You could dress like you look a million dollars, but if you don’t finish it off with a couple of sprays of one of the best colognes, then your sweet threads could all go to waste. The fact of the matter is, a great-smelling men’s cologne can be the difference between you receiving a compliment or being ignored entirely.
But, with such a plethora of scents available for men, choosing a cologne that’s right for you and your skin can often be easier said than done.
In order to find the best of the best smelling men’s fragrance, you would need to spend a good few hours testing every single one, but eventually, your nose will become immune to the scents and you won’t be able to take full advantage of the choice on offer.
How one smells says a lot about who one is, especially in a world where first impressions mean everything. Some people will choose a different scent every time they purchase a new bottle, some may like to stick to a particular label, and there are even those who choose one fragrance forever – a scent they feel defines them as a person.
The colognes and fragrances for menfeatured below are literally some of the nicest smelling on the market, produced using a mix of rare and original ingredients, so that you stand out for all the right reasons – and don’t smell like every other guy on the street.
So if you’re after a truly unique scent that will have people u-turning just to grab another pleasurable whiff, then check out the best cologne for men below.
What kind of cologne should I wear for a night out?
The best style of cologne for a night out is something with a seductive dark tobacco and woody scent. Fresher fragrances are better for use during the day.
Which lasts longer, cologne or perfume?
Perfume lasts about three times longer than cologne. This is because perfumes contain a higher concentration of oils, around 20 to 30 per cent, compared to cologne’s two to four per cent.
How do I apply cologne?
Oils are designed to be absorbed by your skin. Combined with the skin’s natural oils skin, they can create a scent unique to you. For this reason, you should never apply cologne to your clothes. Instead, apply them to what are known as ‘pulse points’, including the neck, wrist, jawline and chest. These areas will heat up during the day to help ‘push’ your scent out into the world.
What is the best smelling cologne for men?
Dior Homme, Eight & Bob, and Tom Ford Fucking Fabulous.
MONCLER – Pour Homme
Fresh, exciting and innovative, MONCLER Pour Homme is one of the most clever colognes ever made and a must-have addition to your fragrance rotation. A woody aromatic fragrance, MONCLER Pour Homme was designed to capture the vibrant natural beauty of an alpine forest – very appropriate for a brand born in the Alps.
With notes of clary sage, cedarwood, vetiver and MONCLER exclusive Alpine Green & Mountain Woods accords, Pour Homme has a vibrant and playful scent. Plus, the bottle boasts an LED screen that can be customised via a dedicated smartphone app. Talk about a luxurious cologne…
Le Labo – Le Noir
Le Labo first came to everyone’s attention in New York back in 2006, with the notion that there were too many bottles of perfume being produced without soul and character.
Now a fully established luxury fragrance and cologne producer, they have a large selection of fantastic scents, including this one: The Noir 29.
Using black tea as a source of inspiration, it’s a herby, leafy scent with notes of bergamot for a truly beautiful and natural smell.
It’s also presented in a range of sizes with a minimalist laboratory label that looks great alongside other bathroom essentials. We also recommend you sniff out Le Labo Santal 33.
Top notes: Fig, Bay Leaf and Bergamot Heart notes: Cedar, Vetiver and Musk Base notes: Tobacco and Hay
Commes Des Garçons 2
What happens when two of the world’s most stylish cities collide through the creations of a self-taught master designer?
Comme Des Garcons, that’s what. Rei Kawakubo studied fine art instead of fashion in her native Tokyo before opening boutiques in swanky Parisian quartiers. Inspiration from both cities run through everything her label produces, like this 2 Eau De Parfum.
Comme De Garcons 2 is actually a unisex scent (a hugely popular concept today) although that doesn’t mean it still can’t be listed as one of the best colognes for men. It is said to be the brand’s ethos in fragrance form.- which to you and us means it is complex – with hints of magnolia, mandarin and tea.
Top notes: Aldehydes, Angelica, Tea, Mandarin Orange and Mate Heart notes: Ink, Magnolia, Nutmeg, West Indian Bay, Coriander, Caraway and Cinnamon Base notes are Incense, Patchouli, Cedar, Vetiver, Amber and Labdanum
Tom Ford – Fucking Fabulous
Pretty much everything celebrated designer Tom Ford touches turns to gold. He’s a modern leader in the world of fashion, design and even Hollywood movies which are as visually stunning as his garments. But it is this Fucking Fabulous fragrance of his that we are going to wax lyrical about here, which is pretty much summed up by its no-nonsense name. It’s a deep and sensual cologne for men that lasts, with nice oriental undercurrents. Mr Ford has only gone and bloody done it again!
