Want to smell good this season? Of course you do. Who, bar bona fide sociopaths and hardcore body odour fetishists, wouldn’t? Sadly, basic hygiene – while a good start – only goes so far in the heated battle against summer funk. To ensure you always smell fresh, you’ll need an eau de something at your disposal.
That’s why we’ve rounded up the best new scents to sniff out this season. From citrus spritzes to floral orientals, our list means you can spend less time wandering around department stores waggling scent strips, and more time soaking up the sun. (And smelling good while you’re at it, natch.)
Prada Luna Rossa Black EDP
As befits the latest in a line of scents inspired by a sailboat racing syndicate – Prada’s Luna Rossa Challenge – Luna Rossa Black is a fragrance intended for explorers. At once energising and warmly aromatic, it opens with bergamot and angelica, but quickly gives way to coumarin, patchouli and a base of woody amber.
Far from meat-and-two-veg straightforward (when is Prada ever?), Black is a big scent that, in contrast to its sporty, marine feel, is best worn at dinner than sailing downwind. It’s also the first eau du parfum in the Luna Rossa series, so expect plenty of staying power.
Hollister Festival Vibes EDP
Normally the last thing we’d suggest you do with anything Hollister branded is, you know, actually buy it. But Festival Vibes, the brand’s new regrettably titled but surprisingly good fragrance marks a new high for the label beloved of frat boys – not least because it features cannabis.
Okay, not really. It’s cannabis accord, not legit cannabis, so no, you can’t smoke it (please, please don’t try that) and no, it won’t get you even remotely stoned. It will, however, make you smell good, with a pleasing mix of ozone, ginger and ambergris.
Hermès Eau De Citron Noir EDC
Hermès’ latest unisex scent bills itself as the perfect ‘midday-to-midnight’ cologne. And while that’s technically true – Eau de Citron Noir’s fusion of zingy citrus notes with the depth of black tea makes it light enough for day, smouldering enough for night – its weak concentration means you’ll need to re-apply on the hour, every hour if you’re after all-day coverage.
Despite that, it’s still one of our favourites. Inspired by the smoky sourness of dried lime, or noomi basra (a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine), this warm-weather scent is a refreshingly new take on a classic citrus cologne.
Mr Burberry Indigo EDT
Created in collaboration with renowned nose Francis Kurkdjian, Burberry’s latest flanker in its acclaimed Mr Burberry series is an homage to the British coast – and no, that doesn’t mean it reeks of chips and seaweed.
Mr Burberry Indigo is instead a masterful blend of lemon, rosemary, mint and oakmoss that’s equal parts and fresh and fougère-y. While haters will say it’s predictably commercial, the rest of us will agree it’s a true crowd-pleaser. Plus, its heavy flacon – rich with details inspired by Burberry’s iconic trench coat – comes in surprisingly handy for, er, settling any debate.
Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Absolu EDP
Arguably one of the best men’s fragrances of all time, Giorgio Armani’s Acqua Di Gio line has spawned a fruity new variant this season.
Designed by Alberto Morillas, the perfumer behind the original 1996 Acqua di Gio scent, Absolu blends fruity, woody and marine notes in a slightly sweeter twist on the original’s classically masculine formulation. It’s light too (unlike its forebears Essenza or Profumo), so if you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing spritz you don’t want to commit to all day, look no further.
Don’t be fooled by its appearance, though: while Absolu’s amber colour and sustainably sourced ash wood bottle cap might be giving you retro, moustachioed seventies vibes, the scent itself is more millennial than man of distinction.
Acqua Di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Chinotto Di Liguria EDT
Chinotto fans, rejoice! Not only can you impress people with your knowledge of what that obscure brown flavour of San Pellegrino is, but now you can also smell like your favourite Italianate soft drink.
Okay, so there’s a little more to Acqua di Parma’s latest luxury fragrance than that. As well as top notes of mandarin orange and chinotto – which, for those of you who are still wondering what the hell we’re going on about, is the fruit of the myrtle-leaved orange tree commonly found in the Mediterranean – Chinotto di Liguria packs a nostril-flaring punch of jasmine, cardamom and musk.
As a unisex chypre, it’s definitely not your office fragrance, but sprayed lightly while holidaying or for a formal event, it’s a real charmer.
Guerlain L’Homme Idéal L’Intense EDP
Not one for wallflowers, Guerlain’s L’Homme Idéal L’Intense is the fragrance equivalent of a staggeringly wealthy sheikh reclining on a bed of silk, smoking shisha. Yup, we’re talking fully luxed up.
Thick with Bulgarian rose, this rich gourmand-like scent also features hints of almond, vanilla and fiery chilli pepper over a base of leather and sandalwood. At best it’s a moreish confection that proudly stands apart from most men’s fragrances; to some, though it will smell a bit like your gran’s Sunday Best. A solid bet for anyone who doesn’t want to smell like everyone else, we’d advise you try before you buy this one.
Van Cleef & Arpels Néroli Amara EDP
Arguably better known for its red-carpet jewellery than its scents, Parisian label Van Cleef & Arpels steals the show this season with a unisex neroli fragrance that bottles the best of both worlds.
Opening with citrus notes of Italian lemon, bergamot and mandarin orange, Néroli Amara gradually reveals a perfectly fine-tuned balance of the sweetness of traditionally feminine orange blossom and the subtly spicy woodsiness of black pepper and cyprus, both of which are more commonly found in scents for men.
It is hands down one of the best fragrances you can buy this season. And do buy two: there is no chance your significant other isn’t going to try to surreptitiously spritz this one.
Armani Code A-list EDT
Fragrances that boast about how wealthy they smell are usually more likely to conjure images of an over-perfumed gents room at a club that’s anything but VIP. This one bucks the trend.
A new limited-edition offspring of the celebrated Armani Code, it takes its father’s musky tones of guaiac wood and distils them further, cutting through the smokiness with a zingy lavandin grosso heart – a lavender plant extract to the fragrantly uninitiated. It’s been billed as a scent that can open doors, so get spritzing and namedropping.
Calvin Klein Eternity Air EDT
What does air smell like? It smells like eternity – cue pout to camera. Okay, we’re going to get over the frilly names and just say Calvin Klein knows how to make a sexy smell we wish the air around us would smell like for, well, eternity. Anyway, this new spray is the flanker to 1989’s Eternity For Men, a light, yet masculine fragrance that works well in summer.
Eternity Air follows the same sort of leafy principles, opening with a fruity juniper berry and mandarin combination before mellowing into lavender and green apple and then a rounding out with woody or mossy patchouli. It’s a sophisticated scent that you’ll want to wear for (damn it) eternity.
Ralph Lauren Polo Ultra Blue EDT
Ralph Lauren Polo Blue is one of the brand’s classic fragrances: a refreshing, seafaring scent with top notes of melon and cucumber.
With this iteration, the preppy stalwart cooks up an even fresher potion, getting rid of the melon (it’s too hard to peel anyway) and introducing lavender, geranium and the sweet, nutty base notes of tonka bean. With a splash of salty mineral accord, you are now ready to fare the seven seas in your super yacht. Sorry Ralph, ultra yacht.