Skip to Content

10 Best Selling & Smelling Cologne (2022)

10 Best Selling & Smelling Cologne (2022)

Call these best smelling 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.

Quick Summary: Our Top 3 Top Selling Men's Cologne Picks
  • Versatile
  • Easy-going fragrance
  • Popular
  • Luxurious and sophisticated scent
  • Well-blended
  • Supremely seductive
  • A blockbuster in the industry
  • Both warm and slightly sweet
  • Created by 3 top perfumers with serious credentials

Our Top Picks: Best Smelling Colognes Worth a Try

Best Attractive
Bleu De Chanel Parfum by Chanel (2018)

Bleu de Chanel was released in 2010 and garnered rave reviews. Its masculine citrus, woody and spicy fragrance is conserved in a very chic bottle. Pricey but you get what you pay for.

  • High quality fragrance
  • Pricey
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

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.

Fernweh Editions: Candles That Take You on a Journey

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: Most Occasions can go from day to night, all-seasons
Main Accords: Woody & Aromatic

Longevity: Long-lasting
Sillage: Moderate

Best Day to Night
Sauvage EDT by Christian Dior

A masculine modern classic with pepper and bergamot accords and moving to lavender and pepper again. Quite different to Sauvage Parfum and Eau de Parfum in scent notes, price and performance.

  • Very Versatile
  • Pricey
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Best Day to Night

Dior’s Sauvage by perfumer Francois Demachy is tied for best-selling men’s fragrance. 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

Best for Everyday
Coach EDT by Coach

This is a subtle scent that pleasant and also that won't offend - that is why it is a best-seller. It starts off fresh but also has a woody accord.

  • Affordable
  • Poor atomizer
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

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

Fernweh Editions Candles

Best Summer Scent
Light Blue Eau Intense Pour Homme EDT by Dolce & Gabbana

This is a fresh eau de toilette with both aromatic citrus and marine accords. An excellent scent for summer, even spring and certainly for daytime occasions. Buyers will find this woody aquatic good value for money.

  • Good value for money
  • Some report an overly synthetic scent
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Best Summer Scent

When D & G Light Blue Eau Intense Pour Homme EDT was launched in 2007, it became a top seller 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

Best for Going Out
1 Million EDT by Paco Rabanne

This spicy and woody EDT was released in 2008. Its warm spicy scent is at the same time fresh with grapefruit, blood orange and mint. Paco Rabanne's metallic fashion was the inspiration for 1 Million and the entire package symbolizes luxury, power and wealth - the quality makes it decent value for money.

  • Highly complimented scent
  • Many love it or hate it
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

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

Fernweh Editions Candles

Sexiest Date Night
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/01/2022 12:52 pm GMT

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

Best for Every Ocassion
L'Homme Eau De Toilette by Prada

This EDT for men has a Chypre Woody accord with iris, amber, neroli, geranium, and patchouli blending a special ultramodern yet sensual scent - and for quite a fair price.

L'Homme Prada and La Femme Prada were released in 2016 as a “pair of equals” - the representation of man and woman. Their identities are both interchangeable and duplicate each other.

  • Very popular
  • Sillage could be better
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

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. 

Fernweh Editions Candles

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.

The Most Complimented
L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme EDT by Issey Miyake

L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme has quite a light and airy fragrance about it and could never be described as overpowering or heavy.

This, along with its moderate sillage, might be why it is so versatile. 

Still, its lasting fresh aroma means that it is perfect for warmer months and daytime events.

  • Good value
  • Some report a sourish scent to it
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Most Complimented

L’Eau d’Issey is one of the best smelling 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 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.

Fernweh Editions Candles

Best Sophisticated
Gucci Intense Oud EDP by Gucci

Intense Oud is a unisex scent with a woody oud at the forefront and a smoky amber. The opening accord is both spicy and fruity, blooming into a sweet oriental and floral fragrance.

The best time to wear it is in the colder months or any evening occasion. 

  • Good quality scent for the price
  • Synthetic smelling oud
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Best 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 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 For Summer Nights
Dark Rebel Rider EDT by John Varvatos

This is a very masculine scent with leathery and warm spicy accords.

