Road trips, bass fishing, golf rounds, wearing a moto jacket when you don’t actually own a bike — these are just a few reasons that spring is the most popular season in the U.S., according to Gallup Polls. Warmer weather surely accounts for much of spring’s appeal, but its biggest draw is a bit harder to quantify: The sense of a new beginning.
Even the most hardened city dweller appreciates the sight of fresh buds on trees and green shoots poking through the expanses of winter’s brown grass. If spring were a scent, it would smell like optimism and rejuvenation, intangibles that are hard to reproduce in chemical formats, and even harder to package in a bottle on a store shelf.
Deciding which ingredients to combine to create a scent that captures the essence of spring is a tall order. In fragrance factories across the U.S. and in Europe, PhDs in lab coats have determined it is a citrusy, green aroma — think grapefruit meets basil, mingles with mint, and dabbles with vetiver. Spring colognes focus heavily on these notes, which the brain subconsciously links to higher energy and alertness, and avoid the woody, smoky notes associated with cozy, sleepy winter colognes.
Though cologne shopping always involves a degree of trial and error, spring fragrances are actually easier to pick out than ones for summer or winter. Mild temps and less humid conditions means there are few variables for a cologne to chemically interact with, other than your own skin, so the way a scent smells in the store is likely to be true to how it smells when you wear it.
Of course, there’s no reason you can’t wear your favorite winter scent year-round, but if you’re looking for a fresh start this spring, consider wearing one of our picks.