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.
V for Men
Named after Clive Christian's daughter, Victoria, V for Men is a classic woody oriental scent, a sophisticated mixture of citrus notes and exotic woods. Frankincense is the lead ingredient and instantly calls to mind what the inside of an old church smells like. Three different peppers are blended in to give it a spicy piquant note, which balances out the heaviness of the incense. There's a trace of cedar in there, too. While V is certainly strong, it is not overpowering or too heavy, making it appropriate for day and evening. [$405 for 1.7 oz; clive.com]