Like a moth to a flame, some colognes are capable of snatching our attention by appealing to our senses. Whether warm and woody or fresh and clean, colognes have the power to convey personality and attract attention. So, if you’re looking to boost your desirability, the right scent will go a long way. Luckily, we know what you need. Here are the best smelling and most irresistible colognes for men.
Best Colognes for Men in 2021
1. 1 Million by Paco Rabanne
Audacious warm cinnamon, blood mandarin, grapefruit, and mint citrus notes entwine with masculine leather and Indian patchouli creating a scent to make women weak at the knees. The gold bar bottle is emblematic of this cologne’s provocative allure and power, while the tantalizing cocktail of distinct magnetic notes is the definition of luxurious.
2. Nautica Voyage
Fresh summer days by the sea is the vibe you’ll get with Nautica Voyage. It combines woody scents with aquatic notes for a masculine and adventurous fragrance. Enjoy top notes of apple and green leaves, which are supported by heart notes of water lotus. Underneath is cedarwood, amber, musk, and marine, which rounds the scent out nicely, balancing the freshness with earthiness
3. Armaf Club De Nuit Intense
Intense and enigmatic, Armaf Club De Nuit Intense is the perfect scent for confident men. Enjoy top notes of apple, bergamot, pineapple, and lemon, which are complemented by the floral mid-notes of rose, jasmine, and birch. The masculine and earthy tones of musk, patchouli, and ambergris round it out, while the vanilla provides an enticing but subtle sweetness. This cologne is assertive and unapologetic.
4. Creed Aventus
Celebrating the strength and vision of Napoleon, Creed features a bouquet of fruity notes including Corsican blackcurrant, Italian bergamot, French apple, and royal pineapple, while birch and patchouli give the blend a smoky confidence irresistible to women. It is due to this rich, masterful amalgamation of scents that Creed Aventus is one of history’s bestselling colognes.
5. Acqua Di Gio
Inspired by the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria, Georgio Armani created an aquatic aroma that splashes warm sunshine onto your skin. Calabrian bergamot is one of many citric notes that gives this scent its signature freshness, but as you dive deeper, you discover sweet jasmine and rosemary. Finally, uncover the fresh, seawater tones which create a marine masculinity.
6. Paco Rabanne Invictus
You’ll be smelling like victory and feeling like a hero with a simple spray of Paco Rabanne Invictus. The winning cologne boasts a bold mixture of freshness and heat that’ll see you through any situation, no matter how tough. Featuring fresh and zesty notes of grapefruit with woody tones of bay leaf, patchouli, and oakmoss, this daring fragrance promises to boost your confidence and draw compliments.
7. Bleu de Chanel
Since its inception in 1910, Chanel has forever been synonymous with elegance. It is, therefore, no surprise that their Bleu de Chanel cologne is a timeless, must-have addition to any man’s life. Unmistakably masculine, it brings together amber dry cedar, incense and ginger to provide an aromatic woody scent, while citrus notes infuse an air of fresh, sophistication. Oriental surprises await the wearer as the hour’s pass and mint notes make way for a seductively, spicy undertone.
8. Acqua di Parma Essenza
In the foreground of this delicious summer scent is a standout neroli note, shadowed by a citrus chorus and floral hints including jasmine and rose. Essenza Colonia exudes summer and will leave you with a refined, post-barbershop aroma.
9. Dior Sauvage
Sauvage evokes freedom which is echoed in the colognes short film depicting a scorching Joshua Tree desert scene starring the rebellious icon Johnny Depp. Orchestrated with zesty Calabrian bergamot, black pepper notes, a salty ambroxan, and patchouli of the purest quality Sauvage is fresh and wild.
10. Tom Ford Noir Extreme
For the gent who isn’t satisfied with regular, Tom Ford Noir Extreme is the ideal fragrance. Created to reveal a new dimension of the Noir man, Noir Extreme is an amber-drenched, woody oriental fragrance with a tantalizing heart. Incredible notes of coriander, black plum, black fig, patchouli, and leather evoke pure, seductive masculinity, while the addition of black truffle makes this daring scent extraordinary.
