The goal of this article isn't just to list the best-selling men's colognes. These lists are typically more about popularity than legitimate fragrances.
The question I want to answer – which of the bestsellers are the BEST fragrances? What fragrance has the highest value, not the highest price?
Because I don't know about you, but I want to buy the cologne that's the best deal, not the one that everyone else is wearing.
Here is what you will find:
How I Ranked the Best Selling Men's Colognes
You're probably wondering – how the hell did you make this list?
Well, I ranked them from the perspective of someone getting into colognes for the first time – a man who wants quality over quantity.
I used the following three criteria in my ranking for quality:
- Number of Compliments
It had to be something that you could justify for the cologne you are getting for the price. The man just getting into fragrances hasn't spent a lot on them. No one wants to waste money, even if you have it!
Versatility matters because, at first, you want a fragrance that you can wear for any occasion. I know the fragrance lovers say this doesn't matter, but it does to the guy starting.
Finally, the number of compliments you'll get. You want a fragrance you'll love and gives you confidence, but you also want something that isn't going to be polarizing.
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What are Fragrance Notes?
Before I get to the list – I need to explain what notes are.
Fragrance notes are ingredients that make up the scent. They split into three groups – top notes, middle notes, and base notes.
- Top notes or headnotes form the beginning layer of a fragrance. These are the scents you detect immediately after spraying. Top notes evaporate quickly and linger for only 5-15 minutes.
- Middle notes or heart notes are the heart of the scent. These retain some of the top notes and act as a buffer for the base notes. They make up around 70% of the total fragrance. Middle notes will appear as the top notes evaporate and will last the duration of the scent.
- Base notes form the foundation of your scent. Typically, they will show up after about 30 minutes. These combine with the middle notes to create your fragrance's scent. Base notes sink into your skin, so their scent stays the longest and can last for hours.
25 Best-Selling Men's Colognes
25. La Nuit de L’Homme by Yves Saint Laurent
A combination of sophistication and masculine freshness, Yves Saint Laurent’s La Nuit de L’Homme released in March of 2009. This fragrance boasts “a dark and powerful veil of mystery;” best suited for fall and winter.
Top Notes: Cardamom
Middle Notes: Bergamot, Virginia Cedar, Lavender
Base Notes: Vetiver, Caraway
24. Burberry for Men EDT
Burberry for Men launched in 1995. This signature scent from Burberry is a woody aromatic that's clean, natural, and classy. This is a lighter scent, best used in Spring and Fall.
Top Notes: Bergamot, Lavender, Mint, Thyme
Middle Notes: Sandalwood, Jasmine, Cedar, Oakmoss, Geranium
Base Notes: Musk, Vanilla, Amber
23. Armani Code by Giorgio Armani
Armani Code has been on the top seller's list since it was first released in 2004 and for a good reason. Winner of the 2006 FiFi Award for Fragrance of the Year, this cologne is Antonie Lie's creation; best suited for fall and winter.
Top Notes: Bergamot, Lemon
Middle Notes: Star Anise, Olive Blossom, Guaiac Wood
Base Notes: Leather, Tobacco, Tonka Bean
22. Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger
This luxurious eau de toilette launched in 1995 for the man who loves to explore his mind… at least that’s what Tommy Hilfiger says. Created by Annie Buzantian and Alberto Morillas, this fresh fragrance is a bargain for the price and well suited for summer and spring.
Top Notes: Mint, Lavender, Grapefruit, Bergamot
Middle Notes: Cranberry, Rose, Granny Smith Apple
Base Notes: Amber, Cactus, Cotton Flower
21. CK One by Calvin Klein
CK One by Calvin Klein is a unisex cologne but don’t let that scare you. This aromatic citrus fragrance is a perfect summer or spring fragrance. This bold eau de toilette combines tons of notes courteous of creators – Alberto Morillas and Harry Fremont.
Top Notes: Pineapple, Green Notes, Mandarin Orange, Papaya, Bergamot, Cardamom, Lemon
Middle Notes: Nutmeg, Violet, Orris Root, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-Valley, Rose, Freesia
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Amber, Musk, Cedar, Oakmoss, Green Tea, Green Accord
20. Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier
Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier hit the scene in 1995, created by Francis Kurkfjian. This intense, masculine fragrance seduces with its uniqueness and claims to make you irresistible to women. This cologne works best in fall and winter.
Top Notes: Artemisia, Lavender, Mint, Bergamot, Cardamom
Middle Notes: Caraway, Orange Blossom, Cinnamon
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Amber, Vanilla, Cedar
19. Jimmy Choo Man
Elegant and edgy, Jimmy Choo Man in 2014. This was the first fragrance launched by Jimmy Choo and created by Anne Flipo. This modern and fresh cologne combined woody and fruity notes and shines best during the spring and summer.
