The Best Fragrances for Men in 2023
Whether you’re looking for a signature scent to wear in all situations, a new fragrance for the new year, or something to wear only on special occasions, selecting a perfume can be daunting.
Like wine, almost all perfumes sound good when you read their flowery descriptions. But don’t worry. We’ve done the hard work for you and assessed each of the top fragrances carefully. If you’re in the market for a new perfume, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Read on to discover our picks for the best men’s fragrances for 2023.
What should I consider when choosing a perfume?
- Think about the occasion: Consider where and when you’ll be wearing the fragrance, and choose one that’s appropriate for the setting. For example, a more formal fragrance may be more suitable for a special event, while a lighter, fresher scent may be more suitable for everyday wear or something more casual and fun.
- Consider the lasting power: Choose a perfume that has good staying power so you don’t have to reapply it frequently throughout the day. Take into account your personal preferences. The most important thing is to choose a fragrance that you enjoy and feel comfortable wearing.
- Think about the concentration: Perfumes are available in different concentrations, which refer to the amount of pure perfume oil in the fragrance. Eau de parfum has a higher concentration of perfume oil and is generally longer lasting than eau de toilette, which has a lower concentration of perfume oil. Solid perfumes and roll-on applicators generally have less lasting power.
What are “notes”?
Perfume descriptions can seem very complex, but they start to make a little more sense once you understand the concept of notes.
Perfumes are made up of different notes, or layers of scent, which are revealed at different times after the perfume is applied. Top notes are the initial scents that are detected when the perfume is first applied, while middle or “heart” notes are the scents that become apparent as the top notes evaporate. Base notes are the scents that are detected after the perfume has dried down and can last for hours or even days.
A few notes are often associated with classic men’s fragrances:
- Woody notes, such as sandalwood, cedar, and patchouli, are often found in classic men’s fragrances and give a warm, earthy scent.
- Spicy notes, such as pepper, ginger, and cardamom, add depth and complexity to a fragrance and are often found in classic men’s perfumes.
- Leather notes, such as birch tar and cade oil, give a classic men’s fragrance a masculine, rugged scent.
- Citrus notes, such as lemon, bergamot, and orange, add a fresh and energetic scent to a men’s fragrance.
- Vetiver is a grassy, earthy note that’s often found in classic men’s fragrances and adds a masculine, sophisticated scent.
What are perfume trends to watch for in 2023?
In 2023, we’ve identified three main trends to look out for.
- Sustainability. One trend we can guarantee for 2023 is a focus on sustainability and natural ingredients. Many consumers are looking for fragrances made with environmentally friendly and sustainable practices, and that use natural ingredients rather than synthetic ones.
- Unisex. In 2023, unisex fragrances are expected to be especially popular. These fragrances often have a milder or more gender-neutral scent and are designed to be versatile and suitable for a wide range of people.
- Classic. While new and innovative fragrances are always being introduced, 2023 heralds a return to classic masculine notes of wood, leather, citrus, and spice.
Keep reading to discover our recommendations for the best fragrances for men in 2023.
1. Blu Atlas Atlantis
Topping our list is the new eau de cologne from Blu Atlas, Atlantis. This is an evocative, masculine blend inspired by the steamy, aromatic coastal jungles of Indonesia. Atlantis will kindle your wanderlust, conjuring dense foliage, drifting currents of fragrant air, and the crush of moss and humus underfoot.
Named for the legendary lost city, this scent deserves its mysterious name. A complex, intriguing perfume, Atlantis leads with bold, bright citrus, with top notes of bergamot and lemon. This brightness tapers into something darker and spicier, concluding with oak moss, musk, violet, and orris. Some scents are more suitable for summer and others for long nights out but Atlantis manages to refresh and smolder at the same time, making it an excellent choice for men who are seeking one signature scent that can take them from the office to the club.
Made from premium ingredients, Atlantis ticks all our boxes: vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without parabens, preservatives, or phthalates. This is a perfume that manages to be both ethical and delectable.
2. Maison Margiela Replica Jazz Club
Jazz Club is a part of Margiela’s nostalgic Replica line of fragrances: scents intended to evoke memories and feelings associated with specific places, times, or events. Jazz Club aims to evoke the atmosphere of a 1920s jazz club, with notes of leather, tobacco, and spices.