11. Diesel Only The Brave Wild
Wild is the third installment in the Only the Brave range from Diesel and is aimed at the man who believes his primary instincts and has the courage to create his own path. The unique scent greets you with top notes of grapefruit, lemongrass, and black pepper. At its heart, however, dwells floral lavender and geranium mixed with the spice of nutmeg and the sweet scent of coumarin. Rounding out this fantastic scent is a base that features notes of cedarwood, vetiver, and moss combined with the creamy character and fresh aroma of coconut water.
12. Armani Code
A fragrance to warm your winter’s night, Armani Code seamlessly blends fresh bergamot and lemon top notes with star anise and olive blossom. Hints of tobacco, leather, and Tonka bean add depth to this unique scent, therefore creating a contemporary aroma that is irresistible to women.
13. Gucci Guilty
A luxurious cologne starring invigorating lemon, and is intensified with seductive notes of lavender and patchouli. Gucci Guilty oozes a style that will have women captivated both day and night.
14. Jimmy Choo Man
Evoking raw masculinity, confidence, and rebelliousness, this seductive cologne is Jimmy Choo’s first, highly impressive foray into the world of men’s fragrances. Anyone who has experienced its power will understand why Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow was chosen as the face of this masterful aromatic, woody and fruity blend. The allure begins with top notes of lavender, mandarin, and honeydew melon, which are then complemented by pink pepper, geranium, pineapple leaf, patchouli, and suede
15. Dolce & Gabbana The One
Simultaneously modern and classic, Dolce & Gabbana’s The One is a timeless fragrance featuring an elegant and sensual scent. The cologne boasts a harmony of tobacco notes and refined spices that achieve a masculine, oriental scent. As well as smelling great, the fragrance also looks great. Housed in a clean glass bottle with a brushed brown metal cap, the cologne signifies contemporary luxury in every way.
16. Versace Eros
Versace Eros is the type of cologne that will drive your lady wild with every smell. This wonderful fragrance, which is composed of an incredible blend of sweet and salty notes, will delight both her senses as well as your own. Notes of seawater provide a fresh nautical scent while nuances of sunny warmth on your skin complete this cologne in perfect harmony. As for specifics, mint leaves, lemon zest, tonka bean, amber, vanilla, cedarwood, vetiver, and oakmoss make this cologne into the intense, masculine, and refreshing scent that it is.
17. Maison Martin Margiela Replica Jazz Club
Maison Martin Margiela’s Replica Jazz Club captures and immortalizes the exhilarating ambiance of a Brooklyn jazz club in a simple and stylish bottle. Consequently, the wonderful fragrance is sure to have you hearing saxophones and trumpets with its evocative scent, which features musk, vanilla, tonka bean, vetiver, and tobacco leaves.
18. Kenneth Cole Vintage Black Eau Depray
Every man knows that smelling good is important, but your choice of cologne can also say a lot about your personality. Kenneth Cole Vintage Black Eau De Toilette Spray is a fantastic product for an individual who wants a powerful, masculine scent that can be worn in a variety of occasions. It is a fragrance that is simple and classic and designed to appeal to the metropolitan man. This makes sense, considering the brand embodies New York life and is manufactured in the USA. As for what you can expect from the smell? It is a mixture of notes of lime, grapefruit, white pepper, lavender, dry oak, sandalwood, and tequila. It is an exciting combination for an interesting man.
19. English Laundry Oxford Bleu Eau de Parfum
If you are looking for a cologne that is bound to get you a lot of compliments, then English Laundry Oxford Bleu Eau de Parfum could be the choice for you. It is highly-rated, affordable, and created by Christopher Wicks, who was inspired by the arts and culture of his hometown, Manchester. This is a decidedly English fragrance and has a real classiness about it. Top notes include mint, green apple, and lemon, while middle notes are tonka bean, iris, and geranium, with a base of oakmoss, sandalwood, vetiver, and vanilla. It is the perfect choice for warm weather, and you only need to spritz each wrist once, so it is a cologne that will last for months.
20. Jack Black’s JB Eau de Parfum
Jack Black’s JB Eau de Parfum is a light smell, but one that will last. It is created to appeal to modern gentlemen, and considering that it has a classic blend of aromas, it is not hard to see why it is the perfect fragrance for everyday wearing. It is also worth noting that Eau de Parfums tend to be more concentrated and therefore last longer than Eau de Toilette, meaning you won’t have to reapply the cologne multiple times during the day to retain that intense and captivating scent. The brand was founded in 2000 and is based in Texas, and has evolved into a tried and trusted company for skincare. This product is also cruelly free, free from parabens, artificial colorants, and is dermatologist tested.
