Skip to Content

10 Best Smelling & Selling Men's Cologne (2024)

Call these best-selling men's cologne common or ubiquitous, if you must. There’s no mistaking the most popular men’s colognes. You’ve regularly smelled them on friends or spotted them in their fragrance stash. But just because these fragrances are loved by a lot of men (and women) doesn’t mean you should look down on them. 

This post may have affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission on purchases through the links (at no extra cost to you). This does not change our opinion but does help support the site. Thank you!

Perfume snobs will claim these fragrances have become too popular for their own good. Au contraire! As if creating a quality perfume that brings pleasure and joy to many people - and yes, profits - is not worthy of praise and recognition.

Want to find the best-selling men's cologne in 2024? Below is a list - some are the perpetual best-sellers, scents that everyone loves and keeps on their nightstand. Others are oldies that have never gone out of style, and there are usually a few surprises on the list as well. 


Our Top Picks: Best Selling Men's Colognes Worth a Try

Best Overall

It’s easy to see why Bleu de Chanel's woody-aromatic fragrance has become a best seller for the French luxury fashion house. It’s sophisticated and elegant without trying too hard - in that very French, very Chanel way - from the super-minimalist dark blue bottle to the juice.

Bleu de Chanel created by Jacques Polge (Chanel Antaeus), has a highly distinctive citrus-fresh opening, with grapefruit and lemon at the fore. Mint and pink pepper also give the opening some crispness. The spicy heart includes ginger, nutmeg, and jasmine before it settles into base notes of incense, vetiver, sandalwood, cedar, white musk, and patchouli notes.

Masculine, elegant, and clean, it’s remarkably versatile going from day to night and appropriate for every season — it's easy to see why it's a go-to cologne for many men.

Best For: Versatile, all-seasons
Main Accords: Woody & Aromatic

Longevity: Long-lasting
Sillage: Moderate

Read our full review of Bleu de Chanel


Best Day to Night

Dior's Sauvage by perfumer Francois Demachy is tied for best-selling men's cologne. First launched in 2015, the name is inspired by the 1966 Dior fragrance Eau de Sauvage but scent-wise they are not in the same collection. Sauvage was inspired by wide-open spaces, wild and rugged western landscapes, and the desert sun.

Sauvage is a fresh and spicy opens with top notes of bergamot and black pepper followed by middle notes of Sichuan and pink pepper (lots of pepper in this one!), vetiver, geranium, lavender, and patchouli. The base is cedar, labdanum, and Ambroxan.

It's a spicier, bolder alternative to Chanel Bleu but still very versatile — you can wear this day to night in all seasons. If you're looking for a heavy-lifting fragrance that works for most occasions and will get you compliments, Sauvage is one to try.

Best For Most Occasions can go from day to night, all-seasons
Main Accords: Fresh Spicy & Amber

Longevity: Long-lasting
Sillage: Moderate to strong

Read our full review of Dior's Sauvage


Best for Work

Sometimes a fragrance comes along that seems ordinary and almost generic, yet on closer inspection reveals itself to be so more than that. So it was a natural progression for Coach For Men EDT to become a market triumph. Coach For Men, created by Anne Flipo (Carolina Herrera 212 VIP Black EDP, Paco Rabanne Invictus EDT) and Bruno Jovanovic (Frederic Malle Monsieur EDP, Boss The Scent EDT), is one of those scents. 

Released in 2017, it features notes of nashi pear, bergamot, cardamom, vetiver, suede, geranium, and coriander. It’s a nice, versatile, easy-going fragrance that’s understandably found its way into many men’s fragrance wardrobes. Nothing innovative but also nothing offensive, it's a pleasant, work scent that's moderately priced.

Best For Work & Office
Main Accords: Citrus & Aromatic

Longevity: Moderate
Sillage: Moderate


Read our top picks of colognes from Coach


Best Summer Scent

When D & G Light Blue Eau Intense Pour Homme EDT was launched in 2007, it became one of the best-selling men's cologne for the Italian luxury label Dolce & Gabbana and is still going strong. Created by Alberto Morillas (Bulgari Man EDT, cK One EDT, Gucci Guilty Absolute EDP), Light Blue won the FiFi Award Fragrance of the Year Luxe in 2008 and it's easy to see why.

It feels distinctly casual and summery with prominent citrus notes including grapefruit, bergamot, and Sicilian Mandarin. In the heart notes, there's a touch of spice with pepper, rosemary, and juniper adding a sharper, more distinct vibe. The base is musk, incense, and oakmoss. All in all, it's an uncomplicated, fresh scent and that's equally easy to wear to the office or the beach.

