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.
Le Labo Ylang 49
Floral-heavy scents on men can be, shall we say, challenging. But the right one will instantly brand you as cultured. Striking just that tone is Le Labo's newest, which is also the famed brand's first floral (and three years in the making, no less). The softness of Tahitian flowers and jasmine-like ylang ylang are toughened up with undertones of sandalwood, oakmoss, patchouli, and earthy vetiver. If you've been accused of being too sensitive, you might want to stay clear, but if you're looking to show a softer side, then have no fear: This is an easy enough flower patch to walk through. [$145 for 1.7 oz; lelabofragrances.com]