Top 5 New Releases in 2023 – A Year in Review

Last year was a good year but I feel like most of last year was a huge re-alignment for a lot of companies and a LOT of what I would like to call “cash grabs”, meaning the companies are just dropping a new frag under the same scent profile with only a few subtle changes (I’m looking at you Armani Code…yeah, you). I had 11 fragrances in my top list last yea,r but I thought this year I’d drop it down to five bite-sized choices that really stood out to me as well as those around me. I’m talking about compliment magnets people. So, let’s dive in!

5. Givenchy Gentleman Society

I wrote about this one in my 5 New Fragrances to Start 2023 blog back in April and I’m still enjoying this fragrance 8 months later. Cardamom, sage, narcissus, vetiver, vanilla, cedarwood and palo santo wood are the notes and this fragrance is still one that gets compliments wherever I go. I wouldn’t say this is a beast mode type of fragrance, but there are situations where you don’t need a LOUD fragrance to cause a room to completely empty and this one is perfectly balanced. The bottle is the line’s first passage into a different design era. Where all the previous Gentleman bottles all looked similar in shape and logo design, this bottle retains the same shape, but the logo is different. Could this be the new style going forward? Can’t wait to see! Gentleman Society is a solid frag that I think you should try! Moving on!

4. Paco Rabanne 1 Million Royal

I know, I know. I’ve blasted Paco Rabanne soooo many times on this blog and I know some people who have read all my blogs up to this point are probably laughing at me. But hear me out. If you really despise bubble-gum types of youthful fragrances, this is definitely the one for you. In a sea of young-targeted fragrances, 1 Million Royal is elevated to mature status and I’m all for it. The bottle is similar in shape and color to all the rest but the addition of the ruby red gem surrounding the “1” is the only major difference. Cardamom, tangerine, bergamot, lavender, sage, violet leaf, benzoin, cedar and patchouli are the notes in this fragrance, and I was hooked the second I sprayed it on me. It’s fresh at the start and dries woody and warm with that patchouli scent lingering the longest. I’ve always said patchouli is one of my favorite notes and if a fragrance has it in it, I will probably like it, but that’s just me. Give this one a try if you haven’t. You won’t regret it.

3. Tom Ford Myrrhe Mystere

It wouldn’t be a top list for me without a good ‘ole Tom Ford fragrance in the mix. Myrrhe Mystere was released this year and there’s not a lot of hype out there for this fragrance and it’s kind of a shame. I know there are a few other fragrances out there that smell somewhat similar (Jo Malone Myrrhe & Tonka) but this one from Tom Ford was an instant hit for me. I love fragrances that smell completely different from anything else that’s on the market and when I first put my nose to this one, I instantly knew I had to have it. The notes are simple; myrrh sandalwood, vanilla and musk. This fragrance smells like old, expensive wood that you would put your valuables in. It’s sweet and spicy; woody and powdery. It’s a fragrance you have to try to understand. All I can tell you is I fell in love at first sniff and I think you will to. Two more left to go!

2. Absolu Aventus

When it comes to movie awards, I don’t typically watch them because one of the things that bothers me most is that people tend to vote for things that are fresh and new. What I mean by that, is if an awards ceremony is held on December 31st and it covered the entire year, most of the time awards are handed out to those that had something released in December, because it’s fresh on their minds. Something that would be a blockbuster hit that came out in January of that same year may be snubbed because it was 11 months ago. The point I’m trying to drive home is, Absolu Aventus JUST came out last month and although it’s a fairly new release, I don’t want to put it number 1 because then I would fall in that same stereotype I just mentioned. I want something that was REALLY great to take the number 1 spot even though Absolu Aventus is a very, very close second place. This fragrance came out in early November and when we first heard about it my excitement level was reaching Jupiter at this point. There was no other fragrance on my mind other than Absolu Aventus (You can read my review about it here). I can tell you; the wait was worth it. While it’s now out of season where I live, I can still say that I’m super honored, appreciative and so damn lucky to say that I have a bottle of this sitting on my shelf. I will be wearing this on the first day of Spring believe you me. Grapefruit, bergamot, black currant, ginger, cinnamon, citron, cardamom, pink pepper, patchouli and vetiver round out the notes of this fragrance. Performance is amazing and the smell just screams limited edition. If you haven’t picked up a decant yet, head over here and grab one. So good. Ok, one more to go!

1. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Elixir

There you have it. My number one. There was no other top-complimented fragrance in my collection other than this gem. Lavender, mint, vanilla, benzoin, honey, tonka bean and tobacco are the notes and every single time I wore this someone would stop me and ask what it was. I’ve watched countless battle videos on YouTube, countless “blind impression” videos where they smell and rate a fragrance, and every single time this fragrance demolished the others in competition without mercy. I own Le Male Parfum and Ultra Male but this one just hits all the right notes. It’s sweet with that vanilla note but the little bit of tobacco in there make it smell similar but not exact to a few other fragrances like Mystery Tobacco. It’s an amazing release for this year and if you don’t own it and would like to try it, head over here and get a sample. See if you get the same compliments I get.

That does it for 2023! Thank you all for coming along in this journey with me. I appreciate you and I hope to see you back here in 2024 with a whole lot more fragrance related things to talk about. Hope you have a safe and happy new year. Take care and I’ll see you in the next one!