Spring is a tricky time for men’s grooming. Gone are the long, dark days of winter — and with them the ideal opportunity to wear rich, leathery scents of woods and ouds. But summer is still a way off — and we need to wait several months before we can wear the bright sparkling citrus and herb fragrances made for warm weather. So what scents are left for spring?
The natural answer is floral fragrances. Bold, balmy and highly aromatic, flowers should be the solution to your springtime aftershave problem. But many men don’t feel comfortable spritzing on such sweetly-scented fragrances; instead more at-home with the deep, earthy accords of wintry eau de parfums. So, below, we’ve rounded up the best subtle floral scents for spring — perfect options despite your opinions on blossoms and blooms…
For a subtle spring scent, Floris 71 /72 Eau de Parfum
First up comes Floris. Reliable as ever, the Jermyn Street perfume house has offered an ideal springtime spritz with 71/72. Named after nearby shirtmaker Turnbull & Asser (the eau de parfum takes its name from T&A’s Jermyn Street number), this scent is clean and crisp — ideal to bridge the gap between the frostiness of winter and summer’s heat.
It opens with a lilting aromatic lift of juniper, with bergamot and mandarin quietly nodding to the summer months to come. Similarly, earthier notes of orris and oud offer a warm, sensual memory of classic winter scents. But the real star of this show is lavender, mixing its potent bouquet with a heart of gentle jasmine.
Floris 71 /72 Eau de Parfum
For a summer-facing fragrance, Creed Acqua Originale Green Neroli
One of three latest additions to the Acqua Originale collection, Creed’s Green Neroli takes its inspiration from the aromatic blossoms of Mediterranean gardens. Blended by master perfumer Olivier Creed, this green-bottled fragrance emanates that fresh spring feeling with natural notes of rosemary, mint and tarragon.
But the real masterstroke here — and what makes the unisex Green Neroli perfect for spring — is Creed’s use of citrus. There may be Italian lemon and blood mandarin in the aromatic mix, but the perfume house tempers these traditionally summery scents by using the fruits’ flowery blossom notes. The result? A spring spin on a summer classic.
Creed Acqua Originale Green Neroli
For a masculine spin on flowers, Penhaligon’s Much Ado About The Duke
The bottle alone makes this one worth buying — a purple-tinged flask topped with a handsome brass hound. But Penhalingon’s ‘Much Ado About The Duke’ has a bark much sweeter than its bite. The scent may start out with a base of leathery wood and spice, but it soon opens up and becomes a fresh breath of spring air.
Gin’s to thank for that. The spirited spirit offers itself up as the heart note for Penhaligon’s fiercely fresh fragrance. But the best touch has to be the floral head; wild, lingering lashings of potent peppery rose — aromas that sit softly atop the strong, masculine base without obscuring it altogether.
Penhaligon’s Much Ado About The Duke
For a blooming, blossoming classic, Tom Ford Black Orchid
A perennial, seasonal classic, Tom Ford’s Black Orchid offers up its floral credentials right there in the name. And it’s become a highly spritzed scent for a reason; with flavours including chocolate, vanilla, bergamot, lemon and sandalwood all swirling around inside that mysterious blacked-out bottle.
And the flowers! So many flowers! Tom Ford is clearly comfortable enough in his masculinity to through the whole garden at this aftershave. Brimming with blooms and botanicals, expect notes of jasmine, gardenia, patchouli, lotus and, of course, spicy, exotic orchid.
Tom Ford Black Orchid
For an exotic springtime spritz, Acqua di Parma Osmanthus
‘Osmanthus’, if you’re not already familiar with the flowers of eastern Asia, is a particularly pungent shrub found everywhere from Hiroshima to the Himalayas. One of the latest additions to Acqua Di Parma’s celebrated ‘Signatures of the Sun’ line is named for the flower — and places its distinctive scent at the front and centre of every spritz.
It’s a lovely, lively fragrance, with summer-facing fruity top notes of green mandarin and neroli, and some wintry base notes of pepper and ambrette. But it’s a spring fragrance at heart — offering up petal-forward aromas of peony and patchouli as well as that exotic far-eastern osmanthus.
Acqua di Parma Osmanthus
For a traditionally British bloom, Atkinson’s The British Bouquet
And finally, we return from the wilds of far eastern Asia to Mayfair, where Floris and Turnbull & Asser kicked off this list. Just down the road, Atkinson’s have set up sumptuous shop in Burlington Arcade, and this ‘The British Bouquet’ fragrance is as floral and spring-appropriate as its flowery names suggests.
‘An olfactory ode to dandyism’ is how the heritage perfume house describes this silky scent. It’s a confident blend of velvety lavender, myrtle and malt — with some citrus notes in there to keep the bouquet fresh.
Atkinson’s The British Bouquet
Want something more traditional? Here are 10 classic fragrances that will never go out of style…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.