I really shouldn’t be writing this post without having sampled the goods themselves, but don’t consider this so much a review or endorsement, so much as a reflection on one of the world’s most successful high-street brands’ foray into fragrance.
Back in August of this year, the UK’s go-to high-street store for guys, Topman, announced they’d be unveiling a fragrance and grooming range come September 22nd. It’s here (in Topman and Boots stores, that is), and although I’ve not yet had the chance to get so much as a semi-analytical sniff of what the product’s actually like, the Topman team have outdone themselves in marketing the new venture, turning what could’ve been an atrocious experimentation with branding, into a successful extension of the already mammoth and much respected label.
Nose of renown (no LOLs, thank you), Azzi Glasser
- who’s previously formulated for Nicole Farhi and Agent Provocateur - was hired to oversee the project, which resulted in the production of two fragrances: Parfum No. 16
and Parfum No. 27
, the former being the cooler, fresher scent (think bergamot, amber and pepper) more suited to daywear, and the latter being the sexier evening smell (a heady blend of cedarwood, anise and vetiver). Both, according to Topman’s retail ethos, come at a mere £16 per 100ml.
Also interesting to note is that it’s all been done in-house, rather than outsourced to huge licensing agencies, which are the usual option for most fragrances at the more affordable end of the price-point spectrum.
Design Director Gordon Richardson
was perfectly frank on the challenge of diversifying into smellies:
“For Topman to be taken seriously in the toiletries arena it was crucial to make sure that we were able to produce a range of grooming products that were both affordable and luxurious at the same time”.
You’ve got to hand it to him – it certainly seems it’s been pulled off.
Topman Fragrances and a grooming range consisting of hair putty, body wash, deodorant and body spray are available from Topman, Boots and Selfridges.
Read some wise words from the team at The Grooming Guide on how to wear fragrance here, and read an insightful Q+A with the discerning nose behind it all, Glasser, here.
Image from Ape to Gentleman