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Maybe you’re looking for a new signature scent. Maybe you need a particular fragrance for a special event. Perhaps you’re seeking a scented gift for your significant other to wear when you’re together. We understand, it’s not easy to find the best smelling cologne for men. Whatever your aims, our guide to the best cologne for men will point you in the right direction.
Top 15 Contenders for the Best Cologne for Men 1. Baccarat Rouge 540 — Best Overall Cologne for Men
Pros of the Baccarat Rouge 540 Mens Cologne:
- Impressive longevity
- Can wear day or evening
- Popular among celebrities
Cons of the Baccarat Rouge 540 Men Cologne:
- Famous as a woman’s fragrance
- Stong cedar cent may overpower other notes
TikTok helped rocket Baccarat Rouge 540 into the limelight after perfumer Francis Kurkdjian created the amber floral scent in 2015. A raft of dupes followed, but none truly compare with this best cologne for men.
Baccarat Rouge 540 Mens Cologne Fragrance: 5/5
Jasmine, ambergris and saffron open Baccarat 540 with oriental floral and spice, followed swiftly by threads of burnt sugar and the woody warmth of cedar and amberwood.
Baccarat Rouge 540 Cologne for Men Sillage: 4.9/5
The wake of your Baccarat Rouge 540 scent lingers as you pass from the room, with a significant projection while you’re present.
Baccarat Rouge 540 Men Cologne Longevity: 5/5
Baccarat Rouge 540 endures at the extreme end of the EDP spectrum, still going strong after 10 hours. This longevity enhances its appeal as a day-to-night fragrance.
Popularity of the Baccarat Rouge 540 Mens Cologne: 4.9/5
Since its limited release and subsequent re-launch in 2015, Baccarat Rouge 540 has become one of the “most-complimented” colognes available. Rhianna has reportedly worn it, and many customers report receiving unsolicited compliments.
Overall Score of the Baccarat Rouge 540 Mens Cologne: 5/5
2. Versace Eros — Most Magnetic Men Cologne
Pros of the Versace Eros Cologne for Men:
- Consistently popular
- Summery scent
- Pairs well with Versace aftershave
Cons of the Versace Eros Mens Cologne:
- Too-strong sillage
- Scent may feel generic
The child of beautiful Aphrodite and fierce Ares, the Greek god Eros represents the union of beauty and power. Versace’s Eros EDT captures the essence of this passion, presenting a fragrance replete with sensual masculinity.
Versace Eros Cologne for Men Fragrance: 4.9/5
An aromatic fougère fragrance for men, Eros opens with mint, lemon and green apple. The warming notes of tonka bean and geranium blend with addictive ambroxan. At the same time, Madagascar vanilla, Atlas and Virginia cedars, vetiver and oakmoss round out the base.
Versace Eros Cologne for Men Sillage: 4.7/5
Eros remains notably loud in the spaces you’ve been, especially if you overspray. With care in application, you can keep the sillage to more reasonable levels as a best smelling cologne for men.
Versace Eros Cologne for Men Longevity: 4.9/5
Surprisingly long-lasting for an EDT, expect to wear Eros for several hours before you need to refresh your scent.
Popularity of the Versace Eros Men Cologne: 5/5
Versace Eros has remained popular since its release in 2012.
Overall Score of the Versace Eros Mens Cologne: 4.9/5
3. Dior Sauvage — Best Cologne for Blue Skies and Hot Nights
Pros of the Dior Sauvage Cologne for Men:
- Moderate popularity keeps it unique
- Long-lasting with moderate sillage
- Good value for the price
Cons of the Dior Sauvage Mens Cologne:
- Too bright for colder months
- May read older
The 2018 Dior Sauvage name references a vintage contender for best smelling cologne for men, the 1966 Sauvage. Two other reformulations of the original exist, but this eau de toilette is not part of that line. A blue-style scent, Sauvage offers a breath of clear skies and night breezes, perfect for the warm spring and summer months.
Dior Sauvage Mens Cologne Fragrance: 4.5/5
Sauvage’s top notes begin with Calabrian bergamot and pepper. The heart raises the temperature with Sichuan and pink peppers and a bouquet of lavender, vetiver, geranium, patchouli and elemi. A base of cedar, ambroxan and labdanum keeps things warm.
