Photo: KnowInsiders
Photo: KnowInsiders

Some dudes wear the same cologne for years (decades, even) and others switch their scent as often as they change their underwear. Whether you’re a loyalist or an explorer doesn’t matter so much, but actually choosing which one to wear can be a daunting task. Understanding cologne can often feel like trying to learn a foreign language.

Fragrances, specifically the wearable kind, are often divided into categories like fresh (or fugiere), woody, oriental (spicy), and floral. Knowing these categories is helpful, but it’s not the be-all-end-all of the decision making process, because from there you have the actual notes of the fragrance. Top notes are what you smell as soon as you spray and generally dissipate first. Heart notes are what you smell next, while base notes are what linger the longest on your skin. Typically you’ll see lighter notes like botanicals in the top and deeper notes like woods in the base. In addition to all of this, colognes are categorized by how strong they are: eau de cologne is the lightest, eau de toilette will last slightly longer, and eau de parfum is the strongest and longest lasting.

Whether you’re looking for a new signature scent or just want something to add to your collection, this list is the best place to start.

List of 20 Best Smelling Perfumes For Men 2021/2022

1. Reaction EDT by Kenneth Cole

2. Guilty Black EDT by Gucci

3. Baldessarini Del Mar EDT by Hugo Boss

4. Only The Brave EDT by Diesel.

5. Tom Ford Noir Extreme

6. Pour Homme by Bottega Veneta

7. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme

8. Le Labo Tonka 25 Eau De Parfum

9. Creed Aventus by Creed

10. Oud Silk Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

11. She Came to Stay Eau de Parfum by Timothy Han

12. Yves Saint Laurent Y Eau de Parfum

13. Jo Malone London Red Hibiscus Cologne Intense.

14. Bvlgari Man Glacial Essence Eau de Parfum

15. Gentlemen only intense by Givenchy

16. Tiffany & Co Tiffany & Love For Him

17. Molton Brown London Juniper Jazz

18. Kenneth Cole Black

19. Chanel Bleu De Chanel Eau de Toilette

20. Versace Eros

1. Reaction EDT by Kenneth Cole

Photo: perfumista
Photo: perfumista

We love a fruity, fresh scent, and this Kenneth Cole line does not disappoint. The scent boasts hints of apple, cantaloupe, watermelon, lime, and lemon on the fresh fruit side, as well as sandalwood for a manlier edge.

This ripe melon and summer scent is quite youthful and the ideal aroma for spring and summer. The smell itself is not overpowering, allowing anyone to wear it without complaints. It’s excellent for a hotter summer day where someone may need some help freshening up.

It’s also perfect for younger men mainly due to it’s airy and youthful vibe.

2. Guilty Black EDT by Gucci

Photo: katstore
Photo: katstore

For those looking for a cologne that is musky yet still wearable in the summer, we’ve got you covered. The Gucci Black cologne shies away from the fruitier scents and gravitates towards florals. Lavender and orange flower mix with coriander and patchouli to give a manly yet sweet summer scent.

The unique scents blend, leaving users with a memorable cologne that can be worn for any occasion. The uniqueness of the Gucci Guilty Black cologne is sure to leave people remembering your name, Everfumed cited.

3. Baldessarini Del Mar EDT by Hugo Boss

Photo; theperfumestore
Photo; theperfumestore

Another rougher, muskier scent that still wears well in the summer is the Baldessarini scent from Hugo Boss. The cologne features hints of sweet wood and light citrus. Bergamot and mandarine blend well with black pepper to add a hint of zest in the mix.

The cinnamon and cedar hints bring the sweet and warm yet light and fresh scents together. This cologne is ideal for summer nights that may require a fresh yet light scent.

The scent is intended for older men, though anyone can wear it well.

4. Only The Brave EDT by Diesel

Photo: fanciko
Photo: fanciko

To start, the bottle that the Only The Brave cologne comes in makes it stand out amongst the rest. The bottle itself is a fist, making it unique and memorable. The Diesel cologne is another fragrance that blends woody scents with fruits to help create the perfect spring or summer scent.

