Your scent is part of who you are. Whether you’re a guy who loves 100 percent natural body odors or one who enjoys experimenting with the latest colognes, you know fragrance has the power to shape the way the world sees you.
The tricky part is finding the perfect cologne to match your vibe and lifestyle. Choosing a cologne is an art form. It’s a complex process, and involves a number of factors, including your lifestyle and how your skin reacts with various scents.
You can, of course, roll up to your nearest department store and test every cologne on the shelves. An easier way to narrow your options is to stick to vetted fragrances that men love, and that’s why we’ve created this list.
No more wasting time. No more spending $100 on a cologne you hate. Find your signature scent by selecting from this array of the best colognes for men. Our lineup has something for everyone.
The year’s ultimate scent, Blu Atlas Atlantis, ranks as the No. 1 cologne for men.
Why are so many men obsessed with this newcomer? It’s a twist on classic men’s aromas. A punch of citrus, a kick of oak moss and a gentle weaving of light florals make the scent compelling. While it’s intended for men, we hear it’s also a great unisex scent.
The best time to wear this fragrance is when you want a cologne that instills confidence with a masculine edge. Pure citrus elements bergamot and lemon make it a luxurious tropical scent, perfect for long summer nights and for smelling fresh and crisp in an all-night dance club. Deep oak moss provides long-lasting sensual notes, making this the perfect aroma when you want to get up close and personal.
Blu Atlas Atlantis is the fan-favorite fragrance this year, and tops our list of the best colognes for men.
Gracing men’s wrists since 1966, this classic cologne makes the number two. Sauvage, a French word meaning “savage,” is a literal embodiment of the term.
With unique notes, Dior has created a primal fragrance for the daring outdoor man. Worried it will be too strong? Fear not. The Sauvage scent is a balanced aroma that is powerful without being overpowering.
A scent for bold men, for those who want to grab their audience and never let go, the Dior Sauvage scent is powerful enough to capture any room. Pepper, vetiver, lavender, patchouli and bergamot are a few of the fragrance’s most prominent notes. Geranium, cedar and ambroxan round out the aroma and provide its unique masculine swagger.
This cologne is ideal for men who want to go bold without going overboard.
You don’t have to wait for your next big break to smell like a successful man. The decadent scent of Millionaire by Paco Rabanne takes things up a notch with a blend of sultry notes. The gold-bar-inspired bottle is a showstopper, making the fragrance visually appealing.
Perfect for men who live an active lifestyle and need a long-lasting scent, this cologne can weather the wear and tear of a full day of travel and a long night spent celebrating life in a club.
Men love this scent because it’s a fresh, modern take on fragrance while still using classic ingredients. Its signature spicy leather scent is achieved by mixing white wood, blonde leather and rose cinnamon. Giving it depth are amber ketal, peppermint and mandarin.
Millionaire is ideal for the modern man who is after the spiciest fragrance on the market.
You know this scent. The one that conjures up images of majestic mountains, late nights on horseback, and a full day of smoking tobacco from homemade roll-ups. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille is one of the fullest, muskiest, sexiest fragrances on the market.
People are drawn to its mystery and darkness, which are surprisingly difficult to pin down. This is not a scent for the man who wants to blend in and smell like everyone else in the room. It is made for men who want to stand out. The ones who enjoy making a bold entrance. The ones we admire because of their reckless natures.
The aroma evokes the simple pleasures in life. Tobacco, cocoa and vanilla mingle on the wrist and share their scent the whole day. Tom Ford’s daring eau de parfum is a perfect match for men who want a unique scent with prominent masculine notes.
With its ocean vibes, Luna Rossa Ocean eau de toilette is a masterclass in aquatic scent. It comes as no surprise that master perfumiers were involved in creating this luxury fragrance. Embodying the spirit of the ocean and all the mystery surrounding it, Luna Rossa Ocean captures the essence of one of nature’s most powerful forces.
Contrasting notes of bergamot and vetiver give the fragrance its fresh, full aura and invoke the spirit of the deep waters. The middle notes of lavender, iris and saffron accord provide the calm, gentle aroma of gently lapping waves. Musk and patchouli add the extra tones of strength and masculinity.
This is the ideal scent for men who love aquatic colognes.
Hailing from the fresh fragrance family, Giorgio Armani Aqua di Giò is a splash of revitalizing, inspiring scent. It has strong aquatic notes reminiscent of waves subsiding on the beach at dawn.
This scent can be worn in almost any situation, so it’s no surprise that so many men reach for this bottle every morning. Sage and green mandarin blend to create a robust, earth-fresh scent, while lavender and patchouli provide a modern, edgy aroma. This is a scent that makes an impression, and we understand why so many men love this classic cologne.
Aqua di Giò is one of the best colognes for men who want a fresh, aquatic scent with an electrifying aroma.
