18 Best Everyday Colognes for Men
This article was published in partnership with Blu Atlas.
When it comes to signature colognes, the following best everyday colognes for men rank the highest among fragrance selections on the market. Not only do they smell great, but they are made with ingredients that are non-irritating, masculine and fresh.
You’re sure to find your own trademark scent among the men’s fragrances listed below.
Selecting the best everyday cologne for men
When selecting a cologne, it is critical to consider the notes. As we have noted in our cologne descriptions, each fragrance has top notes, middle or heart notes, and base notes. The top notes of your cologne will begin to fade as soon as you apply it, lasting about two hours before giving way to the middle notes, which comprise the majority of the fragrance and are the most essential to the scent. Middle notes last approximately three to five hours, depending on the strength of your cologne. The final notes are the base notes and last from two to eight hours on the skin.
How long do fragrances last?
When applied properly, colognes last between three and 12 hours on average. The most powerful colognes can linger on the skin for an entire day. Oriental, woody and spicy scents settle on the skin significantly longer than lighter floral scents. Oriental fragrances, also known as amber fragrances, contain deeper base notes that evaporate more slowly. Bear in mind that fragrances will last longer indoors than they will outdoors due to the pollutants in the environment.
How many everyday scents should you include in your fragrance wardrobe?
When you review the above selections, you might wonder just how many of the colognes will work for you individually. Before making a selection, get acquainted with the various fragrances. Doing so will help you define your fragrance profile. For example, are you a woodsy-citrusy guy or do you tend more toward Oriental scents and musk? Maybe you prefer to make a statement with scents like patchouli, sandalwood or leather.
What are the various fragrance concentrations?
You will find that the best everyday colognes for men are made up of various concentrations. Eau fraiche products contain a slight amount of perfume (1% to 3%) and are diluted in either alcohol or water. The products labeled as colognes usually have a perfume concentration of around 2% to 4%. Eau de toilettes contain 5% to 15% perfume, and eau de parfums top out at a concentration of 15% to 20%.
How everyday fragrances are created
Many of the everyday colognes we have listed are aquatic, giving off the scent of a sea breeze. These scents are often called ozonic scents. Instead of using essential oils, such as floral or fruit scents, ozonic fragrances are created through a system known as headspace technology, which is used to capture the scent of the sea and replicate it by grabbing up its molecules and then isolating them. Scientists use dome-like equipment that seals the scent. In the laboratory, perfumers use a vacuum to physically extract the molecules. Because aquatic perfumes are popular everyday choices for warm weather, certain brands use headspace technology extensively. Some even try to capture scents that are addictive by nature, such as cocoa or opium.
Defining your signature scent
While most men appreciate having a distinctive, signature scent that is uniquely theirs, it’s a good idea to switch things up with the seasons. Winter months are ideal for woody, musky scents, whereas summer months are more suited for fresh, light scents. Remember that higher temperatures and humidity levels can make heavy colognes strong and nauseating, resulting in an unpleasant fragrance for those around you. When choosing a cologne, ask yourself, “Will I enjoy wearing this fragrance?” If you can say yes without reservation, you have your signature scent.
How should I store my colognes?
The place where you store your cologne will have an effect on its longevity and scent. To preserve the product and extend the life of your fragrance, perfume experts recommend storing scents in a cool, dry location, such as a drawer or bedroom chest. These areas are less susceptible to moisture, humidity and temperature variations, and are therefore unlikely to affect your fragrance.
While some gentlemen store their fragrances in the bathroom, the temperature extremes and humidity can negatively affect a scent’s quality. Be sure to avoid direct sunlight. Sunlight and prolonged exposure to light can alter fragrance notes and accelerate the scent’s degradation. If you use cologne infrequently, it is crucial to keep it in a cool place. Doing so prevents spoilage and provides a refreshing boost during application.
Don’t choose the cheapest fragrance: Tips for trying out scents
Choosing the right cologne is the first step toward ensuring that you do not select a scent that evaporates from your skin 10 minutes after application. Begin by scouting the cosmetics section of your local department store. Although most men think that a single bottle of cologne – one they call their signature scent – is the best option, fragrance experts suggest both warm- and cold-weather fragrances. Invest in a lighter scent for the summer and save a spicier or woodier cologne for cooler seasons.
