The sense of smell is a powerful, if often overlooked, part of our daily experience. Scents have the power to attract, lift our mood, and cement and evoke memories. Every man should have a great cologne in his grooming lineup to smell fresh and enjoy himself in style.
Not all colognes are created equal and choosing the best fragrance for yourself may seem like a daunting task. There is a wide variety of fragrance strengths, price points, types, and ingredients. For your convenience, we have perused the highest quality men’s fragrances, both classic and cutting edge, and compiled this list of the 18 best colognes for men in 2022. Our FAQ section also includes some great info to help your search.
Read on and you’re guaranteed to find a scent to make this year one to remember!
The striking signature fragrance from celebrated brand Blu Atlas is our top choice. Rated the best of the best by Men’s Journal and Los Angeles Magazine, this aromatic citrus scent evokes a picturesque beach getaway, featuring invigorating top notes of bergamot, lemon, and blackcurrant atop an alluring musky and floral base. The potent eau de parfum provides hours of lasting aroma in a clean, non-toxic formula.
This versatile, masculine fragrance is ideal year-round, as suited to balmy summer days as it is to cozy winter nights. Try this luxury-grade cologne that is both affordable and made of the highest quality ingredients. All premium Blu Atlas products are free of harmful parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. Lush and unforgettable, Atlantis is a must-try for 2022.
2. Tom Ford | Beau de Jour Eau de Parfum
This refined fragrance from luxury fashion house Tom Ford is one of this brand’s latest additions to its iconic fragrance line. The earthy blend features the classic fougére notes of cooling lavender and lush oakmoss, enriched with an aromatic heart of rosemary, mint, and basil. Hints of spicy geranium mingle with sensual base notes of amber and patchouli in this quintessentially masculine fragrance.
This elegant choice is available in the brand’s signature stylish ribbed bottle that makes a fashionable addition to your fragrance collection. A great scent for all occasions, you are sure to enjoy this quality offering from Tom Ford.
3. L’Occitane en Provence | Olivier Ondé Eau de Parfum
Next, we recommend this alluring woody fragrance for men from the popular natural brand L’Occitane, known for its aromatic botanical infusions. This top-rated recent release features a heady base of cedar and vetiver with hints of patchouli and violet. The aromatic heart of cypress, olive tree, and geranium mingles with invigorating top notes of eucalyptus, lime, and anis.
This masculine blend is a unique and refreshing option that is great year-round.
With excellent longevity and clean ingredients, the sophisticated fragrance is another top choice to keep you smelling fresh all year.
4. Maison Francis Kurkdjian | Gentle Fluidity Silver Edition
This aromatic and spicy eau de parfum from the eponymous line of illustrious perfumer Francis Kurkdjian is the masculine edition of the Gentle Fluidity duo, born of Kurkdjian’s desire to create both a masculine and feminine fragrance from the same set of ingredients. The vibrant Silver Edition silhouette emphasizes warm notes of amber woods and nutmeg, balanced with fresh aromatic hints of juniper berry and spicy coriander.
Kurkdjian’s recent offering is becoming a new classic. The versatile, long-wearing fragrance is another winner from the nose behind some of the top designer fragrances of the last twenty years. All products from this luxury brand are allergy tested and made of top-quality raw materials.
5. Dior | Sauvage Elixir
This recent release is Dior’s latest interpretation of the brand’s iconic Sauvage fragrance, one of the top-selling men’s colognes of all time. The new iteration features a more potent delivery of the original’s custom lavender blend, with added notes of grapefruit, cardamom, and cinnamon. The lively citrus top notes blend with a heady base of vetiver, sandalwood, and amber to create a sensual aroma with remarkable sillage. It is a powerful and alluring update to the celebrated original scent.
This ultra-concentrated formula lasts for hours. It is made of top-shelf botanical ingredients and features a stylish blue bottle in the brand’s unique 2-ounce size. Try this intoxicating designer fragrance from a trusted and award-winning name in effortless style.
6. Parfums de Marly | Greenley
For a lighter fragrance, try this crisp green scent from the French luxury brand Parfums de Marly. The recent release is a fresh, modern take on the traditional green fragrance, featuring an energizing and masculine blend of musk and citrus notes with a provocative oakwood base. Hints of green apple and violet round out the vibrant scent that carries well from day to evening. The whirlwind blend of raw materials is bold and refreshing, evocative of fresh gardens and lush woods.
This premium choice is available in the brand’s signature chic flacon design, a welcome addition to your dressing table.
