Fragrances aren’t just for women. Yes, it does make them more desirable in our eyes but so does the opposite. This is because our sense of smell is 150,000 times more sensitive than our sense of sight. Your signature scent or lack thereof can leave a potential date with a lasting impression, so you should up your game with a good fragrance.
If you’re in danger of being known as the modern age’s “Pepe Le Pew” (look it up if you don’t know him), then you need a fragrance to turn things around. With the right smell, you can create a deep and emotional connection with just about anyone. So, how does one find that signature scent? Well, it’s not as painless as you might think but we’ve got just the list of the best fragrances for men for you.
Top 10 Fragrances For Men Of 2020 Reviewed
1․ Clinique Happy For MenBudget Men’s Fragrance
This fragrance is very citrusy yet cool and crisp. It’s perfect for a man who wants a fresh, clean smell that’s bright and, dare we say, happy. The base notes are woods (cedar, Mediterranean cypress, guaiac wood) which give it that masculine, musky scent. It’s perfect for daytime wear, especially on hot summer days.
However, Clinique’s Happy doesn’t last more than a couple of hours. You’ll need to spray it a bit liberally (6-8 times) if you want it to last far longer than that.
- Perfect summer fragrance
- Subtle, not overpowering
- The scent goes away quickly
- Needs 6-8 sprays to ensure it lasts the whole day
2. Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio ArmaniAquatic Men’s Fragrance
Giorgio Armani’s Acqua Di Gio is an Eau de Toilette spray that’s perfect for everyday wear. It is comprised of the following notes: Orange, Lime, Mandarin Orange, Jasmine, Bergamot, Lemon, and Neroli. We love the combination of rugged and sweetness in the scent. This fragrance is a classic that reminds you of how good the warm sun feels on your skin while you smell the fresh, salty scent of the ocean.
Take note that because this is an eau de toilette, the scent will not last a full day, just a couple of hours at most so you’ll need to reapply throughout the day. It is a bit on the expensive side. Also, some people find it too strong for their everyday wear.
- The rugged yet sweet scent
- Well-known brand
- The scent only lasts a couple of hours at most
3. RawChemistry Labs Pheromones for MenAquatic Men’s Fragrance
We’ve all heard that animals use pheromones to attract the opposite sex. Well, so do humans and RawChemistry makes use of human pheromones in its fragrance to make men more attractive to women. The formula contains Androstadienone, Androstenol, Androstenone, and Androsterone. Because this is not an alcohol-based fragrance, it’s less likely to irritate sensitive skin. It also features a “silky smooth, moisturizing blend” which makes your skin absorb the pheromones better.
Now, we don’t really know for sure if it does make you more attractive to women but it sure smells good. Not overpowering at all and lasts for a good long while. Plus, it seems to up the user’s confidence level. Just make sure you don’t use too much as it is concentrated. Also, because it is oil-based, some users have reported that the cologne caused stains on their clothes. Plus, it’s very expensive but we guess it’s to be expected since it makes use of pheromones.
- Makes use of human pheromones
- A good, light scent
- A little goes a long way
- Very expensive
- May not work as expected
- Can stain your clothes
4. Paco Rabanne 1 Million Eau de Toilette Spray for MenAquatic Men’s Fragrance
Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million Cologne is a sweet yet masculine scent. It reminds us a bit of cotton candy with a bit of spice (cinnamon) at the start. It’s ideal for a night out about the town with your girl or if you want to get noticed by some. It’s definitely geared more toward the younger male (no more than 29).
However, for perfume aficionados, the scent may seem synthetic and cloying. It can be a bit too strong so it’s not ideal for warm weather or the office. And you’ll need to be very careful in spraying this as it can come off sickly sweet when overdone. One thing to take note if you do end up loving this scent: it’s very popular so you might find yourself indistinguishable from the other guys in the club.
- Lots of girls like it
- Perfect for the younger male
- The scent lasts a good long while
- Can be overpowering
- Trained noses find this a bit synthetic
- Not for older males
5. Jean Paul Gaultier Le MaleMen’s Classic Fragrance
For casual, everyday wear, this eau de toilette spray from Jean Paul Gaultier is a perfect choice. The scents used are warm fresh mint, lavender, orange blossom, bergamot, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, sandalwood, vanilla, cedar, tonka bean, and amber. It’s a classic that has received much love and much hate from men all around the globe. It can smell heavenly to women (the baby powder scent gets them every time) but not appeal to some men who may think the scent is a bit too sweet. For some, it smells fresh and sporty.
We love the fact that it lasts a good long while on your skin; you can probably survive with just one spray for an entire day. What you should note is that this can be a bit overpowering when you use more than one spray. Also, it’s a bit unisex in its scent; it’s not rugged or masculine enough to earn the name “Le Male.”
- Classic scent
- A little goes a long way
- Unisex scent
- Can be overpowering
- Not a rugged scent which some men look for
6․ Guilty By GucciMen’s Fragrance For Day Wear
If you want something that smells clean and masculine that’s pretty much a crowd-pleaser (read that: safe), then Guilty by Gucci is your best bet. The fragrance notes used are lavender, lemon, orange blossom, cedarwood, and patchouli. This isn’t a signature scent but its freshness makes it a good everyday wear fragrance.
