The Best Colognes for Men

The cologne that a man chooses says something about his personality and preferences. Some men love how citrus smells on them, while others prefer woody, spicy, or nautical scents. How a cologne smells depends partially on the cologne itself and also on the wearer’s body chemistry. The way that a scent smells on one man might be completely different from how it smells on someone else.

We have evaluated dozens of colognes for men. We looked at how the scents were described, keeping in mind that the notes that stand out most strongly might vary from one man to another. We considered the overall value and also how Amazon buyers felt about the products. If you are considering purchasing an eau de toilette instead, check out our list of the best ones here.

Best Overall Cologne for Men
Light Blue By Dolce & Gabbana
Exude relaxed sophistication with this Mediterranean-inspired men’s cologne.

Our favorite cologne for men is Light Blue By Dolce & Gabbana. This cologne was inspired by the scents of the Mediterranean region, and it offers hints of sensuality and sophistication. This product is a 2.5 ounce bottle, which is perfect to take along with you on your next vacation, as it will fit nicely in your carry-on and make it through airport security. Larger bottles are also available.

The 5 Top-Rated Colognes for Men

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Cologne for Men OverallLight Blue By Dolce & Gabbana4.7
Best Premium Cologne for MenAcqua di Giò Absolu Eau de Parfum Spray4.6
Best Budget Cologne for MenAspen by Coty for Men4.6
Best Woody Cologne for MenDrakkar Noir By Guy Laroche4.5
Best Fresh Cologne for MenClaiborne Sport By Liz Claiborne For Men4.6

*Ratings are from Amazon and might change over time.

Best Cologne for Men Overall: Light Blue By Dolce & Gabbana

Our favorite men’s cologne overall is Light Blue By Dolce & Gabbana. This is a high-quality cologne that is perfect for a special night out or perhaps a cozy night in with your loved one. This cologne is a great combination of citrus scents, woody notes, and spice, which blend together to create a masculine scent. While it’s good to wear any time of year, it can evoke feelings of sultry summer nights, so it’s a great choice during the warmer months.

There are several different sizes you can order. This one is the 2.5 ounce bottle; you can purchase larger bottles up to 6.0 ounces. This one might be the best choice if you haven’t used this cologne before or if you aren’t sure that you’d use it very often, as that way you will be able to use it up before the scent begins to fade.

Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana Key Features:

  • 2.5 ounce bottle
  • Combines citrus, woody, and spice notes
  • Mediterranean-inspired
  • Good for the summer months

Best Premium Cologne for Men: Acqua di Giò Absolu Eau de Parfum Spray

Best Premium Men's Cologne
Acqua di Giò Absolu Eau de Parfum Spray
Make this high-quality cologne your signature scent and bring luxury wherever you go.

Those looking for a premium cologne should consider our top pick in this category, Acqua di Giò Absolu Eau de Parfum Spray. This is the 4.2 ounce bottle; there is also a smaller 1.35 ounce bottle available that would be good for taking along on vacation or trying out the cologne for the first time.

Fruity, woody, and aquatic notes combine to make this highly sophisticated fragrance. You’ll recognize notes of bergamot, citrus fruits, pear, rosemary, patchouli, and amber wood, among other scents. This cologne goes on strong and will fade to a more subtle scent as the day wears on, so you can put it on before your daily commute and your coworkers won’t be overpowered.

Acqua di Giò Absolu Eau de Parfum Spray Key Features:

  • 4.2 ounce bottle
  • Smaller bottle available
  • Fruity, woody, and aquatic notes
  • Subtle scent after a few hours

Best Budget Cologne for Men: Aspen by Coty for Men

Best Budget Men's Cologne
Aspen by Coty for Men
A masculine scent doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Aspen by Coty for Men is our top choice for budget-friendly men’s cologne. It has outdoorsy, adventurous fragrance that’s just right for every day. And at this low price, you can afford to wear it on a daily basis, making it your signature scent.

