The Absolute Best Colognes For Men

The Absolute Best Colognes For Men

06.07.2022 Off By manager_1

Dolce & Gabbana The One fragrance bottle on white wooden table

Best Inexpensive Cologne for Men: Calvin Klein “Eternity for Men”

Eternity is evergreen: sage, cedar, bergamot, and moss combine for an earthen and refreshing finish, and at a price that is friendly to the greens in your wallet. This is one of those scents that everyone recognizes, since it’s an easy pick as a signature scent, or as a gift for the cologne-curious.

Best Subtle Cologne for Men: YSL “‘Y’ Eau Fraîche”

If you want a barely-there scent, then Eau Fraîche is the ticket for its diluted perfume concentrations (1-5%), compared to eau de toilette (5-8%) and eau de parfum (8-15%). It’s akin to applying alight body spray, or wanting a pleasant scent for a morning meeting, without announcing “Hey this is my brand!”. YSL’s ‘Y’ is the hardest yes in the softest category: it tethers cedarwood to lemon and geranium for a balanced, what’s-not-to-love finish. It might register as a whisper to colleagues or friends, and that is exactly the point.

Best Room Scent for Men: Coqui Coqui “Tabaco”

Beyond candles and Febreze, I don’t think we give enough attention to how our homes smell. There are room sprays and diffusers exactly for this reason, and best of all, specific rooms can carry specific scents (not to mention, they can be engaged on the fly; it’s not like your bedroom always needs to smell alluring). My favorite universal scent is Coqui Coqui’s Tabaco diffuser. It’s not overbearingly tobacco-y that it ever feels off season, but it is prominent enough to make the bathroom more welcoming (if that’s what you want your bathroom to suggest to visitors), or ditto for the living room and bedroom. It’s a cozy and uncomplicated scent, both standalone as a body fragrance, or diffused into the air. This giant vessel should cast for an entire year if left open continuously.

Best Try-Before-You-Buy Cologne Service: Snif

Shopping for cologne online is hard. Can you really imagine what a heavy woody scent backed by musk, patchouli, smells like? How’s that different than a light base of sandalwood, and cedarwood with top notes of bergamot and cardamom?

A small, new company, Sniff, takes the guessing out of it. They send you a sample pack of full-size bottles—you simply return the ones you don’t want to keep. My personal favorite is Ex on the Beach, but the great part is that it only matters what you like.

Creed “Aventus” eau de parfum

Before decamping to Paris and pivoting to fragrance, Creed made its name as a tailoring operation in the London of the 1700s. So it’s fitting that the brand’s fragrances are formulated with cut-and-sew precision. A decade after its debut, Aventus remains Creed’s calling card. The fruity scent features top notes of pineapple, bergamot, and apple balanced by hints of birch, ambergris, and sandalwood—a strong, masculine combination that (much like a perfectly-cut suit) will help you stand up a little straighter and walk a little taller.

Byredo “Mojave Ghost” eau de parfum

A couple of years ago, Gunna—the fur-fitted Archduke of Atlanta himself—described Byredo’s Mojave Ghost as a “nosecatcher” of a scent, soft and just light enough. We concur. Top notes of ambrette and Jamaican nesberry (helped along by a base of chantilly musk, crisp amber, and cedarwood) will help you smell your chart-topping best, no matter how many producers spurn your SoundCloud demos.

Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey pour homme eau de toilette

Every year, we asses the tried and true classic colognes worth your time, and every year, Issey Miyake’s makes the cut. The Japanese designer’s signature scent harmonizes fresh-smelling notes of yuzu, lemon, blue lotus, and vetiver with base notes of amber, tobacco, cedar, sandalwood, and musk. All of it adds up to just-right fragrance you can reliably turn to year-round.

Frédéric Malle “Portrait Of A Lady” eau de parfum

Few fragrance brands inspire the same type of reflexive aaah as the one founded by Frédéric Malle, the legendary Parisian perfumer. Portrait Of A Lady blends top notes of rose with blackcurrant, raspberry, and clove, underlined by a heady mix of patchouli, sandalwood, and frankincense. One whiff of this and you’ll be swooning along with the rest of them.

Kilian “Angels Share” eau de parfum

A decade-plus in the making, Angels Share takes its cues directly from the brand’s founder: Kilian Henessey, perfumer extraordinaire and heir to the cognac empire that bears his surname. In other words, this the good stuff—housed in an appropriately handsome glass bottle and infused with the sweet scents of cinnamon, oak, and tonka bean.

Chanel Bleu de Chanel eau de parfum

Since its debut over a decade ago, its intoxicating blend of incense, ginger, and citrus has converted thousands of customers year after year. Its marketing was next-level, sure, (think cinematic promos directed by Martin Scorsese and starring the late Gaspard Ulliel), but the scent itself more than deserves its legendary status. Pony up for a bottle of your own and suddenly all the commotion will make perfect sense.

Le Labo Santal 33 eau de parfum

Roll your eyes all you want, but Le Labo’s signature scent has more than earned a place on this list. Santal 33 is a modern-day classic, and there’s little to gain from resisting its allure. If you dig its trademark blend of sandalwood and cedar don’t deprive your senses of the opportunity to enjoy it just because you’re not the first to cotton on to its appeal. Five other people in your friend group might already swear by it, but at least you’ll all smell incredible.

Gucci “A Midnight Stroll” eau de parfum

Like the angsty goth kid you had a crush on in high school, this Gucci fragrance is dark and brooding, defined by its powerful, woodsy incense. It would be a classically masculine scent were it not complicated by welcome notes of fresh cypress—a subtle reminder that no matter how wild the night, morning is always around the corner.

Maison Margiela “Replica” autumn vibes toilette spray

Over the years, Maison Margiela has mastered the particular power scent has to evoke memories from years bygone. The latest fragrance from the legendary French luxury house scooped a well-earned shoutout in 2021’s Grooming Awards for its unorthodox combination of classic autumnal scents like cardamom and cedarwood with the distinct smell of…pencil shavings. The weirdest part? It works. In aggregate, the fragrance offers the kind of buoyant back-to-school energy you’ll want to bring with you year-round.

Cultus Artem “Ilex” cologne

Cultus Artem specializes in small-batch fragrances that promise the highest level of haute perfumery with every spritz. Ilex skillfully merges smoky topnotes with floral hints of iris, a complex blend that smells like a revelation.

Heretic “Smudge” fragrance

The fragrance experts at Heretic are behind some of the best under-the-radar scents in the business. Smudge is an unabashedly sexy cologne that incorporates ingredients like labdanum, styrax, sichuan, and patchouli to fantastic effect.