Just like the season itself, the best fall cologne has a “best of both worlds” kind of uncertainty: The fragrances are shapeshifters, falling squarely between the crisp, floral, and aquatic notes of summer scents, and the warming, sensual, spicy fragrances of winter.
They tend to skew towards woody, musky, and patchouli notes (and maybe a hit of leather), though you’ll find plenty of citrus and green ingredients in the mix. You know how some winter scents can be too heavy and aggressive, some spring ones too soft or bright—even when considering only the best colognes for men? These fall picks will wear well in nearly every occasion, from the professional to the passionate. So whether you want something seasonal to take you to Christmas, or a heavier year-round perennial as your new signature, check out the best fall cologne for a guaranteed hit.
The Best Fall Colognes Shopping Guide
The Best for Brisk Mornings: Aesop “Erémia” eau de parfum
Erémia is powdery-citrus perfection—perfumer Barnabé Fillion crafted it in the imaginary mold of a futuristic wasteland, wherein wildlife sprouts around decaying concrete. It uses notes of resin, iris, yuzu, and patchouli to create something grounded yet effervescent.
The Best for (Brisker) Evenings: Malin+Goetz “Leather” eau de parfum
While this one is obviously leather forward, it’s a light layer supported by sandalwood and cedar notes. A peppering of polar-opposite florals and spices gives a surprising heft. It has a powdery quality, too, and settles on the senses like that first sip of a cocktail after a long day.
The Best for Happy Hour: Mind Games “Grand Master” extrait de parfum
Most new fragrance brands will launch with a product or three, but Mind Games is not most fragrance brands. They’re a powerhouse out of the gate with their top-shelf 10-piece collection, each designed like a reflective chess piece. The odds-on fan favorite is a toss up between the sweet and floral bourbon-tinged Checkmate, and the coffee-incense hybrid Grand Master. It’s the latter we’ll wear in colder months, perhaps out of gratitude for finding a coffee-forward scent that we actually love. (The note typically plays a terrific supporting fiddle, but in Grand Master it stars in a mood-boosting lead role.)
The Best for Date Night: Arquiste “Indigo Smoke” eau de parfum
Every year, Arquiste tosses one of its fragrant grenades into the field of new scents, and its recent launch is its most arousing yet, with a heady brew of maté, pine tar, and incense. Layer a couple spritzes on before the big night and be sure to impress your lucky date.
The Best for the Honeymoon: Parfums de Marly “Oajan” eau de parfum
Sustaining a lifetime of bliss may take work, but this perfume can help with the heavy lifting. With expertly blended notes of sweet honey, amber, and creamy vanilla, applying a layer of the heartwarming “Oajan” will remind you of the excitement that comes with the arrival of a new season—and new chapter.
The Best for the Office: Calvin Klein “CK One” eau de parfum
This mall classic is a morning pick-me-up that keeps going long after the Slack notifications have been silenced. The fresh, citrusy, no-frills blend of green tea and amber can be spritzed on top of a crisp button-down before heading to the office and doubled-up on after signing off for the evening—without becoming too overpowering.
The Best for After Hours: Tom Ford “Fougère D’Argent” eau de parfum
This one’s for the sweet tooth. If the first whiff of fall calls to mind a prompt beeline to your local watering hole for a spiced anything, you’ll love this perfume’s intoxicatingly creamy blend of sweet citrus and spicy ginger. Here’s to having your cake and wearing it, too.