Finding the right cologne that matches your personality is never easy. There are so many different brands in the market and navigating through all these options before choosing something that works for you can be very daunting. But it’s not impossible. After all, cologne for men is something very common these days. It can help improve the quality of life, making you feel confident all day. As long as you know where and how to look, finding the right cologne should be simple.
Before we give you a list of some of the top-rated cologne for men, it’s important to, first, make it clear that there’s no one size fits all when it comes to fragrances. Everybody has their tastes and preferences, and as such, it’s best to look through the available diversity of products and choose something that works for you.
It’s also important to keep in mind that men and women don’t always want the same thing when it comes to cologne. Although it’s easy to assume there is no difference between a man’s fragrance and a woman’s, there are a lot of subtle differences that you can distinguish. Besides, scents also go with occasions. Some are perfect for a cocktail party while others are made for that official boardroom meeting. It’s all about playing with various options and choosing the one that best works for you.
What You Should Consider When Buying Cologne
It’s clear that wearing cologne has many benefits especially for men who are looking to maintain their self-esteem and confidence. But jumping into the market and buying the very first scent that comes your way is not good. I know this is often the routine for most men when they buy cologne, but maybe it would be nice to stop for a moment and make sure you know what you are doing.
There are a few factors you will need to consider as you buy your cologne:
- Brand – There are many brands of men cologne on the market. Although there’s nothing wrong with relatively new brands and products, going for colognes that have a brand and reputation is highly advised.
- Drydown – Make sure the cologne doesn’t stick to your skin.
- Notes – Check the notes on the cologne too. Notes are a list of the foundational elements that make up the scent.
- Sensitivity – The sensitivity of the cologne also matters. Something that irritates your skin or causes allergies for you or the people around you should be avoided.
- Sillage – Finally, pay attention to the sillage. This is the scent that the cologne leaves behind. It needs to be appealing to you and long-lasting.
All these factors are, of course, new to most people and sometimes it would take an expert to tell what some of these terms mean. In addition to this, going through various colognes analyzing each aspect can take time. The best way to narrow down your options would be to try out as many samples as possible. You can always get free cologne samples at your local mall or even online. In fact, Amazon ships free bundles of cologne samples for you to try. But if you don’t have time for all that, we think we may have something to help. We have a list of some of the best colognes in the market. Even though we understand that people have different preferences when it comes to scents, we think these products below could easily wow any guy out there.
Here are the top 10 colognes for men this year:
Aventus has always topped the list of leading colognes in the market for men. It’s therefore not surprising that the Creed Aventus makes it to our list. What we love most about Aventus is the virility, power, and strength of its scents. This luxury cologne delivers a perfect blend of pineapple, black currant, and ambergris. The smoking milieu that comes out, as a result, is simply irresistible. The Creed Aventus is designed for the bold man, and it delivers an aura of dominance and confidence for the ultimate alpha male. It’s one of the best cologne brands in the market.
- Unique composition
- Can be used for any occasion
- Long lasting fragrance
- Bold and striking scent
The John Varvatos Artisan Pure is the latest in a series of artisanal collections that still maintains the original punch with new wood undertones. It features some juicy ingredients in the mix including fragrant lemon, a succulent chord, and bergamot. The clean bottle design is the ultimate personification of purity for the John Varvatos Artisan Pure men cologne. It’s simple and antique craftsmanship add a touch of elegance to an already high-end scent. The wooden base and top of the bottle are something to be savored. The John Varvatos Artisan Pure, just as its name suggests, is a pure and unadulterated scent. Its charm is captured from the hilly blossomed orchards of Mexico. It’s the kind of cologne that will never go wrong.
