For some guys, “fragrance” is what’s leftover after they shower with a scented soap or body wash. Or maybe it’s whatever “flavor” deodorant they’re using this month. Other guys feel practically naked if they aren’t walking out the door with a signature spritz (or seven) of something exotic that will last them all day. While splash or spray colognes have long been the standard of most men’s fragrance wardrobes, solid colognes are becoming the new, no-muss, no-fuss way for a guy to add a little olfactory interest without creating a funky personal micro-climate.
By capturing fragrance in waxy bases made from oils, jojoba, beeswax, shea butter, and other foundations, these solid colognes are not only super easy for travel (no more worries about that ornate glass bottle breaking in your checked bag), they’re also TSA-friendly. Don’t just think about that weekend away or business trip, either — solid colognes are perfect to toss into a gym bag, backpack, or briefcase, or even to tuck into a pocket for a quick aromatic confidence boost (applied as needed).
While the traditional containers for these non-traditional essences are small tins with lids that slide or rotate, several companies are experimenting with new packaging that will give your old cologne decanter some design competition, which also makes them an awesome gift choice. Ahead are some of our favorites.
Goodfellow and Co No. 6 Cedarwood and Geranium Solid Cologne
This tin container certainly looks like it belongs right alongside your everyday carry essentials (EDC). Even better, this solid perfume from Goodfellow and Co. features notes of cedar and camphoraceous, perfect for sporting while you’re out exploring nature.
Juniper Ridge White Sage Solid Perfume
Like something from a Zane Grey Western, Juniper Ridge’s White Sage takes its inspiration from the desert, blending warm, sun-drenched earth notes with minty, spicy, resin, and herbaceous fragrances in an organic beeswax and jojoba base. It’s a perfect fragrance for a day of herding cattle … or herding cats.
Duke Cannon Light Musk + Neroli Special Issue
Another one of our solid cologne pioneers, Duke Cannon’s special issue comes in limited batches. Light musk and neroli provide a dash of the sea, with solid footing on land, featuring crisp greens and citrusy neroli, balanced with sandalwood, amber, and light musk. Each one-and-a-half-ounce tin is hand-numbered.
Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin Solid Scent
Jo Malone’s solid offering features notes of lime and mandarin, which is a perfect masculine summer scent.
Le Labo Santal 33
The New York-based fragrance brand prides itself on being the “future of luxury,” and it certainly lives up to its mission statement with this new solid cologne that you can infuse your favorite Le Labo fragrance with. The perfume label is known for its hypoallergenic scents, and this wax-based formula is alcohol-free and paraben-free for people with sensitive skin.
Fulton & Roark Ltd. Reserve #7 Mahana
Just in time for the dog days of summer, Fulton & Roark is inspired by the flora and fauna of Hawaii, creating a fragrance that’s evocative of a hike to Papakolea, a remote green sand beach tucked away on the Big Island. You’ll experience fresh air, verdant hills, and driftwood with its notes of pomelo, coriander, and green leaves. It’s light and crisp for warm days ahead. Mahana is also sold in a limited-edition matte white metal case.
Misc. Goods Co. Underhill Solid Cologne
Underhill solid cologne mixes fragrant oils with beeswax and jojoba oil for a light, easy-to-wear formula. Earthy and woodsy, Underhill has leather and rosemary elements for a fragrance that is both masculine and refreshing. It also comes packaged in an impressive cherry wood case with burned-in branding and a magnetic closure. Inserts can be purchased separately to refill or swap out for variety.
Alfred Lane Zeal Limited Release
Alfred Lane complements its existing range of Bravado, Brio, and Vanguard fragrances with its limited releases Zeal and Urbane. Based in concentrated balms of shea butter, beeswax, jojoba oil, and vitamin E, the fragrance will be as good for your skin as it is for your nose. Zeal incorporates limewood, cinnamon bark, and sage, finishing with rich notes of vetiver and orange. Urbane includes spice, citrus, and lavender, complemented by sweet, woodsy notes. Each half-ounce tin is topped by a label that features a black-and-white photograph suitable for framing. Think of it as portable art for your pocket or toiletries bag.
Cremo Silver Water and Birch Solid Cologne
Cremo describes its solid cologne as “a sparkling, aquatic drive into a mountain lake surrounded by cool moss and clean woods.” We can’t think of a better way to describe the crisp, masculine fragrance we’d want to wear all year long, bringing Cremo’s no-nonsense barbershop approach to smelling clean and fresh.
Diptyque 34 Boulevard St. Germain
This French “maison” is a longstanding legend in the fragrance world. Its colognes and scented candles have a cult-like following that started almost immediately with the brand’s inception nearly 60 years ago. Fragrance Gestures are a collection of products that Diptyque creates, inspired by the history of perfume and, in this case, the enfleurage technique, an ancient method of capturing the essence of flowers. Named for the brand’s Paris address, 34 Blvd. St. Germain includes amber, patchouli, rose, and cinnamon for a most exotic result.
Break out the limoncello — it’s time for a trip to Capri. Originally developed by Carthusian monks, the fragrances of Carthusia extend to the 12th century and are based on herbs and blossoms native to the Italian island. Mediterraneo is dedicated to the great civilizations of Europe, Africa, and Asia, blending lemon leaves with green tea for a truly light and fresh fragrance. The scent also includes wild mint, eucalyptus, jasmine, cardamom, and white musk in this sophisticated yet refreshing blend.
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