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.
Tom Ford Noir Eau de Parfum
With a name like Noir, you'd assume this scent would be dark and spicy – and you'd be partially right. It is also quite refreshing and floral; a daub releases hints of powdery violets and iris. That may sound feminine, but give it a moment and the floral scent will quickly develop into something altogether darker, warmer, sexier, and quite ambery. While the spices eventually win out, the hint of floral lingers in the background. This is a sleek and sophisticated scent from one of the great designers of the 21st century. [$90 for 50 ml or $125 for 100 ml; sephora.com]