Of all the details to obsess over in menswear, fragrance is interesting because although you don’t see it, it adds that perfect finishing touch to any look. When I’m getting dressed in the morning, a spray or splash of cologne is the final detail before heading out the door. The right fragrance complements both your outfit and the season and completes the whole package. Here are five fragrances to wear this spring/summer.
1. Diptyque Philosykos
I can’t count the number of times I’ve strolled by the Diptyque store on Bleecker in the West Village. They’re famous for their home fragrance, but also have quite a few compelling colognes as well. I first got hip to Philosykos after reading this interview with Nick Wooster last year. It’s a favorite of mine during the spring.
What it smells like: Fresh, clean, and vegetal. Natural fig with just a hint of sweetness.
When to wear it: Bright and sunny spring/summer mornings with a slight chill.
Shop: Diptyque Philosykos
2. Acqua di Parma Colonia
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of classic Italian style. And when it comes to complementing those types of sartorial leanings, nothing beats a traditional Italian eau de cologne. Acqua di Parma is fresh and masculine and always transports me to Italy.
What it smells like: Citrus, verbena, lavender, a hint of rose. An elegant, fresh, natural and timeless Italian eau de cologne.
When to wear it: Afternoons or early evenings après-beach or pool.
Shop: Acqua di Parma Colonia
3. Penhaligon’s Bayolea
Despite being founded in 1870, Penhaligon’s was new to me when it arrived in a care package from Barneys a couple of months ago. The Bayolea fragrance was actually a once-retired archival formula, but I’m very thankful that it has been revived. It’s another classic summer scent that has just enough of an elegant twist that makes it unique and interesting.
What it smells like: Earthy citrus, pepper and a bit of spice. A zesty, crisper and fresher take on a classic bay rum, though not nearly as deep and dark.
When to wear it: Daily, deep into the hot summer months.
4. Byredo Oud Immortel
Even if designer fragrances are way on the periphery of your menswear-related interests, you’ve no doubt seen a ton of ouds flooding the market. They’re unmistakeable. I’ve given a few of them a quick spin, including Le Labo’s version and the extreme pricey Illuminum, but for my money you can’t beat Oud Immortel. It’s become a daily wear for me this spring and summer.
What it smells like: Earthy, but delicate. Herbaceous moss, light patchouli, oud.
When to wear it: A unique scent that’s good all day, every day. Would be particularly intriguing as the finishing touch for a first date dining al fresco.
Shop: Byredo Oud Immortel
5. Royall Bay Rhum
Here’s a classic masculine summer scent if there ever was one. It’s one of the first bottles I picked up once I began to explore the world of men’s fragrance. You can actually make your own bay rum cologne very easily – there are no shortage of reviewers on Amazon telling you how easy it is – but for the non-DIY-inclined, a bottle will only set you back $40 at Brooks Brothers.
What it smells like: Rich, dark, musky. Bay leaves and clove.
When to wear it: On an island vacation. Or anytime you want to feel like you’re on an island vacation.
Shop: Royall Bay Rhum
Share your favorite summer fragrances in the comments.
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style