- Manly scent
- Natural packaging
- Combines the past with the future
- Nice smell
- Not too long lasting
The Versace Eros is inspired by the Greek god of love. It’s also one of the top selling men colognes in the market at the moment. The cologne features a subtle mix of lemon zest, green apple, and mint leaves. It is created to offer a vibrant and clean redolence with a subtle suggestion of virility. The sillage is also very high at 10+ hours. This is a cologne that has the right endurance, and it can stay on for a long time, even in the most difficult environments. In case you are planning a business meeting or any other formal event, we highly recommend Versace Eros. It’s designed for such occasions. In addition to this, the scent is also quite affordable. No wonder it remains a top seller in the market.
- Elegant packaging
- A blend of light and soft elements
- Bold, masculine scent
- Doesn’t last long
There’s simply one word for L’Envol de Cartier – lavish. The cologne is a simple and sweet scent with a touch of bold notes that take hold right way after spraying. It features a transparent and active honey scent, and it is perfect for both fall and spring. The dry-down effect also delivers an earthy tone that creates a singular and appealing finish when applied. The bottle has a great design too. Its ornamental design is topped with a guilloche cap that has been a unique feature of Mason Cartier and its products. It’s an opulent cologne that has the right amount of scent for the confident outdoor guy.
- Good smell
- Bold notes
- Good dry-down effect
- Not very long lasting
It’s not possible to talk about cologne these days without mentioning Christian Dior. Well, the Christian Dior Sauvage is indeed worth the mention. The woody and chypre notes give the cologne a unique mystique and polarizing fragrance designed only for men with an acquired taste. The cologne combines some accords including lavender, geranium, vetiver, Sichuan pepper, and patchouli produce. It’s the perfect airy aroma of the outdoors blended in a bottle. The sillage is at 5 hours minimum which is relatively higher compared to other products. We also loved the fresh and simple, inviting scent and the overall versatility of the cologne. It’s the kind of scent you can wear for any occasion, and you will fit right in without too much hassle.
- Highly reputable brand
- Modern scent
- Blends with other elements
- Lasts for many hours
The V76 by Vaughn Blue Cedar is part of the famous V76 collection. The collection is indeed a popular go-to brand for many men. Building on this reputation, the V76 collection is introducing a new line that features new cologne. The new line is under the trademark Blue Cedar. The V76 by Vaughn Blue Cedar is such an invigorating scent. It delivers commendable notes using coconut milk blended with leather accents, violet, and blue cedar for the maximum effect. The composition is quite sophisticated, but nonetheless, it’s the reason why the V76 by Vaughn Blue Cedar has always been unique. There are no synthetic ingredients in the cologne too. We also loved the fact that the V76 by Vaughn Blue Cedar is a gender neutral scent. Although men would rock with it, it can still be the perfect pick for women looking for a unique product.
- Magnetic woody scent
- Last for a long time
- Commendable notes
- Sophisticated composition
YSL has been on the market for some time, and the company has updated its line of colognes very carefully since 2006. The Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme Ultime is the latest in this line of radically fresh scents that are perfectly created to celebrate “freedom and masculinity.” The cologne features beautiful ginger notes with a touch of grapefruit to deliver the perfect magnet when it comes to scent. The Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme Ultime also incorporates woody cedar and vetiver. It’s the sensual cologne that reawakens you. It provokes your surroundings, attracts people towards you, and delivers the ultimate scent for any event. We wouldn’t recommend it for summer and spring though.
- Smells great
- High quality
- Good longevity
- A bit dull
The Ralph Lauren Polo Red Extreme is one of the most provocative scents you will ever wear. It has a universal appeal across various markets. Its delightful aroma is dominated by a simple blend of dark black coffee carefully complimented with blood orange essence and robust black ebony wood. The Ralph Lauren Polo Red Extreme exudes maturity with its sweet central appeal, and it’s a modern favorite for most people. The cologne is designed to evoke the senses subtly and simply. It triggers curiosity yet it remains mysterious at the same time. The bottle design is also quite thoughtful. The matte finish is no doubt a symbol of a well-groomed masculine man. We also like the price. Its way cheaper compared to most colognes in this list.
