Top 10 Best Men’s Cologne Brands to Start Your Collection

best men's cologne brands

By Catherine Reed – March 2024

When men start looking for a new fragrance, focusing on specific scents is normal. But that’s not always the best approach. You might find your perfect option faster by checking out the best men’s cologne brands instead.

Why is thinking about brands first the better choice?

Well, think about it like this. The “best” brands are usually higher quality, right? They’re also popular, have long histories, and have excellent reputations.

So, when you’re about to buy a cologne, don’t you want to make sure it comes from a brand you can trust?

Of course you do. I know I do! And that’s why it’s downright smart to learn about the best men’s cologne brands.

So, which brands fall in that category? Quite a few, actually. The fragrance world is undeniably vast, but there are specific fragrance houses and companies that absolutely stand out from the pack. Which ones are those? That’s what we’re here to share.

Christian Dior Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior for Men Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Oz.

We’re going to start off our men’s cologne brands list with Dior as our top pick. Dior uses high-quality ingredients and ample expertise to create unique and intriguing olfactory experiences.

Plus, the brand does an excellent job of balancing classic aromas with new – and, at times, unconventional – notes. Dior also brings technology into the mix to ensure quality.

Dior Eau Sauvage
Dior Eau Sauvage has the zest of lemon and bergamot, with a hint of patchouli, oakmoss and amber for masculinity that represents the best of Dior and a top brand to consider.

But if Dior’s not for you, that’s okay. Here’s a closer look at our top 10 perfume brands for male fragrances.


Our List of Best Men’s Cologne Brands

#1. Best Overall: Dior

Christian Dior Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior for Men Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Oz.

Review

Dior is at the top of our men’s cologne list for good reason. The company is undeniably committed to quality and believes in the importance of blending expertise.

Dior has plenty of experience, launching its first fragrance back in 1947. To this day, the company produces all of its fragrances at a single location, allowing it to ensure every bottle produced is up to its standards. As a result, even among French men’s cologne brands (of which many are exceptional), Dior stands out from the pack.

Pricing

Dior is among the high-end men’s cologne brands, but that doesn’t mean every bottle is a budget buster. You can get some of the company’s most popular fragrances in mid-sized bottles for less than $100. However, the highest cost options can set you back a pretty penny. After all, the Sauvage Elixir x Baccarat Special Edition runs $8,200!

Where to Start

If you’re looking for your first Dior cologne, Dior Eau Sauvage is an excellent starting point. It features an exhilarating mix of notes. You get rosemary and basil for freshness, along with lemon and bergamot for brightness. Plus, there’s oakmoss, patchouli, amber, and musk for grounded masculinity. You’ll also find hints of coriander, sandalwood, and jasmine.

Overall, it gets a 4.5-star rating from customers, many of whom love its wearability and slightly edgy but still accessible nature.

Dior Eau Sauvage
Dior Eau Sauvage has the zest of lemon and bergamot, with a hint of patchouli, oakmoss and amber for masculinity that represents the best of Dior and a top brand to consider.

#2. Best Value: Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein Eternity for Men Eau de Parfum, 3.4 Fl Oz

Review

For men who want to avoid expensive men’s cologne brands and go with something more budget-friendly, say hello to Calvin Klein. The company launched its first fragrances in 1978 and 1981, and while the brand took a brief step away from colognes, it relaunched its fragrance lines and made a name for itself in the niche in the mid-1980s.

Unique Features

Calvin Klein is one of the most popular men’s cologne brands because the scents are an excellent mix of classic and modern. In many cases, that makes the various fragrances timeless.

Plus, they can work for a wide array of occasions and seasons. And to top it all off, Calvin Klein fragrances are affordable, often running between $20 and $140.

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Where to Start

If you want to experience some of the best the brand offers, check out Calvin Klein Eternity for Men. You get fresh notes of apple, geranium, and sage. Plus, there are touches of nutmeg, vetiver, and suede.

Customers give it a 4.5-star rating, with many saying it never fails to draw in compliments and offers exceptional longevity.

Calvin Klein Eternity
Calvin Klein Eternity has an affordable yet refined masculine and sophisticated fragrance, that makes it a value brand we like for the long run.

#3. Most Timeless: Chanel

Chanel Bleu de Eau de Parfum Spray for Men, 1.7 Ounce

Review

Chanel has an exceptional reputation for timeless style and quality, and its fragrance lines definitely fit that bill. The company has more than 100 years of experience in the world of perfumes and colognes, with its first scent launching in 1921. In the years since, the brand’s commitment to quality has never faltered.

