Best Off-The-Beaten-Path Men’s Fragrances for Summer 2018

Set yourself apart from the pack with these awesome lesser-known summer scents.

by The IMBOLDN Editors


You always want to smell good. But sometimes you want to smell, how do we say, different. Smells are great memory triggers because the region of the brain that processes smells is very closely linked to the area that deals with memory and emotion. So we must tread very carefully with summer scents, because the vast majority of mass-produced men’s colognes are common crowd-pleasing summer scents. The last thing that any man wants is to bring back memories of her ex-lover.

In a sea of run-of-the-mill summer fragrances, we’re here to help you set yourself apart from the rest of the pack — so no Davidoff Cool Water or Acqua di Gio on this list. Choose a unique signature scent and be remembered distinctly as the multi-faceted gentleman you are.

Of course, for those not feeling too experimental this season, we didn’t forget honorable mentions: Dior Homme Cologne and Guerlain Homme. These are basically not as “off-the-beaten-path” as those on this list, but are still arguably uncommon and excellent, universally likable scents.

Byredo Pulp

$140 Buy Now

We’re starting with a bang. As the name suggests, Pulp is a fruit bomb. Each fruit note, including fig, apple, blackcurrant, and bergamot, is ripe, rich, juicy, and thick. Long lasting and bright all the way through, the fruity fireworks of Pulp simply won’t stop. Best for those casual, playful days. Could it be too “happy” for some? Maybe. Try before you buy to see if you can handle the happiness.

Diptyque Eau des Sens

$135 Buy Now

Eau des Sens starts green — that’s the leaves of the orange tree. Then floral, as the orange blossom comes into play. Of course, you get the actual orange as well. In fact, this is the entire orange tree, including the wood bark and the soil beneath, from the earthy patchouli. Upon hearing “orange blossom,” you might think feminine, but the masculine patchouli and angelica actually work to keep it unisex. Soft-spoken but elegant, Eau des Sens is a clean and fresh everyday scent perfect for both work and play — a characteristic of a good signature scent. This floral citrus scent is also very long lasting, unlike many citrus-based scents, which tend to fade away quickly.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Petit Matin

$215+ Buy Now

Meaning “early morning,” Petit Matin could be just another fresh, clean scent in a sea of clean scents out there. Like most mornings, when you’re in a hurry, you forget to appreciate the small things. But if you stop for a moment and pay attention, you realize how beautifully the flowers open up, how delightfully the birds sing, how magnificently the sun shines. That kind of early morning is Petit Matin. This citrusy musk scent also utilizes orange blossom like the Diptyque Eau des Sens, but this one isn’t feminine either. The lavender (with some help from hawthorn and ambroxan) makes it masculine and more like a traditional men’s cologne. Exquisite but ultimately simple, Petit Matin is perfect for everyday wear — another scent worthy of signature scent status.

Armani Privé Figuier Eden

$175 Buy Now

If the fig in Byredo Pulp waged playful war in a fruity food fight, Figuier Eden resembles peace, as a serene fig tree in paradise. It opens with uplifting bergamot, mandarin orange, and pink pepper that pave the way for the prominent fig, which, in combination with mandarin, exhibits a sweet quality, but the bitter yet soothing grass and tea notes prevent it from becoming too sweet. Inspired by the Mediterranean gardens, this well rounded and perfectly balanced fresh scent can be masculine, comforting, or even romantic at times.

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