This article was produced in partnership with Blu Atlas
The importance of men’s cologne can never be understated. We all have a friend who uses one squirt (or several) too many and leaves the room covered in a hazy smog. And then there’s the guy who uses a cologne that smells like something you’d wear at high school.
Whether you’re on a first date, at a job interview or just passing a stranger on the sidewalk, that sublime sea salt or woody scent (or lack thereof) is one of the first things people notice about you. The type of cologne you wear can help you seal a second date or get the job.
The quest to find the optimal masculine scent is a personal journey that will ultimately depend on your preferences (and your budget). It will usher you through vaunted names like Yves Saint Laurent, Jo Malone, and Paco Rabanne—and other distinguished (if whimsical-sounding) brands like Tonka Bean, Pink Pepper, and Pour Homme. On the other hand, if you’re making do with a fragrance that requires a bunch of squirts to get the job done, chances are you’re using a bargain product that should probably be tossed in the trash.
Don’t get us wrong. We understand that not everyone has the money to spend on elite name-brand colognes. But the good news is, there are plenty of quality colognes at an affordable price tag. We’re here to help you on your cologne journey and have compiled a list of the 25 best colognes for men in 2023.
Atlantis by Blu Atlas is an aromatic, invigorating EDP that is here to change the narrative surrounding cleaner colognes. It’s true: many clean colognes either don’t smell great or don’t last as long as some of the designer brands. Blu Atlas is here to turn that trend on its head.
Using hand-picked premium ingredients, this powerhouse of a fragrance hits you with notes of bergamot, blackcurrant, clary sage, apricot, oak-moss, violet, and other scents blended together in perfect harmony. But this masculine fragrance isn’t transitory; when our team tested Atlantis, the scent lasted as long—if not longer—than its counterparts from famed perfume houses like Trudon, Creed, and MiN New York. This is highly impressive, considering that this Blu Atlas EDP doesn’t contain any phthalates, which you’ll often find in commercial fragrances.
Give the adventurer in you a scent he’ll be proud of, and pick up this eco-friendly Blu Atlas eau de parfum today.
[$100; bluatlas.com]Get it
2. Ralph Lauren Polo Black
In some cases, it’s better to stick with the classics, and the Polo Black cologne by Ralph Lauren is certainly a classic. This original cologne was introduced by Ralph Lauren in 2005, and it has been a hit ever since.
The cologne fuses hints of mango, patchouli noir, and silver armoise to create a fantastic smell that lasts throughout the day. Ralph Lauren himself recommends that the cologne be used by men for special occasions. The Polo Black cologne provides the perfect finishing touch for an intimate date or a formal gathering.
The Polo Black has a woodsy fragrance that perfectly combines nutmeg-infused espresso with spicy mango to create a fierce and seductive smell. This cologne comes packed in an ultra-modern black container that will match every gentleman’s hygiene collection. The high-end fragrance is listed at a reasonable price that most men will be able to afford. Polo Black by Ralph Lauren will make a great addition to your cologne collection.
[$84; amazon.com]Get it
3. Calvin Klein Defy
The Calvin Klein Defy cologne is one of the company’s newest men’s fragrances, and it does not disappoint. This cologne was designed for adventurous men who are not scared to test boundaries.
Defy has a bold and unmistakable scent that stays true to Calvin Klein’s traditions. This cologne achieves its original scent by pairing daring aromas that somehow fit together perfectly. The scent’s top note is accomplished by combining bergamot, cedar leaf, and mandarin oil. The middle note uses lavender, violet leaf, and sage clary, while the base note fuses vetiver oil, musk, and amber. These three key notes create a unique smell that you won’t find anywhere else.
Sparingly apply a bit of this cologne to your pulse points. Your day may consist of a lot of ups and downs, but the one thing that will stay consistent throughout is the power of Calvin Klein’s Defy cologne.
[From $70; calvinklein.us]Get it
4. Prada Luna Rossa Sport Cologne
Apparently, sport cologne is a thing. When we think of sports, we think of bodybuilders breaking a sweat at the gym or football players hyping each other up before a big game. Sport colognes are typically low-concentration colognes that come on strong and fade faster than traditional colognes. These fragrances are ideal for men who need something quick and strong, but that won’t leave their noses burning all day.
