Freshen up your fragrance collection with these 10 colognes for men from Creed, YSL and Tom Ford
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Your scent is one of the first things someone will notice about you, so naturally, you want to smell great. You've got plenty of amazing options to choose from to find your signature scent, thanks to the many beauty brands that make men's cologne—plus the various fragrance notes, which include woody, fruity, floral and spicy.
To help you nail down your new aroma, we compiled a list of the top-rated fragrances to add to your collection. Of course, if you're shopping for someone else, all of these make for luxurious gifts as well.
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1. This rich, subtly fruity cologne from Creed
Creed’s Aventus cologne is perhaps the brand’s most popular offering—and for good reason. The fragrance was inspired by the life of a historic emperor and is said to be a celebration of strength, power and success.
The bestseller deserves a spot in your stash because of its rich scent that uses notes of bergamot, blackcurrant leaves and patchouli. It also has a subtle sweetness to it from apple, pineapple and pinkberries. It's available in four sizes: 1.7, 3.3, 8.4 and 16.8 ounces.
“I've never smelt anything so uniquely delicious as Aventus,” a happy Nordstrom customer explains. “It is manly without being overpowering, yet it has a sweetness without being feminine—all of the notes just come together nicely to make it an all together excellent cologne.”
2. This bold and earthy fragrance from YSL
To put it plainly, the Y Eau de Parfum from YSL is bold. The seductive cologne features notes of sage and geranium upon first sniff, but then rounds out, leaving a hint of wood on the skin as the day goes on. It’s one of the brand’s most popular fragrances because of how sophisticated it smells and how luxurious the bottle looks. It's available in 2-, 3.4- and 6.7-ounce bottles.
“This fragrance is going to be on heavy rotation,” a Sephora shopper writes. “I only used two sprays, but on my first night out with it, three women complimented me on my scent. I love that it doesn’t take much for it to have a presence.”
3. This unisex bestseller from Tom Ford
Tom Ford's Oud Wood is an exotic fragrance with top notes of oud, sandalwood, rosewood, spices and amber. It skews smoky, so if you’re a fan of incense or fireplaces, you’ll really love how warm and inviting this one is. It wears well on anyone, regardless of gender, too. Plus, the bottle looks cool on any vanity. You can grab this in a mini-sized 0.3-ounce spray tube or in a 1-, 1.7- or 3.4-ounce bottle.
“My husband smelled the sample and fell in love with this fragrance, so I surprised him with a full size for his birthday,” a Sephora customer shares. “He loved it. Fresh, woodsy and smells vibrant and very alluring.”
4. This citrusy, sensual scent from Burberry
Warm, sensual and woody are three words that encapsulate Mr. Burberry by Burberry. Upon first whiff, you’ll notice top notes of tarragon, earthy vetiver and smokey guaiac wood, but as the fragrance melts into the skin, it gives way to zesty grapefruit and spicy cinnamon, imparting a scent that’s fresh, bright and anything but boring. You'll find it in a 1.6-, 3.3- or 5-ounce bottle.
“My boyfriend bought this a few months ago and I absolutely love it,” a Sephora reviewer writes. “It has a unique scent yet isn’t polarizing at all. It offers superb longevity and a beautiful dry down that still includes top notes.”
5. This refreshingly sophisticated fragrance from Ralph Lauren Polo
Ralph Lauren Polo Black is a modern fragrance that blends iced mango, silver armoise and patchouli noir. The result: Something sensual yet super sophisticated. It opens up with a burst of freshness but then dries down and becomes warmer with time thanks to notes of sandalwood and tonka bean. If you’re partial to a blend of fruitiness and spiciness, you’ll be a fan of this one. It's available in 2.5 and 4.2 ounces.
“My husband sprays this on his neck before leaving for work everyday,” an Ulta customer explains. “He works all day and even goes to the gym. When he gets home at the end of the day, I can still smell Black on him! What great staying power!”
6. This summery fragrance from Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Aqua Celestia Forte from Maison Francis Kurkdjian is a one-of-a-kind scent that transports you someplace else every time you spritz it on. It leans heavily on bergamot, blackcurrant, jasmine and mimosa before softening into a fruity, musky accord that leaves you feeling like you’re breathing in fresh air on a tropical island. Choose between a 1.1- and 2.4-ounce bottle.
“A bit pricey, but you get what you pay for. It's definitely one of the best smelling colognes that I own,” a happy customer writes. “It's very fresh and is by far one of my favorite summertime scents.”
7. This warm, mysterious scent from Jo Malone
If you’re looking for a rich cologne that smells warm and sweet, check out Myrrh & Tonka Cologne from perfumer Jo Malone. The scent relies on hand-harvested sap from the Namibian myrrh tree along with almond, vanilla and tonka bean. The unisex fragrance is available in 1.7- and 3.4-ounce bottles.
“I am a collector of fragrances of all kinds (masculine or feminine or gender neutral) and this is by far the best. It stopped me in my tracks when I first smelled it on someone else and I just had to ask what it was,” a Nordstrom shopper writes. “It's so unique and makes you feel like ‘the main character.’ I absolutely have fallen in love with it and anywhere I go, someone asks about it.”
