17 Most Popular Colognes for Men

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Scent is a highly personal choice in self-care and grooming. For some guys, just a shower and a little deodorant is all they want. But for others, fragrance is a must-have component of their daily grooming routine. A signature scent defines how you feel, who you are and how you present yourself to the world. It’s like a special tie or an elegant watch: The right scent completes a man’s look. 

Some guys search high and low for the right cologne or signature scent that makes them feel comfortable in their own skin. Others have a go-to scent they’ve been wearing for years. What makes a cologne popular has everything to do with how easy to wear, affordable and accessible it is. Not all colognes are made the same way and there’s a wide variety to choose from. 

There’s no doubt that cologne has become a powerful extension of a man’s personality. While some men prefer to wear cologne only on special occasions, most guys reach for cologne every day. It becomes part of their personal brand.  

How it all started

The concept of fragrance for men and women has been popular for centuries. Men’s cologne goes back a lot further than you’d probably imagine. Modern cologne was invented in – you guessed it – Cologne, Germany, in the 1700s by an Italian-born perfumer named Giovanni Maria Farina. He wanted to create a scent to honor his new German hometown.

Cologne was a new concept in scent, since both men and women were used to wearing musky, heavy fragrances. Cologne was lighter and had a more refreshing scent. Farina’s scent concoction took off, and soon it was being requested by all the royal houses in Europe.

Soon other perfumeries were copying the idea and creating their own eaux de cologne. Early colognes were based on the essences of plants, flowers, woods and resins, as well as musk, which comes from the musk deer. Although these materials were plentiful in 18th-century Europe, the time and resources it took to produce cologne meant only the wealthiest citizens could afford to wear it.

Modern scents for a new age man

By the 1900s, colognes and other types of scents were popular in the US. Scented “toilet water” and perfumes were essentially the precursor to today’s deodorants. Perfumeries marketed their scents to mask body odor. Perfumes were particularly marketed to women during this time. Men’s scents were mostly limited to barbershop aftershaves, which were intended to soothe the skin after a rough shave. 

It wasn’t until as recently as the 1950s that cologne was specifically marketed to a male audience and became popular among consumers. During that time, choices were limited. Aqua-Velva, Old Spice, Seaforth! and Canoe were some of the earliest popular colognes for men. In the 1950s, the standard style for men was clean-shaven, neatly dressed in a suit and tie. The fresh and just-walked-out-of-the-barber-shop feeling was standard. 

So many cologne choices, so little time

Today, men have thousands of choices when it comes to cologne. The market has exploded with options for guys who want to add fragrance to their grooming routine, and plenty of choices exist. In fact, you could have a different cologne for every day of the year and still have many more options. 

The popularity of cologne is steadily rising. It’s projected that in 2024, over 96 million Americans will use cologne or aftershave lotion. The fragrance industry is as dynamic as ever. Fragrance manufacturers are continuously experimenting with new fragrance formulas and scent combinations. Recently, fragrance formulas that incorporate green tea, peach and citrus have made an impression in the market. These bright and citrusy notes are becoming more frequently seen in colognes and perfumes. 

Popular choices for any occasion or everyday wear 

With so many choices and options in the men’s fragrance world, it’s no surprise there are some clear favorites among men who want to stick with one or two tried-and-true scents. These colognes are the OGs of the men’s cologne market. Some are new to the scene; others are favorites that your father and maybe even grandfather might recognize. Let’s take a closer look at the 17 most popular colognes for men. 

1. Atlantis by Blu Atlas

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The moment you unbox Atlantis by Blu Atlas, you know this is a quality cologne you’ll be reaching for again and again. The black bottle with matte lettering and a magnetic cap is an object you’ll want to display on your dressing table or grooming area. 

With notes of bergamot, lemon and blackcurrant, the slightly spicy and robust scent of Atlantis immediately comes through. Soon after the top notes begin to fade, the fresh and exotic notes of lavender, peach, violet, ambrette seed and oak moss emerge. 

The combination of layers and notes in Atlantis creates a lush romantic scent that’s inspired by the coastal jungle in Bali. Atlantis reviewers praise the clean yet complex fragrance and one reviewer even said Atlantis “is legitimately the best smelling cologne I have in my collection.”