21. Kenneth Cole Mankind Hero Eau De Toilette Spray
There is a lot to like when it comes to Kenneth Cole Mankind Hero Eau De Toilette Spray. It is a fragrance that celebrates what it is to be a modern man. He can be a friend, a great partner, and a dedicated family man. With these ideas in mind, the brand crafted this cologne, a perfect blend of fresh mountain air and rich woods infused with black vanilla. It is the type of smell that can give you confidence with its clean, masculine scent, and you can wear it every day. It lends itself well to a variety of different occasions, including work functions or date nights.
22. Azzaro Wanted for Men Eau de Toilette
If you are looking for something special, look no further than Azzaro Wanted for Men Eau de Toilette. The reason this aroma stands out from the rest is that it’s bold and powerful. It is the ideal blend of ginger, lemon, cardamom, tonka bean, and vetiver with woody citrus and spicy notes. It is a highly rated fragrance, long-lasting, and a little will go a long way. Great to purchase as a gift or for yourself. To enhance your smell, you can also buy the Azzaro Wanted deodorant stick.
23. Calvin Klein Eternity for Men Eau de Toilette
Calvin Klein Eternity for Men Eau de Toilette is a refreshing scent of green botanicals. It is excellent for the man who wants something timeless and special, and the brand has crafted the aroma with this in mind. The product has been around for decades, making it valued and trusted. It is meant to appeal to an individual who can embrace his sensitive and masculine qualities —someone appreciating family, health, work, and happiness. Top notes include mandarin, sage, and galbanum; heart notes are basil, geranium, and lavender, with base notes of cedarwood, amber, and moss. In addition to the fantastic aroma, the bottle, simple with a stylish silver cap, will look great displayed in your bathroom.
24. Yves Saint Laurent Y Eau De Toilette Spray
Yves Saint Laurent is a luxury French fashion house known for its good-quality products, attention to detail, and an appreciation of the finer things in life. The same concept is applied to their fragrances, and the Yves Saint Laurent Y Eau De Toilette Spray is exceptional. It is a blend of woody aromatics and notes of bergamot, geranium, ginger, lemon, pineapple, musk, apple, ambergris. It is a unique smell, best worn at night or for important events. Eau De Toilette is not as concentrated as Parfum, so it may not last as long, but it is still a lovely aroma and highly rated. Expect to receive many compliments.
25. Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb
The male equivalent to Viktor & Rolf’s famed female perfume, Flowerbomb, Spicebomb is an equally explosive scent that is powerful, audacious, and sensual. The cologne bomb, which is housed within a fitting hand grenade-style bottle, contains two contrasting yet complementing accords. The first is addictive and fiery and features notes of chili, saffron, leather, tobacco, and vetiver. Consequently, the counterpart and polar opposite to this are the explosive, icy scents of bergamot, grapefruit, elemi, and pink pepper.
26. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Maxi
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Maxi is a truly masculine cologne that is perfect for polished and powerful gents to wear daily. The fragrance, which is overall refreshing, sparkling, and utterly alluring, contains sharp, oriental, and woody scents. In addition to these enticing and attractive smells, this cologne boasts notes of warm fresh mint, bergamot, cardamom, lavender, and orange blossom blended with the aromas of cinnamon, cumin, musk, amber, vanilla, and tonka bean.
27. John Varvatos Artisan
Artisans are renowned for the mastery of their crafts. The name of this John Varvatos cologne, therefore, exemplifies the skill and expertise that went into its creation. An exquisite blend of citric and herbal layers, it includes a diverse range of scents to entice those around you. Standouts, however, include Sicilian clementine, a trio of gingers, as well as divine orange blossom.
28. Polo Red Intense
Launched in 2015 the Polo Red Intense Ralph Lauren transitional season cologne was inspired by the adrenaline of fast cars and the sweet electricity of the notes reflects that. A concoction of spices and roasted coffee beans kick you into overdrive while grapefruit and amber further the addictive nature of this fragrance.
