With Spring just around the corner, you’ll soon be switching around your wardrobe as you throw off those heavy winter coats and start to pull out lighter, brighter clothing.
Even if you have yet to feel an actual thaw outside, now is the time to make a change in your fragrance wardrobe too – and go for something fresher and more seasonal.
So, what makes a great Spring cologne? The best-smelling men’s colognes this season are light, fresh and fragrant, not too heavy or cloying.
We think you’ll like the following examples, so go ahead, try something new. Be adventurous and put some sunshine on your skin.
It will change your whole outlook.
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Here’s our roundup of the 10 freshest men’s fragrances for Spring 2021. They’re not all brand new on the market, but they’re perfect to try out as you look forward to enjoying the warmer weather.
We’re including each cologne’s specific fragrance notes which may help you decide if it could be the right one for you.
Don’t be intimidated by some of the over-the-top fragrance reviews you’ll see online that wax lyrical (or otherwise) about top, middle and base notes.
You’ll find that fragrance critics are right up there with wordy wine snobs in terms of their flowery language.
Here’s a simple primer. The top notes are what you smell first, the first initial impression of a fragrance: the base notes are bolder and they’re what remains after you’ve applied it to your skin.
The middle notes, usually fruity or floral, form the heart of the fragrance, tying the compounds together to give you a combination of top and base notes connecting in a consolidated fragrance.
Short on time? Here are our top three picks for the best spring colognes you can buy right now:
Read on for more info and the complete list…
The 10 Best Men’s Colognes for Spring 2021
Here are some of our perennial Spring favorites…
1. Bleu De Chanel Cologne
Originally created by French master perfumier Jacques Polge and launched in 2010, Bleu De Chanel has fast become a top go-to men’s fragrance when you’re transitioning into warmer seasons.
It is fresh, crisp, citrusy, yet is has a seductive opening into a deeper, woody, incense stage. A top seller since its launch, Bleu De Chanel is masculine and aromatic, yet clean.
Top notes: Grapefruit, Lemon, Pink Pepper, Mint, Nutmeg
Middle Notes: Jasmine, Ginger, Cedarwood, Vetiver
Base notes: Frankincense, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Labdanum
2. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
If you are hankering after the smell of the sea, sun, salt and citrus, then Light Blue is the Spring fragrance for you.
It has a light apple and ocean smell which will have you longing for those outdoor days on the beach and in the garden.
It is a light, “soft-spoken” fragrance and it is non-lingering, so you won’t offend your co-workers or overpower your significant other.
Top Notes; Sicilian Mandarin, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Juniper, Granny Smith Apple
Middle Notes: Brazilian Rosewood, Rosemary, Pepper
Base Notes: Musk Oakmoss
3. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
No list would be complete without a Tom Ford fragrance. The former designer at Gucci has a stunning portfolio of almost 100 phenomenally successful fragrances for just about every taste.
“I think fragrance might be more important than clothes,” he once told an interviewer.
Neroli is an essential oil distilled from the flowers of the Seville orange and Neroli Portofino has a fresh, clean, sweet, orangey fragrance.
Think cool breezes, lounging on the beach in the Italian Riviera and you’ll have it. It is pricey but worth it.
Top Notes: Tunisian Neroli, Bergamot, lemon, Mandarin, Lavender, Myrtle, Rosemary, Bitter Orange
Middle Notes: African Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Neroli, Pittosporum
Base Notes: Amber, Ambrette Seed, Angelica
4. Versace Man Eau Fraîche
The name says it all. Eau Fraîche is French for “fresh water” – and it is generally categorized in the “woody aquatic” fragrance family.
It is light, refreshing but not overly long-lasting, so you’ll have to apply it often to maintain the scent on your skin. Perfect for the weekend, after your workout shower or after a long hike outdoors.
Top Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Rosewood, Carambola (Star Fruit)
Middle Notes: Green Apple, Calone, Tarragon, Pepper
Base Notes: Melon, Ambroxan (musky, woody, yet soft fragrance), Cedarwood
5. Hermès Terre d’Hermès
Close your eyes. Now think of an orange grove in Tuscany, the musky smell of the earth and that distinctive aroma of ozone as a big rainstorm gets ready to roll in.
