The new year brings resolutions and fresh planners yet to be written in. It's a time of personal transformation and renewal. What better way to kick off a vibrant and successful 2023 than with an exciting fragrance you've never tried and didn't know you'd love? Whether you own a couple of old standby fragrances, a carefully curated wardrobe, or have never really thought about fragrance, the right new one (or two) can work wonders. Each niche scent will bring the unexpected, the radical, and the daring to your new year. Get the year started right and smelling incredible with these fragrances for men.
Praline in Maple by Scents of Wood
Warm and spicy aromatic
Main notes: Chestnut, pink pepper, clove, cedar, black pepper, guaiac wood, Peru balsam
Scents of Wood has produced an unforgettable bottle for what is sure to be an unforgettable year: Captivating, wild, yet warm. It suggests nights spent under a starry sky, seats on mossy logs, pine needle carpets, and roaring fires. Praline in Maple is smoky, woody, and sweet, but it contains an unexpectedly sharp bite from two kinds of pepper and spicy, earthy patchouli. The nutty softness of the chestnuts keeps it tied to home (or at least camp) while the other elements suggest uncharted territory and wanderlust.
This unisex fragrance is vital, mysterious, complex, and ever-evolving, much like the heart evoked by the bottle. This scent is best in fall and winter, and it's well-suited to long walks, afternoons in coffee shops, and of course, exploring the night. It has excellent longevity for keeping you warm on long, dark evenings.
When the Rain Stops by Maison Margiela
Main notes: Green notes, bergamot, rain notes, pine needles, moss, patchouli
The sharp, fresh smell of a clean world. The rain drops clinging to the plants. The sun glinting through the trees. The wet earth inhaling and exhaling. What could be more inspiring when a new year has just been born?
Maison Margiela aims to capture fleeting, singular moments in everyday life. This fresh, aromatic fragrance is one of the brand's magic tricks, an ever-changing surprise in a bottle. Don't be misled by the floral notes — this sharp, green, and aquatic fragrance could suit anyone, and it smells like very few other fragrances out there.
Wearing this celebration of nature, you may find yourself swept up by the fragrance of damp moss, soft bergamot, or mineral-heavy wet asphalt. Due to its watery and clean nature, When the Rain Stops would be an excellent choice for those working in an office or around those with sensitive noses. It shines best in the day and is naturally suited to spring and summer. However, spritzing it on a cloudy and crisp day may bring out elements you never expected.
Followed by Kerosene
Main notes: Caramel, vanilla, coffee, amber
The scent of freshly-brewed coffee draws everyone like a magnet, bringing with it the warming promise of a new day begun just right. Followed, by the independent American fragrance brand Kerosene, brings a startlingly realistic take on a rich, smooth, steaming cup of coffee. However, this is no ordinary gourmand — a category of scents imitating or strongly evocative of foods or spices. From that strikingly industrial, no-frills bottle comes a strong, rich, sweet, and balanced aroma that you'll find impossible to ignore.
With elements of buttery sweets, bourbon, wood, amber, and orange blossom, the magic of Followed comes from its ever-evolving and seductive nature. If you find yourself inhaling extra deeply as you pass a coffee shop, or if you're irresistibly drawn to velvety blends of dark chocolate and vanilla, Followed will be the perfect match for you in 2023. Bear in mind that Followed has a big personality and even more longevity. It's best reserved for chilly fall and winter days, outdoor activities, and lazy Sundays. As with an espresso, proceed with equal parts caution and optimism.
Hinoki Fantôme by Boy Smells
Main notes: Cypress, tobacco leaf, oakmoss
With its pink label, a cap that seems to stretch toward the ceiling, and its own brand name, Boy Smells aims to turn every assumption about fragrance on its head. As a result, it's created one of the best fragrances for men.
As is true with so many aspects of life, gender and its restrictions are irrelevant. Hinoki Fantôme is named for the treasured Japanese cypress known for its lemony-woody scent, and here, it's married to the French word for "ghost." The latter might be poetic license, but the former is not.
