If you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Top 10 Best Colognes for Men in 2021

Experts at OwlRatings’ picked the following ten colognes from some of the most high-end brands in the world. Each of the colognes contains striking and exceptional scents which make them attractive, a compliment-getter, and striking for men of all ages. Whether you are looking for subtle casual wear cologne or a sensual one for special occasions, this list contains colognes that will fit each category perfectly.

Reasons to look for good cologne

Scent plays one of the biggest roles in how we remember people. We often associate people with places, music, and even scents. Have you ever been perfume shopping and tested a fragrance that smelled just like your mom’s? Or a cologne just like your father’s? If so, you might have also felt warmth spread all over your body. It makes you feel peaceful, nostalgic and just puts you in a good mood.

Sometimes, a certain perfume might make you travel back in time and remember a specific memory. A perfume is a part of our personality. It is a way of us expressing ourselves to the world and the world expressing itself to us. So not to be dramatic, but scent-memory is one of the reasons most of us take perfume shopping so seriously.

Apart from the emotions and nostalgia, fragrances keep the body odors at bay. They ensure that you smell fresh and pleasant throughout the day, even if it is the middle of June.  Perfumes are also mood enhancers and help to boost your confidence.

Scents like lavender, chamomile, and bergamot are some of the most relaxing and soothing scents that you can find anywhere around the world. Further studies suggest that these scents also help to relieve anxiety.

In the end, perfume makes you feel attractive. Our sense of smell is one of the most prominent and fast-working senses. Thus, the way you smell is going to be one of the first things that a person notices about you. Perfumes also contain pheromones which are chemicals that work like hormones outside of your body. These affect us psychologically as well as physiologically.

So, these pheromones in addition to compelling colognes can make us attractive to other people and help us leave a long-lasting impression.

Best overall

Curve for Men cologne

Curve for Men cologne

Best cologne for men overall for the price

  • Fragrance:
  • Longevity of smell:
  • Bottle design:
  • Value for money:
Read our full review here

Curve for Men is one of the highest-rated casual wear cologne that you can find in the market. It is an aromatic green fragrance that contains various exotic accords that makes it perfect to wear at any time. None of the accords seem to dominate and each blends flawlessly to create a potion that is flowery, citrusy, and woody.

The top accords include pineapple, juniper berries, neroli, and lavender, and lemon. These are the three scents that you will immediately detect when you spray the cologne on your skin or clothes. These last for 30 minutes till an hour before you will detect bergamot, sage, cardamom, ginger, cactus, violet, and coriander. These are the middle notes.

The base notes stay for the longest period on your skin and clothes. Curve’s base is made from mahogany, amber, vetiver, pepper, sandalwood, cedar, and musk. The longevity and sillage of the perfume are moderate. The cologne can last for almost eight hours on your clothes.

The bottle comes in four different sizes; 1 fl oz, 2.5 ounces, 4.2 ounces, and 6.8 ounces. Besides, it also comes in three and four pieces of gift sets which include hair and body wash, hair pomade, a cologne spray, and an after-shave balm (this one is one available in a 4-piece gift set.

Best for modern men

Tommy Hilfiger for Men cologne

Tommy Hilfiger for Men cologne

Best cologne for modern men

  • Fragrance:
  • Longevity of smell:
  • Bottle design:
  • Value for money:
Read our full review here

Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger is a refreshing and citrusy cologne that smells manly in the best possible way. It includes mint, lavender, grapefruit, and bergamot as its top notes. The middle notes possess granny smith apples, cranberry, and rose whereas the base notes include cactus, cotton flower, and amber.

 All of these different scents wonderfully blend together and create a concoction that will get you a compliment or two whenever you wear it. The scent lasts for five to six hours whereas the sillage and projection are solid for the first two hours. The bottle comes in a 100ml bottle with a spraying mechanism.

