The Best Long-lasting Perfumes for Men
There’s nothing like finishing off an outfit with a spritz of your signature scent, but so often, what starts as a complex, intriguing bouquet when first applied can fade or develop an unpleasant alcohol smell over time.
Perfumes are chemically complex and contain a number of different ingredients, including essential oils, aroma compounds, solvents and fixatives. The ingredients are carefully selected and blended to create a desired scent, and to ensure that the fragrance lasts as long as possible on the skin. However, not all scents are created equally. We’ve put together a guide to help you navigate the heady and complex world of scent.
Not sure what sillage, projection, EDT or EDP mean? Well, read on to discover what it is that contributes to the longevity of a perfume and what to look out for when selecting your next fragrance. Then discover our top twelve picks for the men’s perfumes that will linger on, long after application.
What should I consider when looking for a long-lasting perfume?
When choosing a perfume with longevity, there are a few things to consider:
- Concentration: Perfumes with higher concentrations of fragrance oils generally have better longevity. Those labeled as “parfum” or “extrait” have the highest concentration of fragrance oils.
- Ingredients: Not all ingredients have the same staying-power. In terms of longevity, look for perfumes made with ingredients like musk, amber, and patchouli.
- Application: This is where you can influence the longevity of your perfume. Applying perfume to pulse points (such as the wrists, neck, and behind the ears) can help.
- Brand reputation: Some brands are known for creating fragrances with longevity. If you are looking for a fragrance that lasts, it might be worth considering a well-known brand or one that has a reputation for creating long-lasting fragrances.
- Personal chemistry: It is also important to remember that everyone’s skin chemistry is different, so what may be long-lasting on one person may not be on another. We recommend testing the fragrance on your skin to see how long it lasts. Reviews can be helpful, but nothing compares to a real-life try out.
- Storage: Keep your perfumes in cool, dry, and dark places, away from direct light and heat, this will help to prolong the longevity of your fragrance.
What are EDT and EDP?
Eau De Toilette (EDT) and Eau De Parfum (EDP) are both types of fragrance, but they differ in the concentration of fragrance oils they contain. Eau De Toilette (EDT) has a lower concentration of fragrance oils, usually around 5-15%. This makes it a lighter and more subtle scent that is suitable for everyday wear. It also tends to be less expensive than EDP. Eau De Parfum (EDP) has a higher concentration of fragrance oils, usually around 15-20%. This makes it a stronger and longer-lasting scent that is suitable for special occasions. It also tends to be more expensive than EDT.
In general, EDPs tend to have a stronger and richer scent than EDTs. EDPs will have a stronger sillage, meaning the fragrance will be noticeable from further away. EDPs will also last longer on the skin.
What about solid perfumes?
Solid perfumes, also known as solid colognes, are a type of fragrance that are in a solid form, usually in the form of a balm, stick or wax. They are typically made with a blend of waxes and oils that are infused with fragrance.
In terms of longevity, solid perfumes tend to have a shorter lasting time compared to traditional liquid perfumes. Because they are in a solid form, they don’t evaporate as quickly as liquid perfumes and therefore, the scent may not be as strong or long-lasting. Sometimes you might want a solid perfume because it’s more compact and travels well, but in terms of day to day use liquid perfume performs better.
What exactly do we mean by longevity?
Longevity in perfumes refers to how long the fragrance lasts on the skin. Factors that contribute to longevity in perfumes include the concentration of fragrance oils, the types of ingredients used, and the method of application. Perfumes with higher concentrations of fragrance oils generally have better longevity, as do those made with more long-lasting ingredients.
What does the term “sillage” mean?
Sillage is a French term often used to describe the trail or wake of a fragrance. It refers to the degree to which a fragrance lingers in the air after it has been applied and how far the fragrance spreads from the point of application. A fragrance with high sillage will be noticeable from a distance, while one with low sillage will be more subtle and intimate. The ingredients, concentration, and application method can all affect a perfume’s sillage.
Is sillage the same as projection?
Projection and sillage are related but not the same. Sillage refers to the trail or wake of a fragrance, it means how far the fragrance spreads from the point of application and how long it lingers in the air after it has been applied. Projection refers to the ability of a fragrance to radiate or spread its scent around the wearer. A fragrance can have strong projection and weak sillage or vice versa.
A fragrance with high projection will be easily noticed by others around the wearer and be perceived as strong, but it may not be noticed from a distance. While a fragrance with low projection may be subtle, it can have a strong sillage and be noticed from a distance.
