Masculinity – A 21st Century Makeover

What it Means to be a 21st Century Man 

In his three-part exploration of masculinity, All Man, British artist Grayson Perry presents three types of men: the ‘hard man’ (think combat), the ‘top man’ (police and politicians) and the ‘rational man’ (finance). In reality, of course, being a man in the 21st century often lies outside this arguably small group of traditional “alpha” types, with modern men increasingly ready to take on these traditional ideas of masculinity and turn them on their head. As Perry notes, traditional masculine roles simply don’t work anymore. But while some things have changed, for the best, others remain the same, and for good reason – take a pleasant smell for example – a timeless factor that many men pursue by selecting the right scent which perfectly balances elegance and with the requisite (sophisticated) amount of maturity and sex appeal (so not just about the latter).

Greater Work-Life Balance

Research shows that millennials, currently entering the workforce in droves, deem development and the work/life balance as more important than financial rewards. They seek personal learning and development, followed by flexible working hours. A bit of extra cash is always welcome, but it comes third in their list of priorities. Flexibility and working from home allow men to balance health and work obligations, ensuring they have enough time for fitness, sound nutrition, and building a strong support system.

A Rise in the Number of Stay-at-Home Dads

Some men are even foregoing work altogether and choosing to be stay-at-home dads. In the UK, numbers of fathers who look after their children and home full-time have doubled since the early 1990s, while the number of women at home has fallen considerably in the same time frame. The latest ONS data reveals that there are currently 232,000 men opting out of the workplace.

An Interest in Holistic Health

Keeping yourself in fighting fit shape isn’t necessarily about beating your best time at running or completing the London marathon; new crazes such as Broga (yoga for bros) are taking over many yoga schools and retreats, in order to cater for growing male interest in what has come to be known as a panacea for stress: yoga. With its emphasis on stretching and endurance building, yoga is a challenging activity but also one known for its unique health benefits. Much of the secret of its success has to do with controlled breathing, which leads yogis into a mindful state in which emotions (even negative ones) are not pushed away, but rather, acknowledged and welcomed.

Style Matters for the Modern Man

If, in the past, matters such as interior design were frequently left in the hands of the “missus”, but modern UK men are taking a far keener interest in their homes, with demand in the interiors market currently dominated by masculine minimalistic, simple styles. Since men are also taking more charge of keeping the home presented to a high standard and preferring uncluttered homes that can easily be tidied up this is now all the rage in home magazines and visual media, domestic aethetics are in vogue and the littered man-cave of old are now out. Men are also taking their cue from celebrity designers, rather than just make-do with a few tweaks here and there, who encourage gender fluidity as a form of maximum expression. Skirts, and so-called ‘feminine’ fabrics, and sophisticated new cuts are turning fashion into the walking art form it has always aimed to be. Fragrance is increasingly important in the masculine world too; the meteoric rise of the metrosexual has made a big mark on the fragrance industry. The inspiring work of Tom Ford has seen him rise to global prominence on the back of his signature range of scents and fashion lines. The culture of male fragrance retail now caters to an increasingly sophisticated and informed individual who knows his fragrance families, demands long-lasting power from his favourite cologne and seeks to attract attention from partner of his dreams without the need to resort to an overpowering scent.

The new millennium has brought the kind of freedom that so many men in generations past have failed to enjoy. Men are finally free to openly pursue meaning over materialism, fatherhood over a career and health over wealth. With greater freedom to tap into their creative and holistic sides, men are closer to real living than they ever were before. Long may this trend continue.

With thanks to Jane Sandwood for providing us with this blogpost.


