You could dress like you look a million dollars, but if you don’t finish it off with a couple of sprays of one of the best colognes, then your sweet threads could all go to waste. You want to smell as good as you look, gents.
The fact of the matter is, a great-smelling men’s cologne can be the difference between you receiving a compliment or being ignored entirely.
But with such a plethora of scents available for men, choosing a cologne that’s right for you and your skin can often be easier said than done.
In order to find the best of the best smelling men’s fragrance, you would need to spend a good few hours testing every single one, but eventually, your nose will become immune to the scents and you won’t be able to take full advantage of the choice on offer.
How one smells says a lot about who one is, especially in a world where first impressions mean everything. Some people will choose a different scent every time they purchase a new bottle, some may like to stick to a particular label, and there are even those who choose one fragrance forever – a scent they feel defines them as a person.
The colognes and fragrances for men featured below are literally some of the nicest smelling on the market, produced using a mix of rare and original ingredients, so that you stand out for all the right reasons – and don’t smell like every other guy on the street.
So if you’re after a truly unique scent that will have people u-turning just to grab another pleasurable whiff, then check out the best cologne for men below.
Editor’s note: we have tested and worn every single one of these recommended fragrances.
Le Labo – Le Noir
BEST NIGHT TIME COLOGNE
Le Labo first came to everyone’s attention in New York back in 2006, with the notion that there were too many bottles of perfume being produced without soul and character. Now a fully established luxury fragrance and cologne producer, they have a large selection of fantastic scents, including this one: The Noir 29.
Using black tea as a source of inspiration, it’s a herby, leafy scent with notes of bergamot for a truly beautiful and natural smell. It’s also presented in a range of sizes with a minimalist laboratory label that looks great alongside other bathroom essentials. We also recommend you sniff out Le Labo Santal 33.
Top notes: Fig, Bay Leaf, Bergamot
Heart notes: Cedar, Vetiver, Musk
Base notes: Tobacco, Hay
Price: $245 for 50ml
COMME des GARÇONS – 2
BEST EVERYDAY COLOGNE
What happens when two of the world’s most stylish cities collide through the creations of a self-taught master designer? COMME des GARÇONS, that’s what. Rei Kawakubo studied fine art instead of fashion in her native Tokyo before opening boutiques in swanky Parisian quartiers. Inspiration from both cities run through everything her label produces, like this delightful fragrance.
COMME des GARÇONS 2 is actually a unisex scent (a hugely popular concept today) although that doesn’t mean it still can’t be listed as one of the best colognes for men. It is said to be the brand’s ethos in fragrance form – which to you and me means it is complex – with hints of magnolia, mandarin and tea.
Top notes: Aldehydes, Angelica, Tea, Mandarin Orange, Mate
Heart notes: Ink, Magnolia, Nutmeg, West Indian Bay, Coriander, Caraway, Cinnamon
Base notes: Incense, Patchouli, Cedar, Vetiver, Amber, Labdanum
Price: $145 for 50ml
Issey Miyake – L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme Eau & Cèdre
Issey Miyake, who sadly passed away earlier this year in August, was one of the most influential fashion designers of all time. Many designers have their own fragrance collections, too, but Miyake’s have always stood out as particularly good.
Simple, vibrant and clean, L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Eau & Cèdre is a new, masculine take on Miyake’s legendary L’Eau d’Issey that’s perfect for men in 2022. Despite boasting fiery notes of cardamom, cedar, vetiver and patchouli essences, L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Eau & Cèdre is a fresh and subtle fragrance that’s ultra-modern and versatile. The bottle’s also rather special, with a unique wooden cap that’s very pleasing.
Top notes: Cardamom, Grapefruit
Heart notes: Cedar, Sea Salt
Base notes: Vetiver, Patchouli
Price: $110 for 50ml
Moncler – Pour Homme
Fresh, exciting and innovative, Moncler Pour Homme is one of the most clever colognes ever made and a must-have addition to your fragrance rotation. A woody aromatic fragrance, Moncler Pour Homme was designed to capture the vibrant natural beauty of an alpine forest – very appropriate for a brand born in the Alps.