Top Notes: Clary Sage, Black Pepper, Bergamot
Middle Notes: Leather, Cypress, Ambergris
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Vetiver
18. 1 Million by Paco Rabanne
Since its launch in 2008, industry experts estimate that 1.23 million people bought this fragrance. With an eye-catching bottle and a spicy mix of notes, this fragrance works best in fall and winter. 1 Million by Paco Rabanne came to be with the collaboration of Christophe Raynaud, Olivier Pescheux and Michel Girard.
Top Notes: Grapefruit, Mint, Blood Mandarin
Middle Notes: Rose, Cinnamon, Spicy Notes
Base Notes: Leather, Woody Notes, Amber, Indian Patchouli
17. Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue
Versace’s Pour Homme Dylan Blue launched in 2016. Dylan Blue allows you to experience a whiff of cool Mediterranean breeze with its aromatic, woody fougère composition, making it a great spring and summer cologne. Alberto Morillas created this fragrance.
Top Notes: Water Notes, Calabrian Bergamot, Grapefruit, Fig Leaf
Middle Notes: Violet Leaf, Papyrus, Mint, Black Pepper, Ambroxan
Base Notes: Musk, Incense, Tonka Bean, Saffron
16. The One EDT by Dolce & Gabbana
Introduced in 2008, The One EDT is made by the design house Dolce & Gabbana by Stefano Gabbana and the nose of Olivier Polge. With a wood-oriental composition, this is a warmer fragrance that works best in the fall and winter.
Top Notes: Coriander, Basil, Grapefruit
Middle Notes: Ginger, Orange Blossom, Cardamom
Base Notes: Amber, Cedar, Tobacco
15. Prada L’Homme EDT
Prada L’Homme EDT launched by Prada in 2016 with a sister fragrance (L'Femme) for women. The two fragrances endeavored to show men and women as a pair of equals – reunited in an identical vision. Daniela Andrier combined classic Prada ingredients (amber and iris) to create an excellent cologne for spring and summer.
Top Notes: Carrot Seeds, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Neroli
Middle Notes: Violet, Mate, Iris, Geranium
Base Notes: Patchouli, Cedar, Amber, Sandalwood
14. Polo Red by Ralph Lauren
Polo Red by Ralph Lauren launched in 2013. Perfumer Olivier Gillotin wanted the fragrance to have ingredients and notes that matched the color red. Polo Red is best used in the fall and spring. a sweet and fruity cologne on this list
Top Notes: Grapefruit, Italian Lemon, Cranberry
Middle Notes: Saffron, Sage
Base Notes: Woodsy Notes, Amber, Coffee
13. Light Blue Pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana's Light Blue Pour Homme was launched in 2007. This aromatic citrus fragrance works best for the self-assured man wanting a vibrant scent. A winner of the FiFi Award for Fragrance of the Year Men's Luxe in 2008, Light Blue is best used in the summer.
Top Notes: Mandarin Orange, Juniper, Grapefruit, Bergamot
Middle Notes: Rosemary, Brazilian Rosewood, Pepper
Base Notes: Musk, Oakmoss, Incense
12. Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme by Giorgio Armani
One of the most masculine scents and recognizable scents on this list, Acqua Di Gio, is a crowd-pleaser launched in 1996. Alberto Morillas and Annick Menardo set out to make a scent full of freedom, wind, and water to mimic the Mediterranean sun. Acqua Di Gio works best in the summer and spring.
Top Notes: Orange, Lime, Mandarin Orange, Jasmine, Bergamot, Lemon, Neroli
Middle Notes: Cyclamen, Nutmeg, Mignonette, Coriander, Violet, Freesia, Sea Notes, Peach, Hiacynth, Rose, Jasmine, Rosemary, Calone
Base Notes: Amber, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Cedar, White Musk
11. Legend EDT by Montblanc
Montblanc’s Legend EDT was released in 2011 and is dedicated to inspiring self-confident men who are passionate and authentic. Olivier Pescheux created this fragrance full of contrasts that works best in the spring and fall.
Top Notes: Lavender, Bergamot, Lemon Verbena, Pineapple
Middle Notes: Coumarin, Oak Moss, Geranium, Rose, Red Apple, Died Fruits
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Tonka Bean
10. Burberry Touch for Men
Launched in 2000, Touch for Men by Burberry was created by Jean-Pierre Bethouart. This fragrance is considered a woody floral musk that is both fresh and sweet at the same time.
