Men’s Fragrances with a Firm Backbone


Introduced in a modestly statured sepia-toned bottle, Kiehl’s Original Musk is an old soul with a contemporary outlook. Its vintage charisma provides wisdom with a brief history lesson in sex appeal. The old story goes that Kiehl’s original musk oil was conceived in its first humble apothecary then rediscovered in the ‘50’s, enticed by the label, “love oil.” Kiehl’s certainly couldn’t resist, and reincarnated it in 1963 for its curious patrons — and once again, it’s given a modern re-branding for the chivalry in all of us.

It initially wears like a richly archetypal musk but settles into the skin with a subtle but vibrant sophistication that only patience can produce. Top notes start off with a creamy, fresh citrus blend of Bergamot Nectar and Orange Blossom, then segues into an exotic bouquet of Rose, Lily, Ylang-Ylang, and Neroli; it then firmly adjusts to an Eastern personality of Tonka Nut, then deepens into White Patchouli and its signature Musk.

Save this for the culturati traffic, and only the mature will appreciate its timeless mark.

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Hugo Boss’s Wool Musk wants you to know that it’s in the room but doesn’t have a need to exhibit it; thus, the bottle’s transparent, geometric, and muted visage, in a bottle heavy enough to function as a paperweight. It’s modestness, weighted by its robust flacon, understates the complexity of its minimalist and nimble fusion of Musk, Sandalwood, and Cinnamon. You would expect the Musk to be the base, but that’s its first impression held up by Sandalwood and evolving into Cinnamon. Its confident sensuality speaks so softly.

But things get more interesting in the bedroom. It comes to you encased in an opulent dark retractable chamber like a vampire resting in an ornate coffin from some Anne Rice novel. It’s certainly for those savory nights but Hugo Boss wants to create a private experience. Wool Musk is part of an elite fragrance swatch designed for the idiosyncratic nose. Its collection is progressive, from light tonalities to richer profiles with a chosen fabric to complement and accentuate its paired fragrance: Cotton & Verena, Silk and Jasmine, Wool and Musk, Velvet & Amber, and finally, Cashmere and Pachouli. Wool Musk leaves wanderlust for the swatch’s other nuances but its masculinity speaks for itself.

Exclusively available at select Nordstrom stores, and HUGO BOSS boutiques.


Movie, music, and sports celebrities, athletic franchises, athletic clothing manufacturers, and real estate entrepreneurs all have fragrance iterations, so why not a petroleum and petrochemical behemoth? After all, petroleum is found in most beauty cosmetics.

As a NASCAR and IndyCar incumbent, Sunoco’s Burnt Rubber, pronounced with a French stress on “rubber,” is more serious than you would expect. The chemical friction of melted rubber on asphalt does produce a strangely alluring scent, and Burnt Rubber mimics that aura quite impressively, but lightly. Citrus notes interplay with spicy tones that gives the fragrance its signature profile of a pit crew.

In sync with the heavy video advertising, you can only catch it on social media tracks because they’re not selling it; only the lucky few Facebook followers can experience its essence of racing.

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