Best For Casual & Summer
Main Accords: Citrus & Sweet Spicy

Longevity: Moderate
Sillage: Moderate
Read our full review of D& G Light Blue


Best for Going Out

They’re called blockbusters in the fragrance industry and Paco Rabanne 1 Million is legendary for its phenomenal success. Much loved and much maligned, its success continues more than 10 years after its initial release. It was created by three top perfumers with serious credentials, Christophe Raynaud (Calvin Klein Obsessed For Men EDT, Joop! Wow! EDT), Olivier Pescheux (Diptyque Tempo EDP, Montblanc Legend EDT) and Michel Girard (L’Homme Lacoste Intense EDP, YSL Kouros Silver).

It starts innocuously enough with citrus and patchouli notes, but it’s the notes of cinnamon, leather, amber, spice and rose that will decide if this is a love-or-hate fragrance for you. It’s a warm and slightly sweet winner that’s deserving of reconsideration.

Best For Night, Fall & winter
Main Accords: Warm Spicy

Read our top picks for going out and party colognes


Sexiest Date Night

Azzaro Wanted EDT was pretty standard stuff and then Azzaro Wanted by Night was launched in 2018. And it seemed like everyone took notice of this woody and spicy amber cologne. 

Created by Quentin Bisch (Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Essence de Parfum, Mugler A*Men Ultra Zest) and Michel Girard (Paco Rabanne 1 Million EDT, L’Homme Lacoste Intense EDT), the juice is quality stuff inspired by Loris Azzaro's own hedonistic 1970s lifestyle.

It has a super cinnamon intro, with just the right amount of sweetness. Things get even better when the notes of red cedar, cumin, and tobacco kick in. It's seductive, sensual, and the perfect fragrance for a sexy date night.

Best For Night, Fall & Winter
Main Accords: Woody Spicy

Read 10 Must Have Azzaro Colognes


Best for Every Occasion

It’s a long time since an iris fragrance has become such a mainstream hit, but then L’Homme Prada EDT is not just any old iris scent. 

Not everyone will get the powerful powdery iris note in this fragrance created by Daniela Andrier, who has created all of the Prada fragrances in recent years, but many have been seduced by its undeniable beauty. The neroli, amber and violet notes just add to its allure.

Such is the success of the original that intense, L'eau, Absolu, and Velvet Edition versions have been added to the line-up, too.

Read our top picks for iris colognes


The Most Complimented

L'Eau d'Issey is one of the best-selling men's cologne that came to define the 1990s aesthetic of super-fresh fragrances.

It was created by Jacques Cavallier (Bulgari Aqua Pour Homme EDT, Pasha de Cartier EDT, Louis Vuitton’s private collection). Twenty-five years later, it still remains one of the most popular men's colognes and for a good reason.

It's because of its opening note of yuzu (the Asian citrus fruit) that’s enhanced by notes of bergamot and lemon. But Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey EDT is not just a straight-up citrus scent.

Notes of nutmeg and cinnamon (among numerous others) give it an appealing spicy and woody contrast, too. It was also consistently named one of the most complimented fragrances and is one of those versatile fragrances that every man needs to have on his shelf.

Read our top picks of Issey colognes


Most Sophisticated

Oud fragrances have been a huge trend in western fragrance markets for quite some time now, with a very mixed bag of results. Gucci Intense Oud EDP is released in 2016 and created by Aurelien Guichard (Issey Miyake L’Eau Majeure d’Issey EDT, Versace Eros EDT), and it stands out for all the right reasons. 

This amber fragrance may not be a hard-care oud by Middle Eastern standards, but it has so much going for it to compensate.

This Gucci fragrance achieves this by the combination of various other notes (incense, wood, leather, amber and olibanum) that create a seductive and sophisticated effect that’s pure compliment-bait.

Read our top picks for oud colognes


best selling men's cologne

 

IMAGE PRODUCT  
Coach for Men EDT
  • Versatile
  • Easy-going fragrance
  • Popular
VIEW LATEST PRICE
CH Men Prive
CH Men Prive
  • Luxurious and sophisticated scent
  • Well-blended
  • Supremely seductive
VIEW LATEST PRICE
One 1 Million
  • A blockbuster in the industry
  • Both warm and slightly sweet
  • Created by 3 top perfumers with serious credentials
VIEW LATEST PRICE

Pros:

  • Great for gift-giving
  • Safe for blind buys
  • Quality

Cons:

  • You end up smelling like everyone else
  • You could end up on a scent rut
Versace Eros

Based on this list, we can start to get a sense of where men's fragrance is. There are several noteworthy trends to explore in more detail.

