During the summer, it’s important to choose the right cologne for the season. Your sense of smell is heightened and you need something that can withstand the summer heat.
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Top Picks at A Glance
|WHY WE LOVE IT|
|Sophisticated with no gimmicks of attention-grabbing. Definitely worth it if you’re partial to lavender.||Check Price|
|Acqua Di Gio||Balances aquatic and woody with a sensual aspect. Its refined elegance will grow on you.||Check Price|
|Dunhill Century||Retro-ish in smell with a hint of sweetness that continues to the heart of the fragrance.||Check Price|
To fit the season, most people prefer a fragrance that is light, clean and fragrant.
There are a few directions you can go with summer cologne. Generally, popular summer fragrances fall under the “Fresh” category which includes water, citrus and green scents.
Aquatic aromatic fragrances are formulated to make you smell like you just got back from a day at the beach.
They are generally light and feel like salt air and the sea which makes them perfect for the summer.
They’re a relatively new type of cologne but account for many of the most popular men’s colognes currently on the market.
Another scent that is perfect for summer is invigorating citrus. This is particularly popular for young men who tend toward sweeter fragrances.
This can range from the standards like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits to more exotic like bergamot or neroli.
Green notes feel crisp and lively – giving you a fresh feeling throughout the day. For many people, this is the ideal pick-me-up scent and you see it frequently used in sport colognes or summer versions of popular fragrances.
The specific ingredients can include green leaves, tea, marine plants or even the essence of fresh-cut grass. I love these for those hot, humid dog days of summer when you need an extra boost.
Tom Ford Sole di Positano EDP
Mr Ford has made a fortune from his fragrances that capture the vibe of the Amalfi, Portofino and Costa Azzurra. There’s veritable citrus and floral cocktail in this EDP, including notes of Calabrian bergamot, bitter orange, lemon, shiso leaf, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, jasmine, lily of the valley, and neroli.
It’s fresh, vibrant and absolutely irresistible. Alas, on my skin, it dissipates very quickly. Very much a case of fleeting beauty. While the Amalfi coast vacation will have to wait for now, Tom Ford Sole di Positano will more than do.
Prada Luna Rossa Carbon EDT
Fougere with a modern twist, Prada Luna Rossa Carbon has been crafted as a fusion of botanicals and synthetics, the natural and industrial. It features top notes of Italian bergamot and pepper; middle notes of lavender, soil tincture, water, metal, and coal; and base notes of patchouli and ambroxan.
Perfumer Daniela Andrier has created all the Prada Luna Rossa fragrances. And her latest creation reflects the above-mentioned contrasts with aplomb. As with many Prada fragrances, there’s something quite austere about Prada Luna Rossa Carbon. And yet it’s sophisticated stuff at the same time, because there are no silly gimmicks to grab the attention. It’s well worth sniffing out if you’re partial to lavender.
Thierry Mugler A*Men Kryptomint EDT
Originally launched in 1996, there are now 17 fragrances in the A*Men line, including the latest incarnation. You would think that with the umpteenth flanker, A*Men would have run its course. Thierry Mugler A*Men Kryptomint proves otherwise, with a new variation on the love-it-or-hate-it gourmand formula
There’s a lot going on here, with notes that include peppermint, patchouli, tonka bean, geranium, vanilla and coffee. If that sounds totally scrumptious, trust me, it is. Thierry Mugler A*Men Kryptomint is the olfactory equivalent of over-indulging in after-dinner mints. Remember, this is Thierry Mugler we are talking about, so reserve and restraint are not on the menu.
Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Absolu EDP
Acqua di Gio has been a huge success for Armani, so there’s much expectation (and consternation) when a flanker is launched. First of all let’s get the obvious out of the way. This is still firstly a fresh-ish aquatic-style fragrance, but this time it’s all about the interplay of water and wood. There’s also a fruity vibe upfront, plus a big hit of patchouli.
This patchouli note balances the aquatic and woody nature of this EDT with a sensual aspect. So what does this all mean? Acqua di Gio Absolu is not an immediate winner like its predecessors, but its refined elegance will grow on you if you give it a chance.
Dunhill Century EDT
Officially inspired by the notion of looking forward to a new century, Dunhill’s new pillar fragrance is actually retro-ish in smell. Carlos Benaim has created numerous stand-out fragrances over the years, including Antonio Puig Quorum EDT, and Dunhill Icon EDT. So my expectations of his new creation were high.
I am not disappointed, although a lot of other online reviews may differ. I’m immediately hooked by the slightly sweet treatment of the opening bergamot, mandarin and grapefruit notes.
This hint of sweetness continues through to the heart of the fragrance, where neroli, olibanum, and cardamom notes announce their presence. The sweetness tapers slightly, as the base notes of sandalwood and musk lend a touch of warmth.
John Varvatos Artisan Pure EDT
John Varvatos fragrances have been on the market since 2004 and are well worth sniffing out, thanks to the creativity of Mexico-born perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux. Apart from the recent so-so Nick Jonas collaborations, he has created most of the fragrances for the American fashion brand.
There’s always an impressively long list of notes for John Varvatos fragrances and Artisan Pure is no different. Inspired by the verdant Xalapa region of Mexico, it opens with a big punch of sunny citrus (for example, clementine). Petitgrain is a standout note in this fragrance and gives it a lush green facet. It’s deliciously crisp summer freshness in a bottle.
Ralph Lauren Safari For Woman EDP
Ok, so this one is officially for women, but it is in fact thoroughly unisex. After all, by now you should know that crossing the fragrance gender divide can only improve your options. And the 90s classic Ralph Lauren Safari For Women will certainly do that for you.
Hugo Reversed EDT
The Hugo range has been in production since 1995 and releases have been marked by their fresh youthfulness. The latest addition is no exception.
It opens with a double whammy of citrus crispness (Calabrian bergamot and grapefruit), followed by an aromatic hit of rosemary and a soupcon of vetiver.
It’s a straightforward, no-frills construction, in which you can actually smell all of the notes. Ideal for younger men looking for a spray n go, but older gents can enjoy this one too.
Zadig & Voltaire Capsule Collection: This is Him! 2019 EDT
Zadig & Voltaire is one of the lower-profile designer fragrance brands. I have tried several releases from the French rock-chic label and I’ve always found them to be of good quality. This one is a fresher take on previous versions, with lemon and grapefruit notes setting the scene.
Incense is a big part of the This Is Him! franchise and it weaves its way throughout this EDT. It’s not a hard-core incense note, but very easy on the nose. The smoky effect is complemented by vetiver. There’s also a lot of ambroxan going on in this easy-going scent.
Milano Cento Him
Big in the 80s and now back on the market after a long absence as a niche brand, with some tweaks to the bottle design and logo and additional products. Milano Cento EDT has a reassuringly masculine, Italian barbershop vibe to it. It opens with a fresh splash, courtesy of citrus, bergamot and petitgrain notes.
While it’s hard to resist that intro, in the background of this fougere, there’s a developing herbal ensemble in the form of rosemary, lavender and basil notes. Sandalwood, patchouli, clove, cinnamon and amber notes round off the smooth musky appeal.
Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.