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Best-smelling men’s cologne

Which men’s cologne smells best?

Whether you’re looking to add some fragrance to your daily routine or are in the market for something to wear on special occasions, a nice-smelling bottle of cologne can do the trick. Between high-quality, affordable options and ultraluxury brands, there’s a bottle of men’s cologne for anybody at any budget. 

However, finding the right one among all the options and industry-specific terminology can be daunting. If you want something universally appealing, check out Chanel Allure Homme Eau de Toilette

What to know before you buy men’s cologne 

Concentration of perfume oils 

All men’s cologne has a designation that indicates the concentration of perfume oils the fragrance contains. The most common of these are eau de toilette, eau de parfum and parfum. Eau de toilette is the standard and contains somewhere from 10% to 15% perfume oils. Eau de parfum contains 15% to 20% perfume oils and has a stronger scent than eau de toilette. Parfum has the highest concentration, with 20% to 40% perfume oils, and is therefore the strongest-smelling. Take these designations into consideration before purchasing a bottle of cologne. 

Bottle size 

Contrary to popular belief, cologne eventually goes bad. To prevent any waste, consider how often you intend to spritz on your new scent. If you’re looking for something to wear every day, buy something larger that saves money and reduces trips to the store. However, if you’re looking for something to travel with or something to use only on special occasions, opt for a smaller bottle that will go empty before degrading. 

What to look for in a quality men’s cologne

Natural ingredients 

There are fragrances that contain an abundance of natural ingredients at all price points, and the highest-quality options make a point to ensure their ingredients are natural. Fragrance-making is an ancient craft. In its centuries-long history, certain ingredients have stood the test of time in terms of making the best-smelling, longest-lasting scent. 

Bottle design 

High-quality colognes provide more than a great fragrance. Keep an eye out for interesting and aesthetically pleasing bottle designs that you can display in your closet or on the window sill — once they’re empty of course. 

How much you can expect to spend on a men’s cologne

The biggest determinants of price when it comes to cologne are the size of the bottle, the concentration of perfume oils and most importantly, the brand. With that said, you can get good-quality cologne for as little as $25 and as much as $500. 

Men’s cologne FAQ

Why is some cologne so much more expensive than others? 

A. Don’t let the price fool you — there are plenty of amazing affordable colognes on the market. However, if your preferred scent is made by a well-known designer brand, there will be a luxury markup for that reason alone. Nonetheless, luxury fragrances tend to have completely natural ingredients that are sourced from hard-to-reach environments. 

Where should I store my cologne? 

A. Sunlight and heat are the main threats to the integrity of your fragrances. Be sure to store your cologne in a dark, dry place, such as a cabinet or your closet. If you want to display your fragrance bottle, keep it on a shelf away from the window and sunlight. 

What’s the best-smelling men’s cologne to buy?

Top men’s cologne

Chanel Allure Homme Eau de Toilette

What you need to know: Chanel has an unparalleled reputation as the world’s foremost fragrance maker. Allure Homme is by far one of the best choices for men. 

What you’ll love: This scent is incredibly refreshing and has a subtle, masculine sweetness that doesn’t overpower the wearer’s overall profile. Plus, like all Chanel fragrances, you only need to spray a small spritz of Allure Homme for it to last all day. To top it all off, you can get multiple ancillary products, such as soap and shaving cream, with the same addicting fragrance. 

What you should consider: Some wearers reported that the scent hung around them for too long after they had finished whatever function they wore it for. 

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Ulta Beauty 

Top men’s cologne for the money

Clinique Happy for Men Eau de Toilette

What you need to know: If you’re looking for a youthful, fresh and fruity fragrance that won’t break the bank, look no further than Happy for Men by Clinique. 

What you’ll love: Happy for Men is meant to evoke just that: happiness. With bright notes of fruit and citrus, thanks to the use of kaffir limes and mandarin, this cologne is great for any time when the sun is shining. Plus, you can get a variety of coordinating products at the same time for a fraction of the price of a designer fragrance, which makes it easy to create a layered, long-lasting aroma. 

What you should consider: Some wearers report that this scent is too young for adult men to wear, especially in a professional setting. 

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Worth checking out

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau de Parfum

What you need to know: When it comes to luxury menswear, Tom Ford has been at the forefront of the industry since the brand’s inception, and their exotic Neroli Portofino cologne is emblematic of their commitment to excellence and refinement. 

What you’ll love: Most wearers describe this complex scent with one simple phrase: “the beach.” With a sweet, somewhat tropical scent with notes of sea salt and pineapple, this cologne transports the wearer to a completely different place. Ideal for the warmer months, this cologne is sure to complement a breezy, brightly colored outfit. 

What you should consider: This cologne is incredibly expensive in comparison to other designer fragrances, let alone budget options. 

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

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William Briskin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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