But... But lavender is the best note
I'd recommend Egoiste, Havana, Equipage, Habit Rouge, Bel Ami (might be a bit too masculine though). Platinum Egoiste has a lot of lavender, but in a different way than in Drakkar Noir. Lots of people who don't typically wear old scents like Platinum Egoiste so I'd recommend giving it a sniff and see if you can handle the lavender.
If you're not a fan of lavender or Drakkar Noir then I might recommend steering clear of most of the aromatic fougeres/woody aromatics (eg Brut, Paco Rabanne, Azzaro, Pasha, Safari, Tsar, Zino) as although they aren't uber masculine powerhouse, they are all lavender forward. Also, for a number of years after Drakkar Noir, many fragrances after took inspiration from it so you'll get a sharp, clean lavender with oakmoss for most of the mid to late 80s fougeres.
Well apart from making you have wear Caron Pour un Homme for a week to get you past your irrational lavender hatred,
You know what, I think I'll give lavender a chance. It's funny cause I have a bottle of Prada Luna Rossa Carbon I like even though it smells a bit like Drakkar Noir. Maybe I can better stand modern takes on lavender or maybe I'm just being ignorant.
I would love some lavender recommendations now to get me started, as long as the lavender is not too pronounced.
Hmm, could you maybe point out what you look for in a casual and a formal scent? None of these looks overly formal or casual, but all (that I've tried, about half of them) are classics.
For instance, I would personnaly not consider to wear scents that are heavy on leather in formal settings (in MY professional situation). In this instance, Knize Ten would not be in the formal category for me, but more casual wearing. Same with Derby.
It's hard to describe but anything that smells especially distinguished, classy or dandy. Scents that you'd more associate with gentlemen, men in suits, businessmen etc. Guerlain Vetiver and Habit Rouge give me that impression while the ones I prefer (see my last post) don't.
I think you'll find this is entirely subjective, just like what folks consider seasonally appropriate or best for day / night wear. For example, Guerlain Vetiver doesn't strike me as a formal scent at all. It smells like a bright burst of citrus and raw green earth mixed with darker spice and tobacco. I could wear it with a suit if I wanted to (and I have), but it strikes me as a more natural fit for more casual attire. But we all see these things differently. Eau Sauvage feels more dressed up to me, personally, mainly because it feels much more "perfumey," but I also don't get along with the dirty jasmine very well, which is what it is. By contrast, I love Egoiste now, and it doesn't strike me as particularly buttoned up, but I've never thought of it as a young man's scent either. But preferences and associations vary. What's important is whether you like it and feel like it suits your personality and style.
Anyway, I'm early 40s and wore vetiver fragrances all through my 20s and 30s before recently expanding my horizons. I would just continue to sample widely, set things aside if you don't immediately connect with them, and continue to revisit and see if your tastes change over time (mine sure have).
Guerlain Vetiver is a one-bottle wardrobe IMO as it adapts to you, to weather, to situation…
I’ve worn it with a suit, too, as well as with jeans and a T-shirt. Shorts and sandals? Sure. Cardigan or corduroys? Why not! It’s wonderful stuff in any vintage. I have worn it for as long as I’ve worn scent and it has worked for me all the way through, serving just as well in dad cologne mode these days as it did when I was in my early 30s and just starting to sort out my career and figure out who I was. Bright, earthy, spicy, mossy, comfortable, confident, and classic. One I aim never to be without.