men's perfume
There's no definitive rulebook to picking out a masculine scent, but here are some foolproof options for yourself or a loved one in your life. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Summer scents vastly differ from the dark, moody notes of a winter collection. They're much brighter, lighter and draw on refreshing imagery, reminding the wearer of cerulean skies and everything else associated with them.

Men's perfumes, however, have been traditionally heavier on the nose, so is an airy masculine scent possible? A veteran in the world of perfumery speaks to Gulf News on how to go about selecting the perfect summer scent for men.

What scents should men wear in the summer?

Ghassan Hajjaj has three decades of expertise under his belt, and the Dubai-based perfumier believes there's no rulebook to what's considered a scent for men or women.

"The trend now is moving towards unisex fragrances - you can wear any perfume you like. But, in the world of men's perfumery, usually, woody and leather fragrances are reserved for masculine scents," explained Hajjaj.

If the leading olfactory families in feminine scents are chypre and floral, most men's perfumes feature the fougere family. "Composed of bergamot, lavender, rose and geranium, the fougere fragrance family is often used as a masculine base," he added.

Dark, woody, leather accords will seldom age well in hot weather. Switch to signature summer notes for a fresher, lighter scent profile. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Perfumes with heavy oud and leathery notes are best reserved for cooler months. Instead, opt for these trending lightweight accords in the summer, according to our expert:

  • Aquatic notes: These are a blend of ingredients that make up the scent of water or the sea. A popular synthetic note used is calone, which has fresh, marine accords.
  • Citrus notes: Citrus scents can be derived from nature, one of which, is the frequented bergamot note. Hajjaj calls it the most refined citrus smell for the soft touch of floral in the blend, akin to earl grey tea leaves.
  • Tea notes: One of the more interesting notes you can go for is tea. It lends a woody or a green profile to the perfume, depending on the leaves used.
  • Woody notes: Since warm woody scents are less desirable in the heat, Hajjaj recommends dry wood notes found in cedarwood and vetiver.

We've based our selection of perfumes on these summer notes. Hajjaj also shares some tips to help your perfume last longer throughout the day. "Spray the perfume directly on your skin - the heat of our body allows the scent to develop longer, and it'll smell different from skin to skin.

"Another trick is to spray perfume onto well-moisturised skin. I also find musk oil a base that makes the perfume stay. White musk, particularly, can give the sensation of cleanliness in the summer," he advised.

Our list, featuring Hajjaj's picks, is a delightful mixture of unisex and masculine scents that will appeal to all tastes, so there's something for everyone in here.

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1. Best Overall: Prada Luna Rossa Ocean 

Inspired by an Italian racing boat, the Prada Luna Rossa fragrances are collectively described as fresh and invigorating. Its Ocean eau de toilette is an aquatic spin on the fougere family of fragrances. There's bergamot in the top notes, which leads to creamy iris and fresh lavender. The scent smolders down to Haitian vetiver, musk and patchouli. Reviewers pin it down as a clean-smelling perfume for the summer that's not too overpowering but still lasts throughout the day.

2. Best Classic Fragrance: Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio 

Hajjaj calls Acqua Di Gio a long-runner in the industry, adding that the perfume has repeatedly remained in the top five rankings of men's fragrances worldwide. In this bottle, Giorgio Armani offers a crisp aquatic scent reminiscent of the beach. It opens with an array of citrus notes, from orange and lime to bergamot and lemon. Heart notes feature ocean-inspired calone, lavender, peach and even coriander. It's all supported by a base that's a blend of cedar, amber and oak moss. Much like the Luna Rossa Ocean, the Acqua Di Gio isn't overwhelming, but rather refreshing and clean.

3. Best Beach Wear: Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk 

Though usually marketed to women, Maison Margiela's Replica Beach Walk is a universally relatable scent. As the name suggests, it replicates the fragrance unique to a beach. Hajjaj compares hints of it to tanning creams that contain coconut milk, a prominent heart note of the perfume. Other citrus and creamy notes come from bergamot, lemon, ylang-ylang, white musk and cedarwood. Reviewers say it's an absolute must-have for the summer. Besides Beach Walk, shoppers can also find sister fragrances in the Replica line, such as the unisex scent Sailing Day.

4. Best Dark Scent: Yves Saint Laurent Y Le Parfum

If you prefer a bold summer scent, check out YSL's Y Le Parfum. According to Hajjaj, the mix of lavender and cedarwood lends the perfume a definite summer profile. It's best described as light and dark fougere fragrances, where you'll find familiar notes of geranium and sage. Its opening fruity accords come from apple and grapefruit, instead of bergamot.

5. Best Tea Fragrance: Giorgio Armani Prive The Yulong 

From Giorgio Armani's premium range Prive, comes The Yulong EDT. It's an unexpected summer scent for those looking for a shock factor. The composition is based on the genius contrast between black and green tea extracts, handpicked from the mountains in China's Yunnan province. Green tea lends a vibrant citrus freshness, while black tea offers a woody note. Even the lime green shade of the fragrance reflects this tea infusion.

Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh50.46 for 12 months with select banks.

6. Best Youthful Fragrance: Valentino Uomo Born In Roma Yellow Dream

Valentino's Born in Roma is a fun, liberating fragrance range that breaks away from expectations and celebrates loud personalities. Hajjaj recommends the fruity Yellow Dream edition for its unique gingerbread accord in the heart notes. Topped with tangerine and pineapple, and ending in a base of vanilla absolute and cedar, this bottle of EDT smells of daring adventures under the sun.

7. Best Citrus Scent: Tom Ford Neroli Portofino 

If you’re looking for a vibrant, fresh fragrance for summer, look no further than Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino. The perfume opens with citrusy top notes of bergamot, mandarin orange, lemon, bitter orange, lavender, rosemary and myrtle. They lead to a heart of African orange flower, neroli and jasmine, and finish with base notes of amber, Angelica and musk mallow. The overall effect is refreshing and clean, like a splash of fragrant water. Reviewers say it’s long lasting, but many complain about the high price tag.

Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh68.08 for 12 months with select banks.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.