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Hello, I’m Clayton and I am a fragrance blogger living in Sydney Australia.

What Men Should Smell Like is a blog I began in 2011. Initially it was a place for me to share reviews of fragrances I had collected and thoughts relating to the sense of smell. Although I enjoy and consume fashion, my interest in fragrance has less to do with beauty or men’s grooming. My writing mostly focuses on the creative process of fragrance making, beyond the product marketing and packaging design. I am also interested in the language and narrative of scent.

The format of What Men Should Smell Like is still very much the same as when I started. I still review fragrances. Following the launch of my blog, my writing has also been featured on other fragrance websites and blogs around the world. Travel is another passion of mine and I write about my experiences meeting perfumers and industry-insiders, and scent-related travels around the world. These “scent adventures” range from perfume shopping experiences in New York to smelling the jasmine harvests in Grasse to describing an olfactory experience walking through the spice souks of Marrakech. My vision for What Men Should Smell Like is to be an informative and engaging read for anyone interested in the art of perfume composition and the world of scent.

The arts and contemporary music are my other interests. Before moving to Australia from my native New Zealand, I graduated university with a degree in Visual Arts. I enjoy traditional forms of printmaking and photography. Photography is another element of my blog and I prefer to use my own images instead of brands’ press images. I’m a neophyte gardener attempting to grow many of the plants and flowers that are used in perfumery. I am also learning to compose perfumes and have studied with the Grasse Institute of Perfumery and Perfumers World. One day I’d like to share my own fragrance creations with the world.

.What others are saying about What Men Should Smell Like:

“A quiet, insightful personal blog of antipodean perfume collector and aficionado Clayton Ilolahia, this blog does men’s fragrance reviews in effortless prose and with calm, collected thoughtfulness.  I just like it!” – Alchemy du Corps, brand blog

“Two things that set Clayton apart from the masses of bloggers out there are his beautiful photography and exciting interviews.” – Nosegasm, blogger

“What Men Should Smell Like was also the turning point for me falling in love with blog reading and using them as tools for everyday life.” – Jetset Chick, blogger

What Men Should Smell Like in the press:


Enscent – Interview (Italy)


Nosegasm – Interview (Canada)

Perfumer Supply House – Wondaroma Podcast (USA)


Harrolds – Interview (Australia)


Puredistance – Interview (Netherlands)

Sydney Morning Herald – Interview (Australia)


Disclosure: Commercial products are featured on my blog simply because I like them or I think they are interesting to write about. These are products I have purchased or they have been provided for review by a brand or their press representative. I do not publish sponsored or paid reviews nor do I accept payment for external links appearing within a post. In simple terms blogging is my hobby. I have no ambition to turn What Men Should Smell Like into a commercially driven website and I enjoy the freedom of writing about products and experiences that I personally believe in and I think are worthy of constructive critique and discussion with my readers.





Jupe 05/11/2017 at 5:10 pm

Hi Clayton, Thanks for your insights! I came across your blog AFTER I purchased Tom Ford’s Noir Extreme. Your thoughts match up with my gut feeling upon smelling the scent. Greetings from Washington State!

What Men Should Smell Like 11/11/2017 at 5:09 pm

Thanks for reading Jupe. I hope you are still enjoying your bottle of TFNE. It’s a nice fragrance!

What Men Should Smell Like - No.88 Review - C&S Aromatics 17/08/2017 at 9:24 pm

[…] Check out the entire article here. […]

Premshree Pillai 10/10/2016 at 11:36 am

Hi Clayton, thank you for your engaging, evocative writing. What a wonderful blog.

What Men Should Smell Like 10/10/2016 at 10:55 pm

Thanks for reading Premshree!

Jason Sather 15/05/2016 at 3:28 pm

Hey Clayton,

Jordan River gave me the heads up to check your site out! Glad I did! Keep up the good work and let me know if there is anything I can do to help! Find me over at CologneMasters.com or send me an e-mail so we can chat.

What Men Should Smell Like 15/05/2016 at 5:36 pm

Thanks for stopping by Jason and the reference to your site. I hope it’s all going well, Clayton

Cara Cheung 13/12/2012 at 2:03 pm

Hello, Clayton!
I am a reader from Hong Kong, your blog is gorgeous and so inspired me with your own perspective in fragrance. As I am obsessed in scent so I am writing a research essay for my final year project for now. Can I invite you as an interviewee in my primary research? It would be my pleasure to have your opinion of the identity of wearing perfume and the phenomenon of men in woman scent. I will be keep looking forward your reply and hope can hear you soon. Thank You So Much!

