We all want to smell good. But between work, hitting the gym, a weekly round of beers, the occasional date, and all the other fun stuff we cram into our already busy days, staying fresh – or at least smelling fresh – can pose a bit of a problem. And, we should mention, your daily shower isn’t doing it… not after a 9 am to 9 pm day without a top-up.
So how do you keep yourself smelling great when hopping into three showers a day simply isn’t realistic? You start with the best men’s cologne.
If you’re one of those dudes who usually picks up the 40%-off bottle at your nearest drug store, you need this article more than most. A lot goes into creating a men’s fragrance. Everything from the ingredients themselves to the concept driving the blend results in a final product that achieves a lot more than that old can of Axe sitting at the back of your medicine cabinet.
We’ve all been that guy in the back of the store doing “sniff tests” on deodorant, conditioner, and shampoos. And we’ve all been that guy who chose very, very, wrongly. So, the solution is to start from scratch.
Learn why cologne works, how it works, and what scents are right for you in this guide to the best men’s cologne. We’ve developed it in collaboration with the female eye, so they’re opposite-sex approved too
DO WOMEN PREFER MEN WHO WEAR COLOGNE?
If you’re not wearing your cologne to keep yourself smelling fresh throughout the day, then you might be wearing it because you think that women prefer it. While we think that the former is the most important reason for someone to invest in a luxury fragrance, we figured we’d help you with the latter while we’re doling out opinions.
The answer to whether women prefer men who wear cologne is not a simple yes or no, like most of the questions we tackle here. But there’s one thing we can say for sure: if you spray on a bit of cologne thinking that that’s all the self-care you need to impress your boo, you’re very wrong.
Cologne is just one step of many in a personal hygiene routine that any adult woman expects of any adult man. More than a demonstration of your ability to remember to pump out a few spritz before a fancy dinner, cologne represents how you take care of yourself. And take care of yourself you should, otherwise, you might have her thinking she’s going to have to take care of you.
The most important takeaway is that, while not all women need their men adorned and bathed in cologne, they all require one who is capable of the basic things you need to take care of yourself as a human being.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON TYPES OF COLOGNE SCENTS FOR MEN?
For the best cologne shopping experience, visit a specialized boutique or a department store. The sales reps at those stores are well-versed in what they’re selling and they offer knowledgable guidance according to your own palette and needs.
But it never hurts to know a little bit before you go. Let’s take a look at the most common cologne fragrance families.
Aromatic colognes are earthy, bright scents. The best men’s colognes are grassy and earthy, at least in terms of reflecting a sense of masculinity.
Citrus scents have a crisp, light scent. Think things like lemongrass, lemon, and orange. These are often described as “classic” and are appropriate for the office or everyday use.
Floral scents aren’t as common in men’s colognes as they are in women’s. But they are available if you prefer light or even heavy, heady scents like rose.
Spicy scents are extremely popular in men’s colognes. They’re sharp and unique, achieved with hints of cardamom, cinnamon, and other spices.
Woody scents are some of the most earthy, masculine scents. In fact, you could say that woody colognes are men’s favorite men’s cologne.
Leather colognes are last on the list. That’s pretty self-explanatory, except remember: it’s leather-like cowboy boots. Not leather like “new car smell.”
TIPS FOR COLOGNE APPLICATION
If there’s one hard truth when it comes to cologne it’s this: there is definitely such a thing as too much of a good thing. You don’t want to be the guy whose scent lingers in the boardroom long after the meeting is over or who makes people’s eyes roll as they pass you in the hallway. A little goes a long way with cologne so we’re giving you a few pointers on the best way to apply it:
- Less is more, guys. Just a little bit of your favorite fragrance goes a long, long way.
- If your cologne is a roll-on, apply it just to your pulse points and your wrists. You may add a dab behind your ears, and, if you want, your throat.
- Spray your cologne onto clean, dry skin.
- Spraying your cologne onto your hairbrush is an old trick. Just run the brush through your hair after a few minutes for a light scent that lasts all day.
- When in doubt, ask a friend. As your day goes on, you’re going to smell your own cologne less and less. Before you spritz on more of the stuff, ask your friend if it’s necessary. Applying more cologne is usually overkill.
BEST COLOGNES FOR MEN
There are 100s of good colognes out there, but only a few of these can truly be called the best. After an epic endeavor into every best cologne list as voted by women, we’ve developed this unique guide. Find one that suits your taste and lifestyle.
Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De L’Homme $95
First on the list of the best cologne for men is Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De L’Homme. You’ll love the scents of cardamom and cedar, as they make this cologne for men smell super-masculine. The scent is bright and not at all overpowering.
Men who have used this cologne say that they love the scent, but to keep the bottle in your briefcase, desk drawer, or gym bag. The scent can fade after 4 or so hours, and you may want to reapply.
John Varvatos Artisan $92
One of the men’s colognes women voted best was John Varvatos Artisan. The fragrance of this cologne is very versatile – you can wear it to work or you can wear it on a date. The scent begins brightly, as you smell a bit of citrus. Then, you’ll notice that the smell is spicy. Finally, as the day goes on, the fragrance of John Varvatos Artisan matures into a woody, masculine scent.
Men love how long the scent lasts. Most say that they apply it in the morning and still get noticed in the evening. Overall, this is one of the best colognes for men.
Giorgio Armani Armani Code $72
Every man knows the Armani name. Are you curious about the Armani scent? Armani Code is one of the best colognes for men, as voted by women. And men love it, too! It’s a combination of many of the scents we mentioned above. Citrus, a popular aroma, blends with wood and leather to create a musky and masculine fragrance.
Men who wear Armani Code say the scent lasts all day (or all night.) They do warn that there’s a hint of sweetness to the cologne as it fades over time.
Christian Dior Sauvage $95
Sauvage is a warm, spicy scent. You’ll detect hints of bergamot and peppers as well as patchouli and vetiver. The result is an inviting, enticing, and utterly exotic scent that no woman will be able to resist. Reviews of Sauvage all agree with this sentiment. Men who have worn the cologne notice the compliments first – there are many! And women who have experienced the cologne say they’ve never smelled anything like it.
If you’re looking for something a little different check out our guide on the best solid colognes for men.
The aromatic profiles of men’s fragrances are as varied and versatile as those designed for women. The designers of these best men’s colognes have managed to capture essences that entice both the men wearing it and the women it’s often intended to impress and attract, all using their own unique blend of top notes, heart notes, and base notes. Add any one of these to your personal care routine for an added touch that won’t go unnoticed.