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The Best Men’s Colognes for Every Occasion

a man in a blue suit putting a cologne bottle into his lapel pocket
Body Stock/Shutterstock

“Someone smells really good in here.” No six words know how to make a man’s day more than these. They don’t even need to be directed his way. Just knowing your signature scent was a talking point for the day will have you floating by on cloud nine because why shouldn’t you stand out? If you’re in the market for a new scent, then here are a few options you should check out.

Buying Your Next Bottle of Cologne

Consider these factors when making a selection:

  • Concentration: First and foremost, it is important to note that while some colognes may contain the same ingredients, they will definitely not smell the same after a period of time if their fragrance concentration is different. Concentration refers to the pureness or dilution of a spray. There is the Eau Fraiche, a 1-3% perfume oil choice that lasts only for an hour at a time, followed by Eau de Toilette options, which are the most popular as they last up to three hours a time and contain up to 15% perfume oil, and then Parfum sprays, which contain up to 30% perfume and are the purest scents you can buy. It’s a hierarchy of smell and cost, so consider a balance between the two.
  • Scents: Of course, finding the perfect cologne is also about personal preference and context. What kind of smell do you, or your significant other, gravitate toward? Moreover, think about your scent in regard to the seasons and what time of day you’re likely to wear the spray.
  • Capacity: Finally, don’t forget to take into account the amount of cologne per bottle you’re dealing with. Cologne sours within a few short years, so if you buy large bottles, then you need to be the type of person to wear it often. Infrequent users who reserve cologne for special occasions should limit themselves to no more than 3-ounce bottles.

Best Light Scent: DOLCE & GABBANA Light Blue Pour Homme Eau de Toilette

A textured 6.7-ounce glass bottle made from hefty glass with a light blue and silver cap.

A contemporary classic, this DOLCE & GABBANA Light Blue is for the man who is seeking that day-time beachside aroma. Just like there are more t-shirt colors than navy blue, you can find plenty of scents out of men’s cologne than those that feature more musk than zing. This Eau de Toilette is fresh on the surface with underlying spicy notes, featuring hints of everything from juniper and grapefruit peel to rosemary and Sichuan pepper. Its 6.7-ounce fragrance capacity is also a huge perk for men who use their cologne daily.

Best Light Scent

DOLCE&GABBANA Light Blue Pour Homme Eau de Toilette Spray, 6.7 oz.

This bottle of cologne features both citrusy and spicy notes in a 6.7 ounce-liquid capacity.

Best Woodsy Scent: Azzaro Wanted by Night Eau de Parfum

A dark amber glass bottle with a gunmetal-colored top that is shaped to resemble the cylinder of a revolver.

A must-have evening scent for the dapper 21st-century man, this Wanted by Night fragrance by Azzaro brings the typically “manly” potency with some fetching sweet notes to provide balance. The spice consists of equal parts elegant and bold notes, like red cedarwood and tobacco leaves. Its woody aroma is matched by seductive hints of cinnamon, creating a layered essence that’s sure to bring the conversation closer.

Best Woodsy Scent

Azzaro Wanted By Night Eau de Parfum — Mens Cologne — Woody, Oriental & Spicy Fragrance

An ideal choice for the man who is looking to make a statement at all hours of the evening.

Popular Choice: Cremo Bourbon & Oak Cologne Spray

A clear 3.4-ounce bottle with a thick, weighted bottom to prevent cracks or breaking.

A classic choice for men who are new to cologne or for someone who wants the best of both aromatic worlds, this Cremo Bourbon & Oak Cologne Spray matches any occasion with plenty of finesse. It’s a sophisticated blend without alienating new users or company, layered with three main notes: an intoxicating bourbon, a crisp oak, and an earthy vetiver to tie it all together. Such a fragrance has all of the markings of a bottle you’d see on the top shelf of a high-end boutique, but this one is yours for a little more than pocket change.

Popular Choice

Cremo Bourbon & Oak Cologne Spray, A Sophisticated Blend of Distiller’s Spice, Fine Bourbon and White Oak, 3.4 Oz

A sophisticated but welcoming blend of bourbon and oak that's great for those looking to get their footing in the fragrance game.

Best Gift Set: Perry Ellis 360 By Perry Ellis for Men

From left to right in descending order is a tall glass cologne bottle with a bulbous top, an aluminum deodorizing can with a twist-top, a squeezable shower gel, and a mini travel cologne.

Looking to get more out of your cologne than a few spritzes before you head out the door? This Perry Ellis 360 bundle contains not just one personal cologne but a travel-friendly version of the same scent, as well as a deodorizing spray and a shower gel. For normal occasions in which you’d like to feel semi-presentable, you have the deodorizing spray. Big night in or out of town? Spray on some cologne. Want to smell even better before bed? Your shower gel awaits. It’s a bundle that will point you in the right direction for any occasion, with notes of mandarin orange, cloves, and lavender guiding the way.

Best Gift Set

Perry Ellis 360 By Perry Ellis for Men - 4 Pc Gift Set 3.4oz Edt Spray, 6.8oz Deodorizing Body Spray, 3.0oz Shower Gel, 0.25oz Edt Spray, 4count

This bundle set contains not one, but two cologne bottles as well as a deodorizing spray and a shower gel.

Best Sampler Set: Pilestone Designer Fragrance Sampler for Men

A 12-count of varying sampler colognes ranging from .04 ounces to .17 ounces.

An ideal choice for those who have yet to find their scent, this Pilestone Designer Fragrance Sampler for Men includes 12 high-end sample colognes that will help any man zero in on their go-to choice. From the spiced aroma of Versace and Drakkar to the woodsy hints of Lacoste and Le Fou 21, you’re getting a variety pack that touches every corner of men’s fragrance.

Best Sampler Set

Designer Fragrance Sampler for Men - Lot x 12 Cologne Vials with Deluxe Mini Bottle

If you're on the hunt for a new signature scent, this 12-count variety collection has a trusted selection and optimal bang for your buck.

Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »
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