Recently, whilst putting together my guide to masculine fragrance for MANFACE, I realised that I quite like manly perfumes. This may not sound like much of a revelation, I am a man after all (well, at least I was last time I checked), and it would therefore make sense that I was a fan of those fragrances which sit on the masculine side of the aisle, but the truth is that I’ve always thought I found solace in the world of feminine perfumery. That said, a quick look at the number of masculine offerings in my list favourite fragrances contradicts this, so when it comes down to it, I guess my love for perfume spans all gender barriers.
The problem I have with masculine perfumery is that is often boring and clichéd. As a general rule of thumb, us gents are less adventurous with perfume. Add this to the fact that many mainstream masculine fragrances are dull, synthetic and obnoxious, and you don’t exactly have a recipe for success. This isn’t always the case though, and as you’ll see in my masculine fragrance guide (link above), there are more than a good few masculines out there that are generally interesting and beautiful, and I always feel a sense of joy when I encounter a new fragrance for men that simply smells very good.
One decent (and recent) example is ‘WILD’, the latest fragrance from fashion brand DSquared². Created by perfumers Daphné Bugey and Annick Menardo, WILD is a woody aromatic fragrance that is described by the brand as being “an overwhelming perfume that announces a free and wild soul”. Housed within the fetishistic confines of a leather-strapped bottle, and accompanied by a provocative ad campaign shot by fashion photographer, Stephen Klein (a NSFW example can be seen below the jump), WILD certainly makes a statement – one that surprisingly focuses on the idea of freedom, rather than sexual provocation.
“For us fragrance has an emotional connection to who we are, it uncovers a long-held desire or dream, which is why the concept of WILD has such an intrinsic link to us and the ideaology of DSquared2. The ultimate authentic expression of self is to live with complete freedom of speech and mind – we are fascinated with this concept, especially in today’s society.”
– Dean and Dan Caten, DSquared²
Santolina, Resin Accord, Neolabdanum, Opoponax, Vegetal Amber and Humus Accord
How Does it Smell?
WILD opens citrusy fresh with an effect that is akin to stepping outside into the fresh breeze and taking a deep breath, filling the lungs with ice cold air. The citrus is multi-faceted, displaying the bright, zesty nature of orange and the tart, sour qualities of lemon. There’s also an undercurrent of something cold a mineral-like that brings a more abstract feel, ensuring that WILD’s top notes present more of a feeling and an atmosphere, rather than simply reading as ‘citrus’.
I wouldn’t say that WILD is linear (as in, it plays one tune and doesn’t develop) but it definitely has a strong signature that carries right through to the base. After the initial puff of bracing citrus, the fragrance becomes more tactile and supple. It develops a distinct woody character that evokes the idea of plush pieces of cedar with smooth, rounded-off edges. As it dries down further, WILD becomes more transparent, adding a thin spreading of resinous vanilla that feels like a bubbling soufflé amongst all of that woody citrus. Yes, it’s as pleasing as it sounds.
WILD is not as primitive or savage as its name would suggest, but it does possess a distinct ‘outdoorsy’ feel that speaks of fresh air, clean bodies and tall trees. It covers similar ground to that seen in Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s masterful Aqua Vitae, and whilst it is less ethereal than the Kurkdjian, I do find it to be an incredibly comfortable masculine fragrance that is perfect for wearing on occasions when one simply wants to smell good without fuss or fanfare. WILD is an easy fragrance for an unbridled spirit – a man who is not afraid to be out in nature, or more importantly, be himself.
WILD is available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml Eau de Toilette. Matching body products are also available.
Sample, images, notes and quotes via DSquared²,