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 13/12/2012 at 7:19 pm

Hi Cara,

I’m happy you enjoy visiting What Men Should Smell Like. For sure, send me an email at clayton@whatmenshouldsmelllike.com and I will do my best to answer your questions


tapis sur mesure 15/09/2012 at 7:46 am

First of all I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.
I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first
10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted just trying to figure
out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thank you!

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 15/09/2012 at 8:32 am

Hi, thanks for reading. If you are only wasting 10-15 minutes to figure out where to begin then I think you are doing OK! I usually brew for a couple of days on my thoughts leading up to sitting down to write. Then I write what I have in my head without any concerns for how it reads or grammar. After that I go through and edit it. Once for grammar and then one for flow and readability. I was never a very good English student at school, so this is the organic process I have come to by myself. Hope this sharing helps you with your writing! C

John 13/09/2012 at 10:01 am

Hello Clayton,
Do you know where I could buy one perfume YSL High Concentration (without risking infringement) because this perfume is more distributed in France in perfume? Thank you for your answer.

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 13/09/2012 at 3:53 pm

Hi John. You can easily buy YSL Pour Homme Haute Concentree online but I am not sure what the importation laws are in France if you do this, so you should check to make sure you can. Still, it would not surprise me if you can find it if you look in some older perfume shops in France to see if they have old stock. Galleries Lafayette etc may not have it anymore, but some of the small independent perfumeries may still have old bottles for sale. I was in Nice last weekend and I found some very old Guerlains that even Guerlain on the Champs-Elysees would not have. Good luck with your shopping! Clayton

laniersmith 10/07/2012 at 2:26 pm

Hi I just found your blog and am thrilled to find another fellow who writes about men’s fragrances. I can’t wait to start reading.
Cheers from San Francisco!

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 10/07/2012 at 4:41 pm

Cheers! The more the merrier Lanier. And I look forward to reading about your adventures in scent and the arts as well…

laniersmith 10/07/2012 at 4:52 pm

Start with “My Trip To Chanel” I think you might find it entertaining.
Ciao for now.

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 11/07/2012 at 8:47 pm

Love the story : ) What an adventure!

laniersmith 12/07/2012 at 12:24 am


Michael Chojnacki 05/07/2012 at 2:09 pm

Clayton, thanks for your response, and if youd like, I have a bottle of Safari with about 1oz in it that I can send you! Im in the enviable position of working with a number of women, and I often try daily to wear something different, if not new, to test their responses. Many of them indulge me, and we often have conversations about what they like and dont like about what Im wearing that day. Today, I wore a new scent for me, which is Nautica Regatta. It was a WINNER, hands down. Most of them described it as “fresh” and “summery” and really liked it. Some were in the “yes, its nice” category, but overall, it went over very well. It didnt score as well as Guilty or Magnetism (These 2 scents scored OFF the charts!!), but for a kind of generic scent, it really did well in my opinion. This to me re-enforces my point that you dont have to spend a fortune to smell like a million dollars! Anyone else have any sleepers for us? I really like Guess and Lacoste Green. Please give me some input on this post!

All the best to you and yours,


Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 06/07/2012 at 10:59 am

Thanks for the kind offer of your Safari bottle. I am sure I will get a bottle at some point in time. I completely agree about not needing to spend a lot of money to get a great scent. I have a great time looking through old chemists and markets for forgotten bottles of cologne.

Adam 20/06/2012 at 5:49 pm

Wow. You really know what you’re talking about…I have never seen anyone so knowledgeable on this…..could you perhaps give me some advice? I’m an 18 year old man, I just enlisted in the military and am single…I am looking for a truly good scent that communicates that I am mature without smelling too old for my age….I have been wearing Burberry Touch for men and got compliments for years but the crowd I run with has changed and now I get criticized….I want something decidedly masculine and strong, leathery tobacco woodsy you get the picture….any advice?? I want to smell fantastic again.

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 20/06/2012 at 11:00 pm

Hi Adam, I’m not sure why your new crowd of friends criticize you for your choice of Burberry Touch for Men or if they have much influence over the type of scent you are looking to replace your bottle of Burberry with, if you are heading down the path of woodsy, tobacco and leather; have you tried any of Tom Ford’s range of fragrances? He has a knack for taking traditional perfume themes and putting a modern spin on them. Christian Dior’s Dior Homme is another light wood/leather fragrance that is great for a younger guy. Terre d’Hermes is not so much tobacco or leather, but it has an earthy quality as well as being fresh. I recommend keeping your bottle of Burberry Touch. In years to come you will take one sniff and you will be 18 again. Good luck with the hunt for the perfect scent- if you are enlisted in a military engaged in warfare, all the best and stay safe. C

