Animalic fragrances are highly subjective fragrances. You either love them or you hate them. Nevertheless, there are some truly fantastic fragrances out there with an animalic scent. But what are the best animalic fragrances for men?
What Are Animalic Fragrances And How Do They Smell
The term ‘animalic fragrance’ is something that can vary widely. An animalic fragrance, for example, can just contain some animalic notes, but it can also have a scent that brings out the beast inside you. However, most animalic fragrances share one thing, they have a bold and provocative scent.
An animalic scent can come from many different notes. The most commonly used ones are civet, musk, and ambergris, but also notes such as hyrax and even castoreum aren’t that uncommon. These notes originally come from animals themselves, but nowadays most are either ethically farmed or recreated in labs.
The scent of an animalic fragrance is one that brings up a lot of questions. Although some of the animalic fragrances definitely smell fantastic and can easily be worn, others are far from that. Some animalic fragrances have a pungent, strong, and almost fecal scent to them that would make you think twice about actually wearing it. But still, there is something intriguing about these fragrances that people still want to wear them. After all, there is still a place for animalic fragrances.
Although not everyone likes to smell an animalic scent, it does have a weird effect on people around you. Animals use scent in order to attract a female, and this scent is also used in perfumery. Coincidence? Maybe. But the fact is that it has a similar effect.
Overall, though, animalic fragrances are fantastic. Even though they’re not for everyone, there are definitely a bunch of them that not only smell great but can also be worn by most men. Not every animalic fragrance has to have an offensive, pungent, and strong scent. Below are some of the best animalic fragrances for men, in no particular order!
1. Yves Saint Laurent Kouros
Scent: Yves Saint Laurent Kouros is a fantastic fragrance with a true animalic scent. This fragrance opens with a slightly powdery scent of civet, supported by a few floral notes. This creates a beautiful scent of warm florals and civet, creating an animalic scent. A little while later, some sweetness is added by the notes of vanilla and honey, providing the fragrance with some weight. In the dry down, a musky undertone is present, adding even more to the animalic feel. This leaves you with an overall fantastic fragrance with a strong scent of florals and animalic notes.
Notes: The top notes of Yves Saint Laurent Kouros are bergamot, artemisia, aldehydes, coriander, and clary sage. The middle notes are jasmine, orris root, geranium, cinnamon, vetiver, patchouli, and carnation. The base notes are musk, amber, vanilla, oakmoss, tonka bean, civet, leather, and honey.
Best for: Yves Saint Laurent Kouros is a fantastic fragrance with a strong and animalic scent. Such a scent can be kind of out of place during the warmer months, thus its best worn during the fall and winter. Throughout these months, this fragrance is best worn casually, either throughout the day or night. The animalic feel of this fragrance does make it a bit harder to wear, so don’t wear this to the office and I’d even say that most teenagers might be best suited with a different fragrance. This is a true gentlemen’s fragrance. However, wearing this on a casual day or during the night will work great.
2. Ralph Lauren Polo
Scent: Ralph Lauren Polo is a true classic with a rich scent of woods. This fragrance opens with a beautiful scent of pine, creating an almost Christmas tree-like scent. This scent is then accompanied by some spices and floral notes, giving it an aromatic and fresh scent. In the dry down, this fragrance becomes much warmer. Hints of tobacco and amber are added, as well as a musky undertone. During the dry down, the woody notes become more pronounced as well, leaving you with an overall stunning fragrance with a fresh scent of woods.
Notes: The top notes of Ralph Lauren Polo are basil, juniper berries, bergamot, coriander, caraway, and artemisia. The middle notes are jasmine, pepper, geranium, chamomile, pine tree needles, leather, rose, and carnation. The base notes are vetiver, oakmoss, tobacco, musk, cedar, patchouli, and amber.
Best for: Ralph Lauren Polo is a fantastic fragrance with a very subtle animalic undertone. Due to the subtleness of the animalic notes, this fragrance can actually be worn by any man but it’s still best suited for the colder months. The rich and warm scent of woods and the Christmassy feel just makes this fragrance fit in perfectly with those cold days. Here, you can wear it easily all throughout the day, but it works just as well at night. You could even wear this to the office, provided you don’t overapply it.
