The 10 Best Men's Cologne

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This wiki has been updated 33 times since it was first published in January of 2017. A man's cologne can tell the world a lot about him. Bolder, citrusy scents indicate an adventurous personality; floral notes can give off an air of sophistication; and woodsy tones are all about masculinity. We found fragrances for every type, 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 recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Acqua di Giò Absolu

2. Versace Man Eau Fraîche

3. Christian Dior Sauvage

Editor's Notes

November 30, 2020:

We’ve removed Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue and replaced it with Armani Code. Some found Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue to be too fruity and feminine to their liking. Though Code was released in 2004, it’s a classic fragrance that still remains incredibly popular to this day. It has a spicy fragrance that lasts for many hours without being too overwhelming for you and your date. Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De L'Homme remains due to its lovely scent that works year-round and is most likely the selection that will be recommended to you when you go to the cologne section of any department store. Ralph Lauren Polo Red is still worthy of mentioning, though others may prefer the blue or black model. Polo Red appears to be the most popular among the three scents.

July 01, 2019:

Choosing a cologne is a very personal decision, and generally no two men will agree on the best fragrance. This is partially due to having different preferences, but also to the fact that cologne produces a different aroma on each man based on their natural scent. For the younger man who still enjoys regular clubbing and fashions himself a bit of a lady killer, we recommend Christian Dior Sauvage, Paco Rabanne 1 Million, and Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male. Each of these has had their time in the limelight and garnered overwhelming popularity. While Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male may have been the de facto nightclub standard in the 90s, its top spot was replaced by Paco Rabanne 1 Million in the mid 2000s, a fragrance which was then usurped by Christian Dior Sauvage just a few years ago. This means Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male now has a wonderful retro aroma that almost makes it unique since fewer men are wearing these days. It has also been reformulated, paying homage to the original while still being different enough to be its own scent.

Any man who regularly wore Acqua di Giò in their 20s and 30s, but has matured a bit since then and wants a fragrance that shows that will want to check out Acqua di Giò Absolu. It is a more refined version of the original that appeals to men of all ages. Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De L'Homme is another fragrance that seems to be just as suitable for men in their 20s as in their 60s. It carries far, yet somehow doesn't overwhelm when a woman is up close.

If you are looking for that perfect summertime scent, Versace Eros may well be it. Its strong citrusy notes give it a lovely vibrancy, but it also contains musky vanilla, imparting a sensualness lemony fragrances often don't. If you prefer the citrusy aroma without the sweetness of vanilla, take a look at Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, which also happens to be rather affordable.

Special Honors

Malin + Goetz Cannabis This eau de parfum has a smokiness that will appeal to any man who enjoys lazy afternoons contemplating endless possibilities. As its name implies, it has fresh herbaceous and floral notes, and also like its namesake plant, it has a sense of naughtiness, but is now a chic and increasingly accessible fragrance that will please most.

Sephora Cologne Sampler Set Having a difficult time deciding on a scent? This set offered by Sephora includes nine samples of a variety of popular colognes such as Prada, Burberry, and Versace. It also includes a voucher for a free full-sized bottle of your favorite fragrance, though they only accept the certificate in stores. Be sure to check your local Sephora to see if they have your preferred choice in stock.

4. Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De L'Homme

5. Armani Code

6. Versace Eros

7. Guilty By Gucci

8. Ralph Lauren Polo Red

9. Paco Rabanne 1 Million

10. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male

The Power Of Smelling Good

The studies have essentially found that many women prefer men who they believe smell manly.

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.

Many people do not realize that cologne only lasts around three years.

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.

Make sure your bottle has a leak-proof cap, especially if it's a splash-on cologne.

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.

Max Karpecki
Last updated by Max Karpecki

Max is a writer from sunny San Diego, where she grew up performing in plays and improv shows. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a bachelors in Theater Arts and continues to specialize in different forms of comedy in Los Angeles. Apart from the liberal arts sector of her life, Max enjoys building and troubleshooting computers. However, she has found a way to mix her passions together by streaming video games online, which has led to her meeting new friends from all around the world. Her expertise ranges from categories such as rock climbing, sewing, pets, skin care, computers, and board games.

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