29. Bottega Veneta Pour Homme
Bottega Veneta is a scent for the alpine man who wishes to leave behind the urban environment while maintaining a sophisticated spirit. Andalusian labdanum sets the scene while Siberian pine and fir resins transport you to woods. Experience the icy strength of Balkan juniper before the spicy scents of Jamaican pepper, Mediterranean clary sage and, finally, Indian patchouli radiate their intoxicating aromas.
30. La Nuit de l`Homme Yves Saint Laurent
Bold cardamom sits in accord with fresh bergamot, soothing lavender, and warm cedar to create the dark and alluring La Nuit de l’Homme. Bright undertones deepen this colognes sophistication and help to further seduce the senses.
31. Italian Bergamot Ermenegildo Zegna
Italian Bergamot is a straightforward cologne that allows each of its notes to find a place aromatically. Sparkling Calabrian bergamot and sweet neroli accompany vetiver and rosemary to create a charming summertime scent.
32. Euphoria Intense Cologne
Euphoria Intense is a new fragrance inspired by the darker, sexier side of euphoria men signature. Intense yet smooth, it blends the signature scent with darker wood and spice notes for a richer, masculine scent at the peak of its sexiness.
33. Guess Seductive
The name of this fragrance by Guess says it all. Seductive is a favorite men’s cologne that’s perfect for romantic occasions and events. The irresistible scent, which is intended for charming and charismatic gents, contains woody, aromatic, and Fougère notes. Its top consists of cardamom, mandarin, and pepper while its heart features vanilla, violet, and vetiver, and its base boasts patchouli, sandalwood, amber, and musk.
34. Encre Noire Lalique
Since its introduction, Encre Noire by Lalique has been worn and loved by gents all over the world. The fragrance has a personality of its own and is perfect for suave and sophisticated gents. The woody aromatic scent celebrates modernity with a bold middle note of vetiver. Its top note, on the other hand, features cypress while its base contains notes of musk and cashmere wood.
35. Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme Ultime
L’Homme Ultime by Yves Saint Laurent represents a contrast between freedom and control and is, therefore, a cologne for wild men who know when to be tame. The audacious blend, which is said to seduce women and inspire other gents, features the fresh sensuality of sage combined with the depth of aromatic wood to create a distinct, modern and masculine scent.
36. Valentino Uomo
For the modern man, Valentino’s Uomo is an essential scent. Perfect for night and the cold seasons, this fragrance is impressive and smells fantastic. The composition features top notes of bergamot and myrtle along with a heart of roasted coffee combined with gianduja cream. Completing the scent is Uomo’s rich base of cedar and precious leather.
37. Bulgari Pour Homme Soir
Bulgari Pour Homme Soir is the ultimate captivating men’s fragrance. The scent boasts an expertly balanced combination of woody, floral and musk fragrances. When it comes to specifics, Bulgari Pour Homme Soir features notes of papyrus, amber, Darjeeling tea, and bergamot.
38. Eight & Bob
Eight & Bob’s scent is just as impressive as the story behind its name. The enticing fragrance’s history is centered on a chance meeting between an American student named John F. Kennedy and a Parisian aristocrat called Albert Fouquet in the 1930s. The tale goes that Kennedy was so intrigued by Fouquet’s hand-crafted fragrance that he requested eight bottles of the scent, “and if your production allows, one for Bob”.
39. Terre d’Hermès
Hermès evokes the world’s rich woodlands and forest fruits with this aptly titled, earthy scent. This masculine, citrus blend expertly fuses fresh notes of orange and grapefruit with attention-catching pepper and spices. Featuring woody tones of cedar and benzoin as well as sharp mineral additions of flint and vetiver, this scent will transport you to rocky mountains, alpine ranges, sprawling forests, and beyond.
40. L’eau D ‘Issey Pour Homme
Hailing from Japan, Master Miyake, and his team are experts when it comes to creating rare, unique pieces that will ultimately stand the test of time. Created in 1994, this alluring cologne is the perfect example of Japanese balance and harmony. Watch as it entices women with the fresh scent of bergamot, lemon, and tarragon, before driving them wild with the stunning blend of aquatic and smoky woodland notes, including nutmeg, water lily, tobacco, sandalwood, vetiver, and musk.
41. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis
Combining sweet notes of bergamot, Sicilian lemon, lily of the valley, and orange blossom with masculine, musky wood, Aqua Universalis is said to be the “missing link” in any man’s life. Named after one of Earth’s most precious resources, this refreshing scent is similarly light and invigorating, yet ultimately powerful and enduring.
