The pavement after it rains. A summer campfire. Coffee in the morning. Nothing has the power to conjure up a memory like a specific smell. And with the best cologne for men, you can tie your memories to a spicy, fresh, or earthy scent — then return to it time and time again for years to come.
Whether you’re looking for a wedding day cologne to set the mood as you tie the knot or just want to level up your current fragrance game, the best cologne for men gives you a full sensory experience. Trust us, the right scent is all it takes to make someone swoon.
But finding your signature scent can be just as hard as finding the perfect wedding band — and just as important, since it could be something you wear for the rest of your life! Lucky for you, we’ve recruited the help of some dedicated cologne-wearers to help you make sense of all the different scents.
From designer bottles to swoon-worthy sprays, we’ve narrowed down the best cologne for men that want to make every moment one to remember — and turn a few heads at the same time.
Plus, we’ve got the data to prove it! Keep scrolling for our very scientific breakdown of the all-time best smelling and most popular mens cologne.
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What is the Most Popular Mens Cologne?
We try to keep our finger on the pulse of the best cologne for men, and recently we conducted an Instagram poll for our GWS audience that asked for their all-time favorite scents. Based on those responses, we think we’ve gotten a pretty good sense of the best-smellers.
By far, the most popular mens cologne according to our readers is Dior Sauvage. With notes of fresh bergamot and warm amberwood, it’s the perfect everyday scent, whether you’re making moves in the boardroom or enjoying a romantic date with your other half. Not only is this Dior blend bold and masculine, but it also has serious staying power — so you’ll be satisfying noses from day to night and back again.
How to Choose the Best Mens Cologne for Your Personal Style
While Dior Sauvage may be the most popular mens cologne, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best fragrance for YOU. That’s because choosing a personal scent is, well, personal!
Every cologne will react to your unique body chemistry in a way that’s slightly different from anyone else. So, to choose the best mens cologne for your personal style, you should first identify the fragrances you’re most drawn to.
If you’re not sure what your scent style is, it can be helpful to look at the different notes of a cologne. If you want a warm and inviting winter cologne, look for notes of cedar, vanilla, and amber. For something crisp and fresh, citrus, herbal, and aquatic tones with give you that spring and summer-ready scent. Or, if sexy is the name of the game (wedding day cologne, we see you!), you can’t go wrong with musky blends like tobacco, spice, and leather.
When in doubt, just take the plunge and try some of the best rated cologne for men. They’re classics for a reason, and you can always mix and match to create your own custom signature scent. Which brings us to our next FAQ…
What is the Best Cologne for Men?
Thanks to our handy poll, we’ve sniffed out more than just the number one most popular mens cologne — in fact, we found over 20 of the very best cologne for men.
Beyond Dior Sauvage, the most popular mens cologne is Creed Aventus, a sophisticated scent that oozes strength and luxury. Some of the all-time best cologne for men, it’s a fruity and rich blend that’s made for the biggest moments in your life.
We also wanted to narrow down the best cologne for men for different seasons and styles. For the best winter cologne for men, we looked for something warm and comforting, and REPLICA’s By the Fireplace was an obvious choice. For summer, it doesn’t get more fresh and bright than Aesop Tacit, a fragrance infused with Mediterranean-inspired citrus and basil.
And, of course, we also put our noses together to find best wedding day cologne for men. The winner: Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme.
For a breakdown of all the best cologne for men, from aquatic scents to smoky blends, just keep scrolling.
1. The Best Cologne For Men For a Signature Scent: Dior Sauvage
As the most popular mens cologne, Dior Sauvage kind of speaks for itself. A warm scent with a fresh, juicy composition, it’ll take you on a journey. The bold fragrance is inspired by wide open landscapes like sweeping deserts and vast skies — and we can’t help but feel that thrill every time we catch a whiff.
While there’s not doubt that Dior Sauvage is a powerful cologne, it’s not overbearing, making it the perfect contender for your signature scent. Spray it wherever you feel a heartbeat for an air of mystery that lasts all day long.
2. The Best Creed Cologne For Men: Creed Aventus
The second most popular mens cologne according to our survey, Creed Adventus is a luxe scent that’s dripping with sophistication. For men that want nothing but the best, this mens cologne was inspired by the legendary life of an emperor and is crafted on the pillars of strength, power, and success.
Featuring a musky base and top notes of blackcurrant leaves, it’s a rich blend that will accompany you as you lead through life. Don’t underestimate the power of a strong cologne — especially if it’s become the best-selling fragrance of such a historical brand.
3. The Best Winter Cologne For Men: ‘REPLICA’ By the Fireplace
You know that feeling of sipping whisky next to a crackling fire? This REPLICA scent has managed to capture those vibes in a glass apothecary bottle, making it by far the best winter cologne for men on this list.
