The Six Ultimate Scents of Summer

Any man with an appreciation for fragrance will know that a good scent is a grounding, mood-lifting layer of invisible confidence. A simple spritz on your skin can create a personal fantasy world from a story where you are the lead character. Every now and then someone might get to come along on your adventure, but you still want to exercise restraint. If someone can smell you from a socially distanced 1,5m you’re probably overdoing it.

A change of season is always the best time to switch up your scent for something light and refreshing to delight your senses, but finding the perfect one can be a challenging task. We’ve curated a small selection of some of the most refreshing, memorable scents practically made for summer.


Issey Miyake L’eau d’Issey Pour Homme Wood&Wood



A strong, masculine and refreshing scent that reminds you of the duality of nature – it’s strength and power but also it’s gentleness and beauty. Smooth, creamy wood notes at the base of this scent become surprisingly fresh with the brightness of grapefruit and elemi sparkling on the top as it hits your skin. Over time it dries down into a very subtle, spicy wood, making it an approachable scent perfect for easy wearing, every day without being overbearing.

Where to wear: Daily at work, to lunch or for a boost of freshness after exercise.

How to wear: The moderate projection of this scent could be improved by spraying a generous cloud of the juice onto the neck area and one spritz on the inside of each wrist.


Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio Profumo



The scent embodies the magic of walking along a dark seaside at night, lifting a black rock to your nose to smell a swirl of salty, earthy, smokey notes blended seamlessly together. The scent opens with a smooth blend of herbs paired with a soft watery note that hints at the ocean. A mysterious depth rises through in the form of smokey incense, swirling around and blending the spices and water together in an alluring, intriguing mist. Wearer beware – you may catch people turning their heads as you pass.

Where to wear: Incense and spice notes in it may be too heavy for hot summer nights, but it’s perfectly suited to wear on cool spring nights to dates, drinks, or dinner.

How to wear: One spritz on the inside of the wrist, once behind each ear and if you’re feeling like really drawing attention, once on the inside of each elbow.


Tom Ford Oud Wood



It might not be the first thing you reach for when you think about summer, but if you like your scents rich and full-bodied there is no doubt that Oud Wood should be in your stable of fragrances. The usually domineering smell of oud stays hidden here, in a bouquet of warm wood notes balanced with fresh, grassy tones, and sweet amber and vanilla notes. The scent resembles the luxurious feeling of silk on your skin and even though it is deep and enigmatic it still feels fresh enough to swim in.

Where to wear: The scent’s warmth is perfect for wear at night to dates, drinks and dinner, but can be pared down for the daytime if you’re spending time mostly outside.

How to wear: Being an eau de parfum it’s recommended to use sparingly, but to really reach the true depth of the oud spritz twice on the inside of each wrist and twice behind each ear. To reduce your projection and make it more subtle for daytime, spritz only once on each area to clean off some of the heavier notes.


Dolce&Gabbana Light Blue Eau Intense Pour Homme



Nothing is more true to its name. The scent brings to mind an easy freshness that is perfectly visualised in it’s light blue juice. An uncomplicated blend of notes heroes the smell of the salty sea paired with fresh citrus, resting on a very slight musk at the base. You can almost imagine yourself as a chiselled Italian man driving along the sea in a small coastal town on a hot summer’s day, with the taste of sea salt sticking to your lips.

Where to wear: In the daytime, on holiday, to the beach, to lunch or breakfast. It can become irritating in enclosed spaces so avoid wearing this to work unless you’re hoping to capture your colleagues in wanderlust mid-meeting.

How to wear: Go lightly, as the very powerful projection on this scent can be overbearing on the hottest days. One spritz on the inside of each wrist and one on the neck should suffice.


Tom Ford Ombré Leather



The smell of distinction is bottled in a complex, layered blend of contrasting and balancing notes, much like a fine whiskey. Most leather fragrances would never make sense in the heat of summer, but a creamy sweet blend of florals and amber with fresh, earthy moss transport this leather from rich and bookish to clean and smooth. Admittedly it would be totally out of place during the day, but take this out at night and you can’t help but feel like the richest person in any room. Don’t be surprised when people lean in to find where the mysterious and familiar smell of leather is coming from.

Where to wear: At night, partying, to dinner, on dates and whatever comes after.

How to wear: You want this to sit gently in the background and not announce itself as you enter a room. One spritz on the inside of each wrist and one behind each ear is enough.


Jean Paul Gaultier Ultra Mȃle



There is something timelessly masculine about this scent. A modern update to the Jean Paul Gaultier classic ‘Le Male’, Ultra Mȃle removes some of the watery notes, but you can still smell the original scent at the core of it. The wide range of ingredients blends to a very simple journey, opening on what smells like crushed candy that gives way to rich spices which somehow feel bright and fresh. The appeal of this family of fragrances has always been how impossible it is to offend anyone’s taste, making it perfect for those who don’t want to think that hard about what to wear but still want to be noticed.

Where to wear: Any time of day, changing the method of wear between day and night. Avoid office or other enclosed environments as it may become irritating to the people around you.

How to wear: In the daytime one spritz on the inside of the wrist and one on the neck will play down the severity of the spice notes. At night, create a cloud of juice around your neck for a projection that makes your presence known.

Akim Jardine – MKM guest fashion editor