- Signature fragrance
- Blends with invigorating ingredients
- Strong composition
- Amazing staying power
- Suitable for any occasion and time
- The energizing aroma
The Paco Rabanne 1 Million Prive is indeed an enhanced version of Eau de Toilette. The cologne has some edge to it compared to its predecessors, and this makes it stand out. The beautiful tones of myrrh with accents of tobacco have been included in the formula to add to the richness of the scent. There are other leathery elements too. Notes of cinnamon and blood mandarin are the source of the delightful fiery essence we have seen on the PacoRabanne 1 Million Prive. And that’s not all. We also loved the packaging. The bullion-bar packaging design is given a simple copper base with beautiful golden accents for the ultimate opulence. The Paco Rabanne 1 Million Prive is not your average cologne. It’s designed for the discerning gentleman, and it will cost you some money. But at the end of it, all it will truly be worth it.
- Elegantly packed
- Quality and seductive scent
- Not too long lasting
Neroli-dominant colognes represent the 21st-century grandeur and sex appeal. The Portofino Forte offering is a cologne that adds formal elegance. All concerns raised by the previous Portofino formula have been solved, raising the duration of the scent by a few more hours. The rounded scent isn’t too light. Leather accords provide a richness that goes very well with the floral notes. The Tom Ford Portofino Forte is the ideal choice for black tie affairs.
- Light and fresh scent.
- Strong Neroli dominant scent
- Poor value
- Inconsistent performance
What is a Cologne?
Cologne or a fragrance has many definitions, and different people will have their understanding of what these terms mean. But for people in the perfume industry, cologne is just a simple combination of raw materials. The raw materials can be extracted from natural sources or made synthetically.
The process involves a lot of chemistry. Perfume oils, for instance, are dissolved in alcohol which acts as a solvent. This helps to preserve the beautiful concoction of scents that cologne comes with. As the perfumed oils are dissolved in the solvent, the level of concentration will differ. The more concentrated the oils become, the stronger the scent will be. The strength of the scent is very important because it will determine how long the fragrance will last on your skin. For instance, strong scents will last hours on your skin unless they are washed off.
It is also very important to keep in mind that colognes will respond differently to different people. The scent of each cologne will vary from one person to another. The sad thing is that most men know nothing about scents. Sometimes it takes a long process of trial and error before they finally find the cologne they like. However, this can be a very exciting journey. Trying out various samples and experiencing different scents is awesome.
The Benefits of Wearing Cologne
There are many reasons why men would want to wear cologne. However, most of the time, it’s all about feeling and looking attractive, especially towards women. There’s also an aura of self-esteem that comes with cologne. After all, if you smell good then you will also feel great.
Here are some other important reasons:
Will Make You More Attractive to the Ladies
We are all always on the lookout for a partner, aren’t we? Well, despite our superior brains and modern civilization we are still animals. Smell plays a very vital role in choosing a mate. The scent is often the most powerful factor that attracts a woman to a man. Women will be attracted to a guy who smells nice, and most of the time this can happen unconsciously.
In addition to this, women tend to have a strong and fine-tuned sense of smell. Right from the time they are born, women have always been able to outperform men when it comes to smell. Various lab tests have already been done to prove this. The female nose is also adapted to smell better compared to a man’s nose. This is because women have more sensitive scented sex hormones also known as pheromones that can be used to identify and approach a nice smelling man from a distance. In case you are looking to make some headway with the ladies, perhaps changing your cologne to something more elegant and stylish could be the push in the back you need.
Can Enhance Emotional Connections with People
As crazy as this may sound, how you smell determines the kind of connections you will be able to make with people. Smell is, in fact, the most powerful sense in the human body. It’s estimated that smell is 150,000 times more powerful than our vision. The sense of smell is so powerful that it’s capable of detecting over a trillion unique odors. In addition to this, scientists have also found that smell tends to trigger more memories than any other sense in our body. In light of this, scents can help us build deep connections with people and remember them more fondly. To put it bluntly, it’s easier to remember someone through their scent. Scents can also bring back fond memories. For instance, cologne used by a dear friend may rekindle a lot of passionate emotions if it passes your way.
