Fragrance Evolution: The Best Men’s Solid Colognes
A fresh application of cologne can work wonders to boost your confidence and elevate your mood. A distinct, attractive scent will also leave a great lasting impression. Yet while colognes may be traditionally produced and recognised in a liquid formula, the emergence of fragrances created in solid form offers numerous benefits that should be considered when it comes to choosing your next premium scent.
Here’s everything you need to know about this olfactory revolution.
The Benefits Of Solid Colognes
A Little Goes A Long Way
Solid colognes are generally crafted at a high concentration compared to their liquid counterparts, which means you can expect the scent of a solid cologne to last far longer after applying it to your skin. This increased longevity also ensures value for money, as a little goes a long way.
In order to form their solid state, solid colognes combine highly-concentrated perfume oils with wax or balm-like ingredients such as beeswax or shea butter, as opposed to water and alcohol used in liquid cologne. These gentler components help minimise the risk of irritation to sensitive skin or delicate areas if applied straight after shaving.
Fragrance On The Move
One of the biggest perks solid colognes bring to the table is convenience and portability. As restrictions slowly but surely start to ease, there are plenty of us with one eye on that first viable getaway – and being able to carry a small puck of premium cologne that you can slip into your pocket without the risk of hazardous restrictions, broken glass or suitcase spills is a huge game-changer.
On The Pulse (Points)
When it comes to applying a solid cologne the trick is remembering those all-important heat points like you would when spraying a liquid cologne (typically where you would feel for a pulse). Scoop out a small amount of the scented wax and gently apply it to your wrists, back of the neck and don’t go overlooking those elbow creases, as heat is continuously produced here which will further help the fragrance develop throughout the day.
Ape’s Recommended Solid Colognes Brands
Here are some of our favourite brands crafting solid colognes, making premium fragrance all the more accessible and convenient for men on the go:
Our top pick is Australian-made Herck, which has developed a range of nine fragrances that explore a wide scent spectrum, from floral to woody to spicy notes. Each solid cologne is crafted by combining highly concentrated parfum oils with vegan synthetic beeswax, shea butter, castor oil and jojoba oil.
Herck measure their fragrance concentration at a mighty 30%, which provides the level of strength and longevity you would expect from a premium eau de parfum – compared to a more diluted liquid cologne that would generally be concentrated somewhere between the 2-4% range.
If you’re new to shopping for cologne or are in the market to explore a fresh fragrance for summer, you can make use of the brand’s Custom Scent-Match Quiz to help pair you with the perfect scent. Our picks are citrusy Chronos for daytime wear and woody spicy Zeus for any evening affair.
Buy now at Herck
Three of Le Labo’s most recognisable fragrances – Santal 33, Thé Noir 29 and Rose 31 – are available in ‘solid perfume’ form, crafted by combining fragrant extracts with a wax made of sweet almond oil, coconut oil and soybean oil.
True to the brand’s modern, industrial aesthetic the distinctly stylish metal container (that can also be engraved) completes a pocket-friendly package.
Buy now at Le Labo Fragrances
Luxury London fragrance house Jo Malone has created a palette for two different scents to be paired together in, not only giving you the handy choice of multiple colognes to wear while on-the-go, but also encouraging you to start experimenting with personal note combinations.
You can currently choose your pair from a collection of 10 signature scents. Most intriguing is Wood Sage & Sea Salt, nodding to the earthy freshness of a coastal escape.
Buy now at John Lewis
The Lush fragrance range spans fun scents that tell stories of travel. These solid perfumes are ethically crafted with vegan formulas that include essential oils, absolutes (highly aromatic, oily mixtures extracted from plants) and safe synthetics. Lush also go one step further in recommending you actually apply solid scent to your hair as well as the pulse points on your skin for a subtle boost of aroma.
Lord Of Misrule is a clear standout for its intriguing herbaceous and spicy notes.
Buy now at Lush
Solid Cologne UK
Created to provide a portable fragrance solution for the frequent traveller, Solid Cologne UK offer a distinctly masculine range – alongside an additional ladies edit – of solid fragrances that are subtle, refreshing and designed to not only last, but evolve throughout the day in response to the wearer’s body temperature.
The collection is handmade in London using natural ingredients and oils that are also gentle enough to keep skin hydrated.
Buy now at Walmart
Original photography of Josh Spender by Chris Beastall for Ape to Gentleman
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