Christmas day is always the same.
You wake up feeling hopeful about what your presents contain. You’ve been putting off buying that expensive aftershave for months because surely someone – your mum, sister or girlfriend, anyone – will have cottoned on to your hints and left it neatly wrapped under the tree.
And yet, as you open Lynx gift set after Lynx gift set, disappointment inevitably follows.
This year, instead of relying on someone else’s dodgy mind reading skills to get what you want, you’re bucking the trend by shopping for your own aftershave.
And, since lots of online retailers regularly push offers on the top fragrances for men in the run-up to Xmas, you’ll still have plenty of your present budget left over for buying female family members their well-deserved Impulse gift sets.
You get what you give, after all.
Here’s our pick of the best offerings from your favourite brands this festive season.
Hugo Boss Just Different
One of the most popular Hugo Boss aftershaves at the moment is Just Different, which definitely lives up to its name.
An unusual touch of mint adds a distinctive edge to the smooth freesia and cashmeran base tones. If you’re looking to shake-up your signature scent, this is a gentle way of making a more unique statement than you’re used to.
Giorgio Armani Code
Armani code is well on its way to becoming a modern classic of the aftershave world, with its masculine base of tobacco and leather freshened up by hints of lemon and olive blossom.
What this delicate blend creates is a bold evening scent, as sophisticated and sleek as the chic black bottle it’s packaged in.
Versace Eros for men
Named after the Greek god of love, Eros is a strong and warm aftershave perfect for making a good impression on date night.
The expert infusion of lighter green apple and Italian lemon, on top of a tonka bean and geranium flowers foundation, forms a powerful aroma with surprisingly fresh intensity. It’s a fragrance which demands to be worn with confidence, so it’s probably not the best choice for fans of a subtle vibe.
Gucci Guilty Black
Presented as the edgier and darker version of the popular Gucci Guilty, the Black edition features a distinguishing mix of lavender, patchouli and cedar. The result is a much more mysterious and sensual scent than provided by the original.
Public warning, though – if you hate coriander then stay well clear, it’s one of the overwhelmingly strong notes of this aftershave that not even the soothing heart of orange flower can make up for.
Tom Ford Noir pour Homme
Talented designer and director Tom Ford – his new film Nocturnal Animals is currently receiving rave reviews – never fails to impress with his fragrance collection, which is every bit as stylish and fresh as the fashion line he made his name with.
Noir has an overall citrusy composition, but it’s saved from falling into the dull and boring category by the clever addition of spearmint, alongside spicy and woody notes.
So that you’re not stuck with your once favourite Lynx body spray and left enduring fragrant flashbacks to your teenage years during Christmas dinner, start exploring different aftershaves and treat yourself this festive season.