The 10 Best Men's Cologne

Updated June 09, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. A man's cologne can tell the world a lot about him. Bolder scents indicate a rambunctious, adventurous personality, while floral notes can give off an air of sophistication. We found fragrances for every type of man, in bottles that are just as well-crafted as their contents, and compiled this list of the best options to help you make an informed decision. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best men's cologne on Amazon.

10. Paco Rabanne 1 Million

Paco Rabanne 1 Million looks like a bar of gold and is good for your male friend who likes to be a little flashy. Its unique smell is perfect for the rule breaker who isn't afraid to dream a little bigger, but its packaging might be off-putting to conservative fellows.
  • good holiday gift choice
  • can be stored on its back
  • slightly confusing to open
Brand Paco Rabanne
Model 162533
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Bulgari Pour Homme

The unique curvature of the bottle and industrial-looking cap on Bulgari Pour Homme create nearly as much intrigue as the scent they contain. Worthy of James Bond, this is an eau de toilette that will make a man feel confident walking into high profile events.
  • slightly flirty aroma
  • subtlety you won't tire of
  • scent tends to dissipate quickly
Model 152222
Weight 7.8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, with its suggestive and seductive bottle, is for the man who is a bit eccentric but owns his unique style. It contains surprising notes of vodka, caviar and passion fruit that are certain to energize anyone who can smell it.
  • comes in a rustic tin can
  • convenient hanging loop
  • a bit bold for formal occasions
Brand Jean Paul Gaultier
Model 210829
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Kenneth Cole Black

If you're shopping for someone who always complains that eau de toilette bottles are too showy, get him the perfectly simple Kenneth Cole Black. Most people won't even know it's a fragrance by looking at it, but its wearer will smell pleasantly chic.
  • rare bold and spicy ingredients
  • designed for urban dwellers
  • some find it too subtle
Brand Kenneth Cole
Model KENC701100
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Guilty By Gucci

Guilty By Gucci comes in a provocative, peekaboo bottle that only allows you to see part of its contents, and makes a wonderful gift on Valentine's day, your anniversary, or anytime you'd like to show your love. It's the type of scent you'll want to linger.
  • hints of lavender and patchouli
  • attractive to a wide range of people
  • spray nozzle is very small
Brand Gucci
Model 207749
Weight 10.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Ralph Lauren Polo Red

If you cannot stand the smell of your husband after he's been at the stables, just give him a bit of Ralph Lauren Polo Red and you won't be able to keep your hands to yourself. Its playful, sporty scent transitions from the race track to the country club with ease.
  • understated and classic bottle
  • invigorating mixture of ingredients
  • sprayer's mist could be finer
Model PORMTS42
Weight 14.1 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue

If you are looking for an affordable, but impressive, gift, go with Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue. It won't take up much room in a toiletries bag, but one small dab will envelop its recipient with citrusy, spicy aromas of the Mediterranean.
  • good for both evening and daytime
  • permeates the air around the wearer
  • pleasantly reminiscent of autumn
Brand Dolce & Gabbana
Model 153500
Weight 9.1 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme

Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme comes from a brand that is synonymous with worldliness and a cosmopolitan air, so get it for the man in your life who stands for all of that, too. While its cap can be uncomfortable to grip, that's a small price to pay for such a classy scent.
  • stays potent for up to three years
  • bright and celebratory notes
  • described as heavenly
Brand Yves Saint Laurent
Model 151978
Weight 13.4 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Christian Dior Sauvage

The dark and stormy bottle of Christian Dior Sauvage is a nod to the fragrance inside, an unconventional combination of herbs and vetiver grass, sweetened up by jasmine and citrus. It's for the man who wears goofy patterned boxers under his elegant suit.
  • easy-to-turn grooved cap
  • great warm weather option
  • ultra-masculine smell
Brand Christian Dior
Model NLA132624
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Versace Man Eau Fraîche

Versace Man Eau Fraîche comes in a faux-alligator box that's appropriate for its contents – sophisticated, yet adventurous. Its bold blue bottle, with dramatic ridges all around, makes this a scent you'll want to store where people can see it.
  • remains fragrant all day
  • based on a popular vintage variety
  • smells wonderfully earthy
Brand Versace
Model VER500011
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

The Power Of Smelling Good

If you're new to the world of cologne, you may be thinking, "I shower. Shouldn't that be enough?" Sure. If you don't want to make a statement and like to blend in. But if that doesn't appeal to you, consider these reasons for wearing cologne. Let's discuss attracting a partner. Extensive research has found that a man's scent and sexual attraction are strongly linked in the eyes of others. The studies have essentially found that many women prefer men who they believe smell manly. There are certainly colognes out there that create that masculine scent. What's more is that women have a more finely-tuned sense of smell, so you can be certain they'll detect your cologne.

