As 2021 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the man you want to be in 2022. Part of that reflection is choosing a signature scent that helps you attract what you desire most into your life. Are you hoping to revive your love life? Get noticed at work? Travel the globe? There’s a cologne out there that will help you achieve your goals, and it’s probably on this list.
Here are 25 of the best colognes for men in 2022.
Men’s fragrances go by many names, and it can be hard to distinguish one from the other. Are you looking for a spray, fragrance, eau de parfum, deodorant? Here are the four most common cologne types you’ll encounter and what they mean:
- Eau de Parfum (Eau de Parfums have scent concentrations of 15-20%. These scents are the strongest in the men’s fragrance world, and generally, last up to four to six hours after application.)
- Eau de Toilette (Eau de Toilettes feature concentrations of 10-15%. These scents last up to two to three hours. This type of cologne is ideal when you want a subtle scent or want to smell good for a specific event.)
- Eau de Cologne (Eau de Colognes have concentrations of 3-8%, making them the subtlest of the bunch. To get an EDC to linger, you’ll have to reapply throughout the day.)
- Aftershave/Splash (These scents have concentrations of 1-3%. They aren’t meant for long use, and often stick around for less than an hour. These products are great for quick refreshers after a workout or shower.)
What Are Fragrance Notes?
If you’ve ever read the description for a cologne, you’ve probably seen different kinds of “notes” mentioned. Most colognes—like candles and other scented products—are made up of three distinct aromas that blend together into the final product of what you actually smell. These different aromas are called the top, medium, and base notes.
Each note plays a different part in the whole scent experience:
- Top Note (The top note is the scent that will hit your nose right after application. The top note is generally lighter, with floral, powdery, fruity, spicy, and aquatic scents. This scent will fade the quickest.)
- Medium Note (The medium note starts to develop after the product has been sprayed. The medium note, or the middle note, holds the key elements to the fragrance. Middle notes will start hitting your nose after the top notes dissipate and can last anywhere between three to five hours. These scents usually are composed of heavier notes, such as grass, jasmine, cinnamon, and clove.)
- Base Note (The base note is the steadiest note and also the last to fully develop. You’ll smell these notes long after you’ve applied your cologne, which is why the base note is probably the most important. Most base notes are heavy, warm scents like moss, vanilla, tar, leather, musk, sandalwood, and tobacco.)
What Are the Different Types of Fragrances?
While different notes and scents make an unlimited variety of fragrances, there are a few different types of smells you’re likely to come across. Discovering which of these scent profiles you like the best will help you find future colognes that are just right.
- Floral (Florals are lighter scents, such as rose, jasmine, peaches, and berries. Florals don’t technically only have to be flowers, but most of the time they are.)
- Woody (The quintessential masculine smell that is reminiscent of the great outdoors. Woody scents include moss, cedar, and sandalwood and bring earthy qualities to any cologne.)
- Oriental (Oriental scents are rich and deep aromas with a hint of spice. The best examples are vanilla, cinnamon, or patchouli. Think of the aromas of chai tea!)
- Fresh (This type of fragrance is classic and clean. Fresh scents are light and water-inspired and often are inspired by the sea and include notes of citrus.)
How Should I Apply Cologne?
Where exactly to apply cologne is one of the most common questions men ask about fragrance. Some men spritz a cloud of product in front of them to walk through, others target specific areas. But which is the best strategy?
Fragrance experts claim that there is real science behind the best cologne spraying strategies. Generally, you’ll want to apply cologne to your pulse points, so on your wrists, behind your ears, or at the base of your neck. This is because your circulation in these areas is great, so your body will naturally help to spread the fragrance.
Another pro tip: don’t rub your cologne in! If you move it around too much, you’ll actually risk breaking down the scent to the point where it will fade quickly. Because everyone’s PH levels react to fragrances differently, it’s best to simply spray along your pulse points and let the cologne do its thing.
What to Do When Fragrance Fades
So, you’ve sprayed your pulse points with your favorite fragrance and a few hours later, you can’t smell anything. What should you do? Oftentimes, people think their cologne is a dud simply because it doesn’t last all day.
The truth is, colognes aren’t meant to last all day. Each product typically has a maximum amount of time that it will last, and there is not much you can do to change that. There’s nothing wrong with a refresher spray halfway through the day, just as long as you don’t overdo it.
The general rule of thumb is that no one should be able to smell your cologne unless they’re in a one foot radius of you. If the entire office can smell your cologne when you get up from your desk, you probably went a little heavy on the spraying. It’s best to start out conservatively and layer on more throughout the day. After all, Cologne is meant to enhance your scent, not completely overpower your (and everyone else’s) senses!
