17 Best Colognes for Men to Try in 2023 | FashionBeans
If you are hoping for the sweet smell of success, look no further than these 17 best colognes for men. Whether it’s a speedy spritz in the morning before heading out to work, or a seductive spray for date night, smelling great is the key to feeling more confident and in control.
Tom Ford is famous for once saying, “good manners and good cologne is what transforms the man into a gentleman.” And I must admit nothing makes me feel sexier than a significant spritz of Tom Ford Tuscan Leather before a big night out.
I blind buy cologne way too often, and with so many top men’s colognes to choose from, adding to your collection or knowing where to start can be a challenge. Moreover, if you’re a single who likes to mingle, what smells amazing for a night out with the guys just won’t cut it in the club.
These 17 best colognes for men are perfect for guys who love to feel and smell great. Moreover, every time you spritz ‘n spray them, the occasion will become a little more special.
From new colognes on the block to classic stand-out scents, we’ve kept our noses to the grindstone to find the top men’s colognes to ensure you leave a long-lasting, great impression.
This comprehensive round-up will help you find the perfect fragrance for every occasion, season, and budget. I dug into the depths of my cologne collection and picked the brains of fellow fragrance connoisseurs to bring you the ultimate guide to the best cologne for men.
Breaking down the notes, longevity, and quality each has to offer, taking the guesswork out of picking your new signature scent to accessorize with. So, wallets at the ready, these top men’s colognes have some serious “add to bag” potential.
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When choosing which fragrance to award the title of “overall best cologne for men,” I focused on versatility, wearability, and longevity. Boy does Yves Saint Laurent Y EDP deliver in all categories.
I admit, this YSL fragrance holds a special place in my collection as I received an engraved bottle from my wife for Christmas. As much as I wanted to preserve the cologne for sentimental value, I couldn’t resist ripping through it.
YSL Y EDP is woody, aromatic, and spicy with fresh green herbal notes of apple, ginger, bergamot, sage, juniper berries, and cedar. Woodsy scents tend to have the most staying power, and YSL Y is no exception. Lovers of YSL Y, including me, experience a wear time of 7-12+ hours.
Day to night, relaxed lunch, office party, to every occasion I wasn’t sure which cologne to choose, I reached for YSL Y. It never once steered me wrong. The harmonious blend of notes play out as well in spring and summer as they do in fall and winter, garnering me compliments whatever the weather.
Top Notes: Apple, ginger, bergamot | Middle Notes: Sage, juniper berries, geranium | Base notes: Cedar, vetiver, amber wood, tonka, olibanum | Size: 2oz | Type: Eau de Parfum
When Tom Ford launched his brand in 2005, he shocked the uptight fashion and beauty industry with bold, daring, and downright sexually explicit fragrance campaign shots. Ever since, Tom Ford colognes have been the go-to for men looking to celebrate their deep, dark, sensual side (and good-smelling side).
Tuscan Leather is the epitome of the Tom Ford brand in a bottle. It is the best cologne for men who want to go hell for leather, pushing boundaries with their scent. Drake even named a song after this fragrance and famously said it “smells like a brick of cocaine.”
Tuscan leather is a scent paradox. The base is bitter, animalic, and sultry, combining leather with black suede and birch wood notes. Yet, the opening is a refined, supple blend of raspberry, saffron, and thyme. The composition resembles a real leather jacket. It starts off tough and softens with wear, molding itself to the body.
Thanks to the berry florals, Tuscan Leather is a leather cologne that is suitable for the day and night but undoubtedly works best in fall and winter.
Top Notes: Raspberry, saffron, thyme | Middle Notes: Olibanum, jasmine | Base notes: Leather, black suede, amber, saffron | Size: 1oz | Type: Eau de Parfum
If you’re the type of guy, who loves to hate mainstream colognes, look away now. Whichever way you look at it, Creed Aventus is an accomplished scent with a cult following. According to Creed, “this scent has grown to become the best-selling fragrance in the history of the brand.” It’s a natural choice for the best men’s cologne of all time.