Adds to Your Overall Impression of a Sharp Man
A gentleman is expected to be many things. But often it is the simple things that matter. A well-dressed man with the right attitude and confidence will always earn the respect of his peers and other people around him. Improving how you smell is indeed the right way to improve your impression. If people are attracted to your scent, it becomes easier for them to see other great features that you possess. This will eventually help improve your overall impression of people.
However, wearing a scent doesn’t necessarily have to be about dating, women, or sex. Simply think of it as part of your grooming routine.
What’s the Difference Between a Perfume, Toilette, Cologne, and Fragrance?
I know you may sit at home and look at these words and wonder, how different are they? Don’t they mean the same thing? Well, that’s what most people believe, but there’s a difference. The word fragrance is simply the general term that’s used to define perfume. But perfume comes in very many different forms and here are some of the major categories you should know about:
- Eau Fraiche – This is simply the most diluted form of perfume. Normally, it will have between 1 and 3% perfume oil in the alcohol and water solvent. The scent doesn’t last long once it’s applied. One hour at most is its sillage.
- Cologne – Cologne is the oldest term we know for perfume. The word is mostly used in North America as a general term for men perfumes. Typically, cologne tends to be fruity, fresh, and light. It will have 2-4% dissolved perfume oils. Cologne is more popular with younger people, and its overall sillage is 2 hours at most.
- Toilette – Toilette is simply a lightly scented spray. It contains a perfume oil content of between 5 – 15%. The scent doesn’t last more than 3 hours when applied.
- Perfume – Perfume is a general term for scents, and it’s universal. It describes all scents including those created for men and women. The total perfume oil content in the solvent is quite high ranging from 15-20%.
- Parfum – Parfum is the most expensive and the most concentrated of all fragrances. The name is derived loosely from the Latin words per fumum which mean through the smoke. The scent will contain a normal perfume oils concentration ranging from 20-30%. On a normal day, the scent would last up to 24 hours once applied.
What’s the Life Cycle of Colognes?
The life cycle of colognes normally has three parts. Think of it as a pyramid that’s evaporating. The top begins melting away until you reach the bottom. Each of these three life cycles contains unique scents and notes. Normally, colognes will have three different notes. They include top, medium, and base.
Here is a breakdown of them:
- Top Note – This is typically the initial lighter smell of any cologne. It lasts for at most 2 hours. The top note often features fruity and fresh scents with some citrus and powdery scents too.
- Medium Note – The medium note is also called the heart note. It’s the center of all the main elements in the cologne. The middle notes will develop immediately once the top note clears off. The note will last up to five hours. It usually includes heavy floral scents.
- Base Note – The base notes become more noticeable later in the day. The notes simply lay the foundation for the entire Cologne. They will last for up to 10 hours after application. Some of the commonly used base notes in colognes include moss, tar, leather, smoke, musk, and sandalwood.
Linear vs. Non-Linear Colognes
There are two types of colognes that are available in the market now. We have the linear and non-linear colognes. The linear cologne will smell the same to you right from the time it’s sprayed until the time it’s washed off. The non-linear cologne will change their notes as the day goes.
Some of the best colognes in the market tend to be non-linear. They will have the life cycle that we have discussed above. This is due to the complicated orchestration of the scents that are done during production. This is, of course, an expensive process and it requires a lot of money. As such, only the high-end colognes in the market tend to be non-linear.
Despite this, there are still some great linear colognes that you can use. Besides, there are a lot of people who would prefer one single standard scent all day long instead of various notes during different times of the day.