With notes of clary sage, cedarwood, vetiver and Moncler exclusive Alpine Green & Mountain Woods accords, Pour Homme has a vibrant and playful scent. Plus, the bottle boasts an LED screen that can be customised via a dedicated smartphone app. Talk about a luxurious cologne…
Top notes: Clary Sage, Foliage
Heart notes: Pine
Base notes: Cedar, Sandalwood, Amber, Vetiver
Price: $300 for 100ml
Tom Ford – Fucking Fabulous
MOST EXPENSIVE COLOGNE
Pretty much everything celebrated designer Tom Ford touches turns to gold. He’s a modern leader in the world of fashion, design and even Hollywood movies which are as visually stunning as his garments. But it is this Fucking Fabulous fragrance of his that we are going to wax lyrical about here, which is pretty much summed up by its no-nonsense name.
It’s a deep and sensual cologne for men that lasts, with nice oriental undercurrents. Mr Ford has only gone and bloody done it again!
Top notes: Clary Sage, Lavender
Heart notes: Bitter Almond, Leather, Vanilla, Orris
Base notes: Leather, Tonka Bean, Cashmeran, White Woods, Amber
Price: $335ml for 50ml
COMME des GARÇONS – Gosha Rubchinskiy
A monumental meeting of different cultures is responsible for producing this scent. We’ve already spoken about COMME des GARÇONS, but the collaborator for this eau de toilette is Gosha Rubchinskiy. This hyped Russian fashion designer takes inspiration from Russia’s streetwear and youth culture, as well as the dissolution of the USSR.
This unisex scent has been designed to reflect that, with notes of rubber and tar – meant to evoke the feeling of skateboarding – contrasted with fresh hints of mandarin and blue chamomile. This is certainly one of the best men’s colognes for casual weekend looks.
Top notes: Angelica, Buchu, Agathosma
Heart notes: Chamomile, Mandarin Orange
Base notes: Haitian Vetiver, Styrax, Patchouli
Price: $111 for 100ml
Free shipping over $250
Creed Cologne – Santal
BEST SANTAL COLOGNE
Originally a tailoring house in London – with a history dating all the way back to 1760 – Creed is now a niche perfume house with boutiques in Paris, New York, Dubai and Milan. They source only the purest elements from around the world to make their fragrances and take a production approach that’s similar to producing fine wines.
One of their most sought-after perfumes is this Original Santal blend, which is inspired by Asia, and in particular, Royal Sandalwood trees. It’s a little pricey, but oh so worth it.
Top notes: Sandalwood, Cinnamon, Juniper Berries, Coriander
Heart notes: Lavender, Ginger, Rosemary, Petitgrain
Base notes: Vanilla, Tonka Bean
Price: $439 for 100ml
Dior – Homme Original (not the new one)
BEST FLOWERY COLOGNE
Christian Dior may not have been around long enough to truly witness the impact his self-titled brand would have on contemporary fashion, but if he is looking down it will be with a proud smile. Dior is one of the biggest high-end luxury fashion houses in the world and the envy of countless others. Dior are also dab hands when it comes to making great colognes, such as this Dior Homme, with its masculine, rugged scent.
Dior Homme is an ode to what it means to be a modern man, and is a cult favourite. The older formulation of this fragrance is the one to get, if you can find it.
Top notes: Mandarin Orange, Neroli, Bergamot, Lavender, Cardamom, Sage
Heart notes: Iris
Base notes: Vetiver, Cacao, Leather, Amber, Patchouli
Price: $118 for 50ml
Free shipping over $50
Byredo – Sunday Cologne
Ben Gorham, the founder of Byredo, is a Swede who spent a lot of his youth growing up in the US and Canada. Inspired by memories, emotions and experiences of these three countries, he set up Byredo, a luxury brand specialising in fragrances and candles.
The brand’s Sunday cologne has become somewhat of a classic since its release with its crisp and citrusy tones for those less formal, relaxing days when the mind is free and in creative mode.