Social Media and Start Ups

We recently featured in the blog by leading UK social media agency, JC Social Media. The article talks about how many new brands and businesses prefer to “fake it, till they make it”. Gruhme was chosen by the agency as an example of a brand that is not following that approach, and, instead, is just open and honest in its portrayal of its online presence and the journey behind the brand. And we like to agree. Afterall if we grow faster than we can afford or we rave too much about products that are not yet perfected, how can we expect to build and gain your trust as we build and improve. We are an ambitious brand, but we are also aware there is a long journey ahead of us. We rely on our sales for growth and so we have to be patient. However, we know that as we gradually build our loyal following and as we keep updating and upgrading our offering we will be able to fulfil those lofty ambitions of being a leading male fragrance and lifestyle brand. Please have a read of their blog here:

Sharing the startup journey on social media

Male Designer Brands from the 80’s and 90’s: Where are They Now?

In the 80s and 90s – back in the twentieth century when greed was good and suits were everywhere – the world of fashion was ruled by three major brands: Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss.


Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger started his own clothing store in 1969 and had gone bust by 1977, but not before he had discovered a passion for design. Over the next decade he learned about the business of fashion and set up a number of other companies, culminating with the founding of the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation in 1985.

One of the new company’s first moves was to set up a large billboard in Times Square declaring that Hilfiger had arrived and was every bit as significant a brand as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. People may have had their doubts at the time, but over the next ten years, Tommy Hilfiger would explode. It became the official outfitter of ’90s hip-hop, was associated with Britney Spears, Lenny Kravitz and Aaliyah, and in 2000, it had sales of $2bn.

Then for a while the fashion icon fell out of fashion. But it came back.

In 2010 the company was bought by the then owner of Calvin Klein and with its biggest year ever in 2013 (revenues of $3.4 billion), Tommy Hilfiger is once again one of the biggest global fashion brands. At New York Fashion Week in 2016, Tommy announced an upcoming collaboration with social media supermodel Gigi Hadid.


Tommy Hilfiger



Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren was working as a tie salesman in the 60s. After designing a tie that was rejected by the company he worked for, he quit his job and set up on his own, opening his own tie store in 1967. Things went well and by the 1990s, Ralph Lauren was widely known as the King of Menswear, and his Polo Sport line was worn by people from all walks of life.

In 2015, Ralph Lauren announced that he would be stepping down as CEO and in summer 2016, shareholders have been warned of an upcoming decline in sales, with the new CEO, Stefan Larsson, announcing a plan to cut costs drastically, and close 10% of stores. Part of the current decline is due to a significant amount of Ralph Lauren sales being in-store, and the younger generation today making more and more purchases online.




Hugo Boss

Hugo Boss went bankrupt after seven years in 1931, but then landed a very lucrative contract just before WWII.  After the war, Hugo Boss passed away and his son-in-law Eugen Holy took over, changing the fortunes of the company by making readymade suits. In the 70s, the Boss brand started to appear on Formula One cars and in other high-profile sports tournaments. Then in the 80s and 90s, it became the brand of choice for power-dressing sharks of Wall Street.

Today, Hugo Boss is 90% publicly owned, has revenues of $2.8bn and is apparently still considered one of the top 30 coolest brands in the world (not just in fashion).



5 Secrets to Being an Excellent Male Role Model

The great American writer James Baldwin said: ‘Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.’ This of course is true, and when you look around the world today and see some of the men on whom young boys are modelling themselves, it’s also kind of terrifying.

No one wants to condemn all men. That would be as ridiculous as condemning all women, all people born in April, or all bankers. (Although the last is pretty difficult to resist.) Though blanket discrimination is a waste of time and helps no one, it has to be said that some men are as good at modelling good behaviour as Nigel Farage is at diplomacy. And it is for those men that we have compiled this list of five tips for being a great male role model…

father son fishing bonding


1) Give a Damn. If you genuinely don’t, there’s probably little to be done. But if you do and you’re just not managing to show it, try harder. Nothing stays with a child more than when the adults in their life (and men are guiltier of this than women) do not engage or are simply not present. Be engaged. Be reliable. Be present.

