Call these top-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.
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.
Top 10 Best-Selling Men's Fragrances Worth a Try
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.
L'Eau d'Issey is one of the fragrances 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. 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.
8. Azzaro Wanted by Night EDP
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.
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.
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 Pour Homme 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 sea water add a sharper, more distinct vibe that’s hard to resist.
It’s an uncomplicated, uplifting scent and so easy to wear.
5. 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.
4. 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.
But in a collection of stand-outs, it’s 2015’s John Varvatos Dark Rebel EDT, created by Rodrigo Flores-Roux (Tom Ford Neroli Portofino EDT, Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Vetiver EDP), that’s hit the top of the fragrance 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.
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.
1. 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’s a warm and slightly sweet winner that’s deserving of reconsideration.