8 Best Cologne Brands For Men – Staple Fragrances For 2023 | FashionBeans
Harry Styles rocks Tom Ford, Ed Sheeran is a fan of Paco Rabanne, and Jude Law loves Paul Smith. There are lots of best cologne brands, and we all have our favorite fragrances.
It’s great to have a couple of signature scents. But let’s get real; if you wear a particular cologne every day, it can get boring. Not just for you but for those around you. Why not step out of your cologne comfort zone, and choose different scents to suit your mood, the occasion or even the weather?
While fresh citrus colognes are perfect for spring and summer, nothing smells quite as inviting as a sultry tobacco cologne in fall and winter. When date night comes around, it’s time to check out colognes women love. Yet, a sexy pheromone scent isn’t going to cut it in the boardroom as well as a clean and confidence-boosting musk cologne.
No one explains this better than Scent Marketing Research, “scent affects mood, concentration, memory recall and emotion. In fact, 75% of all emotions generated every day are due to smell, and because of this, we are 100 times more likely to remember something we smell over something we see, hear or touch.” Additional research shows that “there is a 40% improvement in mood after being exposed to pleasant scents.”
There are so many brands on offer that it’s easy to get choice overload. And in-store shopping for a scent is a battlefield. So, to make things a whole lot easier, I’ve whittled it down to bring you the 8 best cologne brands you can buy online.
To help you get the hang of how to expand your scent wardrobe, I’ve rounded up some of the best cologne brands. From luxurious classics such as Narcisco Rodriguez Bleu Noir to fashionable yet frugal, best-budget buy Paul Smith Extreme. These designers both know how to put on a show. So, if you’re still searching for a standout scent to wear, check out my pick of the best 8 best cologne brands for men.
maisonmargielafragrances / Instagram
For a cologne to scoop the coveted title of “best overall”, it has some tough criteria to meet. To earn my endorsement, it must be versatile, crowd-pleasing, and long-lasting. Basically, if you only wanted to buy one cologne this year, which should that be?
Without further ado, let me introduce woody wonder Bleu Noir from one of the best cologne brands, Narcisco Rodriguez. A warm, woody scent with vetiver, cedar, ebony, amber, and musk notes. This balanced fragrance is sexy but low-key, sophisticated but not too mature; it’s a true modern-day masterpiece.
Woody fragrances are a dime a dozen amongst the best cologne brands, but Bleu Noir knocks it out of the park with its trans-seasonal blend. Daytime errands, coffee hangouts, sultry dates, and important meetings, I’m yet to find a season, time of day, or occasion where Bleu Noir hasn’t had my back. Plus, a 6-7 hour wear time limits the need for top-ups.
Fresh, green, warm, woody, and citrusy, there are a tonne of cologne categories on offer from the best cologne brands. Maybe you don’t know where to begin or don’t want to limit yourself to only one vibe. In that case, opt for a scent that nods its head to a range of notes.
Paul Smith Extreme is an aromatic freshie with depth. The fragrance opens with a bright, spicy pop. Here, lemon, bergamot, and cardamom mingle with nutmeg, geranium, and rosemary. As the blend deepens, it reveals a woody accord with hints of musk and tonka. The best part? You can enjoy all this for less than 50 dollars.
I’ll level with you, though. Paul Smith Extreme doesn’t have mind-blowing longevity or crazy projection. You’ll need to top-up at the 3–4-hour mark. However, this scent is ideal for spring and summer when you should be avoiding cloying, sticky scents.
We can’t talk about the best cologne brands for men without mentioning the G.O.A.T; Tom Ford. And of all the designer brand’s offerings, none is more popular and well-known than Tobacco Vanille. This boujee boozy cologne smells expensive, sexy, and opulent.
A rich blend of tobacco, spices, vanilla, cacao, tonka, dried fruits, and wood results in a smooth show-stopping scent. On the skin, Tobacco Vanille transitions seamlessly through its notes before landing on its sweet, smoky base, which lingers on for eternity. Tobacco Vanille is the crown prince of long-lasting colognes.
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille is a big boy cologne. That’s not to say it’s mature, but it takes a confident guy with style to really carry it off. This is not a frag to spritz on your hoodie or wear for beers with your mates. Tobacco Vanilla deserves a special occasion.
This cologne is the million-dollar answer for young guys looking to fill a space with a fragrance others can detect from several miles away! The youthful scent is playful and loud. Even its gold ingot shape bottle screams ‘look at me’.
Its initial sweet burst comes courtesy of its leather, rose, and citrus notes, but this quickly fades. From then on, you can expect warm amber with a refreshing hint of mint. Finally, cinnamon, amber, and spicy notes join the party to add some pep to the dominant dry down.
One Million is a real party animal for fall and winter. It’s the perfect gift for hectic holidays like Christmas. From a nostalgic point of view, this cologne is emotive, it was one of my very first fragrances, and just one spritz, even today, makes me smile.
RELATED: READ OUR PACO RABANNE ONE MILLION REVIEW
On a recent trip to Rome, I stayed in an amazing 5-star hotel. Don’t worry; this won’t turn into a hotel review. The complimentary toiletries were a luxurious offering of Acqua di Parma goodies. This is where I first came across Acqua di Parma Bergamotto di Calabria.
