There are TOO many colognes to choose from. There are colognes for each season, each occasion, and every other situation you can imagine. But what are the most masculine colognes?
What if you just want to narrow the massive list of colognes down to what will make you smell manly? Are there colognes out there that will bring out your masculine aura?
In today's article, we're going over the top MANLIEST fragrances, and what you can expect from each one.
- Egoiste by Chanel
- Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford
- Fahrenheit by Dior
- Quorum by Antonio Puig
- Paco Rabanne Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne
- Pour Homme de Caron by Caron
- Aramis by Aramis
- Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent
- Polo Green by Ralph Lauren
- Zaharoff by Zaharoff
- Noir Extreme by Tom Ford
- Anthracite by Tom Ford
- Ombre Leather by Tom Ford
- Eau Sauvage Extreme by Dior
- Yatagan by Caron
- Bentley for Men Intense by Bentley
- Dark Rebel Rider by John Varvatos
- Bvlgari Man by Bvlgari
- A*Men Pure Malt by Thierry Mugler
- Heritage By Guerlian
What if there was a way to instantly boost your brain, so that you can get straight into “the zone” – fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, where you perform at your best (without caffeine or stimulants)?
The scent of Cologne extends beyond a mere olfactory experience, delving into the realm of emotions and performance enhancement. Men's colognes, carefully crafted with a symphony of notes, possess the power to evoke specific feelings and reactions.
Certain fragrances are known to boost confidence, triggering a positive emotional response that translates into heightened performance. The aromatic blend can instill a sense of self-assurance, influencing both mental and physical prowess.
Scientifically, certain scents can impact mood and cognitive functions, creating a holistic sensory experience. Choosing the right cologne becomes not just a matter of personal preference but a strategic tool for elevating one's performance.
Leverage the Science of Scent to take back control of your life, make smarter decisions faster, and live with energy, focus, and conviction.
1. Egoiste By Chanel
Egoiste is an inoffensive men's cologne from the house of Chanel. it was created in 1990 by Jacques Polge. His goal was to release a concoction that embodied sophistication – and that meant bringing in dark florals, damp woods, and spices.
Egoiste has excellent projection – you WILL turn heads with this one. It strikes a rare, but satisfying balance between its reach and intensity. Every whiff is pleasant and conservative.
All in all, this is a solid foundational fragrance for beginners.
Fragrance Type: Woody Floral (Click here to read our article on men's fragrance types and what they mean)
- Top Notes: Mahogany, mandarin, rosewood, coriander.
- Heart Notes: Rose, cinnamon.
- Base Notes: Leather, sandalwood, vanilla, tobacco, amber.
2. Tobacco Vanille By Tom Ford
Launched in 2007 and developed by Olivier Gillotin, this is an Oriental Spicy EDP (Eau De Parfum). It's not cheap – expect to pay over $200 for this quality fragrance.
It's worth the price.
According to Tom Ford, this is an opulent and luxurious fragrance meant to conjure images of an English gentleman's club: The smell of a cigar humidor complemented with creamy, fruity scents.
Fragrance Type: Oriental Spicy
- Top Notes: Tobacco, spice.
- Heart Notes: Tonka bean, tobacco blossom, vanilla, cacao
- Base Notes: Dried fruits, wood.
What are the heck are top notes? Click here for the ultimate fragrance guide.
3. Fahrenheit 1988 By Dior
This masterpiece came as the brainchild of Jean-Louis Sieuzac and Michel Almairac. What's unique is how modern it smells despite its age. It truly has stood the test of time.
It is divisive…
This masculine fragrance brings out the alpha male. It introduces a potent gasoline note that stands out from other fragrances. It's like putting violets on a leather jacket and setting them both on fire.
Fragrance Type: Woody Floral
- Top Notes: Lavender, mandarin, lime, hawthorn, chamomile, nutmeg.
- Heart Notes: Nutmeg, rose, honeysuckle, sandalwood, violet, jasmine, cedar.
- Base Notes: Leather, tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk, vetiver.
