Like wardrobes and vacation destinations, colognes for men have a season. Amid the brisk days of fall and winter, we tend toward cozy, warm scents – think tobacco, dark musks, and wood. But come the long, warm days of summer, and those notes feel too bundled up and stiff, kind of like drinking a bourbon neat, on the beach. In sweltering July heat.
The best summer scents don't forgo those classic, guy-friendly smells; they just chill them out. So added to the mix are spices like saffron and pepper; greens like basil, sage, mint, and vetiver; earthy florals like violets, jasmine, and even a little rose; and, of course, some punchy citruses.
Can you still wear your favorite winter scent? Of course you can; that's completely your call, and some men understandably prefer to maintain a signature smell. But if you're looking for a season-appropriate upgrade, then look no further than our top eight men's scents, all of which are brand-new for the summer of 2013.
Wearing like a distinguished olfactory polo that's perfect for warm summer nights, Lacoste's new scent unexpectedly opens up on the bright side – bottled afternoon breeze, really – giving you subtle hints of watermelon, lavender, verbena (think lemon), and Egyptian basil. The light aroma lingers about as long as a good dusk, before unfolding into something chocolaty warm and ever so musky. There's patchouli in it, but you'd hardly notice because its final destination is swanky sweet. Basically, a smart and sophisticated scent for just about any warm weather occasion that comes accompanied with a view of the sunset.
Lacoste Noir also has something called Cyclodextrin in it, which sounds like something your doctor might prescribe, right? In truth, it's a sugar-based molecule that allows the scent to release more intensely over a longer period of time and keeps the scent working, even through sweat.
As with the rest of the bottles in the Lacoste line of fragrances (which launched back in 2011), Noir's inky black, glass flacon eschews the usual trappings of preciousness that even the most masculine of scents can be accused of embracing, since it comes with a no-nonsense texturized grip on either side. Just try not to throw it or slam it down, okay? [$41 for 1 oz; lacoste.com]