But the appeal of Atlantis goes beyond its alluring scent. Atlantis by Blu Atlas is vegan, cruelty-free and formulated with industry clean standards, and is made without parabens, preservatives, phthalates or synthetic dyes. Those who care about and take pride in what goes on their skin will feel great about wearing Atlantis.

2. Maison Margiela Replica By the Fireplace 

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Maison Margiela is a French luxury fashion house headquartered in Paris. Known as a rather secretive fashion brand, Maison Margiela’s line of Replica line of fragrances for men and women launched in 1994. The Replica fragrance collection was designed to be a creative experience for customers. At pop-up locations, they were invited to create their own scents and bottle labels for a truly personalized experience that was meant to evoke special memories.

By the Fireplace has become a favorite for its spicy, woody scent. With notes of pink peppercorn, juniper, cloves and chestnut, this cologne makes a bold statement with powerful notes. The emotion of being around a fireplace on a cold winter day comes through in this warm and comforting scent. Reviewers compare it to roasting marshmallows over a smoky campfire. 

The clear bottle allows the amber color to come through and the labels are made of cotton for a pared-down design. Maison Margiela Replica By the Fireplace cologne consistently receives favorable ratings from reviewers, who describe the scent as warm, homey and beautiful.

3. Versace Pour Homme

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Versace Pour Homme is known for its long-lasting scent and staying power on the skin. Launched in 2008, it quickly became one of the most popular colognes for men. The Versace design house has been one of the most consistently praised brands in women’s and men’s fashion since 1978. When the late Gianni Versace opened his first boutique along Milan’s Via della Spiga, his intention was to create sexy and bold fashions.

Sexy and bold accurately describe Versace Pour Homme. With top notes of lemon and neroli and base notes of tonka bean, musk and amber, this fragrance starts off fresh and citrusy but ends on a bold, musky note. Reviewers say it reminds them of fresh rain in a wooded forest. 

The clear bottle with its solid chrome cap allows the light blue liquid to show through. It’s a subtle container and labeling, and looks great on any counter or dressing table. Many reviewers say this is an ideal suit-and-tie fragrance – it’s buttoned up and striking, but casual enough to wear every day. 

4. Ralph Lauren Polo Black

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Everyone is familiar with Polo by Ralph Lauren, which has been a men’s cologne staple for over 50 years. Polo has been the ultimate sporty, classic men’s fragrance for a long time and Ralph Lauren extended the Polo fragrance line with Polo Red, Polo Blue and Polo Black. 

Polo Black by Ralph Lauren became a sensation since its launch in 2005. Polo Black opens with a fruity mango note and unfolds into patchouli and sage. Strong but not overpowering, this cologne has a unique scent. Reviewers say they “stand out from the crowd” and that it’s an “underrated, do-it-all” cologne. 

Polo Black by Ralph Lauren is holding its own on the list of popular men’s cologne competitors. With over 15,000 four-star reviews online, this cologne has many faithful followers. The distinctive matte black, chrome-topped bottle has the iconic Polo logo, a testament to Polo’s long-standing place in the world of fashion and luxury goods. 

5. Boss by Hugo Boss

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This enduring men’s cologne gets consistently high ratings from reviewers online. Many reviewers say Boss by Hugo Boss gives “clean lines,” and they tout its elegance. With warm woody notes of apple, cinnamon, vanilla, cedarwood and patchouli, this cologne evokes the feeling of wearing a tailored suit with a confident attitude. 

The sturdy cylindrical bottle has changed only slightly since its launch in 1995. Many fans of Boss by Hugo Boss say they started wearing it as a teenager and never stopped. The fragrance is frequently described as easy to wear, likely due to its universal and familiar fragrance notes. Boss lovers also describe it as energizing and long-lasting. 

6. Tom Ford Ombre Leather

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Tom Ford Ombre Leather is a favorite among men, but it’s actually a unisex scent. Tom Ford’s fashion and luxury brand is well known for creating scents that can be worn by men or women, and devotees of this fragrance embrace its neutrality.

This is not to say Tom Ford Ombre Leather is a neutral scent. In fact, of all the colognes mentioned, this one may be the strongest. The fragrance has bold notes of cardamom, leather, amber, moss and patchouli. Jasmine sambac, also known as Arabian jasmine, gives this cologne a distinctive white floral fragrance. 

