Your idea of masculinity: Smelling of freshly hewn pine, sweat, and Rocky Mountain air.
Her idea of masculinity: You smelling like an adult who showers daily, knows how to swipe on deodorant, and apply a fragrance—musk, citrus, woodsy, etc.—in moderation. Also, maybe freshly hewn pine.
The solution? Strike a balance. We asked 20 women how they feel when men wear (or don’t wear) cologne. The responses vary—but before you hit up the department store, check out these 10 men’s fragrances women can’t get enough of.
1. “Smell is very important, but it doesn’t have to be cologne. As long as you wear deodorant and show you make an effort to stay fresh, that’s what counts.” – Lianna R.
2. “Cologne means you’re a man. It’s a turn on.” – Elizabeth P.
3. “I love the smell of cologne and once kept a guy’s sweater extra long because it smelled so good. Is that weird?” – Eve L.
4. “Depending on the cologne, I LOVE when men where it.” – Quinn F.
5. “I actually am not a fan of cologne.” – Danielle D.
6. “I do like when guys have a good cologne—that way if I smell it randomly on someone, I think of them.” – Ellie J.
7. “I love when I get a whiff of the cologne my boyfriend wears on a complete stranger… or one that reminds me of a great orgasm I had with someone from my past.” – Miranda F.
8. “Yes, but not too much. It shows you take care of yourself.” – Amy G.
9. “It’s cool, but not necessary. Too much cologne isn’t good—but neither is BO.” – Cara D.
10. “I’m a fan of cologne in moderation and if it isn’t too overpowering. Besides, if your clothes smell like they’ve been getting stale in the back of your closet, that’s a huge turn off.” – Becky L.
11. “Yes, but make an effort not to buy the kind every other guy has. Always awkward when you’re on a date or hooking up with someone who smells like your ex.” – Lisa R.
12. “I love a guy that smells good, but it doesn’t have to be cologne. It can be a body wash, deodorant, or shampoo.” – Paige D.
13. “I like when men wear cologne, sometimes, like when they go out or if they’re going to a nice dinner. Other than that, I think it’s unnecessary.” – Melissa V.
14. “I only like cologne if I love the smell. And I hate when men douse themselves head to toe in the stuff.” – Carrie S.
15. “Yes! It’s the biggest turn on and shows a man takes care of himself.” – Cassie M.
16. “Cologne, yes. Crappy ‘spray’ you can buy in Walmart, no.” – Laurie K.
17. “I love cologne, but it’s such a personal thing. What a guy loves, I might hate. But overall, it shows he cares about his appearance and that’s always attractive.” – Tara M.
18. “It’s alluring when a guy has a signature scent. Take your time testing and find one you love based on the season! The same scent doesn’t work year-round.” – Alicia M.
19. “Sure, why not? As long as the smell isn’t overpowering—I don’t want to smell you from across the room or pass out from standing next to you—I love guys who have a signature scent.” – Sandy A.
20. “Oh, yeah. Scents are so evocative. I’m constantly reminded of ex boyfriends when I pass a stranger who wears the same cologne. Whether or not it’s a good thing, one thing’s for sure: It’s unforgettable.” – Sydney L.