Summer 2020 is certainly going to be very different to our normal summers: travel restrictions, delays, face masks, quarantine, ‘air bridges’ and fewer foreign holidays. But if your plans have changed and you’re staying in the UK this year there’s still something that can lift the mood, brighten your day and transport you to sunnier climes - your fragrance.
Smell is hugely evocative and there’s a strong link between scent and memory; re-minding you of a certain place, person or time. So even if you’re not hitting the beach this year, at least your fragrance can take you on a journey to your favourite summer destination.
Men's Summer Fragrances 2020
1. Tom Ford - Grey Vetiver
A classic from designer Tom Ford, Grey Vetiver opens with a citrus notes, so is perfect for the warmer months. As it dries the complex and characterful vetiver note re-veals itself. This is elegance in a bottle.
2. Gallivant - London
A summer hit from UK indie perfume house Gallivant. All their fragrances are named after cities and London was inspired by The Pet Shop Boys track 'West End Girls.' This is a fragrance of opposites - florals working in harmony with more traditionally masculine woodiness and leather. It's like finding a beautiful garden hidden in the heart of Soho.
3. Shay & Blue - Sicilian Limes
A bold unisex scent, Sicilian Limes is a zesty, fruity punch. A delicious summertime blend of limes, rock salt, rosemary, moss and cedar wood. (Almost) good enough to serve up in a cocktail glassu2026but even better on the skin.
4. Acqua Di Parma - Colonia Essenza
Nothing says sunshine quite like Italy's Acqua Di Parma brand. They are famous for clean, classy, 'barber shop' fragrances. This one takes the classic formula and modernises it. Grapefruit and mandarin are added to the woody, patchouli base. It's an instant escape to the Italian Riviera.
5. Floris - Neroli Voyage
Neroli is an oil extracted from the bitter orange tree and is a staple of many fine summer fragrances. Here, the traditional Jermyn Street brand Floris voyages to the Ligurian coastline of France & Italy. The citrus notes of the neroli and lemon are complemented by marine notes for more of a 'sea breeze.' The depth comes from oak wood and the warmth of amber and musk.
6. Zara - Vetiver Pamplemousse
Zara isn't well-known for fine fragrance, but this is a real step up. The chain has collaborated with the legendary Jo Malone CBE to create a range of eight high-quality, affordable scents. The Vetiver Pamplemousse is a heady combination of grapefruit, mandarin and vetiver. It is far better than it has any right to be at the price point and it's well worth buying all of them.
7. Thomas Clipper - Coast
Thomas Clipper is a young, innovative male grooming and shaving brand that launched a fragrance range in 2017. This is the pick of the bunch that has salty, marine notes blended with cardamom and orange. As it mellows on the skin it reveals more musky, woody accords. Coast can be found in Fortnum & Mason in London as well as via the Thomas Clipper website.
8. Tom Daxon - Laconia
Laconia is named after a region in the Greek Peloponnese and this fragrance just smells like holidays. The opening citrus notes settle to reveal mint and violet leaf and then vetiver and cardamom in the dry down stage. A fresher, more invigorating scent is hard to imagine.
9. Hermes - Terre Du2019Hermes
Terre D'Hermes lunched over a decade ago and is still a best-seller today. It works well for summer because of the orange and lemon top notes, but it gets more interesting and 'earthy' as it develops on the skin. Over time the oak moss and wood elements start to emerge and these bring depth and complexity to the fragrance. This is a smash hit for a good reason - it smells great.
10. Mont Blanc - Explorer
Mont Blanc might be better known for its pens and watches, but the brand is a major force in fragrance too. Explorer is the pick of the male range and was launched in 2019. It's a fresh, green, aromatic scent that opens with bergamot and sage and has heart notes of leather, vetiver and sandalwood. Explorer is an unconventional scent, combining what could be seen to be conflicting notes. However, the way it blends together is a triumph and is a scent journey all of its own.
11. Acqua Dos Azores - Azul
Acqua Dos Azores are a Portugese brand and this is a fragrance that will transport you to islands of The Azores, to wooden sailing ships, black volcanic rocks and the vast ocean. It's based on more of a marine, ozonic scent than some of the traditional citrus blends. Azul is only available in one UK perfumery and online at present, so this one will set you apart from the crowd.
Top tips for applying your fragrance
Spritz on your pulse points - the neck, wrists, ears, inside of elbows and the back of the knees.
Do not rub your wrists together when you apply fragrance, as this dulls the top notes and causes the scent to blend with your natural oils quicker than it should.
Don’t forget your collar bone. This ensures the wearer experiences the scent as well, so that it’s not just projecting outwards.
Apply a small amount to the top of the ears, rather than the lobes. It’s a more oily surface and so holds the fragrance better.
Adding a small amount of (neutral-smelling) moisturiser before applying fragrance helps the scent to last longer.