That’s what Hermes Terre d’Hermès smells like. It will whisk you away in an instant to thoughts of warmer climes. Sweet, pungent, then gives a peppery zing.
Top Notes: Grapefruit, Orange
Middle Notes: Flint, Pepper, Pink Peppercorn
Base Notes; Geranium leaves, Patchouli, Baies Rose
6. Prada L’Homme Water Splash
What better name for a Spring into Summer fragrance? Introduced last year, Water Splash is a light, slightly powdery smelling cologne that will remind you of a relaxing day outdoors.
It is delicate with a lively, slightly bitter, citrus, refreshing fruitiness.
Top Notes: Neroli, Mandarin Leaf, Cardamom
Middle Notes: Ginger, Iris
Base Notes: Amber, Sandalwood, Cedarwood
7. Maison Margiela Replica Sailing Day
It’s refreshing. It’s invigorating. It will have you thinking about a cool ocean breeze as you set out for a relaxing day of sailing.
Replica Sailing Day is crisp, smooth and clean. It’s a fragrance you can wear into summer. Imagine diving into a clear blue ocean and you’ll understand the feeling.
Top Notes: Aquatic Accord (blend of two or more fragrance notes), Aldehydes Accord, Juniper Pure Jungle Essence
Middle Notes: Coriander, Iris, Rose Super Essence
Base Notes: Red Seaweed, Ambergris Accord, Orcanox (main fragrance component of ambergris)
8. Dior Sauvage
One of the most popular, best-selling (and best-smelling!) colognes around, Dior Sauvage has a masculine, outdoors-y scent.
You’ll think of blue sky, grass, rugged mountains and sun. Distinctive, but not overpowering, Dior Sauvage is perfect for a Spring day as you enjoy the outdoors after a long, cold winter.
Woody, citrus scent with top notes of pepper and bergamot. Apparently, it is a great favorite with women, and not just because of the brand’s Johnny Depp commercial.
Top notes: Pepper, Bergamot
Middle Notes: Geranium, Lavender, Patchouli, Pink Pepper, Sichuan Pepper, Elemi, Vetiver
Base notes: Ambroxan (Ambergris), Cedar, Labdanum
9. Giorgio Armani – Armani Code
Citrus, powdery, fresh yet masculine. Armani Code is elegant, powerful and understated, like a true gentleman.
This cologne is in the Spicy Oriental Amber family and its first impression is of a deep citrus burst of sweet bergamot and lemon followed by floral olive, vanilla and spicy anise with a distinctly powdery scent.
Its base notes will have you thinking of rich leather and earthy honey. Great for a Spring night out on the town, as it is not too overpowering.
Top Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Black Pepper
Middle Notes: Olive Flower, Star Anise, Vanilla
Base Notes: Guiac Wood, Tonka Bean, Amber, Labdanum
10. Creed Aventus Cologne
Finally, we don’t think our list would be complete without Creed Aventus.
Yes, it’s expensive, but we just had to include it. Yes, its launch was overhyped and yes there are plenty of knock offs, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, isn’t it?
Creed is one of the oldest fragrance houses around; it was founded in 1760 and passed down from father to son and their fragrances are mostly mixed and made by hand, carrying on in the strictest family tradition.
Aventus has a sweet, fruity blast which lowers into a woodsy, masculine, long-lasting fragrance.
Sophisticated and contemporary, you can wear this any time of the year, but Spring is a good time to start. We think it deserves a mention because, well, it just smells so darn good.
Top notes: Blackcurrant, Bergamot, French Apple, Pineapple
Middle Notes: Rose, Dry Birch, Moroccan Jasmine, Patchouli
Base Notes: Musk, Oakmoss, Ambergris, Vanilla
There you have it. 10 of the best smelling colognes for men this Spring with notes on what to expect from each one.
We think you’re sure to find something to wake up your senses and put a spring in your step.
So go ahead, give yourself some sunshine.