The fragrance is perfect for warmer seasons. Since the summers are approaching; we would highly recommend you try this one out. It smells fresh, clean, warm, and pleasant. The best thing is that each of the accords covers up body odors flawlessly. It does have a bit of soapy aroma as well but it just adds to the calming and soothing theme of the cologne.

Lastly, the cologne is ageless; the scent is so immaculate and refreshing that it smells good on anyone! Whether it is for a teenager or someone in their late 40s or 50s, the cologne fits everyone!

Best natural scent

Coty Aspen cologne

Coty Aspen cologne

Best affordable cologne

  • Fragrance:
  • Longevity of smell:
  • Bottle design:
  • Value for money:
Read our full review here

Aspen for Men by Coty is an Aromatic Fougere fragrance that is dominated by green notes. It was first introduced in 1989 and perfect for older and mature men. The scent includes many green, citrusy, flora, and woody notes which make it a simple, refreshing yet rich cologne that can be used every day and for any occasion.

The top notes include galbanum, bergamot, lemon, and other green notes. The middle includes juniper, cyclamen, geranium, lavender, orange blossom, coriander, and jasmine whereas the base includes musk, amber, cedar, balsam fir, and oakmoss.

The potion is present in a clear glass bottle with a green hue. The size of the bottle is 4 fl oz and it has a small spraying atomizer on the top which sprays the fragrance in a fine mist that does not stain clothes and dries quickly as well. The spray lasts for almost four hours on your clothes and skin. On the other hand, the projection is only good for the first hour before it completely disappears.

This cologne is one of the best perfumes to have if you are low on budget. It is inexpensive but smells just like an expensive perfume that you might buy from high-end brands. It smells like clean air and makes you feel as if you are walking through a lush pine forest. So, if you like green scents with work as mood enhancers, this is definitely the one for you.

Best for young men

Rue21 CJ Black cologne

Rue21 CJ Black cologne

Best cologne for younger men

  • Fragrance:
  • Longevity of smell:
  • Bottle design:
  • Value for money:
Read our full review here

CJ Black for Men by Rue21 is sensational, crisp, and bold cologne that is best suited for younger men. The scent has a very simple yet exceptional ingredient list. It only contains only three scents; Amalfi lemon, mandarin orange, and musk.

The lemon and orange bring in a sensual and tangy scent that makes you feel fresh as soon as you spray the perfume. Whereas, the musk provides a woody and musky aroma that balances the citrusy smells and makes the cologne feel expensive, luxurious, and elegant.

The bottle is available in a 1.7 ounces bottle which has a beautiful black finish. The atomizer on the top sprays perfectly and distributes the liquid evenly over your skin and clothes. The cologne lasts for almost six hours which is pretty impressive considering it is just a cologne.

The best thing about this perfume is that despite having only three key ingredients, the cologne seems versatile. You can wear it while you are going out to run mundane errands as well as when you are going on a date with your special one. The scent is not overwhelming and smells heavenly.

Best for a scent of spring

LUCKY You cologne

LUCKY You cologne

Best cologne during spring

  • Fragrance:
  • Longevity of smell:
  • Bottle design:
  • Value for money:
Read our full review here

Lucky You opens with soft and subtle notes of flowers and grass so that you feel warm and happy immediately. The floras add a hint of freshness to the cologne. The base notes add a masculine and mysterious heavy smell which ties up with the citrusy and sweet smells like a match made in heaven.

The cologne fits perfectly in the category of Amber Fougere fragrances. The top notes include grass and other floral notes whereas the middle notes include cardamom. The base notes have bamboo, sandalwood, musk, teak wood, and Brazilian rosewood. All of the scents constitute a classical and spectacular scent that is perfect for daytime use and warm seasons like spring and summer.

The smells of the cologne last for barely a few hours before it completely dissipates from your skin and clothes so we were a little let down by it. The projection is mediocre as well and lasts for less than an hour before vanishing.

The bottle is available in a 3.4 fl oz bottle which is small enough to take with you anywhere you want. The unit has a spraying mechanism that works as it should.