The striking packaging of Tom Ford Ombre Leather cements its place as a statement fragrance. Its matte black bottle and simple white lettering make this an understanded and elegant cologne to add to your collection. Because of its bolder notes, Ombre Leather may become a special-occasion fragrance. 

7. 1 Million by Paco Rabanne

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At one time in the 1970s, Paco Rabanne was the default choice for men’s cologne. The name alone became synonymous with men’s fragrance, and the launch of Rabanne’s first cologne, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, was an overnight success.

Rabanne was a Spanish-born fashion designer well known for his unconventional style and bold choices in materials. For example, he designed dresses out of paper, ostrich feathers and aluminum.

Paco Rabanne 1 Million launched in 2008 and quickly became a success with consumers worldwide. With notes of blood mandarin, peppermint, amber and musk, this warm and citrusy scent has been a signature cologne for many guys. 1 Million’s distinctive gold bottle is one of the many reasons it’s so memorable. 

8. Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

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Santal 33 is another unisex fragrance on this list. Thanks to great marketing and viral influencer posts, Santal 33 became an immediate fragrance hit when it launched in 2011, and not without reason. This gentle yet memorable fragrance hits all the right notes with men and women. 

Perfumer Frank Voelkl created this fragrance to defy gender. The 33 in the name refers to the number of ingredients found in the fragrance. The fragrance is soft, smoky and woody. Notes of violet, cardamom, iris, sandalwood and cedarwood give it a botanical profile with lots of woodsy essence. 

The Santal 33 bottle is simple by design, but with over three thousand 4.5-star reviews, Le Labo’s Santal 33 is a viral fragrance star. 

9. Creed Green Irish Tweed for Men

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Since 1985, Creed’s woody, floral and musky Green Irish Tweed has been a go-to for guys who like to splurge a little on their cologne. One of the signature scents of the house of Creed, this scent is meant to evoke a walk through the Irish countryside. The fragrance is rich and sporty, yet not overpowering or too bold.

Creed is a luxury French perfume house and tailor based in London. Legend has it the London tailoring company delivered scented leather gloves to King George III. Word spread about the fragrance, and in 1854, Napoleon II and Empress Eugenie appointed Creed as the official fragrance supplier to the royal household. Today, Creed makes over 200 fragrances and is sold worldwide.

Green Irish Tweed starts with green notes of lemon, peppermint and verbena. The top notes unfold to reveal notes of violet, ambergris, iris and sandalwood. The effect will remind you of the clean outdoors with the scent of flowers, grass and woods. 

Creed packaging is a solid, matte black bottle with a monochromatic look. The bottle looks polished and classy with the crossed-swords Creed logo embossed on the top. With thousands of four star reviews, Creed’s Green Irish Tweed is a stellar fragrance with a reputation as a classic men’s cologne. 

10. Luna Rossa by Prada

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This men’s cologne is consistently highly rated and praised for its long-lasting wear and aromatic fragrance. Reviewers say Luna Rossa by Prada is a “light but powerful” fragrance. It is rich and masculine, and gives off hints of citrus.

With top notes of lavender and orange, the citrus notes hit first after applying this scent. With middle and base notes of clary sage, ambrette and mint, the scent finishes clean with a slightly woody, botanical twist. 

Released by the fashion house Prada in 2012, Luna Rossa is one of the design company’s most notable fragrances. Named for the brand’s sailing vessel that competed in the America’s Cup, Luna Rossa is meant to evoke the sea breeze. The clean lines and sporty-looking bottle are fitting for its place as the fragrance of a worldwide sailing competition. 

11. Dior Fahrenheit

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Dior’s cologne for men, Fahrenheit, is a contemporary fragrance with many complex layers. It’s fresh yet bold, spicy yet soft. 

This cologne effortlessly blends diverse fragrance notes, bringing together bergamot, honeysuckle, nutmeg, sandalwood, tonka bean and patchouli. These fragrances come together in harmony to evoke the scent of warm vanilla and flowers with a spicy dash of dry forest floor.

Launched in 1988, Fahrenheit was created by Parfums Christian Dior. Reviewers call Fahrenheit a timeless masterpiece and the best leather fragrance on the market. The classic bottle with a dark amber tint is simple and has hardly changed throughout the many years this fragrance has been in production. 

12. La Nuit de l’Homme by Yves Saint Laurent

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Fans of men’s fragrances say this cologne from Yves Saint Laurent is a reliable pick for fall and winter. Its heavy, full-bodied scent pairs well with cold days and cozy indoor nights. 

