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Make a statement with the best summer scents

Which cologne is best for summer?


Cologne is an easy way to smell fantastic throughout the day. Still, different scents are better for different times of the year. Colder seasons tend to be better for warm, heavy scents like musk and cedar, whereas summer colognes have lighter scents. If you’re looking for a great summer scent, it’s important to consider which scents are best for the season.

What is cologne?

The term cologne typically describes fragrances marketed toward men. All colognes and perfumes are a mixture of alcohol or other carriers and fragrant oils that give them their smell. Fragrances are divided into numerous categories depending on their aromatic oil content.

  • Parfum: These contain 20%-40% aromatic oils.
  • Eau de parfum: These contain 15%-20% aromatic oils.
  • Eau de toilette: These contain 10%-15% aromatic oils.
  • Eau de cologne: These contain 3%-8% aromatic oils.

What makes a cologne a summer cologne?

Scents designed for use in winter may overwhelm people when used during hotter months. Summertime is associated with light aromas, such as floral, herbal or citrus. Summer scents tend to reflect the outdoors, beach scents and a sense of adventure.

Additionally, summer colognes are designed to stay on your skin longer in hot weather. Cologne evaporates in response to your body heat, and hotter weather will lead to certain scents fading faster than others.

What to consider before buying cologne

Fragrance profiles

  • Citrus: Many colognes feature citrus oils, such as orange, grapefruit, lemon and mandarin. Citrus fragrances have a fresh scent that isn’t overwhelming, making them ideal for summer.
  • Water: Many water-themed oils are synthetic and are reminiscent of an ocean breeze. Water-themed colognes are light and fit the summer theme.
  • Floral: Floral scents often incorporate rose, gardenia, jasmine and other flowers. Floral aromas are usually more common in perfume than cologne, but they also make an excellent addition to summer colognes.

Your style

Although a specific type of scent works best for warmer months, don’t abandon your style. A floral-scented cologne will likely match your style better than citrus tones if you often wear floral prints. On the other hand, water-themed oils will likely add to your style if you have a clean aesthetic.


Many summer colognes feature natural ingredients. Still, if you don’t want to spend too much, natural ingredients may not be ideal. Some brands grow their own flowers, ensuring they retain the floral quality. However, some fragrance profiles are almost guaranteed to feature synthetic ingredients, such as those with water-themed scents.

Summer cologne FAQ

Where do you apply cologne?

A. Applying cologne directly to your chest is ideal because it is a pulse point that isn’t overwhelming since your shirt covers it. You can also apply cologne to your wrists, neck or inner elbows, although you shouldn’t spritz it on too many spots at once.

How long does cologne last?

A. Expiration dates can vary, but most last three to five years.

How many sprays of cologne should I use?

A. This depends on your preference, although most people agree you shouldn’t use more than three sprays.

Best summer colognes

Top floral summer colognes

Gucci Guilty Parfum Pour Homme

What you need to know: This Gucci cologne features a floral scent profile that is stronger than most but not overwhelming.

What you’ll love: It has an attractive amber scent that lasts throughout the day. One spray goes pretty far, so you don’t have to apply very much.

What you should consider: It is relatively expensive.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty, Macy’s and Sephora

Jo Malone London Wild Bluebell Cologne

What you need to know: This features hints of bluebell, persimmon and lily of the valley.

What you’ll love: It is a very light floral scent that many men and women love. This fragrance is ideal for daytime or nighttime use.

What you should consider: The scent doesn’t last as long as other colognes.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s 

Top water-themed summer colognes

Armani Acqua Di Gio Eau De Toilette

What you need to know: This features a mix of marine and citrus scents that smell great together.

What you’ll love: Many agree this is one of the best-smelling colognes. The smell isn’t overwhelming but lasts throughout the day.

What you should consider: Although the scent lasts, some felt it wasn’t strong enough.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty and Macy’s

Prada Luna Rossa Ocean Eau De Toilette

What you need to know: This strong fragrance features numerous herbs and an ocean-themed style.

What you’ll love: You only need one spray for the scent to last throughout the day. Many describe it as clean and fresh.

What you should consider: Some might find the smell overpowering.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty, Sephora and Macy’s 

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme Eau De Toilette Spray

What you need to know: This features ocean-themed scents with hints of mandarin, juniper and grapefruit.

What you’ll love: This is a fresh, clean-smelling scent. It comes in a velvet box. The smell lasts but it isn't overpowering. It features citrus and floral notes.

What you should consider: Some people didn't like the scent.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Top citrus summer colognes

Dior Sauvage Eau De Parfum

What you need to know: This has a citrus profile with hints of vanilla.

What you’ll love: This lasts through most of the day. You don’t need to use much. The combination of scents smells excellent.

What you should consider: It's pretty expensive.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty and Sephora

Yves Saint Laurent Y Eau De Parfum

What you need to know: This features hints of bergamot, ginger and sage.

What you’ll love: Many people felt they received more compliments when wearing this than with other colognes. The smell lasts a while.

What you should consider: Some felt the smell was overpowering.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty, Sephora and Macy’s

Hugo Boss Hugo Man Eau De Toilette

What you need to know: The scent profile features green apple, grapefruit, basil, sage and more.

What you’ll love: It has woodsy notes that you can smell through the citrus. It smells good but is not overpowering. It is pretty affordable compared to most colognes.

What you should consider: The smell doesn’t last through the entire day.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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