When this Creed cologne was first launched in 2010, the bright, fruity opening was a groundbreaking use of pineapple, blackcurrant, and apple. Thanks to the large number of copycats that followed, this combination might not be revolutionary, but it’s still hella good.
The sweet fruit-filled opening is grounded with musk, oakmoss, amber, and vanilla. The heart of the fragrance is a floral symphony of rose and Moroccan jasmine. The overall scent is youthful, energetic, and inviting. For a fruity fragrance, the longevity is surprising and a testament to the quality of the juice. Around 8-13 hours is the average reported wear.
Top Notes: Pineapple, bergamot, blackcurrant, apple | Middle Notes: Birch, jasmine, patchouli, rose | Base notes: Amber, oakmoss, musk, vanilla | Size: 3.3oz | Type: Eau de Parfum
Finding the top-smelling best men’s cologne was easy. Despite the fragrance market being so large and diverse, there’s a clear and unchallenged leader of the pack.
GlobeNewswire reported, “in 2021, Sauvage became the highest-selling fragrance in the world (women’s and men’s lines included) which is a worldwide first for a male fragrance.” It was also revealed that Dior sells a bottle of Sauvage every 3 seconds, which equates to around $4.5 million a day. Yikes.
So, what makes this the top men’s cologne? The pride and joy of Dior’s fragrance range is fresh and spicy with bright, earthy notes and a heady dose of pepper. Dior Sauvage is a cool-guy cologne; attractive, inviting, and masculine.
Although inspired by a “white hot rocky landscape,” Sauvage lends itself to warm and cool temperatures. Casual, formal, evening, daytime; I can’t think of an occasion where Dior Sauvage wouldn’t be appropriate.
Top Notes: Bergamot, pepper | Middle Notes: Sichuan pepper, lavender, pink pepper, vetiver, patchouli, geranium | Base notes: Ambroxan, cedar, labdanum | Size: 2oz | Type: Eau de Toilette
As the days stretch out longer and cold winds turn into balmy breezes, it’s time to rotate not only your wardrobe but also your cologne. When the moment comes to dip into the best summer colognes in my “library,” Byredo Sundazed is my first pick.
Sundazed is sparkling and bright. The type of scent that brings a smile to your face after a long, cold winter. The mandarin and lemon opening offers a mouthwatering, zesty punch closely followed by neroli and jasmine. The base features an unexpected cotton candy note alongside white musk.
I know what you’re thinking. “Cotton candy, this must be a women’s fragrance, right?” Nope, Sundazed, like much of the Byredo range, is unisex. Female users report more gourmand sweetness in the dry down. Meanwhile, male wearers pull out the citrus and musk notes more.
This pick may not be the best cologne for men who lean towards serious alpha male fragrances, but rather for guys who like to have fun with their scents.
Top Notes: Mandarin, lemon | Middle Notes: Neroli, jasmine | Base notes: Cotton candy, white musk | Size: 3.4oz | Type: Eau de Parfum
Terre D’Hermes separates the boys from the men and the men from the gentleman. It’s an outright masculine scent that’s dominant, classy, and grownup. That’s not to say that Terre D’Hermes is only suitable for formal occasions. But still, this isn’t a jeans and sweatshirt type of cologne.
The opening is a citrusy combination of orange and grapefruit. Not the sweet juice of the fruit but the tart white pith. As the fragrance develops, the peppery notes come through. The vetiver joins the party early, followed by patchouli and cedar.
Vetiver is a note that performs well in winter. Yet, citrus notoriously hates cold weather, that’s why fall is the perfect time to make the most of this top men’s cologne.
Regardless of season, though, Terre D’Hermes lasts a long time on the skin for an eau de toilette. We’re talking around 8+ hours without a top-up, which is what makes Terre D’Hermes one of the best fall fragrances.