7. Salvatore Ferragamo | Intense Leather
No man’s fragrance wardrobe is complete without a quality leather cologne, and this recent release from Italian luxury innovator Salvatore Ferragamo is as good as it gets. Both elegant and powerful, this captivating scent opens with invigorating notes of clary sage, pink pepper, and mandarin orange, with a seductive heart of red apple, iris, and lily of the valley. The deep, earthy base notes of leather, oakmoss, and musk round out this rich and striking cologne.
This modern, refined offering is available in a chic blue lacquer bottle, emblematic of Ferragamo’s artisan legacy. Try this versatile, long-wearing fragrance for peak sophistication.
8. Zadig & Voltaire | This is Him! Vibes of Freedom
Next, we recommend this vibrant, energetic fragrance created by French master perfumer Nathalie Lorson for the celebrated bohemian brand Zadig & Voltaire. As the nose behind some of the most popular men’s fragrances of recent years, Lorson is an expert in masculine subtlety and style.
The aromatic fougére cologne features a spicy heart of Somalian frankincense and cardamom, with effervescent top notes of mandarin orange and French lavender. Luxurious base accords of cedar and Indonesian patchouli add staying power and a robust sillage.
This fresh, handsome fragrance is an excellent choice for all occasions, a worthy candidate for your new signature scent.
9. Hermés | H24 Eau de Toilette
This crisp new release for men from iconic luxury brand Hermés is earning top ratings from both experts and fragrance newcomers. The aromatic green eau de toilette features a lively blend of clary sage and delicate narcissus, enveloped in heady notes of sweet rosewood and metallic sclarene, a synthetic molecule that adds warmth and freshness. The daring blend is made of the highest quality ingredients with excellent longevity.
This bright and versatile fragrance is sustainably sourced and available in a refillable bottle with 100% recycled packaging. Modern, masculine, and effortlessly cool, this latest release from Hermés is a top choice for year-round sophistication.
10. Emporio Armani | Stronger with You Only
This sweet and spicy fragrance from Emporio Armani is the brand’s recent update of its best-selling Stronger With You cologne. The new release is a refreshing, more streamlined take on the original, featuring a lively heart of geranium and French lavender with energizing citrus top notes. Deep spicy accords of chestnut, Madagascan vanilla, and labdanum add body and longevity.
This captivating fougére is a great choice for fans of both herbaceous and sweet amber accords. The sensual, masculine fragrance is made with ethically sourced ingredients and sold in the brand’s iconic stylized flacon.
11. Jo Malone | Whisky and Cedarwood Cologne
Next, we recommend this captivating woody cologne from the acclaimed British fragrance brand Jo Malone. This one is a top pick from their Huntsman collection, created exclusively for men in collaboration with the iconic bespoke tailor, Huntsman Savile Row. This versatile and robust scent is a simple and elegant blend of warming whiskey and cedar, topped with striking pimiento pepper top notes.
This hearty and invigorating cologne is an easy choice for both the office and the early hours of the morning. Try this sharp, enigmatic fragrance to add spice to your grooming routine.
12. Valentino | Born in Roma Yellow Dream for Him
This fresh amber fragrance from luxury mainstay brand Valentino is an energizing homage to the designer’s native Rome. The light opening notes of Italian mandarin orange and pineapple blend with spicy ginger and a sensual base of cedarwood and pure vanilla for a unique and lasting aroma.
This warming eau de toilette spray is sold in an edgy glass bottle that features the brand’s signature Rockstud design. The new couture release is a sophisticated and irresistible fragrance choice for this year and beyond.
13. Le Labo | Cedrat 37 Berlin
This craft fragrance from cult-favorite brand Le Labo is the latest addition to their city exclusives line, an artful citrus blend inspired by the city of Berlin. The delicate top notes of cedrat and ginger mix with a sensual base of Le Labo’s trademark ambergris, musk, and wood.
Both sweet and acidic, this uplifting fragrance is a distinctive yet versatile option, equally suited to both warm and cool temperatures. Try this inspired creation from an insider favorite brand for a fashionable citrus cologne that lasts.
14. Yves Saint Laurent | Y Le Parfum
This bold and seductive cologne from Yves Saint Laurent is a powerful update on the brand’s signature woody aromatic fragrance. The new dark fougére formula features an aromatic heart of sage, lavender, and geranium that blends luxuriously with the sensual base of cedar, tonka bean, and incense. Hints of invigorating apple, grapefruit, and ginger enliven this sultry blend that offers great longevity and notable sillage.
This designer men’s fragrance is available in a stylish black lacquer bottle. Add a dose of luxury to your grooming routine with this irresistible option.