Top Notes: Artemisia, Violet Leaf, Mandarin Orange
Middle Notes: Nutmeg, White Pepper, Cedar
Base Notes: Tonka Bean, Vetiver, White Musk
9. Coach for Men EDT
Coach for Men was launched in 2017 and is often compared to Gucci's Guilty for Men. Created by Anne Flipo and Bruno Jovanovic, this wood cologne is perfect for the spring and summer with a more fruity opening and a more clean dry-down.
Top Notes: Pear, Bergamot, Kumquat, Grapefruit, Lavender
Middle Notes: Cardamom, Coriander, Geranium
Base Notes: Haitian Vetiver, Suede, Ambergris, Amberwood
8. Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme
L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme was released by Issey Miyake in 2009 and combines very unusual materials perfect for any occasion. Jacques Cavallier created this scent with an intent to evoke a sense of timeless masculinity. This fragrance is best used during the spring and summer.
Top Notes: Coriander, Cypress, Mandarin Orange, Tarragon, Yuzu, Lemon Verbena, Sage, Bergamot, Lemon, Calone
Middle Notes: Nutmeg, Mignonette, Ceylon Cinnamon, Bourbon Geranium, Saffron, Lilly of the Valley, Blue Lotus
Base Notes: Tahitian Vetiver, Musk, Sandalwood, Cedar, Amber, Tobacco
7. Nautica Voyage
Voyage by Nautica is a sleeper pick for most people because of the low price. This fragrance is well under $20 and will get you tons of compliments. Launched in 2006 and created by Maurice Roucel, this fresh cologne is best used in the summer.
Top Notes: Green Leaves, Apple
Middle Notes: Mimosa, Lotus
Base Notes: Amber, Musk, Oakmoss, Cedar
6. Azzaro Chrome EDT
Azzaro Chrome has been around for 25 years and is still a powerhouse cologne. Gerard Haury created this aromatic citrus fragrance that is best used during the summer.
Top Notes: Rosemary, Pineapple, Neroli, Bergamot, Lemon
Middle Notes: Cyclamen, Coriander, Oakmoss, Jasmine
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Musk, Oakmoss, Cedar, Brazilian Rosewood, Cardamom
5. Versace Eros
A usual suspect on many lists, Versace Eros ranks so high because of the price, versatility, and just how much of the cologne you get. This has an excellent projection (so you don’t need to apply a lot) and was created by Aurelien Guichard and is best used in winter and fall.
Top Notes: Mint, Green Apple, Lemon
Middle Notes: Tonka Bean, Geranium, Ambroxan
Base Notes: Madagascar Vanilla, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Cedar
4. Cool Water by Davidoff
Cool Water by Davidoff was released in 1988 and is hard to beat for the price. An iconic oceanic scent created by Pierre Bourdon, this cologne has been on bestsellers lists for decades and is best to use in the summer.
Top Notes: Sea Water, Mint, Green Notes, Lavender, Coriander, Rosemary, Calone
Middle Notes: Sandalwood, Jasmine, Neroli, Geranium
Base Notes: Musk, Oakmoss, Cedar, Tobacco, Amber
3. Azzaro Wanted EDT
Wanted by Azzaro was launched in 2016 and created by Fabrice Pellegrin. The bottle is well, I mean come on – it’s freaking awesome looking. This spicy woody fragrance is best used in the fall and spring.
Top Notes: Lemon, Ginger, Lavender, Mint
Middle Notes: Guatemalan Cardamom, Juniper, Apple, Geranium
Base Notes: Haitian Vetiver, Tonka Bean, Amberwood
2. Lacoste L.12.12 Blanc Pour Lui EDT
Lacoste L.12.12 Blanc Pour Lui was launched in 2011 and is a great starter cologne and compliment magnet. This is a timeless scent and can work in any situation, especially during the spring and summer.
Top Notes: Rosemary, Cardamom, Grapefruit
Middle Notes: Ylang-Ylang, Tuberose
Base Notes: Virginia Cedar, Leather, Suede, Vetiver
1. Versace Man Eau Fraiche
Versace’s Men Eau Fraiche was created in 2006 and is a fresh and aquatic fragrance. When it comes to versatility, price, and the number of compliments you’ll get, this is unbeatable. Created by the master perfumer Olivier Cresp, this fragrance works best in the summer due to its Mediterranean quality mixed with some woody notes.
Top Notes: Bergamot, Brazilian Rosewood, Cardamom, Lemon, Carambola
Middle Notes: Tarragon, Sage, Cedar, Pepper
Base Notes: Amber, Saffron, Musk, Woodsy Notes, Sycamore
There you have it, gents, my list of 25 best-selling men's colognes. Be sure to look through it and try out the scents that speak to you to find your signature scent.
Read next: Most Complimented Men's Colognes
Click below to watch the video – Top 25 BEST-SELLING Men's Colognes RANKED