Top notes: Clary Sage and Lavender Heart notes are Bitter Almond, Leather, Vanilla and Orris Base notes: Leather, Tonka Bean, Cashmeran, White Woods and Amber
Chanel – Bleu de Chanel
Not just content with producing one of the most famous women’s fragrances, Chanel has an absolute beauty of a cologne for men too. Bleu de Chanel is available as an EDT, EDP and a Parfum (we recommend the latter), and all provide a delightfully fresh and clean scent that also exhibits woody aromas. It’s hard to describe just how good this cologne is, we implore you to try it. You’re guaranteed to receive plenty of compliments.
Top notes: Grapefruit, Lemon, Mint and Pink Pepper Heart notes: Ginger, Nutmeg, Jasmine and Iso E Super Base notes: Incense, Vetiver, Cedar, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Labdanum and White Musk
Commes des Garçons – Gosha Rubchinskiy
A monumental meeting of different cultures is responsible for producing this scent. We’ve already spoken about Commes des Garçons, but the collaborator for this eau de toilette is Gosha Rubchinskiy. The Russian fashion designers take inspiration from Russia’s streetwear and youth culture, as well as the dissolution of the USSR.
This unisex scent has been designed to reflect that, with notes of rubber and tar, yet with fresh hints of mandarin and blue chamomile. This is certainly one of the best men’s colognes for casual weekend looks.
Top notes: Angelica and Buchu or Agathosma Heart notes are Chamomile and Mandarin Orange Base notes: Haitian Vetiver, Styrax and Patchouli
Creed Cologne – Santal
Originally a tailoring house in London – with a history dating all the way back to 1760 – Creed is now a niche perfume house with boutiques in Paris, New York, Dubai and Milan. They source only the purest elements from around the world to make their fragrances and take a production approach that’s similar to producing fine wines. One of their most sought-after perfumes is this Original Santal blend, which is inspired by Asia, and in particular, Royal Sandalwood trees. It’s a little pricey, but so worth it.
Top notes: Sandalwood, Cinnamon, Juniper Berries and Coriander Heart notes are Lavender, Ginger, Rosemary and Petitgrain Base notes: Vanilla and Tonka Bean
Dior – Homme Original (not the new one)
Christian Dior may not have been around long enough to truly witness the impact his self-titled brand would have on contemporary fashion, but if he is looking down it will be with a proud smile. Dior is one of the biggest high-end luxury fashion houses in the world, and the envy of countless others. They’re also dab hands in cologne, such as this Dior Homme, with its masculine, rugged scent inspired by an Atlas Cedar tree base. Dior Homme is an ode to what it means to be a modern man.
Top notes: Mandarin Orange, Neroli, Bergamot, Lavender, Cardamom and Sage. Heart note: Iris Base notes: Vetiver, Cacao, Leather, Amber and Patchouli
Byredo – Sunday Cologne
Ben Gorham, the founder of ByRedo, is a Swede who spent a lot of his youth growing up in the US and Canada. Inspired by memories, emotions and experiences of these three countries, he set up ByRedo, a luxury brand specialising in fragrances and candles. The brand’s Sunday cologne has become somewhat of a classic since its release with its crisp and citrusy tones for those less formal, relaxing days when the mind is free and in creative mode.
Top notes: Bergamot, Star Anise and Cardamom Heart notes are Lavender, Geranium and Incense Base notes: Vetiver, Oak Moss and Patchouli
Jo Malone – Velvet Rose & Oud
Joanne Lesley Malone’s story, from a dyslexic early school leaver who cared for her sick mother, to one of the most successful fragrance producers on the planet is well documented. Although probably better known for scented candles, this Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne shows that her company is highly skilled in bringing the right notes together regardless of the end product. This rich fragrance has a sandalwood base, with notes of Indonesian cloves and praline, a French confectionary, to form something that genuinely dazzles the nose.
Top note is Cloves Heart note is Damask Rose Base notes are Agarwood (Oud) and Praline
Terre – D’Hermes
Parisian maison de luxe Hermes has been specialising in high Lifestyle, whether it be leather accessories, home furnishings or delightful perfumes and fragrances, since 1837. Their Terre D’Hermes takes inspiration from land and the great outdoors. It’s a warm, yet dense scent with hints of benzoin and shiso. The fragrance itself sits in a wonderfully crafted glass bottle that can be refilled and is inspired by contemporary architecture. For such a renowned label and end product, the price is lower than you’d expect for an added bonus.
Top notes: Orange and Grapefruit Heart note: Flint Base notes: Woodsy Notes, Oak Moss and Benzoin.
Eight And Bob – Original
Albert Fouquet, the creator and brains behind Eight and Bob, was the son of a Parisian aristocrat. When a chance meeting with a certain John. F. Kennedy took place in south-east France, the future US president was so blown away by his cologne that he begged the Frenchmen for a sample of his unique scent. The base ingredients used by Eight and Bob are a closely guarded secret, such as those used to produce this Eau De Parfum for men. What we do know is that Andrea is used, an incredibly rare plant that grows at altitude in Chile, and can only be farmed over a two month period each year. So, if it’s exclusivity you want from a men’s cologne, this is one of the best examples around.