2) Ease off on the Macho Posturing. Maybe that’s how you are. Maybe you’re never happier than when you’re pumping iron and downing pints and getting in fights and laughing at people who prefer reading to being punched in the face, but let’s face it: it hasn’t made you happy. Of course there’s nothing wrong with being a rough and tumble, engines and tattoos, football and fists kind of bloke, but kids need to know there are more options available. They also need to feel comfortable in themselves if they happen to be a little more sensitive than you.

3) Have Fun! You might be a boss at work, and maybe you’re the shouty, aggressive kind of boss that everyone hates and secretly dreams of murdering. Maybe you find that gets results at work. Maybe it does. But not at home. Loosen up, for pity’s sake. Make the child in your life laugh and you make them happy. Have fun with them! Play games. Play sports. Play silly devils. Play helps kids develop and interact and it encourages creativity. It’s good for you too by the way, and maybe when you get good at it, you could try being less of a dick at work too.

4) Teach Them What You Know. Kids need to learn how to do things – everything from tying their shoe-laces and riding a bike to washing up and planting vegetables. Teach them what you know with patience, forgiveness, praise and good humour. Be selfless with your time and your skills. They will love you for it.

5) Love them. It’s what you were made to do. If you’ve forgotten how, let them show you. The best role models don’t just teach the kids in their lives, they learn too. Love is a perfectly reciprocal arrangement and absolutely the most important positive thing you can do with your life.

‘I believe the children are our future.’ It’s not just a cheesy lyric from a sentimental song. It’s true. And they all need positive role models!

father daughter bonding guitar

5 Things to Look for When Buying a Men’s Suit

Buying a Men’s Suit

There are a few things to bear in mind before purchasing, and hopefully these tips will make sure you get the suit that is right for you.

Know Your Size

This is very important and something that you can measure yourself. When spending such an amount on a new suit, you will need to make sure it fits like a glove. If buying online, make sure you take a look at the size guide and then measure yourself against it. When looking for your chest size, measure it just under your arms and across your shoulder blades. Use a flexible measuring tape and hold it level, remembering not to hold your breath, ensuring you measure the shoulder blades and the fullest part of the chest. Getting the fit right is the most important element of your suit, as a suit that is too big or too small will not look right, and more importantly won’t feel right.


How to Measure: from the end of one shoulder to the other, where the seams will be.

For a perfect fitted suit, your shoulder pads will end where your shoulders do. This sounds simple enough, but you see a lot of people getting this wrong. If the shoulders don’t feel right, don’t buy it.

Trouser Length

How to measure: inside the leg, lowest point of your crotch, to where you would like the trousers to end.

Depending on the occasion, a different length is often required. For anything formal, i.e. Work, job interview, funeral, it is recommended that your trouser touches the shoe, just above where the foot begins. A more modern lookembraces a flash of sock, possibly for a summer wedding or garden party. Turn-ups are also back with force, and can look really cool with a pair of brogues. Remember to think about where it will receive most use before you make the purchase.

Sleeve Length

How to measure: Measure from where the seams on the shoulder meet to where you want the sleeve to end. 

There is a conventional wisdom when it comes to sleeve length. Most people suggest that you should see between ¼ and an inch of cuff, although I think a little more can be stylish, especially with a good pair of cufflinks and a watch. Remember that your suit should be tight around the cuff. Too much gap gives the impression that you might be borrowing it from your dad…so make sure you get in touch with your tailor if you are experiencing this age old problem.

Vents on Jacket

The most common styles include:

  • European – Often regarded as the most stylish and fitted suit of them all, the Italian is often without vents, very slim and has a low button stance.
  • American – Otherwise known as ‘the sack suit’, it’s very neutral, one vent and straight hanging lines.
  • British – Often known as ‘Saville Row’ style, with two vents and more shape than the American and made with thicker fabrics to reflect Britain’s temperamental weather.

