If you don’t want to smell like every other guy on the street, one of the best things you can do is put on a perfume from an independent perfume brand. These brands aren’t limited by shareholder contribution or an expansive C-suite. Instead, they can let their creativity shine through every spritz. Above, Robb ReportEditor Justin Fenner offers a deep dive on the indie (and indie-ish) scents he can’t stop wearing right now, but you can dive into it for yourself below.
Chris Collins Tokyo Blue
Chris Collins has spent decades modeling for Ralph Lauren, and it’s clear his time with the master of lifestyle brands has rubbed off. Tokyo Blue takes its name from the Japanese illuminations of Shibuya Cave, and features top notes of bergamot, galbanum and ylang ylang; heart notes of violet leaf, iris, orange blossom and rose; and base notes of cedarwood and musk. The violet gives it a gentleman barber side and its status as a perfume extract allows it to be worn all day.
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Buy now: $225
Killian Green Hour
Kilian Hennessy is undoubtedly one of the greatest perfumers of his generation, so much so that about five years ago his brand was acquired by Estée Lauder. Still, Kilian (the brand) works great as an independent outfit, which you see in inventive offerings like his cocktail-themed line. L’Heure Verte looks like it’s encased in a crystal glass and smells like you’ve been drinking absinthe – in a classy way – and that’s the point. It is a top note of absinthe, middle notes of violet leaf and licorice and base notes of patchouli, vetiver and sandalwood. Race to the bar.
Buy now: $210
Perhaps no other brand wraps mythology around its fragrances quite like Arquiste, helmed by architect and businessman Carlos Huber. This one envisions a time when cashmere shawls are out of fashion and wraps their patchouli-scented warmth in top notes of bergamot, angelica root and French lavender; middle notes of Bulgarian rose, ambrette seeds and akigala wood; and base notes of patchouli and tonka bean. It’s inviting and intensely comforting, just like your favorite sweater.
Buy now: $205
DS & Durga Mississippi Medicine
Brooklyn-based fragrance brand DS & Durga makes some of the most imaginative scents you can buy today. Example: Mississippi Medicine. It’s inspired by the death cults of 1300s Mississippi (Google it), a society that anthropologists say saw cedar as a portal between worlds. As a result, it brings wood to the fore in a combination that features top notes of red cedar and incense; middle notes of cypress root, black pine and cascarilla bark; and base notes of incense, Spanish coffee and birch tar. Discerning readers will appreciate how good it feels to be in the most stylish rare book store you can imagine.
Krigler Sylt Style 2022
Inspired by the island of Sylt, a sort of German answer to Martha’s Vineyard, Sylt Style 2202 smells like vacation on the shores of the North Sea. With top notes of rose, pepper, almond and orange; heart notes of ginger, hazelnut and cypriol; and base notes of vanilla, tree moss and amber, this scent has a freshness in spades balanced by the warming qualities of amber and vanilla.
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