My signature drink is a whiskey sour. Yes, it’s slightly embarrassing. No, I’m not going to let society convince me to start drinking something with more cool cache, like a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, anytime soon. I like whiskey sours. They taste good. End of story.
Why am I telling you this? Because, just like I believe every grown adult should have a go-to cocktail (even if that’s a mocktail!) in their ordering arsenal, I also feel strongly that a key signifier of adulthood lies in determining one’s signature scent. After all, how else will the universe karmically punish your exes when they smell it on a new paramour?!
Now, that doesn’t mean you have to wear one scent, all the time, for the rest of your life. How boring would that be? You might have a signature “fancy” cologne that you only spritz on for special occasions, and you might switch things up depending on the season.
Summer is a great time to try something new in your signature scent quest. To get you started, Team SG rounded up six of our favorites to get the (perfume) ball rolling.
This fragrance smells like if someone took the “Ahhhhh!” sound you let out after getting a fresh haircut and put it in a bottle. A clean, fresh scent, At The Barber’s is one of those “good for a guy who doesn’t really like wearing cologne” colognes because it suggests a recent wet shave more than it does a proper fragrance. While it’s light enough to wear any time of year, summer seems an especially good time to take it for a spin.
Literally inspired by “a mindful walk amongst the serene majesty of a Redwood forest,” this unisex scent is earthy and grounded without making you smell like you just got off your shift at the “pay what you wish” yoga co-op in town.
To really get you in the perfumer’s headspace, the DTC fragrance company also features a mood board and Spotify playlist on every product page. After smelling Sandara’s layered, complex scent, you won’t be surprised to learn its accompanying soundtrack is stacked with moody artists like Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, and Death Cab for Cutie.
Phlur is also a certified B-corp, if you’re into that kind of thing (that “thing” being, supporting companies that are publicly committed to meeting tough standards for social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency).
This is a bummer, but it looks like one of SG HQ’s favorite fragrance brands, Commodity, is going out of business. But what’s bad for their investors is good for you. Snag a bottle of their rich and indulgent Tonka on sale from Sephora for less than a hundred bucks.
Oh, and if you like it, buy in bulk so you’re stocked up for next summer, too.
If you’re particularly into sustainability, then check out L.A.-based cool kid fragrance brand Dedcool. Driven by the belief that “clean beauty can be cool beauty,” the company has worked to create complex, sophisticated scent profiles for conscious consumers. With hints of sandalwood, Ivy Blanc is their lightest fragrance, though spicy notes of incense and pink peppercorn ground the scent in a sexy way.
Why are guys so afraid of floral scents? Pretty much every men’s fragrance contains floral notes; they just don’t put them in the name. Le Labo’s (yes, unisex) Rose 31 isn’t afraid to flout tradition, and you shouldn’t be either. So yes, while the fragrance boasts notes of the centifolia rose, it’s also backed up by warm, spicy, and woodsy notes of vetiver, musk, and amber. A rose by any other name, right guys?
Bottom line? All fragrances are unisex if you believe they are. So if you find something you like in the women’s aisle, who cares! Trust me, you can wear it and you will smell very handsome and masculine, you manly man you!
Did you think we would make it through a list without name checking a CBD-infused product? As if!
Heretic has established a loyal cult following (the ladies of Goop are fans) for doing things the old way, with a collection of complex fragrances composed entirely of naturally derived materials. Each 50ml bottle of Dirty Grass contains 500mg of full spectrum, hemp-derived CBD oil, which gives the fragrance its deep green, earthy character. And as far as we can tell, it’s the only fragrance you have to be 21 years or older to buy, which means you’ll not only smell great, you’ll feel like a goddamn adult wearing it.
My work here is done. Somebody get me a whiskey sour.