Now, just because Chanel offers timeless fragrances, that doesn’t mean it’s one of the old men’s cologne brands. Many of the colognes are modern feeling, if not a bit provocative, which helps keep the company relevant.

Pricing

Chanel fragrances are a bit more expensive than some alternatives – with the price range for many of its scents ranging from $120 to $200 – but a lot of that has to do with the quality of the ingredients.

Where to Start

If you want to try Chanel cologne, begin your journey with Chanel Bleu de Chanel. It’s an undeniably refreshing fragrance with just a bit of spiciness. You get notes of ginger, pink pepper, nutmeg, cedar, and sandalwood. Plus, vetiver and incense give it smokiness, while grapefruit and mint keep it uplifting.

Customers give it a 4.4-star rating, with many appreciating its longevity and overall balance.

Chanel Bleu de Chanel
Chanel Bleu de Chanel's aromatic woody scent has grapefruit, ginger and vetiver to balance the fragrance for a timeless scent that the Chanel brand is known for.

#4. Best Longevity: Paco Rabanne

PACO RABANNE 1 MILLION by Paco Rabanne EDT SPRAY 1.7 OZ for MEN

Review

With a history of innovation and a fragrance line that’s known for staying power, Paco Rabanne is a go-to cologne brand for any man who wants a modern option that lasts.

Plus, the company produces highly diverse fragrances, so there’s a scent to suit nearly any taste. As a bonus, all in-house created fragrances are now vegan, and they contain 90 to 98 percent natural origin ingredients.

Pricing

Overall, Paco Rabanne is also pretty affordable. It’s possible to find bottles of some fragrances for as little as $35; even the higher-cost options are usually well under $100. And at those prices, you get a scent that lasts and lasts and lasts, allowing your small investment to stretch much further than you’d likely expect.

Where to Start

For exceptional staying power, consider trying Paco Rabanne 1 Million. Along with excellent longevity, projection, and sillage, the scent profile is undeniably masculine and a bit sensual.

There are wood, amber, patchouli, and leather notes at the base. You also get cinnamon and spice coupled with grapefruit and mandarin. Plus, there’s just a touch of mint for freshness.

Customers give it a 4.4-star rating, with many praising its longevity and well-balanced aroma.

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Paco Rabanne 1 Million
1 Million smells like genuine leather, but with a touch of mint to freshen the aroma. This one stands out as the best of long lasting scents in this brand.

#5. Best Trendsetting: Gucci

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Review

You can’t dive into the world of men’s designer cologne brands without talking about Gucci. It’s one of the longer standing widely known Italian men’s cologne brands, with the company releasing its first fragrance in 1974.

Gucci colognes are ideal for forward-thinking, trendsetting men. After all, the company has a history of innovation and pushing boundaries, and it offers modern, slightly unconventional options that turn heads.

In fact, you can find men sporting the allure of Gucci like the well known rapper Gucci mane, who incorporated the brand in his stage name!

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Pricing

Regarding price, Gucci colognes usually run between $75 and $200. However, Gucci the Alchemist’s Garden fragrances – part of Gucci’s Haute perfumery line – are generally closer to $270 to $480.

Where to Start

If you’re looking for an exciting Gucci cologne, check out Gucci Guilty Pour Homme. Italian lemon and pink pepper bring in a bit of brightness and spiciness, while orange blossom, neroli, and French lavender introduce some softness. At the base, there’s patchouli for masculine sensuality, rounding it all out.

Overall, customers give it a 4.7-star rating, with many saying it’s excellent for drawing in compliments.

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#6. Most Polished: Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent Y For Men Eau de Parfum, Multi, 3.3 fl.Oz

Review

YSL is a high-quality luxury cologne brand that offers exceptionally polished and highly refined fragrances for men. The company began its journey into scents back in 1964, and it quickly solidified its reputation as a leader.

It’s known for colognes with an air of sophistication, but YSL does an excellent job keeping its fragrances accessible, too.

Pricing

So, how much will YSL cologne set you back? Well, it depends. You can find travel-sized bottles for less than $30, but most conventional sizes range between $75 and $150.

Where to Start

For anyone new to YSL cologne, start your journey with YSL Y for Men. It’s a fresh and crisp fragrance with broad appeal and undeniable polish. You get notes of ginger, bergamot, and sage.

Plus, there’s cedar, incense, and musk. The addition of white aldehydes also makes it smell clean, making this fragrance highly versatile.