La Nuit de l’Homme was launched in 2009 by fashion house Yves Saint Laurent. Yves Saint Laurent debuted his first men’s cologne in 1971, creating a stir when his cologne Pour Homme was marketed specifically to men and packaged in a tin can. At a time when women’s fragrances were widely marketed, but men’s colognes were limited, this was a bold move. 

With notes of cardamom, bergamot, lavender, cedar and caraway, this scent has many layers of fragrant notes to uncover. It’s been described as a structure of contrasting forces. Reviewers online praise its long-lasting wear and ability to pair well with any type of occasion, from the office to a night out on the town. 

13. Acqua di Giò by Giorgio Armani

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Acqua di Giò has been around since 1996. It’s a tried-and-true cologne that has been popular with guys for years. With a fragrance profile that epitomizes a day on the Mediterranean beach with sun, sand and waves, this cologne is a spring and summer favorite.

Acqua di Giò begins with a sun-drenched opening of lime, bergamot, jasmine and orange top notes. The scent then unfolds to reveal its middle and base notes of peach, rosemary, rose, cedar and white musk. 

Aqua di Giò by the legendary fashion designer Giorgio Armani is a light and easy-to-wear fragrance. This scent doesn’t come on too strong, but makes a statement. Reviewers cite its “long lasting, exquisite smell.” 

14. Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb

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Spicebomb exploded into the men’s cologne universe in 2012. The avant garde fashion designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, two Dutch fashion designers who started a fashion house in Paris, launched Spicebomb to complement their popular women’s perfume, Flowerbomb. Viktor Horsting once said, “We were jealous of all the women who had Flowerbomb and we wanted to have our own bomb.”

Spicebomb is as woody and spicy as its name suggests. The top notes are pink pepper, elemi and grapefruit. This combination sets the stage for the stronger notes to come, like vetiver, leather, tobacco, cinnamon, saffron and paprika. Spicebomb doesn’t hold back: It’s a distinctive and powerful scent. 

Of course, to go along with the name, the bottle is shaped like a small hand grenade and tinted an army green. Thousands of online reviews call this scent sexy, and one reviewer said, “This is not the kind of fragrance that makes people wish they hadn’t shared your elevator.”

15. H24 by Hermes

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H24 is one of the newest fragrances on this list of the most popular colognes for men. Launched in 2021, this cologne by luxury goods company Hermes is getting praise and positive reviews from reviewers online, who say it’s “an empowering new scent for a new decade.”

H24 is an earthy and woody scent with notes of clary sage, rosewood and narcissus. There’s also a noticeable citrus undertone, which, along with herbal green notes, makes this fragrance fresh and bright. 

Hermes has been making fragrances since the 1950s, but this cologne has a modern twist. The H24 bottle is sleek and contemporary. With angular lines and a chrome cap, the bottle says classy without trying too hard. Reviewers claim this cologne lasts for hours, and many also comment they feel the scent is unisex. So even though it’s a cologne marketed for men, it’s one you can share with your special lady. 

16. Burberry Brit for Men

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Burberry Brit is a popular men’s cologne from Burberry, a fashion house and design company that has been a staple in British society since the late 1800s. Burberry has made many women’s fragrances and men’s colognes throughout the years, but Brit has always been one of their most popular scents for men. 

Inspired by the British man, Brit starts off sharp but unfolds much softer as it leans heavily into woody, spicy notes. With ginger, tonka bean, green mandarin and cedar, this cologne leaves a powdery, woody impression with the addition of wild rose and gray musk. 

17. Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein

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Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein may be one of the most heavily marketed, advertised and promoted men’s cologne of our time. If you’ve never heard of Eternity, you may not have ever turned on a television, opened a magazine or seen a billboard. When this fragrance for men launched in 1990, there was such a heavily promoted marketing campaign it was hard to escape the ads.

True to its name, Eternity has stood the test of time. It was once estimated that one bottle of Eternity is sold every 60 seconds. One of the reasons it has worked so well for men throughout the decades is because it’s easy to wear and familiar. 

The notes of Eternity are simple yet effective: mandarin, jasmine, basil, sandalwood and vetiver. The result is a clean scent that doesn’t try too hard. It’s a workhorse cologne that will leave you smelling fresh for hours. 

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