Dior Sauvage Cologne for Men Sillage: 4.7/5
Your scent wake with Dior Sauvage is moderately intense, particularly for an EDT.
Dior Sauvage Men Cologne Longevity: 4.8/5
Sauvage has above-average longevity.
Popularity of the Dior Sauvage Cologne for Men: 4.8/5
Although its popularity peaked in 2015, Sauvage maintains a steady following, particularly with supporters of noted Dior fan Johnny Depp.
Overall Score of the Dior Sauvage Mens Cologne: 4.8/5
4. Creed Aventus — Best Smelling Cologne for Men for the Lazy Hazy Days of Summer
Pros of the Creed Aventus Cologne for Men:
- Projection appropriate for office settings
- Fresh and fruity for warm days
- Scent is worn by style celebrities
Cons of the Creed Aventus Men Cologne:
- Popularity can impact uniqueness
- Full retail is pricey
- Not suitable for colder months
Creed Aventus Cologne for Men Fragrance: 4.8/5
A pop of fresh fruit sits at the top of Aventus, with citrusy pineapple, sweet and tart blackcurrant and complex bergamot. Smoky smooth patchouli, juniper and birch take over the middle notes, threaded with sophisticated jasmine. Vanilla and ambergris round out the base notes for easy wearability.
Creed Aventus Cologne for Men Sillage: 4.9/5
Bystanders will notice your scent as you pass by, and the sillage will linger for a respectable but not unsuitable period.
Creed Aventus Mens Cologne Longevity: 4/5
Aventus has a solid initial projection but below-average longevity for an eau de parfum, lasting only about five hours on the skin.
Popularity of the Creed Aventus Cologne for Men: 4.8/5
Creed Aventus sits at the top of the ladder for popularity, particularly among fragrance connoisseurs like David Beckham. That prevalence may impact your desire to wear the scent, but it also means that wearers usually get compliments from passers-by and partners.
Overall Score of the Creed Aventus Men’s Cologne: 4.7/5
5. Bleu de Chanel — Most Versatile Cologne for Men
Pros of the Bleu de Chanel Men’s Cologne:
- Classic Chanel refined style
- Day-to-night wearability
- Suitable for all seasons
Cons of the Bleu de Chanel Cologne for Men:
- EDT is noticeably crisper than EDP
- Slightly expensive for EDT
- Popularity declining among younger users
Coco Chanel famously quipped, “The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.” Luckily, Chanel Bleu is a color that almost anyone can wear. Although technically a fresh blue scent, it boasts warmth and depth that suits any season or time of day.
Bleu de Chanel Mens Cologne Fragrance: 4.8/5
Citrus notes of grapefruit and lemon spring out at the top, laced with surprising mint and pink pepper. A spicy heart of ginger, nutmeg, Iso E Super and jasmine precede the sexy masculine base of incense, cedar, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, white musk and labdanum.
Bleu de Chanel Cologne for Men Sillage: 4.5/5
Bleu’s moderate sillage is the best smelling cologne for men in office environments or restaurants.
Bleu de Chanel Men Cologne Longevity: 4.7/5
Slightly above-average endurance makes Chanel Bleu a good choice for a morning at the office or an afternoon-to-evening event.
Popularity of the Bleu de Chanel Men’s Cologne: 4.4/5
Once a contender for the absolute best cologne for men, Bleu’s popularity has begun to wane with the shift towards woodier scents. However, the general versatility of the fragrance keeps it towards the top of the list.
Overall Score of the Bleu de Chanel Cologne: 4.6/5
6. Acqua di Gio Eau de Toilette — Best Smelling Cologne for Men for Casual Date Nights
Pros of the Bleu de Chanel Cologne for Men:
- Casual yet appropriate for evening
- Refreshing and warm
- Excellent balance from opening to drydown
Cons of the Bleu de Chanel Men’s Cologne:
- May feel outdated to younger wearers
- Can read like aftershave to some
Acqua di Gio works well as a hint of natural fragrance for an active date with the one you love. Wear it out on the water, on a hike, or out for coffee. With its just-showered vibe, it’s also a good choice for a day at the office or running around town.
Bleu de Chanel Men Cologne Fragrance: 4.5/5
Complex fragrance notes from top to base manage to find a balance in this unpretentious, yet captivating, cologne. The strongly citrus opening notes of lime, lemon, bergamot, orange, mandarin, and neroli surround exotic jasmine.
