Nine Timeless Cologne’s that Every Father and Son should Share at some point.

Memories, sometime a fragrance is all it takes to evoke strong memories!

As early as I can remember, I was fascinated to watch my dad shave, put on an after-shave or cologne and head out to work or an evening out with my mom. It was almost a routine at some point to check out the latest cologne bottle on the shelf, sniff it, see it being splashed on my dad’s cheeks and with a little dab on mine too. The creative bottles, the masculine scents and the lingering whiff in the room after my dad left the room stays with me till today.

Twenty years later and there are a few fragrances that I can strongly associate with my dad. A car shaped bottle was my favourite although it was sparingly used. What is remarkable is that a number of the colognes that were part of my growing up years are timeless classics today and available at every duty free or retail or online site across the world.

A legacy of a fragrance and the love for fragrances passed on from my dad to me, and I would recommend these nine timeless classics to gift to every father, maybe as soon as this father’s day.

Davidoff Cool Water

Probably the most popular cologne that every father and his millennial son would have as part of his wardrobe at some point, this one is fresh, fresh and fresh – even almost thirty years after it first launched. True to its name, Cool Water is like an ocean in a bottle.  A lovely blue bottle with top notes of mint, sea water and rosemary, there is no other cologne with so much freshness bottled up together.

The legacy of the brand lies in the fact that there are over twenty limited editions and variations launched subsequently since the original first launched in 1988 by perfumer Pierre Bourdon.

Part of the global giant, Coty Prestige, the brand entered the fragrance hall of fame in 2009. With lavender, jasmine and naroli as part of the heart notes and oakmoss, musk and sandalwood as base notes, this one is a winner all the way and will be for many years to come.

A personal favourite, it was a part of my dad’s collection from the 1990s and continues to be a part of mine at all times till today.


Paco Rabanne Pour Homme

The famous green bottle, this classic was first launched in 1973 and quickly went on to win the FIFI in 1975.

With top notes ranging from rosemary, clary sage and Brazilian rosewood (we have a winner!) to middles notes of tonka bean, lavender and geranium and base notes of honey, amber, musk and oakmoss, this fragrance is as masculine as it gets without trying too hard. 

Created by Jean Martel, this fragrance is bound to bring a smile to any father’s face.


Givenchy Gentleman

Nothing feels more old school than Givenchy Gentleman. Right from its packaging to its name to its strong woody aromatic fragrance, Givenchy Gentleman is strong and powerful.

It makes you feel you entered a men’s club from the 60s or 70s where men wore hats, smoked cigars and were surrounded by heavily wooden paneled walls.

Created by Paul Leger in 1974, the complex myriad of fragrances gives it longevity like no other. Some men swear that the fragrance can last as long as eighteen hours.

With a strong leathery and cinnamon feel to it, the fragrance is dominated by honey, bergamot, cinnamon, rose, lemon and tarragon top notes followed by patchouli, jasmine, cedar and orris root middle notes and finally closed out with leather, amber, musk oakmoss, vetiver, vanilla and civet base notes. Phew!!!


Drakkar Noir

Another personal favourite and currently back by popular demand on my shelf (popular demand being my own choice), Drakkar Noir is one of the most successful fragrances from the 80s.

Created in 1982 by the award winning perfumer Pierre Wargnye (who went on to create other best sellers like Contradiction for men for Calvin Klein and multiple brands for Givenchy and YSL, amongst others).

This perfume by Guy Laroche with its matt black bottle and bold white font and distinctive red line as part of the artwork, is as masculine as it gets.

With strong bergamot, rosemary and lavender top notes and cardamom and geranium middle notes, followed by vetiver, cedar and fir balsam base notes (these are the real winners), this fragrance is dark, sensual and masculine – just what every woman wantsin a man.


Jazz by YSL

Probably one of the most underrated and least visible fragrance from the old boys club, this classic was introduced in 1988 and quickly won the FIFI in 1989

The creative black and white packaging was designed to resemble piano keys and a tribute to jazz music. It was like sweet music in a fragrance.

With a strong emphasis on sandalwood and with floral notes from jasmine, lily of the valley and rose, this bottle is a one to look out for and add to your collection.  




A historic perfume and arguably the most successful one to come out of Germany, Tabac was launched in 1955 and is still going strong today, from the House of Maurer and Wirtz.

The clean white bottle with a brown cap is a non nonsense – very German in its approach packaging.

Top notes include bergamot, neroli, lemon and pepper (always a good idea) while middle notes include lavender, chamomile, geranium and oak tree and base notes of carnation, sandalwood, vetiver, musk and hot amber make this one a timeless classic with a wider mass appeal.



Back in the day, with its plastic bottle, one didn’t know what to make of Aramis, but this one has stood the test of time. Created in 1966 and a part of history with its recognition at the Fragrance hall of fame 1995, this woody fragrance from Estee Lauder is extremely popular in markets leading with United States.

The brown packaging brings out the woody strength and the sharp woody notes make it extremely masculine. Not to forget the intensive leather note that is easily recognizable.

Top notes include artemisia, bergamot, cinnamon, gardenia, Middle notes of pelargonium, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood and Base notes: leather, oakmoss, amber.

The nose behind this fragrance is Bernard Chant.



The brand Azaarro was created by Sicilian, Loris Azarro and the designer extended its brand to fragrances in the 70s. The men’s flagship fragrance, Azarro Pour Homme was launched in 1978 and still stands tall amongst retail shelf spaces across the world. Not surprisingly the Azarro brand has over 65 perfumes in its portfolio. Gerard Anthony, Martin Heiddenreich and Richard Wirtz came together to create this legendary fragrance with top notes of iris, caraway, clary sage, basil, anise, bergamot and lemon. The middle notes of sandalwood, juniper berries, vetiver, cedar and cardamom and base notes of leather, tonka bean, amber, musk and oakmoss gives it a superior masculine strength.


Polo Ralph Lauren

The big pony started off with a distinctive little pony in a green bottle and a stand out gold cap. Created in 1978 (seems like a golden era) by Carlos Benaim, Polo does not contain floral notes except for chamomile, which is more of a grassy scent. The opening of the composition is green and fresh, made of green notes of artemisia, basil and thyme, with spicy notes of cumin, coriander and cloves. The heart is masculine with conifer woods, and a dash of of patchouli, oakmoss and vetiver. The base notes leaves a trail of leather, thyme and tobacco.


" So go out there, bring back a bottle for your dad and create your own memory and fragrance legacy, which one day you could be passing on to your son. "


Author: Deep Lalvani is co-founder of, a new start up focused on bringing the best of personal care and cosmetics the world has to offer to India. Apart from that, Deep travels the world creating memories and associating fragrances and music to those memories.