If you enjoy crisp earthy scents with strong wood elements, Hinoki Ghost could bring a meditative and grounding element to your new year. Though immediately identifiable as a woody fragrance, this scent is far from one-note, containing puffs of sap-sweetened air, spicy herbs, bitter tobacco, and black pepper. Like a forest, it is constantly shifting and changing with time and pulling you back in. Like many ghosts, this one is versatile and can be seen in all weather and at any time of day or night.
Erémia by Aēsop
Main notes: Yuzu, grapefruit, bergamot, green tea
From Aēsop, the venerated Australian niche brand, comes Erémia, a bottle that tells of what happens after civilization has collapsed and the wilds have taken over. We must admit that Australians know a thing or two about untamed nature.
While the concept of the end of the world as we know it may not be everyone's New Year's inspiration, the fragrance contained in this clean and tidy apothecary-style bottle is far from dreary. The bright, sparkling notes of yuzu, grapefruit, sweet bergamot, and gentle green tea paint an image of climbing, winding vines, lush greenery, and unfettered growth. After the crisp citrusy opening, wood, moss and floral notes mingle together before developing into a soft, muted moss. New beginnings and old endings blend seamlessly together here, evoking the timeless cycle of death and rebirth.
Those who love the scent of an overgrown orchard or a garden in the early morning will love Erémia. Its soft green components and gentle longevity make it a perfect all-seasons fragrance, but it is perhaps at its best in fertile spring and misty fall.
Sun Fruit by Ellis Brooklyn
Main notes: Fig, pear, orange blossom, coconut
Fragrances are crafted to conjure moods and singular moments in time. The moment contained in Ellis Brooklyn's unwaveringly cheerful and modern acid-yellow bottle is one of freshly squeezed fruit and clear, soft sunshine. Many fragrances aim for that summer cocktail vibe; after all, it's irresistibly delicious.
Sun Fruit, however, tosses the little paper umbrella into the sand. This tart, mouth-watering and bright fragrance is set apart by its effervescent and carefree nature. It's a concoction of smooth guava, musky orange blossom, and pulpy fig. The fig, a slightly unusual and sexier, subtler note, grounds the fruits and flowers and gives them new dimension.
Sun Fruit is sparkling, zingy, and bubbly. It unexpectedly develops a crystallized sweet crunch before smoothing out into the muted milkiness of coconut accompanied by amber and elegant iris. It is, quite frankly, impossible to be in a bad mood while wearing Sun Fruit, and it's impossible to entirely resist the wearer.
Sun Fruit is best suited for its namesake: The sunlit day. It shines in all seasons, but it's perhaps best in beautiful spring and summer weather. Kick off your New Year with joyful impulses and delightful surprises, with messiness and exuberance. You'll be glad you did.
W*****y by Commodity
Warm and spicy
Main notes: Bourbon vanilla, mahogany wood, American oak, black currant, violet, plum
Whiskey by Commodity will often be found under the provocative nickname W*****y, which, against the stylish and understated matte black of the bottle, will have anyone who sees it trying to uncover the censored word. The reality is a far less exciting copyright issue, but aren't you going to have fun watching them guess?
W*****y is a timeless fragrance inspired by bourbon casks and rare Irish whiskies, enhanced by rich fruits, vanilla, and oak. Cedar, oak, and mahogany make this a symphony of polished woods deepened by the spicy counterparts of patchouli and saffron as well as earthy, salty ambergris.
No matter the time of year, everyone needs a solid standby, a complex, classic, and well-rounded scent that suits any season and can be worn at work or at play. W*****Y is that scent, a smoky, plummy, and woody companion in all but the hottest weather, and an excellent beginning to your newest chapter.
Choosing a new fragrance means choosing a new direction, a new mood for your life. Who do you want to be in 2023? Are you looking to tap into your mysterious and solitary side and enjoy more time outdoors? Are you interested in a new year that's full of exuberant, sparkling sunlight and joy? Or are you looking to find a quiet center, one in which mindfulness and the timeless wisdom of the earth restores your inner balance? The wonderful thing about fragrance is that you may choose all of these options — and more — to suit the many complex facets of your personality and your next 365 days. It's time to shed the old ways and step into a fresh new you.
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