Remember, you don’t need to go to a top tailors to get a suit perfect for you. There has been an emergence of buying able your designer suit directly from a brand like Ted Baker. If it doesn’t fit exactly, take it to a tailor who will often modify it for a lot less than a top end suit shop would charge. Shoulders, trouser length and cuffs are very difficult to get exactly right, therefore finding a good tailor is essential. Shorten the sleeves, hem the pants and tighten the waist and your suit should be good for years.

This article is published in partnership with Men Style Fashion, and the original article can be found here.

Author: Gracie Opulanza – The female voice for menswear

About Men Style Fashion is an online magazine focusing on Men’s Fashion, Style and Grooming. The online magazine was founded in May 2012 and has grown into a leading online only destination.

Follow Men Style Fashion on social on TwitterFacebook and Instagram



Guys, we are a funny breed and thanks to Dandy Clash and their very interesting infographic we now get a better picture of ourselves and our weird habits. I present to you; UK Men in Facts & Stats. Enjoy!

Let’s kick this of by looking at our spending habits. First thing that caught my eye was the fact that men spend more money on online shopping than women! Who would have thought? But then again, we also spend almost £300 on jewellery each year on our wives. Probably so we won’t feel as guilty about spending so much money on ourselves.

This is an interesting one. On a night out men spend an average of £126.42 at least once a month, more than three times as much as the average women. Is that because we are being a gentleman and picking up the bill at the end of the night?

Spending uk men infographic

So where do we get this money from? 2.5 million of us work more than 48 hours a week. And we earn an average of £30,951.

Employment UK men infographic


Looking back at our online shopping habits it is probably no surprise that men spend an average of £660 per year on their wardrobes compared to a £612 annual spend by women. Actually, it is quite surprising. You would have thought that maybe we bought more tech and gadgets etc, however the numbers don’t lie! Women spend a lot more on toiletries though. Make up is expensive! So I’ve been told anyway.

Fashion and Grooming UK Men infographic


Plastic surgery isn’t just for women. Around 10% of the procedures are performed on men. And rhinoplasty a.k.a. nose job is the top surgical procedure for men.

We can’t talk about the male body without talking about the penis. Guys, get the rulers out. The average erect male penis length is 5.5-6.3 inches.

Body UK Men infographic


Smoothly moving on from penises to sex and relationships. The average man has sex 4.9 times per month, and between the ages of 16 and 44 we have an average of 11.7 sexual partners. Please spare a thought for all the single guys still looking for the love of their lives. Don’t give up my friend, there is one for everyone! Depending on your age, you might find comfort in the fact that the average age at first marriage in England is Wales is 32.

This next paragraph is a more serious one. Did you know 2.5 million men have no close friends? That is immensely sad. Absolutely everyone should have at least one close friend who is there for you through thick and thin, through heartache and happiness. No one likes being alone, so next time you go with your mates, ask that new, quiet guy from the office to join you. And every now and then ask your friends how they are doing, and don’t take “fine” for an answer. Show that you care.

Domestic abuse is a serious problem in too man homes, but you probably didn’t know that 1 in 3 domestic abuse victims are male!

Relationships UK Men infographic


Just to make this post even more depressing, let’s move on to the leading causes of death for men. They are heart disease (15.6%), lung cancer (7.0%), Emphysema/bronchitis (6.0%), stroke (5.9%) and dementia & Alzheimer’s (5.8%). However for men aged 20-45 the single biggest cause of death is suicide.

1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point int heir lives, so make sure you check yourself regularly!

Health UK men infographic


Below are the top 10 men’s magazines. Fun fact: Gruhme has been seen in 5 of those!

Media UK men statistics infographic


Do you do any sports? Considering that 67% of men are overweight or obese and the leading cause of death is heart disease you definitely should… Yes, you’re probably watching sport on a daily basis like 61% of us, but that does not improve your fitness.

90% of British men fake their love of sports to impress their friends and colleagues. I told you we are a funny breed!

Sports statistics UK men infographic


We are getting bigger! in 1954, a typical british male was just over 5ft 7in tall weighing 11st 6lbs. However, today the average man is 5ft 9in and weighs 1st 6lbs. We have grown two inches and gained one stone! A bit worrying, don’t you think?

