Summer colognes will get you noticed.
Winter is in our rear-view and spring is speeding by. Looking to enjoy the sun in style? You're going to need a fragrance to match the season.
Gentlemen, I give you my list of the top ten best summer fragrances for men. If you own at least one of these, you'll feel like you own the season.
Before we dive in, we need to understand some of the key terminology surrounding fragrances – we'll be using it a lot from here on out.
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The Anatomy of Fragrance
A fragrance is typically divided into three major scent profiles. Each profile tends to smell differently and is defined by the “volatility of its evaporation coefficient.” What does this mean in English? It depends on how long it lingers after being applied.
The profiles are as follows:
- Top Notes form the first impression of a fragrance after it is sprayed. Their molecules are loosely packed and thus evaporate quickly.
- Heart Notes are the main body of any fragrance. These last between 20 minutes to an hour after application.
- Base Notes comprise the robust foundation of a fragrance. The molecules here are so dense that the scent can linger for up to 24 hours.
What Makes A Summer Fragrance?
Now that we have the basics down, let's consider what to look for in a fragrance befitting the season.
It all comes down to the power of association.
What do we associate with summer? The ocean, fruits, and mojitos.
A summer fragrance has several of the following scents:
- The sea
- Lemon verbena
Notice a pattern? Most of them are citrus. Keep an eye out for them.
Counting down from ten, here are the RMRS picks for the best men's colognes to use in the summer…
1. Acqua Di Parma: Blu Mediterraneo – Mirto Di Panarea
The Aqua Di Parma brand started in Northern Italy in 1916. However, Blu Mediterraneo has only been around since 2008.
Top notes include lemon and bergamot, followed by a body of oceanic notes and rounded off with a base of cedar and juniper.
The combination of fruity, oceanic, and woody notes makes this fragrance reminiscent of the Mediterranean sea – just as its creators intended.
It's one of the best men's colognes for summer due to its tropical citrus and sea-based influences.
2. Brioni Brioni
Fun fact – this fragrance boasts the heaviest lid in the industry right now.
It fields a strong lemon top note, followed by heart notes of iris and magnolia. The fragrance is rounded off by a more masculine base of saffron and agarwood.
It's a great entry-level fragrance into the world of citrus – especially for lovers of lemon.
3. Missoni Pour Homme
Similarly to Brioni, this fragrance brings strong citrus for the top notes – but they vary between lemon and grapefruit.
The heart notes are unique for this list – ginger, rounded off with a base of sandalwood and oak.
It's one of the best men's colognes for those of you wanting a little more of a traditionally masculine scent to go with the summer.
4. Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford
Launched in 2011, Neroli Portofino hits you with a symphony of citrus. Mandarin and bitter orange, supported with neroli and African orange flower, come out first with a bang.
Its heart notes are also neroli and African orange flower, while the base ambrette note is quite faint.
If you like florals and citrus for the summer, then this is a great choice.
5. Versace Eros
The Versace brand takes significant inspiration from Ancient Greece, and Versace Eros is no exception – Eros being the Greek god of love.
It hits you first with top notes of mint, green apple, and lemon. This is followed closely with heart notes of tonka bean, geranium, and ambroxan.
The base notes? Vanilla, vetiver, and oakmoss.
Versace wants to take you back to antiquity with this one, and what were the ancient Greeks if not rugged Mediterranean power-players?
This fragrance is one of the best men's colognes for summer because it embodies just that – masculinity and the tropics.
6. Acqua Di Parma Colonia
Taking it back to Aqua Di Parma, the Number 5 spot belongs to its classic Colonia line.
It's marketed as a particularly floral and citrusy fragrance and – let me tell you gentlemen – they aren't lying.
The overall notes are dominated by Sicilian-style oranges and lemons, rounded off a little by lavender and rosemary. There is also a hint of white musk in the base but it's barely noticeable against the citrus.
Need a classic Italian fragrance that dominates on citrus? Look no further.
7. Dior Sauvage
Dior Sauvage is a quintessential men's fragrance. I recommend it as one of the best men's colognes for summer because of the intense peppery notes that come into prominence through the top and heart notes.
The base notes are supported by cedar, labdanum, and ambroxan.
Overall, it's a great scent to wear for summer nights spent in the city.
8. A*Men Ultra Zest
It's not called “Ultra Zest” for nothing.
This fragrance hits you with intense top notes of blood orange, tangerine, mint, and ginger. Heart notes showcase coffee and pepper while the base notes consist of tonka bean, patchouli, and vanilla.
Don't let the seemingly balanced description fool you, though. This is one of the most intense orange fragrances.
9. Creed Virgin Island Water
This unisex fragrance is probably the most unique on the list – launched in 2007.
The top notes boast some strong coconut supported by lime, orange, and bergamot.
The heart notes show off some ginger, jasmine, and ylang-ylang.
Most interesting though are the base notes – sugar cane, white musk, and rum. This is a summer fragrance you need if you're in love with the Carribean.
Now for the grand finale…
10. Davidoff Cool Water
Cool Water breaks through with top notes of intense seawater and supported by some mint and lavender.
The heart notes throw down sandalwood, jasmine, geranium, and neroli.
The base notes? Masculine scents of tobacco, cedar, and oakmoss.
Why is this number 1 on the list? It's the single best men's cologne for the summer because it encompasses traditionally masculine scents. However, it still adheres to the tropical theme.
It's also a time-tested and inexpensive classic. It's been the go-to fragrance for many men over the last 30 years. For less than 40 bucks you're getting an oceanic blast that is not to be underestimated.
Summary – Best Men's Colognes For Summer
Let's do a quick review:
- Acqua Di Parma: Blu Mediterraneo for men who want to feel the Mediterranean.
- Brioni Brioni for some intense lemon.
- Missoni Pour Homme for a good balance of summer scents.
- Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford for strong citrus.
- Versace Eros for a popular brand that contains tropical and masculine notes.
- Acqua Di Parma Colonia for men who like citrus and floral notes.
- Dior Sauvage – the quintessential men's fragrance.
- A*Men Ultra Zest if you just can't get enough orange.
- Creed Virgin Island Water – the Carribean in a bottle.
- Davidoff Cool Water – timeless, inexpensive, masculine, and tropical.
With summer hard on the approach, a stylish man needs to prepare to be in-theme. Fragrance plays a huge role in that.
By zeroing in on scents that remind you of the summer – citrusy and oceanic scents – you can't go too wrong with picking the right fragrance for the season.
Check out my list of best selling men's colognes!