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.
Spicebomb Eau de Toilette
Created by upscale Amsterdam-based fashion designers, Viktor and Rolf, Spicebomb has a split personality. It offers a peppery zing at first spray, but soon changes into a sweet masculine tobacco base reminiscent of classics like Chanel Egoiste. "There are some really unusual notes here," says Harrison. "For example, it employs cinnamon, saffron, and even chili!" Bonus: The bottle looks like a hand grenade. Now that's cool. [$75 for 1.7 oz; viktor-rolf.com]