As one of the most popular drama series of recent years, Peaky Blinders is renowned for its captivating plotlines, complex characters, and unique aesthetic.
Set in the 1920s, the show takes us back to a time when gangsters and bootleggers ruled the streets of Birmingham, England. But aside from the snappy suits and flat caps, have you ever stopped to think about what fragrances the characters might have worn? In this article, we’ll delve into the historical context of Peaky Blinders’ fragrances, explore the signature scents of key characters, and share our top picks for modern perfumes and colognes that capture the Peaky Blinders spirit.
If you’re in the mood to get yourself a Peaky Blinders inspired fragrance or try out some of the ones listed, be sure you get your hands on some womens perfume or mens aftershave samples. These handy small bottles will allow you to try out the scent inexpensively, saving you the cost of having to shell out for a full bottle.
The Historical Context of Peaky Blinders’ Fragrances
Before we dive into individual fragrances, let’s take a step back and consider the historical context of the 1920s. This was a time of great change and upheaval, particularly in the world of fashion and grooming. Following the end of World War I, many men returned home from the front with a newfound appreciation for personal hygiene and grooming. This, coupled with the rise of mass-produced fragrances, meant that scent became an essential part of a gentleman’s wardrobe.
The Importance of Scent in the 1920s
In the 1920s, fragrances were seen as a symbol of status and sophistication. Wealthy men would have their own personal perfumer, who would create bespoke fragrances tailored to their tastes. For the average man, however, off-the-shelf colognes and aftershaves became increasingly popular. These were often marketed with hyper-masculine imagery and names, such as Brut or Old Spice.
But it wasn’t just men who were interested in fragrances during this time. Women were also embracing a new sense of independence and freedom, and fragrance was seen as a way to express their individuality. Popular scents for women included floral fragrances like rose and jasmine, as well as more exotic scents like sandalwood and musk.
Popular Fragrances of the Time
Some of the most popular fragrances of the 1920s included lavender water, bay rum, and eau de cologne. These were typically citrusy or floral scents, designed to be light and refreshing. However, as we’ll see, not all of the Peaky Blinders characters would have opted for such delicate aromas.
One fragrance that was particularly popular with men during this time was tobacco. Tobacco-scented aftershaves and colognes were marketed as being “manly” and “sophisticated”, and were often worn by gangsters and other tough guys. It’s easy to imagine that characters like Tommy Shelby and Arthur Shelby would have been drawn to this type of fragrance.
Another popular fragrance during the 1920s was leather. Leather-scented colognes and aftershaves were marketed as being “rugged” and “masculine”, and were often worn by men who worked with their hands, such as mechanics and farmers. This type of fragrance would have been right at home with characters like John Shelby and Finn Shelby.
Of course, not all of the Peaky Blinders characters would have been interested in fragrances. Some, like Polly Gray and Ada Shelby, may have preferred to stick with more traditional scents like lavender water or rose. But for those who wanted to make a statement with their scent, the 1920s offered a wide variety of options.
The Signature Scents of Key Characters
Thomas Shelby’s Mysterious and Bold Aroma
As the leader of the Peaky Blinders gang, Thomas Shelby needs a fragrance that exudes power and confidence. We imagine him wearing something dark and musky, with notes of tobacco and leather. A fragrance like Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille would be perfect for him – it’s warm, spicy, and incredibly sexy.
Arthur Shelby’s Rugged and Masculine Scent
Arthur Shelby is the muscle behind the gang, and he needs a fragrance that reflects his toughness and grit. We picture him wearing something woody and earthy, with notes of patchouli and vetiver. Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Club would be a great option – it’s a classic, masculine scent that’s both refined and rugged.
Polly Gray’s Elegant and Powerful Fragrance
Polly Gray is the brains behind the Peaky Blinders. She’s a strong, powerful woman who commands respect wherever she goes. We imagine her wearing something floral and sophisticated, with notes of rose and jasmine. Yves Saint Laurent’s Mon Paris would be a fantastic choice – it’s a modern, feminine fragrance that oozes confidence.
Ada Thorne’s Romantic and Feminine Essence
Ada Thorne (Sophie Rundle) is the sister of the Shelby brothers, and while she’s not involved in the gang’s activities, she’s still a force to be reckoned with. We imagine her wearing something soft and delicate, with notes of peony and lily of the valley. Jo Malone’s Peony & Blush Suede would be a lovely choice – it’s a gentle, feminine fragrance that’s perfect for everyday wear.
Michael Gray’s Ambitious and Modern Scent
Michael Gray is the newest member of the Shelby family, and he’s determined to make his mark in the world. We envision him wearing something fresh and modern, with notes of bergamot and green tea. Dior’s Sauvage would be an excellent choice – it’s a vibrant, energetic scent that’s perfect for a young go-getter like Michael.
How to Choose a Peaky Blinders-Inspired Fragrance
Identifying Your Personal Style
If you want to channel the Peaky Blinders vibe with your fragrance, the first step is to identify your personal style. Do you prefer something bold and woody, or light and floral? Are you drawn to classic scents, or more modern creations? By knowing your personal taste, you can narrow down your fragrance choices.
Selecting the Right Notes and Accords
Once you’ve established your personal style, the next step is to look for fragrances with notes and accords that resonate with you. For example, if you’re after something dark and musky, look for fragrances with notes of leather, tobacco, or oud. If you want a fresher scent, seek out fragrances with notes of bergamot, citrus, or green tea.
Finding a High-Quality Perfume or Cologne
When it comes to finding a Peaky Blinders-inspired fragrance, quality is key. Look for perfumes and colognes from well-respected brands, and don’t be afraid to try a few different options before settling on one. Fragrances can smell different on different people, so it’s worth taking the time to find the perfect scent for you.
Modern Fragrances That Capture the Peaky Blinders Spirit
For Men: Top 5 Peaky Blinders-Inspired Colognes
- Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille
- Acqua di Parma Colonia Club
- Dior Sauvage
- Creed Aventus
- Chanel Bleu de Chanel
For Women: Top 5 Peaky Blinders-Inspired Perfumes
- Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris
- Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede
- Penhaligon’s Vaara
- Gucci Bloom
- Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540
Whether you’re a die-hard Peaky Blinders fan or simply looking for a new fragrance to add to your collection, there’s no denying that the scents of the 1920s still hold an allure today. By exploring the historical context of Peaky Blinders’ fragrances, examining the signature scents of key characters, and sharing our top picks for modern-day options, we hope we’ve inspired you to embrace the power of scent.