4. Quorum By Antonio Puig
This fragrance was launched in 1981 by Carlos Benaim, Max Gavarry, and Rosendo Mateu. This is a masculine classic – what I imagine Al Pacino and Robert De Niro smell like.
Like all of the most masculine colognes, it's a no-nonsense men's fragrance.
Quorum falters slightly in terms of projection and longevity, both of which are average when compared to other powerful colognes. Another possible critique (if you can call it that) is that it's old-fashioned. One thing is for sure: You can't deny its timelessness. It stuck around this long for a reason.
Fragrance Type: Woody Aromatic
- Top Notes: Artemisia, caraway, grapefruit, lime.
- Heart Notes: Cyclamen, pine tree, rose, sandalwood.
- Base Notes: Leather, amber, oakmoss, tobacco.
5. Paco Rabanne Pour Homme By Paco Rabanne
This elegant scent was developed by Jean Martel and released in 1973. It's meant to embody a gentlemanly character with a differing interpretation from Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille.
Even though it doesn't belong to the Oriental family – which is known for its seductive qualities, this is nonetheless praised as an alluring and masculine fragrance.
Fragrance Type: Aromatic Fougere
- Top Notes: Rosemary, clary sage, rosewood.
- Heart Notes: Tonka bean, lavender, geranium.
- Base Notes: Honey, amber, musk, oakmoss.
6. Pour Homme De Caron By Caron
“Simplicity” is the one word that comes to mind when smelling this fragrance. Developed far back in 1934 by Ernest Daltroff, this is a timeless fragrance perfect for men looking to dip their toes into the world of men's cologne.
Heritage backs this masculine fragrance like no other. Pour Homme De Caron was the first-ever fragrance developed specifically for men.
Fragrance Type: Aromatic
7. Aramis By Aramis
This recognizable concoction was released in 1966 – marketed toward men who valued tradition and classic style. In many ways it embodies much of our core RMRS values – it has timelessness at the core of its philosophy.
It was first available only in Harrods in NY and the UK, but it's expanded drastically since then. Its most recent iteration was Aramis Gold, released in 1998. This is a sharp smell that shouldn't be underestimated – you will turn heads, and many of them will be ladies!
Fragrance Type: Woody Spicy
- Top Notes: Aldehydes, artemisia, gardenia, bergamot, clover.
- Heart Notes: Patchouli, sage, orris root, jasmine, cardomom.
- Base Notes: Leather, sandalwood, amber, musk, coconut, oakmoss, vetiver.
8. Kouros By Yves Saint Laurent
This is a primordial scent if there ever was one. If you ever wanted a fragrance that smells absolutely musky, then this is the one for you. It's what I'd picture the Dothraki from Game of Thrones, or Tarzan smelling like.
Though it's not in the foreground, the fragrance definitely looms with a smell vaguely reminiscent of animal sweat. Don't let that deter you, though. This is masculinity at its most primal.
It's also among the more affordable fragrances you can find, the perfect addition to our most masculine colognes!
Fragrance Type: Aromatic Fougere
- Top Notes: Aldehydes, artemisia, coriander, sage, bergamot.
- Heart Notes: Rose, patchouli, cinnamon, orris root, jasmine, vetiver, geranium.
- Base Notes: Honey, leather, tonka bean, amber, musk, civet, oakmoss, vanilla.
9. Polo Green By Ralph Lauren
This is a classic woody masculine fragrance forged by Carlos Benaim in 1978. It's another one of those timeless manly smells that you can't go wrong with. It has all the elements to make you feel like a rugged man from the woods about to change into a tux for the evening.
We've discussed this fragrance before in our article about men's cologne types.
Fragrance Type: Woody Chypre
- Top Notes: Coriander, basil, juniper berries, bergamot.
- Heart Notes: Leather, rose, pepper.
- Base Notes: Tobacco is dominant, with hints of musk and oakmoss.
10. Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme by Zaharoff
This is a relatively new fragrance released in 2018 and created by Claude Dir. If there was one word to describe it, it would be “uplifting.” It successfully pays homage to old-school classics while building something new and unique. The most masculine colognes today have to find new ways to be innovative while honoring the classics.
