Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Fragrance Selection: Scented Duos for Her & for Him

There are some couples you come across that just obviously click; visually as well as instinctively you know from the moment you see them that like a salt & pepper pot duo they're meant to be displayed together. Psychologists tell us that couples who look alike can have a head start in relating to one another.  I don't know if this is the Barbie & Ken conditioning we have been spoon fed since childhood, the rather logical manifestation of common traits that brought people together in the first place (same level of attractiveness, similar tastes, probably analogous socio-economic status) and the equally logical supposition that "a couple" sorta re-invents itself into a single entity, or -in the case of tried & tested couples of some time- a case of "growing up together one gets to look like their dog" (which poses its own delicious problem: who's the dog in that relationship?) The thing is sometimes superficial stuff isn't as superficial as it looks like.

Source: via Shannon on Pinterest

Which nicely brings us into todays' theme:  matching each other's scents for Valentine's Day -or any day beyond. Nothing is more fun than co-ordinating a couple's fragrances, for an occasion or for a special day (or even on a more durable basis, but let's not make this too committed right now). If you have matched in style with your mate during a formal occasion (instead of one showing up in jeans and the other in a floor length gown or one is olives & browns and the other in striking red and black) you know that playing matchy-matchy can be rewarding in photos. Well, fragrance matching can be rewarding in memories, since scent memories are the photos the mind takes in absence of a camera. So here is a small guide with my suggestions for doing just that; creating special memories! I have carefully chosen the fragrances combos to click together in spirit and not clash.

For the purposes of this article the duos are presented (in classic Barbie & Ken fashion, we can't escape!) in  "mood" suggestions for Her and for Him, but gay couples should by no means feel excluded. All the fragrances can be interchangeable and be worn by both sexes.

Source: via Hannah on Pinterest

Romantic Duo
Amouage Lyric Man and Lyric Woman
I had presented Amouage Lyric Man in my Best Rose Fragrances list previously. The version aimed at women is by no means lesser. Short of the smokier incense note it reprises the loveliness of the masculine version, a rich, nuanced rose that sings melodiously of l'amour!

Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial and Guerlain Habit Rouge
The haze of these powdery, soft as a duvet, cuddly as cat's paws scents can only be explained via the romantic references they make to the legendary love affair that inspired the first, classic Shalimar. This recent feminine version is less "tragic love story" and more playful, while still lovely, and the men's version with its opoponax tenderness has always been the "male Shalimar".

Casual Duo
Cartier Declaration and Eau d'Hermes
The juxtaposition of fresh tonalities to more risque magnetism is effortless. They seem like the first thing that came to mind that morning, but they feel like there is a bred intimacy about them, the familiar scent of someone you know too well not to feel inhibited into showing up in flannels.

Frederic Malle L'Eau d'Hiver and Patricia de Nicolai Kiss me Tender
Heliotrope with its almond-like facets is both a yummy and gloriously innocent, tender note. These two takes are among the very best; an eau chaude for him, a butterfly kiss for her.

Sexy Duo
Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger and Ramon Monegal Mon Cuir
The common thread of a honeyed, dense note of orange blossom is tied to a refined but lush animalic, intimate quality about both scents. They're perfect for a romp between the sheets as they're for a candlelit dinner preceding that.

Victor & Rolf Spicebomb and Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille
The two fragrances share the spicy, sweet tobacco bouquet and project as inviting as a soft mattress someplace with a lit fireplace.

Glamorous Duo
Chanel Coromandel and Ramon Monegal Mon Patchouly
The almost chocolate tonality of patchouli is peeking underneath a cluster of amber, balmy notes and fresh accents. They're sumptuous and not at all what you'd associate with patchouli's hippie image.

Source: via Shannon on Pinterest

Sophisticated Duo
Frederic Malle Dans tes Bras and Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel
There's something about the scent of violet leaf and violet notes which has a twilight, otherworldly quality to me when done with a restrained hand. They're a bit wistful too, so perfect for those of us who secretly love love stories gone awry.

Retro Duo
Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche pour Homme and The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit 
A classic nostalgic barbershop scent for him (a prototype fougere). A jasmine with spices reminiscent of fragrances of older times. Star anise at the heart of both. At once sensuous and brainy.

I just realized: all the photos I picked are in black & white. Well, maybe there's something to start contrasts as well. ;-) Happy Valentine's Day to anyone celebrating!


  1. Prince Barry17:56

    Yet another interesting post E.

    I have never come across Ramon Monegal fragrances. I am obviously missing out.

  2. Ha, I think a couple would have to be pretty close to match and synchronize complimenting perfumes and colognes.
    However, it could be a good idea. I can imagine it now, department stores like Macy's will start selling gift sets for both men and women with matching fragrances.
    Quite an idea!

  3. Eleni21:31

    Thank you, I really enjoyed this article - I am new to this and could not have imagined some of the pairings!

    A few weeks ago I got Diorissimo for myself and Eau Sauvage for hubby. In my mind they fit, but maybe that's only because they share the "nose".

  4. Anonymous22:19

    intriguing perfume pairings, and i lovvvvvve your photo selections!

    how fun!

    happy, loving valentine's day to you!


  5. B,

    thanks! :-)

    The Ramon Monegal line has many beauties (I think you'd like a couple) and has launched this past year in the US. I believe that it was circulating for a couple of years in Spain prior to that and it's available (in sample form too) from First in Fragrance for those of us in Europe. On their site you might come across an actual brick & mortar distributor for the UK where you might do skin testing (can't recall off the top of my head, sorry)

  6. Gabe,

    probably, you're right.
    It does produce lovely results that's for sure!
    Ready-made "sets" (not just editions for him and for her, but matches off different brands/houses) would kill some of the experimentation fun but certainly there's a marketing opportunity hiding in here for the people in the right places. ;-)

  7. Eleni,

    not bad at all! And two classics too. If you want to get it real close, you might try Diorella for yourself next (it's supposed to be the feminine version of Eau Sauvage, at least as per the creator's memoirs)

    Glad you enjoyed the article, it was written as a fun piece! :-)

  8. J,

    thank you so much for the lovely wishes and same to you!!
    And happy you derived enjoyment out of the selections of both olfactory and visual cues. ;-)

  9. Prince Barry06:47

    Thanks E, I will check.

  10. Oh these duos are de-lovely.

    All this loved up talk inspired me to create my own year-long list of roses that can be worn by men and women, especially those feeling unlucky in love.

    No overlaps (though some near misses) with your own wonderful picks.

    I'd like to believe that like love roses are not just for Valentine's day.

    Thank you as always for your wisdom.

    Yours ever

    The Perfumed Dandy

  11. PD,

    thanks for stopping by and how interesting that you address those unlucky in love. They deserve a little comfort too, don't they? :-)

    I will be checking out your selections, I'm sure they are delightful.

    And yes, love and everything that goes with it is to be celebrated each and every day; it's so precious and there are no rehearsals for life.

  12. NFS,


    Glad you enjoyed!


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