3. Serge Lutens Cuir Mauresque
Scent: Serge Lutens Cuir Mauresque is a fantastic fragrance with a bold and daring scent. Upon the first spray, you’re immediately introduced to a dark and strong scent of leather. This is quickly accompanied by some floral notes, however, the leather still has a powerful scent. From here, some spices are added, as well as the animalic feel. This comes from the note of civet, giving the fragrance a warm and animalic scent, appearing even stronger due to the leathery opening. In the dry down, the fragrance mellows out a bit, but the boldness never disappears.
Notes: The notes of Serge Lutens Cuir Mauresque are nutmeg, mandarin, oud, leather, incense, amber, cedar, styrax, caraway, civet, cinnamon, African orange flower, musk, cloves, and myrrh.
Best for: Serge Lutens Cuir Mauresque is a fantastic fragrance to wear during the colder months. This fragrance has a very strong scent that would be too overpowering for the warmer months. During the colder months, however, this fragrance is perfect for casual wear during both the day and the night, although it might be better to not wear this to any crowded place. This fragrance is a bold one and can be quite challenging, requiring a confident man in order to be worn properly.
4. Chanel Antaeus
Scent: Chanel Antaeus is a fantastic fragrance with a classic, old-school scent. This fragrance opens with a sharp and fresh scent of citruses and herbal notes. A little while after the opening, an animalic, almost leathery scent makes itself known. This gives the fragrance a masculine and daring vibe. Even though this fragrance is daring, it still has a classy scent. In the dry down, you’re mainly left with this fresh, sharp, spicy, and animalic scent, ensuring you smell masculine and luxurious.
Notes: The top notes of Chanel Antaeus are lime, clary sage, lemon, myrrh, bergamot, and coriander. The middle notes are basil, rose, thyme, and jasmine. The base notes are oakmoss, castoreum, patchouli, and labdanum.
Best for: Chanel Antaeus is a fantastic cold weather fragrance, despite the fresh opening. This fragrance has a bold and daring scent, coming from the animalic undertone, which is a little too strong for the warmer months. During the colder months, this is the perfect fragrance to wear when you want to get noticed and portray confidence and masculinity. Due to the boldness, this fragrance can’t be worn wherever you want. But, if you choose the occasion well and dress appropriately, this fragrance will be perfect.
5. Le Labo Oud 27
Scent: Le Labo Oud 27 is an incredible fragrance with a strong scent of oud and animalic notes. This fragrance opens with a strong scent of oud, providing you with a dark and slightly woody scent. Quickly after the opening, the scent of oud mellows down to something smoother and softer. After a little while, a strong scent of animalic notes makes itself known, adding to the already dark and bold scent of oud. Overall, this leaves you with a strong, bold, and challenging fragrance that does actually smell fantastic.
Notes: The notes of Le Labo Oud 27 are aldehydes, civet, ambergris, vetiver, oud, amber, rose, cedar, patchouli, and musk.
Best for: Le Labo Oud 27 is a gorgeous fragrance with a strong scent of oud. Such a scent is best worn during the colder months, as it can be too strong for the warmer months. During the colder months, this is a great fragrance for casual everyday wear but works just as well at night. And, if you apply appropriately, you can also wear this to a formal setting. Just know that this is a challenging fragrance that should not be overapplied. If you do wear it correctly, though, this fragrance will work wonders for you.
6. Calvin Klein Obsession
Scent: Calvin Klein Obsession is a beautiful fragrance with a spicy, masculine, and slightly animalic scent. This fragrance opens with a beautiful scent of citruses, supported by some spices, creating a masculine blend. Quickly after the opening, an animalic undertone makes itself known, although it stays relatively soft. When this fragrance starts to dry down, the spices are accompanied by some woods, amber, and vanilla, strengthening the overall scent. This leaves you with a spicy, warm fragrance with an animalic undertone that’s easy to wear.
Notes: The top notes of Calvin Klein Obsession are bergamot, grapefruit, cinnamon, mandarin, lime, lavender, and coriander. The middle notes are rosewood, sage, red berries, myrrh, jasmine, pine tree, nutmeg, and carnation. The base notes are vanilla, musk, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, and amber.
Best for: Calvin Klein Obsession is a fantastic fragrance for any man who wants to dip their toes in the ‘animalic waters’. This fragrance has a fantastic scent that’s actually quite easy to wear. The warm scent of spices and animalic notes is perfect for the colder months, where you can wear it casually throughout the day or on a night out. This could even be a fragrance to wear to a date as well. Regardless of age, this is a great first animalic fragrance for any man.