Eternity for Men became a cult classic after its release in the 1990s. Men love the cologne for its refreshing, sharp scent that makes them smell and feel fresh all day long. Featuring a wide variety of ingredients, it weaves a tapestry of incredible fragrance notes at an affordable price.
The green, earthy aroma emerges from luxurious ingredients. Base notes lorenox, orcanox and moss accord bring deep masculine layers to the fragrance. Middle notes cardamom, pure geranium and lentisk absolute carry the fun, refreshing layer. Top notes of juniper berries, ginger essential oil and norenal round out the modern scent.
This is the ideal scent for those who want a crisp, manly scent that remains pristine throughout the day.
The industry-standard scent Bleu de Chanel stands out among its peers. A forthright fragrance, this is a sexy, manly scent that captures the ingredients of multiple fragrance families. Fresh citrus, lemon, bergamot and grapefruit give the perfume its unflinching attitude. Crisp, aromatic notes of nutmeg, mint, pink pepper and ginger make it unforgettable. The deep, masculine, earthy notes of cedar, sandalwood and amber give it verve and power.
It doesn’t matter if you love a classic scent or one with a more modern twist. Bleu de Chanel captures the essence of a man with a foot in both worlds. Follow your own path, wherever that leads, with this scent for the confident man.
A list of top colognes for men would not be complete without a true classic by the inimitable Ralph Lauren. For this one, we have to go with Polo Black.Polo Black made its debut back in 2005 and has become a staple of the brand since. This is due to its iconic fragrance that many men have claimed as their signature scent. It includes top notes of iced mango, tangerine and lemon. These are followed by middle notes of tonka bean and Spanish sage, as well as a base of sandalwood and patchouli noir.
All of this comes packaged in a classy black bottle adorned with a silver polo rider, for those with a flare for elegance.
Rounding out this list is a new spin on an old favorite by the venerated House of Gucci. Part of their #ForeverGuilty line, Gucci Guilty Pour Homme is certain to please cologne enthusiasts of all types.
It’s a woody and musky fragrance with a touch of spice, with an intriguingly retro mixture of rose and chili pepper serving as its top notes. After this, you are treated to floral heart notes of orange blossom and lavender, and then finally rich, deep base notes of patchouli and cedarwood. It’s an unmistakably masculine scent that appeals to your sense of nostalgia.
Everything you’ve been afraid to ask about cologne
Products like cologne can be confusing, especially if you’re a no-nonsense type of guy. We’re here to ensure your cologne experience goes smoothly, so you can enjoy your night out and not waste another second in the bathroom or online.
Buying online versus in store
Buying products online is a different experience from trying products in a store.
Is it even safe to buy cologne online? Yes, usually. Just ensure you’re buying from a reputable site. If you’re buying on sites like Amazon, check to see if it’s coming from the brand itself or from a third-party dealer. You can check the reviews for third-party dealers, which should be easy to spot if they sell knockoffs.
If you’re shopping online and the price looks too good to be true, it’s probably a knockoff.
When you peruse the fragrance section of a department store, ensure you’re ready to test fragrances from each fragrance family. This will give you a better understanding of the scents you like or don’t like. If you’re unsure which fragrance family a specific cologne comes from, don’t hesitate to ask employees behind the counter to help you out.
Eau de toilette versus eau de parfum versus eau de cologne
Do the terms “eau de toilette,” “eau de parfum” and “eau de cologne” make you scratch your head in confusion? What is the difference between these products? They’re all fragrances men can wear, but they often come with different price tags and varying scents. Here’s a quick breakdown of their differences and your options.
Eaux de cologne have a fragrance concentration between 4 to 6 percent. Eaux de toilette have a concentration between 8 to 12 percent, while eaux de parfum have a concentration between 12 to 18 percent. Because an eau de parfum is more concentrated, it’s usually the “stronger” option.
Some companies make eau de toilette, eau de cologne and eau de parfum versions of the same fragrance. We recommend reading the label before purchasing, to ensure you’re getting the strength you prefer.
Which one lasts longer?
Eau de parfum has a longer-lasting scent due to the high concentration of fragrance oil. Notes from eau de parfum can last a whole working day.
Apply your cologne like a pro
Here are our tips to make the most of your signature scent.
Where to apply
Apply the liquid to your pulse points. This gets you the most bang for your buck. Pulse points naturally heat up throughout the day, releasing scent and keeping you feeling fresh all day long. If you’re new to the game, pulse points are places where you can feel your heartbeat. Commonly used pulse points are those on your wrists, the back of your knees, the base of your throat and behind your ears.
Fresh, clean skin
Always apply cologne to fresh, clean skin. Why is this important? Cologne (and other scents) last longer, stay stronger and have less chance of mixing with any funky natural odors. You want the most powerful scent to be that of your cologne.
