From Diptyque To Tom Ford, You Should Own These 15 Freshest Summer Colognes For Men

If you already have a go-to scent, then it might be time to build out a “fragrance wardrobe”—one that allows you to switch between scents based on mood, occasion, or even season. Take the best colognes for men to wear in the summer, for example: They’re a terrific way to keep an upbeat, cool mood that complements weekends spent on the beach, at the lake, or by the pool.

They can also serve as bursts of optimism in the dregs of winter, too. “I love wearing summer scents all year round, especially in winter,” says Leila Zagwolsky, co-founder and CEO of perfume discovery platform LUXSB – Luxury Scent Box. “When I wear a refreshing ‘happy scent’ of aquatic or citrusy notes, it instantly triggers an uplift of energy reminiscent of summer vacations.”

What you deem a “summer fragrance” might differ from your friend’s definition. But one thing is universal, and that’s the feeling the scent gives you, says Clayton Ilolahia, evaluation and communications manager at Fragrances of the World. A summer fragrance should remind you of the season. “I choose fragrances that put me in a literal summery mood, and these notes may vary from person to person,” Ilohalia says. “I lean towards a lot of fresh, light fragrances with notes of citrus, sea salt, green leaves, and clean musks.”

In terms of common fragrance nomenclature, you might want to look for fragrances categorized as green, aquatic, aromatic, or citrus. That’s the typical roster of “summer” notes—but remember, it’s all subjective. You might find a heavier, woody, or spicy scent that has certain summery notes to it, which can also make it feel right for the season.

Summer Colognes: The Best Notes to Wear

While few fragrances will inherently label themselves as “summer scents,” their accords will typically suggest seasonality (if it’s not something otherwise down the middle, like a nice woodsy number). For example, just as something overtly leathery or spicy feels out of place in summer, the below combinations are common in “happy” summer expressions.

Citrus/Floral: “This combination provides a sophisticated freshness with a luxe olfactive style,” says Zagwolsky. “It’s great to wear on a hot or humid summer day.”

Fresh Earthy/Woody: “Woods are perceived as heavy, but a blend of earthy notes balances the woody notes creating a masculine freshness,” explains Zagwolsky. “This makes them appropriate for the warmer summer weather.”

Aromatic Fresh/Citrus: Zagwolsky says this combination smells clean thanks to its blend of greens and zestful citrus notes. “It’s usually on the lighter side, evoking the vibrancy of summer with an aquatic energy. It is an instantly uplifting rejuvenation, like a vacation.”

The Best Men’s Colognes for Summer

Read on for our picks of the best summer cologne for men—plus some favorites from Zagwolsky and Ilolahia.

Louis Vuitton Pacific Chill Eau de Parfum

I find it impossible to write about summer colognes without mentioning Louis Vuitton. The even harder task is narrowing down which of its summery scents to include, since the company and its master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrude have built an entire roster around the season (and have even retired some scents to keep the offering well-edited). I think the enduring winner, though, is a 2023 launch, Pacific Chill, which is pure effervescence and optimism. It uses black currant and cedrat to create the olfactory equivalent of a freshly mixed paloma. Gosh, it’s great.

Louis Vuitton

Diptyque L’Eau Papier Eau de Toilette

Diptyque’s newest scent is a rousing, musky-woody cologne, and an olfactive love letter to paper. You know the scent; it probably sends you right back to your school days, which ironically were spent begging for summer vacation. Only now, as an adult, this blonde-wood, rice-steam, white-musk essence puts a soothingly youthful pep in your step. There’s a sophistication to it, too, and an almost gourmet finish—something to savor like a slow summer weekend.


Richard James Aqva Aromatica Blade of Grass Eau de Cologne

The concept is simple: It’s freshly mown grass in a vetiver expression. This is an unsung hero in the category, a subtle-cast of a scent that wears well year round, but feels especially suited to summer days. Blade of Grass will win over your friends, colleagues, and maybe even your foes with its aromatic freshness. Plus, you probably won’t know anyone else wearing it, so it’ll be a true signature pick for you.

Richard James

Ormonde Jayne Levant Eau de Parfum

This one instantly transports you poolside with a cocktail in hand. “If the season of summer can be bottled, Levant by Ormonde Jayne is the top choice,” says Zagwolsky, noting that it’s been a hit with her customers. The brand calls this fragrance a bottle of happiness, with its citrus-floral medley of bergamot, mandarin, rose, orange blossom, cedarwood, and musk.

Ormonde Jayne

Vacation After Sun Eau de Toilette

The ever-cheeky Vacation has summery scents across all its products, from coconut and Lycra sunscreen to tennis ball candles. Its latest launch is this 1 oz. eau de toilette that evokes the aloe vera gel you might apply after tanning. Think aloe, melon, resort towels, and a tray of gin and tonics. It’s smirk-inducing the second you spritz it on, and calms the mind on the hottest of days.


