You could have one cologne for year-round wear, but you’d be missing out — so what’s the best summer cologne for men? That’s exactly what we’re here to find out. We’ve made a survey of all the major cologne brands to bring you our expert picks for the best warm weather colognes.
In this guide, we’ll be covering the ins and outs of finding the best summer cologne for men, complete with comprehensive aromatic notes and suggestions on occasions that each cologne is best for. Along the way, you’ll find fragrances for every style and budget to keep you smelling great all summer long.
5 Best Summer Cologne For Men 2021
Plenty of classic colognes are great for everyday use, but if you want to smell completely in sync with the onset of warm weather, you’ll need one of our five favorite summer colognes for men.
What better endorsement could you hope for in a cologne than being the winner of the most prestigious fragrance award? In this case of Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue, a summertime smash hit, it is the winner of the FiFi Fragrance of the Year award for Men’s Luxe cologne in 2008. It’s a citrus aromatic style fragrance that’s perfectly appropriate for warm weather, but a great choice for wearing to the office any time of year.
A wonderfully zesty combination of grapefruit, bergamot, and mandarin orange peels is made all the more fragrant by the addition of juniper in Light Blue’s top notes. These give way subtly to heart notes of cracked black pepper, rosemary, the open ocean, and precious rosewood. Built on a base of burning incense and musk, the accents of oakmoss help to give it a spectacular drydown.
With its moderate intensity and moderate longevity, Light Blue is a fantastic choice to splash on every morning as soon as the weather gets warm. It’s a classic summer cologne that’s genuinely great to wear in full sun any time of year.
Top notes of grapefruit, bergamot, mandarin orange, and juniper
Middle notes of black peppercorns, rosemary, sea notes, and rosewood
Made in the classic aromatic fouger style, Christian Dior’s Sauvage may not be the first cologne that comes to mind for summertime wear. We would argue, though, that you’ll need a date night cologne that performs just as well in summer as in every other season — and Sauvage is uniquely situated to do so.
Longtime top note favorite bergamot is augmented by a hint of black pepper in Sauvage’s top notes, which remain present for quite some time before transitioning to the pink and szechuan peppercorns in the heart notes. Combined with patchouli, lavender, vetiver, elemi, and geranium, this leads to a complex center that will keep you coming back for more. The base of cedar, ambroxan, and labdanum serves to accentuate the exceptional complexity of each other layer of this composition.
A strong and long lasting cologne, Sauvage is worthy of being a date night cologne any time of year — but it performs especially well in summer, where other seductive colognes can come off as cloying and heavy.
Top notes of bergamot and black pepper
Middle notes of szechuan peppercorns, lavender, pink peppercorns, vetiver, patchouli, geranium, and elemi
The flagship cologne from Italian fashion designer Prada, L’Homme is a woody chypre style fragrance that was released in 2016. It’s gained quite the reputation as a standby cologne for wearing to the office thanks to its soapy clean scent, and we think this is only further accentuated as the weather warms up.
Bitter orange leads the way in L’Homme’s top notes, sharing equal emphaiss with black pepper and cardamom as well as being accented by savory carrot seeds. The iris in this composition’s heart notes give it its signature cleanliness, while violet and geranium furhter accentuate that character. Smoky mate leaves transition nicely to the base notes, with amber, cedar, and patchouli in a fine balance that’s finished by sandalwood.
Though it is a long lasting cologne, L’Homme exhibits only a moderate intensity. While this could be a detriment in the colder months of the year, it’s perfect during the heat of summer. After all, colognes that are quite intense tend to become overly assertive when worn in higher temperatures.
Top notes of neroli, black pepper, cardamom, and carrot seeds
Middle notes of iris, violet, geranium, and mate
Base notes of amber, cedar, patchouli, and sandalwood
The most popular fragrance from the house of Chanel, Bleu De Chanel is a woody aromatic style fragrance that’s gained quite the following since its introduction in 2010. If you’re looking for a mature and sophisticated scent that performs well in the summer, Bleu De Chanel should be at the top of your list.
Citrus bursts of grapefruit and lemon rub elbows with spearmint and pink peppercorns in Bleu De Chanel’s top notes, which remain quite present throughout the whole composition. A synthetic portion of patchouli known as Iso E Super holds sway over the heart notes, with accents of ginger, nutmeg, and jasmine adding complexity. The greatest complexity, though, comes from a dense base of burning incense, resinous cedar, precious sandalwood, and hints of patchouli and white musk.
Long lasting with a balanced intensity, Bleu De Chanel is a remarkably sophisticated cologne that’s ideal for summertime wear. Among the colognes featured here, it’s easily the longest lasting summer cologne.
Top notes of grapefruit, lemon, mint, and pink peppercorns
Middle notes of ginger, nutmeg, jasmine, and Iso E Super
Base notes of incense, vetiver, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, labdanum, and white musk
The most recent addition to our favorite summertime colognes collection, Acqua Di Gio Profondo is an aromatic fougere style cologne that builds on the wildly successful DNA of its namesake original. There’s rarely a wrong time to wear Acqua Di Gio.
A proprietary molecule known as Aquazone is the key note in Profondo’s top notes, giving a strongly aquatic scent that’s improved by a hint of bergamot and unripe mandarin oranges. In the heart notes, you’ll find rosemary and lavender dominated by cypress wood and mastic resin, before giving way to a heavily mineral base redolent of musk, patchouli, and amber.
Though Acqua Di Gio Profondo has a gently building intensity, it has a substantial longevity that makes it a wonderful choice for all day wear. If you’re looking for the best in cutting edge summer colognes, Profondo is the way to go.
Top notes of sea notes, Aquazone, bergamot, and green mandarin
Middle notes of rosemary, cypress, lavender, and mastic
Base notes of minerals, musk, patchouli, and amber
After careful consideration, we’re convinced that Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue is the best summer cologne available right now. It’s built in a classic style but given modern touches, making it an easy choice for continuing to wear summer after summer.
On a different note, however, we’d like to point out the usefulness of Christian Dior’s Sauvage as a summertime scent. Though it’s not classically summer-oriented, it’s one of the few seductive, date night colognes that won’t be overdone as soon as the weather gets warmer.
What Makes A Summer Fragrance?
Seasonality in fragrance making is a relatively recent development. From the origins of perfumes and colognes, you’ll find scents that are designed to show different aspects of themselves throughout the entire spectrum of weather conditions.
As people’s appreciation for fragrances has grown — and their collections grown in kind — seasonal fragrances have come to the fore. In the case of summer fragrances, this means a focus on the lighter side of aromatics: Heavy portions of citrus zest, fewer base notes, and more floral heart notes.