As fall embeds more deeply into itself and the start of holiday season creeps eerily near, it’s a good time as ever to consider the best men’s fragrances on the market whether for a smart, autumn update or a holiday gift for a beau. From classic woody ouds to artisanal fragrance houses specializing in limited release, numbered and engraved editions, this list encompasses the best of men’s cologne available today.
BLU ATLAS Atlantis ($100/3.4 oz)
A newcomer to the fragrance game, this scent from the men’s clean-grooming brand of the same name is inspired by the jungles of Bali. In its exploration of bringing the signatures of the Indonesian island to life, Blu Atlas’s Atlantis melds top and base notes such as tangy citrus and earthy moss with mid-notes of fruit and herbs to create this elevated tropical scent. Lighter elements sit as top notes in the forms of bergamot, lemon and blackcurrant while the mid-notes are made up of lavender, clary sage, peach and apricot. To root the scent to its identity as a fragrance which brings Bali alive, Atlantis’s base notes are anchored in orris, violet, ambrette seed, and musk. Most importantly, though, Atlantis has been designed to suit a wide array of tastes and occasions, as well as to last a long time all while being paraben, sulfate, cruelty, and phthalate free. And it’s vegan, too.
BVLGARI le Gemme Orom, ($349/3.4 oz)
A classic name in the world of fragrance, Bvlgari is the Italian house behind many of society’s most well-loved scents. This fall, the house has released le Gemme Orom, an ode to self-confidence exemplified by its name as orom means peacock in the East African culture of the Malagasy Republic. This is a scent loaded with rich woodiness with top notes that mix creamy vanilla and cedar. Then, more wooded scents live as base notes in the form of sandalwood and oud. The overall experience is that of deep sensuality, mystery, and magic from start to finish, including the bottle which is a statuesque, black tower capped with a gleaming labradorite-like stone.
COSTA BRAZIL Aroma ($198)
From Creative Directing Calvin Klein through its heyday in the early aughts to founding Costa Brazil, a collection of eco-luxury beauty and wellness products that communicates the richness of the Brazil-native’s Amazon, Francisco Costa brings ethically sourced elements from the South American jungle to this line of products. Amongst these is the brand’s signature scent, Aroma. Aroma is inspired by the resin of the Amazon rainforest said to bring peace of mind, focus, and balance called breu. Top notes of white flowers, Brazilian orange, grapefruit and pink pepper give this scent a sweet, citrusy entrance which balances the deep base notes of amber, patchouli, vetiver, and Atlas Cedar. The result is a scent which elicits both the freshness and the earthiness of the jungle which inspired it. Aroma comes in two forms, eau du parfum and a roll-on oil format ($78). This scent is unisex and is, indeed, commanding for whoever wears it, regardless of gender.
FERRAGAMO Bright Leather ($102/3.4 oz)
This new men’s fragrance from the Italian house known as a purveyor of fine Italian goods, Ferragamo’s Bright Leather is a fragrance foray into a redefined, contemporary idea of masculinity. It’s a blend of citrus top notes and leather base notes which are bound together by a hearty middle of herbal greens such as basil and rosemary. Interspersed are bergamot and cedar wood which add both a sweet tanginess and crisp, earthy notes.
FUEGUIA 1833 Puro ($445/3.4 oz)
Fueguia 1833 is the epitome of modern fragrance. The niche Argentine brand delivers on old-world luxury expected of heritage scents, and yet seamlessly marries it with the importance of conscious creation. They have phased out compounds such as polycyclic musk, which cause potential harm to various aquatic species, and instead use a bevy of completely biodegradable vegetable ingredients and elements—all while also being free of synthetic preservatives, dyes, and ingredients of animal origin. This includes ingredients such as biodegradable musks of plant origin and organic ethanol. This may all sound very practical, however, the artisanship of fine fragrance creation is not lost at Fueguia 1833. Founded in 2010 by Julian Bedel, the house only releases 400 numbered and engraved editions globally per year. In his former career as an artist (Bedel was a musician and painter) he was used to creating an emotional connection with his audience, and he aims to strike a similar connection to the users of his fragrances. In the house’s newest offering, Puro, the scent elicits the heat of Cuban nights through the bringing together of tobacco and cedar. This is a brand with a cosmopolitan mindset best evidenced by its dedicated laboratory in Milan and boutiques in Kyoto, London, New York, and Tokyo—all of which adds to the vibe of intrigue and aspiration aroused by Fueguia 1833.
GUERLAIN’s Haute Parfumerie Collection ($360/3.4 oz)
There’s hardly only one to be chosen here as Guerlain’s entire Haute Parfumerie Collection is worth exploration. A collection of 20 customizable eau de parfums from the French house that was founded almost 200 years ago in 1828, Guerlain’s Haute Parfumerie Collection spans classic florals such Rose Cherie and Joyeuse Tubérose, to an extensive exploration of Oud that includes Cherry Oud, Oud Kôhl, and the newest one, Oud Nude. As scent is something so personal, Guerlain plays upon the individualistic nature of fragrance and takes it to the next level with the customization of the Haute Parfumerie Collections bottles. Customers are able to make their bottle one-of-a-kind through personalized engraving, a custom choice of the bottle’s cord and seal, as well as options for the plate which sits on the bottle’s top.
AMOUAGE Opus XIV Royal Tobacco ($360/3.4 oz))
This fragrance’s name is an homage to the elements upon which it was created—the treasures of the earth’s 23rd parallel which unite Cuba and Oman. Through marriage of Royal Frankincense and Tobacco Absolute (hence, the name Royal Tobacco), a wide array of notes send the wearer on a sensory exploration that traverses and connects the 23rd parallel. From fenugreek to Bulgarian rose, to anise and basil, to licorice, smoky birch tar and vetiver, Royal Tobacco is a symphony of unique notes all of which add up to this revelatory ode to smoke.