I have no chest hair. I’ll just let you digest that fact or a second. Nope, none, nada, zilch. Not a speck. I know, Dear Reader, that this will be of tremendous interest to you, and I’m sure you now have a wonderful image in your mind of my pale, hairless chest (oh yes, I’m pasty too) so, once again, I shall allow you a brief moment to enjoy this thought. Done? OK, we’ll move on. Now, I share this fascinating tidbit with you because I often look to perfume (where else?) to give me what I lack and luckily for me, perfume answers with some impressively hairy-chested fragrances to provide me with what I so desperately lust for: spray-on chest hair.
This post celebrates six scents that could put hairs on your chest. They range from the machismo-classics of the 1980s – you know the ones where you can literally smell the testosterone emanating from their sprayers – all the way up to the more modern scents that just so happen to be so badass that they can’t keep their chest rugs tamed. So prepare yourself to spritz some scent and sprout some chest hair as we traverse the world of butch masculines – fragrances for men that could put hairs on the chest of the smoothest of guys. Put your trimmers aside and get set, folks, because things are set to get a bit hairy up in here.
And now for a disclaimer. I’ve spoken a lot about gender and perfume on this blog over the years and my position has never changed. I firmly believe that one should wear whatever the hell they like, whether that be a scent marketed to men or women. So this post isn’t saying that these fragrances can only be worn by men, in fact, I imagine that they could be rocked rather tremendously by many ladies, nor does it suggest that one has to be a ‘macho’ man to wear them (there are many ways to be a man, after all). No, this post is a celebration of a particular style – the fuzzy chested, testosterone-fuelled and obscenely masculine fragrances that feel that they could cause one to sprout a veritable rug of majestic chest hair. They literally could put hair on a guy’s chest and that’s why we love them!
When selecting fragrances for this post there was one scent that immediately sprung to mind: Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent. In terms of masculine fragrance, Kouros is the mack daddy – the biggest and baddest there is. Launched in 1981, Kouros embodies a style that is rarely seen in masculine perfumery today. It’s a huge, spicy floral with obscenely animalic undertones that give it much oomph and lift. On first sniff, it’s a sight to behold and one could be forgiven for recoiling in horror, but given a little bit of time, Kouros works its way under one’s skin, winning one over with its undeniable magnetism.
Smelling Kouros, I get the impression of a muscled adonis with a fine dusting of chest hair. His rippling pectorals and tanned skin are oiled up as he bakes under the sun, showing off his impressive physique. Kouros is the type of fragrance to swagger around naked. It’s proud of its body, presenting a clash of clean and dirty with tones of cleaning products and something unmistakably urinous in the mix. To put it bluntly, Kouros is the muscled pornstar of the perfume world and he’s great fun to be around, even despite the fact that one’s mother certainly wouldn’t approve of his presence.
Kouros is available in 50ml (£46) and 100ml (£61) Eau de Toilette. It can be found at Boots and other department stores.
Cast your mind back to the 1980s and if you can, to any gay bar open during that time. Inside such a club one would find a plethora of handsome men, many of which would have been muscled, hairy and very good at voguing. Well, I say this, but I was only around for three years towards the end of the ’80s and I hadn’t quite started frequenting gay clubs at this point, so I’m relying entirely on hearsay, but one has to admit that it’s a pretty good image, isn’t it? What I do know though, is that CHANEL’s Antaeus, which launched in 1981 (the same year as Kouros, no less – a good year for chest hair, it seems) was incredibly popular with gay men, which is no surprise because it’s a beautifully butch scent.
Antaeus is super masculine. It’s dry and herbaceous, with a strong harness of leather at its core. It’s animalic but not in the same urinous-way as Kouros. It has an intimate human warmth to it that really does feel as if one is laying their head on the fuzzy chest of a muscular man. Most of all, Antaeus is a bold fragrance that speaks in robust tones. It is entirely confident in its masculinity, its beauty and its sexual prowess and most surprisingly, its dark, encompassing warmth. I’d say that it epitomises the idea of a ‘hairy chest perfume’ perfectly.
Antaeus is available in 50ml (£48) and 100ml (£65) Eau de Toilette. It can be found at Boots and other department stores.
A*Men is the perfumed equivalent of a punch to the face. It’s an olfactory assault that takes one by surprise with the sheer complexity and size of its blow. A*Men is a cacophony of just about every fragrance ingredient there is with a composition that contains; lavender, mint, vanilla, coffee, patchouli, tonka bean, caramel, musk and tar, oh and a kitchen sink thrown in for good measure. A*Men spends every day at the gym, calls his mates ‘bro’ and oils up for bodybuilding competitions at the weekend. He’s an olfactory superhero with bulging muscles and alien chest hair coloured in a striking shade of blue.