Orange and lemon mix with the violet and cedar undertones, making a classically fresh and fruity scent. It can be dressed both up or down, the perfect scent for a night out or a night in.

The scent is great for younger men.

5. Tom Ford Noir Extreme

Photo: nuochoachanel
Photo: nuochoachanel

Tom Ford Noir Extreme is for the man that relishes in immoderation. It has a combination of intensely pleasing notes that include mandarin, neroli, saffron, nutmeg, cardamom, orange blossom, sandalwood and vanilla. It all comes together perfectly to create a fragrance that is mysteriously dark and sexy. Think woody. Think amber. Think seductive.

6. Pour Homme by Bottega Veneta

Photo: thienduonghanghieu
Photo: thienduonghanghieu

Pour Homme was the luxury designer’s very first men’s fragrance and to this day it remains one of the best, not only for Bottega Veneta, but also among the best smelling fragrances and colognes for men all over the world. It was inspired by adventurers and travellers that dared to set foot out of the ordinary urban life. It is masculine, captivating and the perfect fragrance choice for your next adventure.

7. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme

Photo: orchard
Photo: orchard

Dolce & Gabanna offer the perfect addition to a warm day with Light Blue Paur Homme. With top notes of bergamot, mandarin, and grapefruit, this is a woody scent that captures the fresh, spicy, and sensual scents of the Mediterranean. Whether you’re heading to the beach or the office, this is a fragrance that will keep you thinking of the seaside all day long.

How to Choose Cologne for Men

When shopping for cologne, you’ll find that the biggest differentiator is the price. The top cologne from designer brands like Tom Ford and Gucci will usually cost between $100 and $150. Mid-tier options from Calvin Klein and Dior can usually be purchased for under $100. However, even if you don’t want to spend more than $100, many colognes come in smaller sizes that are more affordable. If you’re looking to save or test a new fragrance, go with a 1.70 oz bottle instead of a 3.40 oz.

In addition, there are several scent families to choose from, including woody, oriental, herbal, floral and earthy. Many experts recommend floral for all-season use, whereas herbal scents are the best colognes for summer. Usually, woody and oriental fragrances serve better during the winter months. That being said, woody scents like cedar, sandalwood and madras wood are especially on-trend in 2021, and these scents are now used all year long. We’ve also seen more colognes and grooming products incorporate very traditionally masculine fragrances such as tobacco, leather and even bourbon. When it comes to choosing the best cologne for men, whether it’s for you or your partner, it’s all about personal preference.

8. Le Labo Tonka 25 Eau De Parfum

Photo: alandshop
Photo: alandshop

This unisex scent is essential for any summer-loving man. With main notes of musk, vanilla, and cedar, this warm and slightly sweet fragrance holds medium longevity but is worth every spray. Perfect for everyday wear or a special occasion, this soft and balsamic perfume offers a dark and spicy core, is blended by hand, and is vegan. Share it with a loved one or keep it all for yourself, Thetrendspotter wrote.

9. Creed Aventus by Creed

Photo: orchard
Photo: orchard

Creed delivers decadent fragrances that are favourites of celebrities such as George Clooney and Robert Redford. This is the scent for a natural-born leader. Think big, act bold.

Inspired by the courage and heroism of Emperor Napoleon, Creed Aventus is full of energy and totally fearless—a scent that certainly makes its presence known.

Contemporary and street-wise, Creed Aventus’ men fragrance opens with the natural performers that are pineapple, blackcurrant, apple, and bergamot. These combine with heart notes like juniper berries and patchouli, while dusky base notes call the final shots with musk and oakmoss.

10. Oud Silk Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Photo: orchard
Photo: orchard

If you could bottle enigma, it would probably smell something like this.

This Oud Silk Mood fragrance was designed as a sort of olfactory bridge between east and west—Orient and Occident.Beginning with notes of Italian bergamot and Moroccan blue chamomile, it develops into the sensual aromas of Bulgarian rose, hedione, and guaiac wood. Closing with a serious flourish are the woody scents of Laotian oud and Indian papyrus.

The overall mood is light and breezy with a hint of mystery.

