Consulting stylist, beauty content creator and good-smelling man JL Crespo about his top five scent recommendations
Some men just have that je ne sais quoi. And je ne sais quoi, in the context of this post, is the inexplicable way a man can just look like he smells good. In the case of 25-year-old freelance fashion stylist JL Crespo, he looks the part and, at the risk of sounding a little creepy, indeed smells the part. And so on the topic of perfume recommendations, he naturally came to mind.
On Instagram, Crespo double-hats as a beauty content creator as @guy.skin, where it takes little to no time to observe his penchant for scents. A nose slowly trained by his growing library of perfumes, brands seeking him out for reviews and features, and a thoughtful process of sampling, he starts by sharing that candles were sort of his gateway to taking scents seriously. “I was first introduced to the brand Diptyque in 2018,” says Crespo. “I started with candles and that led me to explore their perfumes. From then on, I’ve been collecting scents in all forms.” His current obsession and go-to, though, is Maison Louis Marie’s No. 04 Bois de Balincourt (more on that below).
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The thing about looking up scents online, though, is that going by perfume notes only paints half the picture. So apart from giving us a rundown of his top five picks, Crespo makes their case by conjuring up a mood, a scene or a reference for a better association.
Lemon custard cream in a bottle (and it’s how I imagine my K-Pop bias would smell like).
There’s something comforting about how warm Gypsy Water feels and I think that’s thanks to the vanilla and sandalwood base. Then again, it still manages to have a little personality. You can easily pick up the lemon pepper and incense in the top and middle notes.
I can imagine just about anyone wearing this. All genders and ages. For any occasion. It’s an all-around, great everyday scent.
This, to me, is a Mediterranean summer vacation in a bottle. It conjures up images of breezy, sunny afternoons. Philosykos is cool and green, yet there’s a bit of warmth to it and definitely a gentleness about it.
This perfume captures the essence of the fig tree: from the fruit to the branches, the leaves to the roots. Let it settle for a bit and you’ll get a sort of creaminess from the coconut note, which makes this scent soft and milky in the most pleasant way.
Picture this: a walk in an enchanting forest on a warm autumn day. That’s what the No.04 Bois de Balincourt is in a bottle. Specifically, it’s how I imagine a hipster protagonist written by my favorite author might smell like. And the setting, of course, is NYC. Speaking of which, this perfume is best known as a dead ringer to Le Labo’s Santal 33 (said to be every New Yorker’s favorite scent).
If you’re into something complex, clean and sexy, give this a go.
PS: try the perfume oil instead of the eau de parfum.
This, to me, is a quaint shop in the streets of Morocco where culture and tradition meet. Indulge me in this, but Agarwood by The Lab Fragrances is how I imagine Timothée Chalamet smells like.
What I’ve always loved about The Lab Fragrances as a whole is that it sources only from the most trusted suppliers and uses the highest quality ingredients. Scents are crafted to last the whole day.
This is complex yet addicting in the most charming way—the type of scent you can’t get enough of once you get a whiff. Another woody scent, but this one gives off more of a mature character. It has a vanilla and amber base with a mix of rosewood, cardamom and vetiver.
Quick reference: this is delectable burnt cotton candy in a bottle.
If you’re after a head-turner perfume that might compel people to stop and ask what you’re wearing, then look no further. This scent lasts eternally on clothes and nearly as long on skin. I used this one on a jacket once and it still smells like the fresh, newly applied perfume one month in. The price tag is high up there, but I think it’s worth every penny.
It’s how I imagine that chic, young tita who does nothing but travel and shop for a living would smell like. (For some reason, I picture her frequenting Mary Grace, too.) Baccarat Rouge 540 just smells rich. Period.
An additional tip from Crespo now that you have these perfume options to explore: keep your scents fresh and lasting longer by storing them in a cool, dark and dry place. “Although I like to keep a bottle or two out for interior design purposes, my perfumes are typically hidden in a cabinet,” he says. “It’s best to keep perfumes away from direct sunlight. You can keep yours in its original box, too, to prolong its quality.”
Featured Images JL Crespo
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver