You wouldn’t wear a linen suit to an October wedding, and you probably wouldn’t take the convertible out when it’s 45 degrees. Certain things belong to certain seasons, and while Timberlands, flannels, and quilted vests own the fall, some colognes do not. Scents that work well in the heat and humidity — anything citrusy and sweet — lose their potency as the temperature drops and the air thins. Fragrances that smelled amazing in the dog days of August are suddenly weak, like a lightweight. And who needs that?
Here’s a quick primer. Fragrances broadly fall into one of three categories: Spicy, clean, and citrusy. Citrus-based fragrances are likely what you wear in the summer months. They smell sweet and fresh, sometimes with floral overtones. Clean fragrances don’t tend to have a season but definitely have a “type” — they’re typically worn by men in suits seeking to identify themselves modern, urban, and sophisticated. See: City dweller. Think: More science lab than nature.
Which brings us to the third category: spicy. This is the base for most fall/winter colognes, and the setting for darker, rich scents. Spice-based colognes tend to be a little heavier, muskier, and woodsier. Nutmeg and cinnamon are frequent ingredients here, as are sandalwood and cedarwood. What could smell overpowering in the hotter summer months becomes inviting on crisp autumn nights.
Of course, within the spice family, there are as many iterations as there are leaves turning shades of gold and amber this month. And like the fall foliage, some fragrances impress more than others. Here, our favorites for this season.