The Luna Rossa Sport cologne uses vanilla, lavender, juniper berries, and ginger to create a spicy-yet-sweet smell that defies all olfactory laws. The cologne is bottled in a package that includes the classic red Prada stripe, allowing you to enter an elite club that not many get to experience.
And unlike other colognes, which are best worn in certain seasons, this cologne can be used year-round without resulting in weird looks. The Luna Rossa Sport Cologne by Prada is a one-of-a-kind cologne that should only be used by men who like to stand out. This is why it earned its spot on our list of the best colognes for men in 2023.
[$84.50; walmart.com]Get it
5. Armani Beauty Acqua Di Gio
Acqua Di Gio is a cologne that’s been around since 1996. When a cologne has been successful for this many years, you know you can trust it. Armani Beauty created a cologne with a Mediterranean scent that will make you feel like you’re floating in crystal-clear water on a warm summer day. With its notes of Calabrian bergamot, green tangerine and neroli, this aquatic aroma will be extremely pleasing to your nose.
Armani Beauty chose a clear bottle that reflects the ocean feel that the brand is going for. The company recommends that you apply this cologne to the creases of your elbows and knees to create a longer-lasting scent. Avoid rubbing any areas to which you have applied the cologne, as you risk rubbing off the scent.
This cologne is made in France and has an everyday scent that is best used in warmer months. After several months of winter, Acqua Di Gio will awaken your senses and prepare you for spring. Acqua Di Gio by Armani Beauty is a warm scent that will make you smell extra fresh during the hottest days of summer.
[From $52; giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com]Get it
6. Claus Porto Musgo Real After-Shave Cologne
This recommendation may technically be an aftershave, but it also functions as a cologne. This product is infused with aloe extract that works to soothe your skin after a clean shave. It also includes witch hazel and echinacea extracts, which create a comforting scent that won’t irritate your skin.
Many men can relate to the stinging sensation they experience while applying cologne to their skin immediately after shaving. It’s not fun. This is why we recommend you include an aftershave that also works as a cologne to your skincare collection.
This cologne is best used during the winter or dryer months, as the addition of aloe works to moisturize and hydrate your skin. However, you can also use it in the summer, as the scent of aloe pairs well with other botanical scents. Claus Porto created a game-changing two-in-one product when they developed the Musgo Real After-Shave Cologne, and we’re confident you will agree once you’ve tried it.
[$75; clausporto.com]Get it
7. Maison Margiela Replica Jazz Club
Maison Margiela has created a line of men’s cologne that replicates iconic spots men enjoy. Our favorite is the Replica Jazz Club cologne. The smell of this cologne will transport you far away into a lounge filled with soft jazz, choice cigars and mellow rum. This cologne has a strong woody spice with hints of pink pepper, tobacco leaf and rum. This expert cocktail of ingredients leaves you with a smooth smell that includes a vanilla finish.
The Replica Jazz Club is packaged in an unmistakable Maison Margiela bottle. The cologne bottle gives apothecary jar vibes with its typewriter font on a cotton label. Maison Margiela claims that the scent was inspired by old bar stools, fine-aged liquor and cracked cigar boxes. Escape to a relaxing atmosphere every time you use the Replica Jazz Club by Maison Margiela.
[$135; maisonmargiela-fragrances.us]Get it
8. Snif Ex on the Beach
Sometimes the pressure of choosing the perfect cologne can be overwhelming. There are so many choices and smells. The price tags are even worse. Colognes aren’t cheap, which means you want to make the right decision the first time. Snif understands this and has created a business plan that revolves around alleviating some of that pressure. Snif allows you to try sample sizes of their colognes before you buy them. If you decide you like a product, you can keep it and pay for it. If you hate it, you can send it back and not pay a thing.
One of the most beloved colognes offered by Snif is their Ex on the Beach fragrance. This all-natural product is free of synthetic dyes and includes a warm scent that lets you imagine you’re lying on the beach rather than on your couch. Infused with fig, ylang-ylang, orange blossom and cedarwood scents, this cologne is perfect for men who prefer a tropical scent over a woodsy scent. At the end of your seven-day trial, we’re pretty sure you’ll want to keep Snif’s Ex on the Beach cologne.
[$65; snif.co]Get it
9. The Nue Co Forest Lungs Fragrance
Some outdoorsy men probably wish they could live in the woods all year round. Unfortunately, that isn’t realistic for most of us. But the good news is, we can all pretend we’re lumberjacks when we use the Forest Lungs Fragrance by the Nue Co. This company has formulated a cologne that replicates compounds often found in the forest called phytoncides, which are clinically proven to help reduce stress.
