In 1962, Annette Green, the then executive director of The Fragrance Foundation in New York, came up with the idea of a fragrance wardrobe. Why shouldn’t a woman change her perfume the way she changes her hairstyle, her handbag or her clothing, she wondered. But just as men have recently discovered the joys of pedicures and manicures and the benefits of facials and a good skin cream, they’re also taking a page from us in the realm of perfumery.

“I certainly feel that men are more adventurous with scent and ancillary products,” says Rochelle Bloom, president of The Fragrance Foundation. “It has a lot to do with the metrosexual trend last year. It gave men the confidence to experiment without feeling misunderstood or perceived as too feminine. Also, women like their men to smell good and are not shy about saying so!” This spring, two new men’s fragrances-from today’s leading men’s fashion labels Giorgio Armani and Ermenegildo Zegna-show two different sexy moods, Italian-style! Now it’s up to you to choose: is your guy the taut-skinned motorcycle jockey or the midnight-blue-tuxedoed smoothie? Fortunately, this summer, he can be both.

BLACK… Giorgio Armani’s latest offering, Black Code, is the designer’s first oriental fragrance for men. The ad campaign was shot by Steven Klein in Hollywood, a place that has always figured prominently in Armani’s imagination. Unlike the Z Zegna man, who seems to prefer straddling his luxury motorcycle, the Black Code man has moved beyond mere narcissism and is exploring his sensuality with a…woman! In this case, it’s the luscious Frankie Rayder, who also stars in the Armani Cosmetics campaign. The fragrance, made with all-natural ingredients, plays with both feminine and masculine elements that include tonka bean and heartwood for warmth and the heady scent of heliotrope, Armani’s favourite flower, for a hint of exotic tobacco. For Armani, Black Code represents the New Man-so confident in his sexuality that he can let someone get close enough to explore it with him.

Photography courtesy of Giorgio Armani
AND BLUE If you’ve ever had the pleasure of dating a man who wears Ermenegildo Zegna, you will not soon forget the sensation of closing in for a kiss and melting into a lapel of the softest, airiest wool on Earth.

Long after the relationship is kaput, the allure of that power suit lingers. This spring the Italian fashion house launches Z Zegna, a sportier fragrance for the younger, less buttoned-up but still style-conscious wise guy. You know they’re after a racier mood when the ad campaign features a male model with the most impossibly translucent blue eyes (the fragrance is tinted the same steel blue) hunched over a Ducati motorcycle. “We created 150 prototypes before this formula was accepted,” says one of the three “noses,” Pierre Negrin, who created the scent. “Today there is more interaction between men’s and women’s fragrances. For example, in Z Zegna, we used orris, which is sweet and powdery. Men can seduce too!”

Photography courtesy of Ermenegildo Zegna