Top Notes: Orange, grapefruit | Middle Notes: Pepper, pelargonium | Base notes: Vetiver, patchouli, cedarwood, benzoin | Size: 3.4oz | Type: Eau de Toilette
You may not want to drop hundreds of dollars on a fragrance, but you don’t have to miss out on the best colognes for men. Armaf Club de Nuit is the perfect example of a wallet-friendly cologne that doesn’t sacrifice quality for price.
Top notes include lemon, bergamot, blackcurrant, apple, and pineapple. Middle notes combine birch, jasmine, and rose, while the base features musk, ambergris, vanilla, and patchouli. Club de Nuit reaches beast mode levels when it comes to longevity and sillage or how far the scent projects.
I spritz Armaf Club de Nuit whenever I want to smell like Creed Aventus but can’t justify denting my bank-busting bottle. Club de Nuit isn’t an exact dupe. You get what you pay for with luxury colognes after all. But, I have fooled some friends who accused me of being a snob for wearing Creed Aventus to beer and game night.
Top Notes: Lemon, pineapple, bergamot, blackcurrant, apple | Middle Notes: Birch, jasmine, rose | Base notes: Musk, ambergris, patchouli, vanilla | Size: 3.6oz | Type: Eau de Toilette
When winter rolls back around, the temperature drop can wreak havoc on our skin, causing it to dry out. What does this have to do with cologne? Dry skin doesn’t hold scent as well, so our fragrances fade faster.
There are a couple of ways to beat this. One way is to remember to moisturize, and the other is to opt for the best eau de parfum winter fragrances with amber, woody notes that last longer on the skin.
Basil, coriander, and grapefruit provide an aromatic opening that is paired with a warm and spicy oriental heart and base featuring tobacco and cedar. The tobacco in the base is subtle and not overdone, allowing The One to remain a very wearable and accessible way to enjoy this popular note.
Dolce & Gabbana The One EDP reminds me of a good single malt whiskey. The One is the best cologne for men who love smoky-sweet scents that warm the senses come wintertime.
Top Notes: Basil, coriander, grapefruit | Middle Notes: Ginger, cardamom, orange blossom | Base notes: Amber, tobacco, cedar | Size: 5oz | Type: Eau de Parfum
When designing This is Him, the artistic director of Zadig & Zoltaire, Cecilia Bönström, said she wanted “to find a balance of something really clean and something darker, more mysterious.”
The fragrance is aromatic with smoky balsamic-like accords from the incense and sandalwood that are sweetened with creamy vanilla. While the zesty lemon-pepper opening ensures this sandalwood scent remains wearable and not too earthy.
Sandalwood has been a popular perfume ingredient for centuries thanks to its enticing smell and aphrodisiac properties. Researchers even found a direct link between sniffing sandalwood oil and higher levels of desire when getting down and dirty. So, if you’re looking to add some sexy to your style, Zadig & Voltaire This is Him is guaranteed to dial up the heat.
Top Notes: Black pepper, grapefruit | Middle Notes: Incense, vanilla| Base notes: Sandalwood | Size: 3.3oz | Type: Eau de Toilette
The Azzaro Wanted range is diverse. It includes an eau de toilette, eau de parfum, plus eau de parfum intense, and a pure parfum. But, of all the flankers, it’s the pure parfum that made it to my Amazon basket when it came time to choose a birthday gift for my guy friend.
The Most Wanted combines only three notes, but this doesn’t mean it’s boring. The bourbon vanilla in the base takes on a toffee-like scent that’s smooth and inviting. The fragrance is perfect for fall and winter, thanks to the spicy ginger and wood.
Parfum is the most long-lasting of all the fragrance formulations. Azzaro The Most Wanted Parfum proves this point perfectly. I still smell the scent on my skin after 12+ hours, but one Amazon reviewer boasts, “this stuff is 24 hours and then some. It projects well, sillage, and the longevity is unreal.”