If you want to escape the drab and dreary for the rolling hills of sun-soaked Calabria, this cologne will do the trick. Bergamotto di Calabria is bursting with sharp and juicy lemon, bergamot, and ginger. Meanwhile, woody, floral, and musk notes offer a heavenly dry down. This summertime scent is like sunshine in a bottle.
Founded way back in 1916, Italian fragrance house Acqua di Parma is one of the best cologne brands for discerning gents. Their range of sophisticated scents are made with quality ingredients for a refined product guaranteed to elevate your daily style. Pair this cologne with your favorite linen shirt and designer shades.
Do you love fragrances that smell smooth and creamy but don’t know what notes give that vibe? Seek out colognes with sandalwood and vanilla notes like Zadig & Voltaire This is Him.
This is Him is a mysterious, boho scent with just enough fresh, clean notes, like grapefruit and black pepper, to keep it daytime appropriate. But it’s the pairing of smoky incense with the vanilla-sandalwood base that really makes it a memorable cologne for fall and winter. Plus, its 7-10 hour wear time comes in handy in colder months when cologne can have a harder time making itself known.
Don’t only take my word for it when I say Zadig & Voltaire is one of the best cologne brands for men. This is Him scored a rare 4.14/5 on Fragrantica. If you don’t think that sounds very impressive, you obviously haven’t checked out Fragrantica lately. Two words; tough crowd.
Some trends can be a flash in the pan, while others make perfect sense and are clearly here to stay. Like solid cologne, a modern alternative to traditional liquid fragrances. So, if you’re going to experiment with a solid cologne, then let it be this one. Reuzel founders Leen and Bertus are two rock ‘n roll guys who say they want to create products guys can trust. This solid cologne lives up to that and then some.
The wax-based cologne balm features notes of cedarwood, clove, and lemon zest. Its fresh yet earthy fragrance is long-lasting without being overbearing. It’s more of an up close and personal scent rather than an assault on the nostrils. When applied to the pulse points, this solid cologne lasts for 4-5 hours. Yet, when the time comes for a top-up, its texture and convenient packaging make it easy and discreet to apply.
Some aftershaves containing alcohol can leave your skin feeling dry, but this one doesn’t. Instead, it leaves me feeling moisturized, which is way better for my skin, and from a sustainability viewpoint.
When someone compliments my cologne, I’m buzzed. It sets me on a high all day. But when someone asks me, “is that you’re wearing?” Yeah, not so much. If you’re the type who prefers a cologne that’s more mysterious than mainstream, you need a niche fragrance brand.
Maison Margiela is one of the best cologne brands for men who like to get ahead of the trend. Their up-and-coming Replica range aims to recreate the scent of a specific period or location. Jazz Club evokes memories of smoky cigars and boozy cocktails with notes of rum, tobacco, vanilla, pink pepper, and lemon.
If you’re more likely to spend your Saturday night hitting the town rather than slouching on the sofa, Jazz Club is your new best friend. This sexy, rough-around-the-edges fragrance is the perfect wingman for fall and winter nights.
reuzel / Instagram
What To Look For When Searching For The Best Cologne Brands For Men
The best cologne brands are available in lots of options. You can choose from a long-lasting Eau de Parfum, an uplifting everyday Eau de Toilette, or an eco-friendly solid cologne. I like to mix and match my cologne formulas depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing. An Eau de Parfum is perfect for special occasions, but after a heavy session at the gym, I like to splash on an Eau de Toilette. When traveling or riding my motorcycle, I find a solid cologne like Reuzel Solid Cologne Balm easy to pop in my pocket and use as a quick freshen-up.
Sandalwood, musk, vanilla, woody, and tobacco scents are just some of the top-selling colognes for men. But whether you go sultry, sophisticated, or sporty, make your scent match your mood. If you’re feeling sexy, it’s got to be Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille. However, if you’re more of a man of mystery, you won’t go far wrong with the less recognizable, boho-chic option, Zadig & Voltaire This is Him.
We guys are hard-wired to prolong pleasurable experiences! So, when choosing a great-smelling cologne, we naturally want it to last longer. For me, luxury brand Narcisco Rodriguez Bleu Noir is my go-to stand-up scent, lasting for around 6-7 hours. Another stiff contender in the longevity stakes is Maison Margiela Jazz Club, which comes in at around 5-6 hours of wear time; music to my ears. In hot and heavy weather, you want a cool and light scent that tapers off more naturally. Something fresh and citrusy like Acqua di Parma Bergamotto di Calabria will serve you well.
narciso_rodriguez / Instagram
Thanks to the cornucopia of colognes on offer from the world’s best cologne brands, the options are limitless. If you’re struggling to separate the basic from the badass when picking out a new scent, you can’t go wrong with my tried and tested 8 best cologne brands. Take, for instance, my top pick, Narcisco Rodriguez Bleu Noir, a super versatile, woody fragrance that’ll turn heads for all the right reasons.
There is a reason why these 8 best cologne brands have made the cut. Each one performs best in its category. Take, for instance, Paul Smith Extreme, Jude Law’s favorite that comes in at a pocket-friendly price point. Or, on the flip side, Paco Rabanne’s One Million that gives Ed Sheeran something to sing about. Every fragrance on our chart-topping list of best cologne brands for men will leave a lasting and great impression.