Smelling good will boost your confidence, too. That means that a good cologne increases your attractiveness in two ways: first, the smell alone is enticing, and second, the way it makes you feel causes you to behave in a manner that is attractive to others. You have to admit that you feel overall more put together when you smell good. Something about emitting a pleasant aroma gives one the sense of having his life in order.

The way you smell can make others feel good, too. The olfactory bulb, which relays information about smells to your brain, is strongly connected to parts of the brain involved in memories and emotions. So a cologne that smells like an ocean breeze can remind someone of a beach vacation they took as a child with their family, and bring all those happy feelings back. By wearing the right cologne, you can make people around you feel at ease, uplifted, safe, content, and many other positive emotions. Who wouldn't want to do that? That's a power that will come in handy in your work and personal life.

Tips And Tricks For Wearing Cologne

Wearing cologne isn't about just picking out the first one with a pretty bottle and slathering it on each day. There is so much more to the art of wearing a fragrance. Let's start by discussing where on your body you should apply cologne. If you put it on the right areas, a little can go a long way. Put cologne on areas of your body that create heat, like the back of your neck, your chest, forearm, wrist, elbow, and jaw. These are called your pulse points. The heat that comes off these areas helps push the aroma of your cologne out into the environment around you. Just one spray or dab should be enough in any of these areas. And don't do all of them at once; choose just a few. Never put cologne on your clothes as this can stain them.

If you want your cologne to last a long time on your skin, take a nice hot shower before putting it on. The steam from the shower will open up your pores, making your skin better at soaking up the cologne's scent. Next, apply a good moisturizer, like shea butter, before applying it. Cologne wears off on dry skin quickly. Specifically, apply moisturizer to your pulse points. You may also try putting some cologne on your hairbrush if you want to because your hair holds scent pretty well. Just don't put the stuff directly on your tresses, as this can dry out your scalp.

You'll need to stop using scented soaps and aftershaves if you want to use cologne. You don't want the smells of one mixing with the other; that will just result in a muddy and unpleasant scent. Also, check the expiration date on your colognes. Many people do not realize that cologne only lasts around three years. After that, its natural oils die off, leaving you smelling acidic. As a precaution, always try just a tiny dab of a new cologne before fully applying it. You want to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction. You will also find that some fragrances work better with your natural scent than others, so while a particular cologne might smell great on a piece of test paper, it might not be as pleasant when applied to your skin.

How To Pick Out A Cologne

When you're ready to pick out your cologne, think about when and where you'll be using it. For daytime events, summer use, or sporting clubs, you may want one with bright, energizing notes, like those of grapefruit or an ocean breeze. For evening events, formal gatherings, or winter days, you may want something with a more woodsy base, such as leather or cedar wood. If you want to make a statement in a professional setting and exude confidence, look for a bold fragrance that features spices. If it's date night with your significant other and you need to, well, perform, you may try scents like pumpkin pie, lavender, or licorice, which are shown to have aphrodisiac effects.

When it comes to the bottle, if you're working with little space and need to store it in your medicine cabinet, choose a small, compact cologne. If you're all about the show, there are some beautifully-designed bottles you'll be happy to display out of the cabinet. Make sure your bottle has a leak-proof cap, especially if it's a splash-on cologne. It's also important that spray-on colognes create a nice, even mist so you don't get too high of a concentration on one area. A clear bottle will make it easy to know when you need to buy more. This should help minimize the chances of running out when you really need it.

Some colognes feature a few other helpful features like a hanging loop for storage or a slender bottle that you can easily carry in your pocket. Some have ergonomic bottles, too, making them easy to grip as you apply them. Make sure your cologne is ranked to maintain its potency for several years, as well. Since you'll only be using it a few sprays at a time, you want to make sure the scent will last as long as the contents do.

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Last updated on June 09, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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