42. Icon Alfred Dunhill
Luxury British fashion house Dunhill is renowned for its bespoke menswear, leather goods, and accessories. Boasting a timeless, classic aesthetic in their apparel, it is no wonder therefore that their Dunhill Icon cologne matches this winning profile. Released in 2015, this sophisticated scent envelops spicy notes of neroli absolute, Italian bergamot, petitgrain, and black pepper within an enthralling heart of cardamom, sage, Provencal lavender, and juniper berry. Finally, the bottom notes catapult the senses into a warm, masculine world of vetiver, agarwood, iris, oakmoss, and leather.
43. RawChemistry Labs Pheromones
When it comes to attracting women, Pheromones for Men by RawChemistry is the cologne for the job. The formula, which was created in an Oregon laboratory, was specifically designed to target a women’s attraction receptors within her brain and is proven to have an enticing smell. The amazing and empowering scent, which contains a patented blend of human pheromones, is adept at gaining attention and creating desire.
44. Burberry Touch
Introduced to the world in 2000, Burberry Touch has become a classic cologne for classy gents. It’s fresh and invigorating, yet also warm, and makes for an ideal daily scent. The top notes include fresh florals and fruit, with artemisia, violet leaf, and orange citrus. The mid notes are spicier, with nutmeg, white pepper, and cedar, while the base notes provide a warm woody foundation with vetiver, tonka bean, and musk. You’ll be sure to create a strong and lasting impression each time you wear this fragrance.
45. Mr. Burberry
Zesty grapefruit top notes are anchored with smoky guaiac wood and earthy vetiver to create this unexpected yet alluring scent that’s full of contrasts and surprises. As such, it’s the ideal cologne for men who are intriguing and unexpected. The simple yet timeless bottle design is inspired by the iconic black Burberry trench coat, featuring a gabardine bow and weighted cap. It’s a stylish addition to any man’s fragrance collection.
46. Montblanc Legend
Montblack Legend is a sexy and aromatic cologne that’s perfect for everyday wear. It’s a fougere, or fern-like scent, one of the main fragrance families that commonly features ingredients like bergamot, lavender, vetiver, geranium, and oakmoss. In addition to the top notes of bergamot and lavender, Legend also has pineapple for a fruity twist. Then, in the middle is apple, rose, and geranium, while the base notes include cedar, sandalwood, and tonka bean. Such a combination makes this a bright, energetic, and unforgettable perfume for men.
47. Coach For Men
If you’re looking for an energetic yet sensual cologne, then Coach for Men is an excellent option. Begin with cool fresh nashi pears on top, followed by spicy cardamom at the heart, and vetiver on the base. The result is an aromatic and woody scent that evokes a sense of New York City freedom and spontaneity.
48. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue is the kind of fragrance that is right at home sipping limoncello on Italy’s Alamfi Coast. It’s fresh, invigorating, and full of adventure. The citrus focussed top notes feature Sicilian mandarin, juniper, grapefruit, and bergamot. Herbaceous scents are added in the middle with rosemary, Brazilian rosewood, and pepper. Finally, it’s rounded out and grounded thanks to musk, oakmoss, and incense. Wear this every day, for date night, or savor it on your next tropical vacation.
49. Hugo Boss BOSS NO. 6
Keep it casual with BOSS No. 6 from Hugo Boss. This cologne is confident and masculine, featuring fresh and fruity scents thanks to apple and citrus top notes. However, spices and woods mellow out the fruitiness to bring balance and harmony to the fragrance. This includes cloves and cinnamon in the mid-notes, and sandalwood, vetiver, cedarwood, and olive wood for the base notes.
50. Calvin Klein Eternity Aqua
Aquatic colognes like this one from Calvin Klein are the ideal summer scent for laid-back vibes and fresh fun. Keep it cool with cucumber, citrus, and green leaves on top, which are reminiscent of a refreshing gin and tonic on a yacht. Sichuan pepper, Mirabell plum, lavender, and cedar add some extra robustness through the middle, while sandalwood, guaiac wood, and patchouli anchor the fragrance with woody vigor.
51. Lacoste Style in Play
Playful and fun-loving gents will appreciate Style in Play from Lacoste. This cologne is packed full of zesty and exciting aromas, including green apple, thuja, and pine, along with cedar and white musk. It’s a flirty fragrance that is sure to grab attention and turn heads, making it perfect for a night on the town, Sunday barbecue, or date night with someone special.
