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What Do New York’s Coolest Guys Smell Like? They Share Their Signature Colognes

It goes without saying that fragrance is incredibly personal; a signature cologne or perfume has the ability to conjure cherished memories, boost your mood, or give you the confidence to take on your day. However, with such a vast, ever-changing fragrance landscape, selecting a scent can be a formidable undertaking. Oftentimes, we look to tastemakers for inspiration. That being said, who better to turn to than the coolest guys in New York City? Here, 13 stylish and influential men—from fashion designers to Vogue editors—divulge their go-to colognes. If the aromas have earned their stamp of approval, they’re certainly worth your buy. 

Signature Colognes to Consider

  • The Woody Citrus: Creed Aventus, $365
  • The Sweet & Smoky: Maison Margiela Replica Jazz Club, $160
  • The Earthy Spice: Hermès Terre d’Hermès Eau Intense Vétiver, $112
  • The Modern Amber: Prada L’Homme, $115
  • The Woody & Floral: Byredo Mojave Ghost, $205
  • The Soft Vanilla: Tom Ford Vanille Fatale, $295

LaQuan Smith, fashion designer and founder of LaQuan Smith

“Tom Ford, Bond No. 9, or Maison Francis Kurkdjian are a few of my favorites. Tom Ford Vanille Fatale is one of my go-tos. I enjoy vanilla notes, tobacco notes, vanilla patchouli, anything that has a smoky or musk undertone. I find them soft, calming, and comforting, with a touch of masculinity. Vanilla is one note that you can mix with anything, and it will always be the perfect base.”

Tom Ford

Vanille Fatale Eau de Parfum

Rōze Traore, chef and entrepreneur

“I love Creed Aventus because it’s not only classic but I have an appreciation for the craftsmanship. It’s a cologne that I can wear any season. It’s refreshing, pure, and the scent evolves the longer it stays on you. The notes contain citrus, ginger, [and a] slightly woody [aroma].”


Aventus Eau De Parfum

Ludovic de Saint Sernin, creative director and founder of Ludovic De Saint Sernin 

“Byredo sent me Eyes Closed when they released it, and I have been obsessed with it ever since. I have continued to buy it every time I finish it. It’s very sensual, and it makes you feel warm during the winter. Apart from the scent itself, I also fell in love with the campaign shot by Alasdair McLellan, which is absolutely stunning. [Tom Ford’s] Soleil Blanc is the perfect summer perfume. I’ve been buying it right before I go on holidays for the last five years. When I smell it, it reminds me of all my best summer memories. It smells like summer nights.”


Eyes Closed Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford

Soleil Blanc Eau de Parfum

Ian Malone, experiences manager, Vogue 100

“Although I cycle through many colognes, I often return to Byredo’s Mojave Ghost. When I first moved to New York, a friend took me to the SoHo store. I had never heard of the Swedish brand, and the perfumes smelled unlike anything else I had ever used. I remember the name (which I could not pronounce), and the Christian Halleröd–designed shop seemed impossibly sophisticated and aspirational to me. Every time I spray Mojave, I feel that same excitement and allure.”


Mojave Ghost Eau de Parfum

Alex Assouline, chief of operations, brand, and strategy at Assouline

“Bois d’Argent by Dior is my everyday perfume; I have been loyal to it for years. I love that it is smoky and fresh at the same time, which gives it a distinct scent while not being too overpowering. It is perfectly balanced and just the best! I have been obsessed with Prada Amber eau de parfum since I first discovered it. I find it to be extremely sensual–the scent is almost intoxicating. I haven’t been able to find it in a store recently so I am afraid it might have been discontinued. [Frédéric Malle’s En Passant, made by Olivia Giacobetti] is the only perfume my fiancée wears, so I am a bit biased! This perfume scent reminds me of morning dew on a sunny country day. Initially, you smell a strong lilac scent that is joyful and light but also incorporates base notes of musk which leave a lingering aroma.” 

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle

En Passant Parfum

Christian Allaire, senior fashion and style writer at Vogue

“It’s my go-to scent for a night out. It features notes of ‘heady cocktails and cigars,’ which I would describe as smoky but sweet. I get so many compliments on it.”

Maison Margiela

Replica Jazz Club Eau de Toilette

Raul Lopez, fashion designer and founder of Luar

“I love a North African scent!” 


