They say spring is the time to take stock. And if your wardrobe’s due a seasonal refresh, then why not your fragrance line-up too? While we’re yet to feel the thaw, perfumers are already prepping their freshest releases.
And since there’s no harm in being prepared, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best scents hitting the shelves in the next few months. Get spritzing.
For A Night Out
Carven L’eau Intense
A far superior scent to last year’s slightly pedestrian Carven Pour Homme, L’Eau Intense starts off as a delightfully perky, minty fragrance and eventually gives way to a warmth, spiciness and, as the name suggests, a certain intensity.
Not overtly sexy, it’s a good everyday fragrance. Pretty swish bottle, too.
£50 for 50ml eau de toilette; available exclusively at Selfridges from 11 February.
If there was one fragrance that captured the zeitgeist of Gen X, it was Calvin Klein’s ground-breaking ckOne – in many respects the ultimate scent for sharing. The only surprise about its follow-up, ck2, is that it’s taken so long to surface.
Billed as a gender-free fragrance (‘unisex’ now being hopelessly passé, presumably), it’s woodier and more floral than its predecessor and, given that its notes include wasabi and ‘wet cobblestones’, a bit more pretentious too. Still good, though.
£39 for 50ml eau de toilette; available at Boots from 3 February.
The Summer Standby
Paul Smith Sunshine For Men 2016
Like the sun itself in Britain, Paul Smith’s limited edition 2016 take on Sunshine is available for a short time only. And if you’re looking for a summer-ready spicy cocktail of nutmeg, black pepper and coriander spliced with the freshness of grapefruit and juicy starfruit, it’s certainly worth snapping up a bottle while you can.
Ideal for that week on the beach you booked on Blue Monday, but versatile enough to wear whatever the weather.
£26 for 100ml eau de toilette; available nationwide from February.
Ferrari Amber Essence Special Edition
Although best known for its wheels, Ferrari has proved itself a worthy contender in fine fragrances, too – earlier releases Leather Essence and Bright Neroli are both worth a look, as is this latest limited edition scent.
Warm and sexy, Amber Essence’s frankincense, cedar and amber notes give it a woodiness that’ll have admirers zooming in for closer inspection. The handcrafted leather sleeve – inspired by a Ferrari’s interior – isn’t short of sex appeal either.
£170 for 100ml eau de parfum; available at Harrods.
David Beckham Aqua Classic
It’s estimated that Golden Balls’ fragrance empire bags him around £4 million a year. And unlike some of his fellow A-listers licensing out their names, that’s money honestly earned because, considering their wallet-friendly price tags, the Beckham fragrances are actually decent.
This one is a refreshing take on his Classic fragrance – quite literally so given that it’s all about lemon, green violet leaves and artemisia, which is, if you were scratching your head at that last bit, slightly reminiscent of the smell of a dry martini.
Bad if you’re planning on extending dry January; great if you want to smell very good for very little.
£19.95 for 40ml eau de toilette; available nationwide from 30 March.
For Refined Tastes
Byredo Super Cedar
Ever spritzed a fragrance and thought you could detect just the faintest whiff of pencil shavings? It’s not stationery in your scent, it’s cedarwood – a mainstay of many men’s fragrances and the main protagonist in this offering from Stockholm-based boutique perfumers Byredo.
Instead of smelling like your high school art class, it’s an understated and elegant balance of rose and earthy Haitian vetiver, ideal for the discerning gentleman.
£90 for 30ml eau de parfum; available at byredo.co.uk from March.
The Wear Anywhere Scent
Montblanc Legend Spirit
Since its debut in 2011, Montblanc’s Olivier Pescheux-designed Legend has established itself as one of the most popular men’s scents around (no mean feat given it doesn’t have the might of a major fashion or fragrance name behind it).
Lighter, fresher and decidedly more daytime than its progenitor, Spirit is juicy and aromatic, owing to grapefruit, lavender and an aquatic accord that makes it a warm-weather version of Legend in all but name.
£39 for 50ml eau de toilette; available at The Perfume Shop from 11 April.
For Switching It Up
Jo Malone Orris & Sandalwood
The arrival of a new Jo Malone scent is a bit like a new TV series dropping on Netflix: always worth a look even if it doesn’t quite sound like your cup of Orange is the New Black.
This fragrance – woody, peppery and powdery (thanks to orris, an ingredient derived from the root of the iris plant) smells as good on either sex. Look out, too, for Jo Malone’s forthcoming Rare Teas luxury fragrance collection – Midnight Black Tea has us weak at the knees.
£105 for 100ml cologne; available at jomalone.co.uk.
The Safe Bet
Barbour Classic For Him
The brand new fragrance from the outfitter beloved of country gents and fashion types alike, Barbour Classic’s list of notes sounds like a roll call of mainstream men’s fragrance ingredients today. Grapefruit? Check. Black pepper? Check. Tonka bean? Check. Sandalwood? You get the picture.
If this slightly formulaic approach makes Barbour Classic a bit predictable, it also makes it a fantastically commercial – ergo wearable – proposition too.
£36 for 50ml eau de toilette; available at Selfridges from 1 February.
The One Worth Waiting For
There’s another major fragrance in the works from a British megabrand known for its trench coats. Created by acclaimed perfumer Francis Kurkdjian – the finely-tuned nose behind favourites like Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male – it’s set to be one of the biggest launches of the year, if only for its stunning ad campaign.
A super-strict press embargo forbids me from reviewing it in depth right now (though I can reveal it’s worth getting excited about) but bookmark this page and check back in April for a full appraisal.
Will you be stocking up on any of these new fragrances? Or have we neglected to mention an upcoming release you’re excited about?
Share your two scents below.