This is a fragrance that has been around for a while, so if you are over 35 or 40, you might recognize it from your earlier years. If you’re younger than that, you might enjoy this fragrance from years past. You might even be able to join in on a family tradition if someone in your family used to wear it. Since it’s so wallet-friendly, if you’re looking for a new scent to call your own, why not give it a try?

Aspen by Coty for Men Key Features:

  • 4 ounce bottle
  • Outdoorsy fragrance
  • Budget-friendly
  • Classic scent

Best Woody Cologne for Men: Drakkar Noir By Guy Laroche

Best Woody Cologne for Men
Drakkar Noir By Guy Laroche
This cologne has a natural, woody scent that is perfect for evenings out or every day.

Drakkar Noir By Guy Laroche earned the top spot among the woody colognes for men. This product is the 6.7 ounce bottle; there are also smaller bottles that are good for taking with you on a trip or for trying out the scent if it’s your first time ordering it.

Some of the notes in the cologne include herbs like basil, rosemary, and mint. There are also woody smells like juniper, cedar, oak moss, and pine. You’ll also smell some lemon and lavender. This is a fairly strong cologne, so you don’t need to use a lot or apply very often. Wear it every day to make it your signature scent, or save it for special nights out on the town.

Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche Key Features:

  • 6.7 ounce bottle
  • Comes in smaller sizes as well
  • Herbal fragrances
  • Woody scents

Best Fresh Cologne for Men: Claiborne Sport By Liz Claiborne For Men

Best Fresh Cologne for Men
Claiborne Sport By Liz Claiborne For Men
Enjoy this fresh, sweet fragrance on a regular basis.

Claiborne Sport By Liz Claiborne For Men came in first in our list of the best fresh-smelling colognes for men. If you were in high school or college in the late 1990s, you might have worn this; if you didn’t, you probably knew someone who did. It has fresh amber and lavender fragrance.

This is a 3.4 ounce bottle; you can also purchase it in a smaller size to sample it before committing to a larger bottle. This is also a reasonable price, so you can choose to make it your signature scent without spending a lot of money. Users report that the scent lasts all day, so just apply in the morning and go!

Claiborne Sport by Liz Claiborne For Men Key Features:

  • 3.4 ounce bottle
  • Popular in the late 1990s
  • Amber and lavender fragrance
  • Long-lasting

Who Should Buy Men’s Cologne

Any man looking for a signature scent or wanting to try something different for a night out or a special date should consider buying a new bottle of cologne. This also makes a great gift, so if a guy in your life is going to be celebrating a birthday, a graduation, a retirement, or some other milestone, you can feel secure that it will be appreciated. It’s also good for holiday gifts and for Father’s Day! Choose a scent that you know your special man already loves or experiment by buying him something new.

Best Overall Cologne for Men
Light Blue By Dolce & Gabbana
Exude relaxed sophistication with this Mediterranean-inspired men’s cologne.

Important Features to Consider

When shopping for cologne for men, there are a few thoughts you should keep in mind. Here are the features to consider as you decide which cologne to buy for yourself or for the special man in your life.

  • Bottle size. Are you going to be traveling with this cologne? If so, you will need to purchase a bottle that is 3 ounces or smaller. You also might want to start with a smaller bottle if you are trying a scent for the first time.
  • Ingredients. If you or your significant other have any allergies or scent aversions, you’ll want to avoid those ingredients, so be sure to check the label.
  • Scent profile. Do you like woody fragrances, or do you prefer sweet, citrusy scents? Think about the colognes you like and find out what type of scent they have, then look for something with some of the same tones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of cologne?

There are five main types of cologne. Ranging from most concentrated (and usually most expensive) to least concentrated (and usually least expensive), they are: Perfume, eau de perfume, eau de toilette, eau de cologne, and eau de fraiche. A perfume will often last an entire day, and eau de fraiche will last just an hour or two. The other types fall somewhere in the middle.

Should you wear cologne every day?

