Swapping linen shirts for shackets is all well and good, but if you still smell of blue seas in the depths of December, it’s all for naught. Much like your wardrobe, your fragrance rotation needs seasonal tweaks – not overhauls (there’s no need to clear your bathroom cabinet), but subtle switch-ups – like retiring the fresh, aquatic stuff for something richer, warming and winter-ready.
To help sort the wheat from the olfactory chaff, we’ve selected the best of the new batch.
Acqua Di Parma Note Di Colonia
Despite the flak it gets for releasing so many flankers, Acqua di Parma isn’t just another generic luxury conglomerate-owned fragrance house. The fleet of scents it brings to market each year might be bulging, but that doesn’t preclude their quality – we’ve yet to smell one that isn’t deliciously addictive.
Note di Colonia, the brand’s latest launch, is no different. Marking 100 years since its birth, Acqua di Parma’s centennial collection comprises a trio of scents, Note di Colonia I, II and III, each a new riff on the house’s classic 1916 Colonia.
Across the collection you can expect punchy citrus notes, heart notes of rose, jasmine and basil, and base notes of sandalwood, cedarwood and myrrh. They’re scents that are as refreshingly modern as they are traditional, and your fragrance rotation will thank you for it.
Available at Acqua di Parma, each priced £280 for 150ml eau de cologne.
Prada L’Homme Prada
Joe Bloggs the Prada man is not. (Not least in terms of spending power.) So it follows that the fragrances he wears aren’t your typical woody aromatic hairs-on-your-chest scents.
Prada’s latest, L’Homme Prada, is a fine-tuned mixture of floral notes (iris, geranium, neroli and patchouli) but – and this is the power of Prada – doesn’t smell overly feminine. Instead it’s a breath of fresh air with some substance. A bit like its clothes.
Available at Selfridges, priced £69 for 100ml eau de toilette.
Tom Ford Private Blend Les Extraits Vert
Tom Ford’s latest additions to his Private Blend collection are intended as distillations of the smells of the 1970s. Which, for some of us, is immediate cause for concern. After all, who wants to cough up a tidy sum to reek of lager, fag ash and tinned coronation chicken?
Thankfully, Les Extraits Vert takes a different tack, offering up a trio of 1970s-inspired scents (Vert d’Encens, Vert Bohème and Vert des Bois) bursting with the likes of pine resin, lemon and bergamot and ouzo, plum and jasmine.
Never mind the Gucci neckerchiefs, this is your best route to 1970s style.
Available at Tom Ford, each priced £148 for 50ml eau du parfum.
Bentley Infinite Rush White Edition
What does a man’s Bentley say about him? That he’s moneyed, but doesn’t flaunt the fact. That he’s got good taste, but doesn’t feel the need to shout about it.
Which is probably why the brand’s fragrances are similarly subtle. Instead of a leathery, woody scent you might expect from a quintessentially British car brand, Infinite Rush White is airily light, a sprint from mandarin top notes through to a finish line of sandalwood and white musks. One for those crisp wintry days.
Available at Harrods, priced £110 for 100ml eau de toilette.
Zadig & Voltaire This Is Him!
The French are nothing if not masters of the classics. Fitting then, that Parisian label Zadig & Voltaire’s new fragrance for men takes the adage ‘if it ain’t broke’ to heart.
This Is Him! is a masculine fragrance in the most traditional sense: punchy grapefruit and black pepper on a foundation of incense and sandalwood. It won’t change your life, but it will make you smell good.
For best results, pair with a Gallic wardrobe of black leather jackets, white shirts and slim jeans.
Available at John Lewis, priced £36 for 30ml eau de toilette.
Joop! Homme Kings Of Seduction Black
We’d forgive you for banishing Joop! Homme to Room 101 – along with embellished jeans, Ed Hardy T-shirts and frosted tips – but its latest flanker is worth a second spritz.
Kings of Seduction Black swaps the original’s (for some) sickening syrupiness for something slightly more mature, blending black pepper and orange blossom with a leathery base. And while we probably wouldn’t leave this one on display on our desks or dressing tables, it’s still a modestly priced all-rounder that’ll get you through the autumn months.
Available at Boots, priced £52 for 125ml.
Givenchy Gentlemen Only Absolute
A far superior flanker to its predecessor (Gentlemen Only Parisian Break), Gentlemen Only Absolute is the very definition of an evening fragrance: woody, warmingly spicy and pleasingly sweet, too.
It’s a shoo-in for date night, and with heart notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and saffron a contender for top spot in your festive fragrance line-up as well.
Plus, being an eau du parfum, it’s got staying power. Say hello to your new wingman.
Available at House of Fraser, priced £51.50 for 50ml eau du parfum.
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Essence
The fragrance that defined a generation, Jean Paul Gaultier’s 1995 Le Male was as divisive as it was iconic in its heady sweetness and gender ambiguity.
But if Le Male was a late 1990s out-and-proud metrosexual, Le Male Essence is its older, slightly more conservative brother. The original’s cardamom and cinnamon are still there, but there’s less of the floral top notes and sugar-coated vanilla, which makes this latest rendition much more versatile.
The bottle’s similar though, so you’ll need to be OK with your torso being shown up by a fragrance bottle.
Available at John Lewis, priced £49 for 75ml eau du parfum.