You can wear it to the office and get nice compliments without overpowering your colleagues or significant other with your scent. However, for an eau de toilette, the scent doesn’t last as long as we’d like.
- A fresh, masculine scent
- Everyday wear
- Loses scent very quickly
- The bottle does not last long
7․ RALPH LAUREN Polo Red ExtremeAquatic Men’s Fragrance
If you’re a man who wants a bold fragrance, then Ralph Lauren’s Polo Red Extreme should be right up your alley. It features black coffee, black ebony wood, and blood orange essences so it’s a bit sweet but still has that masculine edge. Compared to our other picks, the Polo Red Extreme is more mature, offering a deeper and darker fragrance despite its sweetness.
What we really love about this manly smell is its longevity – around 12 hours! This Eau de Parfum can be used for everyday wear or on nights out. It’s perfect for spring, fall, and winter though you can still probably get away with it during summer. However, it is expensive and sillage (scent trail) is average at best.
- Longevity is 12 hours
- Average sillage
- Some users don’t like the sweetness
8. Versace Eros Men Eau De Toilette SprayMen’s Fragrance For A Date
We must admit that it was the bottle that first got our attention. The Versace Eros Men Eau De Toilette Spray has this beautiful turquoise color glass that has enticed many buyers to purchase it on looks alone. Fortunately, it has a lot more going for it than just its outside appearance. The combination of mint leaves, Italian lemon zest, and green apple just gives this you this feeling of freshness that later turns to warm and creamy vanilla.
This is definitely more of a date night or club night fragrance. Also, this is more of a winter fragrance; it definitely won’t hold up well in the summer as it is a strong cologne. Because it is strong, the fragrance can become a bit cloying if you use too much. One squirt is usually enough to last you an entire day. While we love this bold fragrance, it is definitely not for everyone; it’s certainly not for the meek and mild.
- A romantic fragrance
- Excellent projection and longevity
- Can be cloying if used too much
- Not for everyday wear or summer
9. Bvlgari Pour Homme SoirAquatic Men’s Fragrance
This is a light, classy, sophisticated fragrance that’s more for mature men than those in their 20’s thought they can probably still pull it off. It’s marketed as a woody floral musk fragrance that features papyrus, amber, Darjeeling tea, and bergamot.
It’s more of a spring and summer fragrance that you can wear to work or to events like weddings, banquets, and the like. It doesn’t shout out its presence but entices you slowly and keeps you wanting. As some owners have stated, it has an intoxicating subtlety. However, it doesn’t last very long, maybe 3 hours at most.
- Spring or summer fragrance
- Intoxicating subtlety
- Perfect for the mature male
- Not for those who prefer sweet fragrances
- Average longevity
10. Christian Dior Sauvage Eau De Toilette Spray for MenHigh-End Men’s Fragrance
This is another classy scent for the mature male. The top notes are Sichuan pepper and Calabrian bergamot. The heart notes are geranium, lavender, elemi, pink pepper, vetiver, and patchouli. The base notes are cedar, labdanum, and ambroxan. It’s iconically masculine; it smells fresh, spicy, and outdoorsy. It’s warmly welcoming to the female senses. Plus, the projection and longevity of this fragrance are insane. One or two sprays will last you a good 12 hours.
However, this is a fragrance that seems to get as much hate as it does love from the perfume community. You either love it or hate it and since it costs a lot of money, you better test it for a week to be sure it’s something you’ll love smelling on your skin.
- Very masculine scent
- Excellent projection and longevity
- Perfect year-round scent
- Very expensive
- Either you love it or hate it
Choosing the Best Fragrances For Men – The Ultimate Buying Guide
There’s nothing more attractive to a man than his scent. Yes, physical attributes and good grooming are the first things to catch a woman’s attention. But it’s how you smell (good or bad) that will make a killer first impression. That said, finding a signature scent isn’t a walk in the park. Aside from too many fragrances to choose from, you probably have no idea what all the descriptions are talking about.
Notes? Do you mean music? What the heck is the “finish?” And how does one figure out what your scent profile is? Well, no worries. We gathered some expert advice and wrote all we learned in a guide to help you find the smell that’s just you.
What are the different types of Fragrances?
To be clear, ‘fragrance’ is just the general term fora perfume which can be either for men or women. But you may have already noticed that some fragrances are labeled as ‘perfume‘ or ‘parfum‘ while others are ‘colognes‘ and ‘Eau de toilettes‘. These are the different kinds of fragrances categorized based on the amount of perfume oil or aromatic compounds that are mixed with alcohol and water.
When you put on perfume, the alcohol evaporates leaving the aromatic compounds on your skin which carry the fragrance. Now, what this means is that the more perfume oil is used, the longer the scent will remain. It also means that the scent is stronger which, if used inappropriately, will overpower the senses of anyone you come across.
