15 Best-Smelling Men’s Colognes So You Can Switch Up Your Fragrance Finally

best cologne for men
Images courtesy of Nordstrom
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Cologne is every suave man’s secret weapon. A spray before work, a date or a party not only provides an instant boost in attractiveness, but also instills extra confidence when wearing it in the company of others. How does the modern gent go about shopping for a top men’s cologne? It starts with educating one’s self in the science of scent.

When browsing through different fragrances you’ll often see scents described in three notes: top, heart, and base. Top notes are the initial (and strongest) scents when first applied, but also fade before the day is over. Then there are heart notes, which are often floral and balance the whole scent. Finally, the base notes make their presence felt with prominent, lasting smells that define the fragrance.

Jose M
7 months
Deyzz very good for the objection towards Janet Schmidt. Madam I'm sorry to hear that you have...
Jose Martinez
7 months
Good!!! you hit the nail
Deyzz
1 year
Janet Schmidt, just live life! Such a negative comment. People like fragrances. I don't like cigarettes, but...

In addition, there are several scent families to choose from, including woody, oriental, herbal, floral, and so on. Many experts recommend floral for all-season use, whereas herbal complements warmer seasons, and woody and oriental serve better during the winter months. It’s all personal preference.

Jose M
7 months
Deyzz very good for the objection towards Janet Schmidt. Madam I’m sorry to hear that you have…
Jose Martinez
7 months
Good!!! you hit the nail
Deyzz
1 year
Janet Schmidt, just live life! Such a negative comment. People like fragrances. I don’t like cigarettes, but…

Lastly, there’s the most important part of the whole equation: your own nose. Stick to a fragrance that doesn’t clash with other strong scents and isn’t overpowering to your senses (or anyone else’s at that).

Below are some of the best cologne options that come from designers who know all about crafting an attractive scent, all of which are listed per category, price point, and lifestyle. Once you’ve finally come around to choosing a signature scent, make sure to read SPY’s key tips on how to apply cologne properly.

  

1. Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum

BEST OVERALL

This aromatic stunner from Burberry proves that the prestigious fashion house isn’t all about trench coats. Mr. Burberry is a statement fragrance suitable for year-round wear, but is most effective in the colder months, thanks to spicy top notes that create a sense of comfort and warmth. You can wear it to work under your three-piece suit or when traveling. It should also be noted that Burberry stresses the sensuality of the scent (think stimulating ingredients like grapefruit and vetiver), making it a go-to for date nights and parties.

Mr Burberry Eau de Parfum - Best Colognes for MenImage courtesy of Nordstorm

  

2. Versace Eros

BEST EVERYDAY SCENT

For the man who requires only one bottle of cologne in his grooming cabinet (or dopp kit), Versace Eros is calling your name. Named after the Greek God of love, this fragrance boasts a unique, masculine scent that falls right in between sweet and salty. It features notes of seawater and leaves a hint of “sunny warmth” on your skin. The eye-catching bottle also speaks towards the fragrance’s divinity, highlighted by a bold design created by the fashion icon herself, Donatella Versace.

Versace Eros - Best Mens Colognes 2020Image courtesy of Versace

  

3. K by Dolce & Gabbana

BEST SUBTLE SCENT

Scent can be a powerful communicator and an overpowering one could send the wrong message. K by Dolce & Gabbana cologne is a subtle fragrance that is clean and effective without coming on too strong, while encouraging men to embrace their inner highness, thanks to the bottle’s cool crown-shaped stopper. The combination of cherry pepper with citrusy and woody notes results in a bold, standout redolence fit for a king.

K by Dolce & Gabbana - Best Mens Colognes 2020Image courtesy of Nordstorm

  

4. Murdock London The Cologne Collection

BEST TRAVEL SET

Why carry around a big bottle of cologne when you can toss these portable-friendly sprays into your travel bag? Murdock London’s TSA-approved sizes of fragrances make it way more convenient to go through airport security and travel in style. You get four 1.4 oz. sprays in the bundle, each one housing a sophisticated scent made for distinguished bachelors: Avalon, Black Tea, Patchouli, and Vetiver. If not for travel, then consider this set as an elegant (and affordable) gift for someone who’s ready for a new scent in their rotation.

Murdock London The Cologne Collection - Best Mens Colognes 2020Image courtesy of Nordstrom

  

5. Tom Ford Oud Wood Eau de Parfum

BEST COLOGNE UNDER $200

If you can swing an expensive cologne, Tom Ford is the way to go. No question. Just like the brand’s refined clothing, its fragrances are distinctive and crafted from the most expensive ingredients, but they’re not so in-your-face or gaudy. This special formulation is made using a resinous wood called agarwood — the most expensive wood in the world — to create a fragrance that smells, quite frankly, phenomenal. It’s for the artisanal man with exquisite taste.

Tom Ford Oud Wood Eau de Parfum - Best Mens Colognes 2020Image courtesy of Neiman Marcus

  

6. Acqua di Parma Cipresso di Toscana

BEST UNISEX FRAGRANCE

This gender-neutral fragrance is a perfect summertime pickup with refreshing notes that transport you to the Tuscan countryside with every whiff. Acqua di Parma infused its eau de toilette with balsamic notes of cypress and pine, which are natural scents that stimulate tranquil vibes. Many of the happy reviewers on Frangrantica happen to be women who love the scent. And if women love Cipresso di Toscana, it follows that they’ll like it on you too.

