The timid man gets short shrift from fragrance houses. Every new release is targeted at the explorer, the thrill-seeker, the chap who burns through passports like most men use up tissues. Where’s the scent for the guy who just wants to smell nice at work? Well, Aramis’ latest might pretend it’s for the “brave, bold and adventurous”, but despite its name, Voyager is a particularly grounded fragrance.
The Estee Lauder-owned brand has always leaned towards classic. The original Aramis – a default option for generations of men who find comfort in the wood and spice of their barbershop – is a fragrance that can evoke nostalgia in guys who’ve never even smelled it before. It smells like your grandfather because, even if he wore something else, it probably leant just as heavily on notes of leather and sandalwood.
It’s a safe scent in every sense – one you can wear anywhere without wrinkling noses but which also envelops you in a fug of memory. The bottle might as well be sepia-tinted.
But as the name suggests, Voyager was designed to be anything but safe. That bright orange box says that this new, young Aramis lives fast. The light notes mean it also dies young, the opening rush of ginger and black pepper barely checked-in before their bags are packed. Sorry, timid men – you’ll have to look somewhere else for your everyday scent. This new Aramis is going basejumping.
The reality doesn’t quite hit those heights, however. Yes, this is a younger, fresher Aramis. The ubiquitous tonka bean base lends the scent an under-30s leaning sweetness, while the lavender and sage offer light where its progenitors were a haze of smoke and musk.
The end result is airy and spicy, a nod to summer that’s free from anything unexpected, but equally light on anything unpleasant. Which means that though it may lack an edge, Voyager is extremely easy to wear. And perhaps it’s a good thing that this is such a grounded fragrance. It’s a nightmare getting the bottle through airport security, anyway.
Available at Superdrug, priced £46 for 60ml.
Bottle: A classic glass flacon, the liquid a shade of watered-down Campari.
Head notes: ginger, black pepper, juniper berries;
Heart notes: lavender, sage, nutmeg;
Base notes: tonka bean.
Best for: Lending your nine-to-five some Walter Mitty escapism.