Out of the many fragrance categories, the balsamic one might be one of the nicest in terms of warm and rich scents. There are many different ones out there, but what are the best balsamic fragrances for men?
What Are Balsamic Fragrances And How Do They Smell
The word balsamic is often used to describe the aroma of certain fragrances. However, this term can be somewhat confusing so I want to break it down for you today. To put it in its simplest terms, balsamic notes result from the use of balsams and various resins in fragrances. So you are probably wondering then what is balsam? Well, balsam is an aromatic, oily, and somewhat gummy substance taken from particular trees and shrubs. It is has been used in the art of perfumery for thousands of years as a base or fixative for fragrances.
Balsamic notes can best be classified as rich, sweet, soft, a little spicy, thick and pleasantly warm. Examples of balsamic notes are amber (which is also listed as cistus labdanum or rock rose sometimes), myrrh gum, opoponax resin (which is commonly known as sweet myrrh), Peru balsam, leather, tonka bean, immortelle, elemi, birch tar, frankincense (sometimes called olibanum or just simply incense), benzoin styrax, Tolu balsam, and vanilla. These notes are used in many Middle Eastern, Indian and oriental style fragrances. Today I would like to introduce you to the 8 best balsamic fragrances for men, in no particular order!
1. Parfums De Marly Herod
Scent: Parfums De Marly Herod is an amazing balsamic fragrance with a gourmand touch, nice woody notes and a wonderful clean tobacco accord. Herod opens with a slightly spicy and sweet scent of cinnamon and an amazing woodiness. Immediately afterward, you will begin to smell a fantastic pipe tobacco note mixed with creamy vanilla. For the rest of the wear, you are left with an extremely smooth, sweet tobacco aroma.
Notes: The top notes of Parfums De Marly Herod are pepper wood and cinnamon. The middle notes are labdanum, frankincense, osmanthus, and tobacco leaves. The base notes are cypriol, vanilla, cedar, vetiver, patchouli, Iso E Super, and musk.
Best for: Parfums De Marly Herod is one of the best sweet tobacco fragrances on the market today. Since it has a somewhat heavy scent, the perfect time of year to wear Herod is during the fall and winter. This niche cologne can be used casually, formally, at the office, and even out on dates. Really, the only downside to Parfums De Marly Herod is that it’s expensive. However, this scent is worth every penny.
2. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir
Scent: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir is one of those fragrances that will definitely get a positive reaction from people. Grand Soir is a luxurious and sexy scent that has one of the best vanilla and amber combinations around. Although it is a relatively linear fragrance, Grand Soir is truly amazing. At the opening you get some wonderful amber and sweet vanilla. Then a creamy tonka bean note begins to emerge with a touch of benzoin. Overall this balsamic scent has a very warm, smoky and sweet aroma. In summation, Grand Soir is an incredible fragrance that will get you compliments in spades.
Notes: The notes of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir are cistus labdanum (amber) from Spain, Siam benzoin, vanilla, and Brazilian tonka bean.
Best for: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir is a fantastic fragrance to wear during the colder months of fall and winter. Grand Soir is extremely versatile and can be worn from casual to formal settings. Due to its seductive nature, it can also serve as a nightlife scent for dates and bar hopping.
3. Serge Lutens Chergui
Scent: Serge Lutens Chergui is a beautiful tobacco fragrance with a sweet and slightly spicy scent. This fragrance opens with the gorgeous aroma of sweet cherry tobacco. This is quickly supported by a thick scent of honey, lifting up the tobacco and making it even stronger. This combination of honey and tobacco is what truly makes this fragrance sparkle. In the middle part of wearing Chergui, there is an interesting hay note and a smidge of rose that you pick up on that deepens this wonderful experience even more. During the dry down, Chergui does change a little bit with the addition of some earthy vetiver, a little smoky incense, and a subtle touch of animalic musk. This musk, however, isn’t overpowering and actually enhances this long-lasting and complex scent.
Notes: The notes of Serge Lutes Chergui are tobacco leaf, honey, amber, sandalwood, hay, rose, iris, incense, and musk.
Best for: Serge Lutens Chergui is a truly beautiful fragrance. It is best utilized during the fall and winter. Chergui is totally fine for everyday wear, but it truly excels at night. The sweet scent of honey mixed with fine tobacco has a sultry, seductive, and sophisticated vibe. Chergui is sure to captivate the people around you. In addition, Serge Lutens Chergui can be worn on any occasion.
4. Giorgio Armani Code Profumo
Scent: Giorgio Armani Code Profumo is a great fragrance for those that love sweet scents. Code Profumo opens with several fruit notes and some cardamom. After the opening, a nice dose of spices are added along with a touch of lavender and an amazing orange blossom note. When this fragrance begins to dry down, you will notice creamy tonka bean, warm amber, and smooth leather. Although the listed fruit notes for Code Profumo are green mandarin essential oil (which smells like oranges ripening in the sun) and green apple, what I get is actually more of a cherry-like scent. This is probably due to the precise mixture of all of the notes involved in this lovely fragrance.
Notes: The top notes of Giorgio Armani Code Profumo are green mandarin essential oil, cardamom, and green apple. The middle notes are orange blossom, lavender, and nutmeg. The base notes are leather, tonka bean, and amber.
Best for: Giorgio Armani Code Profumo is another fantastic fragrance to wear during the fall and winter. This cologne is strong and has excellent longevity. Code Profumo is on the warmer and sweeter side and should not be worn during the spring and summer, however, during the colder times of the year, Code Profumo is a homerun. You can wear it casually during the day, but Code Profumo works best at night. Some people even claim that Code Profumo is one the best club bangers since Le Male was created by Francis Kurkdjian for the Jean Paul Gaultier fragrance house back in 1995.
