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Lynx is Staking its Claim in the Fine Fragrance World

From Lads to Luxe.

At some point in life, you’ve experienced Lynx. Rebranded as Axe for North America, the brand has slowly become synonymous with young men who’ve used an overpowering amount of body spray in the hopes of shielding passersby from their unwanted musk. It’s been a cheap, go-to for people evolving through adolescence, as a price tag below ten pounds makes it a feasible purchase for someone just entering the workforce or still dependent on their parents financially.

What most didn’t realise, and what Lynx is trying to hone in on now, is that the brand served as a jumping-off point for young men to explore the world of perfumery. Africa and Dark Temptation, or Apollo for North Americans, are still some of the brand’s most sold fragrances and were designed alongside a nose whose work began at Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs. 

“I had no idea I had a good sense of smell,” said Ann Gottlieb, the current fragrance design lead at Lynx. “It was during the time that Mrs. Lauder herself was very involved in the business, and she discovered that and became my mentor. She was the one that gave me things to smell and I guess my answers were such that she trusted my judgment.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Lynx

While at Estee Lauder, Gottlieb had the opportunity to develop flankers of CK One, renowned as one of the best, cheap men’s fragrances that have stood the test of time. She later worked on the likes of 212 for Carolina Herrera and versions of Marc Jacobs Daisy. Her most infamous work for Lynx was Africa, parading its fresh citrus blend and burrowed sweetness through the UK public since 1995. 

“First of all, deodorant perfumers are different to fine fragrance perfumers,” said Gottlieb, sitting indoors looking over Grasse’s mountains. “Their main function is to develop a base that smells good, but also moisturisers or acting as a deodorant. So I made the switch. I went to the perfume house and said we have to put fine fragrance perfumers on this brand.”

Lynx’s next range of releases, which are currently available at select stores across the UK, represents Gottlieb’s philosophy. Driving the line are Black Vanilla and Blue Lavender, which I had the privilege of smelling both fully concocted and as raw ingredients. Both fragrances should be familiar to customers, as they achieve a luxurious, high street smell without breaking the bank.

Black Vanilla prioritizes notes of orange, vanilla and sandalwood to produce a modern masculine fragrance. Tonka beans pair with the sandalwood accord for a deep mystique, which is uplifted through aromatics like basil and sage. The creamy, gourmand fragrance can be used as a day to day scent, and lasted quite long on skin, cutting through the warm weather in Nice.

Blue Lavender, on the other hand, drives home an icy blue accord which is synonymous with other fragrances categorized under the blue moniker. Lavender and Mint are in charge of what customers are describing as a fresh or clean accord, stripping the hues which may be remiscent of cleaning supplies. The scent produces a refreshing profile through the combination of the notes listed above with a boozy bourbon accord and warm cedarwood. 

“One of the reasons why I love this range is because of the risk. This is the start of a journey and the ones coming out next year, those are a risk. They are not going to be what you expect from Lynx or Axe,” said Gottlieb. 

Lynx is set to continue its enveiling of their fine fragrance collection over the next year or so. Black Vanilla and Blue Lavender, along with Aqua Bergamot, Emerald Sage and Copper Santal can be purchased at your local store. 

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