We change up our cologne almost as much as we change up our wardrobe (read: seasonally). You want to make sure your scent leaves a mark on everyone around you…without being too overpowering. Cologne really has come a long way over the years and there are so many options based on your favorite scents, your personality, time of year, and even time of day you plan on wearing it! Don’t be afraid to take some risks and change up your favorite fragrance from time to time. But what’s it all really mean? Learn how to pick the right cologne for you here.
If you’re someone who doesn’t update their scent as often as they should (we’re not judging) you may find it interesting to know that if you’re storing your cologne in your bathroom where it’s exposed to heat, steam, and humidity (thanks for nothing, shower) it’s totally breaking down the notes and leaving it, well, overall musty. Yuck. So it’s clearly time to grab a new bottle and store it somewhere dryer. Whether you’re looking for something super seasonal like woodsy and warm or just something light and fresh we’ve rounded up some of the best-selling and must-smell men’s cologne picks for 2018.
Winter 2018 Picks:
1. Dior Sauvage Eau de Toilette Men’s Cologne – Buy It Here
Smells like: Masculine bergamot, pepper, and breezy sunshine. One of the most popular and top selling men’s cologne picks for the year, Sauvage is powerful and noble and a genius mix of all things blue sky, rugged mountains, and soft grass. While a distinctive scent it’s perfect for those cooler fall days and nights without being overpowering. One recent buyer said,
Best cologne I have ever bought! Everyday people tell me that I smell so good!”
2. Creed ‘Aventus’ Cologne for Men – Buy It Here
Smells like: Bergamot, apples, birch, jasmine, musk, and vanilla. A favorite cologne of 2018, Aventus is actually the best selling cologne for the Creed brand in it’s unique history. A bit on the pricey side, it’s still totally worth it because, well, you’re worth it. It lasts long throughout the day without overpowering and you don’t really need many sprays so it’ll last a bit longer than some of your other favorite colognes. Plus: Find out where to buy the best Creed cologne brands for cheap! One recent buyer said,
The smell is out of this world…my husband walks into the room at home or work and everyone turns around to see who it is.”
3. Scentbird Cologne Monthly Subscription Box – Buy It Here
If you’re not ready to commit to an entire bottle of new cologne (guilty as charged) you can now sample the latest scents each and every month. Here’s how it works: You can choose from more than 150 major cologne brands like Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Tom Ford, Acqua di Parma, Coach and so many more. Each month you’ll receive your new fragrances (the first month they’ll even give you a reusable travel-friendly refillable case) for you to test out. They provide enough cologne so that it’ll last you the entire month (averaging around 3 sprays of the cologne per day). Not bad! Even better, you can cancel at any time. Perfect for you or a great gift idea when you have no clue what to get him. Plus, check out the best ways to save on your Scentbird order with these coupon codes!
4. Chanel ‘Bleu de Chanel’ – Buy It Here
Smells like: Wood, crisp citrus, fresh and clean. This is one of the latest best-selling men’s colognes this year. It’s a perfect fragrance option when you’re transitioning seasons, but could still be worn all year round. We love how they brilliantly blend woodsy and citrus notes to totally complete this must-try fragrance. One recent buyer said,
This scent is my all-time favorite. It smells masculine, sexy and provocative. Simply put, it turns me on. Every woman knows what I mean!”
5. Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf – Buy It Here
Smells like: Bergamot, cinnamon, leather, grapefruit, and pink pepper. A top selling cologne for 3 years in a row, everyone seems to be obsessed with Spicebomb and not just because of how cool the bottle is (it is though, isn’t it?). It’s addictive, spicy, and zesty all at the same time. This is the type of cologne that’s totally comforting and distinctive enough to turn some heads, grabs some compliments, and just overall makes you feel good. Nothing kicks off the change of seasons and the cooler temps quite like Spicebomb. A recent buyer said,
I get compliments everywhere I go about my Spice Bomb. It’s such a masculine, unique, yet absolutely desirable scent; a must have!”
6. Maison Martin Margiela Replica ‘Jazz Club’ – Buy It Here
Smells like: Pink pepper, rum absolute, tobacco leaf, and vanilla. We actually can’t love this cologne any more than we do. It’s somewhat strong, but in a good way, so you really only need one or two sprays (max) and you’ll be smelling fresh-to-death all day long. Like with all Replica scents, you can layer this cologne with some of their other options to really make your own signature fragrance. You can’t go wrong. Editor’s Note: This is our ‘go to’ every fall and winter. One recent buyer said,
This fragrance is a game changer. My fiancé and I purchased it on a whim and are so happy that we did. The notes are subtle, and fades deliciously!”
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7. Prada ‘L’Homme Prada’ Eau de Toilette – Buy It Here
Smells like: Iris, amber, neroli, and patchouli. This cologne from Prada mixed iris and amber for the first time in this signature scent. It has a very comforting scent that may just turn some heads. One recent buyer said,
The office-friendly fragrance. Very clean, fresh smell. Not overpowering but is long lasting. I would recommend for the day or as a work fragrance.”