11. She Came to Stay Eau de Parfum by Timothy Han

Photo: timothyhanedition
Photo: timothyhanedition

If you’re seeking a grown-up scent—as far removed from the locker rooms of your youth as possible—then this is a mature and refined fragrance.

Each fragrance by Timothy Han Editions is inspired by a famous work of literature. This one is an olfactory representation of philosopher Simone de Beauvoir’s existential novel, She Came to Stay.

Woody notes of labdanum, patchouli, and oakmoss set the stage. This dark and deep intensity then transitions gracefully into a lighter and more ethereal mood with notes of cedarwood and vetiver. The finale comes in the form of a zingy and uplifting basil and lemon.

Timothy Han’s She Came to Stay is masterful, memorable, and full of personality, ideal for wearing through the twilight hours and beyond.

12. Yves Saint Laurent Y Eau de Parfum

Photo: iplacestaffing
Photo: iplacestaffing

We mean it when we say it: Yves Saint Laurent Y Eau de Parfum is going to be one of the most gifted gifts for men this Valentine’s Day and there’s no doubt about it. This fragrance embodies both a sophisticated yet forever young spirit at the exact same time and gives us a masculine scent. Each bottle has a base of vetiver beneath notes of bergamot, ginger and sage that are sharpened by a bite of apple, giving a full, fresh feel to the fragrance. Usually, you don’t want your cologne to be too bold, but the new Yves Saint Laurent cologne is bold without being overbearing. Best of all, YSL’s newest fragrance ambassador is none other than the iconic Lenny Kravitz. So, if you should trust anyone, it should be him.

13. Jo Malone London Red Hibiscus Cologne Intense

Photo: jomalone
Photo: jomalone

Composed by master perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui, Red Hibiscus is Jo Malone London’s first Cologne Intense concentration to enter the brand’s innately floral and seasonal Blossoms Collection. Having worked with Bijaoui on a number of other Intense fragrances, including Myrrh & Tonka and Jasmine Sambac & Marigold, JML felt it was the perfect partnership to create the first Blossoms Cologne Intense offering. The collection itself, which pops up every spring, sees two returning scents, Frangipani Flower and Nashi Blossom (which were in the collection last year) joined by two brand new fragrances that both celebrate the unique qualities of the hibiscus flower.

Yellow Hibiscus is a light, juicy, beaming scent, while Red Hibiscus is more a vivid solar floral and has more punch given it is the only intense formula in the pack. Conjuring up an island paradise, it uses bright and vivacious mandarin to make its entrance, which soon gets taken over by a sensual accord inspired by the red hibiscus (its scent cant be extracted naturally), supported by a touch of ylang ylang and jasmine sambac, bedding down into a foundation of cocooning vanilla. JML fans will notice it’s a completely fresh bottle design, which is reflected throughout this year’s limited-edition Blossoms offering.

14. Bvlgari Man Glacial Essence Eau de Parfum

Photo: luxuo
Photo: luxuo

You could travel to Cervinia, one of the highest mountain peaks in the world, in the Italian and Swiss Alps. Or, you could save yourself a lot of effort and just spritz on Bvlgari Man Glacial Essence Eau de Parfum instead. It captures all of that fresh mountain air without having to strap on your hiking boots. Glacial mountaintops are the muse behind the icy blue bottle, with matte silver accents that take cues from the metal used for Bvlgari watches. The woody Fougere has top notes of juniper berry, ginger extract and geranium essence; a heart of Australian sandalwood, orris and Artemisia essence; and a base of Alaskan cedarwood essence, clearwood accord and musk.

Curious about the difference between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Cologne? Scroll to the bottom of this article for a breakdown.

15. Gentlemen only intense by Givenchy

Photo: perfumista
Photo: perfumista

Gentlemen Only Intense is represented by Australian actor and director Simon Baker which perfectly portrays the type of man this fragrance is intended for. This scent will be a great companion for a night on the town or a dinner date as it immediately captures female allure. You can expect the following notes from this masculine and sensual fragrance: Top notes of green mandarin oil, black pepper, birch leaf. Heart notes of patchouli, Texas cedar, leather accord. Base notes of tonka bean, amber and incense.

