Summer is the most delightful time of the year, Christmas excluded. A time for renewal and relaxation – and naturally that applies to the clothes we wear and the scent we choose. We put away the heavy ouds of winter and go for something a little sunnier.
We’ve selected the best and most interesting fragrances for men, so you don’t have to.
From Twisted Iris by The Perfumer’s Story, with its floral and earl grey notes, to reinventions of traditional classics like CK One Summer 2017, we’ve covered a range of price ranges and characters, to match any man’s style. Whether it’s an eau de toilette, which tend to be cheaper and less intense, or a more expensive eau de parfum, we’ve got you covered.
1. The Perfumer’s Story by Azzi Twisted Iris Eau de Parfum: £95 for 30ml, Net-a-Porter
Twisted Iris is part of a diverse collection of fragrances by The Perfumer’s Story, and its master perfumer Azzi Glasser. Twisted Iris is a particularly summery scent – green fig and earl grey tea give it a clean top, while the base of iris, violet and jasmine give it depth.
2. Acqua di Parma Colonia Eau de Cologne: £66 for 50ml, John Lewis
First created in 1916, Acqua di Palma’s signature Colonia scent has certainly stood the test of time. Sicilian citrus dominates, but lavender, rosemary, rose, jasmine, amber and light musk give it some weight. This one is great for those of us who have to work in the sunniest months of the year.
3. Givenchy Gentlemen Only Absolute Eau de Parfum: £72.50 for 100ml, The Fragrance Shop
This has tinges of bergamot, nutmeg and saffron – essentially it is summer in a bottle. The fragrance finishes with a blend of sandalwood and vanilla for a muskier scent, which means you can still smell it after half an hour on a packed Southern train (thank god).
4. Maison Francis Kurkdijian Paris Aqua Celestia Eau de Parfum: £130 for 70ml, Liberty London
This clean fragrance has floral notes that bridge the gap between masculine and feminine. It’s combines Mexican lime oil, Mitcham mint oil and a musk, which makes it nice and refreshing without being crushingly heavy.
5. Gallivant London Eau de Parfum: £65 for 30ml, Trouva
Gallivant specialise in unisex city-inspired eau de parfums. Cucumber and violet leaves combine here with roses (hailing from the capital’s Columbia Road market, apparently), leather, patchouli and cedar wood to create something that is a bit earthier and more masculine than others on our list. They like to think of it as a “city in a bottle”, and though we don’t know about that, we certainly give it the thumbs up.
6. Aether Methaldone Eau de Parfum: £150 for 100ml, Aether
Aether is a relatively new brand, but related to the old French perfumery Le Galion. They find inspiration in synthetic smells and high-science molecular perfum. Methaldone has a metallic quality, like what you might imagine space to smell like. It’s astonishingly complex and we can’t get enough.
7. D.S. & Durga Coriander Eau de Parfum: £139 for 50ml, Liberty
The scents that Brooklyn-based perfumier D.S. & Durga creates are sensational. Just two spritzes of Coriander will last all day, enveloping you in a zingy cloud . Green pepper, juniper, geranium, clove, sage, musk and magnolia come together to create something light-bodied and zingy.
8. Molton Brown Coastal Cypress and Sea Fennel Eau de Toilette: £39 for 50ml, Molton Brown
This might not last as long as the rest of the fragrances on the list, but the salt-sprayed cypress, cardamom and musky notes combine to create a sporty, fresh scent that’s perfect for after the gym.
9. Guerlain L’Homme Ideal Sport Eau de Toilette: £50.50 for 50ml, John Lewis
This long-lasting eau de toilette has an almond note that combines with coumarin, vetiver and patchouli to create a refreshing and revitalising fragrance.
10. Christopher Shannon Eau de Parfum: £38 for 15ml, Christopher Shannon
Smelling like Liverpool might be an unconventional aspiration for a perfumer, but here scents of sulphur, copper and wood combine with citrusy notes to create a fragrance that reminds fashion designer Christopher Shannon of his childhood. One to show off with.
11. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau Intense Pour Homme Eau de Parfum: £58.50 for 100ml, John Lewis
This reinvention of D&G’s staple Light Blue is a more intense offering. Grapefruit and mandarin combine here with juniper and amber. Masculine, long-lasting, and devilishly cool.
12. Malin + Goetz Vetiver Eau de Parfum: £125 for 100ml, Space NK
This is one of our favourites – cosy, warm vetiver is given a clean citrusy lift. Cardamom, celery seed and white iris complement the tropical plant, making it ideal for summer heat wave.
13. CK One Summer 2017 Eau de Toilette: £23, The Perfume Shop
Another reimagining of a classic fragrance, CK One Summer 2017 combines saffron with lime, cucumber and lemon. Bright and energetic, this is a great budget option for anyone who fell in love with the original.
The Verdict: Men’s fragrances
If you want to catch a few looks as you drift past on the croisette this summer, then invest in The Perfumer’s Story by Azzi – Twisted Iris. You won’t regret it. Though, if your pockets are not so deep, but you have a nose for the finer things, you could do worse than CK One Summer 2017 eau de toilette.