Top 10 men’s scents for Christmas

By Deborah Fulsang

Looking to treat your man to a great fragrance this holiday? Yes, we know, this is as much about you as him. All the more reason to shop wisely. Herewith, our Top 10 list of scents we know will delight the guy—be it husband, boyfriend, brother or BFF—in your life.

1. Chanel Bleu EDT, $86 (100 ml), .com If Coco Chanel was all about black and cream, so too does the house appreciate the richness of black with navy. This is the fragrant interpretation of that combo. Cedar, vetiver, patchouli and frankincense sparkle and shine with zesty and warm contrasts of citrus, peppermint, pepper and nutmeg notes. Classic and dazzling.

2. Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb, $99 (90 ml), As its name suggests, this is one heady mix of spices and ingredients—chili, saffron and pink pepper mixing with zesty bergamot and grapefruit and a velvety heart of leather, tobacco and vetiver. And yes, it is the bomb.

3. Hermès Bel Ami, $135 (100 ml), .com This woody chypre, with its amber, patchouli, leather and cardamom embodies luxury and sensuality. And although launched in 1989 into the brand’s men’s lineup, this is a toilette also known to appeal to women who love a masculine spritz. (And for a little fragrance trivia, and to make this scent even more intriguing, know that its name references the 19th-century French writer Guy de Maupassant’s famous novel Bel Ami, which translates to The History of a Scoundrel: A Novel.)

 4. Lalique Hommage à L’Homme, $128 (100 ml), www.lalique .com This elegant toilette brings together oriental notes of saffron, pepper, cistus, oud and musk with aromatic and floral notes of violet leaf and flower, bergamot, chili leaf and black pepper. It’s handsome and refined, and we must add, it comes in a most elegant flask that nods to the heritage of the brand.
5. Guerlain Vetiver EDT, $94 (100 ml), Clean and crisp, dry and spicy: after more than 50 years, this fresh, woody aromatic classic (with vetiver, nutmeg and pepper) from the esteemed house of Guerlain still sparkles.

6. Maison Martin Margiela Untitled, $110 (50 ml), If your man likes fresh scents that have depth and a little je ne sais quoi, wrap up a bottle of this terrific toilette (with its notes of jasmine, bitter orange, musk and resinous galbanum) and tie it with a bow, and you’re done.

7. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, $97 (125 ml), The green freshness of Le Male’s fougere accord, mixed with lavender, mint, amber and vanilla, have made this a masculine classic aimed for the man who doesn’t believe he has to wear his testosterone on his sleeve to be a real man.

8. Tom Ford Oud Wood, $225 (50 ml), www.tomford, Elegant, rich, dark, smoky, chic: If your giftee appreciates his food, his scotch and his design, he too will appreciate this top-tier fragrance that blends notes of rose wood, cardamom and pepper with smoky oud, sandalwood and vetiver; tonka bean, vanilla and amber.

9. John Varvatos Artisan, $97 (125 ml), The American sportswear designer charms us with this spicy-floral-woody spritz (clementine and mandarin, marjoram, thyme and lavender; orange tree blossom, ginger and array of rich wood notes). The timeless, handcrafted-looking packaging also makes it tailor-made for gifting.

10. Acqua di Parma Colonia, $145 (100 ml),, Cool and classic, we can almost taste the Campari. Channel la dolce vita in this iconic citrus-infused scent (blended with Bulgarian rose, select aromatics and woody notes) that was a favourite of many a jetsetter since it launched almost a century ago.

But wait. In case you missed it, keep reading for our companion piece on Top 10 Women’s fragrances to give and to get this holiday season. 

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Deborah Fulsang has spent the last two decades as a journalist covering news and trends in the worlds of style—in fashion and beauty, design and décor, food and entertaining. Her long-held love of fragrance led her to launch The Whale & The Rose, a destination for all things perfume-related. Now, when she indulges in a crazy-expensive bottle of fragrance, she can do so guilt-free. Well almost. It’s all in the name of research after all.