The idea that men’s fragrances should always tally with the calendar seasons is a dated and quite frankly flawed concept.

Admittedly, some scents – the ones usually ripe with citrus fruits, aquatic notes, or smell of freshly cut grass – are better suited to summer, while those steeped in woods, resins, leather and Middle-Eastern spice do feel more at home in the winter months. Regardless, these ‘rules’ are far from hard and fast, and are increasingly up for interpretation.

The world (as we once knew it) has changed, and it’s as common to see a fragrance inspired by the Pacific surf, or an English meadow being launched in November, as it is to see one infused with comfortable winter fruits unveiled in June.

To that end, these are some of the best winter colognes for men. Expect the unexpected.

DSquared2 Green Wood

Best Winter Cologne DSquared2 Green Wood Winter Fragrance for Men

From its provocative campaign featuring a young-buck woodsman in a check flannel shirt to its explicitly masculine and robust blend of aromatic ingredients, Green Wood by DSquared2 is every inch a fragrance for the modern alpha male.

A versatile scent that will carry you from work through to play and back again, it features a bracing hit of lemon, Santolina (a Mediterranean shrub from the chamomile family) and the spiced flavor of bourbon pepper as its opening act.

The dry down is a blend of resinous musks and an abundance of woody notes; including cedarwood and vetiver. It’s like a walk through a winter forest at dawn. Or a sexy car air freshener (totally possible, promise).

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Prada Luna Rossa Eau De Toilette

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The Art of Shaving Sandalwood & Cypress 

Best Winter Cologne Art of Shaving Sandalwood and Cypress Winter Fragrance for Men

This Art of Shaving cologne encapsulates stepping into a traditional barbershop of the 1950s. This handcrafted fragrance combines masculine, woody sandalwood with aromatic, bright cypress and bright bergamot. Imagine a room full of classy elegant furnishings, sleek walnut barber chairs, luxury upholstery, ornate mirrors, even crystal chandeliers, and this unique scent would fit right in.

Created with traditional masculine scents in mind, it’s ready to make the perfect finishing touch in your grooming routine. The Art of Shaving is a well-known brand staple in any well-groomed men’s bathroom, and this scent will surely fit right in. In short, it’s as crisp and easy-to-wear as a freshly laundered shirt.

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Frederic Malle Rose & Cuir

Best Winter Cologne ROSE & CUIR by Jean-Claude Ellena

There are few fragrances that immediately strike a chord with the public and earn recognition as a future classic. Rose & Cuir, however, (that’s rose and leather, for anyone a bit sketchy with your French) from Frederic Malle is one deserving recipient of such an accolade.

Created by master perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena (the man behind that other game-changer, Terre d’Hermes) as part of the brand’s Editions de Parfum line, this one is inspired by the Mistral winds that sweep over the South of France.

In non-fragrance speak, that translates to a romantic but punchy blend that works well for the evening, combining timut pepper (a Nepalese spice), blackcurrant, peach accord, bourbon geranium, vetiver, cedarwood, a synthetic leather note and cumin. Très bon.

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Tiffany & Co Tiffany & Love For Him

Best Winter Cologne Tiffany & Co Tiffany & Love For Him Eau de Toilette

Tiffany & Co, a name synonymous with art deco grandeur (and engagement rings few men can afford), has entered the dual-fragrance category for the first time – that’s one for he and one for she.

Created by perfumers Sophie Labbe and Nicolas Beaulieu, who between them have created scents for Givenchy, Hugo Boss and Paco Rabanne, Tiffany & Love is aromatic with citrus and a wood-infused base. It opens with an energizing clout of ginger, mandarin and cardamom oils before drying down to a base of sandalwood, vetiver and blue sequoia.

However, it’s a co-distillation process created exclusively for Tiffany, allowing for a unique blend of cypress and juniper berry, that makes this one as refreshing as a gin and tonic and the best winter cologne with a real point of difference.

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Zara Vibrant Leather

Best Winter Cologne for Men Zara Vibrant Leather

Oftentimes, the best winter cologne doesn’t come from large fast-fashion retailers. Yet, this collection from Zara has become one of their staples for a reason, it’s light and classic, mixing notes of leather, bergamot, and refreshing bamboo. Plus, costing less than a round of drinks, you don’t need to be a mathematician to work out that this is a marriage made in heaven.

The Vibrant Leather collection is light enough to be worn as an everyday scent, giving a forgiving smell even when it’s mixed with 15 others at the office. And easy enough to change when going out at night and needing a heavier scent more suited for evening play.

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Maison Martin Margiela ‘Replica’ Jazz Club 

Best Winter Cologne for Men

Shhh…can you hear the soft jingling of cocktails being made, rowdy conversation and the sharp melody of jazz? One whiff of Maison Martin Margiela’s ‘Jazz Club’ is sure to make the mirage appear real. The immortalized tradition of handing down the secret address to a private jazz club comes alive with this classic men’s fragrance, evoking rich wood and smoke notes captivating the masculine and exhilarating ambiance of a Jazz club.

The nose behind this elegant bouquet of premium cigars (think tobacco leaf and pink peppercorn) is Alienor Massenet, originally launched in 2013 it has become one of the best winter cologne for men. The major notes balance between a heady cocktail and classic leather, additional top notes are described as, pink pepper, neroli and lemon; with base notes of clary sage tobacco leaf, vanilla bean and styrax.

This earthy men’s fragrance will only enhance with the chill of the winter and the warm atmosphere indoors, making it the best winter cologne to transition from warm office to after-work drinks.

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Moschino Toy Boy

Best Winter Cologne by Moschino Toy Boy

Current Moschino frontman Jeremy Scott is an extrovert at heart; sticking two fingers up to the establishment and living his best life while furthering the philosophy that more is more.

Toy Boy, which recently won Best Everyday Fragrance (why not make it best winter cologne as well?) at the FashionBeans Grooming Awards, plays to those maverick strengths with both its fetishist ad creative and its unorthodox roster of top-grade and not-commonly used ingredients.

Playful and seductive, with a spicy/woody/sweet flavour, pink berries and Indonesian nutmeg, pear-tree leaves, clove buds and ambroxan all bring on the heat while rose, magnolia and vetiver serve as a sophisticated contrast. This one’s a winner for date night.

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Baxter Of California Pacific Cannabis

Best Winter Cologne Baxter Of California Pacific Cannabis

It was only going to be a matter of time before the East Coast’s coolest exporter of skin, hair, shave and body solutions expanded into some of the best winter cologne for men. For it’s debut, Baxter of California tapped perfumer Clement Gavaary, the man responsible for big hitters by Tom Ford, Armani and Calvin Klein, to give it some serious gravitas.

With a brief to capture “a day at Venice beach enjoying the cool vibes of California”, Gavaary, as the name would suggest, made the bold choice to give centre-stage to the cannabis herb (though sadly only by way of using other plants to replicate the oil). And while it might sound like a summer fragrance, it doesn’t smell like one.

The buzzy botanical has been combined with pink pepper, rosemary essence and bergamot, lavender and sage, drying down to patchouli, tonka bean (which is sweet like vanilla) and a kind of sea-salted, oceanic driftwood. Surf dude or city boy, this one will add cred to your bathroom shelf.

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Creed Green Irish Tweed 

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