You can wear cologne every day. It will become your signature scent if you always wear the same one. Alternatively, you might decide to alternate colognes or even take some days off. It’s really a matter of personal preference; you should also consider the preference of the people you will be spending time with. For some men, putting on cologne is just as important part of their daily routine as brushing their teeth. (And if you’re looking for a way to keep those pearly whites extra bright, take a look at our list of the best whitening toothpastes.)

Where should I apply cologne?

You should apply cologne to your pulse points, which are the warmest parts of your body. This will heat up the cologne and make it smell stronger. Your pulse points include your throat, your wrists, and your inner elbows.

How do I apply cologne so it lasts?

Applying cologne to your pulse points (throat, wrists, and inner elbows) will help the scent last longer. You should apply cologne to clean, dry skin, and you should not put lotions or oils in the same places that you put the cologne. Also, keeping your bottle of cologne in a cool, dark place (such as a linen closet) and keeping the top on when not in use can help the fragrance last longer in the bottle.

Other Colognes for Men We Reviewed

Best Overall Cologne for Men
Light Blue By Dolce & Gabbana
Exude relaxed sophistication with this Mediterranean-inspired men’s cologne.

We reviewed 20 men’s colognes in addition to the ones that made our top 5 list. These are separated into categories by scent, but keep in mind that every cologne will smell a bit different on every man. The information you’ll need to compare them is listed with each product reviewed.

Citrus and Fruity Colognes for Men

Bath & Body Works White Citrus for Men

Bath & Body Works White Citrus for Men

This is a sweet, citrusy smell that has the quality you can expect from Bath & Body Works. Users say that it isn’t available in stores anymore.

Key Features:

  • 3.4-ounce bottle
  • Discontinued from the BBW store
  • Sweet, citrusy scent

Cost: $155

Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

This is a spicy scent that includes notes of orange and lemon. It was introduced in 1976 and comes with a gray flannel bag.

Key Features:

  • 4-ounce bottle
  • Introduced in 1976
  • Includes bag

Cost: $12

L’Occitane Crisp Citrus Verbena

L'Occitane Crisp Citrus Verbena

This is a fresh, lemony smell with strong verbena tones. It’s perfect for summertime or any time of year when you want it to feel like summer.

Key Features:

  • 3.3-ounce bottle
  • Made in the south of France
  • Citrusy, fresh smell

Cost: $60

Men Olibanum Citrus Fragrance Maroma

Men Olibanum Citrus Fragrance Maroma

This is a very small (1/3 ounce) bottle of a very concentrated cologne. You don’t spray it on; you apply just a very small amount to your pulse points.

Key Features:

  • 1/3 ounce (10mL) bottle
  • Concentrated and long-lasting
  • Contains citrus oils

Cost: $20

Old Spice Classic Scent

Old Spice Classic Scent

This highly recognizable classic scent brings back the nostalgia of years past. It is a cool, fresh, citrusy scent with hints of spice.

Key Features:

  • 2.5-ounce bottle
  • Classic scent
  • Long-lasting

Cost: $16

Pinaud Citrus Musk Cologne

Pinaud Citrus Musk Cologne

This cologne is made up of citrus (mostly lime) and musk tones. The lime smell wears off quickly, while the subtle musk scent lingers for hours.

Key Features:

  • 12.5-ounce bottle
  • Can be used as an aftershave
  • Citrus musk scent

Cost: $15

Terre D’Hermes by Hermes for Men

Terre D'Hermes by Hermes for Men

This sophisticated scent has spicy citrus tones that are perfect for the fall and winter. This scent lasts all day, so just apply once.

Key Features:

  • 1.6-ounce bottle
  • Made in France
  • Long-lasting scent

Cost: $55

Woody Colognes for Men

Bath and Body Works Teakwood Men’s Collection

Bath and Body Works Teakwood Men's Collection

The scents of mahogany, teakwood, and lavender combine in this masculine scent that will have you feeling like you just took a walk in the woods.