52. Burberry London
Anglophiles will love Burberry London. This cologne brings together London’s fashion, history, and beauty into one sophisticated fragrance for men. It’s warm and spicy to steel you against a cold British winter. There are top notes of bergamot, cinnamon, lavender, and pepper, that intertwine with soft leather, mimosa, and sweet port wine in the middle. Finally, the captivating of base notes that become more alluring as it warms to your body include guaiac wood, oakmoss, tobacco leaves, and myrrh.
53. Prada Luna Rossa Sport
Prada’s Luna Rossa Sport is modern and masculine and takes inspiration from the world of boat racing. It opens as tart, citrusy and spicy, thanks to top of notes juniper and ginger. It’s a bold, explosive punch to the senses. However, the middle notes of lavender and base notes of vanilla and tonka bean balance it out to create a well-rounded fragrance. It’s ideal for men who love adventure and aren’t afraid to get sweaty in the pursuit of excellence and fun.
54. Estee Lauder Pleasures
If a clean, energetic, and masculine scent is what you’re after, Estee Lauder Pleasures for Men is the answer. It’s packed full of fresh fruit and spice aromas that will have everyone asking what it is you’re wearing. You’ll find citrus, green leaves, and nectarine at the top, while through the heart, it’s spicier with ginger, allspice, and cilantro. Finally, the base notes of ebony, sandalwood, and moss will warm with your body to leave a long-lasting scent.
55. Paul Sebastian Fine
Oriental fragrances such as this cologne from Paul Sebastian are a classic and refined option for men looking for something different and masculine. It combines earthy aromas with bold flowers for a scent that is ideal for evening wear, such as a formal dinner, date night, or romantic weekend away. Enjoy top notes featuring sage, nutmeg, and lavender. Beneath that, you’ll discover ylang ylang, cloves, jasmine, and spices, finishing with amber, musk, oakmoss, and patchouli at the base.
Types of Fragrances
Fragrances are a blend of scented oils and a carrier ingredient which is most commonly alcohol. The goal of the carrier ingredient is to dilute the oil and stabilize the scent allowing it to last longer. The higher the percentage of oil to alcohol, the more it lingers. The varying ratios between these ingredients are why different types of perfumes last for varying amounts of time. Sometimes it feels as if you’ve not applied any at all, then other times, your scent will last all day and well into the night. Getting your head around the different types will help you make the best decision next time you’re at the perfume counter.
Eau fraiche is the lightest fragrance option for men. It translates as ‘fresh water’ and contains between one and three percent oil. Additionally, it tends to use water as the carrier rather than alcohol. As such, it generally only stays on the skin for an hour or so. It’s good for kicking around the house if you want to smell fresh when you get out of the shower, but it’s not ideal if you want it to last all day. However, it is also the cheapest fragrance type.
Next up is eau-de-cologne. With an oil concentration of two to four percent, it lasts for a couple of hours. Again, like eau fraiche, it’s less expensive, but you don’t get the longevity. It’s best suited for fresh, summery scents such as citrus, fruits, and some florals.
One of the most common types of mens’ fragrance is eau-de-toilette (EDT). The concentration of oil will vary from five to 15 percent, depending on the brand. This means it will linger on your skin for three hours, or even up to a full day, and is ideal for the workplace. However, it’s not quite strong enough to take you through to the evening, so if you’re heading out to dinner after work, you’ll need a refresher spray.
Eau-de-Parfum is traditionally found more often among women’s fragrances; however, it is becoming more popular with men’s scents. That’s thanks to its increased longevity, as the oil concentration sits between 15 and 20 percent. This will have you smelling amazing for five to eight hours, which is enough to last through an entire day. However, because it is stronger, you need to be wary that you’re not over spraying, as it can be a bit intense. You’ll also pay a lot more for this type, but depending on your needs, it’s often worth every cent.
The final type of fragrance is parfum. It’s pure, strong, and expensive. However, with an oil ratio of 20 to 30 percent, a spray can last up to 24 hours. It will also change throughout the day as it dries down (evaporates), showcasing the different levels of fragrance notes. Apply sparingly, as this is the kind of fragrance that will linger in a room long after you’ve departed. As such, it’s perfect for long days such as weddings where you won’t have a chance to refresh but still want to be looking and smelling your best.
