Debenhams has revealed the results of new research* which show that a man’s choice of fragrance alters dramatically with advancing years, resulting in men in their sixties and above selecting and piling on the strongest of scents.
The sense of smell weakens in people who are their sixties hence why older generations prefer impactful, longer lasting perfumes, often opting for classic, masculine pongs from the likes of Aramis and Davidoff.
Unlike today’s man who on average begins to use cologne from the age of 14 years old, sexagenarians and their older brothers didn’t grow up wearing fragrance and most men in this age group (77 per cent) claimed to only start wearing aftershave at the age of 30 years old.
Now that wearing scent is an acceptable part of everyday male grooming, it seems those born in 1951 and earlier are making up for lost time and ‘splashing it on all over’ with 56 per cent saying they respray three times a day, more than any other age group.
Ruth Attridge, spokesperson for Debenhams said: “No longer the fusty Steptoe or the less-than-fragrant Compo, the older generation has embraced the fragrance hall and is creating a buzz in the beauty industry.
“Choosing a signature scent can be a challenge whatever your age however, before reaching for another spritz, we’d always advise remembering that a ‘man doesn’t have to try too hard’.”
The older generation still has a little way to go to match up to their sons in their late twenties and thirties. Research has shown that 63 per cent of men in this age group have a ‘fragrance wardrobe’ of five or more scents, with men citing “mood”, “occasion” and “trend” for why they experiment.
They were also the age bracket most likely to be influenced by the women in their life with 71 per cent of men claiming their wife or girlfriend has a say in their smell.
Despite their bad rap for piling on the pong, it is fresh, often unisex fragrances that are bought most frequently by men in their teens and early twenties. Bottle design and association with celebrities and sports proved major motivations for purchases in this age group.
As men reach their forties and fifties, sex sells resulting in a sales boom for the spicy and musky fragrance sector. The baby boomers have ascertained what fragrance they like and therefore spend more but buy less, investing in premium, designer brands such as Chanel, Tom Ford and Bvlgari.
Attridge added: “This research is massively important as we enter the Christmas shopping period.
“Fragrance is one of our most popular gifts for men and we can now provide further training for our fragrance consultants to help busy shoppers pick the right perfume, whether it’s for your Great Uncle Bob or your image-conscious teenage son.
“We will be managing our stock levels accordingly to make sure that no one ends up with a dusty bottle of Old Spice left on the shelf year after year.”