Fragrance Picks for Dad

Father's Day is June 19th, and by now, Dad probably already has all the ties and slippers he'll ever need. So why not a treat he might not think to buy himself: a new cologne! But how to match the scent to the man? I discussed this very topic the other day with San Diego Fox 5's Raoul Martinez. One of the many ways Raoul has endeared himself to me over a year's worth of visits to the Fox 5 morning news show is his sincere interest in my little bag of tricks.

Fragrances, people! I'm talking about fragrances! After my segment is over, he'll always go in for another sniff from the bottles I've brought, and ask a few more questions.

This time around, he was really taken with Donna Karan Fuel for Men. Fuel for Men is one of my recent enthusiasms, and even my fume-o-shrug husband has adopted it as a signature scent (if a lackadaisical spray once a week counts as a “signature scent.”)

Raoul was clearly gingered up by his encounter with Fuel for Men's cool, smooth gasoline/leather/sandalwood blend, so I spontaneously gifted him with the bottle. Let's just see if I can smell it on him the next time I visit the newsroom!

I chose the Eau de Dad fragrances discussed in the clip for their thematic relationship to he-man endeavors:

Bulgari Black -- sexy astronaut
A space-age version of nature: Rubber, leather, vanilla and smoke. Warm and cool, leathery yet fresh.
Available from

Donna Karan Fuel for Men -- leather and gasoline
Fluctuates between sweet gasoline and cool, strokable leather. Buttery sandalwood = foxiness.

Martin Margiela Untitled -- green and outdoorsy
The forest green scent of twigs, grasses and sharp incense. Sheer, clean musk lends subtle sensuality.


  1. Katie, Raoul blooms in your company!

    My late father wore Old Spice - like so many others. I liked it back then but have forgotten about it in the meantime. Now I'm getting into a "guy's fragrance" phase and it will be my next masculine pick for my own collection, I think.

    If I were in the father's day market today I'd seriously consider Chanel Egoïste - love that one.

  2. I agree with Marie, Katie - Raoul by himself is a lot better than the manic crazy of when he's with the co-host of that show. Way toned down and obviously interested and paying attention.

    However, that set? Jesus Christ. It's like a 70's porn den mixed with a failed attempt at a man cave. Whats with that tacky-ass poster and the bizarro wood plank walls mixed with sparkly UFO-light?

    "Hey Katie - while we wait out Armageddon with our new alien overlords, let's chat about scent! I'm just sad my white piano didn't get here before everything ended."

    But, to stay on topic: I would suggest Serge Luten's Daim Blond for Dad. You turned me onto it, and it's definitely got the masculine, sexy suede/leather thing in spades.

    I'll wear some today in honor of Raoul one day escaping his mural van phase.

  3. I wouldn't characterize my dad as "sexy astronaut" for one second. He would ban me from his presence for at least two months. Nor could I buy him anything that says "foxy". So I'm left with outdoorsy? Okay, grass and twigs. He likes yard work, even at age 80.

    Like Marie's father, mine wore Old Spice a long, long time ago, and only because we bought him bottles for Father's Day and his birthday. I haven't smelled it in years. I sure liked it way back when.

  4. Yep, Old Spice is a fave for fathers of a certain generation. My Dad wore it as well and I will forever associate it with him. It is the first Father's Day without him. He branched out from Old Spice over the years with the able help of his daughters. But Old Spice is still the scent that most reminds me of him. Love ya, Dad!

  5. Had to switch computers to watch/hear the vid - speaker issue. All I can say is - Wow, Katie - check out the cleavage! (cle-vaj, as some might say...)

  6. These sound awesome. I think I'd go for Untitled, but I might have to try them all.

    My husband went for a smelly gift this Father's Day, it was so fun. I love it when he likes to get pretty.

  7. Old Spice is a wonderful dad perennial - the older generation of dads came of age when it was one of a reasonably manageable selection of masculine scent choices, not like now with the overwhelming proliferation of (mostly bad) dude smells. And it does smell beautiful, I think!

    I love those Egoiste/Daim Blond suggestions! Agreed, melisand61, that "foxy/sexy astronaut" might not the right sell for one's own pa, but I thought to include options for husbands/boyfriends who happen to be dads.