Best premium

Ralph Lauren Polo Green cologne

Ralph Lauren Polo Green cologne

Best cologne for nightlife use

  • Fragrance:
  • Longevity of smell:
  • Bottle design:
  • Value for money:
Read our full review here

Polo Green is one of the best cologne that you can wear during winters. It can be described as vintage yet sophisticated smell which reminds you of walking through a green field early in the morning. The scent is classic, masculine and strong.

The top notes include the beautiful scents of basil, Artemisia, caraway, bergamot, coriander, and juniper berries. Geranium, carnation, jasmine, chamomile, rose, pepper, pine tree needles, and leather make up the middle base whereas amber, musk, patchouli, musk, cedar, oakmoss, and tobacco make up the base notes. The 4 fl oz bottle is colored in a beautiful gold and green theme.

A few people do not find the scent as good as it was when it got first released; the perfume was first introduced in the year 1978 and it was very popular among men. However, as time passed, the formulation changed and some people think that the newer versions do not have the same longevity and sillage as the previous ones had.

Although, there are mixed reviews. Some people have claimed that the smell lasts for as long as 12 hours –which is extraordinary when it comes to colognes. The sillage is also as good because it contains a few strong and rich scents. However, a few people did not get the same performance. An important point to note is that fragrances react differently on different types of skin and clothes.

Best unisex

Elizabeth Taylor Passion cologne

Elizabeth Taylor Passion cologne

The cologne is heavy with sweet scents with a hint of mustiness and woodiness. Though most people consider it pleasant, it can be a bit too feminine for some individuals.

  • Fragrance:
  • Longevity of smell:
  • Bottle design:
  • Value for money:
Read our full review here

Passion for Men is a well-blended liquid formula that contains all of the accords; fruity, citrusy, spicy, musky, and woody. The cologne will be perfect for people who love a sweet and spicy scent that they can use for casual wear as well as special wear.

The fragrance is categorized in the Amber and Woody fragrances. The top notes possess lavender, orange, bergamot, neroli, galbanum, and lemon. The middle notes consist of balsam fir, geranium, jasmine, patchouli, cedar, carnation, sandalwood, cinnamon, and nutmeg whereas the base contains vanilla, styrax, tonka beans, benzoin, musk, oakmoss, amber, and vetiver.

The cologne lasts for almost four to five hours on your skin and clothes. The project is also remarkable and the cologne is easily detectable by others during the first few hours of application. The unit is available in two sizes; 2-ounce and 4-ounce bottles.

The oriental woody fragrance is elegant and sensual. However, it is dominant in sweet notes so if you do not like such smells, then this one is not for you. Though, the sweet scents are complemented by the woody scents perfectly and make the perfume worth trying. Due to the composition, the fragrance can be categorized as a unisexual fragrance rather than masculine.

Best for casual wear

Michael Jordan cologne

Michael Jordan cologne

If you are looking for a cologne that you can wear every day then this is the one. The bottle is small in size and the scent is refreshing. It is dominated by woody, fresh spicy, and citrus notes which exhume an aura of liveliness and buoyancy.

  • Fragrance:
  • Longevity of smell:
  • Bottle design:
  • Value for money:
Read our full review here

Michael Jordan Cologne is an aromatic fragrance that smells fresh, clean, and lemon-citrusy without being overwhelming to the senses. It contains the perfect amount of tanginess, spiciness, and freshness to make it one of the best masculine scents to wear every day and all day.

 The top accords include cypress, grapefruit, cognac, cedar needles, lemon, Brazilian rosewood, and geranium. The middle notes include fir, incense, green tea, juniper berries, cloves, clary sage, and lavender. Lastly, the base note includes patchouli, sandalwood, and musk.

The longevity and sillage of the cologne are considerably better than most EDC’s. Although a few people have complained that their product lasted only 20 minutes on the body before disappearing into thin air. However, the bottle size is small enough, 3.4 fl oz, and you can easily keep it with you in your car so that you can reapply when need be.