Key Features:

  • 3.4-ounce bottle
  • Fresh, woody scent
  • Light and subtle

Cost: $30

Byredo Mister Marvelous

Byredo Mister Marvelous

This is a strong, concentrated cologne that carries the sophisticated scents of amber, bamboo, cedar, and other aromatic woody fragrances.

Key Features:

  • 3.3-ounce spray bottle
  • Concentrated scent
  • Woody aromas

Cost: $230

Cool Water By Davidoff For Men

Cool Water By Davidoff For Men

This is a great daytime fragrance that is reminiscent of the late 1990s. It features notes of jasmine, oak, musk, sandalwood, and lavender.

Key Features:

  • 4.2-ounce bottle
  • Recommended for daytime
  • Woody, musky scents

Cost: $25

Le Male FOR MEN by Jean Paul Gaultier

Le Male FOR MEN by Jean Paul Gaultier

This woody fragrance also contains notes of citrus, herbal, and spice to create a complex blend that is suitable for any modern man.

Key Features:

  • 6.8-ounce bottle
  • Multi-layered scent
  • Made in France

Cost: $90

Lucky You Lucky Brand

Lucky You Lucky Brand

This is a casual scent that’s great for everyday wear. Make it your signature scent and enjoy the fragrances of bamboo, cardamom, and tamarind.

Key Features:

  • 3.4-ounce bottle
  • Sophisticated, layered fragrance
  • Good for everyday

Cost: $20

Olivina Men Natural Fragrance Cologne

Olivina Men Natural Fragrance Cologne

The base notes of cedarwood, bourbon, and patchouli mix well with the lemon and sage notes, giving this multi-layered cologne depth.

Key Features:

  • 2.7-ounce bottle
  • Cruelty-free
  • Long-lasting

Cost: $30

Penguin Premium Blend for Men

Penguin Premium Blend for Men

This is a complex blend that has been serving men since the 1950s. This classic includes the woody aromas of musk and driftwood along with lighter citrus and herbal notes.

Key Features:

  • 3.4-ounce bottle
  • 2017 Men’s Fragrance of the Year
  • Classic scent

Cost: $30

Perry Ellis 360 for Men

Perry Ellis 360 for Men

This cologne has a fresh, aromatic fragrance featuring woody notes like sage, jasmine, and fresh berries. It is long-lasting and dependable.

Key Features:

  • 3.4 ounces
  • Recommended for daytime
  • Long-lasting

Cost: $25

Versace Man

Versace Man

This is a complex and fresh fragrance that offers strong woody tones as well as a bit of citrus to lighten it. Cedar, tarragon, sage, amber, musk, and lemon combine perfectly.

Key Features:

  • 3.4-ounce bottle
  • Complex scent
  • Great for everyday

Cost: $45

Aquatic Colognes for Men

Cartier Declaration L’Eau

Cartier Declaration L'Eau

The scents of lemon and pink grapefruit combine with the tones of peppercorn and cedarwood to create this aquatic, nautical scent.

Key Features:

  • 3.3-ounce bottle
  • Recommended for spring or summer
  • Atomizer top

Cost: $35

Hollister Sea

Hollister Sea

This beachy fragrance is made with the scents of seaside mint and aquatic amber. It’s a young, carefree scent that’s great for any summer day.

Key Features:

  • 1-ounce bottle
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Beachy fragrance

Cost: $30

Pacific Prince Solid Cologne Balm

Pacific Prince Solid Cologne Balm

This is a unique solid balm that eliminates the need for worry over a cologne spilling or not making it through airport security.

Key Features:

  • 1-ounce container
  • Solid balm
  • Mint and spice combine to make an aquatic fragrance

Cost: $13

Salvatore Ferragamo Acqua Essenziale

Salvatore Ferragamo Acqua Essenziale

This is a multifaceted fragrance that was launched in 2013 in Italy. The notes include mint, lemon leaf, sea notes, patchouli, musk, and more.

Key Features:

  • 3.4 ounces
  • Made in Italy
  • Great combination of scents

Cost: $30

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