For the uninitiated Robert Graham is a luxury men’s fashion brand, famed for its contrasting cuffs and collars and exotic bold prints and fabrics. The shirts come at a premium price but certainly worth checking out, they say it's as close as you can get to wearing art. I'm going to be talking about the three fragrances, Valour, Courage and Fortitude, designed to reflect the essence of the brand.
The inspiration behind the fragrances
Robert Stock. Founder of Robert Graham, was inspired by the rare craftsmanship of blended spirits for his baptism of fire into the world of men's fragrance.
"Like a great liqueur single malt Scotch or small-batch Bourbon, I saw these fragrances blended from a little bit of this, and of little bit of that," said Robert Stock. "We started with a feeling, where each blended essence had to have its own personality."
The Robert Graham Bottle
It reminds me of something you' expect to house an exotic bottle of Peach Schnapps. Perhaps only served at The Beaufort Bar at the Savoy or The Connaught. It's angular, housed in a faceted decanter and finished with a foulard print. In the 250ml range they become more ornate in the cap decorations.
What are the fragrances?
Let's start with Courage. First off all the names sound like names that were on the whiteboard when it came to naming the next fleet of Autobots. And I don't mind. I mind First Instinct, that's not a good name.
Courage by Robert Graham opens with a citrus-y vibe. It has the bergamot going on but that's at the back somewhere. You hit the spicy vodka, but it's not direct. It's tangled in a delectable web of aromatic woods and herbs. It's the lighter of the 3, though not casual enough for every day. I'd wear this if I wanted to make a good impression at a smart/casual event. If I was into Ballet this would be my night at the ballet scent.
Valour - This is my favourite of the 3 as it has a better projection. I noticed the silage was an hour or two longer. Maybe 6-7 hours I carried it round. Moving into the colder months this warm-wooded Oriental fragrance will be better suited for the Autumnal months.
It opens with a nice spicy hit. There's sage, there's amber. It has a very smooth-creamy feel to it; makes me want to buy a box set of The Man from Uncle and watch them back to back in a Velvet nightgown. This is one that I'd wear to the Gentleman's Club.
Fortitude - Lastly Fortitude, another Oriental fragrance that is peppered with tobacco sweet balsamic vinegar and Patchouli.
Ok so I like to do a little teaching on here. I don't know the qualities of every herb and spice, I'm assuming no one does so here's a quick fact: it's a species of herb from the mint family and performs slightly different to other oils in that it matures better with age.
The ancient Egyptians couldn't get enough of the stuff and treasured as highly as gold back in the day.
My thoughts on Robert Graham Fragrances?
I thought the show pony was Valour. It really spoke of luxury in a non-complex way. Courage and Fortitude would be good squad additions to your cologne bench, however, I wouldn't justify having all three for the price point.
Valour and Fortitude both have that Oriental vibe so for variety, I'd pick Courage and Valour. Autobots Transform! To Cybertron! Sorry, couldn't resist.