If You Like Aramis and Drakkar, You'll LOVE...
December 20, 2013 1:15 PM   Subscribe

I have waited too long to buy my father a Christmas gift. He is hard to buy for, but one thing he reliably likes is cologne. The only trouble is I have no idea what he likes now or even what newer men's fragrances are out there. It's been years since I purchased cologne for him.

I do remember he liked Aramis and Drakkar, back a long time ago. If he likes those, what else might he like?

A couple of points:

I need to keep this under $50.

I'd prefer to get a decent sized bottle of cologne rather than a gift set. He's not into skin products or the like.

A set that had cologne/soap or cologne/deodorant might be ok.

If I could get this from Amazon and be able to use Prime shipping to get it there by Christmas, that'd be super-duper.

posted by Serene Empress Dork to Shopping (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My boyfriend wore Aramis (and maybe Drakkar?) back in the day, and he really likes the Bvlgari Pour Homme Soir that I got him a few years ago.

A word of caution about ordering fragrances from Amazon, though: I've done it twice and received perfumes that smelled fake both times, and this doesn't appear to be too unusual with getting fragrances via Amazon. So it might be worth it to spend a little extra to buy it through Sephora or Macys, since you know you'll be getting the real deal. I think they both still have Christmas delivery if you order today or tomorrow (plus if you dad doesn't like it, he can exchange it, which isn't possible with Amazon, either).
posted by scody at 1:32 PM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's outside your price range, but the Sephora Fragrance Sampler was made for this. It includes a bunch of samples and a certificate for a full-size bottle of any of them, so he can choose his favorite.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:37 PM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Something vintage.
posted by dzot at 1:41 PM on December 20, 2013

Just be careful, is all. My wife is buying me Chanel Bleu after I dropped a mild hint about it, and I was looking around to see if others liked it as much as I do. I came across this Amazon page for a version which many are claiming is a knock-off.

So whatever you choose, check the reviews first if you order...

Bleu seems out of your price range but I'll just say it is a really nice scent, hints of musk and orange and je ne sais qua.
posted by Infinity_8 at 1:49 PM on December 20, 2013

You could ask this in a forum the Basenotes web site. You'd have to sign up, but you won't get any spam.

I have trouble with the search function on that site, but can always browse for the scent I'm interested in, using the alphabet links near the top right on the home page.
posted by wryly at 2:02 PM on December 20, 2013

Interesting. I have purchased fragrances through Amazon a few times and I seem to be selecting sellers who are selling the real thing.
posted by Altomentis at 2:14 PM on December 20, 2013

John Varvatos Vintage. Sephora should have it.
posted by squorch at 2:15 PM on December 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Minority voice . . . can you get to a store, do some sniffing, and mail it yourself to him?

I must admit I like visiting the counter when I buy, for example, for the Bear. From your dad's point of view, it is also extra special to get a note from you saying that you thought when you shopped for him that he'd like it.
posted by bearwife at 2:29 PM on December 20, 2013

Calvin Klein Euphoria Intense for Men is very nice. It's not a sage-bomb like the women's version. It's under $50 from Amazon.
posted by quixotictic at 3:54 PM on December 20, 2013

I liked Aramis way back when, and recently I really liked the Varvatos that came in the wicker-flask looking bottle. (Maybe it was the Vintage referred to above?)
posted by bashos_frog at 4:10 PM on December 20, 2013

Best answer: Aramis is a really nice cologne. Like all scents created by Estee Lauder, it has good sillage and the scent lasts all day. The person at Estee Lauder who created it also created Cabochard (a really nice perfume designed for women, with a moss base). Aramis is a "leather chypre" -- chypre means the base smells of moss.

Drakkar Noir (the one in the black bottle, if that's what you mean) is also a chypre, a "green chypre" because you can smell pine and juniper in it, too. The original Drakkar was also a chypre.

So, if it were me, maybe I'd get another chypre with a lasting scent. There's another Aramis that is also a leather chypre, called Aramis Devin. It's not new, but maybe it's interesting to your father because it is in the same family so to speak. Other chypres (still none new) are Ralph Lauren Polo, Lauder for Men, and Arpels pour Homme. All of these are really nice scents that only fall within your price range because they are older. Chypres aren't the trendy thing to wear right now, but that doesn't mean they aren't nice!

If your father is daring, you could get him Guerlain's Mitsouko. It's a classic chypre, made for women but would smell absolutely wonderful on a man, too, because it's a chypre (not flowery or powdery at all). I'm wearing it right now, so I promise -- it would be nice, if he'd be ok with wearing it.

I've ordered perfume from Amazon without problem, but I read through the reviews to check out the seller. If you aren't familiar with the scents, though, you might want to go to a brick-and-mortar store just to give them a sniff.
posted by Houstonian at 4:51 PM on December 20, 2013 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you for all the ideas. Unfortunately I was not able to use any of them as I was having trouble finding a cologne that would be within my price range with the shipping. But I was able to find him a nice-looking sweater online that I could afford to pay expedited shipping to get it there by the 24th, so it's all taken care of.

But I will definitely consult this thread next Christmas, as I imagine cologne might be a nice change from sweaters. If I can get myself in gear in time to not pay for premium shipping, that is.

Thanks again and happy holidays to you all!
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:48 PM on December 20, 2013

dzot: Something vintage.

It's very likely that much of the scent components will have degraded with age, making this bottle smell nothing like the original.

Perfumes have a half-life. It's somewhere between much, much longer than the salespeople suggest (who are invariably complete liars IME, paid to promote /only/ the current products the store is pushing over the rest of their merchandise), and a few years.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:04 AM on December 21, 2013

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