Blue ocean breezes in with sea notes and tropical calone, peach, freesia and hyacinth grounded in rosemary, cyclamen and violet. Coriander, nutmeg, rose and mignonette waft through the blend, and the scent finally resolves in base notes of white musk, cedar, oakmoss, patchouli and amber.
Bleu de Chanel Cologne for Men Sillage: 4.5/5
Moderate sillage makes this Acqua di Gio EDT an appealing and inoffensive scent.
Bleu de Chanel Men’s Cologne Longevity: 4.5/5
Acqua di Gio meets the average expectation for an eau de toilette, lasting around four hours.
Popularity of the Bleu de Chanel Cologne for Men: 4/5
Once wildly popular, Acqua di Gio’s prominence has been overshadowed by woodier scents, but men who prefer a more refreshing and natural fragrance still love its clarity and reliability.
Overall Score of the Bleu de Chanel Men Cologne: 4.5/5
7. Santal 33 — Most Sophisticated Unisex Cologne
Pros of the Santal 33 Cologne for Men:
- Men and women can wear to different effect
- Pleasant sillage and moderate projection
- Decent longevity
Cons of the Santal 33 Cologne:
- Scent of alcohol on opening
- Pricier than similar scents
- Ubiquity lessens its uniqueness
Le Labo’s Santal 33 exists in the liminal space between strength and tenderness. Its woody aromatic accords are sultry, warm and comfortable, all at once.
Santal 33 Cologne Fragrance: 4.4/5
Iris and sandalwood comfortably sit at the top, bolstering the notes of leather and papyrus. Glowing amber and rustic cedar weave through the heart, while a hint of spicy cardamom heats up the drydown.
Santal 33 Cologne for Men Sillage: 4.7/5
Although the projection is only moderate, you’ll leave a strong trail of Santal 33 behind you, with people wondering if you’re wearing the best mens cologne. The fragrance dissipates quickly.
Santal 33 Mens Cologne Longevity: 4.8/5
Santal 33 lasts for the standard EDP of seven to eight hours, perfect for a casual cologne.
Popularity of the Santal 33 Mens Cologne:4/5
Santal 33 rose to extreme popularity in the years after its release in 2011, with celebrities such as Ryan Reynolds, Emily Weiss, Emma Roberts and Justin Beiber touting the fragrance. Its ubiquity, however, may interfere with the scent’s uniqueness.
Overall Score of the Santal 33 Cologne: 4.3/5
8. Bond No 9 Jones Beach — Best Men Cologne Who Love Sunshine
Pros of the Bond No. 9 Jones Beach Cologne for Men:
- Bright and fun bottle design
- Reminiscent of a walk on the beach
- Excellent longevity
Cons of the Bond No. 9 Jones Beach Cologne:
- Suntan lotion scent may be distracting
- Not suitable for colder months
Sand between your toes, gardenias blooming in the sun, radiant heat on your shoulders: That’s a vacation. That’s Bond No 9 Jones Beach.
Bond No. 9 Jones Beach Mens Cologne Fragrance: 4.3/5
Simple without being bland, Jones Beach shines at the top with the sea notes of calone. Orange blossoms glow in the heart, with base notes of white musk, ambroxan and violet. A hint of suntan lotion fragrance may emerge throughout the drydown.
Bond No. 9 Jones Beach Cologne for Men Sillage: 4.5/5
Like a yacht moving through the Pacific, this option for the best cologne for men leaves an intimate to moderate sillage as you pass by.
Bond No. 9 Jones Beach Men Cologne Longevity: 4.5/5
Bond No 9 Jones Beach lasts longer than average, fading away after eight hours or so.
Popularity of the Bond No. 9 Jones Beach Mens Cologne: 4/5
Interest in Jones Beach has risen and fallen several times since its release in 2019. The highly seasonal nature of the scent and marketing may account for its uneven popularity.