Top notes: Bergamot, Star Anise, Cardamom
Heart notes: Lavender, Geranium, Incense
Base notes: Vetiver, Oak Moss, Patchouli
Price: $245 for 100ml
Jo Malone – Velvet Rose & Oud
Joanne Lesley Malone’s story, from a dyslexic early school leaver who cared for her sick mother, to one of the most successful fragrance producers on the planet is well documented. Although probably better known for scented candles, this Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne shows that her company is highly skilled in bringing the right notes together regardless of the end product.
This rich fragrance has a sandalwood base, which mixes together notes of Indonesian cloves and praline to form something that genuinely dazzles the nose.
Top notes: Cloves
Heart notes: Damask Rose
Base notes: Praline, Oud
Price: $315 for 100ml
Hermès – Terre D'Hermès
BEST CITRUS COLOGNE
Hermès has been the final word in luxury, whether it be leather accessories, home furnishings or delightful perfumes and fragrances, since 1837. Their Terre D’Hermès cologne takes inspiration from the land and the great outdoors. It’s a warm yet dense scent with hints of benzoin and shiso.
The fragrance itself sits in a wonderfully crafted glass bottle that can be refilled and is inspired by contemporary architecture. For such a renowned label and end product, the price is lower than you’d expect for an added bonus.
Top notes: Orange, Grapefruit
Heart notes: Flint
Base notes: Woodsy Notes, Oak Moss, Benzoin
Price: $135 for 100ml
Eight & Bob – Original
BEST OF THE BEST
Albert Fouquet, the creator and brains behind Eight & Bob, was the son of a Parisian aristocrat. When a chance meeting with a certain John. F. Kennedy took place in south-east France, the future US president was so blown away by his cologne that he begged the Frenchmen for a sample of his unique scent.
The base ingredients used by Eight & Bob are a closely guarded secret, such as those used to produce this EDP for men. What we do know is that andrea is used, an incredibly rare plant that grows at altitude in Chile, and can only be farmed over a two-month period each year. So, if it’s exclusivity you want from a men’s cologne, this is one of the best examples around.
Top Notes: Ginger, Cardamom, Lemon, Bergamot
Heart Notes: Cedar Wood, Nuts, Essencia Cistus, Guaiacum Wood
Base notes: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Ambergris, Vanilla
Editor’s note: I wear this one most days to work.
Price: $350 for 100ml
Viktor & Rolf – Spicebomb
Viktor & Rolf have been bringing their distorted yet playful designs to the fashion world since 1995. In 2005, they set up a store in Sant’Andrea, Rome for their experiments in perfumes, which has since become a mecca for fragrance fiends.
Their Spicebomb collection comes in four distinctly different scents for different occasions. Each fragrance is held in a grenade-shaped bottle, to exemplify the explosive characters of their contents. Regardless of whether you’re into the gimmicky look of the bottles or not, the scents are quite remarkable.
Top notes: Pink Pepper, Elemi, Bergamot, Grapefruit
Heart notes: Cinnamon, Saffron, Paprika
Base notes: Tobacco, Leather, Vetiver
Price: $100 for 100ml
Maison Margiela – Across Sands
Formerly known as Maison Martin Margiela, this luxury French label was founded in Paris back in 1988. The brand’s designers are very fond of a deconstructive, avant-garde ethos, magnified in products such as this gender-anonymous Across Sands Perfum.
Launched in 2016 using ingredients such as agarwood, dates and a range of spices, it carries captivating tones that suggest the wearer is forward-thinking and creative. It comes in a nice, minimalistic bottle with a silver laboratory label, and although it sits at the higher end of the price spectrum, it’s seriously worth every penny!
Top notes: Saffron, Cinnamon
Heart notes: Dates, Fennel
Base notes: Apricot, Lumber
Price: $194 for 100ml
Carner Barcelona – Cuirs
BEST STRONG COLOGNE
Whether you’re talking about the creative culinary genius of El Bulli or the exceptional football played by the city’s famous football club, Barcelona and creative flair seemingly go hand in hand. Carner set up shop in the city in 2009 with the aim of creating scents that provoke emotions, experiences and the image of landscapes.
