Blog post by Gwen

Derby – sophisticated and daring and manly

Photo: perfumeniche© with permission from Guerlain

My parents were in their early twenties when they had me, so my mother and I were girls together and my dad and I were buds. Making bonfires after raking the leaves in the backyard, taking me to the corner store in a wheelbarrow cause I liked it and letting me ‘shave’ him with a bladeless razor.

Now, this is the part where I am supposed to say, ‘Tobacco scents remind me of being in his arms or ‘Leather scents remind me of his boots…’ but the truth is I have no real scent memories of him, no real scent triggers. What I have instead is a strong sense of the man. This brings me to Derby by Guerlain.

The first time I smelled it was on a Sales Associate at the Guerlain store on the Champs-Élysées and it immediately brought my father to mind. That first sniff so resonated with me, that Derby became my ideal scent expression of what a man smells like.  

Derby opens with a note of sweet orange blossom, bracketed with a bite of bergamot and a note of herbal artemesia. It smells familiar - well, it is a chypre - and comforting. Notes of pepper and nutmeg rise from my skin, heating things up with their spicy warmth. Then, shazam! Rose, lush and full along with exotic, intoxicating jasmine together adds a floral opulence that takes Derby from the familiar to the unexpected, chypre or no. But it is at the base where Derby really distinguishes itself with sandalwood blended deftly with patchouli, leather, musk and oakmoss, creating one of the best drydowns I know.

The Guerlain website says that Derby is the signature of an assertive masculinity through a daring, impetuous and sophisticated fragrance. Sophisticated and daring but strikingly beautiful as well.

I may not have specific scent triggers that remind me of my father, but Derby does remind me of the kind of man he was and how lucky I was to have him as my Dad.

Sentiment aside though, Derby is one of the great masculine fragrances of modern times. Period.

Check out Derby in our Shop.