Overall Score of the Bond No. 9 Jones Beach Cologne: 4.2/5
9. Paco Rabanne 1 Million — Best Smelling Cologne for Men Cold-Weather
Pros of the Paco Rabanne 1 Million Mens Cologne:
- Almost gourmand evening scent
- Incredible longevity for EDT
- Mature and sophisticated
Cons of the Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne:
- Not suitable for warmer months or daytime wear
- May smell bubblegum sweet
- Strong cinnamon may not be appealing
Wearing Paco Rabanne 1 Million is wearing an invitation for others to enjoy the warmth with you. This entry for the best cologne for men takes risks but remains gentlemanly in its seductive approach.
Paco Rabanne 1 Million Men Cologne Fragrance: 4.1/5
This woody, spicy scent features tasty cinnamon and sparkling grapefruit at the top, laced with mint and orange pips. Rose, heather and patchouli soften the spice, and everything balances out with amber and woods at the close.
Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne for Men Sillage: 4/5
With intense projection, especially with overspray, the sillage can overpower the subtler notes of this cologne. 1 Million is a heavy evening fragrance and should be reserved for larger spaces with lots of air movement.
Paco Rabanne 1 Million Men Cologne Longevity: 4.3/5
Paco Rabanne 1 Million lasts an average of six to eight hours with a standard application.
Popularity of the Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne Mens: 4/5
Interest in 1 Million has declined since about 2013, with some wearers suggesting that a reformulation has affected the appeal of the original scent. The cinnamon notes still garner compliments from many and are a nice departure from the trend of woody amber scents.
Overall Score of the Paco Rabanne 1 Million Cologne: 4.1/5
Find out how to get a Paco Rabanne 1 Million sample.
10. Dior Homme Intense — Most Delicious Gourmand Scent for Men
Pros of the Dior Homme Intense Mens Cologne:
- Vanilla-chocolate drydown
- Very long-lasting
- Unisex vibes but leans masculine
Cons of the Dior Homme Intense Men Cologne:
- Top notes can have a cosmetic scent
- Powdery drydown may be unappealing
Surprise yourself with the heart and base of Dior Homme Intense. Like a good relationship, Homme Intense begins with simple iris notes. Still, the increasing complexity of accords and complementary scents lead to true love for this option for the best cologne.
Dior Homme Intense Cologne Fragrance: 4/5
Dior Homme is an intriguing combination of woody floral and musk fragrances. The lavender opener leads to a heart of ambrette, iris and pear. The woody base notes are Virginia cedar and vetiver.
Dior Homme Intense Cologne for Men Sillage: 4/5
Wear Homme Intense only when you want to be noticed by everyone in the vicinity. The scent incurs powerful sillage and has loud projection.
Dior Homme Intense Mens Cologne Longevity: 4/5
The, ahem, intensity of the sillage of Dior’s Homme Intense is matched only by its incredible longevity. You’ll capture all of the attention, all of the time, with this cologne.
Popularity of the Dior Homme Intense Men Cologne: 4.4/5
Dior Homme Intense attracted immediate attention upon its launch, and that popularity has plateaued at a high level. Some cologne users prefer not to wear such a familiar evening fragrance, as its recognizability may invite unfavorable comparisons with other users.
Overall Score of the Dior Homme Intense Cologne: 4/5
11. Versace Dylan Blue — Best Cologne for Year-Round Wear
Pros of the Versace Dylan Blue Cologne:
- Versatile option for all seasons
- Safe, inoffensive choice for conservative settings
- Light, clean scent
- Excellent value
Cons of the Versace Dylan Blue Cologne for Men:
- May read too youthful
- Somewhat conventional
Keep it simple with Versace Dylan Blue, a solid option for men who want a good-smelling cologne to wear daily.
Versace Dylan Blue Cologne Fragrance: 4/5
Opening with aquatic freshness and Calabrian bergamot paired with zesty grapefruit and sweet fig, Dylan Blue transitions into a middle of papyrus wood, patchouli, black pepper, ambrox and violet. The base of mineral musks, tonka bean, incense and saffron soften into comfortable fougère territory.
Versace Dylan Blue Cologne for Men Sillage: 3.9
Moderate to strong sillage means you’ll leave a wake of scent as you pass through the room, but it can quickly become overpowering if you misjudge your application.
Versace Dylan Blue Mens Cologne Longevity: 3.9
Compared to the strong sillage, Dylan Blue has below-average longevity for a best cologne for men.
