The 7 Best Dark and Intense Scents You Can Buy in 2020

We don't know about you, but no matter how our tastes change, dark and intense fragrances will always be a favorite of ours. It's probably because many guys' first foray into scents come in the form of a sporty body spray or a musky masculine fragrance. Nostalgia.

That said, we don't have to keep using the same old classics—especially with the new breed of dark, intense, and black fragrances on the market. From green, earthy compositions to powdery and vanilla notes, these fragrances will take you back without smelling outdated.

Here are the seven best right now to get you back to all that deep aromatic goodness.


The Best Perfume Oils Will Switch Up Your Scent Game

The Trick to Understanding Fragrances (And Figuring Out What Works Best For You)

Salvatore Ferragamo Ferragamo

Photo by LUXASIA.

Intense fragrances can be a bit too... intense at first spray. But, if you want something that gradually gets stronger as time passes, then Ferragamo's latest fragrance is worth checking out. It starts off as a bright citrus and settles into a creamy leather that harks back to the brand's artisanal heritage. The fragrance's notes include bergamot, lemon, violet leaves, musk, and vetiver.


Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Le Parfum

Photo by LUXASIA.

Created by Quentin Bisch and Nathalie Gracia-Cetto, the Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Le Parfum features cardamom, lavender, iris, vanilla, as well as oriental and woodsy notes. In all, it's a clean scent that is sweeter than the regular Le Male that we're used to but still intense all the same. 

More: Love Whisky? Then, Pick Up a Whisky Fragrance

Jo Malone London Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense

Photo by JO MALONE.
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We get it: Something that's top-billed with cypress and grapevine might not have the intensity you're looking for. One spritz, however, and you'll see how masculine, aromatic, and woody this Jo Malone bottle is. And, it's all thanks to the different woodsy notes that complement the cypress and vine.

Le Labo Tabac 28 Miami

Photo by SEPHORA.

Le Labo is already known for its strong scents. So, you already know that Tabac 28 Miami is no different. The smoky tobacco fragrance features tobacco leaves, rum, cedarwood, and green cardamom—all very intense notes that somehow work hand in hand. The only challenge is finding the new city exclusive anywhere outside of the Le Labo Miami boutique.

More: The 7 Fragrance Mistakes Men Make (And How To Avoid Them)

Guerlain Patchouli Ardent

Photo by GUERLAIN.

As a unisex fragrance, Guerlain's Patchouli Ardent brings a whole lot to the table. A quick look at its notes (pink pepper, black pepper, fig, patchouli, Turkish rose, cedar, leather, and musk) reveals a marriage of feminine and masculine accords. Surprisingly, everything works out well with each note playing an important role.

Comme des Garçons Rouge


Most of the fragrances on this list go the leather route, but dark and intense doesn't always have to equate to that. Comme des Garcons' Rogue, for instance, has a balsamic tone. It has notes of beetroot, pink pepper, ginger, mint, patchouli, incense, and labdanum.


The Best Perfume Oils Will Switch Up Your Scent Game

The Trick to Understanding Fragrances (And Figuring Out What Works Best For You)

Byredo Sellier

Photo by BYREDO.

Cult fragrance brands are a great place to look for scents with a new element. Case in point: Byredo's Sellier, a leather scent that has cashmeran, black tea, leather, tobacco leaf, birch, and oakmoss. The very woody, leather, and earthy scent starts off rich and soft, but it reveals it's true scent hours later as a smoky fragrance.

More: The 10 Best Cult Fragrances That Will Make You Standout

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About The Author
Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor at Esquire Philippines, where he writes about fashion and grooming. Before joining Esquire Philippines, he was a writer at Town & Country Philippines.
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