A warm and spicy scent that features notes of cloves, chestnuts, and vanilla, this cologne is just as essential as a coat on a cold winter day.
And just like there’s nothing more inviting than a fire when temperatures dip to freezing, a spray of “By the Fireplace” will make you the coziest guy around. You can thank us later.
4. The Best Smelling Cologne For Men: One Million Eau de Toilette
The scent is one million out of ten with this spray, earning it our best smelling cologne for men award. Expect people to be lingering in your presence once they get a whiff of the unexpected tangerine, peppermint, and leather blend.
For those that love to break the rules, this cologne doesn’t follow the classic fragrance pairings — and that’s what makes it so good. Fresh and spicy, it’s surprising in the best way. If you’re ready to create your own path, consider this One Million cologne step one.
5. The Best Selling Cologne For Men: Montblanc Legend
Legend status: activated. A scent that manages to be both modern and timeless, Montblanc Legend has discovered how to bottle confidence — and make it smell amazing. With notes of fresh jasmine, classic Italian bergamot, and signature sandalwood, it’s charismatic without trying too hard.
And, with over 1,000 glowing reviews, it’s some of the best selling cologne for men on this list. Just a quick tip: it’s a bold scent, so one spray goes a long way.
6. The Best Wedding Day Cologne For Men: Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme
As impeccably tailored as a fine suit, this is by far the best wedding day cologne for men. If you’re donning your most stylish suit, then you need a cologne that keeps up. With the hints of ginger swirling around this YSL fragrance, you may have met your match.
And, as the best cologne for men with style, it’ll look as sleek on your shelf as you look on the big day.
7. The Best Year-Round Cologne For Men: Le Labo Santal 33
It takes a special cologne to hold the same power in the sweltering summer as it does in the freezing winter, but this Le Labo scent can really do it all. That’s why we’re naming it the best year-round cologne for men — and trust us, it deserves the title.
Featuring a woodsy floral scent that evokes an air of smokiness, this cologne never gets less addicting. It’s sensual, spicy, and comforting at the same time. Say less!
Plus, Le Labo Santal 33 has a lot more going for it than just an inviting smell (as if we needed anything else). It’s also cruelty-free, vegan, made in the USA, and 100% recyclable. What are you waiting for?!
8. Best For a Spicy Scent: Valentino Uomo Yellow Dream
What do you get when you blend spicy gingerbread and cinnamon with a warm pop of lavender? This enticing and intoxicating scent.
This Valentino fragrance is THE best cologne for men that want a spicy and sexy scent that’s more luxurious than, say, Old Spice. As a tribute to the unique street culture of Rome, it’s made for the carefree man that naturally draws others in. With a balance of both amber and sweet notes, one sniff just isn’t enough.
9. The Best Cologne For Men Who Love Whisky: Givenchy Gentlemen
If your idea of unwinding after a long day involves a glass (or two) of something top shelf, you can stop scrolling now: this is the best mens cologne for you.
Inspired by the warmth of whisky, this scent is spicy and oh-so smooth. It features whisky absolute that’s crafted using barley from a Scottish distillery — because you should be just as picky with your signature scent as you are with your nightcap.
Apply this Givenchy scent to the creases of your knees and elbows for an all-over scent that’s reserved for gentlemen only.
10. The Best Cologne For Men For a Clean Scent: ‘REPLICA’ When the Rain Stops
Like bottling the smell of the pavement right after a good rainstorm, this REPLICA cologne is, in one word, fresh. Designed to epitomize springtime and new beginnings, it’s perfect for when you need a fresh start.
Infused with rose petals and pine needles, this crisp aquatics cologne would dazzle for your wedding day (talk about new beginnings!). Just one whiff and we can already see the sunshine peeking through the clouds.
11. The Best Summer Cologne For Men: Aesop Tacit
The sun is shining, you’re planning your next warm-weather getaway (or summer wedding!), and everything seems just a little brighter. It’s officially summer! And that means you need a scent that’s just as fresh and bright as the new season.
With fresh notes of citrus and basil, Aesop Tacit is without a doubt the best cologne for men for summer. Conjuring up images of the Mediterranean coast with every spray, it’s an essential summer mens cologne whether you’re jetting off to Europe, or just want to pretend you are.
12. The Best Cologne For Men For a Bold Scent: Amouage Interlude
Amouage Interlude is not for the weak. The best cologne for men that want a bold scent, it will give you a strong presence as soon as you walk in a room. After all, it was inspired by chaos and disorder — perfect for gentlemen that don’t shy away from a challenge.