Use the sample cards at parfum counters to get an initial sense of which fragrances you enjoy. Sneak a spritz or two on your wrists to get a sense of how the cologne develops over time. Never spray cologne directly onto the scent card. Spray the card from a distance and waft it through the mist. Keep in mind what you plan to buy. Guys normally select a cheaper eau de toilette in the scent they like. Because an eau de toilette is about 5% to 15% concentrated, it can last longer, provided you add a spritz later. However, you may save more money by choosing the pricier and more concentrated eau de parfum, as one spritz in the morning usually lasts until day’s end.
A guide to properly applying your cologne
Once you’ve chosen the right cologne, you need to apply it properly. Cologne is made of molecules that degenerate over time, so you want your cologne to linger for as long as possible. Because scents are released during the day, they fade in layers, revealing the top notes first, followed by the heart notes, and finally the base notes. The more you know about a parfum’s chemical structure, the better the sillage, or the scent that trails you during the course of the day. Therefore, knowing how to apply your cologne is a key to making the most out of the product.
Tip 1: Apply your cologne after showering.
Before you apply cologne, ensure that your skin is properly dried, preferably right after you get out of the shower. That is when your skin’s pores are the most open. This allows the skin to trap as much cologne as possible, resulting in less waste.
Tip 2: Determine your primary pulse points.
While most people focus on the neck and wrists, your shoulders, inner elbows and behind the knees also are noted application points. Spritz these zones from a safe distance. Fragrance experts recommend a distance of three to six inches. Check that the atomizer works properly by dispersing the cologne into the air. If the scent’s atomizer squirts the scent like a cheap water gun, you need to replace the bottle and buy an atomizer that sprays effectively.
Apply lightly to the preferred pulse points. Don’t rub the fragrance on your wrists or neck. If you use a high-quality scent and apply it correctly, one spritz per pulse point should suffice. Avoid spraying on your clothes or spraying into the air and walking through the mist. Don’t spray the parfum on one spot and rub it over the rest of the other heat areas. Again, it is imperative that your cologne melds with the natural oils in your skin.
Tip 3: Avoid exposing your cologne to the elements.
While exposure to various temperature extremes and sunlight reduces a cologne’s longevity, it also alters the scent. Therefore, it is never a good idea, while traveling, to take a large and expensive bottle of cologne with you. Transport the parfum in a small travel sprayer.
Tip 4: Don’t treat your cologne like an aftershave.
Don’t apply your cologne in the same manner as you would your aftershave. In other words, you don’t want to apply it to your hands and then dab it on the skin. The aromatic oils in a cologne are not designed for that sort of application. Use small spritzes on the pulse points – wrists, neck, elbows and the backs of the knees. Remember, cologne requires maximum skin contact to work.
Tip 5: Less is more.
While you might wear cologne to boost your self-confidence, don’t go overboard. That is especially true if your reason for wearing a parfum is to attract females. Remember that less is more. The last thing you want is for people to duck away from you because of your strong smell. Cologne should be distinct, yet subtle. Too much of a good thing is a decided turn-off.
Tip 6: Recognize that many colognes are seasonal.
While it is certainly fine to have one signature scent, plan on having more than one if you want to do things right. You should have one for warmer weather, one for cooler seasonal times, one for formal gatherings and another for nighttime dates. After all, variety is the spice of life.
Shopping for an everyday men’s cologne online
You may find it tough to snap up a signature scent online, as you cannot smell the cologne before you buy it. However, you can usually find what you’re seeking; it will just take more time. Most online brands provide sample versions of the scents that interest you. Some, like Blu Atlas, offer a money-back guarantee if the scent does not suit your personal chemistry.
Also, take careful note of the scent pyramids provided on sites that feature colognes. Doing so will give you a more precise idea of what you should expect, or what notes will prevail during the day.
First impressions don’t count
Never choose a cologne based on your first impression. Remember, fragrances change as you wear them. Therefore, request some samples of the perfumes you believe you’ll like and check them out first. Enjoy your adventure in finding that ideal everyday man’s fragrance. When you wear a sample, ask friends what they think. Give it a while before you decide. Regardless of what others think, you are the one who will wear the parfum.
A few final thoughts
Everyone has a unique chemistry. That is why what you choose in a man’s cologne should uniquely represent you. By keeping this one fact in mind, you can find that scent that defines your personality and one-of-a-kind perspective on life.