Overall, customers give it a 4.5-star rating, with many loving the longevity and broad appeal.

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YSL Y for Men
YSL Y for Men has notes of bergamot, ginger, and sage that achieve a cool and sensual scent that has a polished appeal you can expect from the brand as a whole.

#7. Best Accessible Luxury: Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio for Men, Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Fl Oz (Packaging may vary)

Review

Since the company’s launch in the 1970s, Giorgio Armani has been associated with elegance and style. It began its fragrance line in the early 1980s and quickly became one of the most popular luxury men’s cologne brands on the planet.

Unique Features

What makes Giorgio Armani fragrances unique is that the brand has different lines to connect with consumers of any age and budget. The Emporio Armani line focuses on younger adults, and it has price points that are incredibly budget-friendly.

However, even other lines aren’t out of reach of most people, with many fragrances costing between $60 and $200.

Where to Start

For a highly wearable option, try Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme. It’s a zesty fragrance that will leave you feeling fresh, clean, and uplifted.

The overall profile is a bit aquatic, and there are notes of tangerine, bergamot, and neroli to keep everything bright. There’s a hint of persimmon for some sweetness, coriander and nutmeg for spice, and patchouli and cedar for grounding.

Customers give it a 4.7-star rating, with many appreciating its refreshing but masculine aroma.

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Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme
Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme has a zesty refreshing fragrance, and produces an overall masculine aroma that signifies the luxury of the Armani brand.

#8. Best Newer House: Tom Ford

TOM FORD Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum 50 ML(1.7 OZ)

Review

In the world of fragrance, Tom Ford is one of the newer major houses on the market. The company launched in the mid-2000s, but it quickly made a name for itself due to its high-quality creations and unique and surprisingly straightforward scent profiles.

On top of that, Tom Ford colognes offer exceptional longevity, which is always a plus.

Pricing

The price of Tom Ford fragrances varies dramatically based on bottle size. Generally, the cost falls in the $70 to $425 range, which means there’s usually an option for any budget.

Where to Start

If you’re not sure what to try, take a look at Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille. It’s one of the brand favorites for a reason, offering a sensual and slightly smoky scent profile that’s very luxurious.

You get notes of vanilla and tobacco, along with touches of cocoa, wood sap, and dried fruit.

Customers give it a 4.4-star rating, with many appreciating the highly memorable and somewhat unconventional (but also very wearable) aroma.

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille
Tobacco Vanille has a sensual and smoky scent that makes it not only luxurious and yet wearable, but established Tom Ford as an up and coming stylish brand.

#9. Most Modern: Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male for Men - 4.2 Ounce EDT Spray, Eau De Toilette Spray

Review

With its first fragrance launched in 1993, Jean Paul Gaultier quickly developed a cult following. While the company began with a fragrance for women, Jean Paul Gaultier cologne for men was soon to follow.

What sets Jean Paul apart is the brand focused on challenging preconceived notions about what men’s fragrances should be, leading to highly modern and somewhat unexpected scent profiles that captured many people’s attention.

Pricing

As a bonus, Jean Paul Gaultier cologne is pretty affordable. Prices usually start near $70 and run to about $150 in most cases. That puts this fragrance brand well within reach of most buyers.

Where to Start

For a solid introduction to the brand, check out Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male. Its primary notes are vanilla, lavender, and mint, making it fresh, clean, comforting, and just a touch sensual. The brand says the aroma resembles the smell of shaving soap, but it has that little something extra to keep it masculine.

As for the customers, they give it a 4.7-star rating, with many appreciating its staying power and refreshing scent profile.

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
Le Male has primary notes of vanilla, lavender, and mint for a fresh and sensual aroma, something to expect from this out the box brand.

#10. Most Unconventional: Maison Margiela

Maison Martin Margiela 'Replica' Jazz Club EDT for Men 100ml Rare,3.38 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)

Review

Maison Margiela is one of the newer fragrance brands, having launched in 2010. The company made a name for itself with its unconventional approach to creating scents.

Most notably, the Replica line aims to combine aromas that align with specific places and experiences, allowing the scents to stir emotions, memories, and more.

In many ways, the Replica line feels like one of the vintage men’s cologne brands, as it allows the wearer to almost take a step back in time. Plus, considering that the fragrances usually cost between $40 and $160, it’s an affordable trip!

Where to Start

If you’re new to the brand, Maison Margiela Replica Jazz Club is an excellent starting point. The fragrance is downright transporting, making you feel like you’re visiting a Brooklyn jazz club.

