Hubert Burda Media

The Man of Today, As Represented By Four Gentlemen

This article is brought to you by Boss Bottled Tonic

The concept of masculinity has evolved so much in the past decade. Today, a man is measured by moral courage. He is both masculine and a feminist, with tastes that run the gamut from exquisite to plebeian. He carves his own path but is not afraid to ask for help. He stands up for the weak and gives voice to the powerless. He is passionate and informed, a lover and a fighter. And he is the change he wants to see in the world.

And goodness, the world really needs change-makers. But it can be hard with so many things happening at once. Sometimes all we need are brief moments of clarity, of peace and quiet, where we can recharge. It can be found in the showers, in the ritual of preparing our morning coffee, or even when we’re spritzing on a scent like Boss Bottled Tonic in the morning. We speak to four AUGUSTMAN A-Listers who represent all these ideals on their thoughts about business, success and their choice of scent.

Jonathan Shen (@jnshn)
Co-founder of The Golden Duck, Forbes 30 Under 30

What do you think are the qualities of the Man of Today?

Focus, Drive and Grit are three things I mentally bring to every business I work with, and I think these things are essential to success in whatever you do. Recently however, I’ve been giving more headspace to “balance” in life, and actively spending more time on myself and with my loved ones.

How should the Man of Today dress?

Back when I was in the nightlife scene, I would always be spotted in a tee and smart blazer, jeans and brown leather shoes. I’ve since hung up my party wear. After all, one of the perks of running my own business is that I get to dress comfortably to work and I’m usually spotted in fitted denim bottoms, boat-shoes and (Steve) Jobs’ signature black tees. That said, being presentable is key and I do make it a point to dress up for post-work social activities – usually in a smart-casual shirt, cotton pants, and brown monk straps, with the occasional smart blazer from Suit Supply.

You’re in the boardroom. What’s the first thing you say in your presentation to impress a group of people?

I usually crack a simple joke. Laughter is the best disarmament technique.

You’re at the bar. What’s the first thing you say to that beautiful woman who smiles at you?

What? Is there something on my face?

Do you have a signature scent for day or night?

I think what many guys fail to do is pair their colognes to the occasion. For me, I always have a day scent, night scent and business scent, and use them for their respective situations. I generally go for lighter, citrus-y scents in the day, sweeter scents for social nights, and sharp, musky scents for business.

John Paul Chen (@johnpaulchen)
Managing director at Saltycustoms

What do you think are the qualities of the Man of Today?

The Man of Today has the confidence to lead, the humility to follow and clarity in his mind of who he is and where he is going.

How should the Man of Today dress?

I always believe that how you dress defines your personality. I’ve always believed in comfort and style as a pairing. In the day, I wear T-shirt, jeans and a blazer paired with loafers. In the night, look for the contrast, lights and darks and go with some colour. The blazer always adds a touch of class to the otherwise comfortable T-shirt and jeans outfit.

You’re in the boardroom. What’s the first thing you say in your presentation to impress a group of people?

I love to talk about an experience before I got to the boardroom. “I was speaking to the cab driver and he explained… so I think it gave me perspective on… and I wanted you to know this.” As humans, we love stories. It’s part of how we are.

You’re at the bar. What’s the first thing you say to that beautiful woman who smiles at you?

Funnily, I would be kind of surprised. I’d just look away and carry on with whoever I was meant to meet. But if I had to say something, I’d compliment her on something unique. Like her choice of lipstick, her shoes and/or matching bag.

What in your mind is the scent of the Man of Today?

I feel the scent should have a feeling of masculinity with a musky finish. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed an array of scents, particular Hugo Boss Bottled and Tom Ford. Always memorable.

Adler Poh (@adlerpoh)
Owner of Adler Luxury Hostel

What do you think are the qualities of the successful Man of Today?

Confidence, compassion, charisma and a visionary

How should the Man of Today dress?

Dress for the occasion with ease. What this means for me is a khaki pleated short, collared shirt with rolled up sleeves and loafers as I am quite active during the day. This outfit allows me to transit from day to night. Just pop one more button off from the shirt!

You’re in the boardroom. What’s the first thing you say in your presentation to impress a group of people?

I usually scent the room, play a nice tune and have a moving visual to my presentation. A deep, warm and genuine greeting to start things off.

You’re at the bar. What’s the first thing you say to that beautiful woman who smiles at you?

I turn shy! But I’ll drink to boost my confidence, approach her with a warm “hello” and ask if I could join her for a drink.

What in your mind is the scent of the Man of Today?

I can’t speak for the majority of men but I love a refreshing approachable scent. At night I usually go with Hugo Boss Dark Blue.

Marcus Jilla (@marcusjilla)
Co-founder of Mex Out

What do you think are the qualities of the Man of Today?

Success is hard to define! But when I think of success, I’d like to look at it as perhaps “achieving things which a positive influence on his environment or those around him”. In that sense, I think empathy is an important quality for a man to have, I think it always has been but even more so now in a selfish world. The other key quality, which I think is uniquely modern, is an ability to balance both elements of traditional masculinity – ambition, strength, resilience – with sensitivity – consideration, empathy, intellect, and an ability to relate to people from different walks. That is, for me, such a key balance to find in every man’s journey, and I think it’s really important for a man to show both.

How should the Man of Today dress?

For me, I think simplicity is key. Not, like, boring home grown no-frills simplicity, but timeless simplicity. Having lived through the era of ripped faded Tsubi jeans and disco-pink printed tee shirts, whenever I look back at those photos, they’re stuck in a time warp. I think a man looks best when he is timelessly masculine, and for me the key to that is simplicity.

Personally, I’ve come to a point where I’m all about basics – plain jeans in black or blue, black and white round-neck tee shirts (still with the occasional “v”). I’m an entrepreneur so I dress down a lot, but also appreciate elegant formal wear. The other thing for me is repetition and having a basic repertoire you don’t stray too far from. What Steve Jobs said about wearing the same thing every day resonated with me. There is already too much choice and too many decisions in life. By having more or less the same “uniform” each day, you preserve that part of your brain’s decision energy for more important tasks. I try to follow that now in my daily routine – black jeans, white tee shirt, black suede shoes or blue jeans, black tee shirt and boat shoes.

You’re in the boardroom. What’s the first thing you say in your presentation to impress a group of people?

I know you all have important things to do but it won’t kill you to put your laptops on sleep for the next 30 minutes. In return, I promise to focus on the concrete rather than the theoretical.

You’re at the bar. What’s the first thing you say to that beautiful woman who smiles at you?

I like your cheekbones. I like to meet new people. Let’s talk like two human beings and see where it leads.

(In my mind. In reality, stray glances from the bar and anxious hand-drumming between the strange thrills of getting caught but failing to act.)

What in your mind is the scent of the Man of Today?

Mildly sweet with an edge – citrus with a bit of old school musk. Or the timeless old stuff. My dad always smells good to me. There’s a certain signature man-scent.

Sometimes it’s important to take a step back on your pursuit to success and Boss Bottled Tonic recognises this. It opens with zesty grapefruit, bitter orange and lemon blending with the apple to deliver a boost of freshness and energising brightness. This accord carries a subtle sophistication with bitter nuances, echoing the dynamic combination of contrasts that reflect the balance the Man of Today strives for in reaching his goals while staying true to his values.

Boss Bottled Tonic starts from $102 for a 50ml EDT and is available at all leading departmental stores