Popularity of the Versace Dylan Blue Mens Cologne: 4/5
Like Dior Intense, Versace Dylan Blue quickly captured the attention of cologne wearers and has remained popular since its release in 2016.
Overall Score of the Versace Dylan Blue Cologne: 3.9/5
12. Invictus — Best Smelling Cologne for Men for the Strong Yet Sensitive Type
Pros of the Invictus Cologne for Men:
- Unique trophy flacon design
- Excellent longevity
Cons of the Invictus Cologne Mens:
- Reactions are mixed
- Conventional masculine scent
- Can read as juvenile
If your style sense is masculine with a side of gentleness, then Invictus should make your list of the best cologne for men.
Invictus Cologne Fragrance: 3.8/5
Bright citrus notes shine at the top of Invictus, particularly bittersweet grapefruit and marine notes. Hedione jasmine and aromatic bay leaf form the middle notes, and the finish is a woody base of patchouli, guaiac wood, ambergris and oak moss.
Invictus Cologne for Men Sillage: 3.5/5
Invictus has robust projection and noticeable sillage, occasionally growing large enough to be overwhelming.
Invictus Cologne for Men Longevity: 3.9/5
While only an EDT, Invictus has remarkable longevity, lasting up to 10 hours on a single spritz.
Popularity of the Invictus Mens Cologne: 3.8/5
Invictus is wildly popular, although the rise of woody amber scents has diminished its ubiquity.
Overall Score of the Invictus Cologne: 3.8/5
13. Acqua Di Gio Profumo — Best Cologne for Date Night
Pros of the Acqua Di Gio Profumo Cologne for Men:
- Extravagant and mysterious
- Sophisticated without reading old
- Excellent longevity and appropriate sillage
Cons of the Acqua Di Gio Profumo Men Cologne:
- May be too mature for new users
- Too heavy for daytime wear
The original Acqua di Gio changed date night forever, and now Armani has done it again. Masculine, fresh and energetic, even as the mystery deepens, Acqua di Gio Profumo has crafted a fragrance for the best smelling cologne for men evenings of your life.
Acqua Di Gio Profumo Cologne Fragrance: 3.7/5
A flanker for Acqua di Gio, Profumo’s scent profile adds a heavier dose of patchouli to push the fragrance into an almost woody vibe. The opening bergamot and aquatic accord notes melt into the heart of aromatic sage, rosemary and geranium. A mysterious and compelling base of patchouli and incense keeps the magic going all night long.
Acqua Di Gio Profumo Cologne for Men Sillage: 3.6/5
WIth appropriate spritzing, Acqua di Gio Profumo’s sillage holds steady at a moderate level. Too many sprays, however, and you’ll be walking in a heavy cloud of scent.
Acqua Di Gio Profumo Cologne Longevity: 4/5
Profumo’s longevity is the real selling point, as it dramatically increases the endurance of the original composition to eight hours or more.
Popularity of the Acqua Di Gio Profumo Mens Cologne: 3.9/5
Trending upwards among fragrance connoisseurs, Acqua di Gio has hit all-time high marks with men looking for sexy, sophisticated colognes for evening affairs.
Overall Score of the Acqua Di Gio Profumo Cologne: 3.7/5
14. Drakkar Noir — Most Sophisticated Cologne for Gentlemen
Pros of the Drakkar Noir Men’s Cologne:
- Classic fragrance
- Deeply masculine
- Excellent value for vintage flacons
Cons of the Drakkar Noir Cologne:
- Newer reformulations are not as smooth
- Weak longevity
- May read older
Whether you were a teenager in the ‘80s or your dad was, you’ve caught a whiff of Drakkar Noir. The classic ‘80s scent in the opaque black flacon is enjoying a comeback, especially if you can locate a genuine vintage bottle.
Drakkar Noir Cologne for Men Fragrance: 3.8/5
Drakkar Noir opens with the aromatic notes of rosemary, lavender, basil, artemisia and lemon verbena, twined with the citrus flashes of bergamot and lemon. As it warms to the heart, you’ll detect spicy coriander, carnation, cinnamon, juniper and jasmine. The base notes, sandalwood, leather, fir, patchouli, amber, vetiver, oakmoss and cedar bring a classic into the modern era.
Drakkar Noir Cologne for Men Sillage: 3.6/5
The sillage is moderate to strong. How could the best smelling cologne for men from the ‘80s be anything less?