There are notes of tobacco, vanilla, vetiver, and musk. Plus, there’s lemon, neroli oil, and pink pepper.

Customers give it a 4.6-star rating, with many saying that it’s highly unique but broadly appealing.

Maison Margiela Replica Jazz Club
Replica Jazz Club has a warm and cozy scent. It gives the atmosphere of visiting a Brooklyn jazz club, something unique and unconventional that you can expect from this brand.

The Art of Cologne Making

The Art of Cologne Making
Delve into the art of making your favorite scent.
Photo by Fulvio Ciccolo

Creating a fragrance is an art, as it takes a keen nose and curious mind to effectively bring new scent profiles to life. Figuring out which aromas work together requires an artistic touch, as scents that may seem incompatible could come together by introducing the right other notes. However, there’s also a lot of science in the mix.

Fragrances are usually developed with top, middle, and base notes. The top notes are most present at the opening (when a cologne is first applied). Then, the middle notes develop and slightly fade, while the base notes come in last and stick around longest. Creating a scent requires smart layering, ensuring each aroma works well together and stands up properly in the mix.

Cologne makers also must factor in chemistry. Different ingredients will interact, causing reactions that alter the aroma. Plus, oxidation plays a part in the equation.

That means the science of fragrance-making is just as critical as the artistic side, as one without the other usually won’t lead to an enticing, appealing cologne.

How to Choose the Right Cologne Brand for You: A Buyer’s Guide

Right Cologne Brand
Are you looking for the best brand that would work for you?
Photo by Steven Su

So, how do you choose the right cologne brand for you?

First, it’s usually best to think about your skin type and unique chemistry. It’s not uncommon for specific notes to work better on particular people, as they work better with their unique innate aroma and various aspects of their chemistry.

Next, you should always factor personal preference into the equation. After all, you’re the one wearing the cologne, so liking it (or, preferably, loving it) is a must.

After that, think about the occasion. For example, are you looking for a versatile cologne that works as well in the office as it does on a date, or do you want something special for a specific event?

Once you have that figured out, consider the season. Specific aromas may seem more suitable for summer or winter, so you may want to choose a cologne that aligns with the season.

Finally, don’t forget about longevity, sillage, and projection. That way, you can choose a fragrance that’s noticeable at the right distance and lasts the right amount of time.

Trends in Men’s Cologne

trends in mens cologne brands
What is your favorite perfume?

One of the biggest trends in men’s fragrances is higher concentrations of perfume oils. Essentially, men prefer eau de toilettes and eau de parfums over traditional colognes, as they offer more staying power.

Another noteworthy trend is a shift toward water-inspired scents. Young men, in particular, favor cool, fresh aromas with citrus notes. But gourmand fragrances have also risen in popularity, so keep that in mind.

Final Thoughts

Christian Dior Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior for Men Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Oz.

Ultimately, Dior stands out to us as the best men’s cologne brands. It produces high-quality fragrances that are accessible, modern, and a bit innovative, making it a solid choice for nearly any man.

But, honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of the brands above, so check the others out if Dior isn’t your perfect match.

Dior Eau Sauvage
Dior Eau Sauvage has the zest of lemon and bergamot, with a hint of patchouli, oakmoss and amber for masculinity that represents the best of Dior and a top brand to consider.

Try out all the brands if you can (we recommend finding samples) and feel out which is best for you. Tell us which one you’re most excited to try first!

For more ideas on the best cologne for men in varying situations, check out these full guides:

FAQs

What Is the Number 1 Selling Men’s Cologne?

If you’re wondering, “What is the best men’s cologne of all time?” that’s a little hard to answer. Scent is highly subjective, so what appeals to one person might not resonate with someone else. But the number one selling fragrances can help you get closer to an answer.

While which comes out ahead may depend a bit on where the data is gathered, Dior Sauvage is undeniably one of the best-selling men’s scents of all time, so many consider it the number one-selling men’s cologne today.

What Is the Most Popular Cologne for Men in 2023?

Several colognes were wildly popular in 2023. Blue Atlas Atlantis, Chanel Bleu de Chanel, Dior Sauvage, YSL Y for Men, Paco Rabanne 1 Million, and Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille were all incredibly popular throughout the year.

But remember, just because a fragrance is popular doesn’t mean it’s your best match. Still, you can use that list as inspiration if you’re looking for a new scent, so keep that in mind.

Chief Editor

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