Designer vs. Niche Colognes
In addition to the linear and non-linear category, colognes are also divided into designer vs. niche scents. The designer colognes are the most common ones, and you will see them in every store out there. They are made by companies like Chanel, Armani, and Burberry, and are relatively cheaper. Designer cologne will cost between $15 and $150. The colognes are mass produced and target the bigger scent market.
Niche cologne is the exact opposite of this. They are created for a few and are quite expensive. They feature high-quality ingredients. The production is often more artistic than just normal chemistry. Although niche colognes are not going to have the universal appeal associated mostly with designer options, they tend to target a few bold consumers who have an acquired taste.
How Much Do Colognes Cost?
Understanding the prices of colognes is important because it helps you find a product that meets your budget and taste. Before we go into the details about pricing, it’s important to note that expensive doesn’t necessarily mean quality. After all, some of the best colognes that have dominated the market over the last few years have been relatively affordable.
The cost of perfume will be determined by its concentration. The more concentrated it is, the higher it will cost. The brand name will also affect. Reputable brands with a pedigree in the market will indeed cost you more.
How to Pick the Right Cologne
The goal when picking a cologne is to go for something that fits with your body’s natural scent. There’s no one size fits all. Every person will react differently to different colognes. You need to experiment with various options before you finally decide which scent to use. Don’t pick cologne because there are many people using it or because a friend is recommending it. Although there’s nothing wrong with getting recommendations, at least make sure the search for the ultimate cologne is a personalized experience.
The great thing is that you will have the opportunity to test colognes without incurring any costs. Department stores tend to have samples on offer. Step in and try as many samples as you can. Don’t overdo it though or else you will end up confused. At most, only try four scents at once.
If you are new to this, just follow the instructions below:
- Spray one scent at a time on your wrist.
- Store departments will often offer you cards to smell. Don’t use those.
- Before you smell cologne, your senses need to be fresh. Take a cup of coffee or tea to be fully
- If it’s possible, try and smell all the notes to be sure what you are buying.
- Smell as many colognes as possible. Widening your options really helps to identify the best choice.
- Buy the right bottle and enjoy the experience.
The total cologne size is also something worth considering. Since you are buying for the first time, the last thing you need is to buy too much cologne only to discard it later. Start small. A bottle of between 1 and 3.4 oz should do at first. Give it a try and see how it goes. Pay attention to skin irritation and allergies when you apply. If you like it, you can buy a bigger bottle.
Tips to Keep in Mind As You Apply Cologne
You have hard the phrase “too much cologne” right? It can be something embarrassing and off-putting. In that case, you need to understand how to apply cologne in the right way.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Always spray the cologne on dry skin. This should be done right after you take a shower. Hold the bottle at least 3 inches away from the skin and spray.
- Spray lightly. If you are new to cologne, there’s no knowing how the cologne will react with your skin. Start with a small and light application on your chest and see how it goes first.
- Don’t re-spray. The right cologne would have your back for the whole day. There’s no need to re-spray unless the scent has washed off.
- Don’t spray and walk. I know you have seen this on TV, but it’s just showbiz. Don’t spray cologne in the air and walk right through it. It doesn’t make any sense. It will not make the scent more effective nor will it make it more natural on your skin. It will simply be a waste.
- In addition to this, never spray the cologne on your clothes. This will limit its efficacy. In some cases, it may also damage your clothes or leave a stain.
- Less is always more. Don’t over apply the cologne. Small sprays will indeed do the job.
What Are the Main Styles of Men’s Cologne?
We have quite some styles for men cologne in the market.
The following are some of the most popular options at the moment:
- Aromatic – Aromatic scents are rich in benzene. This is a compound that’s mostly found in organic ingredients. Aromatic scents tend to be rustic, and they come with a certain unique freshness that’s always invigorating. A lot of men colognes are aromatic too. They include ingredients like rosemary, marjoram, basil, mint, cumin, anise, fennel, and many others.