    ScentsofSmell -- it is a melancholy day today, Sis. I miss Dad too.

  8. Stefush and Marie, I do get a kick out my little chats with Raoul -- he's playful but engaged. Haha Stefush, "UFO van mural" sums up the set quite nicely!

    Nora, what's your husband's pretty new fragrance?

  9. Crap, I don't think I could sell my husband on "sexy astronaut" either. Doesn't anyone in my family have a sense of humor? It'll have to be twigs and grass.

  10. Twigs and grass it is! Sold! - to the man who's happy to smell like a spiritual forest.

  11. I want to be the sexy astronaut of someone's spiritual forest. And I don't care who knows it!

    Actually, I do care. Because well, if a sexy astronaut lands in someone's spiritual forest, and they don't make a sound, did it really happen? Can you fake having a spiritual forest sexy astronaut landing?

  12. One for the perfume conspiracy theorists. Add that one to "Is Martin Margiela a real person?"

  13. Hi, Katie--

    Tim went for Fahrenheit, which he remembered liking when he was in high school. He's slowly getting on this fragrance choo-choo.

    Hugs to you and your sis. I remember that story you told about your dad spraying himself with sage air-freshener so he'd smell awesome for the hot ladies at church.

  14. Nora -- Tim's traveling first class on the fragrance choo-choo with Fahrenheit!

    Thanks for the hugs. I'm cracking up at the "lost in translation" twist you've added to the tale of my dad's fragrance - he was wearing the L'Homme Sage by Divine that I'd given him, and he insisted that it smelled exactly like Oust air freshener. But I can happily confirm that he never actually sprayed himself with the air freshener!

  15. I'm wearing the sexy astronaut fragrance today and enjoying it - happy not to have to wear the suit, though, wouldn't do much for my space cred.

    Wore Egoïste yesterday and I think I find that one sexier in an old school sort of way. In comparison Black is linear which has its own auto pilot charm, where Egoïste is more interesting topographically.

    Dads of the older generation were more innocent in relation to fragrances, weren't they? Sexiness was not really the issue there. Cleaniness and a good shaving were.

  16. Yeah, Dad and his Oust, which we and probably everyone else pronounced 'owst' and he pronounced 'oost'.

    Stefush - "Because well, if a sexy astronaut lands in someone's spiritual forest, and they don't make a sound, did it really happen? Can you fake having a spiritual forest sexy astronaut landing?" I don't know if you can prove it happened if it didn't make a sound, but I am pretty sure you can't fake it! But I like the thought. And you are thinking way too hard! lol.

    Thanks for the hug, Nora!

  17. Marie, love your "auto-pilot" and topographical comments with regard to Bulgari Black and Egoiste. A reader pointed out to me that Egoiste is based on Bois des Iles, which became perfectly clear in retrospect. All that enveloping sandalwood!

    I think that men of all generations have always been interested in smelling hawwwwt, but they just haven't been subjected to the relentless parade of new fragrances and naked lady marketing. I do remember my dad declaring that my mom LOVED (with an insinuating drawl on "loved") smelling his Old Spice. And let's not forget his glee at the church "usherettes" responding favorably to his L'Homme Sage!

  18. I think Raoul would make a great penpal. Wonder if he'd do it?

  19. Anything to get a few extra sheckels in the collection plate, Katie!

  20. Katie--

    Oh no, I'm wondering what else I've lost in translation! Indiana cornfields are making me crazy, I gotta move back to Detroit.

    L'Homme Sage sounds delicious. Who wouldn't want an air-freshener cologne? Maybe my next little purchase at The Perfumed Court should include a sample. That place is like crack to me, I need to cut it out.

  21. Marie--yeah, Bulgari Black and Shalimar have made me appreciate burnt-tire smells in colognes. I'll have to try Egoiste!

  22. Jess - I don't know about Raoul's pen pal-abilities, but you can bet I'm going to follow up on his Fuel for Men approval rating.

  23. I'm curous: has the Old Spice Guy gotten non-dads/young guys to give the aftershave a go? --AnnieA

  24. Annie, I wonder that as well. Although I believe the dishy Old Spice Guy is plugging everything in that line BUT the original Old Spice!