Their Cuirs unisex fragrance is the liquified proof of their manifesto, a leather fragrance with hints of guaiac wood and violet, a symbolic message from the Mediterranean shores of Barcelona.
Top notes: Saffron, Caraway
Heart notes: Sandalwood, Guaiac Wood, Patchouli, Virginia Cedar, Violet
Base notes: Oud, Leather, Tonka Bean, French labdanum, Musk, Amber, Cypriol Oil (Nagarmotha), Amyris
Price: $179 for 100ml
Dior – Eau Sauvage
BEST OLD SCHOOL COLOGNE
Only a formidable scent could make a brand have two colognes on this list, but we wouldn’t be doing you guys justice if we didn’t mention Dior’s Eau Sauvage. It’s incredible to think that this fragrance first appeared all the way back in 1966 and was Dior’s first ever for men, created by French master perfumer Edmond Roudnitska.
To advertise the release of the perfume Dior enlisted the skills of French actor Alain Delon, which in a way started a whole genre of perfume ads that still confuse the hell out of us today! Johnny Depp’s their current spruiker. So, if it’s timeless character and originality you’re after, Eau Savage is the cologne for you.
Top notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Basil, Rosemary, Caraway, Fruity Notes
Heart notes: Jasmine, Coriander, Patchouli, Carnation, Orris Root, Sandalwood, Rose
Base notes: Oak Moss, Vetiver, Musk, Amber
Price: $112 for 100ml
IIUVO – Soigné
London’s IIUVO is a relative newcomer on the block, a fragrance brand started by two friends with a passion for scents and zero experience within the sector. They use an altogether more modern approach to produce their fragrances, such as using imagery and music to make their scents more rounded, opening all of our senses.
Their Soigné EDP fragrance uses spicey cinnamon notes alongside nutmeg to create an element of warmth, over a sandalwood base. An excellent cologne that’s also great value, this is a must-have for men.
Top notes: Grapefruit, Rosemary, Vermouth, Cardamom
Heart notes: Rose, Black Currant, Currant Buds, Freesia, Violet
Base notes: Papyrus, Moss, Vanilla, Vetiver, Patchouli, Virginia Cedar
Price: $272 for 100ml
Acqua di Parma – Signatures of the Sun Oud
Italian luxury lifestyle brand Acqua di Parma is no stranger to helping men smell better. The company specialises in candles and fragrances and has been at the forefront of luxurious cologne ever since 1916.
Intense, vigorous, luxurious and precious, this classic oud offering is a favourite amongst aficionados. If you’re unfamiliar with oud or are keen to jump into the world of woody aromas, this Acqua di Parma bottle is the perfect entry point.
Top notes: Calabrian Bergamot, Italian Orange
Heart notes: Oud, Amyris, Coriander
Base notes: Leather, Sandalwood, Musk, Atlas Cedar, Indonesian Patchouli Leaf
Price: $393 for 100ml
Montblanc – Legend Red
Montblanc is one of the world’s most interesting luxury houses. Famous for their writing instruments, they also make amazing watches, accessories, leather goods and, crucially, fragrances. Their most recognisable and popular cologne is Montblanc Legend. A herbaceous fougère scent, Legend is a must-have for men about town.
Montblanc Legend Red is a bold, exciting new take on the iconic fragrance that’s perfect for thrill-seekers and men of action. Exotic and youthful, it boasts strong citrus flavours mixed with an eclectic variety of spices. Another selling point of Montblanc Legend Red is that its ingredients are sourced from LMR, a company that works with local producers around the world to source pure, natural and sustainable ingredients with a strict ethos of complete transparency, and supporting environmental management, sustainable development and local communities.
Top notes: Blood Orange, Grapefruit, Cardamom
Heart notes: Cedar, Juniper Berries, Clary Sage
Base notes: Atlas Cedar, Mahogany, Tonka Bean
Price: $148 for 100ml