This unreal performance is what makes The Most Wanted Parfum the best cologne for men on Amazon.
Top Notes: Red ginger | Middle Notes: Wood| Base notes: Bourbon vanilla | Size: 1.7oz | Type: Parfum
Spring is the transitional season that weans us gradually off dark, cold weather and into sunny, warmer temperatures. Montblanc Legend is one of the best spring fragrances, as it has notes that nod to both summer and winter.
The opening is a summertime-ready combination of tropical pineapple and aromatic bergamot, lavender, and lemon verbena. The heart is a sweet juicy surprise with notes of red apple, dried fruits, and rose, which are countered with masculine tonka bean and sandalwood. Overall, the juice is very well-balanced. No particular note overwhelms or fights against the rest.
Neither too thick nor too heavy, Montblanc Legend is one of those crowd-pleasing scents that seems to smell good on just about anyone. If you’re searching for a great spring fragrance that’s a safe blind buy, Legend is the best men’s cologne on the list.
Top Notes: Pineapple, lavender, bergamot, lemon verbena | Middle Notes: Red apple, dried fruits, oakmoss, geranium, coumarin, rose| Base notes: Tonka bean, sandalwood | Size: 3.3oz | Type: Eau de Toilette
You’re either the guy that has a closet-sized cologne collection or buys a single bottle a year. If you’re the once-a-year guy, then you need a cologne that can carry you through the seasons seamlessly. Enter in one of the best Versace colognes.
Versace Eros has joined the likes of Dior Sauvage and Creed Aventus as one of the top men’s colognes to buy. Fresh, green fragrances for men are very popular, but few play around with this category, as well as Versace.
Eros takes classic green notes and blends them with vanilla for a unique sweetness that is the scent’s trademark. Add an invigorating and unmistakable mint note in the opening, and you have a cologne daring to be noticed. Yet, a fougere heart and woodsy base ground the composition and make sure it’s not all play and no work.
I like to think of Versace Eros as a chameleon whose notes adapt to the weather. While fresh, green scents normally work best in summer, Eros has enough spicy woody elements to carry it through colder spells.
Top Notes: Mint, green apple, lemon | Middle Notes: Tonka bean, ambroxan, geranium | Base notes: Vanilla, cedar, vetiver, oakmoss | Size: 3.4oz | Type: Eau de Toilette
When it comes to the most long-lasting colognes, French fragrance house Montale excels. Premium, Parisian, and somewhat niche, Montale is my go-to brand when I want a scent with out-of-this-world longevity.
I thought I had smelled the best the brand had to offer until I visited the Boutique Montale in Milan this summer. When I asked the consultant to recommend a power-house scent with staying power, he immediately presented me Oudmazing.
Rich, spicy, and fruity, Oudmazing is no run-of-the-mill cologne. Here, oud is a top note rather than a base note, like in most male fragrances. The note pairs with mouthwatering fig, orange, pear, and grape, then enhanced with a creamy vanilla and leathery musk base.
Now let’s talk about what you came here for; longevity. Put it like this, 42% of Fragrantica reviewers voted this scent lasted 7-12 hours. Another 36% voted that it lasted 12+ hours. I can vouch for them; I have showered and still smelled this on my skin.
Top Notes: Oud, fig, pear, orange, bergamot | Middle Notes: Patchouli, orris, jasmine| Base notes: Grapes, vanilla, leather, white musk | Size: 3.4oz | Type: Eau de Parfum
A good musk cologne is tricky to master and finding one that smells fresh and clean rather than dated and powdery, can be a challenge. Until now, of course. Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue is the best cologne for men who are lovers of musk.
Pour Homme Dylan Blue is crispy, aquatic, and clean, reminiscent of a freshly laundered white shirt. The opening is botanical, thanks to bergamot, grapefruit, and fig leaf, while the heart is spicy. The musk note sits in the base alongside incense, tonka bean, and saffron.
