Why should I change my cologne by the season?
There are multiple factors involved in choosing the right cologne — while personal preference and occasion are at the top of the list, it’s important to also consider the season and how it will affect the scent.
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Part of its physiological. High temperatures intensify smells while cold temperatures make our sense of smell fade.
This means some colognes that work well in winter feel overwhelming in summer and similarly, some fragrances that are refreshing in summer are unnoticeable in the winter months.
On a more emotional level, there’s also contextual changes that go with the seasons — a cozy, spicy scent just feels more pleasant with warm sweaters and hot coffee during the winter while a sweet citrus pairs well with a summer afternoon spent at the beach.
Coordinating your colognes according to season helps keep you out of a fragrance rut and ensures that your cologne fits well with any seasonal changes.
Here is a comprehensive guide to fragrances according to the season.
Spring is all about optimism. This is the time when the winter cold melts away, leaving the earth cleansed and refreshed. Nature starts to wake up and everything is in bloom. It is a time filled with hope and brightness.
Ideal Characteristics of a Spring Fragrance: Fresh Florals, Greens, Grass, Basil, Orange Blossom
Choose a fragrance that’s crisp and fresh with moderate projection.
Best Spring Fragrances
Grassy with a touch of lemon on the opening. A fresh, masculine scent — smells like an Irish meadow but somehow sophisticated at the same time. Great classic spring scent.
Other spring scents worth a try:
Fahrenheit By Christian Dior For Men
Yves Saint Laurent L’homme For Men
Hot weather signals a more casual, relaxed style. It’s the time of year we go on vacation, go to the beach, and spend extra time outdoors. Like a summer wardrobe, we want to avoid anything overly formal or too heavy for the time of year.
Our sense of smell is heightened in the summer months and just as the suit that felt perfect in December feels overwhelming and too formal in August, the same principle applies to cologne.
In general, you have two choices: choose something cool and invigorating to combat the intense heat or pick a citrus or floral scent that compliments the warm weather.
Ideal Characteristics of a Spring Fragrance: Crisp, Florals, Citrus, Aquatics, Bergamot, jasmine, orange blossoms, mint, sea air
Choose a cologne that’s fresh and invigorating with light to moderate projection.
Best Summer Fragrance
Patchouli and musk with floral heart notes of jasmine, cardamom, geranium, and rosemary that makes you feel like you’ve just stepped off your boat in Portofino. A fresh, unisex scent that’s perfect for the heat of the summer.
See our article on Best Summer Fragrances for more.
Other summer scents worth a try:
Creed Virgin Island Water Millesime For Men
CK ONE Summer by Calvin Klein (Unisex)
Fall / Autumn Colognes:
You need to choose a comforting fragrance. You need to consider musky, woody aromas to match your fall mood.
Think something along the lines of a flask of your favorite hot drink in a flask while you take an unpretentious walk to take in your surroundings.
This is the time for long introspective walks, a time to really take in the scenery and enjoy the natural beauty of the changing leaves and environment.
True, you need to wrap up a little tighter, but fall is the time of diverse colors and warm drinks.
Ideal Aromas: Patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, amber, oakmoss
Fragrance Family: Wood
This is one of the most relaxing times of the year. Fall marks a changing scenery and a change in pace. Everybody gears down, trying to get ready for the winter months ahead
Best Fall Fragrance: John Varvatos Vintage Eau de Toilette Spray
A spicy, luxurious fragrance with a warm appeal, this cologne boasts masculine authenticity paired with rugged appeal. Top notes of rhubarb, quince paste, juniper berries, and cinnamon tree leaves, this is liquid fall in a bottle.
You’ll be smelling like changing leaves, hot drinks and warm relaxation all throughout the fall.
See our article on Best Fall & Winter Fragrances for more.
Other fall scents worth a try:
Coach for Men Eau De Toilette
Salvatore Ferragamo Uomo for Men
Winter. You either love it or you hate it. There’s cold, and the inconvenience of leaving your warm bed in the morning.
But on the other hand, there are movie days, warm comforting clothes and hot drinks in front of a roaring fire. The season has its ups and downs.
Ideal Aromas: Vanilla, cinnamon, incense, amber, and spices
Fragrance Family: Amber / Oriental
As expected, the ideal winter cologne is something rich and spicy. Something that is full of robust flavor that will warm up the air around you and engage your senses.
It takes longer for the fragrance to evaporate, so you’ll be enjoying the delicate blends and infusions for a little while longer. Your senses are also less focused on other activities or aromas so you have the time and capacity to properly take in all the rich smells of a winter cologne.
Best Winter Fragrance: Amouage Epic
A rich and opulent cologne that represents the ultimate refinement from Amouage. This is the type of cologne that can range from professional or romantic and is perfect for the colder months. Deeply warm, rich and inspired by elegant oriental traditions.
Encre Noire by Lalique
Robert Graham Valour
Remember that perfume is an art and a science, there are many factors that contribute to a successful fragrance, and the temperature is one of those factors.
You can’t force something to smell good and we must do our best to help the cologne a much as we can.
After all, a painting isn’t just propped against the wall. It is given special care- we don’t just stick it anywhere, we see if it matches the room, the color scheme.
The same consideration should be given to your cologne. Prove your level of refinement, and wear the season on your sleeve.