Searching for your signature scent (or gifting one) can be an overwhelming process. There are tons of good-smelling colognes on the market, and sniffing each one as you peruse the counters of your local department store is hardly ever a pleasant experience. If we're being honest, most of us walk away with a massive migraine and a lot of confusion—and if you pulled the trigger, the occasional buyer's remorse. But fret not, this is where we come in. Ahead, we're helping you get started on your quest for the perfect fragrance with an algorithm-backed list filled with the best men's colognes on the market—but not before we give you a few quick tips to help guide you through it.
First thing's first: it's important to note that while eau de parfums (EDPs), eau de toilettes (EDTs), and eau de colognes (EDCs or colognes) are often grouped together in the same category, they are indeed different. This is because they each contain different percentages of perfume oils—EDPs are typically somewhere between 15 and 20, EDTs between 5 and 15, and colognes between 2 and 4. The higher the percentage of perfume oils, the stronger and longer-lasting the scent is. Keep these numbers in mind as you're looking through the list below, and take note of any scents you know you like—we've gone ahead and listed the scent profiles below each fragrance to make this a total breeze for you. Follow these tips, and you'll be well on your way to finding a scent that feels like you in no time.
Ahead, start your search with our edit of the best men's colognes for all seasons, occasions, and budgets, and be sure to refer back to this handy guide when you're in the market for something new. Opening image: sephora.com
Love our 10 Best Men's Cologne? Check out our 10 Best Men's Boots for more top-rated finds.
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Maison Margiela Replica By The Fireplace
BEST FOR: We all love that warm, relaxing feeling of cozying up next to a crackling fire. The only thing better would be wearing that scent on your person, and now you can.
LOVED FOR: This stuff is truly reminiscent of a fireside chat. Users rave about this fragrance due to the ingenuity of a smell that harnesses a specific time and place.
Jo Malone London Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne
WHAT IT DOES: Think beach getaway, but make it moody and romantic. With ambrette seeds, sea salt, and sage, this celeb-favorite scent smells more woody and earthy than summery and sunshiney.
WHY YOU NEED IT: Spritz on in the morning and you'll be good to go for the rest of the day.
Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Giò Absolu Eau De Parfum
WHY YOU NEED IT: With the clean scent of fresh aquatics and the warmth of woody scents, this versatile cologne will carry you through all four seasons. Buy it to wear now and well into the spring and summer months—no need to swap scents when the weather changes.
HELPFUL TIP: A little goes a long way with this one—just a spray or two is all you need.
Paco Rabanne 1 Million For Men EDT Spray
WHY YOU NEED IT: If the packaging didn't signal luxury to you, the cologne inside absolutely will. This spicy fragrance elevates any man's natural charm. In other words, it's one sexy scent.
USERS SAID: "I wear this everywhere—to the store, to work, while mowing the lawn. I smell like a fancy Italian guy at the club with a really nice haircut. This scent is a crucial piece of me that I’ll forever need."
Hugo Boss BOSS Bottled Eau de Parfum
WHY YOU NEED IT: Chris Hemsworth, aka Thor himself, is the face of this cologne, so you know it's good. Hugo Boss intended this scent to awaken every man's best self. With notes of cardamom, apple, and bergamot, this fragrance is perfectly appropriate for everyday wear.
USERS SAID: "This is the only perfume I will wear. It is the only one that constantly gets compliments, especially from the tough judges: men. And I never get sick of the smell. After years of using it, it still amazes me every day."
Nautica Voyage For Men
LOVED FOR: Nautica's Voyage is a top-seller for good reason. With notes of apple, cedar wood, musk, and amber, it smells like summertime but lasts a lot longer. Plus, it's available on Amazon at a total steal for under $15, and the 5,000 five-star reviews are the icing on the cake.
USERS SAID: "This cologne is everything I wanted, and then some! I actually went from using Versace cologne to this masterpiece, and I will not go back! I bought this for $17, so naturally, I was a little skeptical. But after trying it out for myself, I couldn't be any happier. This is a great everyday cologne that can be worn casually or formally—it's that versatile!"
Dior Sauvage Eau De Toilette
BEST FOR: If you're looking for a new go-to scent—one to wear for every occasion and throughout all seasons—Dior's cult-favorite Sauvage is an excellent pick. Clean, classic, and masculine without being overbearing, it won't ever go out of style. Bonus: it lasts all day long.
USERS SAID: "As the only man working in an office full of women, let me tell you... it's a people pleaser! Everyone RAVED and totally inquired as to what I've been wearing. 10/10 would definitely recommend!"
Chanel Bleu De Chanel Eau De Toilette
WHY YOU NEED IT: Clean, classic, and high end without a super high price tag, this timeless cologne won't ever let you down. Wear it to work or out to dinner—there are no rules here.
HELPFUL TIP: Because this is an eau de toilette (EDT) rather than a perfume, it has a lower concentration of perfume oils and is made for lighter, more relaxed wear. Feel free to amp up the scent with a few extra sprays for nights out and formal occasions.
Dolce & Gabbana The One For Men
BEST FOR: While you can definitely rock this fragrance year-round, the warm, spicy, and woody scent is so perfect for the fall and winter months. Treat yourself to it now so you'll be ready to spritz it on when the cold weather comes.
LOVED FOR: This cologne lasts and lasts—we're talking 24 hours with just a few sprays.
Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Giò Pour Homme Eau De Toilette
LOVED FOR: Forget everything you know about men's fragrance, because Acqua Di Giò totally busts all cologne clichés. It's clean and fresh unlike the typical musky and masculine scent, but it's still as manly as ever.
COMPLETE THE LOOK: If you love this scent (spoiler alert: you will), you'll be happy to find that the designer makes an aftershave that smells equally amazing.