There is no shortage of luxury fragrances in the world of perfume. But even in a market that is, by definition, all about luxury, a $300 bottle can make you stop and stare. Before you dismiss House of Bō as just another overpriced status symbol, let me explain why this one-of-a-kind perfume company is worth the splurge. The elevated, gender-neutral fragrance brand was founded by Bernardo Möller in collaboration with several world-renown perfumers. The formulas are ethically produced with the highest quality ingredients and inspired by Mexico’s culture — the fragrance names are even in Spanish. Each scent is a work of art that is unlike anything else in the perfume category.
The brand's approach to luxury extends beyond the ingredients, too. Everything from the naming to the packaging to the experience of using the perfume has been carefully considered for a truly opulent experience. As someone who's very into smelling expensive, these perfumes are it. If you're ready to invest in a scent before it becomes the next viral TikTok buy on everyone's lips, it really can't get any better than House of Bō. Whether you're shopping for yourself or for your Valentine, you might have just found the perfect gift. Keep on reading to read more about my favorite perfumes from the brand's two lines: Artesanal and Tesoro.
No wonder this fragrance's name translates to "the sea," because this scent will transport you to calm waters, soft sands, and the sun's warmth at the beach. Well, to say it translates to "the sea" is an oversimplification, what House of Bō did here is beyond clever. Spanish is gendered, just like all Latin languages, and "mar" is a masculine noun that would normally have the masculine pronoun of "el" in front. Instead, this has the feminine "la." It's a perfect fit for a gender-neutral scent that is neither neutral nor "less." Instead, it's full of everything that makes floral perfumes addicting to smell combined with the heaviness and long-lasting nature of colognes.
La Mar features notes of gardenia Mexicana, pink pepper, seawater, Arabian jasmine, Indian tuberose, fresh ginger, coconut, almond milk, and Sambrani tears. It's light enough to not be headache-inducing but strong enough to last you the entire day. This is one of those scents that can truly be your signature smell and can be worn while you're at home, going to the office, or for date night. The packaging itself is enough to make you a lifelong fan — the mist is one of the most gentle sprays in the game, delicate and soft (there's no need to worry about over spraying), and the top is made from recycled marble. If there's one scent I'd recommend, it's La Mar — you'll simply smell expensive.
If you're not a fan of beachy floral scents, the other two fragrances from House of Bō's first collection are definitely worth checking out. Espiritu is a darker woodsy scent with notes of leather and musky florals. Agua de Santos (or Water of Saints) is a sweet citrus scent with light woody notes.
Just like La Mar, El Sireno does a similar thing with its name: it challenges gendered language. "Sireno" is the masculine version of "Sirena" or mermaid. While mermen exist as a concept, the word itself is non-exist in Spanish. It's taking an idea best known for one gender and twisting it — exactly what the brand is doing with its fragrances.
El Sireno is made in collaboration with world-renowned perfumer Laurent Le Guernec, and the scent features notes of kelp, banana leaf, lavender, magnolia, ylang-ylang, tuberose, oakmoss, mastic, and sandalwood. Maybe I have a thing for floral aquatic fragrances because this is one of the best things I've smelled. While La Mar was light and fresh, El Sireno is bright and more masculine. It evokes images of a secret underwater land instead of the beach. Personally, I use this for more special occasions. It's stronger than La Mar, and I prefer lighter scents for my everyday. Still, I'm obsessed with El Sireno and yes, I do think it's worth every cent.
El Sireno's cap is made from natural Blue Patagonian Onyx stone which is hand-sculpted by local Mexican artisans. It's a part of House of Bo's second collection, Tesoro. As part of the collection, each fragrance has a different stone cap that goes perfectly with its scent. Rosario is a unique rose scent that combines notes of citrus and incense — trust me, it's like no other rose fragrance out there — and the cap is made out of rose quartz. Infinitoud is a special darker Oud fragrance with notes of myrrh, vetiver, and patchouli.
While the exorbitant price point of these fragrances may be absolute insanity, the truth is that it's reflected in the quality of the scents. You really do get what you pay for. The all-natural ingredients and materials of the scent and the packaging make a huge difference. These are really good perfumes. If you're a fragrance fanatic like I am, the House of Bō scents are absolute must-haves in your collection. They're unique and unlike anything else on the market right now. Even if you somehow find a dupe, it won't be the same, I guarantee it. The truth is that you can smell the difference in the price point. If you're tired of the same ol' scents, I could not recommend House of Bō enough.
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