Does high sillage or projection mean better longevity?
Not necessarily, sillage, projection, and longevity are all different characteristics of a perfume. A fragrance with high sillage will be noticeable from a distance, so it spreads a lot in the air, but that doesn’t mean it will last longer on the skin. Longevity refers to how long a fragrance lasts on the skin, while sillage refers to how far the fragrance spreads from the point of application. A fragrance can have strong sillage but not have good longevity, or it can have good longevity but not have strong sillage.
Our Top Twelve Picks
Now that we have established what some perfume jargon means, we can get on with the perfumes themselves. From modern boutique brands to old classics and everything in between, we’ve selected twelve fragrances that we think are the best long-lasting perfumes for men.
1. Blu Atlas Atlantis
Heading our list is the new eau de cologne from Blu Atlas: Atlantis. This fragrance is not only evocative and masculine, but it also boasts impressive longevity and sillage. Inspired by the fragrant, dense Indonesian jungles, Atlantis conjures up dark leafy groves, fantastical tropical flowers, and the smell of herbs underfoot.
Not only is the scent complex, but it also lasts on the skin for hours, making it perfect for those who want a signature scent that can take them from the office to dinner, and finally to the club. In fact, you’ll still be able to smell it on your skin when you wake up the next morning, ready to do it all again! The high concentration of premium ingredients all contribute to its long lasting power and impressive sillage. This is a fragrance that lingers in the air, making it easy to detect from a distance.
In terms of notes, Blu Atlas begins with bold, bright citrus, with top notes of bergamot, and lemon. This assertive start tapers into something darker and more spicy, concluding with oak moss, musk, violet, and orris. Atlantis manages to be both invigorating and sensual at the same time.
Made from high-end ingredients, Atlantis is vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without parabens, preservatives, or phthalates. This is a perfume that manages to be both ethical and delectable – and due to its impressive longevity, the bottle will last you a long time as only a spritz or two is required.
2. Dior Sauvage
Dior Sauvage is well-known for its longevity. It has a strong, assertively masculine scent that is instantly recognizable to those who are familiar with it: woody and spicy, with notes of bergamot, pepper, elemi, lavender, and patchouli. Overall, the bouquet is in line with the classic men’s perfumes of the 20th century but with a peppery undercurrent that sets it apart.
Above all, we were impressed by Sauvage’s lasting power. This is a fragrance that is able to hold its scent throughout the day, lingering in garments, and sometimes still detectable on the skin after showering.
The sillage of Dior Sauvage is also good, it spreads easily around the wearer and lingers in the air for a while after application. The projection also scored high; the fragrance is easily noticed by others nearby and is generally perceived as a strong, head-turning scent.
Be aware that the potency of Sauvage can make it too much for some people and it may not be suitable for all occasions. If you’re a fan of raw, bold, head-turning scents that retain a classic masculine feel, this one would be ideal for you, but we do recommend a light touch when applying as this is a scent that can turn from intriguingly bold to chokingly overpowering in a matter of spritzes.
3. Creed Aventus
Creed Aventus is woody, fruity, and smoky with a complex blend of pineapple, blackcurrant, apple, rose, patchouli, birch, jasmine, and vanilla. The overall impression is one of fruitiness, but it isn’t overpoweringly sweet or feminine. This is fruit with a difference – smoky depth, subtle layers, and seductive tropical notes.
The longevity of Creed Aventus is decidedly impressive, with the power to last all day and on into the night. We think this is an excellent summer fragrance: it conjures up salt, sunscreen and fruity cocktails and it probably has the lasting power to even survive several dips in the sea.
Because of its unique, sweet bouquet we don’t really see this fragrance as a year-round choice, or one for more formal occasions. But when it comes to summer evenings out, drinks at golden hour, or a picnic in the park, this should be your go-to.
One thing to note about Creed perfumes is that they come with a hefty price tag, so if you are just after one signature scent then this probably isn’t the best choice as it’s more a perfume to have in your collection for suitable occasions.
Creed Aventus also seems to be quite popular as a unisex fragrance, as its balance of smoke and fruit give it an intriguingly androgynous bouquet. So, if you’re after something unequivocally masculine, this might not be to your taste.
4. Amouage Epic Man
Amouage Epic Man is urbane and elegant. This is one for the sophisticates among us! Think Armani suits, dark leather booths, and aged whiskey.
