best mens cologne

20 Best-Selling (& Smelling) Men’s Colognes in 2019

Call these best-selling men’s colognes common or ubiquitous, if you must. There’s no mistaking the popularity of some fragrances. 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. 

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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.

Our Top 10 Picks: Best-Selling Men’s Fragrances Worth a Try

best mens cologne

10. Coach for Men EDT 

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 (Frédéric 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.


best mens cologne

9. Azzaro Wanted by Night EDP

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 oriental. 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.

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.


best mens cologne

​8. Bleu de Chanel EDP

It’s easy to see why Bleu de Chanel’s woody-aromatic fragrance has become such a top 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 EDP, created by Jacques Polge (Chanel Antaeus, Chanel Égoïste), has a highly distinctive citrus-fresh opening, with grapefruit at the fore. 

It also has standout incense, vetiver, mint, cedar and amber notes. Super smooth, sensual and sexy, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another fragrance that gets as many compliments as Bleu de Chanel EDP.

It’s also remarkably versatile, from day to night and from casual-chic to more formal occasions.


best mens cologne

7. L’Homme Prada EDT

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 ol’ 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.


best mens cologne

6. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau Intense

When D & G Light Blue Pour Homme EDT was launched in 2007, it became a big seller for the Italian luxury label. Created by Alberto Morillas (Bulgari Man EDT, cK One EDT, Gucci Guilty Absolute EDP), Light Blue Eau Intense EDT became another smash hit when it received the intense treatment in 2017. 

It’s not a radically different fragrance from its predecessor, but the notes of frozen grapefruit and seawater add a sharper, more distinct vibe that’s hard to resist.

It’s an uncomplicated, uplifting scent and so easy to wear.


best mens cologne

5. Gucci Intense Oud EDP

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

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

This is achieved by the various other notes (incense, wood, leather, amber and olibanum) coming together to create a seductive and sophisticated effect that’s pure compliment-bait.


best mens cologne

4. John Varvatos Dark Rebel Rider EDT

John Varvatos is an American fashion designer whose clothing has a rock ’n roll vibe. He has released various fragrances since 2009, including John Varvatos EDT, Artisan Blu EDT and Artisan Pure EDT.

But in a collection of stand-outs, it’s 2015’s John Varvatos Dark Rebel Rider EDT, created by Rodrigo Flores-Roux (Tom Ford Neroli Portofino EDT, Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Vetiver EDP), that’s hit the top of the best men’s cologne charts. 

Wow! The boozy Jamaican rum opening of this one is incredible. So spray again and again with pleasure. But it’s the combination of sugarcane, tobacco leaf, leather, vanilla, cardamom and woody notes that make it really addictive.


best mens cologne

3. Paco Rabanne One 1 Million

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 mens cologne

2. Carolina Herrera CH Men Prive

Carolina Herrera has released a slew of popular men’s fragrances over the years, from 212 Men EDT in 1999 to CH Men Central Park in 2016.

But it was the 2015 release, CH Men Privé, which became a fragrance staple for many men. It’s not hard to understand why. The opening whisky note is something to behold.

It’s luxurious and sophisticated. The effect continues with the warm cardamom note. And then there’s the super-smooth leather note to keep perfume-lovers happy.

None of the notes overstay their welcome in this well-blended and supremely seductive scent.


best mens cologne

1. Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme EDT

L’Eau d’Issey is one of the best men’s colognes 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 incredibly popular and for a good reason.

That’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.


Best-Selling Men’s Fragrances 2019

Want to find the best men’s colognes for men in 2019? Below is a list of the current top-selling colognes on Amazon. 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. 

10 Best-Selling Men’s Colognes Now (2019)

This list is updated continually from a live feed of Amazon’s best-sellers list. 