Drakkar Noir Mens Cologne Longevity: 3.5/5
An eau de toilette, Drakkar Noir’s on-skin longevity suffers a bit from its vintage status. A spray from a genuine vintage flacon will last approximately four to six hours.
Popularity of the Drakkar Noir Men Cologne : 3.5/5
Drakkar Noir experienced a renaissance of interest in the 2010s, although its popularity has waned since then. Unisex woody fragrances with fewer aromatic notes have displaced Drakkar as a choice for younger men.
Overall Score of the Drakkar Noir Cologne: 3.6/5
15. Nautica Voyage — Best Smelling Cologne for Men for the Gym
Pros of the Nautica Voyage Cologne for Men:
- Masculine but not burly
- Moderate sillage matches longevity
- Excellent value for the price
- Cucumber-like freshness
Cons of the Nautica Voyage Cologne for Men:
- Fruity notes can linger into the drydown
- Can smell synthetic
- Not suitable for cooler weather
Nautica colognes tend to stay in their lane: salty, breezy and fresh. Voyage is no exception, but that kind of coherence creates brand loyalty. An inexpensive option for everyday use, Voyage offers an airy green take on a traditionally citrus-laden season.
Nautica Voyage Cologne for Men Fragrance: 3.3/5
The brisk green notes of granny smith apple and soft leaves open Voyage, leading to a delicate mimosa and lotus heart, floating on an accord of linen sail. The woody base consists of moss, cedar, amber and musk.
Nautica Voyage Cologne for Men Sillage: 3.9/5
A moderate sillage keeps Voyage in the running for the best cologne for men, as the scent’s airiness floats behind you like a seabreeze, not a hurricane.
Nautica Voyage Cologne for Men Longevity: 3.9/5
Nautica Voyage is an EDT and lives up to the average for that concentration, lasting about four to six hours.
Popularity of the Nautica Voyage Cologne for Men: 3.5/5
Since its launch in 2006, Voyage has experienced a steady rise in popularity. Prices have risen accordingly, affecting the ultimate value for the cost.
Overall Score of the Nautica Voyage Cologne for Men: 3.5/5
Honorable Mentions: Best Cologne for Men Versace Pour Homme
Like others in the Versace line, Pour Homme leverages counterpoints to heighten the intensity. A burst of floral citrus from lemon, bergamot and neroli shifts into the deep florals of tonka bean, hyacinth, rose and sage. Everything falls into place on a cedar, musk, amber and geranium base.
Dolce and Gabbana The One
Intimate in projection, The One uses ginger, grapefruit and orange blossom to entice at the top, and then tobacco, cardamom, coriander and basil piqued interest. The One glows on a base of cedar and amber.
Gucci Guilty for Men
Don’t feel guilty for wanting a little romance. Gucci Guilty for Men combines lemon, lavender, orange blossom, patchouli and cedar in a simple formula for the best smelling cologne for men who want to warm up in the cold.
Mont Blanc Legend
Spring into the summer sun with Legend’s top notes of pink pepper, grapefruit and bergamot. Refresh your heart with hints of cardamom among aquatic and lavender notes, then rest a while on a base of white woods, white musk, oakmoss and cashmere wood.
Tom Ford Oud Wood
Oud Wood’s sweet warmth and balsamic wood notes are your next signature scent if you prefer dates set in the great outdoors. Sandalwood and amber make a handsome top note with a pop of Sichuan pepper and a smooth down of cozy vanilla and tonka bean, paired with spicy cardamom. Stay steady on the drydown with vetiver, Brazilian rosewood and agarwood oud.
Pleasant for you and for everyone nearby, Curve remains perennially popular and universally liked. The top features bergamot and lemon threaded with lavender, followed by a flowery-spicy heart of violet, juniper berries, orange blossom, pepper, ginger, coriander and cardamom. The long-lasting base comprises mahogany, sandalwood, musk, amber, vetiver and cedar.
Prada Luna Rossa
Lavender and orange weave through a hearty splash of mint, followed swiftly by a spicy drydown of aromatic ambrette, sage and addictive ambroxan.
Polo is still Polo. Composed in 1978, your dad or his friends probably wore it, and now it’s your turn to turn on the timelessly masculine charm with notes like pine tree needles, tobacco, leather, juniper berries and bergamot and rose.