Work with your body and skin type when applying cologne. If you tend to have oily skin, you can probably get away with wearing less cologne since the fragrance will stick around longer on oily skin. If your skin is on the drier side, you may want to go a little heavier on the fragrance.
Best Date Night Scents
This fragrance from Blu Atlas distinguishes itself from the rest not only thanks to its complex, earthy yet refreshing scent, but also with its dedication to clean ingredients. Smell fantastic and be kind to your skin at the same time!
A rich, elegant blend of bright fruits emerges, followed by a warm accord of lavender, geranium, and patchouli. Oakmoss, amber, and vanilla form the irresistible base of this fragrance that is concocted from essential oils. This scent makes the ultimate first impression without being overbearing.
- Dior Sauvage Eau de Toilette
This cologne is the reason you’ve needed to plan a special date night for your partner. Sauvage is blended with warm, earthy, and woody notes of bergamot and amberwood for just the right amount of sensuality and a healthy dose of comfort. Its welcoming aroma is what makes this fragrance perfect for any date night.
- Versace Dylan Blue
You’ll be irresistible to any date in this fragrance from Versace. This timeless and classic scent will keep your date night sensual and sexy, without giving away too much. Mediterranean notes of bergamot, patchouli, and earthy herbs tie together in a classic blend that is a necessary addition to any unforgettable evening. This scent is best worn to a fancy restaurant, cocktail bar, or art gallery.
- Viktor&Rolf Spicebomb
Prep yourself for date night by spritzing a sexy blend of sage, triple black spice complex, roasted almonds, cinnamon, tobacco, leather, pink pepper, and vetiver all over yourself. This will become your date nights’ best-kept secret, so tell all your friends. Or maybe keep this secret to yourself?
- Yves Saint Laurent Y Le Parfum
You probably know by now Yves Saint Laurent’s reputation for timeless classics. Y Le Parfum puts a modern spin on a Y signature scent with a blend of earthy and woody notes that make you stand out. Lavender, geranium, and cedarwood are the key fragrance notes that will give you the edge and appeal you need to wow any date.
Best Work Scents
- Tom Ford Bitter Peach Eau De Parfum
You may be thinking: is this fruity and floral cologne really designed for men? This scent squashes all stereotypes by being both masculine and floral. The subtle yet refreshing notes of peach, blood orange, and patchouli are both energizing and work-appropriate.
If you’re tired of the classic woodsy men’s scents and are hoping to branch out, this scent from Tom Ford is a must try.
- Versace Man Eau Fraiche
Use the confidence this cologne gives you to dominate at your workplace. Versace Man is one of the best colognes for men since it’s fresh and sweet but also subtle enough to be worn at work. Thanks to a blend of white lemon, rosewood, and sycamore wood, you’ll smell like you just got back from a tropical vacation that you so deserve.
- Paco Rabanne Phantom Eau de Toilette
Keep this charming, adorable-looking robot on your desk to spark up conversations with your co-workers. Or, save this as a white elephant gift for the holiday party–it’ll be a hit. Deep notes of rhubarb are blended together with lavender and vetiver, making this a light, citrus scent that is perfect for your 9 to 5.
- Armani Beauty Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme
Acqua Di Gio is a sophisticated and elegant scent, making it perfect for any professional setting. If you’ve got an upcoming presentation, add this into your preparations for an instant confidence boost. This fragrance from Armani is filled with splashes of marine notes along with bright flashes of bergamot, earthy cedarwood, zesty green tangerine, and savory rosemary. You’ll be smelling fresh, clean, and professional all day long.
- Maison Margiela ‘REPLICA’ By the Fireplace
As your work day starts to drag on, let your mind drift off to a cozy fireplace sitting next to someone you love… Maison Margiela gives you a taste of home with ‘Replica’ By the Fireplace. This sweet blend of clove oil, chestnut accord, and vanilla accord will bring the comfort of home to your desk, plus the discreet bottle is easily tossed in a workout bag or stashed in a desk drawer.
Best Daily Scents
- Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau Intense Pour Homme
Don’t be fooled by the “intense.” Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue packs just enough punch to be a contender for daily wear. Light Blue is an aquatic blend of grapefruit, juniper, and musk that will remind you of the Mediterranean. Make this your signature fragrance and float through each day on a sea of Light Blue.
- HERMÈS Un Jardin sur le Toit Eau de Toilette
Apple, pear, and magnolia are the key fragrance notes in Un Jardin sur le Toit—a rich and fresh blend of citrus and woody notes. This cologne is sweet enough to impress a date, light enough to wear to work, and intriguing enough to make your signature scent.