Aquatic Aromatics are Well Represented on the Best-Seller List

The first trend I noticed is how many of the most popular men’s colognes fall into the aquatics family. These colognes are designed to replicate the smells of the seaside, from salty air to sea to marine plants. Aquatic aromatics are relatively modern. Many credit Cool Water with being the first aquatic when it launched in 1988. However, they have already proved to be the most popular men’s colognes, as you can see from this list.

Classic Colognes Die Hard

With all the fragrances launches and emerging niche players,  I tend to think of the cologne landscape as constantly changing. However, I was surprised by how many of the best selling men's cologne are classics. Many of them have been reformulated over the years but I was still pleasantly surprised to see so many classic scents are still selling well.

Citrus

In contrast to the heavy, musky perfumes your grandfather wore, many popular colognes feature bright citruses like bergamot, lemon, or grapefruit.

Men & Women List Their Fave's

The Most Popular Cologne

Following are the most popular cologne trends among men:

Woody scents: Woody colognes are known for their ability to bring out the natural masculinity in a man. They often have elements of musk and sandalwood, making them a great choice for men looking to reflect strength and confidence.

Citrus scents: Citrus scents are a great choice for men who want to make a bold statement. They are zesty, fresh, and full of life, making them perfect for men who have a more outgoing personality. I would recommend fragrances like Eau de Pamplemousse Rose for this purpose.

Spicy scents: Spicy scents provide a unique and interesting twist to the traditional cologne. When a man wears spicy cologne, he exudes a sense of mystery and intrigue. Some popular spicy colognes include Tom Ford Noir Extreme and Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf. You see, no matter what your personality type is, there is a scent out there that will suit you.

— John Smith / Design Specialist / Leather Skin Shop


All-time favorites

As a Marketing Executive at Perfume Empire, a retailer, and wholesaler of genuine designer fragrances with over 22 years of experience, here are my thoughts on scents worth mentioning:

Bvlgari Man Wood Essence - Combines patchouli, cedarwood, and vetiver for an aroma that will make you stand out from the crowd. The earthy and refreshing scent conveys an old-world feel updated with modern ingredients. Perfect for those looking to transition their wardrobe into the warmer months, the woody notes are accented with citrus and ginger accents, adding a hint of fruity delight. Fresh and masculine, this cologne is worth a try if you want to upgrade your fragrance repertoire.

Hugo Boss Bottled Night - Reminiscent of a crisp night sky in a bottle, this exhilarating masculine blend creates an invigorating sensation upon application. Its intensely woody scent makes it perfect for formal wear or special occasions where you want to stand out as sophisticatedly stylish yet down-to-earth simultaneously. With long-lasting base notes such as vetiver and sandalwood, this one won't disappoint you even after hours!

Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue Pour Homme Eau de Toilette Spray - Based around citrusy scents like lemon, grapefruit, and juniper berry. This fragrant masterpiece also contains lush accords such as white rose petals and incense, giving off more depth than most other colognes. Suppose you are looking for something invigorating yet subtle enough that can last throughout whatever event may come your way, then without a doubt. In that case, D&G Light Blue pour homme is worth considering.

Tom Ford Noir Extreme - The rich blend of spices at its core makes this cologne absolutely unforgettable. Think saffron absolute combined with nutmeg essence alongside base notes like sandalwood accord or tonka bean absolute, resulting in an intoxicatingly masculine aroma. Wearing it will certainly raise your confidence!

— Jamie Irwin / Marketing Executive / Perfume Empire


Unisex scents

Working within the beauty and nail industry over the years, I have built up a wealth of knowledge. Here are some of the best cologne recommendations:

L'Eau Révée d'Hubert by Sisley

This personifies the European style. The spring-appropriate geranium overtones take this radiant smell into olfactory ecstasy. The d'Hubert has complex yet alluring notes that evoke a calm stream of water sprinkled with greenery, as well as citrus bursts, geranium (our favorite), and even mint to provide a new level of flavors.

Les Heures Voyageuses - Oud Vanillé by Cartier

With Must de Cartier, Cartier dominated the traditional musk fragrance market for many years. The French house's newest fragrance is even more amazing now, and you'll wear it all year long. Both hot summer nights by the beach and chilly winter getaways by the fire are suitable for the sweet vanilla and oud wood, of course.