Valentino Uomo cologne
Deliciously simple, Valentino Uomo offers the best smelling cologne for men featuring gourmand notes like chocolate, hazelnut and coffee, settling on a sturdy base of leather and cedar.
Burberry Touch for Men
For sweet sophistication that’s warm and comfortable, look no further than Burberry Touch for Men. Hints of musk combine with violet leaf, pepper, tonka bean, vetiver, cedar, orange, artemisia and nutmeg.
Creed Silver Mountain Water
Think of snow-capped mountains as you apply Creed Silver Mountain Water. On opening, hints of mandarin and bergamot lead to a middle of black currant and green tea. The base of musk, Galbanum, petitgrain and sandalwood bring you back to shore.
La Nuit De L’homme
Dark and sparkling like a night full of stars, La Nuit de L’homme features glittering bergamot and lavender coupled with spicy cardamom. Vetiver and cumin offer a soft sensual close.
Jimmy Choo Man cologne
Like Kit Harrington, the face of Jimmy Choo Man cologne, this fragrance is modern and eclectic. Fruity, aromatic and woody, Jimmy Choo Man has accords of pink pepper, lavender, honeydew melon, pineapple leaf, patchouli and suede.
Cool Water cologne
Simple, fresh and masculine, Cool Water is the ideal hot weather scent. A classic from 1988, it boasts the light and sexy notes of seawater, lavender, mint, tobacco, jasmine, geranium, rosemary, coriander, sandalwood, oakmoss, musk, and amber.
Although a bit fruity and aromatic for a true gunslinger, Azzaro Wanted’s strong spice heart and woody base evoke images of tough and tender cowboys almost home.
Our Ranking Methodology for the Best Cologne for Men
Several factors beyond the price point affect your decision when searching for a new cologne. We evaluated the 15 competitors for the best cologne for men on the following characteristics:
- Value for the price
- Fragrance profile
- Scent longevity
- Popularity among men and perfume connoisseurs
We’ve researched to help you find the cologne that fits your personality and your context, whether you want a cologne for everyday wear or for a formal affair.
FAQ: How To Find the Best Smelling Cologne for Men
The world of perfume has its own glossary of terms and categorizations that are unlike any other product. When choosing the best cologne for men, it’s wise to be grounded in the basic terminology of the industry and have a passing knowledge of scent profiles. Use these FAQs to guide your decision-making process.
What Are the Types of Cologne?
When choosing a cologne, you should have a firm grasp of the five primary categories of perfume. Each type serves a particular niche based on desired longevity and sillage. The “perfume extract,” composed of essential oils, operates in a balance with the alcohol content to establish the scent’s concentration. That ratio determines the category and price:
- Perfume / Parfum: Perfume, the most expensive class, contains between 20% and 30% perfume extract. Perfume has a longevity of up to 24 hours.
- Eau de perfume / Eau de parfum: EDP contains a concentration of perfume extract between 15%-20% and should last six to eight hours.
- Eau de toilette: EDT is an affordable formulation that contains 5% to 15% perfume extract and provides scent for two to four hours.
- Eau de cologne: With a 2%-4% concentration of perfume extract, expect about two hours of fragrance with EDC.
- Eau fraîche: Essentially a “freshener,” these fragrances contain only about 1% to 3% perfume extract. Their scents last about an hour.
What Are the Cologne Fragrance Families?
Perfumers usually situate their scent combinations within fragrance families, often expressed as a wheel created by perfume expert Michael Edwards. Like an artist’s color wheel, retailers use fragrance categories to describe the accords and juxtapositions of aromas to label scents:
- Fresh: water/aquatic, citrus, fruity and green
- Floral: floral, soft floral and floral oriental/amber
- Oriental or amber: soft oriental/amber, oriental/amber and woody oriental/amber
- Woody: woods, mossy woods, dry woods and aromatic fougère
What Is the Best Way to Apply Cologne?
Some perfume wearers prefer to apply cologne to clothing, but experts state that cologne should only be placed on your skin. The compositions will react with your body chemistry to create the scent; the fragrance will dilute or alter in contact with the fabric. Apply your scent to your pulse points to maximize performance:
- Behind the ear
- Base of the throat
- Inside the elbow
- Inside the wrist
- Behind the knee
Remember: Apply only enough of even the best smelling cologne for men for someone to detect within a one-foot radius of you. A wider projection will be unappealing and overwhelming and may cause sensitive individuals to have adverse reactions. You don’t want to cause sneezing fits whenever you enter a room!
