The British and their weather have enjoyed and endured a tumultuous relationship since the beginning of time. Last year, we perspired our way through the sweltering heatwave; today, many of us are being pummelled by winds resembling a battering ram. But although it doesn’t feel like it just now, global warming isn’t going anywhere — and so that heatwave is bound to make its sunny presence known before we’ve had time to unearth the Factor 30. The importance of never smelling anything less than squeaky clean remains.
Fortunately, we’re on hand to make sure that you master summer style: in all its fresh, fruity form. Here’s our edit of the best men’s fragrances on the market to keep you feeling (and smelling) as if you’ve just stepped out of the shower — even when you feel as though you’re gradually melting.
The Fresh One: Floris Bergamotto di Positano
Created to reflect the freshness of a Mediterranean Sea breeze, this classic summer fragrance from royal-warrant perfumer Floris has a heart of orange blossom and vanilla to which warm marine notes and clean mandarin provide an instantly refreshing counterpoint. Add to this an earthy base of wood, amber and ginger and you’ve got yourself a quintessential summer scent you will return to year after year.
The Fresh One: Floris Bergamotto di Positano
The Woody One: Penhaligon’s Endymion Concentré
As the bottle suggests, this is the essential fragrance for balmy evenings that turn into long summer nights. Dreaming of dinner and dancing? This is the scent you need to go with it. Inspired by the eponymous Greek god — Zeus’ most handsome son and a legendary hunter — and available from the boutique at Bicester Village, it’s a fragrance compiled of all the scents that make a perfect gentleman. Bitter coffee and earthy suede provide a foil from which notes of bergamot and geranium sparkle to create an eau du cologne that can handle whatever your evening may throw at it.
Penhaligon’s Endymion Concentré
The Floral One: Atkinsons The British Bouquet
Everything about Atkinsons 1799 is drenched in gorgeous nostalgia. The ledger in the Georgian room at its Burlington Arcade store will tell you that over the centuries everyone from Queen Victoria to Napoleon has called on its experts to design fragrances for them.
And, for the gentleman looking to celebrate a bygone era of elegance, the British Bouquet fragrance is the perfect summer scent. Woven from velvety lavender, myrtle and malt, and lined with gilded citrus top notes of bitter orange and caviar lemon, this is a scent designed to recall the champagne-polished hessian boots of the dandy.
Atkinsons The British Bouquet
The Marine One: Czech & Speake Villa Ausonia
Villa Ausonia is an eau du parfum designed to capture the freshness of the French Atlantic coast and the intoxicating scent of distant pine forests. This androgynous, modern and light fragrance blends notes of oceanic ozone, green (a lighter interpretation of chypre) and citrus to sit in the gourmand fragrance family.
The ideal scent to stow in your travel grooming kit, this fragrance will give you an instant refreshing pick-me-up as the weather turns hotter.
Czech & Speake Villa Ausonia Eau De Parfum Spray
The Spicy One: Dunhill Moroccan Amber
Delightfully evocative of warmer climes, this smoky, woody fragrance is perfect for heading into those long, balmy evenings and hazy summery days that are just about hovering on the horizon. Notes of earthy cardamom and spicy wood make themselves instantly known; swiftly followed by delicate saffron and warm precious amber.
Together, these exotic notes combine to create a deep, earthy scent with more than a hint of spice: this is a gentleman’s fragrance, in every sense of the word.
Dunhill Moroccan Amber
The Classic: Creed Viking Cologne
Emerging from winter into the sunnier months is always a joyful feeling; but never more so than this year, when we’re emerging from a winter lockdown into what will hopefully be a celebratory summer. This cologne captures that feeling of re-awakening from the dark, cold summer months and striding forwards into the fresh, bright new spring and summer months.
A modern counterpart to the renowned men’s fragrance, Viking, this cologne has top notes of delicate bergamot, zesty lemon and sharp mandarin — and then blossoms into a summery heart of lavender, rosemary and sage. At its base, sandalwood and patchouli provide the perfect woody undertones: all combining to create a classic fragrance that will serve as any gentleman’s scent of the summer.
Creed Viking Cologne