Every perfume has a fragrance lifecycle. As the oils and alcohol evaporate (or ‘dry down’ in the industry terms) from your skin, the perfume moves through three different layers of scents — top, middle, and base. Consequently, good perfumes don’t just smell nice straight up; they tell a story throughout the day or night. The perfect scent will have the right complex combination of oils have you smelling amazing no matter where in the lifecycle you are.
The top notes are the scents you smell first when spraying a cologne. Also known as head notes, they tend to be lighter, fresher, and brighter. These include citruses, aquatic, aromatic florals, and herbaceous scents like grapefruit, lemon, mint, or ginger. This layer generally lasts from 30 minutes to two hours before giving way to the middle notes.
When the top notes dry down, you’ll get to meet the middles notes, also known as the heart. These take time to develop, so you won’t really notice them when sampling fragrance on a blotter card. Try new perfumes on your skin, and smell them every hour or so to see the changes occurring. Once the middle notes show up, they’ll usually last for three to four hours. Ingredients in this part of the lifecycle are generally floral, green, fruity, and spicy, such as jasmine, cinnamon, geranium, and coriander.
The final step of the cycle is the base notes. These will start to come through while the heart notes are still drying down. Generally, base notes are stronger, bolder, and incredibly masculine. They’ll also determine how long your scent lasts as they’re the final ones standing, lingering for five to ten hours. Look for notes of tonka bean, vanilla, moss, vetiver, sandalwood, tobacco, leather, oud, and musk.
Just like your wardrobe is a reflection of your personality and style, your selection of fragrance should also be representative of who you are as a man. If you’re a bit mysterious and keep things close to your chest, then a woody, sensual style is perfect. However, if you’re the life of the party and have a zest for all things fun, then opting for a bright, lively citrus scent is a better fit. Of course, you’re also allowed to have more than one fragrance! When it comes to choosing, the world of scents is very complex, and you can break perfumes down into over a dozen categories. However, men’s fragrances usually fall within four broad main categories — floral, oriental, woods, and fresh.
Floral notes aren’t just for the ladies. It’s an extensive and diverse group of ingredients that works harmoniously with scents from the other groups to create a balanced perfume. While you probably don’t want to smell like your grandmother, specific florals are more masculine and can also have a calming effect. Look for jasmine, gardenia, tuberose, magnolia, and iris.
Hypnotic and sensual, the oriental fragrance family has a lot of members you’re likely familiar with. These include resins such as frankincense, oud, and myrrh, plus spices like clove, cinnamon, and ginger. Often you’ll find oriental fragrances in the base notes, thanks to their sweet, rich smells that pack a punch. While most perfumes will contain at least one element from this family, colognes that are heavy on this are best suited for evening and winter wear.
Woods are prevalent in men’s fragrances because they’re incredibly masculine. You’ll be reminiscing about nights by the campfire, old books, and hiking through green forests. In this family, you’ll find sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, oak, amber, leather, and vetiver – all dry, warm scents that work best as heart and base notes. Because of their warmth and familiarity, fragrances heavy with woods are well suited for the cold winter months.
Chill out from the hot summer months with a fragrance containing fresh scents. These kinds of notes will cut through the heat and have you feeling relaxed in no time. Think of elements like jasmine, aquatic scents, citrus, bergamot, mint, and freshly mowed lawns. Zesty and crisp, these tend to be most prevalent in the top notes and will give you an energy boost creating a spirited first impression.
How to Choose the Right Cologne
How exactly do you choose the right cologne for you? Most options are incredible and smell great, but there are a few tips to know if it’s right for you. Start with knowing when and where you’re wearing your perfume. Ideally, you’ll have a couple of different fragrances for different seasons and occasions. Always try before you buy, and be patient with the process. While you’re trying new perfumes, pay attention to which individual notes keep coming up in the ones you like, as that can help narrow down your options. Once you’ve made your decision, knowing where to spray and how to store it will ensure longevity for your new signature scent.
Change with The Season
Like you have different clothes for summer and winter, you should also have different fragrances for each season. Some scents work better in the heat, such as citrus, light florals, and aquatic notes. Meanwhile, in the dead of winter and it’s snowing outside, you’ll be longing for a rich, warming perfume with leathery, woody, and spicy notes.
