We Found The Best Fragrance For Every Type Of Dad

In popular culture, dads are too often given the short end of the character-development stick. They watch TV, ride a lawnmower, cook meat (and the occasional zucchini) on the grill, and otherwise fit into a heteronormative mold of singular masculinity, a made-up ideal of what being a dad "should" look like. Screw that!

Just like each and every grain of sand is totally unique, so is every dad on God's green earth. A dad is a person, first and foremost, not just an actor in a sitcom who makes really lame jokes. Dads have different interests. They have different jobs, different hobbies, different lifestyles — you know, there isn't just one type of dad stuff.


So this Father's Day, don't just buy your dad whatever the best-selling men's fragrance of the moment might be. Buy him a scent he'll really like; something that speaks to him on a personal level as an individual, to his love of sailing or his heritage or the fact that he owns the entire James Bond movie franchise on DVD and Blu-Ray. Ahead, 7 very different fragrances for 8 very different types of dad...

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Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Sun Pour Homme Eau de Toilette

Your dad might be a full three generations off the boat, but that hasn't stopped him from holding fast to his Italian heritage as if it was just yesterday he set sail over the Mediterranean, waving goodbye to his weeping famiglia as the ship drifted away from the shore. He greets your friends with a kiss on both cheeks, won't let any guests leave the house without first sampling his homemade limoncello, and always signs off his texts with "ciao." The warm, sunny tang of this summery fragrance has the slight sweetness of an Aperol spritz — heavy on the Aperol — and a fizzy hit of ginger to match.
Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Sun Pour Homme Eau de Toilette$68.00 Buy

Ralph Lauren Polo Ultra Blue

Your dad was born in Ohio, but he was a mariner in a past life and he knows it. He blew all his retirement savings on a small fishing boat in the midst of a midlife crisis, and it was only the second-worst mistake he's ever made; the first, he says, was marrying your mother. Now he takes to the water every chance he gets. (These two things are not unrelated.) And when he can't, he'll enjoy this mineral aquatic scent with notes of bergamot and basil verbena, which smells uncannily like the sea if the sea also smelled kind of like a gin and tonic.
Ralph Lauren Polo Ultra Blue$69.00 Buy

D.S. & Durga Cowboy Grass Eau de Parfum

It's 2019, people have sex with robots in real life, and the robots on TV are more human than the humans. But your dad still loves cowboy boots, hand-rolled cigarettes, George Strait, and the idea that he'll one day "settle down" on a 50-acre farm in Wyoming with palomino horses and a crooked wooden fence. (So what if he just turned 65?) With its earthy sagebrush, wild thyme, and ambergris, this fragrance is dusty in the best way, like the smoldering ashes of Sonoran sweet-acacia branches burned for warmth on a chilly southwestern night.
D.S. & Durga Cowboy Grass Eau de Parfum$175.00 Buy

Hermès Eau de Citron Noir Eau de Cologne

Your dad is charming, resourceful, and always saves the day, come hell or high water. This unusual eau de cologne combines the dark, smoky depth of black tea with piquant, not-quite-fruity black lime to appeal to the side of him that loves a good adventure, like tracking down the location of a certain authentic Fabergé egg that's believed to have been stolen by the Soviets. If only he would stop requesting his venti pomegranate iced green teas "shaken, not stirred" at his local suburban Starbucks.
Hermès Eau de Citron Noir$95.00 Buy

Yves Saint Laurent Y Eau de Toilette

It happens every time: The whole family is dressed and ready to head to the function (how is it even possible that another one of your cousins is getting married?), and then you realize there's someone missing. It's dad! Again. Is he changing his shoes? Fixing his hair? Who knows — but he won't leave the house until his look is on point. Of course, a look is never complete without the perfect bold, refined fragrance, and this crisp scent, which pairs smooth bergamot and cedarwood with the bite of ginger, is just that.
Yves Saint Laurent Y Eau de Toilette$72.00 Buy

Aesop Hwyl Eau de Parfum

Technically your dad works from the hours of nine to five Monday through Friday, but when he's not dealing with paperwork, you can also find him "working" in the shed: chopping wood, chopping more wood, making the odd birdhouse, and whistling tunes to the squirrels, rocking a flannel shirt and suspenders like it's 1912. If Paul Bunyan had a signature fragrance, it would be this strong, spicy blend of cypress, frankincense, and vetiver.
Aesop Hwyl Eau de Parfum$125.00 Buy

Acqua di Parma Cipresso di Toscana Eau de Toilette

Your dad gets his suits custom made at Ferragamo, has had a standing weekly dinner reservation at Le Bernardin for literally two decades, and owns a villa in Tuscany that he visits about once a year. The rest of the time, he's sitting in the cushy leather chair in his high-rise corner office, which is bigger than any apartment you've ever lived in, drinking expensive coffee (and the occasional lunchtime martini) and telling other people what to do. Whenever he feels trapped behind his gargantuan mahogany desk in that room with the floor-to-ceiling windows and the sickest views, he'll have this coastal-breeze-in-a-bottle, with its lively, commanding notes of star anise, sage, and orange. If only he could take a deep breath and put down his Android for, like, a second.
Acqua Di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Cipresso di Toscana Eau de Toilette$113.00 Buy

Diptyque Eau de Minthé Eau de Parfum

This is less of a fragrance to buy for your own dad and more of a... daddy scent, if you will. A riff on the classic fougère for the modern man, the green herb it's sort-of named for (in Greek mythology, Minthe was actually a nymph who carried on an affair with Hades until his wife found out and turned her into the mint plant; it's a long story) is an overarching aura rather than a starring note. Nutmeg and patchouli are at the center, and dashes of rose and geranium top off the cocktail he stirs up for you with freshly-muddled — you guessed it — mint from his rooftop garden when he bikes back to your Fort Greene brownstone before you do on summer Fridays. Sure, he's not a dad yet... but you do have three cats named after the members of Yo La Tengo, which definitely counts.
Diptyque Eau de Minthé Eau de Parfum$175.00 Buy
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