The best spring colognes simply put me in a good mood. Every year, I wear winter finds a way to feel longer, colder, and darker than the previous year. Which also means that each spring, when there’s some green on the trees, some bees on the buds, and some damn sun in the sky, my elation reaches new heights.
Besides swapping out your wardrobe, I know no better way to complement the mood than to pair it with a spring scent. The right accord can put a little extra pep in your step, even if it’s a chilly groundhog-seeing-its-shadow type of year. Those green, floral, and citrus notes wake up something in you, stimulating optimism and energy. Those aren’t the only notes that can stimulate an olfactive spring awakening, though: The season celebrates lighter scents above all, but you’ll find plenty of ambrous, musky, and woody aromas in the best spring colognes.
So have a look at my favorite spring scents of this season—all of which are new in 2021 and 2022. Some of them are as bright as the summer sun, while others are more transitional, like the snow melting as those first sprouts emerge. A few could be candidates for your new signature scent, while others are more of a change of pace. (For starters: consider having a floral fragrance on standby, to embrace a softer side of those first warm weekends.)
Cartier “Déclaration Haute Fraîcheur”
A spin on the beloved Cartier Déclaration, this time with more citrus and spicy cardamom. It’s a forest in bloom, with green and cedar notes helping open and anchor one of this season’s freshest launches.
Régime des Fleurs “Rock River Melody”
“A muddy ride on horseback in sparkling green Fontainebleau forest,” according to Régime des Fleurs. You get sap, you get resin, you get patchouli, you get cedar, you get ivy—it’s like walking straight from a cold day into an overgrown greenhouse, as if you’re emerging from the longest of winter hibernations.
Ermenegildo Zegna “XXX Verdigris”
You’d think the metallic, icy, and spicy notes in XXX Verdigris would signal a pure wintry scent. But a through-line of green and floral elements makes it an ideal shoulder-season spritz.
This indie darling fell from the skies and onto a bed of roses. It puts a welcome spin on spring with a vanilla-passion-fruit-pink-pepper melange, but more than anything this is a green-floral spritz. I reckon it will attract more masculine-identifying wearers than you might expect from just reading the notes.
Peau is like a steady trailing off of winter—a lingering, ambrous musk that settles on skin like dew. You might swap this out for summer, but it’ll be back in rotation from September to May.
Oribe “Valley of Flowers”
I generally think of Oribe as being a hardcore hair-care brand, so I was somewhat surprised to find their trio of fragrances to be positively delicious. (Though it makes sense given how good the rest of the line is.) I think that men wearing Valley of Flowers will make a positive and less-than-predictable impression on people, too. It is as stimulating and rejuvenating as a walk through a garden, with a woody, musky base that lingers for hours after the floral notes dissipate.
Royalty by Maluma “Jade”
Speaking of surprise: Who knew that celebrity scents could be good now? Enter Maluma’s quartet of men’s and women’s scents, with the springy Jade landing squarely in unisex-y territory. It’s got all the trappings of a terrific spring scent for any and no gender: Italian citrus up top, a jasmine and tuberose heart, and a patchouli base (with a dash of cocoa, no less).