Choosing the right scent is no small task. Whether you go for spicy, light or musky, the answer is, in part, a matter of occasion. Keep reading to learn more about the best men’s cologne.

You’ve waxed your mustache, donned your best blazer, and shined your shoes. You’re ready to make an impression. Wait! Take a sniff. Have you forgotten that all-important detail for the well-dressed man: the sense of smell?

Long rumored to be an important element of attraction, the right scent can give you an unmistakable allure. No matter how cool your clothes are, you’re never fully dressed without a cologne that brings out your secret animal magnetism. Finding the best cologne for men that matches your style is a personal quest. Each product has ingredients which interact with individual body chemistry. The occasion is also key: you may choose a different scent for a night out on the town than for an intimate night at home with that special someone.

Top 5 Tips to Help Pick Out the Right Cologne

Here are five tips to help you find the best men’s cologne for you.

Best Fragrances for Men

1. What Do You Like?

The most important way to determine the best men’s cologne for you is to simply choose what you like the best. There are many different kinds of scents ranging from woodsy to floral and musky. Colognes may include all sorts of different notes with ingredients ranging from sandalwood to chocolate.

Men’s cologne can get especially adventurous, incorporating the smells of disparate components like tobacco, leather, and basil! No one scent is better than any other. You may prefer Ralph Lauren colognes because they remind you of your father.

Select a scent that appeals to your style and sensuality. You should apply the cologne and feel like you have found a natural fit.

2. What Does Your Partner Like?

If you have a significant other, they may have an opinion on the best men’s cologne for you. After all, they are the person who is going to be exposed to the scent more than anyone else, correct? Many men’s colognes can cost a pretty penny. The top brands go for over a hundred dollars a bottle. Tom Ford and other leading designers offer colognes priced up to a thousand bucks!

When you drop that kind of cash on a beauty product, you want to make sure you will get your money’s worth. You don’t want your special someone to shrink back with a wrinkled nose saying. “Ew, what’s that?” Take home a sample size and let your partner take a whiff of your chosen scent. Then you can both enjoy it together.

3. Where Will You Be Wearing It?

Some of the best men’s colognes ooze sex. Heavy with what perfumers call “dirty” tones (meaning musky), some colognes demand that you head for the bedroom. For example, think about Creed Aventus, listed as one of the sexiest scents for men according to women. The smell is a combination of pineapple, black currant, and ambergris, which is apparently derived from sperm whales (need we say more?).

Sexy colognes are great for dates or a night out at a club. However, think again if you’re getting ready for a job interview or dinner with your beloved’s parents. There are many colognes available with light, beachy tones, or clean, subtle notes. These are more appropriate for business or casual occasions. The best men’s cologne for one occasion may not be the best for another.

4. How Long Does It Last?

Another test for the best men’s cologne for you may be more practical. Some colognes, aftershaves, and other products react differently to different body chemistries. You may find that one brand will linger in the air for hours after you apply it. With others, the aroma may just disappear into the breeze.

Before you throw away an expensive bottle, however, consider how you are applying your cologne. GQ offers some tips on making your scent last longer, from applying it after a shower and moisturizer to not spraying on your clothes. Dry skin can also cause some colognes to fade faster. Cheaper colognes will not last as long as more expensive ones. A body spray will have a lower concentration of ingredients and a higher concentration of alcohol. This makes the smell dissipate more quickly.

Fragrances are also made up of top, middle, and base notes. These notes are smells with different molecular weights which develop at different rates when applied to the skin. Top notes are the first ones you smell, and they evaporate the quickest. Middle notes take longer to develop and last longer, and base notes are the final ones to develop.

Base notes last the longest and they also act to slow down the evaporation of the top and middle notes, making the overall scent last longer. So if the base is strong and distinct, the fragrance will last longer. Versace’s Eros and Jimmy Choo’s Intense for Men use tonka beans in their base. This is a strong ingredient that tends to leave a lasting impression.

5. How Does It Mingle with Your Other Products?

It’s not likely that cologne is your only product. If you care about how you smell, you also care that your skin is soft and your hair is healthy and well cared for. All of these products also have fragrances which can interact with your colognes. If you choose a body lotion heavily scented with herbs, this may overpower the delicate composition of the best men’s cologne.

Make sure you test your cologne sample with other grooming products. You might even explore whether your preferred fragrance offers body lotions or facial creams. That way, everything you put on your body will convey a consistent scent. You won’t risk smells clashing and overpowering each other.

The 5 Best Men’s Cologne Products

Like we’ve said before, picking out the best fragrances for men is a personal choice. If you spend time and thought finding your scent and then you stick with it, you’re going to have the best results.

Taking the time and consideration to choose the best men’s cologne can deliver fantastic results in the bedroom or the boardroom. Wearing a scent that brings out your best will give you confidence and may even inspire you to greatness.

1. Versace Man Eau Fraiche By Gianni Versace for Men

Versace Man Eau Fraiche By Gianni Versace For Men

Versace makes some of the best men’s cologne of all time. The Man from Versace is a fresh smelling fragrance with prominent notes of carambola, rose wood, cedar, and white lemon.

2. Nautica Voyage Eau De Toilette Spray for Men

Nautica Voyage Eau de Toilette Spray for Men

Voyage is Nautica’s best selling fragrance, and it is consistently one of the most popular colognes available. This is another fresh scent that exhibits strong notes of lemon and citrus with underlying woodsy notes. Voyage is our top pick for the best cologne for young men.

3. Sauvage by Christian Dior for Men

Sauvage by Christian Dior

Unlike our first two in the list, Sauvage carries a more masculine and woody scent rather than the fresh, clean scent of Voyage and Man. The leading notes here are Calabrian bergamot and Sichuan pepper. It is considered one of the newest best smelling cologne for men.

4. Guy Lorache Drakkar Noir for Men

Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir Eau de Toilette Spray

This cologne is typically very well thought of by the ladies. It is woody, musky, and spicy. Notes of sandalwood, spicy berries make up the heart of this cologne.

5. Dolce and Gabbana The One for Men

Dolce and Gabbana The One for Men

This is a complex scent that is more controversial than the other options in our list. You know there will be with a cologne when some people call it a fresh scent and others call it a natural and woodsy. There’s a lot going on in the aromatic The One from grapefruit, to basil, cardamom, to ginger. A base of tobacco and cedarwood complete this cologne. The One is our pick for the best men’s summer cologne.

For other ways to discover your personal style in scent, apparel, and other elements of fashion, check out other sections of our site. We can help you look, smell and feel your best!

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