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The Best Spring Fragrances of 2021

Three recent launches, plus three classics, all of which play to the refreshing nature of spring.

dunhill perfume
Dunhill

We sort fragrances into seasons because of what each of them evokes or conjures. Scents play with our senses and tie directly into our memories to recall pivotal ideas — the warmth of a crackling fire in winter, or the uplifting expanse of the open sea during summer. And for those scents that play to spring, they typically nod to the increasingly longer days, the blossoming flowers, the freshness after an April shower.

What’s best about spring scents, too, is how perennial they tend to be. While a heavy woody or spicy fragrance might feel appropriate for winter, it is totally out of place on the warmer, sunnier half of the year. However, when you embrace winter by wearing green, fresh, crisp, floral notes (those characteristic to spring), it helps recall that sunnier, brighter half of the calendar and makes each day more optimistic.

Below are six of our favorite spring scents, three of which have blossomed up since last spring, and three of which are staples for the season — or for signature-scent status, if that’s what you’re after. (All six of the below are good fits for that.)

New Spring Scents

Escentric Molecules Escentric 05

escentric molecules escentric 05 perfume
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On the one hand, we’re anxiously awaiting the late-March launch of Escentric Molecules latest three scents — all of them spring-tinged spins on their fan-favorite Molecule 01 scent. But on the other hand, their ‘Escentric 05’ scent was a highlight of 2020 launches, and deserves the fanfare here. It’s anchored with cashmeran — reminiscent of cashmere wool — but still favors spring wear thanks to lots of citrus, floral, and herbal notes (think bergamot, orange, rosemary and basil). It’s a little sweet and woody too, with fig and cypress making themselves known. While EM rightfully enjoys a cult-like fandom for its simple, playful and sciencey scents, Escentric 05 is a more rounded, mainstream and playful showcase of the brand’s chemistry skills.

Price: $150

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Hermès H24

hermès h24 perfume
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This launch is big news for fragrance enthusiasts because H24 is Hermès’ first men’s pillar fragrance in 15 years (which is when it launched the iconic Terre d’Hermès, ahead of numerous delicious spinoffs). H24, however, is a fresher, greener pillar than the spicy and woody Terre d’Hermès. It combines clary sage, narcissus flower, rosewood, and the curious sclarene (which delivers a bit of a metallic and fresh quality to the fragrance). The bottle is refillable too, so if you love it as much as us, you can top it off while respecting the environment — as anything more springy than being eco-friendly?

Price: $105 (Available February 24)

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Shocks of Love Dreamlover

shocks of love dreamlover perfume
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Shocks of Love creates a roster of "Scent Rituals" which are foremost designed to be aromatherapy. They utilize an essential oil base, as opposed to the alcoholic base that many fragrances require for longevity. So, by applying to your pulse points, hair or even clothing, what lingers lightly is a refreshing and uplifting aroma that first and foremost calms your senses, and then secondly delights those who encounter it. Dreamlover is the brightest blend of their excellent assortment, for its combination of lavender, chamomile, cucumber, carrot seed and marjoram, which together leave you calmed, soothed and sorted.

Price: $65

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Classic Spring Scents

Maison Margiela Replica At The Barber’s

maison margiela replica at the barbers perfume
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We love anything reminiscent of the barbershop, and we love a fougere fragrance — that is, one with an fresh/earthy element (literally ‘fern-like’ by translation), thanks to notes such as moss, lavender and geranium. Those are all present here, along with musk, leather, bitter orange, pepper, and basil; together they give At The Barber’s that same fresh-faced, topped-off quality you get from... leaving the barbershop. Go figure. But it also has that camaraderie and buoyancy that buzz through any barbershop, which is a big factor to you feeling optimistic when you leave. Here’s your so-fresh and so-clean liquid optimism, then.

Price: $135

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Dunhill Amalfi Citrus

dunhill amalfi citrus perfume
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There are a billion scents that center themselves on the Italian coast, as if it’s the only place that recalls the citrusy-sweet notes of lemon, bergamot, mandarin and orange. But we’ll give it to Dunhill for having one of the best blends of the bunch, in this Amalfi-inspired fragrance. It squeezes the aforementioned citrus fruits into a bottle with notes of neroli, cardamon, vetiver, musk and more. It’s as refreshing as the sea breeze, and against an ocean of crispy-cool competition.

Price: $150

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Prada L’Homme Prada

prada l’homme prada perfume
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We wish more men would wear floral notes, and L’Homme Prada is a perfect showcase as to why. It puts forward the powdery and floral powers of iris, geranium, violet, and neroli, while the typically more prominent notes (like amber, pepper and cedarwood) play supporting but ever-present roles. The collective result leans soapy, in a universally appealing way (good for work, for dates, for calm weekends alike), and it’s these fresh florals that provide the uplifting recipe.

Price: $100

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