In the heat and humidity of summer, sweat glands go full throttle. Perspiration sends odor molecules into the air, increasing the aromatic effect of the bacteria on our skin. Pair that with a heavy-handed fragrance — an amber, oud, or something spicy (scents best reserved for winter) — and you run the risk of self-suffocating, not to mention upsetting the girl sitting across from you at dinner. But there’s no need to go au naturel. It’s time to trade in your dark musks for a scent that’s crisp, clean and approachable. Both you and your date will breathe easier.
Geranium Pour Monsieur
Herbal Mint: Geranium essence dominates this scent from Frederic Malle’s Editions de Perfums, interplayed with soft notes of mint, cinnamon and aniseed. Crafted by famed nose Dominique Ropion, who’s also responsible for Carnal Flower and Portrait of a Lady from the same line, Geranium Pour Monsieur is fresh, yet imbued with an herbal complexity that’s unlike anything in its class; though classified as a fougère, a family of fragrances often characterized by heavy fern-like qualities, Geranium Pour Monsieur is the refined outlier.
Annick Goutal L’Ile Au Thé
Citrus Musk: The latest to join Annick Goutal’s fragrance collection for men, L’Ile Au Thé (translated to “Island of Tea”) found its inspiration during a trip Camille Goutal and perfumer Isabella Doyen made to Jeju, a small island off the coast of Korea. The fragrance sprays on with crisp top notes of mandarin, mellowing into an understated blend of white musk and green tea. Orders ship from the Annick Goutal Boutique in New York City.
Farmacia SS. Annunziata Takis
Smooth Vanilla: Originating in Florence in 1561, Farmacia SS. Annunciata is one of the oldest perfume houses in the world, with an extensive collection of perfumes and cosmetics still made in Italy. Takis, a standout from the fragrance line, is a sweet, velvety concoction of vanilla, rose and young oak, an olfactive nod to the old-school barber shops of Italy. The scent develops a creamy complexion that verges on the nuance of a gourmand fragrance, though far less cloying.
Helmut Lang Eau de Cologne
Clean Powder: In 2005, when Helmut Lang left the fashion house that still bears his name, the brand’s celebrated line of fragrances went with him. After nearly a decade, and many calls for revival, the scents have been reissued in their original formulas. Conceived by legendary perfumer Maurice Roucel, the signature Eau de Cologne carries a clean, almost soapy aroma, bringing to mind the lingering scent of talcum powder after a visit to the barber. The fragrance develops a touch of sweetness after resting on the skin, attributed to the inclusion of rosemary and lavender.
Alvarez Gómez Agua de Colonia Concentrada
Bright Citrus: Spain’s equivalent of Acqua di Parma, Alvarez Gómez’s signature cologne dates back to 1899. Zesty with clear head notes of lemon citrus, Agua de Colonia Concentrada is relatively one-note (but a fine note at that), favoring simplicity and cleanliness over muggy complexity. Go for the smaller 100ml size bottle as a part of your summertime EDC; the scent goes on lightly, fades quickly, and is meant to be applied multiple times over the course of a day.