Get into the swing of the holidays and play up your personality with these scintillating scents that not only smell good, but builds you up to a fine, fine character.
A constant on many a man’s wish list is a covetable bottle of fragrance. Understandably picky and particular, a fondness or even an interest for a scent goes through an exact science–one that is part preference and part chemistry. Getting into the real deal of the latest releases, exacting measures are taken before it is deemed perfect for a specific moment.
Before you just pick up whatever is on the best-selling roster, it is imperative to do your research and really get to know these scents up close and personal. To save you some time, we have scoured high and low for the latest drops that we feel will fit right into your obsessions. From cult-favorites to evolutions of classics, these fragrances are ready to be checked out at the counter and gift wrapped to be placed under the Christmas tree. Whether it be for someone else or yourself, nothing says a happy holiday than a riveting whiff of a scent–and it stays locked in as a memory made, too.
Already touted as a masterpiece within a refined collection of fragrances from Tom Ford, the incarnation of Tobacco Vanille from its Private Blend line is an intoxicating invoking of an old-world charm that is infused with the grace of contemporary times. Smooth, dark, and heady, the traditionally oriental spicy scent opens up with an opulent whiff of tobacco leaf and aromatic spice notes, which then unravels to a creamy mix of tonka bean, tobacco flower, vanilla, and cocoa, before finishing to notes of dry fruit and sweet wood sap. A definitive staple for fans of the brand, the scent, and the man himself, the headlining fragrance chooses no time for perfection, but it is best sprayed on the pulse for a cool night out in the town.
Many things all at once, there is nothing quite like New York City. Bursting with big, bold energy with its colors, cacophony, and charm, it also can be—oddly enough—soothing, serene, and still. There lies the beautiful irony of the city that has played inspiration to just about anyone and anything, including the latest fragrance release from Carolina Herrera. A reflection of the dynamic spirit of the urban dwelling, the complex 212 NYC Men is an intriguing blend of refreshing citrus leaves and cut grass, a sharp contrast of ginger, spice of pepper, and lavender, and finally, a sturdy and sensual base of sandalwood and musk, that not only captures the compelling complexity of New York, but also lingers well into the after—much like the indelible imprint left by the city in your heart.
Masculinity has been played out so many times as a concept in fashion and fragrance that it almost becomes cumbersome when affixed to just about anything these days. Holding a firm grip on this, but taking into mindful account of the evolution of man over time and circumstance, Givenchy introduces a worthy reflection in the guise of the Gentleman Givenchy Cologne. An eventual equilibrium of strength and delicacy, the scent is an initial explosion of freshness, with a brimming breath of citrus, a boost of bold hearty rosemary, which is finessed by powdery tones of iris. Coalescing with your body’s chemistry, it agrees to an assertion of personality by way of vetiver, patchouli, and black vanilla.
A confident stride that definitely says: Here I am, the Hermes Rocabar has gained quite the following since its release. Deceptive at a glance, the warmth of the head-turning amber fluid takes inspiration from striped traditional horse blankets made in the Hermès workshops, which translates to a fragrance that is rich, but with a touch of whimsy. Introducing its balmy and sweet, the heritage fragrance mixes evergreen needles with herbal lavender and spicy juniper berry, that gains traction with nutmeg and cinnamon. Ultimately, it dries to intense warmth of vanilla, oak moss, patchouli that keeps it grounded, focused, and intentional.
Comme des GARÇONS
With irreverence coursing through its veins, Comme Des Garçons goes full steam ahead with a swirl of juxtaposition that is crafted for the man who sets his own rules. Oscillating between intellectual and humor, classic and unusual, the 2 Man eau de toilette is a lingering presence that is powers through with its complementing and contrasting notes. Beginning with the presence of nutmeg and caraway blend, the scent sills through with iris, vetiver, and saffron, before gently relenting to a settle of leather, incense, and mahogany. Understated as it is presented, there is nothing underwhelming with the fragrance as it builds up to a sense of character that is distinct and ultimately, truly memorable.
Steering away from convention since its inception, Christian Dior manifests the same spirit in the modern era with a scent that exudes a sensual energy that draws you in from first spritz. Radically fresh with a burst of Reggio di Calabria bergamot and pepper, the fragrance opens up to a delightful medley of patchouli, geranium, vetiver, lavender, and pepper, which trails to a powerful woody ascent of cedar, labdanum, and ambroxan. Distinct and decided in its attempt to navigate layers of discovery, the Christian Dior Sauvage culminates to an enveloping of the senses that thrills.
Scents function on so many levels, from the initial whiff to make a first impression to locking in that to an impression seared into memory. With an experience unlike any other, it is ultimately pleasant when the initial interface matches the coalescing with your chemistry. And this is precisely how Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme Wood & Wood functions, with its flask of oak. Already giving off a grounded warmth, the scent is an alluring blend that is robust but not imposing with a swirl of grapefruit, sandalwood, ambrox, apricot, as well as of cedarwood and sandalwood, gaining intensity with a steady sillage through vetizer and patchouli.
Physically capturing time can be quite the challenge, especially since it is by nature an intangible concept we constantly struggle and romance with. But as usual, there is always a workaround, drawing up a moment in realized forms, particularly an evocative scent that comes at the exact moment the sun hits a tree, warming it up at different timed increments. This is particularly what Bvlgari Man has bottled in Wood Neroli, a citrus-woody fragrance that centers on the utilizing every bit of a bitter orange tree and neroli, of course. Radiating with a top note of zesty neroli and bergamot, the scent trails to a graceful anchor of cedarwood and orange blossom, before finally giving way to a magnetic trail of sensual amber wood accords.
Dramatic, dangerous, and daring, we have to admit, there is nothing quite enthralling as the irreverent rebel. Forever depicted with a tempestuous streak, electric energy, all coddled with a warmth of suave and charm, it has at one point become a standard for the proponents of a coming-of-age. Taking this searing image to heart, Carolina Herrera presents its duality-inspired fragrance, Bad Boy. Conjuring an aromatic oriental spicy scent, it intoxicates with bergamot and pepper, with a core of woody sage and cedar wood, which is balanced at the base with delicious tonka bean and cocoa. Housed in a striking lightning-shaped flacon, the captivating fragrance definitely has that undeniable bad boy energy we would love to evoke from time to time.
Italy must be quite the fragrant country, because there has been no shortage of scents that have drawn out an expansive inspiration from the European stronghold. From the coasts to the countryside, there is much to experience from Italy, and this time around, Italian heritage brand, Salvatore Ferragamo encapsulates the edge and underlying charm of its concrete jungles. A locale exploding with energy and elegance, Uomo Urban Feel is an audacious blend of salty and mineral notes through its use of ozone and drift woods, which is then followed by a burst of lemon and clary sage, further enhancing its coffee-like aroma. The fragrance then builds to an explosion of cedarwood, driftwood and cumin, which settles to a calm crafting of patchouli and incense for texture, contrast, and yes, tenacious grit.
Managing to exact a firm grip on the pulse of the contemporary man in fragrance, Jimmy Choo once again dissects the sensibilities of the male archetype, this time in the throbbing, thriving urban circumstance. It once again bottles the brimming energy of the times with Urban Hero, a vibrant undertaking that features a fresh and finessed swirl of lemon caviar, which is warmed up by a dash of black pepper. At its heart, it opens up to a necessary sensuality with rosewood and vetiver, before finally settling to a contrast of charged gray amber, as well as a lashing of rebellious leather.