The 5 best men's fragrances

Polo Red Intense, from £39, Ralph Lauren,
Polo Red Intense, from £39, Ralph Lauren,

Choosing a new scent is about so much more than how you want to smell. Sure, some men couldn't care less about the name on the bottle, but they're perhaps still using the Old Spice they won in a charity raffle 15 years ago.

The fact is, our head is turned by more than just the notes distilled and carefully balanced into those precious drops of liquid. If it wasn't, fragrance deals wouldn't be the licence to print money that they are. That's not to say that designer equals dull – there are plenty of well-rounded new arrivals that disprove that notion.

Icon, Dunhill London

From £55,

This weighty, etched metallic canister isn't one for weeds: woody top notes and a sweet musk make this a great addition to your (reinforced) bathroom shelf.

Brit Rhythm EDT Intense

From £44, Burberry, available nationwide

The leathery notes are intensified in an update of this recent hit, but that's not to say it's overpowering – actually, it's ideal for the coming warmer months.

Acqua di Gio Profumo

From £49, Giorgio Armani,

Nearly 20 years on from the original, this retains some of that aquatic freshness but is a far more modern take, rounded out by a hint of spice and smoke.

Michael Kors for Men

From £45, available nationwide from May

Sweet, spicy and with a hint of musk, this blend of patchouli, star anise and sandalwood is perfect for a more mature man who can stand up to the strength of its notes.

Polo Red Intense

From £39, Ralph Lauren,

An intensified version of last year's fast car-inspired Polo Red, this has added leather, ginger and coffee to offer a more rounded finish than the original.