As the season warms up, men and women everywhere wonder what is the best summer cologne for them or their partners?
As the fragrance market is flooded with releases after releases, this is a fair question, as the best cologne tends to be a combination of personal preferences and moods.
Isn’t life hard sometimes? Well, yes and no. We’ve put together a mega list of summer colognes that will give you so many options that your nose will be tempted.
But first, let’s learn about summer colognes.
What is a summer cologne?
A summer fragrance for men will not overpower people around you or yourself when you walk around with an iced beverage in your hand and big plans in your heart.
If you apply it right, almost any cologne can be a summer cologne, and you’ll learn our tricks to get the most out of our recommendations.
What makes a cologne a summer cologne?
A summer scent is mostly a matter of taste. Sure, some notes, like coconut and lime, are heavily associated with summer but don’t worry. The perfume police won’t arrest you if you wear a fragrance marketed for the winter.
You should wear the scent you love. What makes a good summer cologne depends on who you are. Body chemistry affects how cologne smells on you or the guy you love, so keep an open mind and don’t ignore a scent because someone says it is a fall cologne.
What makes a good summer cologne?
Experts treat colognes and scents like art and describe them like they’re tasting a fine wine. That’s ok, but we’re not into that. We want to make colognes accessible to everyone, not another academic subject.
The best summer cologne will:
- Make you smell good.
- Boost your self-confidence.
- Become a part of your outfit and spirit.
Summer scents are like your favorite ice cream. They’re a matter of taste and preference. You will be given a lot of ideas to try, but ultimately you must trust your nose and skin.
Let’s get started and discover the best summer cologne for you.
The Best Summer Cologne (33 Ideas)
These are all summer fragrances I’ve owned and enjoyed since 2005, and they are in no particular order.
You should always listen to your nose and avoid marketing hypes and shady influencers.
Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne
Jo Malone London produces the best citrus fragrances that refined money can buy. Leaving this scent around unattended may lead to someone taking a drink as it smells like fresh lemonade.
Totally unisex cologne that makes you feel lighter and whispers, “this is a sophisticated person who smells nice.”
Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
For me, Light Blue is the quintessential summer cologne. It’s fresh, not too complicated, and a little shallow, but fun. Summer is the perfect time to relax and let go of worries and stress, and this is the ideal scent.
Acqua Di Gio Essenza
Not really a summer perfume. It’s a great cologne all year round but shines exceptionally bright in the summer heat. This is one of my most complimented colognes. People think I’m just someone who smells great and not a heavy cologne user.
Acqua Di Gio Profumo
Profumo is the wealthy cousin in the Acqua Di Gio who thinks he’s better than the rest of the family. Still, after a couple of beers, it relaxes and becomes more enjoyable. With its tonka bean basenote, this version is recommended for not-so-warm summer nights when you plan to stay up late doing something you hope will create some memories.
This was one of my signature staples when I traveled as a corporate guy and wanted to make an excellent first impression. It is a fresh scent with a dark past that is so good and underrated that it defies logic. It exudes class, but it needs patience, as its initial aroma can be too much for those with weak noses who don’t even know what’s good for them.
La Nuit de L’Homme Bleu Électrique Yves Saint Laurent
Blue Nuit smells very much like the original dark grandfather. Still, the blue note is entertaining and modern, making it the ideal casual summer scent for an afternoon running errands and winning the Best Smelling Man At Target award.
My fetish cologne. I use it almost to provoke myself. I sometimes cannot smell it at all, and other times it lingers in my clothes for a couple of weeks. It’s like summery vanilla with some floral notes you cannot describe. You could easily get 17 years out of one bottle since it’s so potent. While babysitting my sister’s Border Collie, the dog smelled like Molecule 04, probably because I hugged her.
Popularity isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s overrated to be unique. Who would want to live all alone in the woods? This is a perfect scent for a man 25-40 years old who is a high achiever and wants to leave an impression.
Unforgivable Sean John
Who cares if it’s just a copy of Creed Milesime Imperiale? There’s just something about the scent of this one, and the base note of intriguing masculine watermelon has brought me many compliments. It was the favorite scent of a friend who always swooned when she smelled me.
I’m sorry to be the guy who hypes Creed Aventus, but I have a story to tell you. In 2018, an Uber picked me up to head to work. I was greeted by the driver, a 25-30-year-old woman who was very friendly. She told me how good I smelled right away, which was ok but not weird. Later, she mentioned it a few more times. She mystically closed her eyes and smelled trance-like until she felt embarrassed – and so did I – which made for a very quiet ride to the office.
Aventus was my signature scent for a year, but I have not repurchased it since I want to keep it as a memory.
Is Versace Eros a summer fragrance? In general, no, but for a cold summer night, let’s say a date, I can’t think of a better cologne to impress.
Neroli Portofino Tom Ford
Tom Ford fragrances are super expensive, but I love them! You should buy Neroli Portofino only if you understand it smells like an Italian summer day, but for a couple of hours. If you want a perfume that lasts 72 hours, look elsewhere, but if you want an enticing fresh aroma emanating from you for 2 hours, try it—100% unisex, which is the rule for most summer colognes.