The best musk colognes should give the impression that you just stepped out of a steamy, soapy shower. Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue ticks that box. This cologne works well for the day and night, as well as spring and summer, maybe even fall at a push. But the light aquatic notes get lost in colder weather.
Top Notes: Bergamot, water, grapefruit, fig leaf | Middle Notes: Ambroxan, black pepper, patchouli, violet leaf, papyrus | Base notes: Incense, musk, tonka bean, saffron | Size: 1.7oz | Type: Eau de Toilette
It’s fair to say that Bleu de Chanel is responsible for starting the blue fragrance craze. More than that, though, Bleu de Chanel is the king of the citrus cologne category. Bold but not obnoxious, classy but not uptight, this top men’s cologne has reinvented citrus.
Bleu de Chanel is a true representation of the luxury design house’s aesthetic; timeless, elegant, and luxurious. One of the key notes in the opening is mint. Not loud mojito cocktail mint as in Versace Eros, but rather a fresh mint plant growing wild in the Mediterranean. The citrus element comes from grapefruit and lemon, which are spiced with pink pepper and ginger.
The base is a masculine concoction of vetiver, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, and white musk. This makes this Chanel scent one of the few citrus colognes that work well in the nighttime and chillier months. If you’re seeking a stand-out citrus, you have met your match.
Top Notes: Grapefruit, lemon, mint, pink pepper | Middle Notes: Ginger, nutmeg, jasmine | Base notes: Incense, vetiver, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, labdanum, white musk | Size: 3.4oz | Type: Eau de Toilette
A fantastic scent can lift your mood, boost your confidence, and draw others toward you. Indulging in an expensive top men’s cologne is an investment in yourself. Plus, it can help elevate your style, affecting the first impression you give people.
Imagine someone was asked to describe you; what words would you want them to use? If sophisticated, adventurous, and confident come to mind, let me introduce you to your next boujee buy; Creed Silver Mountain Water.
When creating Silver Mountain Water, Olivier Creed took inspiration from his love of skiing. He wanted to capture the essence of snow-capped mountains and crystal-clear glaciers. The result is an aromatic fougere fragrance that’s pure, crisp, and revitalizing.
Silver Mountain Water expertly blends bergamot and mandarin with sweet blackcurrant, invigorating green tea, powdery musk, and smooth sandalwood. This is the best cologne for men to spritz on spring and summer days.
Top Notes: Bergamot, mandarin | Middle Notes: Green tea, blackcurrant | Base notes: Musk, petitgrain, sandalwood, galbanum | Size: 1.7oz | Type: Eau de Parfum
Stealing your dad’s cologne as a teenager and drowning yourself in it to impress a date is a rite of passage. But smelling twice your age and making everyone sneeze isn’t history we want to repeat. The best colognes for young guys should be modern and energetic. Plus, avoid falling into the trap of smelling like an AXE body spray.
I never thought a scent could make me think of Christmas and summertime cocktails at the same time but Born in Roma Yellow Dream does just that. The tropical pineapple and orange notes come through straight away. Then, as the juice settles into the skin, warm gingerbread cinnamon spices develop, deepening to a vanilla-wood base.
This is the best men’s cologne for young guys who don’t want a stuffy, heavy scent. Its fruity opening is fun and youthful, but the warm, spicy dry down has enough depth to make this fragrance still be taken seriously.
Top Notes: Pineapple, mandarin | Middle Notes: Ginger, gingerbread, spices | Base notes: Vanilla absolute, cedar | Size: 3.4oz | Type: Eau de Parfum
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What to Consider When Buying the Best Colognes for Men
Is it Seasonal?
Are the best colognes for men seasonal? According to the Perfume Society, the weather alters how your signature scent smells. Your skin’s temperature and the air outside affect the rate at which the aromatic molecules evaporate and dissipate. This action changes the way the cologne smells not only to you but also others in your space.
