wooden gates - what to treat them with

Have substantial (sawn softwood) gates that have now been up 6 months - need treating with something. Any recommendations? Cost is not really an issue, want something that protects the wood & will last a good while. In the past, on fences, I have used water-based stuff cos the fences are near plants (but it doesn't seem very effective as it seems to treat the surface without soaking in much). Creosote itself is nasty smelly stuff & I'd rather avoid it if poss.; any recommendations for something (and brand names) that will work well & be water repellent if poss? Colour-wise I'd prefer a very dark brown (or black) - not into this post-modern blue fencing mullarkey! TIA.

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