SaleBestseller No. 1
Cool Water By Davidoff For Men. Eau De Toilette Spray 4.2 Ounces
3,238 Reviews
Cool Water By Davidoff For Men. Eau De Toilette Spray 4.2 Ounces
  • Launched by the design house of Calvin Klein in the year 1998
  • YEAR INTRODUCED 1988
SaleBestseller No. 2
Acqua Di Gio By Giorgio Armani For Men. Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Ounces
3,731 Reviews
Acqua Di Gio By Giorgio Armani For Men. Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 Ounces
  • Packaging for this product may vary from that shown in the image above. How to use -Apply on pulse point: wrist, inner elbow and neck
  • Designer House: Giorgio Armani
Bestseller No. 3
Sauvage by Christian Dior Eau de Toilette for Men, 2 Ounce
262 Reviews
Sauvage by Christian Dior Eau de Toilette for Men, 2 Ounce
  • This item is not a tester
  • Packaging may vary
SaleBestseller No. 4
Nautica Blue Eau De Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 fluid ounce
2,242 Reviews
Nautica Blue Eau De Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 fluid ounce
  • NAUTICA blue by Nautica Eau De Toilette Spray 3.4 oz for Men
SaleBestseller No. 5
Nautica Voyage Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 oz
6,196 Reviews
Nautica Voyage Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 oz
  • Nautica voyage
  • Eau de toilette spray 3.4 oz/100 ml
Bestseller No. 6
The One by Dolce & Gabbana | Eau de Parfum Natural Spray | Fragrance for Men | Elegant and Sensual Scents of Amber and Tobacco | 100 mL / 3.3 oz
273 Reviews
The One by Dolce & Gabbana | Eau de Parfum Natural Spray | Fragrance for Men | Elegant and Sensual Scents of Amber and Tobacco | 100 mL / 3.3 oz
  • A deeper fragrance experience for the perfume connoisseur. Masculine and magnetic, this highly intense scent is a statement of charisma and sophistication
  • Top Notes: Vibrant and elegant, top notes of Grapefruit, Coriander and Basil reveal the Oriental Spicy signature of the fragrance
Bestseller No. 7
Versace Eros Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 Ounce
2,299 Reviews
Versace Eros Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 Ounce
  • All our fragrances are 100% originals by their original designers.
  • This item is by designer Gianni Versace.
Bestseller No. 8
Paco Rabanne 1 Million By Paco Rabanne For Men Edt Spray 3.4 Oz
2,063 Reviews
Paco Rabanne 1 Million By Paco Rabanne For Men Edt Spray 3.4 Oz
  • 1 Million by Paco Rabanne for Men 3.4 oz EDT Spray: Buy Paco Rabanne Colognes - A supremely facetted and harmonious fragrance with a high impact signature. A flamboyant, fresh, spicy leather, and audacious fragrance.Details provided by Paco Rabanne
  • Item Condition: 100% authentic, new and unused. 1 Million by Paco Rabanne for Men 3.4 oz Eau de Toilette Spray.
SaleBestseller No. 9
Armaf Club De Nuit Intense Man EDT Men New in Box, 3.6 oz
1,205 Reviews
Armaf Club De Nuit Intense Man EDT Men New in Box, 3.6 oz
  •  Top notes are geranium, saffron and rose
  • middle notes are caraway, nutmeg, violet and pepper
SaleBestseller No. 10
Versace Man Eau Fraiche By Gianni Versace For Men Edt Spray 3.4 Fl. Oz
1,891 Reviews
Versace Man Eau Fraiche By Gianni Versace For Men Edt Spray 3.4 Fl. Oz
  • All our fragrances are 100% originals by their original designers.
  • We do not sell any knockoffs or immitations.

Pros: Reasons to Buy Best-Selling Fragrances

1. Great for Gift Giving

These best selling men’s colognes are great to give as gifts since they are typically crowd pleasers that most men will enjoy. These are all fragrances that almost anyone would welcome — probably your biggest issue is whether they have it already.

2. Safe for Blind-Buys

It’s also sometimes scary to buy cologne blind on the internet but intimidating and time-consuming to go in-store and sample colognes. I feel like these are all classics that are going to be safe buys. In addition, I’ve tried to briefly describe them below to further remove the risk.

3. High Quality

One of the most frustrating things about being a frag head is hearing great buzz about a fragrance, only to find out later when you buy a bottle, it was all hype. Many of fragrances have stood the test of time and none of them would have made it to the best-seller list if they weren’t good, high-quality fragrances in the first place.

Cons: Possible Downsides of a Best-Selling Fragrance

1. You Might Smell Like Everyone Else

Smelling like someone else might not seem like a big deal… until you’re out on a date and get told you smell like their dad, ex-boyfriend, brother, etc. Sometimes it’s worth branching out from the standards and updating your cologne collection

2. End Up in a Scent Rut

It seems like American guys just can’t get enough of that “fresh out of the shower” smell and many on this list reflect a preference for it. Not that there’s anything wrong with it per se, but there’s a whole world of scent beyond that.

3. Not Supporting Niche Perfume Makers

If all you ever do is buy the best selling men’s cologne, you’ll miss out on some wonderful niche perfumes. I love some of the more niche and experimental fragrance-makers that explore scents beyond what’s on the best-seller list. Plus, it’s just nice to support the little guys sometimes.

