Men’s cologne is a personal choice, but it helps to have a jumping-off point. I really love fresh and aquatic scents that work well in the summer and Tommy Bahama fragrances specialize in that category. One of the most popular colognes in their line-up is Tommy Bahama St. Barts.
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First released in 2007, Tommy Bahama St. Barts has been a favorite cologne for many guys.
There are plenty of reasons why that is the case, so if you’re wondering, “Is Tommy Bahama cologne any good?” You’re about to get your answer. Here’s what you need to know about this long-time fave.
Snapshot of Tommy Bahama St. Barts
- Fragrance Type: Citrus Aromatic
- Scent Potency / Appropriate For: Medium potency / great for casual, daytime, warm weather, beach or vacation
- Sillage: Good – projects well, creating a modest scent bubble
- Longevity: Lasts 3 – 6 hours
- Price: $
Tommy Bahama St. Barts for Him features notes that scream “carribean vacation,” which makes sense. St. Barthélemy (AKA St. Barts for short) is a high end luxury tourist destination and this cologne radiates that vibe.
It mixes top notes of sparkling lime and fresh trade wind effect with middle tones of guava nectar, blue agave tequila, and sea vine. The base notes feature vanilla absolute, palm wood and volcano musk which create a smooth drydown.
It’s a soft and fresh finish that offers a musky scent of volcanic rock, light green notes from the palm wood and a well balanced vanilla.
The tropical citrus notes reminded me of a reasonably priced version of Creed’s Virgin Island Water. They both use classic tropical fruits, blended with lime and refreshing cocktail notes. They’re like summer in a bottle. An instant vacation!
Tommy Bahama’s St. Barts has an explosive top note that is bright and vibrant. It settled down after a few minutes and at first, I thought it had faded.
As I moved around though, I continued to notice the sillage wafting around me. I’d get these lovely notes of tequila and lime drifting off my skin. Sometimes the salty sea notes would float in, offering a refreshing bite.
As the temperature rose throughout the day, St. Barts would come alive and project again. It’s very noticeable for the first hour or two and then settles into a soothing scent bubble that comes alive in the humidity, or when a warm breeze blows by.
St. Barts is definitely a compliment getter, especially when I was talking close by with someone. I got a nice compliment on my cologne, so I took this as a good sign that the fragrance had softened in the dry-down without disappearing altogether.
St. Barts worked best for me when I applied a few sprays to my pulse points – the wrists, crook of the elbow, back of the neck and a few extras to my clothing. It lasts around 3 to 4 hours. Sometimes longer in hot, humid weather.
After a few days, I took a small travel atomizer of St. Barts with me when I was going to be out all day. The top notes are so refreshing and lively that I wanted to experience the opening throughout the day. The cologne is so easygoing and balanced, you won’t have to worry much about over-spraying.
Who Makes It?
Tommy Bahama originated as a casual men’s wear line in 1993. In 2003, the brand was purchased by Oxford Industries and their fragrances are produced by Parlux Ltd.
More than 30-years later, the brand continues to grow with clothing, accessories, and of course, colognes.
St. Barts was originally a part of the Tommy Bahama Set Sail fragrance collection which launched in 2007. In addition to St. Barts, the Set Sail lineup included South Seas (2007), Martinique (2010), and St. Kitts (2015).
All four included a mens and women’s version, but both St. Barts versions are the only ones in the line that are still widely available. In 2023, Tommy Bahama created a new take on St. Barts with St. Barts Seascape, which capitalizes on the steady popularity of the St. Barts’ DNA.
- 3.4 oz eau de cologne
- 3.4 oz aftershave balm
- 3.4 oz hair and body wash
The brand also produces a St Barts body spray which is a great addition to the line. It amps up longevity and projection of the cologne. Other Tommy Bahama colognes can be sampled with a Scent Bird membership.
Who Would Like It?
This is a great scent for sailing, beach enthusiasts, and those who love to travel. If you’ve spent any time in the Caribbean, expect some serious nostalgic vibes from this cologne.
Although St. Barts can be worn by any guy, at any age, it leans toward men in their 20’s to late 40’s. It’s not for someone who is uptight or overly serious.
This is clearly a chill out scent for someone who doesn’t get too intense and just wants to laugh and have a good time. It works best when wearing a loose Hawaiian shirt, baggy shorts and a big smile
When and Where to Wear It
St Barts is definitely a summer cologne and it comes alive in the heat. It can be worn either day or night and it’s perfect when dining outside, or relaxing at the beach.
I wouldn’t wear this to work, unless it was at a more informal team event. Maybe an outdoor picnic or a friends and family day.
