Smells Like Summer: Our Favorite New Scents of the Season

by Andrew Villagomez

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday August 4, 2021
Originally published on July 22, 2021

Curated by Andrew Villagomez. Words by Matthew Wexler.

Are you tired of smelling like hand sanitizer? New summer scents have emerged just in time for your next socially responsible social gathering. Remember, a little goes a long way even if you're six feet apart. And imagine their surprise when your special someone snuggles in a bit closer. Here are EDGE's top picks for the best summer fragrances of 2021.

Montblanc Explorer Ultra Blue, $98

Released this May, Montblanc describes its latest Eau da parfum as "full of adventure and freedom, revealing refined masculinity, existence and charisma by narrating a journey around the world." A vicarious journey sounds nice if you're feeling more comfortable at home these days. Marine notes with touches of citrus and wood are completed with a subtle hint of bergamot. The bottle is hand-assembled in the Maison's Pelleteria in Florence and features the Montblanc emblem on a bold blue sheath.

Tommy Bahama Maritime Triumph, $82

Best paired with your favorite floral shirt, Maritime Triumph lives up to its name with hints of mandarin, cedar leaf and saffron for a sun-kissed scent that you can only grab while it lasts. The limited-edition fragrance is made in the U.S.A.

BOSS Bottled United Eau de Parfum, $97

Hugo Boss looked to the soccer field, describing its latest scent as "the olfactive encapsulation of an inner-city football pitch, combining the freshness of the outdoors with urban warmth." The unusual use of wild buchu plant notes provides a framework for spearmint and warm, woody notes.

Penhaligon's Babylon, $258

If you're looking ahead to cooler weather, consider the latest scent from this legendary British fragrance company, dating back to 1870. No must here, though. Instead, Babylon promises warm vanilla, cedar and saffron.

Lacoste L.12.12 Blanc Eau de Parfum for Him, $91

The ultimate summer question: Do you prefer the beach or lake? If your answer is the latter, you'll align with the "confident and agile masculinity" of Lacoste's latest scent, which promises zesty finger lime, eucalyptus, and those familiar in-the-woods notes of sappy pine and cedarwood. Just don't forget to watch out for bears.

Yves Saint Laurent Y Le Parfum, $150

Suppose you're familiar with the Y signature scent. In that case, this new interpretation will be just enough of a departure to spark interest in those leaning in a bit closer to get a whiff of geranium and cedarwood. The iconic bottle also gets a makeover in black lacquer for a statement-making display.

Gucci The Alchemist's Garden Eau de Parfum 1921, $330

Celebrating Gucci's centennial, the new scent puts the neroli flower front and center along with a nod to the fashion house's Italian roots with the Limone cedrato fruit from Florence. Gucci chose master perfumer Alberto Morillas to create customizable pieces that can be used together to create your own unique personalized fragrance combination, suggesting that the scent "transcends gender and seasonality."

Ralph Lauren Polo Cologne Intense, $70

Some might ask, "Does Polo cologne need to be more intense?" Not subtle to begin with, the cologne is known for its "I'm here" attitude. And now it's, "I'm heeeeeere!" Signature patchouli and vetiver tones now welcome grapefruit and sage to the party.

Ermenegildo Zegna Essenze Javanese Patchouli, $250

Inspired by the Indonesian island of Java, Zegna's latest scent combines bergamot with punchy pink pepper and basil leaf to encapsulate the nuances of this gorgeous locale. Cedarwood and moss combine to marry land and sea — one spritz, and you'll feel like you've traveled 10,000 miles (as the crow flies from New York City to Java).

Calvin Klein ETERNITY Summer for Men, $85

Price: $85

We've loved Eternity since its 1988 release (along with Billy Ocean, Phil Collins and Taylor Dane). This class reimagining relies on Italian bergamot oil with a kiss of coconut water and a base of sustainably harvested Australian sandalwood. It goes well with a pair of Calvin's tighty whities, most recently modeled by Megan Thee Stallion and Jacob Elordi.

Louis Vuitton Imagination, $265

It may have a more subtle flair than Todrick Hall's custom-made Louis Vuitton bedroom, but a generous dose of Ambrox, a terpene known as the fragrance industry's white gold, expresses what the brand describes as "a sensual and contemporary masculine elegance." Citrus and black tea (extracted with CO2) round out the new release for a complex and luxurious scent any time of year.

Andrew Villagomez is a journalist and photographer covering travel, men's fashion, grooming and other lifestyle topics. His work has appeared in print and online publications including Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Essential Homme, Delta Sky Magazine, Out, Details, Thrillist and more. He is also runs his own style and travel blog, Vee Travels. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.