Metro Man & Metro Home

By Allison Dizzine

Perfumers have been known to pull inspiration from literature when developing their women’s lines. But we have a few literature-inspired fragrances for men that we’d like to share, too! Here are some suggestions for building your man’s library – whether it’s fragrance or books.

Histoires de Parfums 1828
Inspiration: Author Jules Verne

Jules Verne is known as a pioneer of the science-fiction genre. His works are known for plots of fantastic adventure stories and futuristic elements. Underwater travel, for instance, was a common method of transport in Verne’s tales, but submarine travel had not yet been invented. Verne often used his novels as political commentary on the Imperialist British government.

Though elements from all of Verne’s oeuvre came through in Histoires de Parfums’s 1828, protagonist Captain Nemo was instantly recognizable to me. This character appears in novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Mysterious Island. Top notes of eucalyptus gives the feeling of a windy sea and the outdoors. Peppery middle notes make this scent unexpectedly spicy and mysterious, recalling Captain Nemo’s enigmatic identity. Cedar and pine base notes lend an overall serious, intellectual feel.

1828 is available at Henri Bendel.

Guerlain’s fragrance duo Le Dandy & Le Voyou
Inspiration: Arsene Lupin novels by Maurice Leblanc

The Arsene Lupin detective novels are some of the most popular French series – he’s the francophile’s Sherlock Holmes and Robin Hood rolled into one seductive package. His adventures take place at the turn of the century, when gentlemen carried pocket watches and traveling by luxury ocean liner was the height of sophistication. Arsene is a gentlemen thief, and his appeal lies in his ability to mask his identity, hide in plain sight, and show up (or dash off!) at just the right moment.

Dandy was designed for Arsene’s gentleman side, and it is unquestionably elegant. Its combination of bergamot, pepper, cardamom, and sandalwood make this scent feel refined and fashionable. Perfect for a ride in a vintage Rolls Royce or yes, a luxury ocean liner. Don’t forget the pocket watch.

Voyou, on the other hand, highlights the thief in Arsene’s gentleman-thief identity. Its combination of orange, rose, patchouli and white musk make this fragrance dynamic, even bold. Not surprising – Arsene Lupin has been known to send a woman flowers after robbing her! Overall, Voyou feels so full of movement and spirit that my fiancée and I may be sharing this one.

Le Dandy and Le Voyou are available separately at Guerlain Boutiques.

Originally published February 2011
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