Colognes For Summer: My Pick of the Best


As the weather changes, so does our perfume wardrobe.  The spicy patchoulis and leathers take a back seat, (although with changeable UK weather they never go away), and the pretty cologne bottles come out to play.  Cologne traditionally doesn’t have staying power.  The high alcohol content cools skin on application and not much more is expected of it.  However many of the fragrances labelled cologne today have the lasting power of an eau de toilette, that is between 4-6 hours, making colognes a good bet for the summer and justifying a cooling lunch time top up.

I’ve trawled through some of my favourites and have listed them below.  Although they vary in price, I consider all of them to be good quality and value for money, otherwise I wouldn’t rave about them to you.   Do feel free to tell me of any of yours too-I always love to hear from you.

4711 Original cologne:  The classic.  It reminds me of a school exchange trip to Germany in 1986 where I first discovered this timeless scent. The scent itself  doesn’t last long, but reapplying it is a pleasure in itself.  This  has been around since 1793 and the closely guarded formula contains herbs, citrus and a mossy backdrop.  This is the textbook classic which many say provided the blueprint for all colognes that followed, and still smells great today. You can buy it just about everywhere.  Try Amazon UK, or

Cologne and Cotton Immortelle

Cologne and Cotton Immortelle:  A citrussy spicy opening leads into traditional style orange and lemon cologne with a handful of green notes that lasted an easy four or five hours on me. It beds down into a deeper, slightly bitter citrus that reminded me of Guerlain Pamplelune.  Available from Cologne and Cotton online or in store. A big thumbs up to the glorious heritage style packaging and generous 150ml bottles too!


Library of Fragrance Rain:  The lovely Vanessa Musson of Bonkers About Perfume described this as “minty tangerines”, and I totally agree.  It has an ozonic, refreshing tang that smells as fresh and clean as a rainy day.  Lasting powder was around four hours. You can buy it from Boots or from Library of Fragrance online

Cologne and Cotton Niobe

Cologne and Cotton Niobe I reviewed this recently and liked it so much that I decanted it into a Travelo and carry it round in my handbag.  It opens with citrus and ends with spice, but is never cloying- always uplifting.  Made for men, but used by me.  You can buy a generous 150ml bottle from Cologne and Cotton online or instore.

West Indian Lime by Crabtree and Evelyn

Crabtree and Evelyn West Indian Lime Cologne I tried this on in winter and it lasted around six hours on me and I stood there in my damp coat and wet boots dreaming of summer. Here’s my review. This is a glorious lime that packs a punch and lingers around like a good mood.  You can buy it from  Marks and Spencer, and

Eau de Cartier

Eau de Cartier  One of my early loves, which I reviewed within months of starting this blog.  It’s my hangover scent: Lavender, mint and bergamot in perfect harmony- even Luca Turin thinks so.  Strictly, it’s an eau de toilette, but it behaves like cologne and smells like cologne, so I will shoe horn it in anyway.  You can buy it from

eau dhadrien
Annick Goutal Eau D’Hadrien


Annick Goutal Eau D’Hadrien  Lemons, lemons, lemons, citrus and lemons.  With a hint of aldehydes. Don’t buy it if you don’t like lemons, but what could be better in summer?  This is a classic that will never go out of style. Here’s my review.  You can buy it from, and to name but a few.

Jeanne Marie Farina


Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Farina eau de cologne  There is a complicated back story here as to whether Roger & Gallet introduced the very first cologne to the world, or whether it was the 4711 gang.   There is a great article here which explains it more fully, but I think its’s safe to say that the Roger  and Gallet brand has been around since 1693, pre-dating the 4711 history.

Jean Marie Farina is my favourite Roger & Gallet and is named after the heir of the original recipe, who converted aqua mirabilis into eau de cologne back in 1806.  It combines spices and lightness with herbs and citrus and in my eyes at least, it is a classic.  It is widely available, but I like buying it from my local Marks and Spencer, one of the few High Street stockists outside big cities.



Clarins Eau Dynamisante  Bright, astringent and refreshing, Eau Dynamisante has it all.  In my previous review of ED here on this very blog, I described it as the freshness of an open window on a stuffy day. This Clarins range defies categorization as it is neither a cologne nor an eau de toilette but a firming skin treatment.  However, by being full of citrus and herbs and having a short but refreshing staying power, I would say that as cologne, it fits the bill.  I also adore Clarins Eau Des Jardins (see my review) which smells so good I almost want to drink it (but don’t!). You can buy it from any good beauty counter, or you can try,  or


16 thoughts on “Colognes For Summer: My Pick of the Best”

  1. hello! I have been enjoying reading this blog for some time now and this compilation just had me longing even more for summer (at least until the first heatwave sets in…)
    I had a very intense summer of eau dynamisante back in the late 90ies but I find it a bit toned down now (reformulation?). So when I discovered Goutal’s Eau du Sud last year it instantly became my replacement. It has that sharp herbal note that I so adored in eau dynamisante plus citrussy sunshine, mmmhhhh…
    The one cologne that I have been faithful to for the longest time now is Acqua Classica by Borsari. I try to bring it back from Italy every time I get to go but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find. ebay has become my friend for this year’s bottle.
    And I will look for Cologne and Cotton next time I am in London, it sounds just like my kind of stuff!