5. Amouage Beach Hut Man
Scent: Amouage Beach Hut Man is a beautiful fragrance with a scent that is reminiscent of a warm oceanic coastline. This is one of the few balsamic fragrances that can actually be worn during the warmer periods of the year. Beach Hut Man opens with a fresh green, fruity, woody and minty scent. The opening almost feels like a cool summer breeze blowing off the ocean water. The dry down of this fragrance adds some woods to enhance the depth of this cologne. Overall, Beach Hut Man is a very fresh, somewhat aquatic, green fragrance with an amazing scent.
Notes: The top notes of Amouage Beach Hut Man are mint, galbanum, and orange blossom. The middle notes are ivy, vetiver, and moss. The base notes are myrrh, patchouli, and wood accords.
Best for: Amouage Beach Hut Man is a wonderful cologne to wear during the spring and summer seasons. The overall scent of this fragrance is green, a little aquatic, refreshing and cool with a distinct coastal feel. This makes the scent reminiscent of a nice day at the beach. These two things make it perfectly suited as a warm-weather fragrance. Beach Hut Man is quite easy to wear and highly versatile. It works casually, at the office, out on dates, and even formally. Please note that Amouage Beach Hut Man is a little on the strong side, so make sure to apply it accordingly.
6. Versace Eros
Scent: In Greek mythology Eros is the god of love and sex. Gianni Versace Eros certainly lives up to that name with its seductive scent. Eros is a fantastic fragrance with a sweet and minty aroma that definitely garners attention from the opposite sex. This fragrance opens with a fruity bite of crisp, green Granny Smith apple, supported by a fresh, uplifting touch of refreshing mint. Quickly after the opening, a sweet and creamy scent of tonka bean makes itself known, giving the fragrance a rounded and almost soft feel. In the dry down, the note of vanilla starts to appear, along with a few woody notes. This leaves you with a fantastic, well-balanced fragrance that has a sweet and creamy scent. Gianni Versace manages to stay vibrant, playfully outgoing and incredibly sexy throughout its entire life cycle.
Notes: The top notes of Versace Eros are mint, green apple, and lemon. The middle notes are geranium, ambroxan, and tonka bean. The base notes are Madagascar vanilla, Atlas cedar, oakmoss, Virginian cedar, and vetiver.
Best for: In addition to being reasonably priced, Versace Eros is also extremely versatile. It is a fragrance that you can actually wear all year long. However, since it is pretty sweet and relatively strong with is sillage, you will need to apply accordingly when it is warm outside. Eros is a casual scent that is mostly a nighttime performer. Eros is commonly used as a club banger by many young men because of its enticing aroma.
7. Diptyque Tam Dao
Scent: Diptyque Tam Dao is a beautiful fragrance with the most amazing woody scent. In fact, this fragrance is one of the nicest sandalwood fragrances available today. If you are into woody colognes, Tam Dao is the one for you. The opening of this fragrance is mainly a beautiful cyprus wood scent, but there is also a subtle hint of rose mixed with some myrtle. During the middle, you will get the magnificent combination of cedar and sandalwood. The base of this fragrance adds a little more wood, some warm amber, a dollop of musk and a couple of spices. This creates an incredible scent that is reminiscent of an old woodshop.
Notes: The top notes of Diptyque Tam Dao are Italian cypress, myrtle, and rose. The middle notes are cedarwood and sandalwood. The base notes are Brazilian rosewood, white musk, spices, and amber.
Best for: Diptyque Tam Dao is a fantastic fragrance to wear during the more temperate times of the year, like fall and spring. Overall you have an amazing wood fragrance that simply works. Adding to its versatility, Tam Dao can be worn both casually and formally, as it’s classy, but also has a bunch of character.
8. Guerlain Habit Rouge
Scent: Guerlain Habit Rouge is a true timeless classic from the impeccable French fragrance house of Guerlain. Although Habit Rouge was created back in 1965, it is still as wonderful and relevant today as it was when it was initially introduced. This fragrance has a fantastic sweet, citrusy and floral scent. The opening of this fragrance is quite fresh with its citrusy and herbal overtones. However, the true beauty of this fragrance arrives in the middle with what might actually be the best masculine rose note in all of the fragrance world. A beautiful scent of florals, mixed with green and woody notes makes up the compelling heart of Habit Rouge. Yes, you mainly get that utterly amazing rose scent, but there’s definitely more going on with Guerlain Habit Rouge. The base of this fragrance adds a green, leathery accord, which perfectly completes this masterpiece.
Notes: The top notes of Guerlain Habit Rouge are orange, Brazilian rosewood, basil, bergamot, lemon, lime, and tangerine. The middle notes are carnation, jasmine, sandalwood, rose, patchouli, cedar, and cinnamon. The base notes are vanilla, amber, moss, leather, benzoin, and labdanum.
Best for: Guerlain Habit Rouge is a fantastic fragrance that can easily be worn all year long. This fragrance has a woody, leathery base, which makes it great for the colder months and it has a fresh, citrus and floral opening, which makes it great for the warmer months. This fragrance has a really nice masculine scent and is a wonderful fragrance for a true, refined gentleman. However, this fragrance isn’t over the top formal, rather, it’s the perfect balance between casual and formal. To make this experience even better, Guerlain Habit Rouge is also really inexpensive now.