You change your tires from season to season — so why not your fragrance?
Those heavy scents that announce you at the door are great for winter, but they don’t always mix well with humidity, sunshine and the bouquet of worldly smells that tend to issue forth because of them. You want something lighter, with a little bit of citrus but enough staying power that you won’t sweat it out before the witching hour.
Here, our choices for summer’s best scents, a mix of new releases and classics in order of preference. Plus, exactly when and where to wear each of them.
For the Lakehouse: Byredo Super Cedar
Possibly the zenith of woodsy fragrances — if you don’t believe us, just ask the folks at high-end perfumer Byredo, who describe this scent as “evocative of log cabins and Scandinavian furniture.”
Where to wear it: Atop a canoe you carved yourself, on a mountain lake or as you sit back, stroke your beard and watch the ducks at play.
For the Yacht Club: Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Aqua
This is officially a unisex scent — a lighter, brighter version of Ford’s non-aqua original — but there are still enough deep notes in the mix (thanks to a woody amber and jasmine) to keep it masculine.
Where to wear it: Why mess with Ford’s vision? Try the Hotel Splendido on the Italian Riviera.
For the Pool Party: Le Labo Oud 37
One fan called this a “resinous and delicious masterpiece.” It’s deep, it’s complicated, it’s earthy, it’s messy and it’s the headiest of heady combos, with Virginia cedar, agarwood (the titular oud), ambergris and more.
Where to wear it: Strolling Yves Saint Laurent’s Majorelle garden in Marrakech.
For the Power Lunch: Bleu de Chanel
The product of famed “nose” Jacques Polge, this Chanel men’s fragrance is perfect for summer: light, uncomplicated, a mix of citrus notes (like grapefruit) and deeper stuff (nutmeg, jasmine, ginger).
Where to wear it: At the meeting with the bankers whose headquarters were designed by Zaha Hadid.
For Your Daily Wanderings: Tacit
Aesop’s newish fragrance is just as rich and peculiar as their body and face products, and we can’t get enough of it. This one’s dominant smell is basil. Out there? Yes — but the result is interesting and complicated, tonally the exact opposite of the Chanel above.
Where to wear it: Everywhere. Also, Marin County farmers’ markets after a morning in the water.