The best way to use this fragrance is by applying two sprays to your wrist and neck. Inhale the fragrant aroma for eight seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, and then exhale for another eight seconds. This miniature meditation session will leave you relaxed and ready to take on the most challenging of days. This cologne has hints of tart citrus, cedarwood, pine and bergamot that truly mimic a forest filled with the greenest trees. The Forest Lungs Fragrance by the Nue Co. is an ingenious invention that lumberjack-wannabes and everyday men should all try.
[$30; thenueco.com]Get it
10. 19-69 Rainbow Bar
The 19-69 Rainbow Bar was developed by Swedish creator Johan Bergelin, who set out to develop fragrances inspired by specific places in time. This particular scent was designed after the Sunset Strip on the west coast of the United States. The Sunset Strip was known for its nightlife and music scene that oozed an eccentric atmosphere adored by men and women alike. The 19-69 Rainbow Bar is designed to have a minimalistic vibe that only includes a few aromas, including bourbon, vetiver and bergamot.
To get your senses going, you only need to add a few sprays of this cologne to your pulse points. The smell will last you throughout the day. But we need to include a disclaimer: You might get overwhelmed with the number of people asking you where you bought your cologne. It seriously smells that good. Take a trip to the beaches of California and experience the west coast life no matter where you live with the 19-69 Rainbow Bar fragrance.
[186.58; nineteen-sixtynine.com]Get it
11. Tom Ford’s Bitter Peach Cologne
Most men’s colognes include a strong woodsy scent that many men like. But not everyone is a fan of the outdoors or hiking through a forest. Some men want to be transported to an orchard with rows and rows of fruit trees. If this sounds like you, you’ll likely enjoy Tom Ford’s Bitter Peach cologne. This fragrance captures the sweet aromas found in a peach and pairs them with the bitter taste of a blood orange. Tom Ford tames its cologne with a few drops of davana oil and leaves you with a sour and sweet fragrance.
Tom Ford’s cologne is made locally in the United States and uses key ingredients you likely won’t find anywhere else. Take, for example, the inclusion of labdanum absolute or Indonesian patchouli oil. Despite the exotic ingredients, you have our word that the Bitter Peach Cologne by Tom Ford will be a crowd-pleasing fragrance with a smell that cannot be replicated.
[from $216; saksfifthavenue.com]Get it
12. Arquiste Misfit
If you’re more of a simple kind of man that likes to use the same fragrance all year round, we’ve found a great choice for you. Misfit by Arquiste is a cologne that mixes bold and dark scents with lighter botanical scents.
This ingenious combination creates a scent that complements you throughout winter and summer. Misfit uses a patchouli base, which is on the darker side of smells. It then adds notes of bergamot and lavender that work to lighten the strong base. Finally, tonka bean and balsam are added to round out the scents and create this one-of-a-kind cologne.
We can almost guarantee you that no one in your friend group will have this fragrance. But once your buddies get one whiff, they’ll be asking you for the brand name and might even show up the next day wearing it. Every man should have a signature scent that is worn by him and him alone. Make Misfit by Arquiste your new smell and watch as everyone around you is shocked by your originality.
[$205; fumerie.com]Get it
13. L’Ombre dans L’Eau Cologne
You don’t need to speak French to enjoy a rich fragrance that will leave even the pickiest of cologne snobs jealous. L’Ombre dans L’Eau is a men’s cologne that has a mouthful of a name and a delicious smell you won’t find anywhere else. This cologne has a Bulgarian rose floral scent with a hint of blackcurrant leaves to round out the smell. If you pay close enough attention, you may even notice traces of blackcurrant, mandarin and bergamot.
The founder of this cologne began perfecting the ingredient line in 1961 and has been creating unique colognes ever since. This brand loves to create fragrances that achieve a balanced and transformative smell that competitors cannot match. Men who enjoy this scent can also try out the full collection of candles, body care sets and home fragrances. The L’Ombre dans L’Eau Cologne is an intoxicating fragrance that can be appreciated by men of any age or disposition.