What has improved since 1954 is gender equality in the home. 29% of men don’t mind taking the sole responsibility for cooking and 36% of British men said that the achievement that would make them the most proud would be cooking a restaurant quality meal at home. Nothing impresses your date more than a good home cooked meal! Furthermore, a whopping 88% of parents agreed that the role of fathers had changed rapidly over the last generation with 47% of fathers feeling they should do more.

Going back to the fact that 67% of men are overweight or obese, it is interesting to see that 69% would give up alcohol forever in return for a perfect body. Maybe because when asked which part of their body they are most unhappy with, 50% of men said their beer bellies.

Personal statistics uk men infographic


To finish this post off, let’s have a quick look at our top 10 fears. It is interesting that death and old age are both so high up on the list. I know the thought of death can be terrifying, but there is absolutely no way of avoiding it, so I’m not going to waste any energy fearing it. And why on earth do people fear old age! It’s like one group is afraid of dying and the other group is afraid of not dying. What is your biggest fear?

Top 10 Fears UK men infographic


I hope this has been an interesting read, and hopefully you have learnt a thing or two. As always, comments and feedback is very much appreciated. And feel free to share this with your friends on the internet.


“Waistcoat etiquette, why do many undo their lowest button?”

Hmm, why indeed?

At first glance, you might be forgiven for thinking that this was an error on behalf of the wearer, however, it seems there are several possibilities as to why we follow this little quirk of etiquette. Here are some of Gruhme’s favourites.

Some experts from the world of tailoring believe we can trace this back to King Henry VIII. Apparently it was considered a massive insult to Henry because he couldn’t see his toes, never mind fasten the bottom button of his waistcoat. Rumour has it that his courtiers took it as a style ‘initiative’ and followed suit, making it the acceptable and fashionable way to button a waistcoat…..

…..or was it when the future Edward VII was Prince of Wales and he became so rotund that he couldn’t do up the bottom button on his waistcoat? Seemingly his courtiers also copied him in order to make him feel better! The same story has been attributed to both of these Royals so who knows which one is correct?

Another theory that doesn’t seem too outlandish is that once upon a time, young dandies would wear two waistcoats at the same time and they would leave the top waistcoat’s bottom button undone so that you could see the one underneath. In case you were wondering, a young dandy is a young man unduly concerned with looking stylish.

Or could it simply be a matter of comfort? Perhaps the button was undone whilst in the saddle in order to stop the waistcoat rising up the chest while horse-riding? Again, plausible.

Finally, was it the members of Pop, the exclusive club at Eton, who kept their bottom button undone as a sign of their membership? Was it then snapped up as a trend by Savile Row as these wealthy young men tended to become good customers? Definitely a lucrative observation.

The true origins of this quirky etiquette feature may never be established however, it’s certainly a lot of fun exploring all the possible reasons!

By the way, my money’s on Henry VIII….

First Date Rules – Tips for men!

So you have asked a girl out on a date, and she’s said yes, now you are feeling unstoppable. However, this was just stage one, she may have said yes, but now you have to win her over on that first date. You know when people say ‘ First impressions aren’t everything’ Well in this situation they are, you have to make sure she goes home after that date thinking, ‘ I wonder when the next one is?’

So to do this I’m going to give you some tips to guide you on your path into executing your first date to precision.

Arrogance VS Confidence

Now when you first meet a girl, you want to seem confident, you want to make sure you stand out. However, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance and you can quickly cross over and that’s where you can all go wrong. The minute you start throwing around arrogance that’s where the girl can quickly be turned off, they can quickly pick up you’re being cocky. You have to make sure you have the right attitude, having the right attitude can make a first date go so much more smoothly, make sure you keep your cool. That way you know you have the second date secured.