The Interlude scent is also the best aromatic cologne for men on this list, meaning it provides a full sensory experience. Making the most of spices like frankincense, patchouli, and sandalwood, it’s a fragrance that lingers in the best way.
13. The Best Tom Ford Cologne For Men: Tom Ford Ombré Leather
Every list of the best cologne for men will undoubtedly feature a Tom Ford scent. That’s because the brand really knows what they’re doing when it comes to creating long-lasting, masculine cologne. The most popular Tom Ford mens cologne? Ombré Leather, every time.
A sensual scent that boasts undertones of rich black leather and light florals, it’s just as complex as you are. Based on the raving reviews, you can expect major compliments when you wear this one. It simply does. not. miss.
14. The Best Burberry Cologne For Men: Burberry Hero
Here to save the day whether you have an important meeting, a romantic date, or a special occasion, Burberry Hero is not only the best Burberry cologne for men, but it’s some of the best pick-me-up cologne for men, too.
With a combo of citrus notes and earthy scents, it’s definitely not a musky, stay-at-home cologne. This vibrant Hero scent is meant to be worn proudly and confidently — after all, Burberry didn’t pick Adam Driver as their spokesperson for nothing.
And, as an eau de toilette, it’s not as concentrated as some of the other mens cologne on this list, so feel free to give it a spray anytime you need to give yourself a little boost.
15. The Best Date Night Cologne For Men: Dolce & Gabbana The One
One word: intoxicating. As the best date night cologne for men, this Dolce & Gabbana scent will have your partner believing you’re “the one.” Featuring an intense blend of ginger, tobacco, and orange blossom, it’s a sensual aroma that will have them leaning in closer to get a whiff.
Of all the options on this list, this is the best cologne for men that want to leave a lasting impression. We have a feeling you’ll be reaching for this one every chance you get.
16. The Best Rated Cologne For Men: Caswell-Massey Number Six
The reviews don’t lie! Some of the best rated cologne for men, Caswell-Massey’s Number Six is guaranteed to keep you fresh on the daily. Made by America’s original soap and fragrance company, this cologne comes from a 300-year history of helping men smell like gentlemen.
Caswell-Massey also has some of the best cologne for men that like to keep things natural — it’s made from natural extracts produced with solar power, AND it’s cruelty-free to boot.
With so much going for it, this Number Six scent would make the perfect gift for the guys in your life. Did anyone say killer groomsmen gift?
17. The Best Versace Cologne For Men: Versace Man
The epitome of elegance for the modern man, this Versace Man cologne is the perfect blend of subtle and sexy. While infusions of smooth fruits, white lemon, and rosewood might conjure feelings of summer, this scent has just enough muskiness to be worn all year long.
If that opulent bottle wasn’t proof enough, our survey confirmed that this is the best Versace cologne for men. It’s crisp, luxurious, and completely unique — the definition of the “Versace man.”
18. The Best Cologne For Men For a Fresh Scent: Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò
Aquatic fragrances take inspiration from the ocean, making them the best cologne for men that want to smell crisp, powerful, and fresh. As the best aquatic cologne for men on this list, Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò understood the assignment, boasting marine notes like mandarin and sage.
Go on, transport yourself to a boat gliding across the waves. With such teleportation powers, you’ll want to wear this cologne for the summer months AND beyond.
Oh, and did we mention that this Giorgio Armani scent is dedicated to sustainability, with a refillable bottle, natural ingredients, and a subsequent forest preservation program?
19. The Best Solid Cologne For Men: Fulton & Roark Palmetto
The best cologne for men on the go, this solid fragrance from Fulton & Roark is perfect for throwing in your gym bag, carry-on, or pocket on long days out. Plus, solid fragrances are also more concentrated AND more subtle than their liquid counterparts. So if you want a scent that lasts but isn’t overbearing, you can consider this your new sidekick.
As for the sniff test, the Palmetto fragrance is warm and clean, a welcoming scent that’s swirling with notes of citrus, pepper, and incense. Sounds pretty solid to us.
20. The Best Cologne For Men For a Timeless Scent: Armani Code by Giorgio Armani
Armani cologne has been seducing its sniffers since the 1980s, and this scent in particular has been ranked the best timeless cologne for men on our list. A dizzying cocktail of tonka bean notes, woody scents, and a spritz of lemon, it’s a sexy scent that never goes out of style.
With Hollywood men as its inspiration, this is the best cologne for men that want to stand out from the crowd. And, like old Hollywood elegance, it withstands the test of time.
21. The Best Cologne For Men That Love The Outdoors: BVLGARI Man Wood Essence
All the other woody scents can go home now, because this is THE best cologne for outdoorsy men. With notes of wood and a green hue, it bottles the essence of the great outdoors — your annual camping trip, hunting with the guys, or just escaping the complications of city life.
