Fall can inspire polarizing reactions when it comes to aromas and flavors; some have been waiting all year to break out the cinnamon sticks and scarves, others find the so-called pumpkin spice season cloying and overbearing. While it’s totally fine to stick with a favorite scent through autumn, the arrival of cooler weather is a great excuse to try out some fall colognes, which generally include heavier scents with notes based on wood, incense, and spices.
Cozy is perhaps the key word for most when it comes to fall fragrances, but cozy doesn’t need to mean twee. When brightened with citrus or made more complex with resinous notes, fall colognes can feel sophisticated and unexpected. And don’t be afraid of sweet or gourmand perfumes. While classic gourmand notes like vanilla can be overused to the point of being commonplace, in the right perfumer’s hands, you’ll be reminded that the scent is one of the most luxurious and exotic notes in the world.
Even if woodsy fragrances aren’t your thing, these picks are worth a look: There are plenty of fresher, herbaceous scents among the new releases this season as well. Read on for our picks for the best fall colognes for men, including new fragrances from Le Labo, Aesop, and more.
The Best Fall Colognes for Men 2021
1. Cedrat 37 by Le Labo
Le Labo’s city exclusive scents have already bottled the aromas of Tokyo, in the form of Gaiac 10, Miami in the form of Tabac 28, and more. Now it’s Berlin’s turn. Launched in August, Cedrat 37 is a zingy, citrus and ginger-infused take on the namesake note, cedar. During the month of September, Cedrat 37 and all of Le Labo’s city exclusives will be available for purchase online; if you miss the window you’ll have to book a trip to Berlin to pick up a bottle.
[$12–$1,765; lelabofragrances.com]Get it
2. Chipmunk by Zoologist
Canadian perfumer Zoologist is not afraid to push boundaries with scents that challenge the nose, but Chipmunk is one of the brand’s more easygoing and approachable scents. Launched just in time for fall, it combines inviting fall spices, like cardamom and nutmeg, with quince, hazelnut, and velvety vetiver and guaiac. Think fall spice—but sophisticated.
[$4–$165; luckyscent.com]Get it
3. Silky Woods by Goldfield & Banks
This year, Australian perfumer Goldfield & Banks launched its Botanical Series, a luxury take on the natural ingredients of the company’s home country. Agarwood, also known as oud, is the starring player in the line’s first release, Silky Woods, which also features lush gourmand and woody notes of cinnamon, vanilla, and sandalwood.
[$235; goldfieldandbanks.com]Get it
4. Celebes Wood by Mizensir
Inspired by the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, Celebes Wood is a spicy, resinous concoction with cinnamon, white pepper, and labdanum, while vanilla and tonka give it a slight boozy undertone. This is a scent with powerful sillage, meaning it leaves a noticeable trail—not a good choice for those who are looking for something subtle.
[$5–$260; aedes.com]Get it
5. Autumn Vibes by Maison Margiela
It’s autumnal and it’s woody—what more do you need to know? Maison Margiela’s Replica line looks to specific locales as inspirations for its scents; for 2021, the brand attempts to evoke Montreal in 2018. More specifically, it conjures up a Montreal street in the fall strewn with wet leaves, with notes of carrot seeds and nutmeg rounding out cedar and moss.
[$30–$135; sephora.com]Get it
6. B683 Extrait by Marc-Antoine Barrois
Launched in 2017, B683 was an instant hit for its distinct, instantly recognizable take on suede with notes of black pepper and saffron. Owing to the scent’s popularity, designer Marc-Antoine Barrois and perfumer Quentin Bisch launched an Extrait version in 2020, which intensifies the patchouli note of the original. The powerful, long-lasting scent is the perfect complement to cooler weather.
[$10–$335; zgoperfumery.com]Get it
7. Karst by Aesop
Australian skincare brand Aesop launches three new fragrances this month, expanding on its line that already includes favorites like Hwyl and Tacit. In keeping with the Aesop aesthetic, all three scents from the “Othertopias” collection are introspective and meditative rather than loud or overbearing. Karst in particular is hard to pass up: The herbaceous blend of juniper, bergamot, and sage uses the scents found in many classic men’s colognes, but they’re paired with an aquatic accord that feels unexpected and slightly mysterious.
[$195; aesop.com]Get it
8. Bois d’Ascèse by Naomi Goodsir
No one does smoke quite like Naomi Goodsir. The France-based Australian perfumer frequently uses ashy and smoky notes to great effect—perhaps nowhere more prominently than in Bois d’Ascèse. Reminiscent of a peaty Scottish whisky sipped at a campfire, the fragrance is one of the best in the smoky, woodsy genre.
[$5–$187; tigerlilyperfumery.com]Get it
9. Al Sahra by The Different Company
Al Sahra, a new scent from Parisian house The Different Company, gives an unexpected twist to incense-based fragrances. Though ambery and woody, the perfume also has a cool, dry opening with salty, mineral notes. The slightly oceanic accord makes for a nice transitional scent from summer into warmer, classic fall aromas.
[$5–$220; luckyscent.com]Get it
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