Confession: for an e-commerce journalist that writes a lot about grooming, I really, really don’t like cologne. Perhaps that’s because I grew up in the era of cheap cologne and even cheaper body sprays.
Whatever the reason, it’s not easy to convince me to wear a new cologne for men, which is why Fulton & Roark caught me totally by surprise. After a solid first impression, I’ve been wearing Fulton & Roark solid cologne for the past month, and I’ve officially been convinced. I’m a cologne guy now.
Below, I’ll share my full review of this unique men’s fragrance brand, which makes a line of solid cologne and grooming products for men.
What Is Solid Cologne? And Should You Try It?
Fulton & Roark first came on our radar when we started researching the solid cologne market in 2019. At the time, this was a very niche market dominated by a handful of brands such as Fulton & Roark and Duke Cannon.
Well, the solid cologne is still a pretty niche market, and most major fragrance companies are still churning out the same old spray cologne your grandfather wore. However, guys are starting to wake up to the benefits of solid cologne, and now you can find Fulton & Roark products in the kind of painfully hip menswear boutiques you’ll find in places like Williamsburg and Echo Park. Fulton & Roark is a North Carolina-based brand, and all of their products are made in North Carolina and Texas.
Solid cologne offers the same benefits as traditional cologne, but it comes as a soft, waxy balm. Most solid cologne comes in a metal container of some kind. Better yet, instead of mixing essential oils with water and alcohol, which is terrible for your skin, solid colognes also use beeswax and coconut oil. Simply rub a little on your fingertips and then apply it to your arms, neck or chest as needed. In my experience, solid cologne is much easier to apply than spray cologne and has a more subtle and sophisticated scent.
Fulton & Roark, Reviewed: Why You May Never Go Back To Regular Cologne
Fulton & Roark sent Spy some of their most popular fragrances to test out, and I can say with certainty that they are some of the best products I’ve tested in 2021. I’ve gone from being a deodorant-only guy to a cologne guy pretty much overnight. More importantly, my long-time girlfriend approves.
We tested a few different Fulton & Roark fragrances, and we’ve recommended some of our favorites below.
Here’s what I love best about Fulton & Roark: the solid colognes have unique, subtle and masculine fragrance profiles. Right now, unisex colognes are all the rage in the fragrance industry, but Fulton & Roark has masculine-smelling cologne that guys, and gals, will really appreciate. I’ve also found that after you apply the cologne, the fragrances take on a muskier aroma in the best possible way.
Some other benefits we think you’ll appreciate:
- The scent is long-lasting so you won’t have to constantly reapply, which is a problem with most colognes in this price range.
- For users with acne or sensitive skin, the formula is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t sink into your pores and cause irritation.
- Fulton & Roark solid cologne costs $52-$60, which is an absolute steal when you consider most comparable liquid colognes cost three or four times as much.
- A single tin should last 4 months with daily use and 7 months with regular use.
- The container is small enough to slip into your pocket or backpack when you’re on the go.
Finally, I think men will also appreciate the packaging. Fulton & Roark cologne comes in a heavy metal tin. The top swings open and snaps shut with a satisfying snap. And unlike liquid cologne, it’s extremely difficult to over-apply. In fact, after the first week of reviewing this cologne, I found I was under-applying, so you don’t need to worry about being the too-much-cologne guy in the office.
Fulton & Roark Palmetto Solid Cologne
This is one of the brand’s newer fragrances, and one of the most popular. This is my preferred scent for daily use. The Palmetto fragrance features a blend of Brazilian Pepper, Cedarwood and Magnolia for a masculine scent that lasts all day.
Who It’s For: Men who like clean, coastal fragrances with masculine notes.
Fulton & Roark Kiawah
BEST FOR BOLDER MEN
The best Fulton & Roark colognes make great use of earthy, watery and woodsy scents, with light floral notes for good measure. The Kiawah cologne is also a fresh watery scent, but it also has a hint of wood and spice that we think you’ll find intriguing. If you aren’t afraid of more complex fragrances, and if you prefer the beach to the mountains, then this is our top recommendation for you. In addition to fresh water, this formula also features notes of Cedarwood and Amber. The company describes this scent as “A fresh coastal breeze with a cedar accent,” and that’s exactly right.
Who It’s For: Guys who prefer the beach to the mountains. Guys who appreciate complex and woodsy fragrances.
Fulton & Roark Blue Ridge
I spent a lot of time in the Blue Ridge Mountains when I was growing up, and I’ve got a personal connection to this region. The Blue Ridge solid cologne has a satisfying mixture of earthy scents, and the formula mixes Sandalwood, Sage and Amber. I also found that it has notes of fresh water. Think of the way you smell when you’ve just stepped out of the shower, or a mountain river.
Who It’s For: Men who love the smell of fresh mountain air.
Fulton & Roark Clearwater
BEST FOR MOST GUYS
I can describe the Clearwater fragrance in one word: fresh. This solid cologne combines Madagascan Geranium, Oakmoss and Rushing Water, and it’s a smooth fragrance that we think most guys will love. If you’re looking for a new everyday cologne, this fresh fragrance is a solid bet.
Who It’s For: Guys who want to smell like they just stepped out of the shower all the time.
Also Consider: Fulton & Roark Sampler Pack
We know that buying cologne on the Internet can be a challenge, so if you want to try out all eight of Fulton & Roark’s permanent cologne fragrances, then this sample pack is for you. Inside you’ll find all of the fragrances featured above plus more. Each cologne comes in a blister pack, and we used a pocket knife to puncture the plastic. Best of all, each order of the sample pack comes with a $20 coupon for a future purchase. That being said, we recommend starting off with one of the colognes reviewed above and the sample pack.