Wherever your next adventure takes you, this BVLGARI cologne will be right there every step of the way. For the manly man, this scent will reconnect you with your environment.
22. The Best Cologne For Men For a Classy Scent: Guerlain Vétiver
A cologne may not have to power to make you LOOK dapper, but the best classy cologne for men can definitely make you FEEL dapper. When an event calls for a formal ‘fit, dressing to impress should include a spritz of this Guerlain Vétiver scent.
Since the ’50s, the Guerlain family has made fragrances that channel old school French class. Enriched with spices and tobacco, this woody scent carries on the tradition — and will earn you a spot on the best-dressed list every time.
23. The Best Cologne For Men For a Velvety Scent: Murdock London Patchouli
Calling the non-traditional, the modern rule breakers, the guys that don’t follow The Man — patchouli is the scent for you. A fragrance that’s reminiscent of the rock’n’roll and free-spirited vibes of the ’60s and ’70s, this velvety scent tells a story every time you wear it.
The best patchouli cologne for men, this Murdock London scent is built around the retro fragrance, but also gives it a contemporary update.
It mixes Indonesian patchouli with nutmeg, black pepper, suede, and jasmine for a result that’s rich, mysterious, and outside the status quo.
24. The Best Prada Cologne For Men: Prada Luna Rossa Ocean
Take a journey to the seaside with this Luna Rossa Ocean fragrance, the best Prada cologne for men. Another aquatic scent, it’s like an ocean breeze every time you catch a whiff. Your day will be instantly revitalized with this cologne’s blend of vetiver and iris, inspired by the depths of the ocean.
As a less concentrated fragrance, this is also the best cologne for men that want to layer a couple different scents together to create a custom smell. Truly iconic, if you ask us.
25. The Best Cologne For a Bold Scent: Viktor&Rolf Spicebomb Night Vision
Intense in all the right ways, this Spicebomb Night Vision cologne is your essential night out scent. Dark and brooding with a flirty side, it’s the best cologne for men that want their smell to speak for itself.
Oozing black spices contrasted with a sharp lemon top note, it’s a go-to for when you want to add some spice to your night. That grenade-shaped bottle really says it all.
26. The Best Cologne For a Smoky Scent: La Habana
Welcome to your time machine. The best cologne for men that want a smoky, sexy scent, this La Habana fragrance has all the allure of 1950s Cuba. Think: hand-rolled cigarettes, aged rum, and hot Havana nights.
The creator of this cologne knew that there was nothing more suave than the golden musical era in Cuba, where the tropical island was lit up by jazz, salsa, and dazzling showgirls. With the warm smokiness of this cologne, you too can enter your golden era.
27. Best Cologne Inspired By Paris: Diptyque Orphéon
Another cologne inspired by a bygone era, Diptyque Orphéon is a warm scent that tells stories of smoky Parisian jazz clubs and the artists that inhabited them. One such club was called Orphéon, which is now immortalized with this fragrance — making it the best Parisian cologne for men on this list.
With notes of tobacco smoke, tonka bean, cedarwood, and juniper berries, it’s a warm and inviting scent that pays tribute to 1960s Paris. Embrace your inner artist and add this atmospheric cologne to your cart ASAP.
How to Apply Mens Cologne for the Best Smell
To make the most out of your cologne, you should apply it to your pulse points, like the inside of your wrists, your neck, and the crease of your elbows. It’s also best to apply it on clean, dry skin for the most long-lasting effects, so after you get out of the shower is a prime time for a spray. Hold the cologne bottle about three to six inches from your skin and give it one to three pumps, depending on how bold the scent is and how strong you want to smell.
GWS Tip! Once you’ve sprayed your cologne, try to avoid rubbing or dabbing your skin. This can cause even the best cologne for men to break down and wear off more quickly.
Our Favorite Mens Styling Resources
If sniffing through the best cologne for men is just one step on your list for preparing for your wedding day, then look no further — we’ve got the resources to help you step up and stand out in all the best ways.
First and foremost, the main event: choosing the perfect wedding suit. From a statement velvet jacket to a classic formal tuxedo, we’ve rounded up the ‘fits for every style of groom. We’ve also narrowed down the very best groomsmen suits, because you want your crew to be looking their most dapper for the big day.
And speaking of dapper, if you’re going all out as you tie the knot, you’ll need this full A to Z guide on men’s formalwear. You can thank us later!
Finally, the (arguably) most important accessory of your life: your wedding band. If you’re still on the hunt for the perfect ring, we’ve got some SERIOUSLY stylish picks. We also have a list of mens engagement rings too, if you’re just getting ready to pop the question!
What’s your top styling tip? Let us know in the comments below!