What makes A*Men so great (and also quite terrifying) is the sheer scale of it. I’d define it as a skyscraper of a scent and a few measured spritzes are going to get even the meekest of gents noticed from a good few miles away. In fact, I have it on good authority that it can be smelled from Space, but that may be something I just made up. This male counterpart to MUGLER’s Angel is a modern take on the butch masculine, in fact, it was so futuristic upon its launch in 1996 that it still feels way ahead of the curve today. If you’re wanting spray on chest hair for your supernatural muscles then A*Men is your bro.
A*Men is available in 50ml (£42) and 100ml (£64) Eau de Toilette. It can be found online at MUGLER and in store at major department stores.
Few other fragrances houses have been as pivotal for men in recent years than TOM FORD. For a start, Mr. Ford is incredibly passionate about fragrance, having crafted an olfactory empire under his own name, not to mention the many excellent scents he has had a hand in at brands such as Gucci and YSL. He’s also a man that knows how to make men look, and smell, utterly suave at all times, offering both fashion and fragrance for men that have dapper sewn into their DNA. TOM FORD for Men, the brand’s signature fragrance for gents is no exception.
TOM FORD for Men has just about everything a guy could want in a perfume. The top notes are fresh and juicy, hinting at a classic cologne cast in golden hues, whilst the base is warm, herbaceous and resinous, offering up an elegant dry down of woods and amber. I imagine TOM FORD for Men as an impressive crop of chest hair hiding beneath a clean white shirt and an impeccably cut tuxedo. It’s the type of fragrance that presents sophistication at every turn but also hints at something devilish underneath, almost as if the guy that would wear it would scrub up well, but all bets would be off as the clothes are removed. Dapper and dangerous, TOM FORD for Men is basically as suave af.
TOM FORD for Men is available in 50ml (£52) and 100ml (£70) Eau de Toilette. It can be found at John Lewis and other major department stores.
Monsieur. is one of Frederic Malle’s more intriguing fragrances, mainly due to the fact that it’s a vintage offering from a brand that tends to be very forward thinking. Taking inspiration from the “remorseless seducers” of yesteryear, Monsieur. is wonderfully retro, evoking the patchouli heavy hitters of the 1970s. To my nose, it’s a bit ‘Burt Reynolds on Bear-Skin Rug’, which is to say that it is a beast of a scent that harks back to a time where body hair wasn’t fastidiously-groomed like topiary and where men’s moustaches were as impressive as their disco dancing.
Patchouli can often come across as fuzzy and seeing as Monsieur. boasts a composition that contains over 50% of this one material (a molecular distillation of patchouli, to be specific) it’s no wonder that it comes across as a spectacularly furry beast of a scent. Monsieur. also has rich underpinnings of rum and vanilla that give it a mahogany vibe that, once again, is fabulously retro (I’m thinking walnut dashboards and oak panelled-houses). Monsieur. celebrates a moment in time and a certain type of machismo that is utterly classic: that of the handsome, hairy chested, suave yet roguish animal of a man, or in this case a slightly older man. Wait, is Monsieur. a DILF?! Whatever, I’m totally cool with that…
Monsieur. is available in 50ml (£120) and 100ml (£170) Eau de Parfum. It can be found online and in stores at Liberty, Selfridges and Frederic Malle.
Are you ready? Seriously, I meant it when I say that I hope you have adequately prepared yourself for this next selection, because it may just blow your socks off if you haven’t fixed them to your ankles securely. One could be fooled by Rien, after all it’s name means ‘nothing’ in French, which would suggest that this is nothing more than a wisp of a scent, but to believe that is to fall into the trap cheekily laid by Etat Libre d’Orange, the world’s most mischievous and rebellious perfumery. The joke here is that Rien is the complete opposite of nothing and this particular version, the flanker ‘Intense Incense‘ has a good few extra shots of testosterone over the original, making for perhaps the butchest thing this blogger has ever smelled. ‘Nothing’ my arse.
Rien Intense Incense is the hairy chest on a bad ass biker. It’s an animalistic and almost-fecal leather with a generous dose of civet to increase the funk and iris to add an unusually powdery effect. Incense and patchouli bring in a resinous, chocolatey impression that makes this version of Rien much deeper and richer. This fragrance smokes cigarettes, swills whisky and gives no effs about people’s opinions. It’s an unabashed and untamed olfactory experience that is utterly inappropriate in the very best way. Rien Intense Incense would possess a dark and glorious mane of chest hair – a rug that it would certainly boast proudly from beneath its leather jacket. He’s simply the coolest, and hairiest, cat on the block.
Rien Intense Incense is available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for £130. In the UK it can be found at Escentual.
Join the Discussion
What’s your favourite ‘hairy-chested’ fragrance?
Let me know in the comments box below!
Samples via; CHANEL, MUGLER, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle and Etat Libre d’Orange. Images are my own. Background images are via; Dior: The Legendary Images by Florence Muller; Tom of Finland, The Complete Kake Comics by Taschen; Menswear Illustration by Richard Kilroy (Antaeus illustration by Donald Urquhart & Rien Intense Incense illustration by Richard Gray); Hotel LaChapelle by David LaChapelle; Frederic Malle On Perfume Making by Konstantin Kakanias; and SEX by Madonna.