13 best men’s fragrances

Discover a new go-to scent this season

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The Independent Online

Whether you like your scents rich and complex or fresh and zingy, or a bit of both, we’ve tried out the latest crop from perfumers to bring you our autumn-into-winter edit. 

1. Miller Harris Vetiver Insolent: £65 for 50ml, Bath & Unwind

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Ah, the iconic vetiver. French perfumer Mathieu Nardin created this scent as an homage to the well-known note that’s used throughout the scent world. This one has the tell-tale woodiness and warmth, as well as top notes of black pepper, elemi and cardamom. Divine.

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2. Ramon Monegal Mon Cuir: £130 for 50ml, Harrods

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Ramon Monegal has created a scent resembling leather that’s been left out in the sun. There are notes of nutmeg, sandalwood and musk as well as betel leaves and a heady patchouli spiciness. It’s a bold scent and exclusive to Harrods.

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3. Beaufort London Lignum Vitae: £95 for 50ml, Beaufort London 

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It’s not every day you get a fragrance that’s inspired by clockmakers of the 18th century – specifically those who first created accurate marine clocks. Lignum Vitae combines the watery, shipyard scents of wood, metal and salt to create a caramel-embellished scent. Lignum Vitae itself is a very dense wood that’s guaranteed to sink in water.

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4. Amouage Sunshine Man: £215 for 100ml, Allbeauty.com

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Intense notes of clary sage, juniper berries and bergamot are intensified by the dramatic spicy base of tonka bean, cedarwood and vanilla. Intriguingly, the fragrance was inspired by the movement of an eclipse. It is eye-wateringly expensive, but you’re paying for the quality of ingredients used.

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5. Escentric Molecules Escentric 02: £38 for 30ml, Liberty

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Based around the chemical ambroxan by founder Geza Schoen, Escentric 02 is designed to be worn by men and women. It contains 13.5 per cent ambroxan as well as green jasmine, vetiver, muscone and orris incense. The result is a clean, fresh scent.

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6. Yardley London 1770: £19.99 for 50ml, Boots

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1770 pays homage to the heritage of the Yardley London brand. It’s a rich and intense fragrance with heavy amber notes that are complemented by black pepper, patchouli, vetiver and fig. It comes in a heavy bottle with chrome and leather details.

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7. Aventus Creed: £105 for 30ml, Creed

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Creed is the iconic scent from Aventus and is ideal for any man who wants something versatile but distinctive. There are top notes of apple and blackcurrant and a base layered with ambergris and oakmoss, which all combines to make a heady, intoxicating fragrance. The price is worth it for its staying power and versatility. 

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8. Frederic Malle Monsieur: £180 for 100ml, Frederic Malle 

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Perfumer Bruno Jovanovic has a new take on patchouli here, which makes up 50 per cent of this fragrance. Top notes of tangerine and rum as well as cedar, incense and amber combine to make to create a dark, but elegant perfume.

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9. Mr Burberry: £48 for 50ml, John Lewis 

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Inspired by Burberry’s black trench coat, this fragrance tries to capture London in all its contraditions. It has top notes of grapefruit and tarragon with base notes of vetiver and smokey guaiac wood.

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10. Dior Eau Savage: £49.50 for 50ml, John Lewis

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François Demachy's modern interpretation of Dior’s classic Eau Savage relies on the original’s citrusy elements, but with a modern twist of galbanum, hedione and pink pepper along with the classic vetiver base.

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11. Atkinsons The Excelsior Bouquet: £100 for 100ml, House of Fraser 

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The inspiration behind Atkinson’s Excelsior is history’s first-ever non-stop transatlantic flight by John William Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown. This fragrance combines flint, sage and spices as well as notes of leather.

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12. Atkinsons 24 Old Bond Street: £65 for 50ml, Harrods 

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Juniper, rose and black tea combine with smoky oak-casked whisky to create a punchy, yet aromatic fragrance. This one’s particularly summery but can also be worn in autumn. 

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13. Master Cedar from The Perfumer’s Story by Azzi Glasser: £95, Harvey Nichols 

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Multi-award winning perfume designer Azzi Glasser has created bespoke scents for Orlando Bloom and Helena Bonham Carter – and now you can wear them, too. Master Cedar combines vetiver, labdanum and frankincense with pimento, bay and elemi to create a warm and rich fragrance for any moment.

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Verdict: men’s fragrances
Miller Harris’s Vetiver Insolent puts a modern twist on the classic note and is created by a renowned perfumer. This one can be worn by men and women, so you can share it if that’s the way you roll.  For its clean, fresh scent, we like Escentric Molecules Escentric 02, which makes a change from many of the headier smells on the market. 

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

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