On the flip side, when it’s cold, this evaporation rate slows, resulting in the top and mid-notes lasting longer. Because of this, choose brighter colognes like Byredo Sundazed, Creed Silver Mountain Water, Valentino Uomo Born in Roma Yellow Dream in warm temperatures. Then, in the colder months, something more intense and cozier when the temperature takes a nosedive. This is where colognes like Dolce & Gabbana The One, Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, and Montale Oudmazing really shine.
In saying this, some colognes transition well from spring through to winter, straddling the four seasons like Versace Eros. This fragrance’s sweet and spicy notes make it trans-seasonal, so it’s 100 percent worth adding to your cologne collection. Other great trans-seasonal choices are Dior Sauvage and YSL Y.
For any guy on the quest to buy a top men’s cologne, remember, one size does not fit all. Cologne comes in different sizes and there’s a good reason for this. For instance, if you’re being bold and blind buying from the internet, it’s a safer bet to go for the smallest size available. You could even look for brands like Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel, who offer some scents in 0.5oz travel-size sprays.
When buying single-season spring and fall scents like Montblanc Legend and Terre D’Hermes, a 1oz bottle is the perfect size. If you want to buy a flacon of your tried and trusted cologne to wear whenever you go out, it’s kinder on the wallet and better value to go for a large size. In this case, opt for a 3.4oz bottle. Not ready to get fully juiced up? Then, a 1.7oz bottle of one of the best colognes for men should last up to 365 days, giving you around 500-750 sprays.
Is it Long-Lasting?
You’ll find the higher the oil concentration, the longer the top men’s colognes will last. Some fragrances disappear a few hours after spraying. Meanwhile, others linger on items of clothing even after laundering. It’s especially important to consider whether it’s cologne or perfume.
I don’t think you can find any longer-lasting fragrances than those from Parisian perfume brand Montale. According to the brand, their fragrances feature premium-quality natural materials in high concentrations. It’s this, they say, that makes them exceptionally long-lasting and intense. The stand-out scent for me is Oudmazing, which lingers on my skin for days.
When considering how long-lasting a fragrance is, we don’t just test how long it sits on the skin, but also how much of a shelf life it has. A pure parfum has the highest alcohol concentration of all the fragrance formulations and will keep the longest before turning sour or expiring. If shelf life is a top consideration for you when choosing a cologne, then opt for Azarro The Most Wanted Parfum.
Although, follow our tips for how to prevent your cologne expiring early, and you can make almost any fragrance long-lasting.
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This game-changing guide has everything from cult classics to new releases to suit every mood and criteria. Plus, the handy top, middle, and base notes breakdowns can help you compare colognes at a glance.
But if you’re looking for one fragrance that can do it all, YSL Y EDP is the best men’s cologne. On-trend, versatile, and long-lasting, it has all the makings of a sexy signature scent.
To find your perfect cologne, trust in your nose; your sense of smell is the most reliable way to find your signature scent. From there, avoid the billboard bull about how a particular cologne can make you buff, irresistible, or manly. When it comes to the scent of attraction, find ones that make you feel like a better version of yourself. From there, the trick is to choose the right fragrance for the occasion.
The best place to apply cologne is to the pulse points and around 3-6-in away from the skin. Don’t rub the cologne into your skin, as this can alter its scent. Instead, press it gently into the skin, allowing it to absorb. When you choose from the top men’s colognes, you don’t need to go heavy; remember, less is more. So, aim for around 2-4 sprays to prevent overpowering everyone in your neighborhood. The best time to apply cologne is fresh from the shower when your skin is clean and dry.
Pulse points are warm and help to project the cologne. These include the wrists, inner elbows, behind the knees, neck, chest, and shoulders. These areas are warm, and the extra heat from your body will project your scent making it way more likely to be smelled. To make your cologne last even longer, make sure to spritz it on both your skin and your clothes. If you are a daily shaver, avoid spritzing to close to your collar and neck. This will help avoid irritating the freshly shaven skin.