Aftershave/ Body Splash / Eau Fraiche
This is the most diluted of all fragrances, containing only 1% to 3% perfume oil with alcohol and water. As the name implies (“freshwater”), this does not have a high concentration of alcohol; instead, it is made up of mostly water. Because of its low fragrance concentration, the scent usually lasts an hour or two at most.
You can apply this more frequently which is ideal if you’re going to be sweaty all day such as when you go hiking or spend the day at the beach.
Eau de Cologne or Cologne
This term is typically used in North America to mean a guy’s perfume but this category is not limited to men’s fragrances only. Originally, this was a perfume that smelled light, fresh, and slightly fruity due to the herb and citrus notes used in making the fragrance.
However, today, it is generally considered a fragrance that has a concentration of 2% to 4% dissolved in a high amount of alcohol and water. While it has a higher fragrance concentration compared to a body splash or aftershave, it doesn’t last much longer; its scent fades in about two hours.
Eau de Toilette
Considered to be a daytime fragrance, eau de toilette has 5% to 15% pure perfume extract which makes this less expensive than Eau de parfum as well as lighter in scent. Because it is less intense, you can spray a bit more liberally since it lasts no more than 3 hours. It’s also ideal to wear this during warm weather.
Eau de Parfum
This has different from Parfum (or perfume) which we’ll go into later below. Eau de parfum has a fragrance concentration of 15% to 20% and will generally last around 4 to 5 hours. This fragrance is more noticeable than all the others we’ve discussed. Because this has a stronger scent, this is sometimes considered a date perfume, generally worn at nighttime.
It can also be used for everyday wear, however, it may not be ideal if you work in close quarters or during warm weather as this tends to make the smell stronger. Eau de parfum is good for those with sensitive skin because of its high concentration of alcohol compared to parfum.
This is also called perfume, pure perfume, or Extrait de parfum. Compared to Eau de parfum, this has a higher fragrance concentration – somewhere between 20% to 30%. Because of this, this fragrance is the most expensive, generally a little bit oilier, and sold in stopper bottles. This is too strong a scent to liberally spray on yourself. One application typically lasts 8 hours.
What are the fragrance notes?
A man does not only look good and elegant wearing a luxurious watch, even the fragrance he’s wearing counts a lot. A fragrance has three components called notes.
The Top/Head Note: Its the first smell that hits your nose when you sniff it. This is usually the lightest scent of all three notes and dissolves quite fast which will enable you to smell the middle/medium note. Because this is the first thing you smell, the top note serves as the scent that makes the first impression. It usually lets you know right away if the fragrance is something you like or dislike. Scents that are typically used as top notes include orange zest, lemon, grapefruit, sage, and lavender.
The medium Note: It is known as the heart of the fragrance (which is why it’s also called the heart note). It is the main body of the fragrance and usually unfolds on your skin around 30 minutes after application. The scent of the middle note is usually deeper, more complex, and a combination of fruity, floral, and/or spicy scents such as nutmeg, geranium, jasmine, and rose.
The Base Notes: They are the climax, the final scent that reaches you once the top notes have completely evaporated. It is gradual in its appearance, slowly making itself known once the middle note starts to wear off. It typically complements the other two notes and helps create the full body of the fragrance. This note tends to linger on the skin and can last as long as 24 hours (depending on the potency of the note), leaving a lasting impression on you and anyone within your immediate vicinity. Base notes are usually sandalwood, cedarwood, vanilla, patchouli, musk, and oakmoss.
How do I know which one Suits me best?
While it’s best to understand how exactly a fragrance works, choosing your signature scent means forgetting all about those descriptions you’ve read. Don’t be too worried about the olfactory pyramid and the types of notes used in the creation of a fragrance. Experts actually recommend that you stick with something that appeals to you. According to them, choosing a scent is much like choosing wine – it’s all about what emotion is evoked by the scent and how much the smell pleases you. In short, you need to choose a fragrance based on what you want to smell like.
So, how do you find out what you want to smell like? Well, the only way to do so is to experiment. Reviews are all well and good but you need to go to an actual person and start smelling. Once you find scents (take note, that’s plural), you’ll need to spend time wearing it to see how it mixes with your skin over time. Remember, the different notes used to create a fragrance will slowly interact with your skin. No one will have the same reaction to the same fragrance because we’re all different.
Ask for samples from your local department store. Once you’re home, try out each scent for a day to see how well the notes smell over the course of a day, how long the scent lasts, and how well your significant other likes the scent. Make sure to spray on your forearms instead of near your palms to ensure that you’re able to smell the scent better. Your forearm is a much larger area to smell and is less likely to have other scents mixing with the fragrance (like soap).
Once you find the scent that you like best, you can go ahead and buy it. Just remember that figuring out your signature scent is a journey so you may end up with more than just one scent on hand.
How big of A Bottle should I Buy?
If you’re buying a new fragrance, you may want to limit your purchase to a small bottle because it’s less of a risk. Unless you’re wearing it every day and spraying liberally, it may take you a while to finish off a large bottle. And you never know when you’ll find a new scent that you like more. Tastes do change over time, especially if you get more exposure to the world of scents.