Best-Seller Cologne Trends for Men

Based on this list, we can start to get a sense of where men’s fragrance is. There are several noteworthy trends I’d like to explore in more detail. Please note, this is just based on my observations. I will try to research more on overall industry trends and see if my observations hold water.

1. Aquatic Aromatics are Well Represented on the Best-Seller List

The first trend I noticed is how many of the popular men’s fragrances fall into the aquatics family. From the classics like Cool Water and Gio to designer adaptations like Light Blue from Dolce & Gabbana or Polo Blue from Ralph Lauren, almost half the featured colognes are aquatics.

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 extremely popular, as you can see from this list.

2. 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 these best sellers are classics.  

I know many of them, including Cool Water, have been reformulated over the years but I was still pleasantly surprised to see so many classic scents are still not only holding on but selling well.

3. Moss, Musk and Amber

I haven’t had a chance to personally review all these yet (I’m working on it!). But as I was compiling the list of notes, I noticed moss, amber and musk came up again and again and seem to be very popular notes.

Top-Selling Men’s Colognes Comparison and Price Chart

Best-Selling Blockbuster
One 1 Million 3.4 oz for men by Paco Rabanne
Fresh Clean Scent for Work/Daytime
Issey Miyake L'eau D'issey Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 4.2 Ounce
Sophisticated Perfume-Lovers
Carolina Herrera Prive Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 Fl Oz
Night-Out Rock-n-Roll Vibe
John Varvatos Dark Rebel Men's Cologne Spray, 4.2 fl. Oz. EDT
Date-Night Spice & Warmth Coziness
Azzaro Wanted By Night Eau De Parfum, 1.7 fl. oz.
One 1 Million 3.4 oz for men by Paco Rabanne
Issey Miyake L'eau D'issey Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 4.2 Ounce
Carolina Herrera Prive Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 Fl Oz
John Varvatos Dark Rebel Men's Cologne Spray, 4.2 fl. Oz. EDT
Azzaro Wanted By Night Eau De Parfum, 1.7 fl. oz.
$59.56
$45.44
$57.07
$89.00
$72.00
Best-Selling Blockbuster
One 1 Million 3.4 oz for men by Paco Rabanne
One 1 Million 3.4 oz for men by Paco Rabanne
$59.56
Fresh Clean Scent for Work/Daytime
Issey Miyake L'eau D'issey Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 4.2 Ounce
Issey Miyake L'eau D'issey Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 4.2 Ounce
$45.44
Sophisticated Perfume-Lovers
Carolina Herrera Prive Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 Fl Oz
Carolina Herrera Prive Eau de Toilette Spray for Men, 3.4 Fl Oz
$57.07
Night-Out Rock-n-Roll Vibe
John Varvatos Dark Rebel Men's Cologne Spray, 4.2 fl. Oz. EDT
John Varvatos Dark Rebel Men's Cologne Spray, 4.2 fl. Oz. EDT
$89.00
Date-Night Spice & Warmth Coziness
Azzaro Wanted By Night Eau De Parfum, 1.7 fl. oz.
Azzaro Wanted By Night Eau De Parfum, 1.7 fl. oz.
$72.00

101 Guide: How to Choose Your Cologne

best mens cologne

1. 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.

best mens cologne

2. Understanding Essentials Oils and the Fragrance Journey

Linear: Scents which will not evolve or change as you wear them.Non-Linear: Will change and go through layers while you’re wearing them.

Historically fragrances were designed to change during wear to compensate for unstable ingredients. Now many view it as an art form and enjoy the “fragrance journey” as the scent morphs while interacting with the skin.

However other people prefer a “what you smell is what you get” approach and like that the fragrance they picked out won’t suddenly change while they’re wearing it. Generally, higher-end fragrances tend to be non-linear while budget colognes are frequently linear.

Scent notes are the layers in a cologne. There are three types of notes. Top note, heart note, and base note. The top note will melt away into the heart (middle) note and the heart note will melt into the base note. These notes make a fragrance more interesting and help them to have diverse scents.

The top note is very light and is usually floral or citrusy. The top note will last roughly 30 minutes and evolve into the heart notes which are usually the more ‘heavy’ fragrances such as spice or grass.

