Picking the 10 most important men's fragrances of all time is a tough task, even for someone as incredibly experienced as the world's leading perfume expert, Michael Edwards.
But with a nose like a basset hound, a keen sense of history, and an impeccable memory, Edwards agreed to give it his best shot (see our list in the gallery above).
51698009 caught up with Edwards this week at the launch of a new men's fragrance; Bracken Man by Amouage. Like many fragrances these days, Bracken Man could just as easily be worn by women as blokes.
"We are seeing a growing trend towards shared (unisex) fragrances," says Edwards. "It's not a new thing, both Eau Sauvage (1966) and Grey Flannel (1975) were also worn by women, but almost all of the modern generation of artisan fragrances these days is shared."
Last year alone around 2100 new fragrances hit the market, and of those 850 were niche - or artisan - which can be worn by either sex. Amouage is one of them. As too is Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino and Santal 33 by Le Labo. "The artisan fragrance market is quite androgynous and getting bigger every year," says Edwards.
Edwards says of all the men's fragrances in his list below, the most important is the original Brut, released in 1964 by Faberge.
"It was a masterpiece; we all wore it," he says. "The Brut we smell today bears no resemblance to the one we knew back then. It was cheapened when Brut 33 was created in 1968 (containing just 33 per cent of the fragrance). The only way you can smell the original today is to visit the Perfumer's School (ISIPCA) in Versailles, where at the adjacent Osmothèque, we recreate fragrances of the past."
What was it about Brut that was so pioneering? "For the first time, it gave men permission to wear a fragrance," Edwards says. "Before Brut, fragrance was regarded as effeminate. There was in fact very few men's fragrances prior to Brut. Those that were on the market were predominantly lavender. Suddenly, Brut made everything possible."
Click through the gallery above to see Michael Edwards' 10 landmark men's fragrances.