It would be easy to find your go-to fragrance and be done with it; the olfactory equivalent of Mark Zuckerberg’s grey T-shirt rotation. But with so many releases, re-releases and re-rereleases each season, where would the fun be in that?
Instead, your fragrance wardrobe, much like the regular one, should change with you, stocked with options for different dress codes and seasons.
As the leaves turn again, we’ve sniffed out the very best new fragrances for autumn/winter 2017, with options for every style and budget. Noses down, chaps.
Tom Ford Anthracite Noir
Tom Ford is well known for turning out fragrances that are as sleek as his tailoring. The designer’s latest release, Fucking Fabulous (no, seriously), costs almost £500 for 250ml. While we’re sure the bold, earthy scent lives up to the billing, a more likely (and certainly affordable) autumn candidate can be found in Ford’s successful Private Blend collection.
Anthracite Noir is defined as a ‘chypre’ – a family of perfumes that use ground citrus notes blended with a masculine oak moss base. A mixture of bergamot (basically a cross between a lime and an orange), sandalwood and ginger make for a statement scent that’s more eau-MG than eau de toilette.
David Beckham Respect
Before we hear any snide celebrity fragrance remarks, Becks has scored almost as many times on grooming shelves as on the pitch, with bottles bearing his name picking up several awards along the way.
This time round he hits the back of the olfactory net with Respect thanks to traditional musky notes, lifted by fruity grapefruit, watermelon and pink pepper top notes. Decidedly more refined than any Love Island bottle destined for Poundland.
Calvin Klein Obsessed For Men
With the style world’s current fixation on nostalgia, it’s little surprise that newly installed Calvin Klein boss Raf Simons has decided to relaunch the brand’s most iconic fragrance to date.
Obsessed, designed to echo the original Obsession scent made famous by a certain Ms Moss in 1993, pulls on dark vanilla – a note that’s spicier than the traditional form – along with rich heart notes of cedar leaves, labdanum and firnat. One of those rare scents that lives up to the branding.
Davidoff Cool Water Wave
You’d think after almost three decades on shelves that Davidoff would have run out of ideas to reinvent its stalwart scent, but not so. The new Cool Water Wave remix continues to ride high on the, you know, for tried and tested favourites.
It’s classed as a ‘woody aquatic’, which may sound like a pool-based sex position, but is actually a blend of light, refreshing notes with masculine undertones that promise to age as good as the original.
Fragrances are confusing. Gentleman Givenchy, not to be mistaken for Givenchy Gentleman, is actually an update of the same scent. However, they’re very different smells.
Our heads hurt, but thankfully our noses don’t. The 2017 release is described as a mixture of “power and sweetness”, with top notes of pear and cardamom, and a base of patchouli and black vanilla for added weight, packaged in a suitably pared-back design.
Coach For Men
Coach may have become known for its modern dinosaur-embellished apparel in recent seasons, but the New York label’s fragrance collection cuts a decidedly classic figure.
Coach For Men is the work of Anne Flipo and Bruno Jovanovic, two respected noses behind scents for the likes of Burberry, Hugo Boss and Paco Rabanne. A fresher entry to this list, green nashi pear, bergamot and kumquat form the top note roster, while spicy heart notes like coriander add warmth, with traditional woodier scents below. Make it your go-to fragrance for date night.
Paco Rabanne Pure XS
With a pedigree for producing the two bestselling UK scents of all time, Paco Rabanne has long been considered a safe pair of nostrils when it comes to fragrances.
Pure XS (yet another nineties remix) follows in the footsteps of blockbuster releases Invictus and 1 Million, and is just as boisterous. Top notes of ginger and thyme are there to grab attention, while further hints of liquor and cedar are said to convey “the sensation of skin shivering with desire and burning with pleasure”. Which frankly sounds a bit much, especially if you’re getting on public transport, but it certainly does the job.
Acqua di Parma Colonia Pura
Milanese lifestyle firm Acqua di Parma is to fragrances what Krug is to champagne: eye-wateringly expensive and troublingly moreish. The luxury brand’s long line of male scents is well worth the cost and this season’s Colonia Pura is no exception.
The unisex scent (hint: make your other half go Dutch) is packed with all the usual fresh, citrusy notes that are a big part of Acqua di Parma’s DNA. However, this time the 100-year-old perfumer has added an aromatic base of coriander, cedar and patchouli that grounds the scent without making it too heavy. Even so, use sparingly.
Prada L’Homme Intense
Prada has perfected the art of keeping things simple when it comes to fragrances, which – in an industry of big marketing gimmicks and stacked, topless Italians staring into the camera – is something to be admired.
Prada L’Homme Intense is an update of the original 2016 scent, enhancing the formula with tonka bean – a seed native to Central America that adds an oriental note. Far from a floral fragrance, L’Homme Intense also blends touches of leather, amber and sandalwood, all in the pursuit of a strictly masculine scent that’s ideal for the evening.
Issey Miyake L’eau Majeure D’issy
Not all winter scents have to be woody or spicy. Issey Miyake, the Japanese designer that has long produced softer, lighter fragrances for the colder months, has followed the same pattern with this aquatic creation.
L’eau Majeure is a unisex EDT said to mimic the salty sea wind, and we’re not talking fish and chips down Brighton Pier. Bergamot and grapefruit offer a bracing citrus opening, while its woody base provides a solid anchor to hit the sweet spot that made Miyake a household name.