8. This memory-evoking cologne from Maison Margiela Replica
Maison Margiela’s Jazz Club is like a smooth cocktail—similar to one you’d drink at an actual jazz club. Like bourbon, this unisex eau de toilette is warm, inviting and awakens the senses. It’s intended to evoke the feeling of what it’s like to be out at a swanky night club and opens up with contrasting lemon and pink pepper, followed by notes of neroli oil, rum and vanilla before drying down to a smoky tobacco leaf.
The bottle itself isn’t to be overlooked, either: Each of the brand’s fragrances are housed in a bottle influenced by the look of classic apothecary jars, further adding to the whimsical vibe. You can buy the fragrance in a 0.34-ounce mini size or in 1- or 3.4-ounce bottles.
“This scent is a conversation starter. If you have ever been to a jazz club, you will definitely be hit with a memory after inhaling this scent—I love it,” says a Sephora shopper. “It’s warm, not too strong but strong enough to be noticed when you step in the room.”
9. This deliciously boozy eau de parfum from Kilian Paris
The Angels‘ Share Eau De Parfum from Kilian Paris is part of the brand's The Liquors collection, in which Kilian Hennessy wanted to pay tribute to his heritage as heir to the renowned French cognac family. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this cologne has a subtle cognac smell, along with notes of oak absolute, cinnamon essence and Tonka bean. The fragrance is available in 1- and 3.4-ounce bottles and a mini 0.34-ounce spray.
“It’s the most intoxicating fragrance I've ever worn,” explains a Sephora reviewer. “When you enter a room, people will look. When you leave, they will follow. Anytime you move...tilt your head...is that Hennessey? Vanilla? Tonka Bean? You'll get a different whiff each time. I also smell just the faintest hint of cigar. In the best possible way.”
10. This mysterious, genderless fragrance from Byredo
Inspired by the Mojave desert and its rare ghost flower, Mojave Ghost by Byredo is majestic and bewitching. It features top notes of ambrette and Jamaican naseberry, heart notes of violet, sandalwood and magnolia. Once dried down, it leaves a lingering smell of musk and amber on the skin. Anyone can wear this genderless fragrance, and it's available in 0.3-, 1.7- and 3.4-ounce bottles.
“I receive compliments every time I wear this eau de parfum,” a Bloomingdales shopper writes. “For something quite fresh, it does last quite well. It’s very easy to wear and isn’t overpowering, making it perfect for everyday or to wear to the office.”
Starting at $78 at Bloomingdales
11. This fresh-yet-woody eau de toilette from Dior
The Dior Sauvage eau de toilette toes the line between a fresh, clean scent and an earthy, woody one. Its base notes include bergamot, pepper and amberwood for a scent inspired by "wide-open spaces" and a "white-hot desert landscape under a vast blue sky." You can snag it in a variety of sizes, from 1 ounce to 6.7 ounces.
"Bought this for my boyfriend as an anniversary gift after hearing great things about it," one Sephora reviewer shares. "It definitely lived up to the hype and he loves it. It is his most complemented scent. It has a very unique smell and is very long lasting!"
12. This fresh, aquatic-inspired option from Armani Beauty
Have summer on the brain? Armani's Acqua di Gio eau de toilette offers up a fresh and clean scent reminiscent of "the warmth of the Mediterranean Sea." It includes "marine notes" of bergamot, neroli and green tangerine for a citrusy aroma as well as rosemary, persimmon and Indonesian patchouli. It's available in several sizes, from a mini 0.67-ounce spray to a value-size 10.2 ounces.
"This is one of my favorite scents, so it will always be my go-to for all seasons," one Sephora reviewer writes. "It’s the perfect balance of not too masculine but not so sickly sweet or floral. I will be ordering again!"
13. This herbaceous fragrance from Calvin Klein
Want to smell even better than an herb garden in full bloom? Try this Calvin Klein Eternity for Men eau de toilette. Its top notes include mandarin, lavender and "green botanics" for freshness; its middle notes are basil, geranium and sage for some spice; and the base notes contain sandalwood, rosewood and amber for a woody undertone. Grab this in a 3.4-ounce bottle.
"I bought this for my husband after getting a sample because I fell in love with the fragrance," one happy Sephora reviewer writes. "It has a floral, yet masculine scent that we both love. It's bold, sexy, masculine and totally unique. It's wonderful!"
14. This sweet and strong scent from Versace
The Versace Eros cologne may have you dreaming of fruity dessert with its inclusion of fresh mint, Italian lemon zest, green apple and vanilla Madagascar. To add an earthy touch, the fragrance also contains geranium flower, cedarwood, vetiver and oak moss. In addition to a 0.3-ounce mini size, you can score this scent in 1.7-, 3.4- and 6.7-ounce bottles. As a bonus, its bright blue, textured bottle is a showstopper.
One Sephora reviewer raves: "I love this fragrance so much! It’s a combination of minty fresh, sexy and a touch of sweetness. I feel like, even if it’s for men, anyone could pull it off!"
15. This warm and woody option from Chanel
The bold Chanel Bleu de Chanel parfum claims to linger on the skin with a "warm, addictive" scent, thanks to cedar and sandalwood. The cologne aims for intensity with its woody aroma but also includes citrus notes to round out the fragrance. You can grab it in 1.7 and 3.4 ounces.
"If the price turns you off, I promise catching one whiff of this fresh, soapy yet spicy scent off your man will change your mind....quickly," one Sephora reviewer shares. "The scent lingers and does not dissipate like most colognes and perfumes."
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Best colognes for men: Freshen up your collection with Creed, YSL and Tom Ford