His and hers fragrances may not be a new concept but they are flavour of the month once again, writes Elisabeth King.
There’s nothing new or naff about scents for couples. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert wore matched perfumes. In the days when they were more like Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes in the TV mini-series, Victoria, than the stout stereotypes of later years, the long-lived monarch gave a painting to her consort as a surprise 24th birthday present. The saucy portrait was considered to be so sensual and provocative that Albert kept it in a private room.
Then as now, his-and-hers fragrances share certain qualities but they have individual personalities, acting as an invisible symbol of togetherness that’s currently one of the strongest fragrance trends of the season for a new generation. They’re also great as gifts and, let’s face it, a lot better than unisex fragrances where you are both wearing the same scent.
L’Homme and La Femme
Luna Rossa for men and Candy for women have fuelled Prada’s fragrance fortunes over the past three years. Now it’s time for the Italian luxury label’s first master brand of scents – a perfect pair expected to break the US$120 million sales barrier in the first year. L’Homme is a crowd-pleaser, subtly attracting compliments for its iris and vintage soap notes. Creamy, feminine yet strong, La Femme is a distinctive oriental/floral that matches its mate as an attention-getter. The heavy glass bottles are as posh as their contents.
For Him: from $100; For Her: from $110; department stores.
Aventus and Aventus Woman
What’s the real indicator of a scent’s success? A flood of clones. Even Zara has taken a shot at replicating Aventus, the most popular fragrance created in the 256-year history of Creed. Fruity and smoky with a nuclear projection, allow up to an hour for the drydown to shine through. The partner fragrance launched this year also boasts killer longevity. Inspired by queens and modern women, it’s a fresh, fruity juice with a luxurious rose ‘heart’. For Him: from $349; For Her: $465; creedperfume.com.au, selected David Jones and Harrolds stores.
Zadig & Voltaire
This Is Him! and This Is Her!
The first fragrances from the Parisian rock chic fashion label that believes youth is a state of mind, not a question of age. The brand’s heartland might be France and Europe, but hopes are high that this dynamic duo has what it takes to break into the global top 15 best-selling scents. The feminine fragrance is a woody floral and its male counterpart is a woody oriental. Leather and black shades are de rigueur gear for both sexes.
For Him: from $62; For Her: from $70; department stores.
Uomo and Donna Collector Editions
Valentino is the king of red carpet dresses and the veteran Italian designer’s wool and silk suits would correct the figure faults of the Hunchback of Notre Dame: no-one does it better when it comes to dressing up a fragrance as a gift. The spicy/fresh Uomo has a leather label hot-stamped in brass, while gold is the metal of choice for the sensual, rose-tinged intensity of Donna. Both are ensconced in plush felt boxes for an extra kick of luxury.
For Him: $145; For Her: $193 – both 100ml; department stores.
Boss The Scent and The Scent For Her
Hugo Boss specialises in hits. Boss Bottled and Hugo have been bringing in the big bucks for close to 20 years. Boss The Scent hit the shelves last year as the menswear giant’s new pillar fragrance with a one-way ticket to the top. A manly combo of ginger, fresh lavender and leather, its slickness matches the steamy ad starring Theo ‘Divergent’ James. Also aimed squarely at Millennials, Boss The Scent For Her is the brand’s first gourmand juice for women.
A luscious peach opening, honey and freesia make this a buy-again skin scent.
For Him: from $89; For Her: from $99; department stores.
Eros and Eros Pour Femme
Like Versace fashions, opinions are divided about Eros. With the right body chemistry it’s a ladykiller, but the powerful effect can be too much for many men. If you fall into the latter camp, one spray of this tonka/mint/woody to the chest will go the distance. Eros Pour Femme joined its stablemate this year to more unanimous acclaim. A lovely floral musk in a stunning bottle, it reminds both genders of Champagne and money. For Him: $115 for 100ml; For Her; from $88; department stores and Sephora.
1 Million and Lady Million Prive
You’ve probably smelled the original 1 Million about that many times. But there’s no denying it’s one of the most copied fragrances of the decade. Ditto for its partner juice, Lady Million. Finally, more serious, upmarket versions of the Prive twosome. The ‘bones’ of tobacco and spice remain, but the appeal is more niche. For Him: from $95; For Her: from $110; department stores.