Trending Wellness: Follow Your Nose

The sweet smell of good taste.

By Lindsey DiGiovanni

Like fine wine, men’s cologne isn’t a matter of price or popularity, but rather one of taste. Above all else—pairings, occasions and labels included—personal partiality should be the driving factor for any purchase. And while you could peruse dozens of scent strips to discover your favorite, having a base line will help you narrow down your preferences. Perfumers traditionally categorize fragrances into five families: fruity, floral, fresh, oriental and woody. Within these groupings, there are subcategories, and even overlaps, but starting at the family level will help you compartmentalize your options and build a more discerning palate. Enjoy this mix of classics and contemporaries with our top pick from each family. 

IF YOU LIKE…

PEACHES, COCONUT, BERRIES 

SHOP THIS FAMILY: Fruity 

OUR FAVORITE: Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir cologne’s light notes of pomegranate, raspberries, pepper and spice are crisp and clean. The label is sometimes marketed as unisex. $135 (3.4 oz); neimanmarcus.com 

JASMINE, LAVENDER, GARDENIA 

SHOP THIS FAMILY: Floral 

OUR FAVORITE: Launched in 1974 and reinterpreted in 2017, Givenchy Gentleman eau de parfum is a classic masculine floral with woody notes. It exudes a virile aroma with a soft touch. $100 (3.4 oz); neimanmarcus.com 

OCEAN BREEZES, FRESH-CUT GRASS, CITRUS 

SHOP THIS FAMILY: Fresh 

OUR FAVORITE: Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò Pour Homme eau de toilette is the ultimate classic of classics. The popular men’s fragrance is distinctively aromatic, breezy and deliciously clean. $85 (3.4 oz); bloomingdales.com 

VANILLA, CINNAMON, INCENSE 

SHOP THIS FAMILY: Oriental 

OUR FAVORITE: Rare wood from the Southeast Asian agar tree is balanced by notes of patchouli and tobacco, making Tom Ford Oud Wood eau de parfum both sophisticated and mysterious. $312 (3.4 oz); neimanmarcus.com 

CEDAR, SAWDUST, LEATHER 

SHOP THIS FAMILY: Woody 

OUR FAVORITE: Guerlain Vetiver eau de toilette was introduced in 1960 and reintroduced in 2000. The enduring scent for the modern man has notes of bergamot, cedarwood and tobacco. $98 (3.4 oz); neimanmarcus.com 

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