Manners are so important, you should have them all the time, but especially on that first date. Doing things like opening the door, letting her walk in first, opening the car door. So keep the manners high and don’t do anything stupid. I once saw a man go on a date and use the napkin on the table to blow his nose, only to leave the snotty tissue on the tablet… So keep your dinner etiquette at a high level and make sure you come across as a gentleman.

It’s not an interview:

Okay, when you go on a first date you want to get to know each other, so that involves a fair amount of questions but take it at a steady pace, do not ask her a million and one questions, and keep firing them at her before then even reply. You have to make sure you keep relaxed, give her the time to reply to the questions you ask.

Go somewhere new:

DO NOT GO TO YOUR LOCAL, I’m going to repeat that, when you take a girl out, especially on the first date do not go to your local pub. Go somewhere new, somewhere you both haven’t been. Try somewhere new, that way you can both experience and remember it as a first date experience. Also, I’ve seen it first hand a couple went out to a place I knew and you could clearly see they were on a first date, but every second person that walked past knew the guy and wanted to have a chat, you need to make sure you are giving her your full attention.

The past is the past:

We all have a history with ex girlfriends, some we have ended on good terms some you never want to talk to again. But when you are on first date you should NEVER, and I repeat NEVER  bring up ex girlfriends, they should never be brought up and the girl doesn’t want to hear about them. The problem is if you start talking about ex girlfriends on the first date she will immediately feel that you are still attached and you don’t want that.

Don’t go full romeo:

Now a girl loves romance, and loves the guy being romantic, but this is your first date not your wedding day, so keep your inner romeo at bay. In addition do not say the ‘L’ word. Do not say love, this will most likely scare her off and then you have pretty much ruined the date.

This article is published in partnership with James Vincent, and the original article can be found here First Date Rules – Tips for men!

About James

James Vincent is the founder and author behind the fast growing and popular blog Which talks and expresses opinions on matters ranging from Fashion, Business, Tech Travel and Lifestyle. Showcasing his latest work in a smart and bold style.

Follow James on social on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

James Vincent Life Blog



What does dress to impress really mean?


Dressing to impress is a well-worn phrase that we hear bandied about but what does it really mean? Most of us adapt our clothing to the environment we’re in just like we do with our vocabulary or body language when we‘re in certain situations. So, with this in mind, when would we dress to impress and will it truly reflect the type of person we are?

The obvious scenarios spring to mind such as going for an interview, important business meeting, networking event or on a date. These are all occasions that dressing to impress would hopefully pay dividends but do you consistently have to ‘dress to impress’ for there to be any long lasting impact?

There have been numerous psychological studies on the effect that clothing can have and the science does tend to point to your dress code being something that people tune into. The classic tailored dark suit, crisp white shirt and silk tie for men is a standard bearer for looking sharp in business and people do tend to take you more seriously and are more likely to listen to what you have to say, when you wear this type of attire.

As Mark Twain once said: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have very little or no influence on society.”

Studies have also shown that people are more likely to trust what you are saying and potentially spend more money to do business with you. Generally, people equate being well dressed with being successful and, if somebody comes across as smart and well-heeled, then psychologically, people will feel that the service or product that the individual is offering is likely to have a more premium feel to it.

Check out this article which bears this out

From a sartorial perspective there are any number of ways that a man can ‘dress to impress’. Whether it’s wearing a garment from a well known designer, sporting an expensive watch and other exclusive fashion accessories or wearing cologne that fits in with your style and personality; these are all factors that others can’t fail to notice and being noticed is essentially what dressing to impress is all about.

But surely you can’t keep this up all the time? The fact is, you don’t have to. Nobody expects you to dress to impress all the time and, once, you’ve already established a level of success, the trust has been built and you can pretty much turn up in what you like and be taken seriously….within reason. Sir Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg are testament to that. You hardly ever see those two guys suited up and they are two of the richest people on the planet!



Fragrance is the most common product we use on a daily basis to feel fresh and attractive. Either as an aftershave, body spray, or another scented product.