Top Notes: Ginger, Cardamom, Lemon, Bergamot Heart Notes Cedar Wood, Nuts, Essencia Cistus, Guaiacum Wood Base notes Patchouli, Sandal, Ambergris, Vanilla
Viktor and Rolf – Spicebomb
Viktor and Rolf have been bringing their distorted yet playful designs to the fashion world since 1995, but 10 years later they set up a store in Sant’Andrea, Rome for their experiments in perfumes. Their Spicebomb collection comes in four distinctly different scents for different occasions. Each fragrance is held in a grenade shaped bottle, to exemplify the explosive characters of their contents. Regardless of whether you’re into the gimmicky look of the bottles or not, the scents are quite remarkable.
Top notes are Pink Pepper, Elemi, Bergamot and Grapefruit Heart notes are Cinnamon, Saffron and Paprika Base notes are Tobacco, Leather and Vetiver.
Maison Margiela – Across Sands
Formerly known as Maison Martin Margiela, this luxury French maison haute couture was founded in Paris back in 1988. The brand’s designers are very fond of that deconstructive, avant-garde ethos, magnified in products such as this gender anonymous Across Sands Perfum.
Launched in 2016 using ingredients such as agarwood, dates and a range of spices, it carries captivating tones that suggest the wearer is forward-thinking and creative.
It comes in a nice, minimalistic bottle with a silver laboratory label, and although it sits at the higher end of the price spectrum, it’s seriously worth every penny!
Carner Barcelona – Cuirs
Whether you’re talking about the creative culinary genius of El Bulli or the exceptional football played by the city’s famous football club, Barcelona and creative flair seemingly go hand in hand. Carner set up shop in the city in 2009 with the aim of creating scents that provoke emotions, experiences and the image of landscapes. Their Cuirs unisex fragrance is the liquified proof of their manifesto, a leather fragrance with hints of guaiac wood and violet, a symbolic message from the Mediterranean shores of Barcelona.
Top notes: Saffron and Caraway Heart notes: Sandalwood, Guaiac Wood, Patchouli, Virginia Cedar and Violet Base notes: Agarwood (Oud), Leather, Tonka Bean, French labdanum, Musk, Amber, Cypriol Oil (Nagarmotha) and Amyris.
Dior – Eau Sauvage
Only a formidable scent could make a brand have two colognes on this list, but we wouldn’t be doing you guys justice if we didn’t mention Dior’s Eau Sauvage. It’s incredible to think that this fragrance first appeared all the way back in 1966 and was Dior’s first-ever for men, created by French master perfumer Edmond Roudnitska. To advertise the release of the perfume Dior enlisted the skills of French actor Alain Delon, which in a way started a whole genre of perfume ads that still confuse the hell out of us today! So, if it’s timeless character and originality you’re after, Eau Savage is the cologne for you.
Top notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Basil, Rosemary, Caraway and Fruity Notes Heart notes: Jasmine, Coriander, Patchouli, Carnation, Orris Root, Sandalwood and Rose Base notes: Oak Moss, Vetiver, Musk and Amber.
IIUVO – Soigné
London’s IIUVO is a relative newcomer on the block, a fragrance brand started by two friends with a passion for scents and zero experience within the sector. They use an altogether more modern approach to produce their fragrances, such as using imagery and music to make their scents more rounded, opening all of our senses. Their Soigné EDP fragrance uses spicey cinnamon notes alongside nutmeg to create an element of warmth, over a sandalwood base. An excellent cologne that’s also great value.
Top notes: Grapefruit, Rosemary, Vermouth and Cardamom Heart notes: Rose, Black Currant, Currant buds, Freesia and Violet Base notes: Papyrus, Moss, Vanilla, Vetiver, Patchouli and Virginia Cedar
Acqua di Parma – Colonia Oud
Italian luxury lifestyle brand Acqua di Parma is no stranger to helping men smell better. The company specialises in candles and fragrances and has been at the forefront of luxurious cologne ever since 1916. Colonia Oud is an evolution of Colonia, the very first fragrance Acqua di Parma produced. This latest edition has more of a woody aroma, hence the Oud naming. If you’re unfamiliar with Oud or are keen to jump into the world of woody aromas, Acqua di Parma’s bottle is the perfect entry point.
Top notes: Calabrian Bergamot and Italian Orange Heart notes: Agarwood (Oud), Amyris and Coriander Base notes: Leather, Sandalwood, Musk, Atlas Cedar and Indonesian Patchouli Leaf