It's also wonderfully versatile – suitable for both day and night. The fragrance yields strong projection and longevity and retails at a decent price for what you're getting. This is an instant classic.
Fragrance Type: Woody Aromatic.
- Top Notes: Cardamom, lavender, black pepper, pear, cypress.
- Heart Notes: Ginger, cedar, oud, iris, pimento, balsam.
- Base Notes: Sandalwood, patchouli, black amber, myrrh, frankincense.
11. Noir Extreme By Tom Ford
Tom Ford launched this EDP in 2012, followed by the EDT in May of 2015. This is the scent of the ballsy man – the man that isn't afraid to delve into the deepest recesses of excess and debaucher. This is the guy who is relentlessly ambitious.
You can't deny the appeal that sort of man has to the ladies – and it shows in its sheer popularity.
Click here to check out the ultimate guide to applying fragrances where we also discuss Noir Extreme.
Fragrance Type: Woody Oriental
- Top Notes: Mandarin, neroli, saffron, nutmeg, cardamom.
- Heart Notes: Mastic, rose, jasmine, saffron, kulfi
- Base Notes: Woody notes, amber, sandalwood, vanilla.
12. Anthracite By Tom Ford
Back at it with Tom Ford. Anthracite was developed by Honorine Blanc and released in 2017. It reminds one of ash and sharpened pencils. A strange combination, sure, but don't let that deter you.
It also brings to the fore a combination of aquatics, candy, and tonka bean. The amalgamation makes for an undeniably unique fragrance overall. It's a bold entry, to say the least – try it if you dare.
Fragrance Type: Chypre
- Top Notes: Bergamot, Sichuan pepper, ginger.
- Heart Notes: Spices, galbanum, jasmine.
- Base Notes: Sandalwood, cedar, ebony, amberwood, birch, leather, patchouli.
13. Ombre Leather By Tom Ford
This is the last Tom Ford, we promise. The name of this unisex fragrance is rather misleading. “Ombre Leather” ushers in thoughts of unadulterated masculinity and power…
But instead, it's wonderfully pleasant, making it perfect for our most masculine colognes.
It carries with it a smooth, fruity accord that balances well with those of leather. There are some reviewers who interpret a smoky, boozy tinge to it. Even though it was designed to appeal to both genders, it's quintessentially masculine. If I were to smell this on a woman, I'd know not to get in her way.
We also bring this fragrance up in our top EVERYDAY cologne list.
Fragrance Type: Leather
14. Eau Sauvage Extreme By Dior
This 1984 fragrance intensifies and builds upon the DNA of the traditional EDT. It's heavier and more intense.
It's a daring masculine fragrance that brings citrus to the forefront – definitely suitable for elegant evenings out during the fall or spring. It brings with it a sense of vibrance and energy that is sure to turn heads!
Fragrance Type: Citrus Aromatic
- Top Notes: Patchouli, lavender, dried fruits, basil, bergamot, lemon.
- Heart Notes: Aldehydes, rosemary, coriander, bay leaf, orris root, jasmine.
- Base Notes: Amber, patchouli, musk, oakmoss, cedar.
15. Yatagan By Caron
The Yatagan is reminiscent of, wait for it, the Ottoman Empire. We're talking curved Turkish blades, fine horses, and decadent beauty. A list of the most masculine colognes wouldn't be complete without this one. It's an intense, sensual fragrance but by no means offensive.
It's heavy enough that uncompromising men can appreciate it, but well enough that you can enjoy it as a beginner to cologne.
It won't get you compliments… but this isn't about praise, it's about you. THIS is what it's like to smell like a man.
Fragrance Type: Woody Oriental
- Top Notes: Lavender, galbanum, basil, pine, watercress, mint.
- Heart Notes: Artemisia, oak, oakmoss, patchouli.
- Base Notes: Musk, castoreum, wood, incense.
16. Bentley For Men Intense By Bentley
Bentley was released back in 2013 and developed by Nathalie Lorson. One reviewer described it quaintly as “An 80s Powerhouse of Booze.” It's uncompromising in its assault and perfect for the man wanting to establish the badass aesthetic.