Overall, the fragrance is phenomenal. It has all of the different notes that do not only make it pleasant but also helps immensely to lift your mood and make you feel confident in whatever you are wearing. Furthermore, due to the citrusy notes, the cologne is perfect for daytime use and also for summers. So buy it right now and spend a summer free of body odors.

Best for elderly

Liz Claiborne Mambo cologne

Liz Claiborne Mambo cologne

If you are into the niche of refined, fresh, and mature scents, then you will like this one. It has a mildly floral, spicy, and creamy scent that does not feel overwhelming at all. It is perfect for summer use.

  • Fragrance:
  • Longevity of smell:
  • Bottle design:
  • Value for money:
Read our full review here

Mambo for Men is an amber Fougere fragrance that is light, subtle, yet strong enough to mask all and every bodily odor you might produce during a hot sweating day. It has a rich masculine scent that remains linear till dry down.

Lavender, lime, lemon verbena, and bergamot make up the top notes. The middle notes consist of caraway, cinnamon, orange blossom, lily-of-the-valley, cedar, geranium, and patchouli. The base notes if made up with musk, patchouli, balsam fir, and sandalwood which brings all of the fresh, clean, and crisp.

The cologne lasts for five to six hours on your clothes and skins. However, despite having impressive longevity, the projection is just average. The perfume is available in a 3.4 fl oz bottle which is lean and slim in design so that it can fit conveniently in any storage space.

The fragrance was introduced in the 2000s, thus it is an old classic which is loved by older men. So, if you are thinking of gifting your father or uncle a cologne, then this is the one.

Best for fall and winter

Cremo Bourbon & Oak cologne

Cremo Bourbon & Oak cologne

If you like slightly alcoholic yet musky scents, then this one is for you. The different accords blend to create a versatile scent that can be worn for casual use. Besides, if you like layering different perfumes, then this one will work perfectly.

  • Fragrance:
  • Longevity of smell:
  • Bottle design:
  • Value for money:
Read our full review here

Bourbon & Oak is a cologne that is dominated by woody aromas. The fragrance exhibits an aura of warmth and mature-ness which seems like the perfect vibe that one strives for during winters and fall. It is inexpensive and has a subtle scent that does not overwhelm your senses.

The top notes include mostly spices. The middle notes have warm aromas of whiskey. After these two scents subside, you will smell oak that will stay on your clothes for the most amount of time. The ingredient list is pretty simple; however, these three prominent accords make up one of the best colognes that you will ever wear!

The bottle is available in a 3.4 fl oz size. The longevity of the perfume is pretty remarkable; it stays on your clothes for almost five hours. After this, you will notice a faint scent of the cologne on your clothes even on the next day.

The product contains a perfect mix between spices and woodiness which has an additional element of alcohol. The alcohol makes the scent smell luxurious, expensive, and sensual.

Although despite having a few strong ingredients, the cologne is not as strong as we expected. However, it smells pleasant, warm, and inoffensive which can work if you are looking for a casual scent to wear during cooler weather.

What to look for in a good cologne

Check the type of perfume

One of the reasons why most people do not get the expected results from perfume is because they brought different types of perfumes. Have you ever noticed words like Eau De Toilette, Eau De Cologne written in small scripture at the base of perfumes? Have you ever wondered what they meant?

The scripture explains the type of perfume. Currently, five different types of perfumes are available in the market:

  1. After shaves and body mists: They have less than 5% of perfume oil and are ideal for short-term perfumes. It is perfect to use after swimming, gym, or football –practice.
  2. Eau De Cologne (EDC):They have a concentration of 2-4% of perfume oil and most of them last for two hours or more. They are also mostly used for short-term use.
  3. Eau De Toilette (EDT): They have at least 5 to 15% of perfume oil in their overall composition. They typically last between two to three hours on the skin. Most EDTs are mild, gentle, and inoffensive.
  4. Eau De Parfum (EDP):EDPs have a 15-20% concentration of perfume oil and typically, they last for five or more hours on your clothes and skin.
  5. Parfum:They have the most concentration of perfume oil; 20-30%. They are strong, expensive, and have the best performance. They can last for as much as eight hours or more on your skin.

