Even if you’re not a scent guy, it’s good to have a go-to cologne. For work events, date nights, and special occasions when you want to put in a bit more effort. If you are a scent guy, then you understand the worth of having an olfactory calling card, something that defines you. That scent is a part of you. It helps curate your image, your style, your mood. The best colognes for men is made with this in mind.
In any case, how you smell matters. According to Rutgers University-New Brunswick neuroscientist John McGann, humans can tell about one trillion different odors apart. So trust us when we tell you that whatever cologne you spray on as we head into spring and summer is worth thinking about. You don’t want to shut down a room with the stench of musk, nor do you want to cause people to sneeze uncontrollably.
When shopping for a men’s cologne, there are some things to keep in mind. Aside from personal preference, know that eau de parfums have the highest concentration of essences, while eau de toilette and eau de cologne have the lowest. So if you’re using something perfume-based, beware of dousing yourself. One great way to avoid over-saturation is to do the old spray and walk-through technique: spray one pump of scent in front you and walk through it. This ensures that the scent is evenly spread instead of concentrated in one area.
To help you navigate all the olfactory offerings out there, we’ve sniffed a slew of different colognes and perfumes. Some are great for work. Others are ideal for outdoor activities. But trust us, there’s one for you, and your significant others will thank you. Here are the best men’s colognes we’ve found.
The Best Men’s Colognes
Spray on this Calvin Klein fragrance before heading out to pre-dinner cocktails. It's fresh, crisp, modern, and aromatic.
This oldie but goodie remains a go-to fragrance classic. It's woodsy and sensual, and stands out without making you the center of attention. It's alluring without being overpowering, and has notes of rosemary, basil, tarragon, neroli and herbs.
Bond No. 9 makes fragrances that are rich, sensual, and pay homage to signature New York places and moments. This is one of the brand's best-sellers. It evokes calm and peace, and is something you spray on before a low-key outing with friends. It has notes of bergamot, pineapple, vetiver, and musk.
Before your job interview, before your board meeting, before you sit down with investors, try some Burberry Touch. It's fresh and invigorating, and has subtle hints of moss and wood as well as notes of violet, mandarin, cedarwood, and nutmeg. It's assertive, without making you smell like you own the room.
So you're heading out on vacation, preferably somewhere tropical, and you need to pack a new scent? This cologne is basically a beach trip in a bottle. It has notes of neroli, orange, geranium, and old wood.
A sharp, grassy cologne that's ideal for spring rotation. It's a bright, fearless scent.
Tom Ford makes a lot of excellent scents. But Oud Wood Intense eau de parfum is one of our favorites. It’s masculine and earthy with hints of black truffle, vanilla, patchouli, wood, and tree moss. If big and bold is your style, this is an excellent choice.
This unisex Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis Eau de toilette scent is light, upbeat, and works for any occasion, formal or not. Perhaps because it’s created by one of the world’s master perfumers.
If you're at home on the water, and would always rather be boating and fishing, this is your scent. It's citrus-y and ocean-y, without ever being over powering.
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