When it comes to men’s products, there are certain familiar fragrances we tend to see (or sniff) again and again. Tobacco, leather, whiskey, woodsy and musk are some of the superstars of the male fragrance realm. While many of the popular masculine scents tend to hark back to a time when men smoked pipes and sat in mahogany-lined dens sipping whiskey, these particular scent profiles are used again and again quite simply because they work! They are inherently masculine, and appeal to the male wearer as well as those for whom the man in question is wanting to smell alluring.

We thought we’d take a look at some of the most popular scents in male-centric fragrance, skin and hair care products.


Guys — this doesn’t mean showing up to work smelling like an ashtray! Think of the tobacco leaf — before it has been smoked it is caressed by the warm summer breeze, then dried and toasted to achieve that crinkly golden hue. It smells like summertime (when the living is easy!) and has a distinctly herbaceous, plant-like aroma that is more masculine than floral scents. It’s a winner. Think cigar store humidor with a dash of English country manor old world elegance.


Again, leather is a distinctly masculine aroma that conjures up images of luxury automobiles, those aforementioned old-fashioned dens furnished with leather armchairs, and expensive designer jackets, gloves and shoes. It’s a sophisticated, alluring, refined and borderline decadent fragrance.


Sorry fellas, but as with tobacco, this aroma’s associations doesn’t mean leaving a barfly like stench in your wake. Whiskey tends to have notes that are an attractive blend of smoky and sweet. Think a peaty whiskey in a cool crystal tumbler, or a classic Manhattan Sour cocktail served up in a curvaceous coupe glass. In short, it’s all class.


This word often appears in the evocative descriptions of high-end designer fragrances. Any fragrance said to have “woody notes” usually offers up a scent sprinkled with a mixture of pine needles, cherry wood and other forest-like aromas. It tends to be a softer yet still masculine fragrance, and is one that adds a splash of freshness to any men’s product.


One of the most commonly used classes of aromatic substances in the perfume industry, musk is often an ingredient in men’s designer scents thanks to its distinctive allure. Modern musk is of course now manufactured artificially — bu