The notes of the cologne

The notes or the accords are the different ingredients that are used to make a particular perfume.

As you might have noticed from the above reviews, we have mentioned and discussed three types of notes in detail. The reason is that the notes give you all the detail about how the perfume will smell once it is sprayed on and when it dries on your clothes and skin.

The three types of notes are:

  1. Top notes:These are the aromas that you will smell immediately after spraying the perfume. They are usually made with citruses or other bright scents so that you find them enjoyable when you try them on.  The top notes vaporize after a few minutes. They are made from a light formula which makes them disappear just as quickly. These scents make up the initial impression you have of the perfume.
  2. Middle notes:These are the scents you will detect after the light and clean top notes disappear. These last for almost ten minutes till an hour after you apply the perfume. After that, they disappear.
  3. Base notes:after the middle notes dissipate into the air, the base notes become prominent. They are usually made with strong ingredients so that they remain on your skin as well as clothes for the longest time.

Like mentioned, the top notes are made with pleasant scents so that you buy them. But do not fall for the initial scents you sense as soon as you spray perfume.

Wait a couple of minutes so that the middle and base notes become prominent before purchasing a perfume. The middle and the base notes define the central theme of the cologne so always read their components or wait a few minutes to smell them yourself.

Performance of the cologne

We used the word ‘performance’ for the products reviewed above. By performance, we mean their performance in two aspects; longevity and sillage.

Longevity means how long the cologne stays on your skin before it completely disappears. Stronger scents typically last for longer as compared to subtle scents. Whereas, sillage is the projection of the perfume. It is the trail of perfume that one leaves as they walk by.

One of the most important factors to consider here is the type of perfume you are buying. As mentioned above, some types last for only an hour or two while others can last for eight to twelve hours without needing reapplication.

FAQ

Should I spray cologne on skin or clothes?

You can spray the cologne on your skin as well as on your clothes. If you spray on both, the perfume will be more prominent. Although, make sure that while you are applying on your skin, you cover all the major pulse points such as the neck, chest, inner elbows, inner wrists, and shoulders.

How much perfume do I apply?

Usually, you should spray about five times on your clothes. Even if you are applying it on the skin, just spray once on all the pulse points. However, there is no general rule of how much or how little you can apply on your skin or clothes.

Just make sure that you gradually build up the intensity of the cologne. If sprayed too much, it can become overwhelming, and even cause migraines.

Can you wear two perfumes at once?

Yes, you can combine two perfumes at once but make sure that they are subtle and blend well together. To test this, just spritz a bit of both perfume on your skin and clothes and wait. If it smells pleasant then go for it!

However, while layering, never do it without testing first. Sometimes it can cause headaches or even make an unpleasant smell which is unbearable.

Another tip is that layering works best if you stay in the same family of fragrances. For example; if the first perfume is a woody dominant scent, then the second perfume should also have a dominant woody scent.

Final verdict

Buying a cologne for yourself is not an easy task, especially if you are buying online. There are a million tiny factors that you need to look out for and even then sometimes, you end up buying the wrong type of fragrance.

However, if you follow the above techniques and tips that we discussed, we are certain that you will buy a cologne that compliments your personality perfectly. Make sure to always note the accords of cologne before anything else. If the ingredients seem to make sense to you, then note their longevity, price, and other things.

Whether you are buying a perfume for yourself or your father/grandfather, the above 10 colognes are the best that you will find in the market. Most of them can be used all around the year and for any occasion.

OwlRatings free newsletter

Free access to breaking news, new top 10 lists, popular reviews and advice.

Absolutely no spam. Unsubscribe any time!