The Best New Men’s Fragrances For Spring/Summer 2023
Ah, spring. The only time of year that manages to give all four seasons in one day – sometimes even in the same hour. Stepping out, unaware if we’re properly dressed for mother nature’s bag of tricks, usually ends in the same way: huddled and shivering in the beer garden. Will we ever learn?
The clocks have sprung forward, but the thermometer doesn’t always agree. Residents of the northern hemisphere should be aware by now that spring comes in many guises.
First, there’s ‘fool’s spring’; that unseasonably warm spell that tricks you into ditching the Big Coat. This is rudely followed by the ‘second winter,’ when you need to dig it out again. This will be closely followed by the ‘spring of deception,’ which might convince you to dust off the barbecue, or switch to the lighter duvet, only for the ‘third winter’ to send you running for the blankets.
Will you regret not wearing a jacket today – who can say? Whatever the weather, you won’t regret a good spritz of these new season scents.
DS & Durga Pistachio
David Moltz of DS Durga is a busy man. On a recent visit to Harrods, the perfumer walked through the exclusive selection of scents held by London’s top department store, including 40 Million Year Old Amber and Royal Kinam Oud – available while stocks last.
Meanwhile, across the Pond, there’s a new collaboration with upscale NYC hotel, The Carlyle, in a citrus-woody blend of lime, bergamot, neroli, rose, honeysuckle, linden blossom, sandalwood, moss and hay.
Available to all, Pistachio began life as a ‘studio juice’, with a limited run of 100 bottles as part of David Moltz’s ‘desk reserve’ collection. Due to popular demand, it’s gaining its rightful place in the main collection.
This nutty scent contains uses notes of cardamom, pistachio, roasted almond, patchouli, vanilla crème and more pistachio. Creamy and sweet, it has the perfect roasted, candied vibe that, like those salted bar snacks, is hard to put down.
Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama L’ Immensité
Dropping like it’s hot is Yayoi Kusama’s latest hook up with Louis Vuitton. The luxury house has been collaborating with the contemporary Japanese artist since 2012.
Justin Timberlake fronts the men’s campaign, while bestselling scent L’Immensité gets a limited treatment in Kusuma’s signature pumpkin artwork.
Ginger, grapefruit, labdanum, ambrosian, cascalone and ambergris come together to create an airy, uplifting and invigorating scent, decanted into a collector’s bottle.
Memo Paris Sherwood
The latest scent from Memo Paris is a tribute to Robin Hood’s famous English forest. The Memo Paris collection often takes the journey, rather than the destination, as the starting point for a fragrance.
Thankfully, Sherwood is a touch more exotic than a trip up the M1. Memo use artist’s interpretations to visualise each scent – and Maël Nozahic’s painting of a fantasy forest makes much more sense.
Sherwood is a creamy, dreamy blend of carrot seed oil, Damascena rose, sandalwood oil, blackcurrant bud absolute, pink pepper extraction, orange flower, cashmeran and oakwood.
As ever, it comes sumptuously packaged in a map lined box with a complimentary postcard to send or collect.
Givenchy Gentleman Society
Singer, composer, model and all-round polymath, Benjamin Clementine joins the house of Givenchy as the face of Gentleman Society, the inky new pillar scent emblazoned with chunky silver hardware.
It’s a similarly accomplished scent with a worldly combination of French sage and Guatemalan cardamom; heart notes of narcissus absolute, essence of Haitian vetiver, a CO2 Haitian vetiver extract, essence of Uruguayan vetiver and organic vetiver from Madagascar; and base notes of organic Himalayan cedarwood, organic Australian sandalwood and a Tasuki vanilla absolute from Madagascar.
Moncler Les Sommets Collection, Les Bois Glacé
Les Sommets is a new collection of eau de perfumes from the puffer jacket masters, Moncler. And our pick of the range is Les Bois Glacé.
This iced woody scent is a tale of contrasts with an opening freshness of Calabrian bergamot complemented by the warm, smoky undertone of Haitian vetiver with spicy pink pepper.
Cold one minute and warm the next, it’s the perfect cover for this mixed up season.
