When it comes to finding your signature scent, the sheer number of options out there can be overwhelming, not to mention confusing. There are literally thousands to choose from.
So in this article, we're focusing on one thing. Arguably the most important thing when it comes to choosing a cologne – which one gets you the most compliments?
We've tried and tested hundreds of fragrances and narrowed it down to our top 10 most complimented men's colognes.
Introduction To Fragrances
Before we get to our top 10 most complimented men's colognes, here's a quick overview of the three key layers in any fragrance: top, heart, and base notes.
The key difference lies with the evaporation coefficient, ie. how quickly they dissipate. The density of molecules differs across all three layers, the heaviest lingering the longest.
- Top notes are the very first scents that hit you and comprise the lightest molecules in the makeup. Designers tend to put the riskiest scents here since they can serve as initial attention-grabbers and won't continually overwhelm you.
- In about 3 hours, you'll start noticing heart notes. They form the core of the fragrance.
- The most stubborn of the trio are the base notes – noticed after (approximately) 5 hours of application. This is where you find the musky, woodsy notes in most men's colognes. You'll be smelling these for a while – expect them for the next 6 hours or so.
For a more detailed breakdown of the science behind fragrances, check out my extensive guide on the subject here.
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Most Complimented Men's Colognes #10 Versace Eros Flame
Eros Flame is a woody, spicy fragrance, launched in 2018 for “strong, passionate, self-confident men.”
While this cologne isn't going to win any awards for originality, if your goal is to be noticed and stand out in a crowd – this is your fragrance. It's loud, it's sweet and is one of our most complimented men's colognes!
- Top Notes: Mandarin Orange, Black Pepper, Chinotto, Lemon, Rosemary
- Middle Notes: Pepper, Geranium, Rose
- Base Notes: Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Texas Cedar, Patchouli, Oakmoss
Most Complimented Men's Colognes #9 Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce
Created by Christophe Laudamiel and Bruno Jovanovic, this woody, aromatic fragrance has a real nostalgic, masculine smell.
It's been described as smelling like a ‘freshly showered man' or a camping trip in the forest. A couple of sprays and you will have a lot of women coming up close and asking you what you're wearing.
- Top Notes: Fir, Lemon, Orange, Cardamom, Petitgrain, Sea Notes
- Middle Notes: Rosemary, Lily-of-the-Valley, Jasmine, Rose, Sage
- Base Notes: Musk, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Brazilian Rosewood, Sandalwood
Most Complimented Men's Colognes #8 Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme
Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme is an all-time classic scent. It's the quintessential men's fragrance with nothing fancy – Dolce & Gabbana takes pride in keeping with traditions of fragrance that date back a century.
- Top Notes: Bergamot, orange, lemon, and mandarin, with light neroli.
- Heart Notes: Lavender, sage, tarragon, cardamom, and pepper.
- Base Notes: Sandalwood, cedar, musk, tonka bean, iris, tobacco, and coumarin.
Most Complimented Men's Colognes #7 Dior Fahrenheit
With Fahrenheit, Dior set out to build a fragrance on the foundation of extremes. Though ambitious at first glance, the end result is a harmonious blend of virile scents.
It's a subtle scent for the distinguished gent – The ladies will recognize you for it.
- Top Notes: Lavender, mandarin orange, hawthorn, nutmeg, flower, cedar, bergamot, chamomile, lemon.
- Heart Notes: Nutmeg, honeysuckle, carnation, sandalwood, violet leaf, jasmine, cedar.
- Base Notes: Leather, tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk, vetiver.
Most Complimented Men's Colognes #6 Davidoff Cool Water
I've talked a bit about Cool Water when it came to the best men's colognes for summer, but who said you can't use it year-round?
With over 30 years of popularity amongst men, this fragrance is powerful and timeless despite the low price point. It's a fresh and safe compliment-getter that is reminiscent of the ocean – hence the name.
- Top Notes: Mint, lavender, coriander, rosemary, seawater.
- Heart Notes: Geranium, neroli, jasmine, sandalwood.
- Base Notes: Cedar, musk, amber, tobacco.
Most Complimented Men's Colognes #5 1 Million By Paco Rabanne
When it comes to the most complimented men's colognes, you can't go far wrong with Million by Paco Rabanne. “Sexy businessman” is the compliment most associated with this bold fragrance. Its performance is strong, with some users reporting praise 5 hours after application.
This high-impact scent is meant to bring out the very best in a powerful man who goes to work in a suit. If that fits your description, you may have a winner.
- Top Notes: Mint and blood mandarin.
- Heart Notes: Rose, cinnamon, spice.
- Base Notes: Leather, white wood, amber, Indonesian patchouli.
Most Complimented Men's Colognes #4 Commodity Leather
This is a very polarizing fragrance. It doesn't try to smell like real leather, but it's rough and venerable like an old book. This is for men who don't like to beat around the bush but prefer to exude manliness through their smell.
People either love it or hate it. You'll receive your share of compliments for sure, just wear it with confidence.
- Top Notes: Leather, oregano, juniper
- Heart Notes: Cacao, Myrrh, akigalawood, more juniper
- Base Notes: Styrax, cedar, vetiver, labdanum
Most Complimented Men's Colognes #3 Versace Eros
When it comes to the best men's colognes, Eros is extremely popular. True to the Greek god of love, it's a fragrance built on sensuality by blending traditional masculine notes with maritime scents.
My only complaint is that because it's so popular, lots of men use it for the compliments they get. You're less likely to stand out from the crowd.
- Top Notes: Lemon and bergamot, pomegranate
- Heart Notes: Tonka bean, geranium
- Base Notes: Musk and ambroxan, sandalwood
Most Complimented Men's Colognes #2 Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme
Though similar to Versace Eros, Acqua Di Gio is more likely to get you the praise you strive for.
It's also inspired by the Mediterranean, but it leans a little more on the power of floral notes. Hunt this down if you love seawater and herbs.
- Top Notes: Seawater, bergamot.
- Heart Notes: Geranium, sage, rosemary.
- Base Notes: Patchouli, incense.
Most Complimented Men's Colognes #1 John Varvatos XX
And the winner of our top 10 most complimented men's colognes is… John Varvatos XX.
Inspired by the celebration of style and music, this is a bold, masculine, woody scent that opens with cardamom, apple, and currant. John Varvatos screams individuality, passion and rebellion.
We're blown away with this one and the best bit? Wear this and you'll stand out from the crowd because it is not a common choice among most men.
- Top Notes: Cardamom, Red Apple, Black Currant
- Middle Notes: White Violet, Orange Blossom, Geranium
- Base Notes: Coffee, Sandalwood, Cedar
And gents – what about non-complimented fragrances? Discover Burnt Hair Perfume by Elon Musk – some very different kind of scent..
Click below to watch the video – 10 OVERLOOKED Fragrances That Pull MAD Compliments: