Cologne is a bit of a touchy subject. Dab on a few drops and you’re a sex machine, overdo it and you’re suffocating everyone around you. Subtlety is key, along with proper application. When in doubt, stick to two spritzes and target areas of the body that generate the most heat: wrists, neck, back, chest and thighs.
To play it on the safe side, purchase fragrances that come in spray bottles and refrain from using them in unison with a strongly scented deodorant or after-shave. Most importantly, try it before you buy it. It’s important to see how it reacts with your skin and test its staying power throughout the course of your day.
The following six scents are best sellers from Sephora. You might know Sephora as the store your girlfriend drags you in so she can try on makeup, but it’s also the store that carries the hottest new fragrances for men from luxury brands like Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Bvlgari, Cartier and Versace. Visit Sephora.com for locations.
A masculine fragrance born from the sea, the sun, the earth, and the breeze of a Mediterranean island, Giorgio Armani’s Acqua Di Gio has been a hit since it launched in 1996. Transparent and woody in nature, Acqua includes notes of mandarin, persimmon, jasmine and patchouli, and is recognized by women everywhere. Expect to reapply throughout the day to sustain a fresh combination of citrus and musk. $73 for 3.4 oz.
Inspired by the energy and allure of New York, 212 Men by Carolina Herrera is distinct, innovative, elegant and subtle all at the same time. If you’re a sensual guy looking for a warm, long-lasting scent that exudes style and panache, 212 might be your match. As spirited as the man who wears it, 212 includes notes of grapefruit, ginger, mandarin, sandalwood and musk. Even its bottle screams elegance and refinement. $74 for 3.4 oz.
Born of an artistic clash in 1988, Dior Fahrenheit remains a distinctive fragrance today due to its unprecedented blend of bergamot, hawthorne, honeysuckle, violet and cedar. Fresh notes marry virile overtones to create a signature scent constructed around the extreme contrasts of hot and cold, subtlety and power. Fahrenheit comes packaged in a minimalist fiery red bottle that was inspired by a smoldering sunset. $74 for 3.4 oz.
Fade to Black
A unique fusion of iced mango, silver armoise and patchouli noir, Polo Black by Ralph Lauren is a sophisticated fragrance that is appropriate for any occasion, day or night. Spritz some on before work and you’ll notice its refreshing, fruity top notes. By happy hour, its base notes will have emerged, giving off a bold, masculine scent. Spicy and citrus-infused, Polo Black is a daring scent for the modern man. $73 for 4.2 oz.
Let Freedom Ring
Apparently if you want to snag a lady like Natalie Portman (Black Swan), you have to don the latest fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent. Her main squeeze, Benjamin Millepied, is the face of YSL’s L’Homme Libre, a classic scent with unexpected zing. Neither too woody nor too floral, Libre expresses the contagious power of freedom with notes of bergamot, violet leaves, basil, nutmeg, pink pepper and leather accord. $75 for 3.3 oz.
Created by fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, LE MALE is a complex and intoxicating fragrance with a laundry list of ingredients including wormwood, bergamot, lavender, orange blossom, cinnamon and vanilla. For over a decade, it has been an object of desire for men and women alike, as it is a unisex cologne. But don’t let that scare you away. With just a dab, you’ll be the most interesting LE MALE in the world. $79 for 4.2 oz.