7. Zoologist Parfums Beaver
Scent: Zoologist Perfumes Beaver is a true form of art. This fragrance has a unique scent, modeled after the habit of beavers. With this in mind, the opening should come as no surprise, consisting of an airy and woody scent. A little while after the opening, a soft scent of florals starts to appear, blending in nicely with the airy feel. In the dry down, however, this fragrance turns much richer and darker. Hints of musk, castoreum, and even leather start to appear, creating a dense and pleasant scent. This leaves you with an overall musky, almost dirty animalic fragrance.
Notes: The top notes of Zoologist Perfumes Beaver are linden blossom, fresh outdoor air, wood shavings, and wild vegetation. The middle notes are damp air, dry wood, water, and light musk. The base notes are heavy musk, dark woods, vanilla, amber, castoreum, and leather.
Best for: Zoologist Perfumes Beaver is a very interesting fragrance. The house of Zoologist creates fragrances modeled after habitats of animals, so not everyone will appreciate smelling like this. However, this does not mean that this fragrance can’t be worn. In fact, its actually a great fragrance to wear during the colder months. Once again, the animalic vibe makes it too bold for the warmer months, but during the fall and winter, this fragrance could be great for the acquired, confident man.
8. Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur
Scent: Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur is a gorgeous fragrance with a warm and spicy scent of musk. This fragrance opens with a beautiful scent of warm and spicy musk, immediately introducing the animalic vibe. Quickly added to this animalic scent is a hint of cinnamon and cloves, giving the fragrance a spicy and warm feel. This is all balanced out by some floral and citrusy notes, freshening it up a bit. In the dry down, some sweetness, as well as a hint of woods is added, leaving you with an overall gorgeous fragrance with a spicy, warm, and musky scent.
Notes: The top notes of Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur are tangerine, lavender, and bergamot. The middle notes are cloves and cinnamon. The base notes are cedar, guaiac woods, amber, vanilla, musk, tonka bean, and sandalwood.
Best for: Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur is a fantastic cold-weather fragrance, perfect for the sophisticated man. This fragrance has a luxurious, but also dirty, musky scent that just works perfectly for any well-dressed man. During the colder months, this fragrance is actually quite easy to wear. Although animalic, it isn’t as challenging as some of the other fragrances on this list. The smoothness actually allows it to be worn not only casually, but also to dates or even to the office. Whenever you do decide to wear this, make sure you match its elegance.
9. John Varvatos John Varvatos
Scent: John Varvatos John Varvatos is a fantastic fragrance with a dark scent of leather. This fragrance immediately opens with this dark scent of leather, creating a masculine feel. After the opening, some sweetness is added in the form of caramel, blending in nicely with the leather. From here, you can start to notice the scent of oud. This, in combination with the leather, creates a dense and animalic scent. This leaves you with an overall intoxicating, animalic, and undeniably masculine fragrance.
Notes: The notes of John Varvatos John Varvatos are styrax, balsam fir, dates, olibanum, oud, amber, hay, herbal notes, caramel, tamarind, leather, and vanilla.
Best for: John Varvatos John Varvatos is a fragrance to wear during the colder months. This fragrance has a dense and strong scent of leather and animalic notes, which will easily pierce through the low temperatures. During the colder months, this fragrance is best worn casually, as it’s a little too bold for the office or any other formal occasion. However, for casual daytime wear or a night out, this fragrance is perfect.
Should You Have An Animalic Fragrance
Animalic fragrances are fantastic fragrances. However, they are quite bold an ‘out there’, so not everyone will appreciate it as much. Still, though, every animalic fragrance has this addictive quality to it. Even though you might not thoroughly enjoy the scent, it always makes you come back.
Not every animalic fragrance is a bold and challenging fragrance, however. Something like Calvin Klein Obsession or Ralph Lauren Polo still has that animalic, addictive feel to them without smelling pungent and daring.
In the end, though, owning an animalic fragrance is not a necessity, but it’s definitely something worth trying out. Especially if you already have a nice collection of popular, crowd-pleasing fragrances. These animalic fragrances are for men with a more ‘acquired’ taste. Men that aren’t afraid to stand out. Men that are confident.
Even though owning one is not a necessity, you’d definitely miss out if you decide to ignore them. I’d recommend you take a good look at the fragrances listed above and see which of these animalic fragrances would fit you perfectly!