It's almost a niche fragrance – meaning it isn't available in as many retailers. The combination of scents here isn't the most unique but still sets Bentley apart from the average men's cologne.
Wear it with confidence.
Fragrance Type: Spicy Oriental
- Top Notes: Black pepper, bergamot, bay leaf.
- Heart Notes: Sage, cinnamon, rum, wood.
- Base Notes: Leather, benzoin, cedar, patchouli.
17. Dark Rebel Rider By John Varvatos
Harley Davidson in a bottle is how best to describe this potent, ballsy scent. This is all leather and booze with a hint of citrus somewhere within. The fragrance was fashioned by Rodrigo Flores-Roux and released in 2016.
I highly recommend this to gentlemen whose signature look includes a black leather jacket and boots. If you love Harleys along with that outlaw aesthetic, THIS is the scent for you. Leather and boots are the pinnacles of manliness, making this a can't miss of the most masculine colognes.
This men's cologne is also featured in our top 15 SEXIEST fragrances list.
Fragrance Type: Leather
- Top Notes: Orange, aldehydes, saffron, marjoram, hyssop.
- Heart Notes: Resin, balsam, olibanum.
- Base Notes: “Russian” leather is dominant, followed by cacao.
18. Bvlgari Man By Bvlgari
The nose behind this 2010 men's cologne was none other than Alberto Morillas – a legend in the fragrance industry.
This EDT retails for just under $100. It's all about elegance – encapsulating the modern but aristocratic man bearing a rugged edge. This one deserves a spot on the list of most masculine colognes.
Fragrance Type: Oriental Woody
- Top Notes: Lotus, bergamot, violet leaf, pear.
- Heart Notes: Vetiver, sandalwood, amber, cashmere wood, nargarmotha.
- Base Notes: Benzoin, musk, tonka bean, honey.
19. A*Men Pure Malt by Thierry Mugler
If you like whisky, then we have a fragrance for you. Pure Malt was released in 2009 to honor the Scotch whisky industry – and it exudes that in the scent.
This is booze accented with hints of coffee and some lingering fruity notes for a sweeter edge. It doesn't get many compliments – not for its smell which is extraordinary – but for its projection.
It's a deeply intimate and masculine fragrance that no one will smell aside from your partner unless you throw on more than three squirts. It's worth it, my friend.
Fragrance Type: Citrus Woody
- Top Notes: Bergamot, orange.
- Heart Notes: Malted barley, coffee, whisky
- Base Notes: Peat smoke, vanilla, amber, musk.
20. Heritage By Guerlain
The nose behind the last most masculine cologne on the list was Jean-Paul Guerlain in 1992. It reminds one of the old school – of tradition, family, and responsibility. This is ideal for the family man who loves a touch of the old. Despite only being released in the 90s, it still seems like something your grandpa would wear in his golden years – and still work.
It's class in a bottle.
Fragrance Type: Aromatic
- Top Notes: Aldehydes, juniper, lavender, sage, lemon, petitgrain.
- Heart Notes: Coriander, pepper, patchouli.
- Base Notes: Amber, vanilla, wood, tonka bean, cinnamon.
The choice of a man's fragrance extends beyond a pleasant aroma; it becomes a statement of masculinity, shaping how a man looks, smells, and ultimately feels.
Fragrances crafted with robust, woody notes or spicy undertones evoke a sense of strength and confidence, aligning with societal perceptions of masculinity. Beyond the superficial, the right cologne can trigger an intense internal transformation.
Feeling masculine is not just about conforming to traditional stereotypes but embracing a sense of identity and self-assurance. It instills a positive self-image, influencing posture, demeanor, and overall presence.
In a world where personal expression is paramount, a man's choice of fragrance becomes a subtle yet impactful element of self-presentation. It reinforces the importance of feeling masculine as a source of empowerment, contributing to a heightened sense of well-being and confidence in navigating life's challenges.
Today's list comprised some of the most masculine colognes we know of – from aggressive outlaws to refined gentlemen. There's something here for every badass.
Check out my list of 25 best-selling men's colognes!