If you know me, you know there are three things I can spend my entirety on: eating out, Shoes and Fragrances. We all have our weaknesses no?
Funny enough, when i started out on this post, I only intended to give only five winter fragrances for men, then it grew to seven, then ten with two honourable mentions. So I just decided to go for broke and make it twelve altogether.
I own most of the fragrances on this list (with the exception of Dark Rebel and Armani Code), so this list is mostly based on personal preference and experience, but also a few reviews from different people. So please feel free to add any one you feel I might have left out in the comments section.
And also, perhaps the most important advice I can ever give on fragrances, ALWAYS go for Eau de Parfum (when available). Yes it may be a bit pricier, but it is always worth it. I’ve heard people say there really isn’t a difference between Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum, that is very false. There is no greater lie on earth. It’s more elegant, lasts longer and the tones are always deeper. You can never go wrong.
Well enough of my banter, I hope you find the fragrances below helpful through these winter months.
John Varvatos DARK REBEL
Dark Rebel is widely regarded as a badass fragrance, and rightly so. Its composition of leather, a little bit of smokiness from tobacco, and beautiful accents of rum and cognac gives this dangerous feel to it. Not one I own personally, but I’ve sampled it in the past, and it definitely stands out in the winter months.
Dolce & Gabbana: THE ONE FOR MEN
Launched in 2008, it is in my opinion the best fragrance Dolce & Gabbana have ever presented. Many fragrances have copied the DNA of “The One” because it is such a sickeningly sexy, awesome, mass pleasing monster. I had this back in 2014 (got stolen eventually). I originally intended to buy it for my Dad, but as soon as I had a whiff of it, I knew it was going home with me. It is undeniably beautiful. The woody spicy blend makes it a great winter cologne and honestly, this is one that will get you a lot of compliments.
Jean Paul Gaultier “LE MALE”
This right here has been my fathers signature perfume for the longest time, but I didn’t come to appreciate it as a scent until a couple years ago.
Originally introduced in 1995, Le Male is a sensual, masculine and irresistible blend of lavender, mint, cardamon and a whole lot of others. It’s an artistically unique creation; great for the winter, and its actually one of the best clubbing fragrances out there.
YSL LA NUIT DE L’HOMME
Launched 2009, La Nuit de l`Homme is a woody spicy perfume; powerful and full of contrasts (it is composed of cardamom as the only top note, lavender, bergamot, and Virginia cedar as middle notes accompanied by caraway and vetiver that are used as base notes.) I got this as a gift from my girlfriend and it’s absolutely one of my favourite fragrances. It’s versatile not only for the winter, but its also an amazing night time fragrance (perfect for date nights). It has this chill out/leather jacket vibe to it.
The L’Intense version is also one to try as well.
Dior FAHRENHEIT LE PARFUM
For some reason when I hear Dior Fahrenheit, my mind automatically goes to a middle aged woman’s fragrance, so imagine my surprise when I came across this cologne. It is an absolutely amazing piece of work. Honestly one of the best fragrances I have ever come across. It’s a blend of musky and floral notes ( the musky being the dominant scent). This is by far one of the best winter fragrances. It may be too heavy for the summer, but if used moderately, it can still be pulled off.
The only down side to this cologne is, Le Parfum is almost impossible to find in North America. The Eau de Toilette, however, is everywhere and if you are tempted to buy it, please DON’T! They smell nothing alike.
ARMANI CODE PROFUMO by Giorgio Armani
The Profumo has the original Armani Code DNA, but boosted up with some sweet notes and made more playful with a serious tone (not sure if that makes sense). One of my favourite night time fragrances, It still has the original oriental spicy tones found in the initial Armani Code, but this has a younger and more sleeker feel to it.
Serge Lutens: FILLE EN AIGUILLES
Having been in search of a signature scent for a few years, when I found Fille en Aigilles, I was sure I had found it. If you’re an OUD lover like me, I’m very sure you’d love this as much as I do. I’m convinced it was made for the winter months, but it works all year round. Long lasting, unique; there are few fragrance houses that reach this level of perfection. This pine and incense scent with a spoonful of Luten’s signature stewed fruit is a perfect fit for the winter months.
