Take Note: Basil

Here at Perfume Philippines, basil is one of the fragrance notes we love the most. We absolutely adore its lemony and tarragon-like qualities! Though most know it as the ultimate flavor enhancer for pizza and pasta, basil shines in fragrances as well.

While this culinary herb exudes a delicious, aromatic fragrance, it also sports a slightly sharp and spicy edge that lends well to men's fragrances. In this blog, we discuss everything you need to know about this flavorful herb along with our favorite basil perfumes as well! 

What is basil?

Basil leaves

Basil is a green leafy herb that’s frequently found in Africa and Asia. It’s actually a member of the mint family, and many types exist. Depending on the variety, most basils grow up to three feet to almost a meter high with very green and ovate leaves.

While it’s more popular as a food seasoning, basil is also heavily used in teas and supplements that provide a wide range of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow.

The herb’s use in perfumes, however, has a longer and more interesting history. The name ‘basil’ is derived from the Greek word ‘basileus, which means royal/kingly plant. Experts believe that this plant was named as such because of its use in the production of royal perfumes. 

What does basil smell like?

No two types of basil smell alike, but most have a lemony, peppery, herbaceous, slightly minty scent that’s similar to tarragon. At close quarters, basil sports a warm, fresh, and sweet scent.

Words often used to describe basil include ‘clean’, ‘green’, ‘cleansing’, and ‘herby’, often reminding most people of nature. This is precisely why the herb is a common component of some of the most popular ‘green’ fragrances, especially in the men’s perfume line. 

Our favorite basil perfumes:

Ralph Lauren Polo EDT

Ralph Lauren Polo EDT

Spicy, piney, and mature, Ralph Lauren is a woody aromatic scent that, strangely enough, conjures images of paper money. And we mean that literally. This Ralph Lauren entry smells like paper bills, but in a sexy, sultry, deeply masculine type of way. A mystical blast of tobacco, pine, oakmoss, leather, and basil reminds us of a sophisticated man in a suit.

Jaqcques Fath Green Water

Jaqcques Fath Green Water

Notes of mint cleverly blended with basil and fresh lime, this refreshing old-school frag is a refreshing walk in a garden full of herbs and flowers. Green Water is a fantastic example of basil done right.

Calvin Klein Truth Men

Calvin Klein Truth Men

Green, marine, herbal, and aquatic, Truth is the smell of the color aquamarine. This aromatic Fougere combines bamboo, basil, thyme, and coriander notes to create a refreshing fragrance that’s perfect for summer. Great for men looking for ‘green’ and ‘grassy’ non-cloying scents that are great for everyday wear.

Benneton Blu

Benetton Blu

This Benneton entry features a strong cedar note complemented by herbal notes of basil, rosemary, and clary sage. Although the composition is rather masculine, it is not impossible for women to wear, provided that they like woody aromatics! A great bargain scent that turns heads.

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