Acqua di Gio Eau de Toilette by Armani (Men)

The 1990s-era fragrance Armani Acqua di Gio Eau de Toilette is still in style today. This perfume, a favorite of many of my friends, simply does not stale and retains its allure over 30 years later. Even though it is not as well known as it was in the 1990s, Alberto Morillas' brilliance is still highly regarded today. Who doesn't love a trip to the Mediterranean? We are definitely in need of one!

Marie Littlewood / Director / NSI


The Classic Sauvage

"The most popular one I see is Sauvage by Dior, it's a good-smelling one and maybe it's so popular because of Johnny Depp. But when people don't know what to ask for they usually go for something safe like this perfume."

— Laurens / Owner / Happy Giftlist 


101 Guide: How to Choose Your Cologne

Essential oils classification by notes infographic

Sample It: Scents Smells Different on Different People

A fragrance that works for one person, may very well not work for you. This is because the essential oils that create the fragrance interact with each person’s body chemistry differently. Everything from the oil on your skin to your body temperature affects the way your cologne smells.

Style is less quantifiable but nonetheless extremely important. Part of this is just knowing your fragrance personality and what kind of impression you want to make. Some guys would like their scent to fly under the radar while others of us like to make more of a statement with our cologne.

Ideally, sample a cologne on your skin before you buy it. Experience the whole fragrance story from top notes (what you smell immediately), to heart notes (usually emerge after 20 minutes of wearing the fragrance) to basenotes (the lingering smell). Let it evolve and see if you still like it. If possible, experience all of them before you buy.

fragrance wheel infographic
The Fragrance Wheel

Understanding Essentials Oils and the Fragrance Journey

Linear fragrances maintain a consistent scent profile, while non-linear ones evolve over time, creating layers of fragrance. Initially, fragrances were formulated to change during wear due to ingredient instability, but now many appreciate the evolving scent as an art form.

Some prefer a "what you smell is what you get" approach, favoring fragrances that maintain a consistent scent profile. Generally, high-end fragrances tend to be non-linear, while budget options are often linear.

Fragrances consist of three types of notes: top, heart, and base. The top note, usually floral or citrusy, fades within about 30 minutes, transitioning to the heavier heart notes like spice or grass. Base notes, rich and woodsy, linger the longest, providing a foundation for the fragrance. Learn more about fragrance notes

Understand Sillage and Concentrations

best smelling cologne


"Cologne" is commonly used to describe men's fragrances, but it's not entirely accurate. There's a whole vocabulary for the concentration of essential oils in fragrances. While percentages aren't regulated, more essential oils usually mean higher prices and longer-lasting scents.

"Sillage" denotes how far a fragrance spreads, and bigger isn't always better. In close quarters, restraint is appreciated.

"Concentrations" indicate the amount of essential oil in a fragrance, impacting its strength and longevity.

Common Concentrations For Men Include:

  • Perfume/ Parfum: 15-40% essential oils, 6-8 hours
  • Eau de Parfum (EDP): 15-20% essential oils, 5-6 hours
  • Eau de Toilette (EDT): 5-15% essential oils, 4-5 hours
  • Eau de Cologne (EDC): 2-4% essential oils, 2-3 hour
  • Eau Fraiche: 1-3% essential oils, 1-2 hours

Learn more about the different types of men’s perfume

best smelling cologne

FAQs

How do the characteristics of woody, fresh, and amber scents differ?

Understanding the distinctions between the fragrance families helps people choose colognes that are best for different occasions and seasons. Woody scents give off strength and versatility, an ideal scent for going from day to evening. Fresh fragrances offer a clean, refreshing vibe, perfect for daytime wear, especially in summer. Amber fragrances, with their sensual and spicy notes, are best for evening events or cooler temperatures.

How can I figure out which concentration of cologne (e.g., Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette) is best for my preferences and budget?

Generally, colognes with higher concentrations of essential oils, such as Eau de Parfum, last longer but come with a higher price tag. On the other hand, options like Eau de Toilette are more affordable with a lighter scent profile and shorter longevity. Understanding the differences between concentrations means you can make an informed decision.

How should colognes be properly stored to make sure they last long and hold on to their scent quality over time?

Colognes should be stored in a cool, dark environment away from direct sunlight and fluctuations in temperature, since exposure to light and heat can degrade the fragrance molecules and change the scent. Keep the cologne bottles tightly sealed - this helps prevent evaporation and oxidation, making sure the fragrance stays potent and true to its original composition.

Pin On Pinterest

10 Best Selling & Smelling Cologne
Writer

Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.

10 Best Selling & Smelling Colognes