In our opinion, the scent pulls this off impeccably. Its warm, masculine tone conjures up worn leather booths and classic cocktails, and the haze of cigar smoke hanging above dapper clientele. If you’re the kind of man who feels like you were born in the wrong era, we think this might be a scent that works for you. For men who prefer a cleaner, more modern scent, this may be a little smoky and overpowering.
3. Dior Ambre Nuit
Dior Ambre Nuit is a luxurious and sophisticated fragrance. Opening with top notes of pink pepper and black pepper, Ambre Nuit kicks off with an invigorating start. The heart notes of labdanum and opoponax give it a warm and spicy touch, and the base notes of vanilla and amber create a smooth and creamy finish. This fragrance is perfect for men looking for an elegant, seductive scent that’s ideal for nights and cooler weather.
Ambre Nuit has great lasting power, a strong sillage, and would pair well with special occasions, date nights, and wintry walks. Because of its bold, spicy tones, it might not be ideal as a year round fragrance. But once the temperatures start to drop, this is one we recommend reaching for.
4. Barbour For Him
Though only launched in 2021, Barbour For Him somehow already feels classic. Warm, woodsy, and masculine, the scent features top notes of bergamot and mandarin, middle notes of lavender, geranium and clary sage, and base notes of sandalwood, patchouli, and moss. This perfume is another that’s perfect for autumn and winter. If you’re familiar with Barbour jackets, you might appreciate the intrinsic Britishness of this scent; it conjures up the kind of man who enjoys strolling across windy moors, lounging in front of the fire, or shooting some clay pigeons.
One thing to note about this fragrance is that its timeless qualities may mean it seems a little outdated or simple to men who prefer a more complex or inventive bouquet. But for the traditionalists among us, this is definitely worth checking out.
5. Orto Parisi Terroni
Terroni is a woody, musky, and warm fragrance inspired by the fertile soils around Mt Vesuvius. First things first, Terroni is not a scent for the fainthearted. It features a complex blend of woodsy and earthy scents, including cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, and vetiver. It also includes notes of musk and amber, which give it a warm and slightly animalistic character, evoking the depth and complexity of volcanic soils. The scent also has some lingering sweetness to it, with a touch of vanilla and labdanum.
Orto Parisi is known for its raw and natural perfumes, with a focus on quality ingredients and artisanal craftsmanship. Terroni is an intense and long-lasting scent that leaves a lasting impression. In short, this isn’t a perfume for men who shy away from the limelight.
6. Byredo Bibliothèque
Byredo is a luxury fragrance brand known for its handmade and small-batch perfumes. This approach means their fragrances tend to come with hefty price tags; however, we think the price is well worth it for Bibliotheque. Perhaps you have guessed from the name (it means library in French), this scent is inspired by the delightful smell of old books and their leather bindings. As you might expect, it has a warm, woody, and slightly smoky scent, with notes of vanilla, cedarwood, patchouli, and frankincense to create a cozy, rich, and slightly balsamic aroma.
Byredo is known for its unique and understated perfumes and Bibliotheque is a great example of a perfume that’s both striking and timeless. The brand is also known for their minimalist packaging, which avoids flashy colors or decorative lids. For Byredo, there aren’t many bells and whistles—it’s just about the scent.
7. Etat Libre d’Orange Fat Electrician
Fat Electrician is a unisex fragrance that features a unique blend of scents including patchouli, musk, and cedarwood, which blend to create a warm, woodsy, and earthy scent. It also features notes of vanilla, amber, and myrrh to create a sense of warmth and sensuality.
Etat Libre d’Orange is known for its bold and imaginative fragrances, and Fat Electrician is no exception. The brand’s perfumes each have a strong identity, often inspired by art, literature and popular culture. In this case, the bizarre name is a reference to the famous novel ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’ by Tom Wolfe. The scent and the name together give a strong statement and personality that Etat Libre d’Orange is known for.
8. Carolina Herrera Bad Boy
As the name might suggest, Bad Boy is a bold and masculine fragrance, featuring a blend of woody and spicy scents, including top notes of lavender and bergamot, middle notes of white pepper and violet leaf, and base notes of suede and ambroxan. These notes combine to create a scent that’s warm, spicy, and slightly smoky—alluring but with a darker edge.
If you’re looking for something bold and seductive and you fancy yourself something of a James Dean, then this might be the perfect scent for you. This isn’t necessarily a fragrance that fits all occasions—we’re picturing a nighttime rendezvous in a dimly lit whisky bar rather than a summery picnic—but if you’re looking for something daring then Carolina Hererra has you covered.