This phallic bottle contains a sweet fragrance that remains fresh and always pleases. I’ve been wearing it since 2011. I never have, and probably will never, tire of it. The bottle pictured here is almost empty. I will replace it. Maybe I will encounter a different reformulation, but Rochas Man’s minty cappuccino smell belongs to my summer nights.
Polo Cologne Intense Eau de Parfum Ralph Lauren
This recent Ralph Lauren cologne reminds me of mint tea in my mind, but it doesn’t smell anything like it. Picture yourself going to the movies to watch the 23rd Marvel release of the month, wearing a white t-shirt, jeans, and Polo Cologne Intense. You will probably be cast as the next Spiderman because it’s your turn. It is recommended for classy young men.
Aqua Amara Bvlgari
Aqua Amara, the citrus powerhouse. I don’t know if it’s available, but you can find most things online, so I wouldn’t worry about it. As a former Aqua wearer, I still remember the saltiness of its original cologne and the great times in my life I had wearing it. Aren’t fragrances and memories wonderful? But this orange beast is something else entirely—a mix of angry orange juice and rocky ocean breeze. I feel taller when I wear it.
Le Labo Rose 31
I am reminded of Declaration, which is probably why I love it so much, but it has its own unique vibe. Not for your 59-year-old dad, who is always angry at the news, but for the 30-year-old man who is into fashion and dresses sharp, I cannot imagine a more fitting scent for their refined lifestyle.
Tommy Bahama Maritime Deep Blue
Not sure about Tommy Bahamas’ business model, but I imagine their meetings going something like “Let’s create colognes that smell like the beach.” They did it again. Successfully. It’s a very handsome fragrance that no one can dislike.
Le Male Le Parfum Jean Paul Gaultier
Let’s face it. You need a Le Male perfume. Why? Because, every once in a while, you will end up clubbing, even if you’re too “old” or an embittered man with debt. And you know what else? You better smell good. They put a secret ingredient into Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Le Males to make them club-ready. Try it.
Hermes Vetiver Tonka
This one is probably too expensive for a college kid on a ramen diet, but it’s perfect for men and women who like exotic scents. I love the pencil smell.
Invictus Victory Paco Rabanne
It’s a winter scent for most people, but for men who wear leather jackets and ride motorcycles, you can use it on summer nights when you’re having a long night.
Narciso Rodriguez For Him
Almost like Seinfeld, a cologne that smells like nothing. My nose loves it because it smells like cement after rain.
Bubble Bath Maison Margiela
Most soapy scents are unisex, remind you of clean clothes, and give you that “out of the shower” feeling. It’s a fun cologne for everyone.
Azzaro Pour Homme
It is a classic for men who want to smell like their uncles from the 80s. I still use my old small bottle for days when I like to remember a time I didn’t live.
Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo – Mandorlo di Sicilia
A very fancy name for a cologne that smells like root beer and Italian bergamot and makes you long for summer nights with friends when you didn’t have meetings or dozens of emails to answer. Not very popular, quite expensive, but very special if you like pretty things and hard-to-pronounce names.
Reflection Men Amouage
A sweet fragrance designed for the fall/winter. Still, it has such a classy feel that if you wear it sparingly on a summer evening with your girlfriend or wife, it will make the night 30% more memorable.
Davidoff Cool Water
Cool water has survived the fall of the Berlin Wall, the rise of the internet, and smartphones grabbing our attention. Don’t underestimate it. It reminds you of dads who make time to play with their children after a long day struggling with spreadsheets.
Christian Dior Jules
It smells raunchy but totally awesome, and I own a vintage bottle older than me. I included it here because it’s a classic, and I suggest you at least smell it if you can find an old bottle because they don’t make it like this anymore.
L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Issey Miyake
It’s not necessary to chase every new shiny object. A fresh scent that women love on men for a reason. It takes you back to a better time. A simpler time. Memory is strange.
Kouros Yves Saint Lauren
Here is another vintage vulgar classic to challenge your tastes and invite you to live a little. It smells like expensive sweat.
Reaction Kenneth Cole
Certainly not a masterpiece, but a fantastic inexpensive summer cologne to wear when you decide to take yourself less seriously and have fun instead of worrying about things you can’t control. Spray it on your shirt if you want it to last.
Annick Goutal Musc Nomade
A white musk fragrance is usually associated with women, which is a shame since these types of fragrances smell rich and opulent on men. I feel like a startup millionaire when I wear it.
Dylan Blue Versace
Bergamot is like a lemon or something, and Dylan Blue is like another hundred fragrances or something. Still, it’s probably the best of the blue family of clean scents that don’t offend and make lovely gifts for Christmas or a divorce party.
Original Musk Kiehl’s
This special bonus track of a very inexpensive classic unisex beast that smells beautiful on everyone. Wear it mostly on summer nights, when misbehaving is alright.
What cologne will you be wearing this summer?
It’s time for you to take action.
Smell has the power to take you back in time and make you remember people and places from the past.
The best summer cologne is waiting for you, and now you know where to look.