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best summer fragrance for men
best summer fragrance for men

6 Standout Summer Fragrances For Men

May 22nd, 2024

My picks for the best and most intriguing summer fragrances.

If you’re looking for classic citrusy summer fragrances, this is not the post for you. However, if you happen to be interested in exploring some of the most unique, intriguing, and head-turning summer fragrances, well, let’s jump right in!


Hermès Citron Noir

You can’t have a summer fragrance roundup without including something citrusy. But make no mistake, Hermès Citron Noir is not your typical summer citrus fragrance. While most classic citrus fragrances tend to be light and completely dominated by a that single citrus note — think: Christian Dior Eau Sauvage, Acqua di Parma Colonia, or Truefitt & Hill’s West Indian Limes — Citron Noir is much more complex, despite its quite simple list of notes.

  • Top Notes: Lemon
  • Heart Notes: Black Tea
  • Base Notes: Guaiac Wood

You definitely get a hit of lemon, but unlike many lighter classic citrus fragrances, Citron Noir has a much deeper, smoky, and frankly, sexy profile. Beyond being incredibly unique, it has an amazing projection and staying power, despite being an eau de cologne. I love wearing this for any type of summer evening event — from a black tie garden party to a nice dinner or drinks.


Arquiste Él

I’ve been a huge fan of everything that Arquiste does for quite some time. There’s a singularity to every fragrance they produce and an undercurrent of sexiness that is not overt like in many of Tom Ford’s fragrances. Él, which was developed by Rodrigo Flores Roux, is very much a throwback to a different era — late-1970s and early-80s — but it somehow also smells modern.

  • Top Notes: Greek Laurel Leaves, Clary Sage, Moroccan Rosemary, Egyptian Geranium
  • Heart Notes: Cardamom, Cinnamon Leaves, Orange Flower Water, Black Buckwheat Honey
  • Base Notes: Patchouli, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Castoreum, Fougère Accord

One of the other things I love about Arquiste fragrances are the stories they concoct around them, which is why I’m going to share the description verbatim here:

“December 1978, Armando’s Le Club, Acapulco, Mexico. Nighttime at Acapulco’s sultriest disco. Revelry on the dance floor. In the heat of the moment, he smiles coyly and motions to the beach outside, hinting at a midnight swim. He unbuttons his shirt, flashing bronzed skin and the scent of his cologne, a virile muskiness loaded with patchouli, oakmoss and elegant woody notes. A masculine impression of a day under the sun, intensified by the thrill of the night.”

I mean, there’s really not much more to say!


Bond No. 9 Beekman Place

Founded in 2003, Bond No. 9 is a proudly independent fragrance house known for its elegant and distinctive collection inspired by the diverse neighborhoods of New York City. Each scent seeks to capture the overall feel, flavor, and soul of its namesake neighborhood and Beekman Place, the newest addition to the Bond No. 9 line, is no exception.

  • Top Notes: Pineapple, Pear, Bergamot and Black Currant
  • Heart Notes: Driftwood, Basil, Watery Notes, Lemon, Geranium and Pepper
  • Base Notes: Leather, Musk, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Amber, Oakmoss and Tonka Bean

For those unfamiliar with the myriad neighborhoods and enclaves in New York City, Beekman Place is often considered to be one of the most exclusive and elusive. You’d be forgiven if you didn’t necessarily notice the quaint two-block span near the East River tucked on the edge of Turtle Bay in Midtown East, but it is — and has been — the home to various artists, royalty, heiresses, and diplomats. The latter makes total sense as the UN is right around the corner.

With residents like those described above, you would expect nothing less than pure elegance and refinement with just a hint of a wild side in a fragrance dedicated to such a neighborhood. And Beekman Place delivers with a classic scent with just the right hint of modernity and playfulness.


Tom Ford Oud Minerale

Speaking of Tom Ford… This is such a great fragrance and not unabashedly sexy — though it still is pretty sexy. My wife loves every time I wear this.

  • Top Notes: Marine Notes
  • Heart Notes: Oud Blend
  • Base Notes: Ambergris Accord

Unlike many fragrances, the notes for Oud Minerale are pretty spot on. What you see is what you smell. Yet, the simplicity of the notes belies the fact that this is a very interesting and unique fragrance. Right from the start you get a very aquatic, seaside scent. But that quickly mingles with the oud to create a bit of spice that persists for about an hour or so until drying down into a much purer version of the top notes. You certainly wear this every day, but I love it on vacation.


Creed Erolfa

Another maritime-inspired fragrance, Creed’s Erolfa was launched in 1992 and is, in my opinion, quite unique for Creed. The name Erolfa comes from the names of perfumer Olivier Creed’s family members — Erwin (his son), Olivia (his daughter), and Fabienne (his wife) — and was inspired by memories of sailing the Mediterranean together.

  • Top notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Orange, Violet, Cumin, Basil, Rosemary, Melon
  • Heart notes: Cyclamen, Jasmine, Ginger, Coriander, Pepper
  • Base notes: Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Moss, Amber, Musk

Its scent is reminiscent of the cool sea breezes, the smell of citrus fruits and the woods of the Mediterranean landscapes. It’s a scent that captures the joy and harmony of a blissful family holiday.


Frédéric Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur

I know, I know. I included this one in our spring fragrance roundup but it’s so good and also makes a great summer fragrance as well so here we are. Geranium Pour Monsieur debuted in 2009 and was created by Dominique Ropion, the nose behind many other iconic Frédéric Malle fragrances, such as Portrait Of A Lady, Carnal Flower, and Vetiver Extraordinaire.

  • Top Notes: Mint, Aniseed, Geranium
  • Heart Notes: Cinnamon, Clove Oil
  • Base Notes: Sandalwood, Frankincense

I decided to include it in our summer fragrance roundup as well because we are talking about standout fragrances and this one certainly fits that bill.

I’ve said it before, but the notes for Geranium Pour Monsieur are a bit misleading, particularly the heart and base notes. Typically, you’d expect a fragrance to progress from the top to heart to base, each note revealing itself as it dries down. However, I don’t find that to be the case here. It’s not a bad thing at all — far from it — but I want to make sure that you’re getting an accurate portrayal with my words here.

Basically, in my opinion, you can throw out the heart and base notes. There’s no spice to this one. You get an initial burst of mint, which then fades a bit and dries down to a light and transparent geranium that lasts much longer than you’d expect. Geranium Pour Monsieur is a wonderfully unique “daily wear” that always gets tons of compliments.


RARE FIND: Tom Ford Oud Fleur

It always stinks — wrong word for a fragrance post? — when an exceptional fragrance that also happens to be one of your favorites gets discontinued. That’s what happened with Tom Ford’s Oud Fleur. My wife bought this for me on our honeymoon in Paris so in addition to being a truly exceptional scent, it’s got some personal significance as well.

  • Top Notes: Agarwood (Oud), Rose, Resins
  • Heart Notes: Patchouli
  • Base Notes: Sandalwood

Luckily, however, bottles of Oud Fleur can still be had via an eBay search. It’s worth browsing (and paying) for. The predominant note is rose but it is in no way, shape, or form a feminine rose. The combination of the oud, resins, and patchouli give it a heft and spice that makes it decidedlly masculine. Oud Fleur is a real elegant standout and is one of my go-to fragrances — I’ve still got about half a bottle left — along with Citron Noir for summer evening events.

The Bottom Line

There are some of my favorite standout summer fragrances, but I am always on the lookout for something new and exciting. Leave your favorites down below in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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