Gift guide: top 5 aftershaves for Christmas

Having the right aftershave is something every man needs, so treat him this Christmas

Beauty and grooming
(Image credit: Getty)

Having the right aftershave is something every man needs. It’s a discreet touch that goes a very long way, just like a crisp white shirt or a subtle hair cut. However, picking one that compliments your individual style and aura is essential: that’s where we come in to help. 

With so many aftershaves on offer, it can be hard to find the right one for you. In fact, the entire shopping process can feel daunting to say the least. Especially, if you don’t have any guidance whilst spritzing and sniffing away. Luckily for you, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to make it all a lot easier by selecting the top five aftershaves on the market. But first, here’s everything you need to know when shopping for an aftershave… 

First thing’s first: make sure you know what the difference is between the types of fragrances for men. For example, aftershave and an eau de toilette or an eau de parfum may seem the same as it is quite common for people to use the three interchangeably but there is a significant difference. An aftershave is made with fewer perfume oils and therefore has a lighter, more subtle scent. It usually also contains other soothing ingredients such as aloe vera and is designed to be used to freshen up after shaving (hence the name). However, due to their low level of perfume oil, aftershaves aren’t as long-lasting as eau de toilettes or an eau de parfums and are meant for short-term wear instead, typically lasting up to three hours. 

Another thing to bear in mind when shopping for an aftershave is the core ingredient. Fragrances are made up of a whole host of ingredients that usually include things such as neroli, oud, patchouli, vetiver, orris, ambergris and bergamot to name a few. These are used as a base but the perfumer can of course also add in any other specific notes they want. So when finding the right bottle for you, pick the base you like best, for example, oud, and look for the aftershaves that consist of this. That way, you narrow down your search and make the process a lot easier. 

Dior Sauvage

(Image credit: Dior)

1. Dior Sauvage

Specifications
Best for: Evenings and occasions
Scent family:: Woody
Type:: Eau de toilette
Reasons to buy
+Classic scent+Great brand+Simple, stylish bottle

There’s a reason why Dior Sauvage was voted the nation’s favourite aftershave last year, it’s a classic. The relaunch of the old 1966 Eau Sauvage, which dropped in 2015, is as popular now as it was then thanks to its captivating and sensual scent. The fragrance is made with strong top notes of Calabrian bergamot and mandarin and also includes Tonka bean, vanilla absolute from Papua New Guinea and Sri Lankan sandalwood. These notes create a mixture of masculine scents with an ever so slight hint of feminine tones. It’s perfect for an evening out, especially now that we’re entering the Christmas period. 

Chanel Bleu

(Image credit: Chanel)

2. Chanel Bleu de Chanel

Specifications
Best for: A timeless, classic scent
Scent family:: Floral
Type:: Eau De Toilette
Reasons to buy
+Classic scent+Great brand+Simple, stylish bottle

This fresh, masculine scent is reminiscent of a crisp woodland trail. The fragrance mixes sharp citrus notes with woody cedar, sandalwood and amber to create a sensual scent that is perfect for a festive occasion. Just like Chanel as a brand, the popular fragrance is both timeless and elegant, oozing sophistication. It may have first launched in 2010 but Bleu de Chanel is still as in demand as ever a decade later, especially during this time of year. 

Fragrances for men

(Image credit: Tom Ford)

3. Louis Vuitton Ombre Nomade

Specifications
Best for: Evenings and occasions
Scent family:: Oud
Type:: Eau de Parfum
Reasons to buy
+Classic scent+Longevity+Simple yet sophisticated 

Louis Vuitton’s Ombre Nomade is a unisex fragrance that takes you on a journey to the Arabian desert. With a smoky wood oud as its base, the fragrance is best for the Autumn/Winter period but also includes notes of benzoin tears incense and raspberry, creating a blend of both a masculine and feminine scent. The oud fragrance has been praised by many for its longevity, which has been described as one of its strongest points along with how punchy it is - it’s definitely not a scent for the subtle. Unlike classic oud, which can feel a bit dated, it has a fresh youthful scent to it. Plus, one spritz will go a long way when it comes to Ombre Nomade.

Boss Bottled

(Image credit: Hugo Boss)

4. Boss Bottled By Hugo Boss

Specifications
Best for: A timeless, classic scent
Scent family:: Fruity
Type:: Eau de Toilette
Reasons to buy
+Classic scent+Recognisable +Seductive 

Despite first being released in 1998, BOSS  Bottled by Hugo Boss is still one of the most popular aftershaves on the market, The classic scent is known for its fruity yet masculine top notes, including apple and citrus but also features a blend of bergamot,  geranium and cinnamon as well as base notes of vanilla, sandalwood, vetiver, cedarwood, olivewood, amber, musk. While the scent is strong and long-lasting, it isn’t too overpowering but instead adds a subtle touch of warm, sophisticated seduction.

Fragrances for men

(Image credit: Tom Ford)

5. Tom Ford Noir Extreme

Specifications
Best for: Evening
Scent family:: Woody Oriental
Type:: Eau de Parfum
Reasons to buy
+Sexy scent+Strong brand +Sleek and stylish  bottle+Daring 

If one thing’s clear, it’s that Tom Ford fragrances are not for the shy. They’re bold and daring, designed for those who walk into a room and take charge; Noir Extreme represents that. The sexy scent is made with a heavy amber top note and a strong woody oriental scent with a blend of cardamom, saffron, neroli and vanilla. While it's intense and far from subtle, it isn’t too overpowering. It’s an excellent choice for evening wear and definitely has a more grown-up feel to it. 

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Sagal Mohammed
Sagal Mohammed

Sagal is a lifestyle and pop culture writer, working across print and digital for various publications including both newspapers and magazines.