- Calvin Klein ETERNITY Aqua For Men
When you need a scent that is time-tested and reliable, turn to Calvin Klein’s Eternity Aqua. This elegant scent is perhaps the most refreshing on our list, thanks to notes of chilled cucumber, greenery, and gentle floral notes complemented with the earthiness of musk and woody scents. Because this scent is both strong and simple, it’s a go-to everyday scent and one of the best colognes for men!
- Burberry Touch
Burberry Touch is a warm and spicy cocktail that is perfect for laying. Wear it on its own or combine it with other scents for different desired effects. We all want to change up our daily routine every so often, so having a scent that can be tweaked is vital.
Touch features citrusy notes of mandarin tree, warm Virginia cedar wood and tonka beans, with a refreshing bite of white pepper. The rich simplicity of this fragrance will make it a staple in your routine.
- Dior Fahrenheit
Feel the heat with rich notes of honeysuckle, hawthorne, nutmeg, and sandalwood with dashes of bergamot and violet for a perfectly balanced everyday cologne. Its sensuality is matched by its refreshing nature, making Fahrenheit by Dior an instant pick-me-up.
- Tom Ford Noir de Noir
Noir de Noir is one of Tom Ford’s sexiest and most compelling scents. Men who seize the day will love this unforgettable scent. Notes of black rose, black truffle, and patchouli give a luxurious touch to mundane daily life.
Best Evening Scents
- Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb Night Vision
Cult favorite Viktor & Rolf’s Spicebomb gets a sexy new upgrade. For the explosive, epic, and exhilarating nights in your life, you want a scent that can keep up. Spicebomb Night Vision will get you through any adventure with masculine notes of clary sage, black spices, grapefruit, geranium, and roasted almond.
- Paco Rabanne 1 Million Lucky Eau de Toilette
You’ll feel that luck is on your side with this captivating fragrance from Paco Rabanne. Earthy and woody notes of hazelnut, green plum, and cedar will make you smell like a million bucks. Ready to go all in? Yes you are, because you have the confidence that only 1 Million Lucky can give you.
- Kilian Paris Vodka On the Rocks
This cologne pairs well not only with vodka on the rocks, but also any other classic cocktail of choice. After a night out at the bar you’ll still smell like a fresh blend of earthy greens and herbs, spicy cardamom, and deep oakmoss with a hint of rhubarb accord and soft notes of lily of the valley. Drink and spray responsibly.
- L’Homme Parfum Intense
Whether your big night means hitting the town or staying in with your partner, Yves Saint Laurent will help create a vibe of seduction. L’Homme Parfum Intense is warm, deep, and masculine with Italian cedrat, bergamot, and Benzoin siam. Then a fresh whiff of white pepper or orange flower will seal the fatal attraction.
However you spend your nights, you’ll want to wear this spicy scent from Yves Saint Laurent.
Best Bonus Scents
- Jo Malone London Limited Edition English Pear & Freesia Cologne
Get this limited edition scent from Jo Malone London while it’s hot! This light and sweet blend of freesia, patchouli, King William Pear, amber, and other woody notes will have you dreaming of a warm spring day during the cold winter months.
Layer this fragrance with your go-to spicy cologne, or wear it on its own to work or play and smell your best.
- Versace Eros Flame
2022 is bound to be your year. You’re strong, confident, sophisticated, and sexy and you want a scent that reflects those qualities. Versace’s Eros Flame is a bold, hot cologne that instantly commands attention. Italian lemon, pepperwood, amber, and vetiver make a striking blend that will help you conquer the new year.
- Kilian Paris Angels Share Eau De Parfum
Angels’ Share by Kilian Paris the bold and unique fragrance you’re craving in 2022. Inspired by art deco and speakeasies, Angels’ Share’s bottle is an elegant take on a cocktail glass.
Cognac, tonka bean, and oak wood blend together for a warm and sweet aroma that couldn’t be more classic. A great gift for a man you admire, or keep it all for yourself.
- Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb Extreme
How much Spicebomb is too much Spicebomb? The answer is, it’s never enough!
Viktor & Rolf’s Spicebomb Extreme overwhelms your senses with explosive notes of lavender, grapefruit, cinnamon, black pepper, vanilla, tobacco, and woody amber. This sexy, black grenade-inspired bottle will make you feel a little dangerous, even if you wear it to run errands. Explode into 2022 with this delicious-smelling, sexy cologne.
- Givenchy Pi Eau de Toilette
If you’re a math nerd or a Givenchy lover, this masculine and sensual fragrance is for you. Pi is a rich blend of pine needles, rosemary, benzoin, and guaiac wood that is perfect for math nerds and Givenchy lovers alike.