Ok, so the phrase 'Nouveau Masc' is totally coined by yours truly, but I do believe there is some accuracy to the term. 'Nouveau', because men's fragrance is indeed turning a new corner, and 'Masc' (derived from masculine), because new men's fragrances circle around a new-found masculinity that celebrate the fact that men are returning to a more archetypical, but not less refined category of man - something the French twist on the term would represent.
Translated into men's grooming that means reaping all of the advantages of taking good care of your skin and hair while embracing your masculinity at the same time. Maybe you saw the video about a classic men's barbershop haircut here on the blog or read my blog post on purewellness.dk about bearded men and shaving (in Danish). Both speak to the fact that men are seeking a new form of masculinity (Nouveau Masc!) while staying on the good side of scruffy.
Transferred to men's fragrance it is clear that they have come a long way from the clean-cut, aquatic freshness of the early 2000s and have settled nicely in a masculine realm of scents within the last few years. But there is more. Because another trend is leaning strongly towards a classic streak of fragrances that laud the ultra masculine.
Think of the wonderful Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, which has remarkable similarities to the very(!) classic 4711 cologne, which was launched in 1792 (yes, you read right). Wonderfully clean and modern, but with scent notes that take you waaaaay back in men's fragrance history.
Then there is the amazing Sunday Cologne by Byredo, which was renamed from its former moniker Fantastic Man (which to me is the perfect name for a fragrance, because who wouldn't want to receive or give a fragrance called Fantastic Man?) It's crisp, woody and aromatic scent notes virtually scream old barber shop, which is probably why it now goes by a more timeless Sunday Cologne.
Still not convinced? Well, how about a new fragrance from Maison Martin Margiela's wonderful Replica collection simply called At The Barber's? The scent is created to exactly emulate the scent impressions of a classic barber shop complete with soapsuds, the straight razor against leather and the warm towel against your face.
Personally, I'm a huge fan of three fragrances. Not only because they are each on their own absolutely amazing and worth investing in, but also because they are incredibly masculine without losing their refinement. What was it again? Oh yeah - Nouveau Masc!
LOVE THE LOOK!