I love wearing St. Barts when doing outdoor sports like volleyball, badminton or kayaking. It comes alive as my body temperature rises and adds to the relaxed vibe of any summer activity. It’s definitely casual and fun.
Packaging and Presentation
At first glance, Tommy Bahama St. Barts cologne is very similar in presentation to various Tommy Bahama products. The telltale Tommy Bahama Set Sail St. Barts bottle collection style lives on in St. Barts, with the unique addition of some rope around the cap.
The blue color of the cologne bottle brings to mind thoughts of sea glass and sparkling water. It’s a perfect combination with the white rope accent and gold nozzle.
Compared to Tommy Bahama for Him, which comes in a yellow, diamond-style bottle, St. Barts presents more nautical and island-themed.
If you’re not feeling the cologne, or just want to amp up its longevity, you can opt for Tommy Bahama St. Barts body spray. This is packaged in a tall canister aerosol spray with a picture of a tropical island map depicted on the side.
St. Barts by Tommy Bahama has been a mainstay for me since first discovering the cologne a few years ago. It was an instant love.
It’s not too much of any one thing, but a perfect blend of everything that’s great about summer. The balance of lime, tequila and oceanic salty notes allow it to unfold beautifully on my skin.
The opening lime notes are authentic and balance well with the tequila and salty sea aromas. It’s like a margarita, but not overly boozy. St. Barts never comes off synthetic or awkward, but develops nicely into a fresh beachy aquatic.
The subtle vanilla drydown shows some slight green notes, then finishes with a musky vanilla that reminds me of suntan lotion. It’s an all-around fun, relaxing, chill-out summer cologne.
Do I wish it were a little stronger? Yes – sometimes, but at this price, I can spray freely. Just a quick refresh and those exhilarating opening notes are back in full swing.
|Well balanced lime & tequila top notes||Tequila note may not appeal to everyone|
|Very relaxing vacation vibe||May not be a good choice in an office or professional setting|
|Amazing value to quality ratio||Not as powerful as more expensive colognes in this style|
|A perfect scent for summer, especially when humid||Doesn’t project as well in cooler climates or temps|
|Unique and appealing bottle design||Bottle can be cumbersome when spraying|
Similar Fragrances / Alternatives
When comparing Tommy Bahama St. Barts with St. Kitts and Martinique, there are some obvious differences.
St. Kitts is a bit rounder, with clean and fresh fruity notes, while Martinique has notes of lavender, which make it a nice evening choice. St. Barts conjures images of sea spray and frozen drinks and is brighter and more pungent than the other two.
Venturing outside of the Tommy Bahama universe for your signature summer scent is another option. There are plenty of colognes that could be great alternatives to St. Barts. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Virgin Island Water by Creed is a high-end take on a tropical beachy cologne. It also has a boozy vibe, featuring notes of coconut and rum that remind me of enjoying a piña colada at a resort.
- REPLICA Beach Walk by Maison Margiela: Bergamot, coconut milk, and heliotrope come together for a seaside beach smell you’ll want to repeat.
- CK One Summer Daze by Calvin Klein is a spicy, fruity summer scent that features notes of kumquat, mint, tea, musk and vetiver. It’s a unique take on a refreshing summer cologne.
- Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca by Guerlain comes from a classic fragrance house that is known for well-made and brilliantly constructed fragrances. It’s a unisex summer scent that comes off super refreshing with notes of lemon, mint and fresh cut grass.
If Tommy Bahama St. Barts just isn’t for you, but you still want a hint of summer sun and beachside fun, any of these would be great alternatives.
One of the most amazing things about scent is how it can remind you of a special time or event. I love to bring a specific cologne with me when on vacation, so I can create scent memories that instantly transport me back to those days the next time I wear it.
That’s what is great about St. Barts by Tommy Bahama. It has elements of a special vacation experience, even when it’s worn for the first time. If you’ve ever enjoyed a margarita on a warm sunny day, this scent will take you back to that moment.
St. Barts has been a mainstay summer fragrance since 2007, but it remains relevant and is a great choice in the warm weather. It may not be the most versatile fragrance, since it leans so heavily toward casual, summer days, but it’s well-liked and easy to wear.
St. Barts continues to be one of the most popular choices in the Tommy Bahama line of colognes for good reason. It’s reasonably priced, well made and affordable. If fresh, balanced and unique aquatics are your jam, you can’t afford to miss out on Tommy Bahama’s St. Barts for Men.
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Ron Pitt is a winemaker who developed a passion for fragrance while studying the olfactory relationship between smell and taste. After producing and marketing wines that focus on complex aromatics along with flavor, Ron altered his attention from the tasting room to the perfume lab. In addition to his passion for both wine and fragrance, Ron and his wife have been rescuing beagles for over 20 years.