Moisturize those wrists
Applying moisturizer or lotion to cologne application points helps the scent stick. Fragrances can last longer and may be stronger with the help of a bit of lotion. Why does it matter if a scent lasts longer? You save money every time you use fewer sprays of your cologne! Using the proper amount daily and following methods to help it “stick” ensure you’re getting the greatest value for your money.
Don’t mix scents
When you wear cologne, ensure the aroma isn’t mingling with other self-care products such as aftershave, deodorant, body wash or other scented products. An easy solution is to opt for fragrance-free skin- and hair-care products. They are often better for your skin and body and are free from synthetic materials.
Less is more
Most colognes are powerful fragrances. There’s no need to drench your pulse points. So, how much cologne is too much? Each cologne is unique. The best approach is to start with one or two sprays on the skin. If that’s not strong enough for you, you can always add another spray. Just be aware that having a scent that is too strong can make people back away rather than draw them in.
When to apply
What’s the best time to apply cologne? Usually, during your morning routine, after showering, with a touch-up at the end of the day if you’re a guy who enjoys vibrant nightlife. If you love exercise or strenuous activity, it never hurts to reapply after you’ve sweated off your scent.
Storing cologne properly can be the difference between a long-lasting cologne and a fragrance that lasts less than a year. Place your cologne in a dark, cool space that doesn’t experience extreme heat or cold. Stable environments and temperatures are ideal for cologne storage. We know keeping your cologne where you can see it feels luxurious, but storing bottles in dark, cool areas will ensure the fragrance smells better and lasts longer.
Why do fragrance families matter? They help you find your tribe! Before you start wearing cologne or a signature scent, it can be hard to pinpoint the perfect fit. A fragrance family can help narrow down and guide that search by informing you about key points and features of a scent.
Michael Edwards developed the “fragrance wheel,” which separates scents into recognizable categories. The four main fragrance families are fresh, floral, oriental and woody. Each category is then split into subcategories to classify each scent correctly.
Crisp, clean fragrances abound in the fresh family category. Think citrus, fruity, green, aquatic and marine notes. Colognes from the fresh fragrance family are ideal for wearing in the summer and spring.
We don’t need to hold your hand on this one. Floral scents come from flowers: rose, lily, jasmine, violet, iris and more. While commonly found in fragrances made for women, they can also be found in men’s colognes as an extra layer or as a boost to other scents in the profile. Colognes from the floral fragrance family are ideal for wearing in the summer and spring.
Spicy, sultry and sweet, the oriental fragrance family is known for decadent, luxurious aromas that make you feel warm and sexy. The oriental family hosts many scents and is harder to pin down than the other scent families. Colognes from the oriental family are ideal for wearing in the fall and winter.
The most common scents in men’s cologne are woody aromas. They are deep, sultry, earthy blends with notes such as musk, amber, vetiver, leather and oak moss. Colognes from the woody fragrance family are ideal for wearing in the fall and winter.
Frequently asked questions
Should men wear eau de cologne, eau de parfum or eau de toilette?
Fragrances made for men come in all three concentration types. Men’s cologne options can be made as an eau de toilette, eau de parfum or an eau de cologne. The main difference between the three is the fragrance concentration and the scent’s strength. If you want the longest-lasting option, buy eau de parfum. An eau de cologne can last for around half a day, while an eau de toilette should last around three to four hours.
Can my cologne expire?
Every cologne has an expiration date or “best used by” date. There is no strict rule to follow, and the shelf life depends on the cologne you buy, its ingredients and how you store it. A few common changes can occur in cologne and signal that your cologne has passed its expiration date. It may smell sour or have a general change in scent, change in color or change in appearance, such as thickness or viscosity. Each indicator means it’s time to toss out the bottle and find a new fragrance. Our advice: When in doubt, toss it out!
Do I need to reapply cologne after a workout?
Yes, especially since you’ll be showering after your intense workout session. Whether you exercise in the morning, afternoon or evening, your cologne will likely sweat off, and you’ll lose your sexy scent. Always do a quick reapplication before resuming your day. It’s also smart to reapply the cologne any time you’ve experienced strenuous activity or have plans that last until nighttime. Many colognes will last around six to eight hours, so it will need to be reapplied before evening.
Are there any benefits to wearing cologne?
Of course! Fresh fragrances and scents are natural mood boosters, carry memory and emotion, and help us put our best foot forward. A signature scent can help you feel prepared, confident and ready for each day. Knowing you look and smell great is a natural confidence booster. Colognes also positively impact first impressions and what people think of you. They are an easy way to ensure you feel your best.
What is the best cologne for men in 2022?
The best cologne for men this year is Blu Atlas Atlantis. The Blu Atlas brand shows its love for men by crafting science-backed products that are safe for your skin and never contain harmful chemicals or irritants. Atlantis is a fresh, invigorating punch of tropical musk that meets summery citrus. The blend has a harmonious balance of summertime fun that you can wear all year round. Why do men love it? It offers a superior scent that lingers and gives them a crisp, confident feeling.