As the weather gets cooler, the scents get warmer. That’s the tradition, anyway: Fall fragrances are known for woody, spicy, or amber notes. Whereas warm weather scents have a fresh, floral lift, fall ones lean more heavily into the cold category, preparing us for the deep and musky tones of winter. The best thing about these transitional colognes and fragrances for fall is that many can work all year long.
If you’re in the market for a seasonal fragrance with subtle warm notes, or if you’re hunting for a year-round scent, consider these options. Some are brand new, some recently revived, and some are longstanding consumer favorites. All of them, however, are the best colognes you can sport this season.
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Arquiste Parfumeur Sydney Rock Pool
Arquiste first released this as a limited edition, but its popularity demanded a fulltime feature. All of the brand’s fragrances summon a setting of the senses. This is one of Arquiste’s most modern takes: 2016, Sydney, golden hour in the sandstone surf. The result is something warm, but expansive—almost like a blissful summer. Best of all, that means you don’t need to put it aside until next fall and winter, either: With Sydney Rock Pool, there’s year-round warmth in orbit.
Courtesy of Arquiste
Chances are you already know about Dollar Shave Club’s shaving products. Now the company wants to help you smell really damn good. With its bottle of Blueprint, the brand is venturing into colognes, with two different sets: The 100 “Fresh” trio, and the 200 “Warm” trio. We like Blueprint Warm 203, with its blend of golden musk, vetiver, and sandalwood. It’s a little fresh, like the rest of the white-label collection, but this blue bottle creates a darker, more masculine effect despite its clean first impression.
Courtesy of Blueprint
Le Labo Thé Noir 29 Solid
All of Le Labo’s scents are solid in that they’re really good. But some of them are also literally solid, as is the case with this Thé Noir capsule. Thé Noir starts with lighter notes like bergamot and fig, it graduates into a base of arguably the best-smelling things in the world (cedar wood, musk, and vetiver) to create a perfect fall balance. Best of all, it’s TSA-friendly, easy to tote in your dopp kit or work bag, and just as easy to apply (rub a sliver of it on your pulse points, or even on your mustache).
Courtesy of Le Labo
Fulton & Roark Ltd. Reserve #6 Perpetua
Speaking of solids, the same goes for Fulton & Roark’s excellent assortment of pocket-size, travel-friendly tins. The newest limited edition run has landed in time for fall: Go for Perpetua and you’ll smell like a mix of cedarwood and mahogany, balanced with bergamot, jasmine, and other notes. Amber seals the deal, preserving Perpetua as a cold-weather classic—one you have to get this year, before the limited supply runs out.
Courtesy of Fulton and Roark
So you want the crispness of bergamot
and the sharpness of musk? Consider Azzaro Chrome. The bright blue bottle evokes summer days—a warmth you’ll appreciate as you navigate the plunging temperatures this fall and winter.
[$87 for a 3.4oz bottle; azzaro.com]
Courtesy of Azzaro
Dior Sauvage Eau de Parfum
While Sauvage Eau de Parfum opens with bergamot and fresh lavender, it’s rounded out with Sichuan pepper, star anise, nutmeg, and vanilla. When discussing the balance of these tones, experts reference the warm notes getting depth by the addition of fresher, cleaner ingredients. In the case of Sauvage EdC, it’s truly the most balanced of the lot and great for every season, but these spicy notes make autumn its sweet spot.
Courtesy of Dior
Calvin Klein Eternity for Men
Nobody does mass appeal like CK, and the brand’s Eternity for Men continues to be a bestseller year round. Now’s the best time to wear it, too: It envelops you with herbal, floral, and citrus top notes, but persists with much deeper tones of rosewood, sandalwood, vetiver, and amber. You might just want to wear it for eternity.
Courtesy of Calvin Klein
DedCool Series 2 Red (Dakota)
The latest launch from SoCal scentmaker DedCool, Series 2 is a lineup of scents that can weather any season. The best for fall is Red (Dakota), with a woody and amber heart bookended by fresh gardenias, crisp clementines, and sweet wild berries. As a born-and-raised Dakotan, I can tell you that this one deserves its name: It’s as warm and hospitable as the autumnal prairie.
Courtesy of DedCool
A premium blend of ingredients makes Platinum a real original: It mixes tonka beans, cashmeran, juniper berries, sage, geranium, pineapple, leather, black pepper, sandalwood, and patchouli. It’s a perfect nighttime scent for a dinner date or black-tie affair.
Courtesy of Coach
VIRTU Vince Camuto
VIRTU debuted this fall with warm notes to commemorate the season: crushed peppercorn, Haitian vetiver, fresh tree moss, Tuscan leather, cedar, and Indian sandalwood. The blend has a crisp complexity to it, though. It’s curiously cool despite its fuller recipe, with fresh notes of Turkish cardamom and papyrus rounding out the top layer. And the leather-wrapped bottle is as much a part of the sensory experience as the liquid inside.
Courtesy of Vince Camuto
Hugo Boss BOSS The Scent
BOSS isn’t shy about this bottle. It’s seductive and sensual, so dab some on before your next date for an enticing scent. You’ll get spicy ginger deepened with the addition of exotic maninka fruit and finished with leather base notes—a recipe for a great night.
Courtesy of Hugo Boss
Louis Vuitton L’Immensité
One of five men’s scents launched by Louis Vuitton this year, L’Immendisté isn’t exactly a fall fragrance, but it’s included here to buck tradition. While most seasonal scents evoke a specific mood, L’Immensité was designed to be a limitless scent, one that you can’t attach to any specific occasion. Its fresh blend of ginger and amber finished with grapefruit works in any situation—your girlfriend might even steal this one for herself, too.
[Call for pricing; louisvuitton.com]
Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
CoSTUME NATIONAL Scent Intense
Scent Intense will forever be one of my fall favorites. Anchored by amber, CoSTUME NATIONAL’s best blend combines the broody ingredient with hibiscus, jasmine, and wood notes for a head-turning finish. It’s the kind of fragrance that makes guys stock up on just one bottle and wear it as a signature scent.
[$125 for 50ml bottle; us.costumenationalscents.com]
Courtesy of CoSTUME NATIONAL
Ralph Lauren Polo Supreme Oud
Supreme Oud is supreme in its warming powers: With notes of smoky Indian oud wood, vetiver, cinnamon, and pink pepper, it’s the scent equivalent of sitting around a crackling fire in late autumn, spiked ciders in hand. With its gilded detailing, it belongs on your top shelf—though you should keep it easily accessible since it’s your new secret style weapon.
[$125 for 4.2oz bottle; sephora.com]
Courtesy of Ralph Lauren
As good in the spring as it is during fall, this transitional scent balances the fruity, the crisp, and the floral (ingredients like lavender, pineapple, red apple, bergamot, and geranium) with heartier, standout ones like tonka beans, sandalwood, and oak moss. If you’re one to have a different scent with each season, you could save some money and rely on the strength and popularity of Legend on either end of summer and winter.
Courtesy of Montblanc
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