Michel Germain Michel French Oak & Sage Imperiale Parfum

Zagwolsky adores this one’s fresh green crispness of earthy notes: “Fig leaves and sage are balanced with royal French oak and cedarwood, to evoke a walk through a forest at sunrise on a summer day, but with a misty cooling morning dew,” she elaborates. She even suggests layering it with another favorite scent of yours. (Just as it’s a good idea to layer up when walking through a misty morning dew in summer.)

Michel Germain

A. N. OTHER – FR/2018 Parfum

This enduring scent has a clean, refreshing fizziness, says Zagwoslky, which awakens the senses like a bubbly summer cocktail. (Its top notes of melon, grapefruit zest, and actual gin and tonic play a big role here, and are paired with juniper heart notes and a woody, musky base.)

A. N. Other

Caswell-Massey 2571 Eau de Parfum

The legacy brand’s latest launch is a terrific pick for your signature cologne, since it has perennial potential thanks to a balanced and layered recipe (It contains as many multitudes as you do, see, with a woody-floral-spicy-aromatic-ozonic-citrus-amber roster; the scent is, after all, an ode to earth’s many elements.) What makes it particularly suited to summer, though, is its liveliness, like everything is in full bloom, the sun high in the sky, and all of your senses are stimulated. Wear it in winter as a sunshine supplement, even.


Perfumehead Somewhere Extrait de Parfum

This long-lasting extrait is among the most highly concentrated fragrances on the market. That means it’ll burn as bright as the sun on the summer solstice, no matter the time of year. It’s a feverish blend of broody patchouli, bitter neroli, fresh jasmine, powdery orris, crisp bergamot, earthy oakmoss, and rousing musk. Perfumehead calls this scent “an escape”, which is fitting for any summer scent. It’s a break from the mundane, from work emails, from your Zoom calls or commute, and from all other responsibilities.


Tom Ford Mandarino Di Amalfi Eau de Parfum

What’s a summer scent roundup without a coastal Italian ode? That’s what this herbaceous, floral, and citrusy scent is selling to all of those who encounter its transportive powers. There’s a cleanliness to it, too, almost like a soapiness that helps reset the senses and relax the nerves like a long shower after a stressful day. Of all the scents on this roster, many of which are unisex, this is the best one for those couples who like to share a his-and-hers pick; it stays squarely center of the road, even as it hugs the curves along those Amalfi cliffs.

Tom Ford

Hermès H24 Eau de Parfum

H24 has been one of Ilolahia’s go-to summer scents for the past couple years, since the new pillar fragrance launched in 2021. However, it started as just an eau de toilette offering, and this eau de parfum was 2022’s more highly concentrated “punch up”, with a greener finish and some more prominent bitter undertones. “This green aromatic fragrance makes me feel energized but there is also an elegant serenity about it,” Ilolahia says. “It ticks many boxes and is a real pleasure to wear.”


Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 + Ginger Eau de Toilette

Escentric Molecules is continuing with its “remixes” on its classic, velvety, barely-there Molecule 01 fragrance. First came individual pairings with patchouli, iris, and (our then-favorite) mandarin, and the latest adds are another trio: guaiac wood, black tea, and this exceptional ginger-tinged spin. It adds a pinch of spice to the classic Molecule 01 formula, but almost like you’re slicing fresh ginger for an afternoon tea—nothing more complicated than that. And from the master of minimalism Geza Schoen, whose last name literally translates to “beautiful,” well… we happily expect nothing more.

Escentric Molecules

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Nerolia Vetiver

Here’s a great play on bitter-floral neroli, as well as woody vetiver, one of the most universal and perennial notes in perfumery. This is a terrific spring-summer companion for the person with a fragrance wardrobe. It is among the lighter options on this roster, though, so don’t expect it to last much longer than lunchtime. That’s to its benefit, though, for anyone who wants to cast a refreshing but non-polarizing aura, or who wants to wear different scents at different times of the day; perhaps a more electric scent would suit you at happy hour or on date night; this one feels more like a workday mood booster or weekend mood board.


Sisley-Paris L’Eau Rêvée d’Hubert Eau de Toilette

L’Eau Rêvée d’Hubert is that cool kid from summer camp—the one who somehow shot the winning layup and starred in the play. It’s got an incomparable minty-fresh kick that opens the scent, and graduates into a citrusy-green zeal that plays out for hours. Of all the picks on this list, it is also the best for layering—just as you might layer clothes on a frenetic weather day, you can layer scents to help embolden certain aspects or draw out new moods altogether. Sisley-Paris calls it an “enhancer” for that reason, but it stands alone beautifully, no less.


Byredo Rose of No Man’s Land Eau de Parfum

Ilolahia called out rose as a chameleon in perfumery, and a terrific floral scent that more men should consider. Truth be told, rose is in many fragrances as a subtle heart note, one that allows itself to be overshadowed by the top and base notes throughout the scent’s bloom. But certain scents, like Byredo’s, rose rightfully gets the spotlight, and those Turkish petals are countered beautifully with spicy pink pepper and alluring amber. This one is uplifting, yes, but its heftier notes keep it planted. You could wear this one year round, too, given that balance between lightness and gravity.


Previously published on Robb Report USA

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