The base notes will last the longest and support the rest of the fragrances with more rich and woodsy scents. Learn more about fragrance notes

best mens cologne

3. Fitting the Cologne to the Occasion

While there are some of the best men’s colognes that are versatile and fit in nearly everywhere, many are designed for a specific setting and purpose in mind. Consider where you want to wear the cologne.

In general men’s fragrances fall into the woody, fresh and oriental categories on the fragrance wheel. Other scents are clean and crisp, designed for day time use, perfect for the office or at work. 

If you’re going to work, you’ll want to have a more subtle, professional scent whereas when you’re heading out on a night out, you’ll want a cologne that’s more sensual.

Oriental = Date Night or Evening Out

In general, Oriental fragrances are sensual and spicy best for a date or evening out.  They have the spicy boldness to work well in the cool of the evening and have a more sexy edge to them.

Fresh = Daytime and Summer

Fresh scents are generally crisp and clean, good for summer or daytime wear. Aquatics or Water fragrances have been overwhelmingly popular for men recently.

Woody = Versatile

Woody fragrances are earthy and natural, they are often quite versatile and could be used in a day or evening setting. 

Florals 

Floral fragrances are less common for men but tend to be light and good for daytime.

best mens cologne

4. Match Your Cologne to the Seasons

How strong a fragrance smells also depends on temperature. It’s not just about setting the mood. In summer our sense of smell is heightened and the warmth brings out even delicate scents. Citrus and floral scents tend to do best in the summer months.

Meanwhile, the best fall and winter scents are spicy, warm and bold.  While this is not a hard and fast rule, it’s worth keeping in mind. Is the cologne you loved all winter suddenly too heavy? Is your summer cologne fading away in the crisp fall air?

You might find it necessary to rotate your cologne to match the seasons, especially if you live in a place that has pronounced seasons. 

5. Understand Sillage and Concentrations

“Cologne” is commonly used to refer to men’s fragrance. However, it’s not technically correct. There is a whole lexicon of words to refer to the concentration of essential oils found in a fragrance. While the percentages aren’t officially regulated, generally the amount of essential oils increases the price as well and longevity of the fragrance.

Sillage refers to the wake of a boat in French and is how far away the fragrance can be smelled. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. If you’re working in close quarters, your co-workers will appreciate your restraint.

Concentrations refer to how much essential oil is included in a fragrance. This often affects the strength of the smell and how long it lasts, not but there are other factors as well.

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

Whether you’re looking for a cologne that will last all day (and into the night) or a more subtle scent, pay attention to the sillage and concentration.

Learn more about the different types of men’s perfume

best mens cologne

6. Fits your budget

Don’t feel intimidated by expensive niche colognes — there are quality colognes at every price-point. If you really have your heart set on a pricy luxury fragrance, keep your eye open for promotions or special offers which will make it more affordable. Or check out our guide to the lower-priced best men’s colognes.

There’s some misconception that cheap colognes are more synthetic-based and expensive colognes are made with natural ingredients. This is not true — some rare ingredients such as oud do go for premium pricing.

However, in general, it’s a combination of the concentration of the fragrance and marketing that determines the price-point. Budget perfumes are usually crowd-pleasing scents which are more diluted, targeted at a younger demographic and have basic packaging. Niche luxury brands, on the other hand, can invest in developing new fragrances and innovative packaging that can get a premium price but might not have the mass appeal.

 Learn more about the differences between cheap and expensive colognes 

How to Store Your Cologne

Short answer: in the dark, at a constant temperature, with the cap on — AKA the exact opposite of the bathroom window where it’s so tempting to store them.

If you have them in the bathroom, please don’t. 

Learn more about storing your colognes so they last longer

How to Apply Your Cologne

Here are some quick pointers on how to correctly apply cologne.

1. Spray on your body’s pulse points such as chest, neck, or wrist. The warmth will help develop the scent.

2. Spray into the air and walk through the cloud of scent. This is good for stronger perfumes or men who want a more subtle scent.

3. Apply right out of the shower and avoid putting fragrance on clothing as it can sometimes stain.

4. Don’t dump a lot on thinking it will last longer — it just makes you smell overwhelming and will wear off at the same time anyway.

And remember: fragrances should be discovered not announced.

How to Properly Apply Cologne

Is it safe to buy colognes online?

The short answer is yes….but know what to look out for. This is a constant issue — let’s face it most guys don’t exactly relish a trip to the cologne counter. But there’s also a lot of shady counterfeiters online. On this website, I try to link to reputable sources for the colognes — however, I’ve also put together some tips to help you and your wallet stay safe.

Learn more about fake cologne and buying online

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