Apr
30
2013
By
of Valet.

Under the Radar Colognes

Your cologne should be personal. And while there's nothing wrong with the big brand-name fragrances neatly stacked along department store cases, there is something to be said for nosing beyond the cologne counter for one that's a bit less ubiquitous. After all, you don't want to smell like the latest magazine scent strip or even worse, spritz on the cologne your significant other's ex used to wear (trust us, that causes some problems). Herewith, five of our favorite fragrances that fly under the radar. Crafted in small batches, they're made with integrity—and the chance that someone else will show up smelling like you is nearly nonexistent.

Hanging Rock Creek
 

Earthy yet quiet, this light spritz is inspired by its picturesque namesake in South Carolina. It's a warm scent of fragrant woods like palo santo that's freshened with herbs and lavender.

$32, by Prospector Co.

Sombre Negra
 

Handcrafted in San Francisco by olfactory artisan Yosh Han, this is a sturdy but elegant cologne that's grounded in deep, traditionally masculine notes like smoked cedar, tobacco and vetiver.

$129, by Yosh

Man of Aran
 

We discovered this fresh, sea-tinged scent on a motorcycle trip through western Ireland, at the very perfumery where they blend and bottle this mossy, citrusy and sporty cologne using all natural oils.

$50 by Burren Perfumery

Anatomy of a Scent
Ever wonder how cologne works? The oils and essences that make up a fragrance, referred to as "notes," are slowly warmed and then react to your specific body chemistry.

Top Note

Noticed immediately, but dries out in about 15 minutes.

(Example: herbs like coriander.)

Middle Note

As the top note fades, this scent lasts about an hour.

(Example: citrus like tangerine.)

Base Note

The heaviest layer, which clings to the skin for the rest of the day.

(Example: tobacco, musk or patchouli.)
Bravado 2
 

An adaptation of the original Bravado cologne introduced by Baxter back in the early '70s, this summer scent blends a crisp, citrusy sweetness with a peppery base of cypress wood.

$80, by Baxter of California

Saltwater
 

This subtle fragrance is influenced by cologne recipes from the 1920s with notes of clary sage and musk blended with actual Atlantic sea salt for a fresh marine authenticity.

$70, by Portland General Store

 

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