Cuir Obscur Eau de Parfum

Louis Vuitton

Ombre Nomade Eau de Parfum

Sean Garrette, esthetician and skin care expert

“Fragrance is as important to me as skin care. I’m obsessed with fragrance, and I’m also a believer in having a signature scent profile. I tend to love woodier, warmer, amber-y scents. I love something that’s a little darker and sensual that draws people in closer. [Christian Dior Ambre Nuit] is a powerful, warm fragrance that becomes more and more intoxicating the longer it wears. Along with the amber, it has notes of rose, pink pepper, bergamot, and citrus, which gives it a spicy woody edge and a bit of sweetness. [Celine Black Tie] is a fragrance I’ll always purchase; it’s truly a unisex decent. it has the perfect balance of woody notes with sweeter, more gourmand notes—white orris butter, cedar, tree moss, vanilla, and musk—perfect for evenings. 

[Grand Master by Mind Games] was gifted to me recently, and I instantly fell in love. It’s everything I love in fragrance but done in an unconventional way. It’s amber-heavy but also [has] floral notes, a little smokiness, and woody, fruity notes. If I wear this, it instantly commands attention when I walk into a room. It layers well with other fragrances but is powerful on its own. [Byredo Slow Dance] is a newer fragrance in my collection that I’ve been wearing nonstop! It has similar notes to the other fragrances I’ve mentioned, but smells nothing like them. I love how Byredo takes familiar scents and notes and creates something completely unique and unconventional. The cognac, violet, and patchouli stand out the most, and the vanilla adds a sweet touch at the end.”


Black Tie Eau de Parfum

Mind Games

Grand Master Extrait de Parfum


Slow Dance Eau de Parfum

Liam Hess, living editor at Vogue

“I have a tendency to cycle through scents at breakneck speed, but the one constant in my washbag for at least five years now, I’d estimate—which is about a century in fragrance years for me—is Prada L’Homme. It’s the ultimate everyday, versatile cologne that can be worn all year round (although with its subtle, laundry-fresh florals, it’s especially great in the summer), and I love that it feels neither overly masculine nor feminine. It’s my clean, crisp, and reliable daytime go-to.”


L’Homme Eau de Toilette

Gustav Magnar Witzoe, model

“[My] favorite colognes are Tom Ford Soleil Neige. I like to use it at day time; it has a freshness to it. Reminds me of sunny days, [the] clean breeze of Frøya, and a sense of summer nostalgia. At night I like to use Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford because it is a bit stronger and more masculine. It fits well with my night sartorial choices, plus it’s a bit mysterious, like me.”

Tom Ford

Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford

Soleil Neige Eau de Parfum

Andy Baraghani, chef, food writer, and author

“The Aesop deodorant is my go-to everyday spray. The bottle is lightweight, which makes it super convenient for me to pack and bring along when I go to the gym or when I’m traveling. It has a fresh, herby scent to it, which now I’m realizing why I love it so much…. ‘Fresh’ and ‘herby’ makes up a lot of my cooking. Terre d’Hermes Eau Intense Vetiver Eau de parfum is more assertive and potent than my everyday scent. It has this wonderful lingering spice from Sichuan peppercorns and a vibrant woodiness from the vetiver. I reach for it when I need something more elevated for those special moments.” 


Terre d’Hermes Eau Intense Vétiver Eau de Parfum

Adam Hurly, writer and editor at GQ

“I’ve got hundreds of scents at home, but the two I rely on most often are Arquiste Misfit and Louis Vuitton Imagination, which I think are perfect opposites. (They’re also from my two favorite fragrance labels.) Both of these scents get numerous inquiries each time I wear them—you know, the whole ‘What scent is that?! It’s beautiful!’ type of comments. Misfit is a patchouli-amber number that feels broodier and sophisticated, yet manages to wear light enough year-round. There’s a platonic sex appeal to it, but it’s still professional enough for the workplace. Imagination is pure levity and optimism. I wear it in winter like placebo vitamin D, since it’s Summer Friday in a bottle. It’s got lots of crisp, citrusy notes layered with ginger and black tea, and it makes me feel instantly calm and refreshed when I apply it, and it has the same effect on anyone in its radius.” 


Misfit Eau de Parfum

Christopher Cohen, deputy site editor at GQ

“You know how chefs are drawn to extremely strong flavors? And it’s hard to make comedians laugh? When you wear cologne for a living, a similar thing happens: It takes something truly wild to make you feel something. But this 2022 release from Guerlain did it for me. It opens with a brash, almost cheesy oud, and dries down into an extremely dense powdery-cosmetic fragrance. One for the freaks. On the other hand, sometimes you just want to smell really nice. This woody, smoky, greenhouse-ish fragrance from Aesop isn’t up to anything avant-garde—it just smells really nice. A great step up for any guy currently wearing a mass-market woody scent.” 



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