Most guys I know want to streamline their style – searching out clothes that match everything they already own, mastering a morning routine that takes 10 minutes or less from shower to out the door. This desire for efficiency extends to nailing down a signature scent. Some men swap their cologne when the weather changes, but many would prefer to keep only one bottle on the dresser all year round.
Unfortunately, my knowledge of men’s fragrance is pretty limited. Memories of my father’s green glass bottle of Brut gave way to an unfortunately long love affair with Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce in college. Today, I may admire a scent on a man but rarely think to ask the name of what he’s wearing.
So I asked for advice on year-round fragrances from someone whose nose is much more refined than my own.
Barney Bishop runs Fragrant Moments, a men’s scent blog aiming to help men discover “the greater world of fragrances.” I asked for his picks on fragrances that guys can feel confident wearing all four season.
“A good ‘anytime’ cologne should err on the lighter side of the fragrance wheel,” says Bishop. That’s because as the seasons change, our body temperature changes, which in turn affects how the fragrances we wear smell both to ourselves and to others.
In warmer seasons, body temperature rises, intensifying the scent we’re wearing “to the point it jumps off our skin,” Bishop says. That’s why many men (and women!) swap out stronger, musky scents for lighter fragrances during summer.
In the fall and winter, however, we generally don’t sweat as much. This means we can wear bolder scents, like the spicy scents shunned in summer, without fear of overpowering a room.
If you don’t want to change your fragrance routine from one season to the next, Bishop advises you “look for scents in the citrus, floral or aquatic family. These notes are all good for everyday use.”
An added bonus when wearing scents on the lighter side of the fragrance wheel: they’re often more office-friendly, thanks to their subtle notes.
Bishop recommends these scents for year-round use. All are clean and floral, with traditional masculine accents.
• Cologne by Thierry Mugler, $50 for 4 ounces; http://amzn.to/TD0HIR.
• Tam Dao by Diptyqu, $88 for 50 milliliters; http://bit.ly/TD0LIA.
• 06 Amanu by Odi, $125 for 100 milliliters; http://amzn.to/QP4e6n.
• Aventus for Men by Creed, $195 for 4 ounces; http://amzn.to/TtMaoU.
• Fougere Royale by Houbigant, $170 for 3.3 ounces; http://amzn.to/TbOj6w.