Beauty: boyfriend perfume – the best kind of relationship

I've always tested men's fragrance with the same enthusiasm as women's and have discovered many a favourite. (I even adore Old Spice in moderation)'

I first fell in love with men's perfume when I borrowed a fling's Guerlain Vetiver-laced jumper to wear to the pub and decided that my relationship with the iconic green, woody scent would almost certainly prove more enduring (reader, I did not marry him, but I did introduce him to Chanel No19, so it felt a fair exchange). Briefly, my overnight bag became one bottle lighter.

Since then, I've always tested men's fragrance with the same enthusiasm as women's and have discovered many a favourite. Terre d'Hermès (£54) is ostensibly for men (and smells wonderful on the right one) but also hits just the right note on women who love warm, lightly spiced aromas. The same applies to Prada Amber Pour Homme (£39.10), a sexy but cosy hug of a scent that softens beautifully as the day wears on. If you also adore the sharp, almost sour, citrus hit of men's cologne, then I cannot recommend Thierry Mugler cologne (£31) highly enough. It's a gorgeous homage to posh soap and clean sheets, and suits everyone, of either sex.

There are heaps more (I even adore Old Spice in moderation), so I urge you never to dismiss the men's counter when shopping for perfume. Sure, the bottles designed to look like Formula One trophies and oil canisters are embarrassingly macho to many women (and men), but there are rafts of others that look and smell perfect on both sexes, even when they wilfully insist on picking a side.


• Pretty Honest, by Sali Hughes, is published by Fourth Estate at £22. To order a copy for £17, with free UK p&p, go to

Powered by article was written by Sali Hughes, for The Guardian on Saturday 20th September 2014 06.00 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010