15. Frederic Malle | Monsieur
Next, we recommend this vibrant amber vanilla fragrance from high-end French brand Frederic Malle. The seductive, earthy blend from renowned master perfumer Bruno Jovanovic features a captivating heart of patchouli and amber with intoxicating top notes of mandarin and rum absolute. The heady base of cedar, suede, and incense anchors this warming, masculine scent.
This alluring and long-lasting formula is sold in three sizes, including a refill for the line’s popular travel case so that you can smell impeccable on the go.
16. D.S. & Durga | Notorious Oud
Our round-up of the best colognes for men would fall short if we didn’t include a quality oud option. The pungent, woody fragrance of oud, sourced from the aquillaria tree, is well-suited to men’s fragrances due to its rich, resinous qualities.
This lush, heady oud cologne from niche perfume brand D.S. & Durga features a dynamic and modern blend of premium raw ingredients, ethically sourced from around the globe. The heart of Indonesian oud, French lavender, and Bulgarian rose is topped with refined hints of Afghan saffron and white galbanum. This complex scent wears beautifully with a strong base of North African papyrus and musk.
Try this sensual and visionary take on the classic oud category, both 100% vegan and sustainably sourced.
17. Maison Martin Margiela | REPLICA At the Barber’s
Another masterpiece from the renowned designer brand Maison Martin Margiela, this aromatic and woody eau de toilette is crafted to evoke the uniquely masculine experience of the barbershop. The artisanal blend opens with refreshing notes of bitter orange, black pepper, and basil. An herbaceous heart of rosemary, lavender, and geranium is masterfully balanced with rich base accords of leather, tonka bean, and white musk.
The subtle yet penetrating cologne is sold in the brand’s unique apothecary-style jar, a vintage aesthetic nod to the classic barbershop experience.
18. Byredo | Mixed Emotions
Closing our list is this recent launch from cult fragrance brand Byredo. The woody aromatic eau de parfum is a distinctive, modern blend of blackcurrant and maté, atop an herbaceous heart of violet leaves and Ceylon black tea. The warm, smoky base of papyrus and birch has hints of leather and musk, creating a balanced aroma that is both sweet and earthy.
This long-lasting fragrance is vegan and made of top-quality raw materials. The captivating and unusual scent is well worth the hype, according to experts.
Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to choosing a fragrance from our list of the best colognes for men, there are several important factors to consider, including the fragrance strength, scent profile, and ingredients. Let’s explore the main points in your quest for the perfect fragrance.
What are the different fragrance concentrations?
The concentration of aromatic oil in a fragrance establishes the longevity and potency of the scent. Let’s go over the different cologne types, classed according to their fragrance concentrations.
This is the most potent grade, with a 20-30% fragrance oil concentration. Perfumes last the longest, typically up to eight hours, and feature stronger aromas.
Eau de Parfum
This type has a 15-20% oil concentration and lasts for approximately five hours. Most commercial fragrance products fall into this category.
Eau de Toilette
With a concentration of 5-15% fragrance oil, this type lasts only two to three hours. Due to the lower price point, this is one of the top-selling fragrance types. The lighter concentration is suited to warm temperatures.
Eau de Cologne
This type has a 2-4% oil concentration and longevity of about two hours.
The words “perfume” and “cologne” are commonly used to refer to fragrances more generally, with the latter designating men’s products. When selecting the right fragrance type, consider that less concentrated formulas tend to have higher alcohol content, potentially irritating to sensitive skin.
What are the different fragrance families?
The next point to consider when choosing your cologne is the scent profile. This is determined by the cologne’s featured combination of scents from the eight distinct olfactory categories, also known as fragrance families. The widely accepted fragrance categories include the following.
This family is characterized by fresh plant and herb notes, such as lavender, clary sage, thyme, and rosemary. Aromatic scents are common in men’s fragrances, often blended with spice and citrus accords.
This category dates to ancient Roman times, featuring citrus notes (typically bergamot), atop a woody, mossy base.
This light, zesty family features citrus fruit and flower extracts. Common notes in this category include lemon, grapefruit, orange, bergamot, mandarin, and lime.
This is the largest fragrance category, comprised of fragrant floral notes. Though traditionally reserved for feminine fragrances, florals are becoming more common in men’s colognes. Common floral notes in men’s fragrances include iris, patchouli, rose, and geranium.
Derived from the French word for “fern,” this traditionally masculine category features sharp lavender notes with green coumarin and lichen accords, and a woody moss base. The overall effect ranges from sweet to spicy, with a deep herbaceous backdrop. Common fougére scents include coumarin, lavender, geranium, oakmoss, and citrus.
This deep, smoky category is another popular choice in men’s fragrances. Though leather fragrances originated in tannery practices, most today are made with synthetic compounds. This category includes notes of vetiver, tobacco, smoke, silver birch, and burnt wood.
