Nasomatto Absinth Right off the bat we’re contradicting our suggestion about heavier fragrances, but Naso’s Absinth is a special exception: its inspiration, according to the brand’s nose, Alessandro Gualtieri, is to evoke hysteria, “the result of a quest to stimulate irresponsible behavior.” If that’s not summer, we don’t know what is. Thanks to vetiver, it’s green and aromatic, and soft, cool and refreshing, but it’s also a bit leathery and smoky. $185
D.S. & Durga Boston Ivy We first heard of the boutique fragrance house D.S. & Durga when they released Spent Musket Oil with BKLYN Dry Goods, and we like that there’s a sense of whimsy and imagination in all their fragrances. Boston Ivy recalls “Boston in the ‘80s, where green moss and ivy grew next to the I.R.A. graffiti and fresh clover was salted by the sea”, according to the brand. It’s bracing, for sure, salty and almost lemony before it settles into a warm, mossy fragrance. We’ll be wearing this well into fall. $106
Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Ginepro di Sardegna The newest fragrance from Acqua di Parma is absurdly good, our favorite of the lot. Like the new Penhaligon’s fragrance, Ginepro di Sardegna has a bracing shot of juniper up front, but it’s less boozy and more spicy, with notes of bergamot, pepper, sage and cypress on a foundation of cedarwood. It’s elegant, sophisticated and perfectly in balance. $144
Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling Penhaligon’s makes one of the best fragrances we’ve ever put on, Douro, so we were excited about their new Juniper Sling. Like Acqua di Parma it’s got a big dose of juniper, but that’s where the two depart. This one is inspired by London Dry Gin and it feels boozy, with angelica and brandy, pepper, cardamom and leather, plus some sugary gourmand notes. If you plan on staying up all night sweating into a tux, this is your cologne. $150
Royall Lyme Bud Light Lime, micheladas, fish tacos — everything in summer gets a splash of lime. Royall Lyme is the original fragrance from Royall Lyme Bermuda, which now also makes a variety of scents including Bay Rhum, Muske, Spyce, Rugby and Mandarin. It smells like a classic: fresh, citrusy and a little soapy. It’s light and has limited staying power, so you can splash it on a few times a day when you wash off the sweat, and, at $40 a bottle, it doesn’t feel precious. $40
Make Scents of Summer
Summer is an olfactory roller coaster, a time to trade in heavy colognes for something lighter. Decent hygiene and a proper diet should prevent you from being a fetid menace — besides, chemicals found in male sweat can raise women’s hormone levels — but if you want to cruise through the summer like a prince, then having a season-appropriate cologne is important. That means putting away the heavy, woody, leathery fragrances in favor of lighter, greener, citrusy colognes. These five will turn heads.