Know The Occasion
Appropriately dressing for the occasion also means smelling appropriate as well. That’s why it’s crucial to spray for the situation. There’s not much worse than getting stuck in a meeting room at work with someone who’s wearing an overpowering perfume. You don’t want to be that guy, so opt for something light, fresh, and sophisticated in the office. However, if you’re dressed to impress for a date, choose something more sensual and seductive with warm, masculine wood notes. Then, if you’re just kicking around on the weekend, a casual scent is ideal. Select something fresh, appealing, and easy to wear.
Try Before You Buy
Unless you’re genuinely chaotic, you should always try perfumes before you buy them. Start the process by spraying ones you might like on a blotter card. Take them away, do some other shopping, have lunch, and then smell them again. Narrow it down to a couple of favorites, and then spray them on your skin. The natural chemicals in your body will interact with the oils and alcohols in the perfume, causing the fragrance to smell slightly different on everyone. You need to make sure you like it on you. Plus, as previously discussed, every perfume has a lifecycle, so it’s good to leave the fragrance on and smell it every hour as it shifts between the layers so that you can appreciate all the notes. Buying perfume can take time, so be patient with the process, and don’t make a hasty, rushed decision.
Learn Where To Spray
Smell your best by knowing where to spray your perfume. Ideally, you want to create a bubble that gives people the best impression when they interact with you, and that will help your fragrance last longer. Know your pulse points, which are hotspots on your body that help warm the molecules and project the perfume better. These include behind the ears, on your neck near the jugular, the base of the throat, and the chest. While the wrists are a popular choice for spraying, you won’t get much bang for your buck, as (hopefully) no one is sniffing your cuffs, and it can wear off faster with washing your hands. Finally, don’t overdo it, especially if you’ve got an eau de parfum or parfum. Three strategic sprays should be sufficient for most styles.
Know Your Notes
Perfume creators can choose from thousands of ingredients. However, certain elements, such as sandalwood, vetiver, cedarwood, lavender, and bergamot, pop up regularly in gents’ fragrances. It can help to take note of the ones of these you like, plus any other repeating notes the come up in your favorite perfumes. Knowing this will help guide future purchases, as you can explore the same fragrance families and narrow down similar but unique options.
Store Scents Smartly
Finally, once you’ve found your new signature scent, you need to store it correctly, so it doesn’t spoil. Perfumes are a mix of oils, alcohols, and chemicals, which will break down on a molecular level over time. This process speeds up when exposed to light, air, and heat. Consequently, for the most extended life, keep your fragrances stored in a cool, dry, dark spot such as a dresser draw, closet, bedroom, or even refrigerator. Don’t keep them in the bathroom, as the heat and moisture fluctuations aren’t healthy. Other tips include not opening your perfume until your ready to use it, don’t shake the bottle excessively, and keep the original bottle with the lid on to stop excess air exposure.
What is the best cologne for men?
The most popular colognes for men currently on the market are Creed Aventus, Bleu de Chanel, and 1 Million by Paco Rabanne.
What are the top 10 men's cologne?
The top 10 colognes for men are Creed Aventus, Bleu de Chanel, and 1 Million by Paco Rabanne, Paco Rabanne Invictus, Diesel Only The Brave Wild, Acqua di Parma Essenza, Dior Sauvage, Tom Ford Noir Extreme, Armani Code and Acqua Di Gio.
How to Choose a Good Cologne?
To find the best smelling cologne for you, also be sure to always choose the fragrance yourself. Don’t let someone else select it for you and don’t just buy one because you like it on a friend. As colognes smell different on different people, it’s vital that you be the one to try to test the fragrance before making a purchase.
What men's cologne gets the most compliments?
Some of the most popular and complimented men's colognes include Creed Aventus, Dior Sauvage, and Bleu de Chanel.
How many bottles of cologne should a man have?
Ideally, a gentleman should have at least four different fragrances. There should be a daily scent that you use regularly and is appropriate for most occasions. Then, you should also own a light, fresh summer cologne for balmy days and a deeper, more broody perfume for the cold winter months. Finally, you'll also want a different fragrance for special occasions. It's a great excuse to splash out on a more expensive perfume, and every time you wear it, it will remind you of all the wonderful experiences you've had and memories you've made.
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