Characterized as a dark scent - boozy and leathery with a sweet smoky dry down. Think smoky bar with large men in leather. Clearly this is one to wear for evening events and cooler months.

  • Decent value for money at under $100
  • Only moderate longevity
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Best for Summer Nights

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

But in a collection of stand-outs, it’s 2015’s Dark Rebel Rider, created by Rodrigo Flores-Roux (Tom Ford Neroli Portofino EDT, Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Vetiver EDP), that’s hit the top of the best smelling 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 Signature Scent
CH Prive EDT by Carolina Herrera

This spicy, warm and leathery cologne is a modern classic oozing of sensual luxury.

An oriental fragrance that is the kind of masculine women love. Perfect for colder months and evening occasions and is of decent value cost-wise.

  • Bold but not overpowering
  • Moderate longevity
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Best Signature Scent

CH Men Prive, was released in 2015 and became a fragrance staple for many men. It’s not hard to understand why. The opening whisky note is something to behold.

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

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.

Pros: Reasons to Buy Best-Selling Fragrances

Great for Gift Giving

These best-selling and best smelling 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.

Safe for Blind-Buys

It can be intimidating and time-consuming to go in-store and sample colognes but buying online can be uncertain since you can’t test the colognes beforehand. Popular, classic scents tend to be safe buys — they’ve stood the test of time and have been well-liked enough to be a best-seller.


One of the most frustrating things is hearing great buzz about a fragrance, only to find out later, it was all hype. These wouldn’t have made it consistently to the best-seller list if they weren’t quality fragrances in the first place.

Cons: Downsides of a Best-Selling Fragrance

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

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.

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 that explore scents beyond what’s on the best-seller list. Plus, it’s just nice to support the little guys sometimes.

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 these best-sellers 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.


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 For 2022

I love Tiffany For Men! Not the new one that’s currently on their website (I haven’t smelled it and the notes don’t particularly interest me) but the original. It’s AMAZING! It’s so suave, and it transcends and uplifts the mood like any good fragrance should.

Spicebomb by Viktor + Rolf is classy. I love spicy fragrances, and this one definitely delivers on the name.

UltraMale by Jean Paul Gaultier! I love all JPG’s fragrances, but this one in particular because it has added spiciness. While many JPG fragrances are associated with spring or summer, this one is the ultimate winter fragrance.

The Spice Trifecta

— Michael Freeby, Photographer for Michael Freeby Photography

The Versatile Chanel Duo

“The trick to choosing a cologne is knowing what events and dress codes you are headed to. Colognes each have their own personality, and some are better suited for formal events, while others are casual and perfect for weekend activities.

Bleu de Chanel is my go-to scent. It never fails as my favorite all-around scent since it transitions from day to night seamlessly.

Besides, a 1.7 oz. of this cologne is enough to last me a long time, just the right fit for its price.

The Bleu de Chanel is an elegant and sophisticated scent, so it works really well for a professional setting.”

— Lindsey Davis, Editor for Fragrance and Co

Chanel Allure Homme Sport This is a great fragrance to wear at any time. The fragrance notes of citrus, musk, and woodsy are undeniably intoxicating. You’ll definitely remember him when he wears this fragrance!”

— Mary Winkenwerder, Blogger/ Beauty Expert for Smooth Cosmetics

Down to Earth

“If you’re paying attention to the cologne scene in 202w, get ready to hear an earful about the latest from Tom Ford. We’re talking about Black Orchid in particular, which promises to be a classic for men who like a down-to-earth but slightly sweet scent.”

– Daniel Javor, CEO of Next Luxury

Want to find the best smelling colognes for men in 2022? 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. 

101 Guide: How to Choose Your Cologne

best mens cologne

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

Understanding Essentials Oils and the Fragrance Journey

Linear: Scents that 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, the 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 smelling cologne

Fitting the Cologne to the Occasion

While there are some of the best smelling 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 some of the best smelling colognes 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 some of the most popular men’s colognes recently.

Woody = Versatile

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


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

best smelling cologne

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 be some of the best smelling colognes for 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. 

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 the 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

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 that 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 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 are 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

Pin On Pinterest

Best Smelling Cologne

Fernweh Editions Candles