As the name suggests, this family is characterized by notes of rich woods, often accompanied by light citrus and deep resin accords. Common woody notes include cedarwood, pine, vetiver, patchouli, and sandalwood.
This category is characterized by rich spices, musk, and resin, named in reference to the Middle Eastern and Indian origins of many of its raw source ingredients. The warm, sensual aromas include sandalwood, cinnamon, cedar, vanilla, and myrrh.
What is a fragrance lifecycle?
Fragrances are formulated to release different aromas over time as the scent molecules evaporate from your skin. The succession of fragrance notes is known as a fragrance’s lifecycle, and it is typically broken down into three parts: head notes, heart notes, and base notes.
Also known as top notes, these are made of the most volatile ingredients, meaning that the scent molecules evaporate quickly to create the first perceived aromas of the fragrance. The opening top notes are sharp and short-lived, typically evaporating within a half-hour of application. Common top notes include citrus and herbaceous scents.
Also called middle notes, these soft scents last longer than the top notes, typically lingering for three to four hours. Common heart notes include floral tones such as lavender, geraniums, rose, and jasmine, as well as cooling spices such as coriander and cumin.
The foundational base notes include lasting aromas that determine the fragrance’s strength and longevity. This category includes heavier scents such as musk, leather, patchouli, and wood.
The interplay of olfactory categories, strengths, and arrangements will determine both your personal choice of cologne as well as the conventional occasions for wear. For example, aromatic and floral fragrances are more often worn during the day and in warmer summer temperatures. Meanwhile, heavy and long-lasting colognes with warming spice and wood accords are typically donned in the evenings and during cooler winter months. However, there are no set rules, so don’t hesitate to experiment and enjoy!
What cologne ingredients should I avoid?
Unfortunately, many fragrances are made with harmful, toxic ingredients. Be sure to read product labels carefully, opting for clean, natural ingredients. Here are some dangerous components to watch out for.
This category of synthetic compounds is commonly used to create musk aromas in fragrances. Synthetic musk compounds disrupt hormonal function, interfere with endocrine processes, and are linked to both neural degeneration and infertility.
This sweetly scented synthetic compound is often used to produce fruity and floral aromas. It is a known carcinogen, linked to numerous types of cancer with regular exposure.
Another common additive in fragrance products, this flammable liquid is highly toxic. A known carcinogen, it is also linked with endocrine disruption, brain damage, depression, and hearing loss.
Parabens, phthalates, and sulfates
These chemicals are often used as preservatives or to modify the consistency of various cosmetic products. They are also known carcinogens that have been shown to interfere with hormonal processes, with damaging effects on the lungs, liver, kidneys, and reproductive organs.
This solvent is another common ingredient in many personal care products. The severely toxic chemical has been linked to brain and liver damage, as well as heart disease and various types of cancer. Though banned by the FDA for use in perfumes, it is often still used under the ingredient label “fragrance.”
As you can see, it is important to steer clear of the common harmful ingredients. Do your research, and purchase from trusted brands. Discontinue the use of fragrance products if you experience adverse effects.
How do I apply a cologne?
Now that you have selected your perfect fragrance, follow these steps for optimal wear.
1. Clean and dry your skin. To boost longevity, you can begin with applying an unscented moisturizer, which slows the evaporation of the fragrance molecules after application.
2. Start with spraying the fragrance on your pulse points, the body’s warmest areas due to the closeness of the veins to your skin’s surface. The heat diffuses the scent molecules for the best effect.
A single spray on each pulse point should be enough. Steady the bottle about seven inches away from the skin as you apply. Don’t rub the fragrance into your skin, as this distorts the scent. Let it air dry.
3. You may choose to apply the fragrance to other areas of the body for different effects. For example, the neck and collarbones are great areas to spray for your enjoyment of the fragrance throughout the day. On date night, try the navel, chest, shoulder blades, and ears. To turn heads with a lasting fragrance trail as you walk, spray the backs of your knees.
4. If needed, reapply the cologne throughout the day. To remove excess fragrance, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wipes.
5. The raw ingredients in cologne can degrade more rapidly with light exposure, so be sure to store your fragrance in a dark, cool space.
6. Don’t use colognes past their expiration dates. Keep an eye out for signs of expiration such as changes in color and scent.
Whether you are seeking a signature daily scent or a luxury choice for a special occasion, you are sure to find the perfect fragrance in our expert survey of the 18 best colognes for men in 2022. Don’t hesitate to experiment and explore the field until you find just the right scent for your unique needs. Stay fresh, fashionable, and inspired year-round with a masculine fragrance made of quality ingredients and masterful blends.