9. Comme des Garcons Amazingreen
Amazingreen was launched in 2012 and has remained a fan favorite ever since. Part of the brand’s “Series 3” line of fragrances, each offering is designed to evoke different moods and emotions.
Amazingreen features a unique blend of scents, including top notes of gunpowder and dewdrop, middle notes of palm tree leaves and ivy, and base notes of smoke and musk. These scents combine to create a unique and complex fragrance that evokes walks in the woods, shady forest trails, and tangled gardens. The scent is fresh, woody and slightly smoky. Amazingreen is suitable for most occasions although something we observed is that the fragrance has a relatively short lasting power, with many customers reporting that the scent doesn’t last as long as they’d like it to.
The fragrance is packaged in a minimalist green bottle that fits ergonomically in the palm of the hand and lays sideways rather than standing up. Comme des Garçons is known for its avant garde and conceptual approach to fashion and fragrance, and Amazingreen is a great example of this.
10. L’Occitane en Provence Cedrat
Cedrat is a refreshing and invigorating scent, with top notes of lemon, bergamot, and grapefruit, middle notes of orange blossom and cardamom, and base notes of cedarwood and musk. This is a scent that’s perfect for men who want to feel refreshed and energized after they apply their perfume. Perfect for wearing during the day, this one is for men who prefer a fresh and clean scent rather than something spicy, dark, or leathery.
Not the most complex or seductive scent available, this is a bright, zesty perfume that works as an everyday scent. Cedrat does hit with a somewhat alcohol-driven scent before the other notes appear, but this tends to fade to reveal more aromatic layers.
11. Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb
Spicebomb, as you might imagine, creates a stimulating atmosphere of warmth and spice, with notes of chili, saffron, and leather. The scent is bold and intense and suits men who like a perfume with a bit of punch and swagger. People with delicate noses might describe this one as “overpowering,” so we definitely advise applying it sparingly.
Correspondingly, the fragrance is packaged in an oversized grenade-shaped bottle, driving home the theme of explosive spice. One thing to note about Spicebomb is that it has a female counterpart called Flowerbomb. These perfumes make the perfect his-and-hers gift set. Or if your girlfriend is rocking Flowerbomb, it might be worth picking up a bottle of Spicebomb to complement her scent.
12. Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio
Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani is a summery scent with a fresh, aquatic feel. Picture days lounging beside an infinity pool, sunning yourself on the deck of a yacht, or diving into the crystalline Mediterranean Sea. Leading with top notes of bergamot, lemon, and grapefruit and tapering off into base notes of amberwood, musk, and tonka bean, we think this one was born to be a classic: fresh and masculine and perfect for both day and night.
This isn’t for men who favor musk, leather, or spicy woody scents, it’s a perfume that suits men with a clean, crisp aesthetic. Pair this with a fresh white shirt and sharply pressed summer chinos.
13. Le Labo Santal 33
Possibly Le Labo’s most famous fragrance, Santal 33 deserves its popularity. Warm, woodsy, and musky, the name “Santal 33” refers to the use of sandalwood as the dominant note in the fragrance. Basically, if you enjoy woody fragrances, this is an excellent choice. Le Labo is known for creating long-lasting fragrances and Santal 33 definitely delivers in terms of its longevity—something that’s especially important when the high price point of this particular scent is taken into account.
One thing to bear in mind with this fragrance is that it’s incredibly popular, so if you want a scent that sets you apart from the crowd perhaps look elsewhere.
14. Calvin Klein CK One
Calvin Klein CK One was first launched in 1994 and has been a best seller ever since. The scent is fresh, clean, and light, and it’s intended to be worn by both men and women. Composed of top notes of pineapple, citrus, and cardamom; middle notes of nutmeg, jasmine, and lily-of-the-valley; base notes of musk, amber, and cedar, this is a scent that’s clean, crisp, and refreshing.
We think this one is ideal for everyday wear and its low price point makes it an excellent choice for people just entering into the world of fragrances and not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars.
One thing to be aware of with CK One is that it’s been around for a long time meaning it has many knock offs. Due to this, a sense pervades among purists that the original fragrance has lost its uniqueness.
15. Lush Karma
Karma is a perfume created by Lush, a British cosmetics company known for its use of natural ingredients. The scent is a combination of patchouli, orange, and pine, which creates a woody, spicy, and fruity scent. It’s a unisex fragrance and is well known for being a long lasting scent with a strong aroma. The packaging is environmentally friendly as Lush encourages customers to refill and recycle their bottles.
