It goes without saying that a man's smell is a deeply personal thing. It's also, by default, a natural form of self-expression. So to get a feel for the best scents being offered this year, we consulted with Marlen Harrison, creator and editor of theperfumecritic.com and contributor to Basenotes, NowSmellThis,and Fragrantica. "This season it's all about the wood," says Harrison, referring to many current fragrances that are dominated by woody scents, typically sandalwood, cedar, and oud. Some even contain a dash of citrus or aromatic notes for character. Think of fragrances as similar to wines, whiskeys, or cigars; they all have various layers of notes and their characters are apt to change over time. With input from Harrison, we compiled a list of 2013's 10 best new colognes.
Déclaration d'un Soir (Cartier)
Another update of a classic (in this case, 1998's Déclaration by Cartier), Déclaration d'un Soir starts off with a burst of spice, but quickly develops into a more floral-woody aroma with a noticeable hint of rose, followed by a strong musky finish. Its notes include pepper, cumin, nutmeg, rose, and sandalwood. If it sounds worrisomely busy, know that Harrison thinks it's better than the original: "It's more complex, has bigger character, and projects well." Which means you're probably better off sporting it when in evening wear than at the office. [$80 for 1.6 oz or $105 for 3.4oz; cartier.us]