Michael Chojnacki 04/07/2012 at 1:07 pm

Adam and Clayton,
A man should wear not only what he likes, but what gets positive comments. Forget what friends say, if you enjoy a scent and the female populus is engaged by it, then WEAR IT! Ive only recently (the last 2 years or so) begun collecting scents, though Ive enjoyed a life-long love affair with them. I have about 66 bottles or so, plus hundreds of samples. Some of my favorites are Tom Ford For Men, Escada Magnetism, Gucci Guilty, YSL Pour Homme, Safari, Minotaure, Armani Code, Versace’s Dreamer, and believe it or not, PUMA and Liz Claiborne’s Lucky You. Another GREAT one that is on the lower price end is Cubana Gold–shaped like a cigar and even comes in an aluminum tube! Remember, it doenst have to cost you $60 to smell great. I recently picked up a NEW 3.4oz bottle of Liz Claibornes Mambo for about $17 and it smells great…the ONLY problem is that you need to re-apply about 4 or so hours in, which is NOT a problem with the higher-end stuff. Adam, check out JPG’s LeMale for a GREAT cinammon-y scent that women LOVE……also JPG’s Le Fleur De Male….BEAUTIFUL scent, but be secure in your manhood to wear it….thats ANOTHER thing women love!!

Please give me your ideas as well! Im really happy that I found ths site!

All the best to you and yours,


Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 04/07/2012 at 4:39 pm

Thanks for the advice Michael. I love your passion for fragrance. I don’t have a bottle of Safari, but I do love that era of Ralph Lauren men’s fragrances and the bottle is really cool. I want to do some more study on it, but it is very interesting to look at the pattern of fragrances that women find attractive on men.

Scenterelle 31/05/2012 at 10:42 am

Clayton, thank you for your amazing blog posts. You are truly an inspiration to us all…

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 31/05/2012 at 12:10 pm

Thanks for reading- great site and resource for vinatge perfume by the way. I have added Scenterelle to my browser favourites!

Rika 31/05/2012 at 3:00 pm

Thanks so much… I’m just starting to add perfumes to my list… lot of work! but I’m sure you know!

Susan Brooker 09/03/2012 at 7:17 pm

Hi Clayton, having just stumbled across your intriguing blog I wonder if you have heard of a NZ artist Dane Mitchell (excuse me if you have, I haven’t had time to read many of your posts) Dane works specifically with smell and I heard a wonderful interview with him and Kim Hill on Radio NZ last year. I think it may interest you… http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/20110430

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 10/03/2012 at 9:37 am

Hi Susan. Actually I went to the same art school as Dane. He was a year ahead of me and then I took a few years off to travel before finishing my degree in 2002 after AIT’s Ponsonby art program was moved to the city’s university campus (now AUT). I wasn’t aware Dane Mitchell was working with scent so thanks for sharing the link. I would have loved to have seen last year’s Tangible Intangibles exhibition. I’ll have to keep an eye out for his work here in Sydney or on my trips back home to NZ.

Come Due Maiali 20/01/2012 at 10:04 am

You, sir, have been nominated for 7X7 blog award; see the details here:

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 22/01/2012 at 9:59 pm

Thanks for your support! I’m very grateful and happy you like visiting my blog : )
Happy blogging in 2012 xc

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 09/12/2011 at 7:26 am

Cool, love to read your thoughts on perfume marketing. Always an interesting topic!!

Sylvia Ziemski 08/12/2011 at 9:27 am

Thank you! The creation went really well. The process in itself was enormous pleasure with all the explorations and experiments and searching for something that is undefined until you actually get there.. And then the reward of having a fragrance that is made for me by me. It’s exciting. Self-discovery and pleasure indulgence in one. 🙂
Just wanted to say I really enjoyed your thoughts on Pomegranate Noir. I have that one as well and could relate to much of what you said. You can’t always wear it….but it is so – interesting I believe would be the word – to just have it. It is like some diva that appears suddenly on a stage to take possession of the entire world and then go to lie on a velvet sofa until she decides to make another appearance. It is so…bold and with absolutely no interest in ever compromising or making excuses. I find that very invigorating. 🙂

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 08/12/2011 at 9:52 am

What a magical piece of imagery. I love the texture of velvet you have incorporated into your description. Also that a fragrance I have thought of in a masculine sense can be described in such such a hyper feminine way. I will have a spray of Pomegranate Noir tonight when I get home from work and see if this delicious diva appears for me. I want to meet her! Enjoy the rest of your week Sylvia.

Sylvia Ziemski 08/12/2011 at 10:32 pm

Hahaha…send her my best if she comes! Actually – to be honest – I perceived it as a unisex or male fragrance when I bought it. And then I looked up how JM describes it and it was all this stuff about dresses and God knows what. I think thats when the diva came into the picture.