    1. Hi Bella
      Thank you so much for dropping by and taking time to comment. Thank you also for your very kind words about the blog.

      I haven’t tried Eau de Sud, but it sounds great- I shall look out for it. I always enjoy a tip off! Acqua Classica also sounds like its worth trying. In fact I am such a fan of colognes that I have yet to find one I dislike, but the two you mention sound particularly tempting, especially since you have been a fan of the great Eau Dynamisante!

      I do hope you will enjoy my future posts and let me know of any good suggestions.

      warmest wishes

  2. Your inclusion of 4711 caught my eye, as I ‘inherited’ a vintage bottle of this from my friend’s MIL which still smells amazing – Koelnisch Wasser is definitely an oldie but goodie! Then I spotted the mention of Rain – thanks for the shout out. 😉 I must point out that I can take no credit for coming up with the ‘minty tangerine’ angle – that would be my ‘respondents’ down the pub, hehe.

    1. Hi Vanessa,

      Always a pleasure when you drop by. I am heartened to hear that the old cologne hasn’t changed much down the years. And as to your respondents down the pub- well since you’re analysing smells you may as well stick a wine glass under you nose and sniff that too. It’s rude not to.

      best wishes

  3. I’m a big fan of Clarins eau de jardins but missed your earlier review (which I have just checked) – its a such a lovely smell, and a good option if (like me) you are not so keen on more traditional colognes. And good value, I got a set with body lotion for a very reasonable price! Thanks for the list, I will check them all out.

    1. Hi Alice,

      Thank you so much for dropping by. I adore Clarins Eau des Jardins but for some inexplicable reason I don’t own any. I completely fell in love it and had forgotten how much until recently. I shall have to bother my local Clarins counter. So glad you like it too.

      best wishes

  4. a quick google suggest that Debenhams might have a gift set – even better than mine as there is shower gel as well as lotion!

  5. Oooh, you are singing to the choir with these! As you know, I love a good peppy cologne to lift my spirits and wake me up.
    Being as common as much, my favourite is one I buy by the litre in Carrefour whenever I visit France, so I can do my ‘Enery Cooper (British Heavyweight boxer from the 1970s for younger or non-Brit readers) and ‘Splash it on all over!’ (The punchline from the era’s Brut adverts, which Henry starred in.)
    Ah, summer! Linen shirts and eau de cologne…

    Out of interest, would you lump O de Lancome in with these? Because I would. (Sort of, even thought it’s an eau de toilette.)

    And where do you stand on Guerlain’s Acqua Allegoricas?

    1. Dear lovely Wordbird,

      There were many more I considered cologne style but were actually EDTs. I would have included the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea range, O de Lancome, A Scent by Issey Miyake, and lots more, but then realised I would be talking hesperides rather than sticking to the cologne genre, although I did cheat and put Eau de Cartier down.

      I very much want to get to know the Acqua Allegoricas but sadly have only tried Herba Fresca, which would have been included too but wasn’t strictly a cologne ( it’s fab!). Also Ealing Green by 4160 is very green and refreshing. I could go on and on!

      love Sammy xx

  6. Oooh yes, of course – hesperides! I keep forgetting that there is a whole category of fragrance right there.
    As for Allegoricas – I think I know what’s on our next testing menu! I have 4 here, though one is the Winter Delices one.
    I shall have to try Ealing Green – it sounds very me. 🙂

  7. You bring the Allegoricas and I’ll buy the battenburg and let you have my Ealing Green. I love it.

  8. Funnily enough, 4160 Tuesdays London has been in my handbag recently, as that’s a citrussy one.
    As the summer has arrived with a bang and I have to go to sweaty old London tomorrow, I have been craving eau de cologne. I have even put my spray bottle of my favourite cheap French supermarket one (Mont st Michel Ambre) in the fridge for a mid-afternoon cooler.

    As for sweaty old London tomorrow, I will be packing a few Atkinsons’ Eau De Cologne wipes, a small bottle of Eau Dynamisante and a spritz bottle of rosewater along with my fan. And I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a fresh bottle of 4711.

    1. Hello my dear. I recently tried an Atkinsosn cologne and fell for it immediately. I must fish it out and review it as I was really impressed. 4160 Tuesdays does a couple of good greens that are great for summer. Oddly enough I prefer Doe in The Snow for summer rather than winter. xxx

  9. Yes! 4711!! I just inherited a huge bottle from my mum who passed away in May aged 97 – I vividly remember being allowed to spritz it on during the summer as a kid. I already had a couple of bottles that I got for pennies at estate sales, but this bottle wont go unused. I’ve been adding some to a spritzer bottle of iced water as it seems to mix well and its wonderful in this heat (3 weeks of 90s to 100s wit no end in sight). Great post 🙂

    1. Hi Sally,

      I’m so sorry to be late in replying. I hadn’t realised I hadn’t replied. Do forgive me. You are talking solid good sense when you expound the virtues of 4711. It’s been a classic for centuries and still is- and from the fridge!! Unbeatable. Poor you in those temperatures. I think a lot of people look at the bottle and think its old fashioned – if only they would try it! I adore it.

      Best wishes
      Sam x

Leave a Reply