It is safe to say men’s fragrances have come a long way since their ancient origins. Although the modern gentleman applies fragrances such as Gruhme No.14 to feel masculine and confident, the original purpose was somewhat more practical.

Back in the day, like a really long time ago, nicely scented potions were a matter of necessity. People’s noses were constantly, and vigorously, assaulted by the unpleasant odours of smoke, rotting food, open sewers, and God knows what.



According to the legends (and the history books), the glorious art of crafting scents began in ancient Egypt thousands of years ago. Here fragrances were primarily used during religious ceremonies, and also where the term perfume originated. The Egyptian priests created scented smoke by burning wood and resins as a means for communicating with the Gods. The word perfume is derived from Latin per fumus, meaning through smoke. The Egyptians believed the Gods would smile on them if they surrounded themselves with a pleasant aroma.

The Egyptians were also the first to create perfume bottles in which to store the perfume. The bottles were commonly made of glass, which was (also) invented by the Egyptians.  Not to mention they built gigantic pyramids! Is there anything these guys couldn’t do??



Eventually Egyptian perfumery influenced Greece and then Rome, where the first professional perfumers emerged during the first century.

However, Rome didn’t rule forever. Christianity emerged and the use of fragrance faded out. Then for hundreds of years after the fall of Rome, perfume was primarily an Oriental art. It spread to Europe when 13th century Crusaders brought back samples from Palestine to England, France, and Italy.

Perfume then came into widespread use among the monarchy. France’s King Louis XIV was so obsessed with it that he was called the “perfume king.” He had it sprayed on clothing, furniture, walls, and tableware. Even his guests were sprayed with perfume before the eccentric king would greet them.



Meanwhile, in England, Charles Lilly, a London perfumer, introduced scented snuffs and a revolutionary fragrance consisting of orange flower, musk, violet and amber. Funny enough, and contrary to his name, he did not use lilies.

It was Italy, however, who was the leader for cosmetics and perfumes. In Venice they made scented pastes (that’s cool), scented shirts, stockings, gloves (Wait, what?), shoes, even scented coins (seriously!?). Apparently Queen Elizabeth I was given a pair of these scented gloves, and had a perfumed leather cape and shoes made to match… obviously.

The gloves were often perfumed with neroli, or with animal scents such as ambergris and civet. Apparently the gentlemen, who often refused to kiss the ladies’ hands because it made them sick, didn’t always appreciate this. Can you blame them?



Though the creation of perfume goes back thousands of years, men’s fragrance was developed in more recent times, relatively speaking. In the beginning of the 18th century, 1709 to be specific, Jean-Marie Farina who had moved from Italy to Germany created a special scent to honour his new hometown, Cologne.

Johann Maria Farina Cologne

This new fragrance was fresh, a welcomed contrast to the heavy scents who dominated the market at the time. With notes of citrus, flowers, and herbs it quickly became popular, and Farina’s list of customers expanded rapidly. Soon his Eau de Cologne, meaning water from Cologne, was sold throughout Europe and became a royal and imperial favourite. Not only was it used as a fragrance, but also recommended for internal use to maintain good health. Eau de Cologne is still produced today by the eighth generation of the Farina family.



By the early 19th century personal hygiene took centre stage (finally!) and was perceived as purification of the soul. New technology made perfume cheaper to create and allowed for new ingredients to be used, thus creating new, exciting and much cheaper fragrances. During the 20th century technology made greater progress and for the first time it was possible to mass produce perfumes and fragrances. Synthetic ingredients were also introduced. By the end of the year over 100 fine fragrances were being launched every year

Today there are over 30,000 designer perfumes on the market and they are no longer only available to the wealthy. As you can imagine, the industry has undergone several changes in technique, material as well as style. In the years to come the industry will keep evolving and new fragrances will be introduced to the market. Who knows which magical powers they may hold in the future? Maybe we will go back to drinking it, like they did with Eau de Cologne?