Some scents can become victims of their own success. As with anything, if everyone else is biting your style, you blend in rather than stand out. Which is why anyone spritzing on Davidoff’s Cool Water can expect to smell indistinguishable from half the other guys in their office.
Davidoff has been milking the scent since its debut; almost 50 iterations exist, covering everything from sport scents to a tie-in with National Geographic that, sadly, isn’t just the smell of new magazines. You can’t blame a brand for squeezing every penny out of its most successful product. But rely on one scent too much and it becomes hard for men to look past it. At this point, to most men Davidoff is Cool Water, and not much else.
That’s perhaps why its new fragrance differs so starkly. As the name suggests, Cool Water is all fresh, sea salt notes, with its success built on the fact it wears well anywhere. It’s pleasant but unobtrusive, the perfect fragrance for when you don’t want to think about what you smell like – or just when you want to smell like everyone else. Horizon is rather more challenging. Which also makes it distinctive.
The first hurdle is not drinking it. It opens with a waft of ginger, on-trend grapefruit, and mandarin that just needs a slug of whisky and paper umbrella.
The ginger lingers into the drydown, joined by a rotating cast of woods and spices: cedar, then patchouli, pepper, and a whisper of vetiver that keeps things manly. There’s a note of nostalgia in there too – this is a butch, punchy scent you can imagine filling 1980s changing rooms. Making it a pleasant change from Davidoff’s better known fragrance, which fills them today.
Available at House Of Fraser, priced £34 for 40ml of eau de toilette.
Bottle: a smooth-side glass rectangle, designed to emulate polished stones, with an adventure-ready cap guard.
Head notes: grapefruit, rosemary, mandarin, ginger;
Heart notes: mint, cedar wood, nutmeg, black pepper, sesame;
Base notes: vetiver, black cacao.
Best for: days when you don’t want to wear Cool Water. Again.