It is unisex and is available only in 50ml bottles, but I promise you, it’ll last you a while. I’ve had mine for over a year, and I use it almost everyday. It is only available in Sephora stores for Canadian shoppers, but in Europe and the States, its not as rare and can be found in several department stores.
It also serves as a perfect Christmas gift; so if you if you wondering what to get me for Christmas, there you have it.
Price: $150 (Sephora Only)
Versace OUD NOIR
I was introduced to Versace Oud Noir by my friend (who had stolen it from his cousin) and I knew I had to either steal his, or get mine (I ended up getting mine).
Verscae OUD Noir is a reflection of pure masculinity and makes it unforgettable for people with a strong sense of smell. The impact of the woody notes come with a smoky feel, and is perfect for someone who wants to make the best first impression possible! It comes with a spicy touch, which gives you what you crave. There are no distinctive notes, and the product has a blend of OUD, leather, woods, spices and Oriental essences. If you want a perfume for parties and clubs, this could be a nice option. The aroma brings in the opulence of leather and combines it with the earthiness of Agarwood. The Oriental and woodsy notes build up the spice and make it last a long time.
I was very skeptical about this particular fragrance initially, after the disappointment of Gucci Guilty. I had initially picked an Issey Miyake fragrance over the Gucci Oud ( it came with a speaker as a gift with purchase) but the lady at the duty free insisted that it would grow on me and that I should give it a try. She convinced me so much that I ended up getting one for myself, and one for my girlfriend. Today, I am glad I listened to her because this is currently in my top 5 fragrances right now and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.
Gucci Oud is a unisex sparkling Eau de Parfum fragrance that just oozes glamour, opulence, and mystery. The composition is characterized by a rich, intense aroma that the essence of oud from Laos brings.
It is another one that could be tricky to find in North America, but I hear the Intense version is readily available. I haven’t personally tried that one, but if it serves as an upgrade to this version, then there can be very little wrong with it.
Valentino UOMO INTENSE
Till today, I still can’t believe I passed on this for Mr. Burberry, but at least I left with a sample of it. Having already owned the predecessor (Valentino Uomo, which smells absolutely amazing as well) I decided to try for a different fragrance (Mr. Burberry), and I must say, I kind of regret it.
The Valentino Uomo Intense is more charismatic, and has this air dominant personality and a powerful aura. The Uomo Intense performs amazingly; it is unique and very much appreciated by the ladies.
Before I got the Pi, I was never a fan of Givenchy fragrances; they just all seemed to bland for my liking. And even with the Pi, I must admit I bought it just because the shape of the bottle intrigued me. But over time its proven itself to be one of my favourites. I’ve gone through two bottles in just over three years.
Pi by Givenchy is a sweet woody, oriental scent that is cunningly inviting, with balmy notes of vanilla, benazoin resin and sandalwood. It is surprisingly delectable and designed to be enjoyed by sensualist types. Another evening wear reccomendation on this one as well.
PRIVATE BLEND OUD WOOD EAU DE PARFUM by Tom Ford
When Tom Ford launched the Private Blend Collection in 2007, there were 12 of them (now there are more) and they were (and still are, of course) expensive; they were in very limited distribution (that has eased somewhat). About two years ago, I smelled four of them on blotters, didn’t love any of them, and decided to ignore the collection entirely. But then I smelt the Oud Wood on a coworker and I remember running to Nordstrom that day to find out if they had it (and more importantly, if I could afford it). Turns out they did have it, but I couldn’t afford it at the time. I finally got it as birthday present from my girlfriend, and along with the Serge Lutens and the Gucci Oud, it has been a stand out performer.
It’s a dark-ish, earthy wood scent Oud Wood is a quieter fragrance, with the oud itself softened by the vanilla and other wood notes. It does have a nice bite to it, but it isn’t nearly as heavily spiced. To my nose, it’s easily the most masculine of the Private Blends, or at least, of those I’ve smelled.