[$150; nordstrom.com]Get it
14. Curve for Men
The Curve for Men Cologne is a top-selling cologne that comes at an extremely affordable price and has a well-known scent that doesn’t disappoint. This cologne was designed for the man who likes to live life on the edge and needs a cologne to keep pace. The Curve for Men Cologne does just that. It includes a spicy and magnetic scent that will keep you coming back for more.
The first note is lavender, juniper berry and Douglas-fir, reminding you of a casual stroll through a botanical garden. As you take another whiff, you’ll notice hints of cardamom, clary sage and rosemary, adding a subtle spice into the mix. Finally, you’ll notice dry notes at the very end, including sandalwood and black pepper. This expert blend of scents creates a wild fragrance ride from start to finish, leaving you yearning for more of the Curve for Men Cologne.
[$22.93; amazon.com]Get it
15. Cremo Blue Cedar and Cypress Cologne
If you’re looking for an affordable scent that will trick your friends into thinking you’re wearing a high-end cologne, look no further than the Cremo Blue Cedar and Cypress Cologne. This fragrance has a brisk and woodsy scent mixed with hints of lemon peel, cedar and cypress.
The Blue Cedar and Cypress Cologne was designed by a team of fragrance experts who clearly know what they’re doing. This cologne has a complex scent of oak, bourbon and vetiver. Cremo also offers a Silvery Water and Birch Spray cologne, as well as a Spice and Black Vanilla Spray Cologne. To be honest, we love all three of these scents, so you can’t go wrong in choosing one.
Men who like the product can also take advantage of Cremo’s Blue Cedar and Cypress skincare line, which includes deodorant, body wash, two-in-one shampoo, body wipes and more. The Cremo Blue Cedar and Cypress Cologne is a reasonably priced fragrance that will last the entire day, no matter how strenuous your lifestyle.
[$19.88; amazon.com]Get it
16. DedCool’s Red (Dakota)
DedCool is a fragrance brand often associated with its unisex and vegan scents. They create colognes to be used by people of any gender, ethnicity and background, using scents that everyone adores. This cologne includes a woodsy mixture of gardenia and citrus. Our favorite time to wear this cologne is during the summer, but you could get away with wearing it all year round (we won’t tell).
This is a brand focused on creating sustainable and conscientious products, which is why their colognes are always cruelty-free and vegan. DedCool recommends that you liberally apply their product across your body and neck. You can also try out other scents offered by DedCool, such as Velvet (Monroe) or Ivy Blanc. When you wear a cologne like DedCool’s Red (Dakota), you’ll find yourself being complimented by men and women alike.
[$130; dedcool.com]Get it
17. Eau Fraîche by Versace Men
Versace Men fragrances are created as a representation of male charisma and strength. Versace uses Mediterranean-inspired scents to invigorate your senses and spark a passion.
Eau Fraîche by Versace Men uses a contrasting blend of carambola with white lemon and rosewood to create a stimulating and fresh scent. These scents are blended with cedar leaves and tarragon to create an irresistible and masculine smell. Subtler notes of sycamore wood, amber and musk will leave you with a mysterious and whimsical vibe.
Versace is a well-known and reputable brand, so you won’t have to worry about the reliability of this scent. If it didn’t have a scent that lasted, Versace would not have a fan base that resembles a cult. You can trust Eau Fraîche by Versace Men to be your new go-to cologne.
[$44.99; amazon.com]Get it
18. The Last Day of Summer by Gucci
Gucci’s Alchemist’s Garden line is a set of fragrances designed to give you a botanical and classical feel. The Last Day of Summer is just one cologne from this entire set, which we highly recommend you check out.
This cologne is packaged in an elegant bottle that will make you feel as though you’re living in Shakespearian times. The Last Day of Summer was meant to remind you of all of your favorite scents only found in the months of summer. It’s perfect for those cold winter months when you haven’t seen the sun in days.
Combining scents of cypress, nutmeg and cedarwood with vetiver and patchouli creates a magnificent cologne that could thaw the chilliest soul. You’ll be so impressed by the bottle’s design that you’ll always be looking for ways to show it off to your friends. Although we love The Last Day of Summer, we know you will love any fragrance in the Alchemist’s Garden line.
[$330; saksfifthavenue.com]Get it
19. Davidoff Cool Water
Looking for a cologne to be worn on a night out on the town? The Cool Water cologne by Davidoff is a great addition to your cologne collection. This cologne uniquely includes vodka paired with frozen mint, caviar, leather and passion fruit scents to create the perfect fragrance cocktail. You can even use this cologne to soothe and calm your skin after a fresh shave, as it includes cooling ingredients that will leave your skin feeling refreshed.