The general impression Epic leaves us with is herbal and woody, although this isn’t the heavy-handed sandalwood of some popular men’s perfumes. Instead, it has floral and spicy undercurrents, a complex, dark – even slightly sour – blend of pepper, frankincense, myrrh, labdanum, and agarwood.
The longevity of Amouage Epic Man is excellent and fully merits its inclusion in our list of the best long-lasting perfumes for men. Not an overpowering scent to begin with, this one goes on light and subtle but retains its nuance and depth throughout the day. It’s a masterful blend that manages to be clean and refreshing without being soapy or preppy – there’s enough animalistic musk and exotic spice to give it an edge.
This perfume is suitable all year round, as it manages to keep a foot in both camps: simultaneously warm and spicy, and bright and clean. Both gentlemanly and hedonistic, Amouage Epic is a fragrance that is defined by its contradictions.
So, if you’re someone who can pull off elegant formality during the day but isn’t afraid of a little bacchanalia once the sun goes down, then we think this is one that will appeal.
5. Tom Ford – Noir
Tom Ford Noir was first released in 2012 and it’s been a fan favorite ever since. Like many of Tom Ford’s offerings, Noir is both modern and classic at the same time, indebted to traditional men’s fragrance trends but with an edge of unconventionality.
The fragrance is oriental, spicy, and warm, with a conclusive rounded sweetness. Complementing this warmth are noticeable citrus and herbal notes that bring a sharp green freshness into the mix. Detectable notes are pink pepper, bergamot, nutmeg, and vanilla, balanced by a smoky, woody base that provides a sturdy and masculine undercurrent.
In terms of longevity, this one performed well, although the scent did tend to change over time. Most perfumes will undergo a shift throughout the day, but in the case of Tom Ford Noir it was particularly noticeable: after a couple of hours the scent had a distinct powdery quality. Though this powdery quality was also pleasant, it might not be for everyone, so this is a selection we recommend testing out over a few days just to see if you like the scent’s progression.
6. Guerlain Vetiver
Guerlain Vetiver is a classic men’s fragrance that has been around for over two decades.
The overall impression is fresh and woody, invigorating and sophisticated, with a crisp assertive quality that has a certain formality and rigor. The top notes of bergamot and lemon give it a tart opening, while the heart notes of vetiver and nutmeg add a warm, spicy depth. The base notes of tobacco and white musk provide a smooth, masculine finish.
One of the greatest strengths of Guerlain Vetiver is its longevity. The fragrance lasts all day on the skin and even longer on clothing. It has a good sillage that can be noticed by others but it’s not overpowering. However, our testers did find this one quite polarizing and it’s safe to say this is a niche fragrance that may not be for everyone. The scent is one that we think could be an acquired taste – it’s definitely a fragrance that’s better suited for more of an experienced scent connoisseur.
If you’re looking for something new and complex then Guerlain’s Vetiver might be the right choice for you, but this probably isn’t a fragrance for someone just starting out on their perfume journey. It doesn’t have that instant appeal, instead, it’s a scent that grows on you slowly. Once you’re a convert though, it’s hard to remember what you didn’t like about it!
7. Acqua Di Parma Colonia
Acqua di Parma began as a small factory based in Parma, Italy and first introduced their iconic fragrance, Colonia, in 1916 – making it over a century old.
Initially used to scent gentlemen’s handkerchiefs, Colonia became a symbol of Italian elegance among American and European celebrities during the pre-war and post-war years. Many famous figures, such as Cary Grant, David Niven, Ava Gardner, Eva Turner, and Audrey Hepburn wore the scent. Given its classic and storied pedigree, this is a perfume for those who consider themselves traditionalists, enjoy old world elegance, and who favor tried and true scents over those that seek to turn heads or rock the boat.
Overall, Acqua Di Parma Colonia is a citrus-heavy scent. The iconic blend of lavender, rosemary, Sicilian citrus, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, amber, and light musk delivers a bright and crisp opening that conjures up lemon groves, lavender fields, and wild roses tumbling over dry stone walls. Not only does this scent have longevity in terms of literal decades, it also lasts all day on the skin and has a good sillage that can be noticed by others without being overpowering.
This is a fragrance that may be considered as too simple and subtle for those only acquainted with modern perfume trends, but if you’re someone with a more conservative bent, you might fall in love with this classic fragrance.