16. Tiffany & Co Tiffany & Love For Him

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube

Tiffany & Love sees the famed U.S jeweller dipping its toes into the dual-fragrance category for the first time (one for him and one for her) and is also the first masculine scent to be released under the direction of Reed Krakov, chief artistic officer at Tiffany & Co. Created in collaboration by two perfumers; Sophie Labbe and Nicolas Beaulieu (the man behind Concrete; Comme des Garcons), it is described by its makers as “A citrus, aromatic fragrance with a wood infused base”. Perfect for day and when you don’t want anything too complicated or overpowering, Drying down to a base of sandalwood, vetiver and blue sequoia (a signature ingredient in both the men’s and women’s fragrance); top notes include ginger, mandarin and cardamom oils, with a juniper-cypress blend (achieved by a co-distillation process created for Tiffany) at its heart.

17. Molton Brown London Juniper Jazz

Photo: fragrantica
Photo: fragrantica

The latest addition to Molton Brown’s repertoire of uplifting, lighter-concentrated, edt scents marks the centenary of the jazz age and toasts the glamorous party scene of London in the 1920s with a gin-soaked cocktail, reminiscent of the decadent era. Composed by senior perfumer, Nathalie Koobus, it is a woody aromatic defined by its abundance of green notes. Both warm and cold (a bit like the holiday season itself), it explodes with effervescent juniper berries, crushed mint leaves and metallic notes in its top, stirred with orris and guaiac wood, before drying down to a base of comforting and familiar sandalwood, patchouli and musk.

Part of MBL’s limited-edition 2020 Christmas collection, it has class (the brand has a royal warrant from the Queen), a dazzling art-deco stance and is one of that rarest of breeds, a fragrance that is appropriate to wear both day and night.

18. Kenneth Cole Black

Photo: giaonhan247
Photo: giaonhan247

Sexy and sophisticated, Black by Kenneth Cole blends energy herbs with masculine spices and sensual woods to create an innovative scent that reflects the elegance and style of the city.

If women get the little black dress, then this is a little black bottle just for the men.

Black by Kenneth Cole is a great blend of spice and wood that will have you feeling all dressed up with just a spritz or two. A warm scent, the cologne is great for date night and the bottle itself elevates any nightstand. The 30mL bottle is just $40, so stock up for when you can go back to the bars and be the best-smelling guy there.

19. Chanel Bleu De Chanel Eau de Toilette

Photo: chanel
Photo: chanel

What’s more classic than Chanel?

Bleu de Chanel is a bestselling scent and can be easily found at Sephora in three different sizes. Try the 1.7-ounce bottle first for $80, but be warned that you’ll soon fall in love with the scent and won’t want to wear anything else. The cologne is described as being earthy and woody, with notes of citrus, labdanum, sandalwood and cedar.

20. Versace Eros

Photo: websosanh
Photo: websosanh

Versace Eros is characterised by Greek methodology, Eros being the god of love. That is exactly why this fragrance represents love, passion and desire. The addictive sensual nature of the fragrance will leave you irresistible (for real, women will find it hard to resist your scent). It includes top notes of mint leaves, Italian lemon zest and green apple. Heart notes include tonka beans, amber, geranium flower and vanilla while base notes of cedarwood from Atlas, vetyver and oak moss finishes the fragrance off. Go get your inner Greek god on, Manofmany reported.

The Best Way to Store Your Perfume

Heat, light, and humidity are all big no-nos when it comes to perfume, as they can break down the notes and lessen the fragrance’s quality and intensity. Rather than keeping them in your bathroom, it’s recommended to store them in a cool, dry place that’s out of reach of any direct sunlight. Think: a vanity table or the top of your dresser.

How to Find Your Signature Scent

Struggling to find the one? The best way to discover your signature scent may be through simple experimentation. A growing number of fragrance brands these days, including Le Labo, Ellis Brooklyn, and Jo Malone, offer fragrance samplers so that you can test out a few of their best-selling scents at once. For the far more indecisive, there’s also The Perfume Society’s “Find A Fragrance” service, which asks you to name a scent you love and will then recommend an array of perfumes for you to try within that scent family.

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