Bare Sentient Nocturnal
A mix of tobacco, copal resin and singed sage give a smoky edge to the herbaceous sweetness of fig and tonka bean.
From $76 by WILE
Signature scents are fine. But they're too limiting.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with having a go-to cologne. After all, the heart (and the nose) wants what it wants, right? And there's something to be said for having a signature scent. One that you can rely on or that people associate with you.
But then again, there is a phenomenon known as “nose blindness,” a temporary, naturally occurring adaptation of your body that leads to an inability to detect or distinguish common scents in your surroundings. Which means the more you wear a cologne, the less you'll notice it. Fine for others, but you chose that scent because you liked it, right?
Fragrance is a form of self-expression. The scents we layer on our skin say something about us and the image we want to project out into the world. Just like the clothes we wear. And like our clothes, swapping out one fragrance for another has the same effect on your psyche as taking off a cozy hoodie and replacing it with a leather jacket. You feel it, right? You carry yourself differently.
That's why we need a fragrance wardrobe. Like your closet full of clothes, this collection of colognes can be pulled from depending on your mood, your planned destination or simply the day's weather forecast.
As cooler weather approaches and you start swapping out your summer clothes for heavier pieces, consider replacing your light summer spritz with a richer, darker and more Fall-minded fragrance. Or perhaps you'd like to choose a different cologne for work and play—something masculine, powerful and spicy for the office or meetings, and a cleaner, brighter fresh scent for your off-duty fun.
If you're wondering how best to begin building the foundation of a proper fragrance collection, Michael Edwards, founder of Fragrances of the World, suggests starting with your all-time favorites. The renowned olfactory expert is the man responsible for why we classify scents into families like woody, floral, green and amber.
And just like with your clothing wardrobe, you'll likely gravitate towards similar things that are compatible but have slight variations—not unlike the several navy chore jackets I have hanging in my closet that each have just enough differences to justify owning them. Fragrances of the World maintains a massive database of every scent on the market and calls it the “ultimate fragrance finder.” Enter the name of your favorite bottle (or maybe something you loved in your youth) and up pops several other bottles that share the same notes and ingredients.
The other benefit of maintaining a fragrance wardrobe? You'll open yourself up to new releases, which allows you to step outside your comfort zone now and then. To help you kickstart your discovery process, we've rounded up some new bottles from brands big and small worth sniffing out.
NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.