- Chypre – Before you start wondering what this is, I’ll tell you it’s the French term for Cyprus. The use of Cyprus in scents goes back to the early 19th century when Frenchman Francois Coty created the first Cyprus scent. Most of the time, a Cyprus-based cologne will feature other additional ingredients which include bergamot, labdanum, and oakmoss.
- Citrus – The citrus-based ascents are created from the hesperidium fruits. They may also include lemongrass, pomelo, Verbena, and yuzu. Typical citrus-based scents will have an inviting smell of orange, lemon, mandarin, or grapefruit.
- Floral – The floral category is the largest cologne category. Floral scents have been used in both male and female scents for years. They are romantic, tenacious and fresh. A lot of flowers can be used for floral scents. However, the most common options include rose, tuberose, jasmine, lavender, marigold, and immortelle amongst others.
- Leather – Leather scents have been used for years. In fact, they were the very first colognes to be created. Leather scents are animalistic, and they do have a natural feel to them. This makes them quite ideal for most men.
- Woody – Woody colognes are dominated by woody scents. They may feature sensual sandalwood or musky accords with a touch of cedar. Some of the versatile categories of wood scents include oakmoss, rosewood, guiac, and amber.
Other Factors to Consider
There are other important factors too that you need to consider when you buy cologne.
- Signature Scent – The ultimate goal as you buy cologne is to achieve the signature scent. This means finding a scent that you love, something that truly identifies with your personality. Although this takes time and is not easy, it should be a great feeling once you get there.
- Seasonality – Each season is different, and it may require a different scent. Know which cologne goes well for different seasons and apply it appropriately.
- Day and Night – Just like seasons, colognes will also vary in their efficacy based on the time of day. Some will work well if they are applied during the day while others work better during the night. You need to know which scents are perfect for you either time of day.
How to Store Cologne Appropriately
Cologne is expensive, and it’s an investment too. You need to make sure that you get full value for your money.
Here are a few important tips you can use to ensure proper cologne storage:
- Make sure the bottle is kept far away from heat
- Avoid light
- Try and keep the cologne bottle away from oxygen
If you use your cologne on a regular basis, perhaps storing it somewhere in the fridge could save you a lot of potential damages. But make sure it doesn’t spill on your food.
When Should You Put On Cologne?
Different people will have unique times when they will feel comfortable to apply cologne. However, it’s always better to apply it after a nice shower. This will help maximize the effects of the scent. In addition to this, taking a hot shower allows your pores to open. This will capture the scent of the cologne and retain it for longer. You don’t want to apply cologne without taking a bath. When you combine the sweat and the dirt on your skin with a fresh smelling scent, the outcome won’t be that good.
Also, don’t combine the scent of your cologne with other strong scented oils or soaps. I know people do this a lot to try and achieve the signature scent but trust me, it doesn’t work. Top scents are unique and they have a unique scent. If you cover them up with strong deodorants or soaps, then you will miss out on taking advantage of what the scents have to offer. Try and use a lightly scented soap for showers or an ordinary cologne-free soap. This will help the cologne to adapt to your body.
Buying the right cologne can help you upgrade your image. It’s the ultimate solution to enhance confidence and build your self-esteem to a whole new level. There are many colognes in the market, but we believe that there are a few worth noting. The Creed Aventus is indeed a great choice, and it’s one of the best-selling scents in the market. Its opulent and fresh aura is perfectly suited for any man. The product is also manufactured using 100% all natural ingredients. This is a big plus for people who may have skin sensitivity issues or allergies.
We also liked the Ralph Lauren Polo Red Extreme. Although it’s relatively expensive compared to other scents, it does deliver an elegant and luxurious style. However, for people who are looking for an affordable scent that still does the job, then the Cartier L’Envol de Cartier would be the best choice. Nonetheless, it’s always important to note that choosing cologne has to be a personal experience. Experiment with various products and ultimately select the one that works best for you.