Acqua di Parma Cipresso di Toscana - Best Mens Colognes 2020Image courtesy of Acqua Di Parma

  

7. Prada Luna Rossa Carbon Eau de Toilette

BEST FOR A YOUNGER DEMO

Many fragrances (even from hot brands) are angled toward older gentlemen, but we’ve finally found one for the young male: Prada Luna Rossa. A manly, dark scent that mixes lavender and wood beautifully, it’s a mature blend for coming-of-age and playful types. Wear it to work if you want to feel and smell like the CEO, or at fancy lounges to outshine every seasoned bachelor posted up at the bar.

Prada Luna Rossa Carbon Eau de Toilette - Best Mens Colognes 2020Image courtesy of Nordstrom

  

8. Hawthorne Tailored Fragrances

BEST CUSTOM COLOGNE 

Today’s man is all about having their subscription services groom them. However, having a different cologne sent to your front door every month does make it more difficult to identify your signature scent. Well, what if there was a company that could personalize a cologne based on your body chemistry and personal style? Meet Hawthorne. This innovative men’s grooming brand has you take a 22-question quiz and uses that lifestyle data to create a personalized scent with natural ingredients. What you end up with are two awesome options (Play and Work) that work interchangeably throughout the day and smell phenomenal. Check out SPY’s Hawthorne for Men review for more insight.

Hawthorne Tailored Fragrances - Best Mens Colognes 2020Image courtesy of Hawthorne

  

9. Dior Sauvage

BEST COLOGNE UNDER $100

The Benjamin mark is where you’ll usually find some of the top sellers and performers in the fragrance market. Complex in composition, yet raw in scent, Dior Sauvage evokes grandeur and summons compliments no matter the gathering. Powerful notes, bergamot, and spicy Sichuan pepper are what give this universally loved fragrance its aromatic moxie.

Dior Sauvage - Best Mens Colognes 2020Image courtesy of Nordstrom

  

10. Fulton & Roark Palmetto Solid Cologne

BEST SOLID COLOGNE OPTION

Fragrance in wax form sounds weird AF, but solid cologne is actually a more practical and discrete option for guys who want to apply their favorite scent in an inconspicuous spy fashion. Fulton & Roark Palmetto Solid Cologne allows you to have your James Bond moment. Palmetto features a complex layer of scents compiled of citrus, cedar, incense, magnolia flower, and pepper spice, which culminate in a refreshing, clean aroma that takes you back to your morning shower. The tiny metal tin also makes it an ideal EDC item to keep at your work desk drawer or gym bag.

 

Fulton & Roark Palmetto Solid Cologne - Best Mens Cologne 2020Image courtesy of Fulton and Roark

  

11. Chanel Bleu

BEST CLASSIC SCENT

A classic cologne is one that is instantly recognizable in a crowd, stands out as the centerpiece on your dresser, and has stood the test of time. Fragrance staples like Acqua di Parma Colonia and Ralph Lauren Polo certainly meet the criteria, but it’s been Chanel Bleu that has set the bar for both modern and vintage scents. You get a mix of aquatic and woody scents that men find empowering and women find irresistible. Twelve hours after applying it and you’ll still notice hints of vanilla and sandalwood resonating from your skin.

Chanel Bleu - Best Mens Colognes 2020Image courtesy of Chanel

  

13. The Nue Co. Functional Fragrance

BEST ALL-NATURAL SCENT

A sensuous solution fitting of its moniker, this all-natural cologne does more than just accentuate one’s appearance. It can serve as aromatic therapy as well, utilizing organic scents to provide anxiety relief. Undertones of green cardamom, iris, and smoky palo santo help lower cortisol levels and calm nerves. As the scent lingers, notes of bergamot and cilantro boost your spirits to function in a more relaxed, confident manner. It’s also a great unisex cologne to share with your partner.

 

The Nue Co. Functional Fragrance - Best Mens Colognes 2020Image courtesy of Nordstrom
  

14. Nautica Voyage Eau de Toilette

BEST COLOGNE UNDER $50

Great colognes don’t have to break the bank. Nautica currently sells one for as little as $14, and according to its rave reviews, it smells quite expensive. The fashion house’s water-inspired theme is upheld with a scent that one reviewer calls “a bowl of honeydew and cantaloupe at a Jamaican all-inclusive resort.” You’ll want to spray it sparingly as it is powerful; spray it in the air and walk through instead of applying directly onto your body.

Nautica Voyage Eau de Toilette - Best Mens Colognes 2020Image courtesy of Nautica

  

15. Guilty by Gucci

MOST VERSATILE SCENT

Guilty by Gucci is a good way to sport the brand (in scent-form) because unlike the fashion house’s clothing, you don’t have to shell out thousands — or even hundreds — to rock it. Right now, you can order Guilty by Gucci on Amazon for just $66, where it boasts over 1,400 reviews and 4.3 stars. It features an aromatic scent with notes of lavender, lemon, and orange flower that make it highly versatile, so you can wear it anytime.

 

Gucci Guilty by Gucci - Best Men Colognes 2020Image courtesy of Nordstrom

  

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