Lush Karma is popular among people who prefer natural and sustainable products with a strong and long lasting scent. It’s particularly loved for its warm and cozy aroma, making it perfect for people who prefer woodsy, spicy scents.
16. Pacific Perfumes Maui Man
Maui Man is a solid perfume from Pacific Perfumes, a boutique perfumery from New Zealand. This perfume comes in compact, sustainable wooden packaging and has a refreshing scent, making it ideal for the summer months. Driven by a combination of citrus and herbs like lemongrass and rosemary, Maui Man has a fresh and uplifting character. Notes of patchouli and sandalwood linger, with the bright opening notes resolving into a more earthy and grounding feel.
Solid perfumes tend not to last as long as their eau de parfum counterparts, so be aware you may require frequent applications of this one.
17. Davidoff Cool Water
Cool Water was first launched in 1988 by Davidoff and is now considered one of the most popular men’s perfumes of all time. Fresh, clean, and aquatic, Cool Water aims to evoke the feeling of refreshing water and is a perfume that’s invigorating rather than cozy or sensual. The scent is composed of herbal top notes including mint, coriander, rosemary, and lavender; middle notes of geranium and sandalwood; and base notes of amber and tobacco.
Perfect for warm weather and everyday wear, Cool Water has stood the test of time and is among the best fragrances for men who want a simple, classic, crisp perfume.
18. Penhaligon Endymion
Penhaligon is a British luxury fragrance house established in 1870 and can count members of the Royal Family among its clientele. You only need to look at the styling of the bottle to understand that this is a brand with deep, traditional roots.
Endymion was launched in 2003 by perfumer Mark Crames and has since become one of the most popular fragrances from the brand. The scent is named after the Greek mythological figure Endymion, who was said to be a beautiful young man loved by the Moon goddess Selene. Balancing classical roots with modernity, Endymion manages to be both fresh and timeless. Featuring top notes of lavender and bergamot, middle notes of iris and clary sage, and base notes of musk and tonka bean, Endymion is versatile and approachable, making it suitable for everyday wear.
19. Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur
Reportedly Harry Styles’ signature scent, Gucci’s Mémoire d’une Odeur is a timeless fragrance with a clean, powdery, and woodsy bouquet.
The scent features top notes of chamomile, mandarin, orange, and pink pepper; middle notes of iris, jasmine, and cedar; and base notes of white musk, amber, and benzoin. The orange blossom is definitely the note that dominates this fragrance so if you aren’t a fan of citrus blossom scents, it’s unlikely you’ll take to this one. Mémoire d’une Odeur is a fairly light scent compared with some of the other musky, heavy hitters we’ve described, so this is more suitable for men who want their personal fragrance to be subtle.
20. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille is warm, sweet, and spicy. Think of a cozy evening by the fire, intimate candlelit dinners, or being rugged up in jacket and scarf for a romantic wintry walk. The scent is composed of top notes of spices, middle notes of tobacco leaf and vanilla, and base notes of dried fruits and wood.
Tobacco leaf and vanilla are definitely the most prominent notes, which lend the perfume a rich, warm, and comforting feeling. We think of this one as a great scent for specific occasions. Like the mulled wine of perfumes, Tobacco Vanille isn’t one to spritz on for casual summer drinks or to wear as a daily scent to the office.
21. Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit de L’Homme
Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit de L’Homme is a woody and spicy fragrance that we think is perfect for the modern man. This scent features top notes of cardamom, bergamot, and lavender, middle notes of cedar and violet, and base notes of vetiver and tonka bean. This is definitely one for the night as its seductive, bold impression could be overwhelming for an everyday fragrance—especially if it’s applied with too heavy a hand.
Recommended for men who fancy themselves daring, mysterious, and a bit saucy, perhaps not every chap will be able to pull this one off.
22. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue has become a classic of men’s perfumes. Refreshing, aquatic, and crisp, this is ideal for wear during the summer months. Picture yourself in an open necked linen shirt, a cocktail in hand. Now, just add a spritz of Light Blue to help you complete the image. This scent features top notes of lemon, apple, and juniper, middle notes of rosemary and jasmine, and base notes of cedar.
Unlike some of the muskier and more sensual fragrances we’ve profiled, Light Blue doesn’t ooze sensuality or coziness. Instead it evokes the feeling of diving into clear blue waters or sipping a tart G&T on a breezy balcony.