8. Tom Ford ‘Oud Wood’ For Fall Into Winter – Buy It Here
Smells like: Oud wood, Rosewood, vetiver, tonka bean, amber and more. This is actually one of Tom Ford’s best-selling fragrances on the market to date. Plus, the ladies love it on a guy and, well, so do the guys. It’s a masculine and upscale experience. A definitely a winner for this season. One recent buyer said,
This fragrance when worn by my man makes me want to bury my nose in his neck, it smells amazingly seductive. It is unique and unforgettable.”
9. Acqua di Gio ‘Profumo’ – Buy It Here
Smells like: Bergamot, ginger, patchouli, sage, cashmere and more. If you’ve liked Acqua di Gio in the past, you’re sure to like this newer scent for guys. It’s very masculine (but not being too much), intense, sophisticated and the perfect choice for your every day option this time of year. One recent buyer said,
Two things make it stand above its competitors: its uniqueness – it just doesn’t smell like other colognes out there – and its masculinity.”
10. Jo Malone ‘Oud & Bergamot’ for Men – Buy It Here
Smells like: Bergamot, cedarwood, and oud. While the notes are simply, this fragrance is actually quite intoxicating and perfect for those cooler nights. It’s totally crisp, comforting, and alluring. And, well, it’s one of our favorites from Jo Malone in a while. One recent buyer said,
Love this scent. It is very similar to the Oud Wood scent by Tom Ford at a fraction of the cost!”
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11. HERMÉS Terre D’Hermés Men’s Cologne – Buy It Here
Smells like: Grapefruit, wood, minerals, and green notes. This is the perfect cologne for the guy who loves outdoors, mineral scents, and earthy tones. It’s totally not overbearing, but still leaves its signature throughout your day. One recent buyer said,
This cologne transports you to the bright blue waters of St Tropez.”
12. Valentino ‘Uomo’ Fragrance – Buy It Here
Smells like: Italian bergamot, leather, and cedarwood. It’s vibrant, rich, and suave all at the same time. Plus, how cool is this bottle too? He’ll be proud to display this one on his dresser. One recent buyer said,
This is everything you need in life. This is for sure one of my top 3 scents of all time!
13. Tom Ford’s ‘Vanille Tobacco’ – Buy It Here
Smells like: Tobacco leaf, ginger, tonka bean, cocoa, and vanilla. Another favorite from Tom Ford! It’s smooth, comforting, and something that feels like you’re wrapped in warmth and serenity. One recent buyer said,
Never found a scent I love more than this! 1 spritz lasts all day. Not only is the smell divine but the quality is equally as great! Not sure I’ll ever be able to wear anything else.”
14. Le Labo ‘Bergamote 22’ – Buy It Here
One of our favorites for summer-into-fall, ‘Bergamote 22’ is the kind of cologne that will turn heads for all the right reasons. Sometimes it’s nice to have a scent that isn’t too familiar to everyone who smells it. It combines bergamot with light petigrain, grapefruit, amber and musk. Plus it’s totally vegan and not tested on animals, so a real added bonus. We love how light it is without fading away after 10 minutes. Let the cooler temps begin! One recent buyer said,
This scent is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. I’m emotionally drawn to it and it stirs up memories of sunshine and happiness – I smile every time I smell it.”
15. Prada ‘Luna Rossa’ Eau de Toilette – Buy It Here
Smells like: Lavender, orange, spearmint, sage, and wood. This cologne is totally fresh, cool, and soothing. It has a crispness that helps awaken your senses each and every day. One recent buyer said,
This is the first cologne in years that my husband has gotten excited about!”
Lighter Scents & Men’s Fragrances
16. Clean ‘Shower Fresh’ – Buy It Here
Another must-try and overall favorite, Shower Fresh by CLEAN is just that. Totally clean. It’s like a shower in a bottle. It’s totally refreshing, energizing, and really helps to wake you up in the morning. We almost guarantee you’ll get a compliment each and every time you wear it. One recent buyer said,
It, literally, is like a fresh shower in a bottle. There isn’t a time when someone doesn’t ask me what I’m wearing. It’s hard to come by, but totally worth it when you find it.”
17. Issey Miyake ‘L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme’ – Buy It Here
We. Can’t. Get. Enough. Of. This. Cologne. Enough said! Ok, there’s more. We can’t wait for the change of seasons (particularly spring, summer, and early fall) so we can bust out this old standby cologne. This cologne has made our list for 2nd time because of its distinctive scents of geranium, waterlily, cypress wood, verbena, sandalwood, amber, musk, and tobacco. We almost want to drink it. Of course, never drink it, but you’ll want to. Get it while you can. One recent buyer said,
This unique blend offers a subtle fresh citrus scent that is suitable for men who want a light fresh delightful scent that is not overpowering.”
18. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino – Buy It Here
Smells like: Italian bergamot, Sicilian lemon, and yellow mandarin. This cologne by Tom Ford is the perfect lighter option as it’ll bring you right back to memories of the beach, the sun, and your most relaxing vacation. It’s clean, fresh, and one of the most intoxicating scents we’ve experienced in a while. One recent buyer said,
You feel like you are on a breezy island beach. Women love it on me, I get so many compliments!”
19. Versace Man ‘Eau Fraiche’ – Buy It Here
Smells like: White lemon, rose wood, cedar leaves, sage, and musk. We kind of love all things Versace, but this one in particular is perfectly modern, fresh, and the perfect cologne to just spray on when you need a quick pick-me-up during the day (or night!). One recent buyer said,
It is more of a light scent with sweet and mildly spicy hints. Has always been in my top favorites!”
20. New Yves Saint Laurent – Buy It Here
Smells like: Bergamot, sage, and masculine crispy cedarwood. Overall it’s a masculine scent that combines and delicately balances freshness and strength. This is said to be your t-shirt and jeans kind of cologne. One recent buyer said,
Personally I think it’s the best male fragrance out there. Very masculine yet soft at the same time!”
21. Versace ‘Eros’ – Buy It Here
Smells like: Refreshing and awakening mint leave, Italian lemon zest, amber, cedarwood, and vetiver. This fragrance is the one you want when you really want to turn heads on your night out with the guys. It’s fresh, not overpowering, and super distinctive. One recent buyer said,
This is hands down my favorite cologne for my husband. It’s sweet, but still manly enough for him.”
22. Gucci ‘Guilty Eau Pour Homme’ Eau de Toilette – Buy It Here
Smells like: Bergamot, musk, and lemon. This cologne is super light, fresh, crisp, and airy while still maintaining its masculinity. One recent buyer said,
This is my go-to for a night out on town!”
23. John Varvatos ‘Artisan Pure’ – Buy It Here
One of the latest from Josh Varvatos, Artisan Pure, combines woodsy and citrus scents together to brilliant convey the feeling of sunny days, contemplation, and masculinity. It has notes of Spanish lemon, coffee tree flower, tonka bean, cedarwood and more.
24. Givenchy ‘Gentleman’ Eau de Toilette – Buy It Here
Smells like: Elegance with spice! It’s masculine, but still mixes lighter notes like pear and lavender with stronger notes like leather and patchouli.
25. Le Labo ‘Santal 33’ – Buy It Here
Smells like: Cedarwood, leather, sandalwood, violet accord, iris, and papyrus. This vegan cologne (what’s up fellow vegans!) is actually unisex (I know, right) and mixes a softness with a masculinity that no one can really pass up.
26. Paco Rabanne 1 Million Eau de Toilette – Buy It Here
Smells like: Leather, cinnamon, amber, and rose absolut. It’s bold, without being too overpowering and (for real) some men claim it may have powers to attract. We’re not sure about that, but the bottle is cool AF.
27. Dolce&Gabbana ‘Light Blue’ – Buy It Here
It’s like a stress-free vacation in a bottle. If we had to pinpoint the location, we’d say the sun-drenched Italian countryside. Light Blue mixes bergamot, Sicilian bergamot, grapefruit, rosemary, musk wood, and oak moss. This is the kind of cologne you spray on in the morning, puts you in the most zen state of mind, and will last throughout the day.
How to Pick the Right Cologne For You
What’s the Difference Between Cologne, Eau de Toilette, and Eau de Parfum?
I know, it’s seems super complicated and, to be honest, it doesn’t really need to be. Here’s a top-level breakdown so you know the real difference and can now choose the right fragrance option for you.
Cologne: Just a super old name for “perfume” back in the day. Here in the United States we refer to it as ‘cologne’ and equate it to guys as opposed to ‘perfume’ that’s generally equated to women. Usually cologne is made up of about 3% of perfume oils mixed in with alcohol and water.
Eau de Toilette: This is typically your spray version and lighter in smell. It’s made up of around 10% (give or take) of aromatic perfume essence.
Eau de Parfum: This can sometimes signal a unisex scent and will typically last the longest of all (probably because it’s made up of almost 20% perfume essence) and is sometimes the most expensive of all your fragrance options. It’s perfect to spray on your clothes or in your hair as you’ll catch whiffs of it throughout the day.
What are Top Notes, Base Notes, and Medium Notes?
Top Notes: These are typically lighter scents and what you’ll smell first.
Base Notes: These are typically bolder and stronger scents that you’re left with after applying the cologne.
Medium Notes: These are typically your more fruity notes that combine with your top and bottom notes. It pretty much ties everything together.
Overall, the notes are the notes (if that makes sense), but the overall smell is going to differ person to person and how they truly interact with your own body’s chemistry. The notes are a good overall guide so you know what you’re getting out of the cologne, but don’t be afraid if you see a note that you may not love, it doesn’t mean the entire cologne will smell like that. It’s just how they all work together.