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The Best Cologne For Men To Buy In 2021

We've searched, sampled and selected twenty-one of the best men's cologne you can buy in 2020.

Walk into any department store and you’ll be inundated with a plethora of scents, but choosing the best smell 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.

Instead, wouldn’t it be nice if a reputable publication recommended some men’s fragrances you should be pointing your compass straight toward? Well, you’re in luck because that’s just what we’ve done.

These carefully curated best colognes for men 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.

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.

So, either way, if you’re after a truly unique scent that will have people u-turning just to grab another pleasurable whiff, then check out our best men’s fragrances guide.

A brief history of men’s fragrances

Once upon a time, pleasantly scented potions were a matter of necessity. One’s nose was constantly assaulted by the unpleasant odours of smoke, rotting food, and open sewers. And that was just the people – imagine what the actual sewers smelled like.

Long before modern perfumery began in the late 19th century, perfumes existed in some of the earliest human civilisations. The art of crafting scents began in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, then was further refined by the Romans and Persians.

Knowledge of perfumery came to Europe as early as the 14th century, due to in part developments in the Middle East. Islamic cultures perfected the extraction of fragrances through steam distillation and introduced new raw materials to the industry. With that, fragrances were ready to move west.

Today’s perfumes come in a wide variety of scents and aromas, with labels and brands creating signature scents that are recognisable a mile away. Having a well-stocked collection is essential nowadays: you’ll want at least two, one for the day and one of the night, and these can change depending on the season.

Know your men’s cologne terminology

  • Eau de toilette – A relatively light perfume, especially a version of a perfume that contains a lower percentage of fragrant essential oils than eau de parfum.
  • Eau de cologne – A toilet water with a strong scent, originally made in Cologne.
  • Eau de parfum – A version of a perfume that contains a lower percentage of fragrant essential oils than parfum, but a higher percentage than that of eau de toilette.

How to apply men’s fragrances

It may seem like a simple enough task, but some guys still get it wrong when it comes to how to apply their juice. Some will spray theirs on their clothes, others will spray into the air and walk through it. Both are big no-nos. There are, in fact, several rules to follow if you want to be smelling your best. And this video from The Style OG sums them up perfectly.

RELATED: How To Correctly Apply Your Fragrances

Men’s perfume tips

The best men’s cologne must be thoughtfully paired with the specific situations and occasions in which it will be worn. Seductive dark, tobacco and woody smell suit evening events, while fresher or citrus fragrances work better for everyday wear and the office.

The last thing you want to do is be known as the ‘too much men cologne’ guy at work, so choose appropriately and apply sparingly.

Most of the best men’s fragrances can be purchased online, however, we recommend trying them on in-store first. Spray some on in the shop, then go for a walk and see how it smells after 15 minutes. Most smell different on everyone. Your skin and pheromones react with the potion to personalise the scent, meaning you don’t have to drop thousands on a custom smell to get something unique.

Men’s colognes you may want to avoid

We recommend ditching mainstream colognes for men if you want to avoid smelling like the masses. Those brands are:

  • Jean-Paul Gaultier
  • Hugo Boss
  • Calvin Klein
  • Acqua Di Gio
  • Dior Sauvage
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Yves Saint Laurent

These are great first colognes for young men, as you get older you will want your own signature scent.

Frequently asked questions about men’s cologne

What kind of cologne should I wear for a night out?

The best style of cologne for a night out is something with a seductive dark tobacco and woody scent. Fresher fragrances are better for use during the day.

Which lasts longer, cologne or perfume?

Perfume lasts about three times longer than cologne. This is because perfumes contain higher concentration of oils, around 20 to 30 percent, compared to cologne’s two to four percent.

How do I apply cologne?

Oils are designed to be absorbed by your skin. Combined with the skin’s natural oils skin, they can create a scent unique to you. For this reason, you should never apply cologne to your clothes. Instead, apply them to what are known as 'pulse points', including the neck, wrist, jawline and chest. These areas will heat up during the day to help 'push' your scent out into the world.

What is the best smelling cologne for men?

Dior Homme, Eight & Bob, Tom Ford Fucking Fabulous.

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