entirely natural, highly concentrated botanical oil-based fragrances.
As she states of more typical synthetics, “Standard colognes simply do not cut it for modern, natural, and rugged trends.” Subtle and well balanced, her Wild Man Cologne is woody and cool yet understated when worn, with the warm sweetness of a fine spirit in a glass.
And while Bessler’s are particularly concentrated oils, they are in no way overpowering — perhaps the greatest appeal of a natural essence. As to Wild Man’s herbaceous character? “We finish by adding a touch of organic Lavender,” Bessler explains with a smile, traditionally used as an aphrodisiac.
Like many natural perfumers, Bessler is entirely self-taught, growing many of the fresh botanicals in their own organic gardens.
Aftelier, Cepes and Tuberose
With her new book, Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent, artisan perfumer Mandy Aftel again reaches into her wealth of knowledge to further celebrate our sense of smell. Aftel is an icon in the world of natural fragrance, her 2001 book Essence and Alchemy being a primer for both scent makers and wearers alike into the art and science of natural fragrance.
Aftel hand-blends her creations from a vast collection of scents, “assembled over the years,” she says, “from hidden corners of the world. Finding these essences is a quest that I enjoy as much as the act of creating with them.”
While many of the fragrances at Aftelier, typical with natural producers, are unisex, some waft decidedly toward one gender or the other. Her Cepes and Tuberose, for instance, will certainly fall in the man’s court. Wild porcini mushrooms lay down an earthy, animal welcome to Italian Tuberose. Rich but subtle, in no way intrusive, the result is downright appetizing.
[Starting at $50; afterlier.com]
Ayala Moriel, Orcas
Ayala Moriel, founder of Ayala Moriel Parfums in Vancouver, is fascinated with the depth and science of our sense of smell and the potent power of fragrance. As she says, “It is the most primordial sense. The first sense developed through evolution, directly connected to our deepest subconscious mind.”
Inspired by the aromatic history in the Mediterranean of her childhood, she has a wide range of scents that work for men. Rainforest is an understated example, woody yet refreshing: a clean, damp fragrance, inspired by the coniferous forest of her home in the Pacific Northwest.
But her Orcas Eau de Parfum is where ocean and rainforest meet in a masculine scent truly conjuring the Pacific coast landscape. Green and fresh, while earthy and wet with sea air, it has the complexity that can convert you to a natural cologne.
Meehan, Bay Rhum
Gary Edward Meehan, owner, with his wife Diane, of the lavender estate Bonny Doon Farm in Santa Cruz, California, only makes a few colognes, yet each is naturally produced and inspired from another age. From a single-note Sandalwood to his Uplands Cologne, a mixture and mingling of 12 pure oils, each are made with the finest ingredients.
But it’s his small-batch, authentically crafted Meehan Bay Rhum that is a classic for men and a must-try for fans of the fragrance. Inspired by the sea and his love of J-Class yachts, it’s a sublime example of the legendary island scent.
Like any natural producer, Meehan has the zeal for ingredients, starting with the namesake evaporative base itself. “Cane spirits are the purest, most costly basis for Rum,” he explains. “Many other producers of Bay Rum cologne use neutral grain spirits for an aromatic base. It’s cheaper to use but to me it’s lifeless and cold.”
On the contrary, his Bay Rhum is bright and inviting, hand-blended in small batches and aged in the estate’s cellar.
Pirouette Essentials, Wild Spruce and Tobacco
Seattle perfumer Karyn Gold-Reineke, founder and designer of Pirouette Essentials, brings years of aromatherapy experience to her potions. I create my fragrances first and foremost to smell wonderful,” she says, “but with natural essential oils, there is the added benefit of powerful healing properties.”
Much of creating a natural fragrance is in the process and unlike working in a chemical lab, there is the subtlety of true scents in play. As she says, “I work intuitively, by blending first, and uncovering the aromatherapy profile after.”
Several of her scents, including Wanderlust, Mosaic and Mantra especially will conjure far-away places. But the Wild Spruce and Tobacco Cologne has a decidedly masculine air. You’ll smell spruce in the bottle, but give it a minute on your skin and a spicy smokiness will join it, where sweetness finds leather.
La Via Del Profumo, Milano Caffé
AbdesSalaam Attar is no ordinary natural fragrance composer. He’s more like a passionate, modern day alchemist. Perhaps his dozens of blends defy easy description because they were so personal to make. Or perhaps it’s because each scent changes as you wear it.
When Attar first began, he worked with both natural and synthetic materials, but says, “I soon understood the superior beauty of natural essences over synthetic chemical ones, the life that was in them, the completeness they had and the power of the emotions they scattered” and he has worked exclusively with natural ingredients ever since.
His Milano Caffé has its inspiration in the rich smell of coffee and cocoa that once filled every corner of Milan. Don Corleone is an homage to Sicily, and just as complex. Mecca Balsam, as a Sufi convert, was inspired by his pilgrimage to Mecca.
You can order small samples from his online shop, La Via del Profumo, but because he is based in Italy, he also has small samples available domestically from Surrender to Chance for you to try before committing.
[Starting at $42 for 15ml; profumo.it]
Brooklyn Grooming Anchor Aftershave
Alfredo Ortiz Catedral and Mckenzie Santiago of Brooklyn Grooming may seem an odd inclusion here, since they primarily make grooming tonics.
But authenticity is at the root of their products, made by hand in their Brooklyn Navy Yard studio. Their half dozen naturally scented beard oils can be worn as a fragrance, working as naturally scented moisturizers, especially for those who simply go a day or two (or three) without shaving. Their Williamsburg Beard Oil, for instance, clean and woody, is even more subtle than a natural cologne.
In the spirit of natural perfumers, they have a genuine apothecary approach to their line. Their Anchor Aftershave Tonic is another example of a completely natural product, soothing to your skin and subtly scented. As they explain, “Anchor’s scent is a spiritually inspired blend of ancient exotic woods, balsam resins and blood orange essential oils.”
It seems only a matter time until the blending fervor at Brooklyn Grooming produces a natural cologne.
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