Most people gauge whether autumn has arrived by the bite in the air or the amount of leaves on the pavement, but I always know it’s here when a raft of brand new fragrances land on my desk for review.
This is the busiest time of year in terms of new, noteworthy concoctions, so now’s the perfect time to update your fragrance wardrobe, and maybe even score a few Christmas gifts well ahead of time while you’re at it.
Here’s a taste of what’s on offer this coming season.
Fresh, Lively And Good For Daytime
Ermenegildo Zegna Acqua Di Bergamotto
As the name suggests, this clean, crisp and sparkling fragrance is based around Calabrian bergamot – often considered to be the finest of all citrus notes used in perfumery – but it has a slightly salty, aquatic edge too.
Interesting without being overpowering, it’s perfect both for staying fresh at the office and sun-soaked holidays.
£76 for 100ml eau de toilette; available nationwide from 14 October.
Hermès Equipage Géranium
A reworking of Hermès’ Equipage fragrance (their first aimed specifically at men), this new version, created by acclaimed in-house ‘nose’ Jean-Claude Ellena, is fresh, light, delicately spiced and has a delightfully old-fashioned soapiness to it.
The geranium note isn’t nearly as crude or pronounced as it is in some other fragrances, either, making the whole thing subtle and intriguing.
£80 for 100ml eau de toilette from hermes.com; available from November.
The polar opposite of last year’s Marrakech Intense, Aesop’s new offering is light, subtle and cologne-like in character, with citrus notes of Japanese yuzu, basil leaves and a touch of vetiver to give it depth.
It’s fresh and slightly spicy but there’s an understatedness to it that makes it well-suited to daytime use.
£63 for 50ml eau de parfum from aesop.com.
Warm, Woody And Versatile
Oliver Sweeney Argento
Created to celebrate the luxury shoe label’s 25th anniversary, this versatile fragrance (it’s as wearable in the daytime as it is at night) blends cedarwood and sandalwood with patchouli, moss and a dash of smoky oud.
The result is a fragrance that’s gentlemanly and irresistible.
£95 for 100ml eau de parfum from oliversweeney.com.
Paul Smith Essential
The quirky English designer’s latest fragrance is a woody and aromatic affair with Japanese yuzu fruit, rosemary, clary sage, cedarwood and one of the award-winning designer’s favourite notes, patchouli.
A safe bet that won’t prompt any digs on a night out with the lads, Essential might not be Smith’s most original fragrance but it’s certainly one of his most commercial.
£28 for 50ml from paulsmith.co.uk.
Molton Brown Tobacco Absolute
Given its name, you’d think the latest eau de toilette from Molton Brown would smell like a good Cohiba or a Havana. It doesn’t. Instead, the tobacco aspect is played down in favour of perky citrus notes and warm, woody and slightly musky ones.
A good workhorse fragrance, it’ll suit most situations and the bottle is compact enough to easily fit in gym bags, office drawers and gloveboxes.
£39 for 50ml eau de toilette from moltonbrown.com; available from 1 October.
Warm, Spicy And Great For Evening Wear
Not, as you might think, a reworked version of Dior’s iconic Eau Sauvage, this brand new fragrance is a big, punchy statement scent. Featuring bergamot, lavender and ambroxan (a note that has a slightly musky, animalistic smell), it’s bitter, peppery and barbershoppy all at once.
Though the critical response has been somewhat ‘mixed’, if you’re a fan of big, punchy fragrances like Bleu de Chanel, you’ll definitely want to give it a whirl.
£50 for 60ml eau de toilette from boots.com.
BOSS The Scent
Boss’ imaginatively titled new fragrance has the company’s signature fruitiness in the shape of maninka (an African fruit) along with spicy notes of ginger and a warm, leathery finish.
It’s a bit generic but inoffensive enough and the bottle – imagine a caged piece of glass – will make a unique addition to your bathroom cabinet.
£38.99 for 50ml eau de toilette from fragrancedirect.co.uk.
The best new fragrance from Aramis for some time, Black starts off as a crisp and peppery scent with green ‘leafy’ notes, and matures on the skin into a lovely warm and leathery fragrance that’s perfect for evening wear.
For fans of Aramis Classic, there are still hints of the original there – they’re just behind the scenes rather than centre stage.
£60 for 110ml eau de toilette from johnlewis.com.
Smoky, Intense And Perfect For Iconoclasts
Beaufort London Coeur De Noir
One of a trio of new fragrances that use Britain’s nautical history as touchpoints, Coeur De Noir is the brainchild of writer and musician Leo Crabtree.
Rich, smoky, tarry and redolent of musty leather-bound books and pipe tobacco, it’s quite different from anything else on this list and perfect for men for whom originality, quirkiness and distinctiveness are key.
£95 for 50 ml eau de parfum from brummellsoflondon.com.
Have you tried any of these new scents for yourself?
Let us know what you think using the comments box below.