This cologne drew inspiration from the rejuvenating scents found in the bluest oceans. You’ll imagine you’re diving into cool and clear ocean water on a hot summer day every time you use the Cool Water cologne by Davidoff.
[$21.99; amazon.com]Get it
20. Boss Cologne by Hugo Boss
This bottle of cologne was designed for men who want to be leaders; who want to make their own path and aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in. It’s a lot of pressure from a bottle of cologne, but that’s the type of man this fragrance was inspired by. The Boss cologne includes a spicy-floral scent that is both sensual and fresh.
Hugo Boss recommends that you spray their cologne on specific pulse points like the neck, torso and biceps to make the most out of the fragrance. The Boss cologne includes an intense scent that can be appreciated by men who are striving for a better life (and a better aroma).
[$90; amazon.com]Get it
21. Rawchemistry’s For Him Pheromone Cologne
This cologne is ideal for men looking to make a great impression on a first date. Rawchemistry designed its For Him Pheromone Cologne to help you achieve an invigorating scent that will make people want to come in closer for a second whiff. Let’s face it: Your smell is something that your love interest will notice, and the wrong cologne might ruin your chances of sealing a second date.
The For Him cologne includes zero parabens, alcohol or chemicals, which is something you might want to consider if you’re spraying the fragrance directly on your skin. Each bottle of cologne is handcrafted locally in the United States and does not include any ingredients known to cause discomfort or adverse effects. The For Him Pheromone Cologne by Rawchemistry is a safe and amazing-smelling fragrance that works well and lasts a long time.
[$29.90; amazon.com]Get it
22. Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel
Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene is a masculine-smelling cologne that includes fresh ingredients and bold smells. This cologne contains hints of orange, lemon, oakmoss, bergamot, patchouli and sandalwood, creating an amazing and unexpected smell. Grey Flannel is a splash rather than a spray, giving you the flexibility to apply as much as you like.
This cologne has a long-lasting scent that is surprisingly strong. Keep this in mind as you are applying, as a dab goes a long way. The more you use the Grey Flannel Cologne by Geoffrey Beene, the more addicted you’ll become.
[$22.82; amazon.com]Get it
23. ERL Sunscreen Cologne
If you’re stuck inside during the winter and are reminiscing about your days on the sand during the summer, you’ll appreciate the ERL Sunscreen cologne. This cologne actually smells like sunscreen and will remind you of cool ocean breezes. This one-of-a-kind smell is achieved through bergamot oil, solar accord, lily of the valley, cedarwood oil and coconut.
The ERL Sunscreen cologne is also available in a laser-cut foam case that protects the cologne and floats in water. Although this cologne doesn’t actually include any sunscreen, the scent is so similar you’ll actually be questioning whether it’s sunblock or cologne. The ERL Sunscreen Cologne can be used to help you escape to California’s Venice Beach during the chilliest days of winter.
[$115; doverstreetmarket.com]Get it
24. Malin + Goetz Dark Rum Cologne
Malin + Goetz are known for their luxurious men’s skincare and hygiene lines. Not only do all of their products smell amazing, they also work. The Dark Rum Cologne was inspired by sailors who traveled across the Caribbean and later established barbershops. This scent includes a spicy rum aroma that is sweetened with plum, bergamot, leather and creamy milk fragrances.
This cologne is ideal for men who prefer a traditional dark fragrance that smells like the classiest of jazz bars. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the refreshing blend of aromas found in the Malin + Goetz Dark Rum Cologne.
[$95; malinandgoetz.com]Get it
25. Adidas Moves for Men Cologne
Perfect for athletes and men on the go, the Adidas Moves for Men Cologne includes an active scent that will overpower any unwanted smells. This cologne contains hints of green apple, Italian parsley, anise, mandarin, black peppercorn and peppermint. You will be able to discern a base of Muguet, oakmoss and thyme.
Adidas designs products for athletes on a daily basis, which means they understand the importance of a cologne that can withstand an active lifestyle. This one can. You can confidently apply the Adidas Moves for Men Cologne and trust that it will keep away any smells of sweat or odor.
[$18.74; amazon.com]Get it
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