Acqua Di Parma Colonia Limited Edition by Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross, artist, designer and founder of A-COLD-WALL*, puts his stamp on Acqua di Parma with three limited designs for Colonia.
Sun Rise Yellow, Ultra Orange and Grass Blade Green bring a modern twist to this heritage scent.
We would be a little sad to dump this empty bottle into the trash, so good news, they’ve also released a recyclable aluminium refill. You can finally recharge your chosen neon bottle, or any other ADP edition, when it runs dry. High fives all round.
Gris Dior La Collection Privée Christian Dior
Stranger Things alumni Joseph Quinn joins a collective of famous faces, including former co-star Maya Hawke, to front a new campaign for Gris Dior.
As part of La Collection Privée Christian Dior, Gris Dior was launched in 2017, and deserves the current spotlight as a shareable chypre.
Chypre scents are characterised by oak moss, patchouli and bergamot, blended here with woody and floral notes of rose, amber, cedar and sandalwood.
Earthy, soft and enveloping – it fits like a perfectly tailored cashmere coat.
Like a Germanic Louis Vuitton, MCM (Modern Creation München) is known for its luxury monogrammed luggage with a fashionable twist.
MCM’s first ever scent for men is dressed as a minature bestseller – the Stark back pack in the house Visetos print.
It holds a very well-rounded, fresh scent made with ginger, pink pepper and grapefruit top notes, lavender, basil and violet leaf in the heart, and vetiver Haiti, tonka and Clearwood in the base.
Forget about the logo, this has HIT written all over it.
Kiwi features in plenty of women’s scents, so it’s high time that the boys get one too. The hero ingredient in Coach Green, it finds a dedication in the ombre green glass bottle and leather key chain.
Here, the kiwi note gives way to bergamot, rosemary and geranium in the heart and cedar and moss in the dry down, creating a fresh, wear-everywhere fougère.
Montblanc Explorer Platinum
Like a long-running, super-successful TV show, you’ve got to wonder when Montblanc Explorer will run out of storylines. With Platinum, it’s hit a new peak.
Just three main notes of violet leaf, sage and cedar wood make up this scent, which strikes the perfect balance of aromatic with a hint of aquatic.
Watch collectors will appreciate the influence of the 1858 Geosphere chronograph in the bottle’s textured silver sleeve, and the tribute to the world’s seven summit mountaineering challenge, as well as the explorers who dare to climb them.
Ferragamo Man Bright Leather
Leather, for spring? Indeed, Ferragamo’s Bright Leather is a summer-ready take on a traditionally winterised ingredient.
It has a deliciously fresh opening using the zingiest fruits, bergamot, mandarin and grapefruit, followed by white leather, rosemary and basil on a soft base of musk, patchouli and cedar.
It gives aquatic hints of green fig and apple over a musky dry down, in a rebranded look. We’ll be reaching for this one all summer long.
Paco Rabanne 1 Million Royal
King Charles’ Coronation certainly brought out the pomp and splendour, so here’s something for the peasants to enjoy (that’s us).
Paco Rabanne 1 Million Royal gets a bejewelled finish to suit the mood with a suite of plush ingredients: mandarin, bergamot and cardamom kick off the warm and zesty opening notes; a herbaceous bouquet of violet leaves, lavender and sage in the heart; with benzoin, cedar wood and a patchouli duo in the base.
Warm and sweet with a chocolatey vibe, it retains a lightness that will still work perfectly when the weather finally heats up.
Jo Malone The Highlands Collection
‘Summer’ in the Scottish Highlands is a lot more like a cool spring for anyone who lives at a more southerly latitude. It provides a welcome haven from high temperatures and provides all the inspiration for this limited edition collection from Jo Malone.
Putting wild flora in the frame, Melancholy Thistle harnesses thistle, English Ivy and Coolwood to capture the rain dashed wild landscape. Highland Heather brings together cypress, heather and amber; Mallow on the Moor is based on violet leaf, mallow and heliotrope; and Wild Achillea fuses neroli, waterlily and musk in a celebration of this untamed landscape of peaks and peat.
As ever, wear individually or layer up to create your own Highland fling.