Generally – I have issues….serious issues with the perfume marketing copywriting… Have to do a post on that! And on Ambre Narguilé, my other favorite among is-it-super-feminine-or-supermasculine-fragrances.

You too Clayton!

Sylvia Ziemski 04/12/2011 at 8:49 am

Your blog is fantastic. Great writing, so many interesting details and facts and just so…elegant and elaborated. Thank you for sharing your fragrance interest in such an inspiring way.


Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 04/12/2011 at 10:28 am

Thanks Sylvia,

I followed your link and enjoyed reading your blog. I hope the perfume creation is going well! I added your blog to my blogroll so I can continue to follow you adventures over in Stockholm.


Gabriel 29/11/2011 at 4:45 pm

hurm. i have now made your website my homepage. this is the best blog on men’s colognes i’ve ever seen. i intend to keep reading every post, and buying most. perchance, do you ever sell colognes?

Gabriel 29/11/2011 at 4:47 pm

specifically, i lust after the gin fizz by lubin. i want to smell it so badly.

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 29/11/2011 at 11:00 pm

Thanks for your enthusiatic support. Unfortunately I do not sell colognes as each review is created from the single bottle I own of each fragrance, but watch this space as in the new year I would love to find a way to share my favourite scents either through a perfumed letter or sample offering. Cheers, Clayton

Gabriel 01/12/2011 at 3:31 pm

many thanks. i’ll keep a gimlet eye.

get it? gin gimlet fizz!

Jasmine 03/11/2011 at 3:31 am


I know you speak about the beautiful scents involved in fragrances, but does the packaging of the scent ever have an impact on you or catch your eye to try the scent first? And if it does then what would you look for?

Thank you

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 03/11/2011 at 6:01 pm

Hi Jasmine. I have only recently begun to be interested in packaging. I always appreciated it, but it was never a real consideration for me. I am usually attracted by the advertised notes, what other bloggers have written, if I have not experienced a fragrance for myself. With so many new small niche brands launching perfumes I often think it is the packaging that lets them down. Brands that invest a lot in the appearance of their product, for me, either have good financial backing, or they believe strongly in their product. At the risk of sounding cliche, they don’t make perfume packaging like they used to. As a man, I think the weight of a bottle is very important. For instance The Different Company’s solid metal caps and reburned heavy glass cases are, to me, very nice as is Frederic Malle’s design aesthetic. I also love the traditional Guerlain bee bottles and the shape of Hermes’ bottles. Simple clean lines, anything art deco would catch my eye. Coloured glass, green, red or blue. I think if perfume brands thought more about their product design (and I don’t mean gimicky e.g Tommy Hilfiger bottles made to look like a vinyl record called ‘loud’) I would certainly take more notice. How does packaging impact your decision to buy a fragrance?

clementine 01/11/2011 at 9:09 pm

Hi Clayton,

Just came across you fabulous blog and thought you and your readers might be interested in a day runing in London at The School of Life: http://www.theschooloflife.com/Weekends/A-Day-of-Good-Scents.

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 01/11/2011 at 9:53 pm

Hi Clementine,

If I were in London I would love to come along to one of your seminars. Aside from A Day of Good Scents I am also interested in How To Be Cool : ) Your site made for some great bedtime reading. Thanks and all the best, Clayton

doughnut 20/07/2011 at 10:59 pm

Unfortunately I have no blog to share, but as another male NZer migrated to Aus, I am glad to have found someone who shares the sometimes anti-social interest of scent.

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 24/07/2011 at 12:02 am

Thanks for finding my little piece of scented cyberspace. I hope this side of the Tasman is treating you well.

Valerie 29/06/2011 at 9:25 am

Clayton, It’s really great to connect. I’m looking forward to the weekend so I can read your completely comprehensive take on Florence and Rome. It looks amazing. Best, Valerie

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 29/06/2011 at 6:29 pm

Cheers Valerie, enjoy what remains of the week!

Valerie 24/06/2011 at 1:10 am

Hi, I’ve been meaning to write sooner. I discovered your blog a few weeks ago, and feel an affinity toward how you are writing about perfume and the fragrances that hold your interest. There is a clarity and simplicity, I love your perspective. Thank you. Valerie

Clayton@What Men Should Smell Like 25/06/2011 at 3:00 am

Hi Valerie. Thank you for expressing your appreciation and inadvertently introducing me to Soliflore Notes, a blog I have now been reading. Your experience hearing Sissel Tollas speak reads as a fantastic experience. I look forward to reading more of your adventures! Clayton


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