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Tommy Review: True American Men’s Cologne

The quintessentially American Tommy Hilfiger corporation, known by the flag colors of blue, white and red featured on many of its products, was founded in 1984 when its distinctive line of menswear appeared in stores across the United States.

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Since then, Tommy Hilfiger brand has become a top fashion leader — known not only in the United States of America but around the world. Tommy Hilfiger’s products have a distinctly sporty, clean American style and attitude, defining the man who uses them.

The down-to-earth everyday American male often wears Tommy products, but so do many A-list Hollywood stars and worldwide celebrities. Tommy for Men, the first cologne fragrance in the Tommy Hilfiger collection, was launched in 1995.

Although an impressive collection of colognes for this brand has been launched in the years since then, the original Tommy fragrance is still a classic best-seller, and I think it deserves the honor of a closer look.

I should note that the original Tommy scent was created by master perfumers Annie Buzantian and Alberto Morillas, working in conjunction with the well-known fragrance house Estee Lauder. That information in itself tells us that this product was carefully conceived. I believe it deserves its place as an American classic.


Scent Tommy cologne features a range of warm, comfortable, clean and subtle scents. I think of it as the Real American men's cologne classic.

Top notes are fresh, based on citrus and the outdoors, quintessentially all-American: bergamot, lavender, rain, Florida grapefruit, Kentucky bluegrass, and Midwestern spearmint.

Heart notes of driftwood, cranberry, apple pie and yellow rose are warmer than the top notes, but continue the same themes of the great outdoors blended with touches of the distinctly American landscape.

Base notes of blue spruce, cactus flower, Vermont red maple, Wyoming cottonwood and amber literally take us "from sea to shining sea" as we enjoy the freshness of the longest-lasting bouquet of fragrance in the original version of Tommy Cologne for Men.

I should note that the sillage (staying power) of the Tommy scent is not particularly long-lasting, so if you want to keep the scent working longer, you might try putting it on your hair or clothes, rather than directly on your skin. (Please note that if you are putting it on your hair, you must be careful to keep it out of your eyes, as you would with any cologne.)

Uses: Daytime, Casual

Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger was specifically designed as a casual, daytime scent, subtle and not overwhelming. It is a warm, comfortable, masculine scent. It is not particularly long-lasting, but it gives a nice "pop" of scent to the beginning of your day, which is sometimes all you — or I — might want in a men's cologne.

Presentation: Originally, Tommy was marketed as "the new American fragrance" for a denim-clad, casual young American male consumer. It was a scent to wear everyday, with your rolled-up jeans or your dress suit. The new cologne came in a distinctive package emphasizing its all-American character.

Today, we see the same box in the stores: a tasteful white box that features a narrow edging of the blue, white and red stripes, matching the colors of the American flag, set on either side of the wide vertical black stripe with the Tommy name. The square-cornered glass bottle follows the lines of the box, with a vertical indented glass column carrying the Tommy name.

This is a moderately-priced cologne, suitable for gifting to a man — young or old — who enjoys American traditions (including comfortable jeans)  and may not want, or need, a long-lasting fragrance.

Features of the packaging presentation:

• Tommy is packaged in a box with the distinctive blue, white and red stripes – to match the colors of the American flag — placed on either side of the vertical Tommy Hilfiger name.
• The tastefully designed bottle matches the box, with a vertical stripe carrying the Tommy name.
• This cologne has a warm, comfortable, traditional outdoorsy fragrance that plays base notes of cinnamon and apple pie against heart notes of bluegrass and lavender and top notes of cranberry and tangy citrus.
• This scent is particularly recommended for daytime and casual wear.
• Not long-lasting; good for creating a pop of scent that will linger for a few hours, but wears off by the end of the day.
• A reasonably priced classical American tradition in men’s cologne.
• Available in several sizes, including 1 oz, 1.7 oz and 3.4 oz bottles.

Pros: When it comes to fragrances, Tommy Hilfiger represents a well-known, highly respected men’s brand. Although the original Tommy fragrance I reviewed here is quite moderately priced, it comes with the assurance that many men at the top of their game, including several well-known celebrities, use this fragrance.

The Tommy for Men fragrance is warm, comfortable, American and outdoorsy, especially designed for guys who will need it for casual daytime use. Tommy for Men cologne comes in 3 different sizes. You should be able to find one to match all your daily, gifting and travel needs!It is priced very reasonably for a cologne of this quality. The scent is subtle, not overwhelming.

Cons: Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger cologne for men has only moderate sillage and longevity, so the Tommy scent does not last long once applied. To extend it, try putting it on clothes and hair rather than directly on skin.

Summary: Tommy Hilfiger is one of the most recognized and beloved brands in the fashion and fragrance industry, not only in America but worldwide. Tommy for Men was the first of the fragrances created at Tommy Hilfiger – in collaboration with the renowned Estee Lauder fragrance manufacturer and professional perfume masters.

The packaging and branding of the Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger cologne is well recognized and good-looking, displaying the traditional American colors proudly. The bottle itself is simple but classy. Being the brand that it is, the fragrance is used across a wide range of societies, including several Hollywood celebrities. It has been designed as a daytime fragrance with a warm, comfortable, casual scent.

Because it has been on the market for some time, it has a scent that is both recognizable and distinct. Once applied, this fragrance does not last as long as other top brands of cologne, which may or may not suit your preferences. The scent can be prolonged by applying it to clothing or hair.

Tommy cologne for men is available in several sizes, with the largest being a 3.4-ounce bottle. The price per ounce of Tommy cologne in a bottle of this size is very reasonable, so the fact that the scent may need to be reapplied fairly often is not a major issue.

Verdict: Tommy Hilfiger is one of the better-known brands of men’s colognes. The original Tommy cologne for men is very recognizable with the famous blue, red and white banding that Tommy Hilfiger puts on many products. The Tommy for Men fragrance itself is quite well designed, as well as being very well known.

It has a scent that is comfortable to wear, with masculine outdoorsy tones combined with sweeter tones taken from classic Americana-influenced scents. The cologne is famous for a warm and comfortable scent, with masculine as well as sweet tones. This fragrance has been designed specifically for casual use during the day.

Although it has a reputation of not lasting as long on the skin as other, more expensive, colognes, it is very reasonably priced and I believe you could afford to reapply it during the day if you wished, as I do.

Overall, considering the history and overall quality of the Tommy Hilfiger brand, which extends to the Tommy for Men cologne, I believe this scent is worthy of your consideration. If you want to try wearing a real American classic Tommy for Men, would be worthwhile considering.

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David Schwartz

Born and raised in Austin, David is a dedicated writer and avid fragrance lover. When he's not trying out perfumes, he enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants.