What Do Women Think About the Scents You Put On?

With a critical eye-or in this case, nose-five female editors weigh in on the scents that you put on.
ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano

To please the fairer sex is the reason men subject themselves to scents, and so it’s only wise to ask women what they want. Do they like buoyant or dense fragrances? Do they prefer a multitude of nuances? Or do they just want a man to smell like himself, musky and natural? With their well-attuned senses, the following magazine editors reflect on moods and memories, boozy drinks, and runny noses, all while wearing your perfume.

Belle Rodolfo

Beauty Editor, Preview

I couldn’t stop sniffing my sweater. This is what Aqua Vitae does to you. Well, to me at least. At first, you get citrus and white floral, and it’s all so sparkly and bright like your overly optimistic colleague on a grumpy Monday. It gets better as it dries. While I usually can’t stand vanilla, this one isn’t a young scent. It’s a warmer and woodsier vanilla, like a hug from a man or woman (the fragrance is androgynous enough) that melts so well into your skin. Too bad it doesn’t last very long, because it’s the kind of scent that puts you in a good mood. Best worn during a (literal or figurative) Netflix-and-chill session.


Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae (P11,800 for 200 ml), Rustan’s, Makati.

Paulynn Chang Afable

Editor-in-Chief, Yummy

My husband wore this fragrance a couple of times, and I loved it on him! I’m partial to scents that are clean and fresh (I’m not a fan of floral notes), and this Issey Miyake fragrance fits the bill perfectly. It’s light, aquatic, and bit citrusy, but with just the right amount of toughness. It didn’t come on too strong—I couldn’t really smell the cologne from across the dinner table or from the passenger seat, but I loved getting a whiff of the scent each time he’d reach over or walk by. It’s perfect for every day. This is for no-nonsense men who want to leave a subtle but lasting impression.

Issey Miyaki L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Eau de Toilette Fraiche (P5,200 for 100 ml), Rustan’s Makati.

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Meriam Ahari

Beauty Editor

I have a confession to make: I’m the world’s only beauty editor who doesn’t like wearing fragrance. Perhaps, I’ve yet to find a scent that doesn’t offend my acutely sensitive nose, which transforms into a running faucet around the slightest hint of an eau de toilette. Neglecting to spritz wisely, I splashed my wrists, hair, and neck with Acqua di Gio. I longed for a change of heart, to realize that I really did love perfume. In the first five minutes, the intensely masculine aroma made me feel powerful and sophisticated. I relished in what feels like a harmonious blend of a freshly cleaned room and the outdoors, perhaps the seaside. Ten minutes later, the headache, nausea, and runny nose began. I tried pushing through, but the regret was clear. I didn’t make it an hour before I was trying to undo the damage with makeup wipes. It may not have worked out for me, but I’d still recommend this to men who love clean, aquatic scents with a hint of spice.


Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio Profumo, Rustan’s Makati.

Kara Ortiga

Associate Features Editor, Esquire

At first whiff, Bulgari Man in Black feels like sniffing a handful of crushed peppercorns: jarringly spicy with a faint sweetness. Put it on and you are overcome with an unexpected spirit. It’s bold with the intensity of wood and pungent with the tanginess of fragrant flowers. On my skin, the scent lingers, making me feel intoxicated. I’d prefer this on a hardworking man like, say, a CEO nursing a glass of whiskey after a long day of work, warming that delicate area of his neck behind the ear with the boozy aroma. The scent is disarming with authority—something a man should wear if he’s closing a big deal and open to the possibility of a frisky celebration later in the night. Big boy stuff.

Bulgari Man in Black, Rustan’s Makati.


Nicole Limos

Assistant Managing Editor,

I have girl friend who likes wearing men’s fragrances, and I delved into that world when I wore the Polo Blue for a week. I have to say it wasn’t that bad. It starts neutral, if not a little feminine, with notes like bergamot and cardamom bringing a fresh and bright burst for a few minutes. Then, I started smelling more like a man by the hour, when its blend of the heart notes (basil, verbena, sage, orris) and long-lasting base notes (suede, vetiver, patchouli, and wood) settle in all day. And by all day, I mean even after the after-party.

Polo Blue Eau de Parfum by Ralph Lauren, Rustan’s Makati.

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Clifford Olanday
Editor in Chief, Esquire Philippines
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