There are no hard-and-fast rules for when to wear your favorite fragrance, but a change in season is always a good time to delve into new styles. With warmer days in the forecast, now’s the time to swap those heavier winter scents for lighter options. This season, look for men’s fragrances featuring citrus, herbs, and even the most classic spring aroma of all: florals. Trust us, today’s new floral varieties smell nothing like your grandmother’s perfume.
In recent months, many brands have continued the trend for minimal scents. Also called skin scents, these subtle fragrances focus on simple formulations based on sheer, clean notes like musk or ambroxan. These minimal styles can be harder for the nose to detect, but they have excellent staying power and give a fresh scent that isn’t overwhelming.
For a more traditional approach, spring is also the perfect time to pull out fragrances inspired by nature, whether that’s an homage to a California beach or the mountains of Hokkaido, Japan. Read on for our picks for the best men’s fragrances to try this spring.
Di Ser Kagiroi
Japanese brand Di Ser makes fragrances with all-natural botanicals sourced from its research center in Hokkaido. One of its newest releases, Kagiroi, launched at the end of 2020 and features a brisk herbal-citrus mix that gives way to woody base notes. The blend of yuzu, shiso, ylang ylang, hinoki, and agarwood is perfect for those chilly days of early spring.
[$12 for a sample, $250 for a bottle; luckyscent.com]
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Parisian perfumer Diptyque unveiled a new fragrance inspired by the place where the company was founded. Orphéon, named for the bar that was located next to the original Diptyque boutique, evokes a smoke-filled room and an evening of gin and tonics with notes of juniper, vetiver, and patchouli.
Obvious Parfums Un Musc
Minimal musk scents are having a moment thanks to recent releases like Juliette has a Gun’s Musc Invisible and Zoologist’s Musk Deer. French sustainable perfumer Obvious Parfums, which launched last fall with a line of no-nonsense fragrances, offers another take on the soapy clean musk category with Un Musc. It also features refreshing notes of bergamot and galbanum.
[$4 for a sample, $140 for a bottle; luckyscent.com]
Comme des Garçons x Stüssy Laguna Beach
From its in-house launches like Copper to collaborations like Hinoki (made with Monocle magazine), Comme des Garçons regularly pushes boundaries with its fragrances. Last month, the brand turned to streetwear label Stüssy to create a new West Coast-inspired fragrance. It’s loaded with a mix of salty oceanic notes, cedar, and moss, all evoking Stüssy’s California home.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian L’Homme À la rose
Don’t be afraid of the rose. Master perfumer Francis Kurkdjian frequently plays with traditional gender conventions in his creations—see his Amyris and Gentle Fluidity lines, which use similar notes to create both men’s and women’s varieties. Last fall, he evolved one of his bestsellers, À la rose, with an added blast of grapefruit and a new woody accord that calls to mind a classic men’s cologne, with a twist.
[$5 for a sample, $275 for a bottle; twistedlily.com]
Escentric Molecules Molecule 01
Escentric Molecules revolutionized the fragrance world with its line of perfumes based on single notes. The brand started with Molecule 01; it launched in 2006 and used Iso E Super, a note reminiscent of cedar and sandalwood. On March 23, Escentric Molecules will grow its minimal scent lineup with three new releases: Molecule 01 + Patchouli, Molecule 01 + Iris, and Molecule 01 + Mandarin. Each one adds a single, naturally sourced note that opens up a new dimension to the brand’s iconic Molecule 01 fragrance (the Iris and Mandarin scents make particularly good picks for spring).
[Available March 23, $145; luckyscent.com]
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