What are the Top Colognes for Men?
“You’ll never have a second chance to create a great first impression”
Sense of smell is one of the strongest human natural senses that can evoke powerful emotions almost instantaneously and transport you into the world of deep hidden memories; such as your mom’s cooking from childhood or the smell of baked cookies from your kitchen. Make sure that you select the right kind of fragrance for your daily needs, as it will make a lasting impression, good or bad, on you and your acquaintances.
You are a stylish, sophisticated person that cares about creating the right first impression. You want to be perceived the right way; you want to smell great, even at the end of a hard working day. You are not sure what cologne to use – no worries – we have put together a comprehensive resource, a one stop-shop to help you find the right cologne that suits your needs.
When you shop for a fragrance, it can be very intimidating with so many different French names and acronyms such as extrait de parfum (EdP), parfum, eau de parfum, eau de cologne, eau de toilette (EdT), aftershave etc. Not sure what all these mean, we have made it very simple to understand, keep reading.
We know your time is valuable, and we have taken steps to provide only content that is value – add, no fluff that makes your decision making process very easy. Along the way check out some additional tips, tricks and insider secrets to increase your repertoire about the world of perfumes and impress your family and friends.
Take 2 minutes to read the section below; it explains the key items you should be aware of before you begin your cologne shopping. This will make your shopping experience so much easier and you will feel like a pro when you shop for your next cologne.
What are the various types of fragrances?
All fragrances are made up of essential oils (natural or synthetic oils), aromatic compounds, water and alcohol. The ratio of concentration of essential oils and alcohol varies based on the type of category. Accordingly, the potency / longevity and cost of the fragrance will also vary. See the cost curve below.
Cost Curve: Cologne Strength vs Cost vs Longevity
Based on the concentration of essential oils / aromatic compounds, fragrances are divided into 5 major categories:
- Extrait or Perfume Extract: These contain about 15% to 40% of essential oils, one of the strongest and highest levels of concentration. Use it sparingly, it can be overwhelming if applied in excess quantities. For a typical extrait or perfume extract, expect to pay about $175 to $200 per 1 oz bottle. Ex: Tiziana Terenzi Extrait De Parfum Ecstasy
- Eau de Parfum (EdP): Also referred to as simply perfume or Parfum de Toilette (PdT) or Eau de Millesime (EdM), these contain about 15% to 30% of essential oil concentration. They are the next strongest in concentration to perfume extracts. Depending on the brand these types of fragrances can have a wider range of prices. Ex: Tom Ford Noir Eau de Parfum
- Eau de Toilette (EdT): These have a concentration level of 10% to 15%, generally available in most departmental stores. A sales person might try to undersell these as inferior to Eau de Parfum (or perfumes), as these are less expensive than perfumes, but don’t fall for this. Typical price range is below $100, depending on the size. Ex: Polo Blue by Ralph Lauren
- Eau de Cologne (EdC): Also referred to as simply “Cologne”. Generally based on citrus family of scents, they have lesser concentration than Eau de Toilette, typically between 3% – 8%. They wear off relatively quickly as compared to above three. Ex: Fierce by Abercrombie & Fitch Cologne Spray for Men
- Aftershave and Splash: These have even lower concentration than colognes, typically less than 3%. Due to lower essential oil concentration, they evaporate even faster than colognes. Ex: Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein
Key considerations when you shop for cologne:
- Personalize: Do you like the smell of the cologne? Unless you are in complete love with the smell, don’t buy it. You’ll feel miserable if you don’t like the smell you are wearing.
- Do others like the smell?: Take a friend or family member with you when you go for shopping to get a second opinion.
- Will you spend a lot of time in the sun?: Colognes will not last long after application, if you are exposed to sun for a long time. Go for a perfume rather than cologne, as it will last relatively longer after application.
- Budget: Of course look for cologne that is within your budget. Expect to spend more money for an extrait as compared to an after shave or splash.
- If you are unsure of what to select, go with sample bottles before shelling out serious bucks and getting stuck with something you don’t like.
Our Review of Five Top Colognes for Men:
Well specifically, review of top 5 Eau de Toilette (EdT) is presented below:
- Mont Blanc Legend
Aromatic notes of Bergamot, Lavender, Pineapple Leaf, Verbena, Oakmoss, Geranium, Coumarin, Apple, Rose, Sandalwood, and Tonka.
Awesome smell!! It has a crisp, fresh smell that is not too overpowering. Legend has good potency and smells good after a full day of work. It has a reasonable price tag, sells for about $39 / 3.3 oz. It gets a lot of compliments from strangers in the elevators and co-workers. It has a woodsy sandalwood aroma that screams masculinity. It spells maturity, with a top note of citrus smell followed by heart and base notes that are woodsy. You can’t go wrong with this selection. The base notes of this scent smell comes close to Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce. Launched in 2011, this EdT Comes in impressive packaging.
- 1 Million By Paco Rabanne
1 Million By Paco Rabanne, has following fragrance notes: Mint, Grapefruit, Rose, Patchouli, Amber, Cinnamon, White woods, Blond leather, Blood orange, Spice notes
Paco Rabanne 1 Million, makes a great gift, it is one of the best smelling fragrance and has strong potency that will last a whole day. Sure to get lot of compliments. It has a strong minty, almost like gum, fruity top notes that captivates you right off the bat. For the middle notes it has a hint of rose, not too strong yet it has masculine woody smell. You can certainly smell spice and cinnamon with great projection. One of a kind, I certainly recommend. It sells for about $46 / 3.4oz.
- Acqua Di Gio by Armani
ACQUA DI GIO For Men By GIORGIO ARMANI
Aromatic notes include: citrus notes, rosemary spiciness, jasmine, hint of wood and ocean breeze
It has a sophisticated yet subtle pleasing smell that soothes your sense. This is sure to remind you of summer, to fight the winter blues. Armani has a winner on their hands with this one. It has citrus/pineapple top notes, with slight floral, beach heart notes. Nice choice for important meetings / dates, that says you are sophisticated and as an added bonus it is priced reasonable too. It sells for about $36 / 1 oz bottle.
- Versace Pour Homme Cologne
Versace Pour Homme Cologne by Versace
Top notes are citruses, neroli, bergamot and petit grain; middle notes are hyacinth, clary sage, cedar and geranium; base notes are tonka bean, musk and amber.
A couple of squirts applied in the morning can last you whole day. It is a scent with great projection, yet not overpowering. You will be able to smell the citrus top notes, followed by neroli and tonka notes with slight spiciness. Be careful though, if you don’t like neroli, you may not like this scent. Good for everyday use, will get you great compliments alike from men and women. This Eau de Toilette sells for about $41 / 3.4oz bottle.
- Cool Water By Davidoff
Cool Water By Davidoff
Fragrance notes: lavender, jasmine, oakmoss, musk and sandalwood.
Coolwater is one of the finest choices for a sophisticated man, a definite attention grabber. All you need is one to two squirts per day it will keep going until retire at the end of the day. It has a clean refreshing smell of jasmine top notes. It ends up with woody musk notes. Not too over powering, limited projection, perfect for an office setting. Very reasonably priced, sells for about $25 / 4.2oz bottle.
Check out my “Ultimate Fragrance Recommendation Table” Below:
Although you’ve already read my review of the top 5 Eau de Toilette (EdT), I’ve also compiled an extensive tabular guide that compares some of the top colognes for men (fragrances) in each of the 5 scent categories. This guide will help you make an informed choice that meets your needs.
Note – To sort the data in any of the columns, click on the title