8. Jo Malone Cypress & Grapevine
As the name might suggest, Jo Malone Cypress and Grapevine is a woody, leafy fragrance. The herbal blend of cypress and grapevine provide both spicy warmth and an earthy finish. Picture driving through arid, rolling hills, punctuated with the bold silhouettes of cypress trees. In the valleys, rows of grapevines spread out, releasing their herbal, musty scent.
One of the greatest strengths of Jo Malone Cypress and Grapevine is its longevity; it lasts all day and retains its depth over many hours. Jo Malone are known for their innovative scents, many of which are inspired by the countryside and the seasons. So if you’re after a brand that isn’t focused solely on sophistication and style, but on using earthy, herbal, natural aromas, then Jo Malone might suit.
Cypress and Grapevine might seem simple to those who want their scents to be complex and layered, but if you prefer something a little more rustic and down to earth, this choice will appeal.
9. Yves Saint Laurent L’homme
Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De L’homme is a blend of various notes, including rose, ginger, iris, bergamot, and basil. The heart notes are composed of white pepper, violet leaf, and cardamom, and the base notes include cedarwood, tonka bean and white musk.
Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De L’homme is one of those truly luxurious scents. It doesn’t lean on the woody or spicy notes that so many men’s perfumes rely on. Instead, it boldly treads into rich floral territory, leading with blossomy rose and iris. Though some men might be wary of wearing something that sounds potentially feminine, this avoids over-sweet or flowery territory. Instead, the floral notes are rich, creamy, and well complemented by the subtle musk and spice of the base notes.
This one scores well in terms of longevity and the creaminess of the finish lasted well, though it does diminish somewhat over time. This is definitely a perfume that exudes sensuality, boldness, and luxury – it’s not really an invigorating scent, or one you’ll necessarily want to spritz on every day after a morning shower. This perfume is a heavy hitter, one best saved for special occasions, intimate dates, and formal engagements.
10. Le Labo Santal 33
Le Labo Santal 33 leads boldly with sandalwood, followed by the sweet spice of cardamom and the softer, powdery note of iris. The heart notes are composed of violet, papyrus and leather, and the base notes include ambroxan, cedar, and amber. Overall, the scent is woody, leathery and spicy, and the sandalwood definitely dominates.
One of the greatest strengths of Le Labo Santal 33 is its longevity. The fragrance will last on the skin all day and linger even longer on clothing. This is a fragrance that has experienced a huge boom in popularity in recent years and for some, its simple, sandalwood fragrance may be considered too popular and mainstream.
In addition to its popularity, Le Labo fragrances do fall on the expensive side of the fragrance spectrum, so if you’re not wanting to break the bank, you will probably want to think about one of our other more affordable selections.
11. Aesop Hwyl
Aesop Hwyl is a unisex fragrance containing a blend of various notes, including top notes of thyme, elemi, and pink pepper, middle notes of cypress, suede, and geranium, and base notes of vetiver, frankincense, and cedarwood. The general impression is woody, green, and spicy, and its most dominant ingredients are definitely cypress and vetiver.
Hwyl is a Welsh word that refers to feelings of deep emotion or inspiration, and this fragrance attempts to conjure similar feelings. We think it’s pretty successful – on the whole, the scent is indeed spicy and uplifting. It also has excellent longevity and doesn’t fade in complexity over the course of the day.
One thing to note about Hwyl is that it isn’t a particularly innovative or groundbreaking style of scent. Instead, it’s a solid, classic, unisex fragrance that will suit day-to-day wear. If you can’t handle the price tag of Le Labo’s woodsy fragrances, Hwyl might be a good back up.
12. Diptyque Tam Dao
Concluding our list of the best long-lasting perfumes for men is Diptyque Tam Dao, a unisex fragrance inspired by the Tam Dao Mountains in Vietnam.
Overall, the perfume is heavy on sandalwood, cedarwood, and other woody notes. The top notes of Tam Dao are bright and spicy, tapering into fragrant woody heart notes and ending with lingering musk and amber.
As with all of our picks, Tam Dao has wonderful longevity, lasting all day and on well into the evening hours. Diptyque Tam Dao is a great fragrance for those who appreciate a scent that is no holds barred when it comes to exploring the full complexity of spicy or woody scents. However, if you’re after a perfume that balances its woodiness with something fresher or aquatic, it might be best to explore some of the other fragrances on this list.
Described as Dyptique’s answer to Le Labo Santal 33, this is also a scent that has become very popular. So, while we are big fans of this fragrance, if you’re looking to break away from the mainstream, you might want to keep browsing.