Along the same lines, be mindful of the various fragrances you add to your skin. If you use scented body wash or deodorant, don’t add cologne. The mixed fragrances may clash; even if they don’t, your sillage will be an unpleasant tidal wave rather than a gentle wake. Choose just one scented product per day.
When Should You Wear Different Types of Cologne?
Some fragrances are suitable for both day and night wear, but most compositions are more appropriate for one or the other. Daylight hours call for bright citrus, floral or fresh notes while applying sultry fragrances and spicy and musky notes for the evening.
Similarly, choose your scents based on the seasons for the best effect. The cooler weather of fall and winter calls for warm, woody and spicy scents, while spring and summer demand the lighter scents of the fresh and floral families.
How Do You Store the Best Smelling Cologne for Men?
The best cologne for men constitutes an investment that requires attention to proper care and storage. Oxygen, heat and light will break down the fragile scent components in your cologne, so keep your flacon of scent from spoiling by ensuring that the stopper is fully seated after every use.
If you only occasionally wear cologne and will have your bottle for a long while, consider keeping it in your refrigerator. Your fragrance will remain at a constant temperature and stay safe from the effects of light on the composition.
How Do You Choose the Best Mens Cologne?
Patience is key when you’re searching for your new signature scent. When you investigate your options for the best smelling cologne for men, you need to test the fragrance in several ways and for enough time to experience the open, middle and base of the scents.
Here’s a simple procedure to follow before making a commitment to an entire bottle:
- Purchase samples of several colognes that pique your interest.
- Paper test: Spritz a small amount of the colognes on paper testers, and narrow your choices down to your top two.
- Cleanse your scent palate by gently sniffing your inner elbow. Your skin’s pH is more efficient at resetting your olfactory receptors than coffee beans.
- Spray one of your options on one wrist and the other option on the opposite wrist. Wait 15 minutes to allow the cologne’s heart to emerge and interact with your body chemistry.
- Wait an hour and recheck the scents since you’ll be approaching the entire heart and the eventual drydown phase.
- Check your cologne’s scent every two hours to test for longevity and lingering base notes.
The Best Cologne for Men: The Top 5 at a Glance
Baccarat Rouge 540
- Fragrance family: Amber floral
- Middle and base notes: Amberwood and ambergris
- Price: Sample spray: $21.99; Retail bottle: $437.99
- Fragrance family: Aromatic fougère
- Middle and base notes: Tonka bean, ambroxan and geranium
- Price: Sample spray: $5.99; Full retail bottle: $69.99
Dior Sauvage Cologne
- Fragrance family: Aromatic fougère
- Middle and base notes: Heart: Sichuan pepper, lavender, pink pepper, vetiver, patchouli, geranium and elemi; Base: Ambroxan, cedar and labdanum
- Price: Sample spray: $8.99; Retail bottle: $134.99
Creed Aventus Cologne
- Fragrance family: Chypre fruity
- Middle and base notes: Heart: Birch, patchouli, moroccan, jasmine and rose; Base: Musk, oak moss, ambergris and vanilla
- Price: Sample spray: $31.99; Retail bottle: $359.99
Bleu de Chanel
- Fragrance family: Woody aromatic
- Middle and base notes: Heart: Ginger, nutmeg, jasmine and Iso E Super; Base: Incense, vetiver, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, labdanum and white musk.
- Price: Sample spray: $11.99; Retail bottle: $177.99
The Verdict: What Is the Best Smelling Cologne for Men?
According to our fragrance review metrics, Baccarat Rouge 540 steals the show as the best cologne for men due to its modern scent profile, excellent sillage and longevity and broad appeal. The unisex fragrance can read either as a complex masculine or a nuanced modern, feminine scent, making it an outstanding selection for men or women.
On the other hand, choosing the next cologne for your collection should be based on much more than its modern sensibility or overall popularity. Try coloring outside the lines a bit; experiment with samples from fragrance families you usually don’t choose. You may find a new signature scent that completes and elevates your personal style.