If there’s one thing crowded subway trains have taught us, it is that the right cologne is a critical grooming necessity. How many times have we held our breath – no thanks to an overpowering cologne worn by an unsophisticated CBD executive, or body odour emanating from a hardworking lad – wishing we could teleport to our destination pronto? This is why we have came up with this list of recommendation. Here are six best smelling cologne for men (according to their fragrance families) that deserve a place in the hall of fame.
Pro tip: A good cologne doesn’t have to be expensive. To know if a scent is suitable for you, reach for the tester set and spray it on the warmest parts of your body, such as your wrist or inner elbows. Then, go about your day as you normally would. At different intervals, take notes on the scent’s sillage, how it smells, as well as its longevity. If you still like it by the end of the day, the cologne is probably a winner.
Leather Musk by Crabtree & Evelyn
Fancy the scent of rich leather? Now you can wear it too, alongside warm Indonesian patchouli and woody Haitian vetiver. To round it all off, the uplifting lemon accents add a cool touch to this unusual blend.
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Suitable for: Men who are looking for something different yet sensual. We recommend this for your next date night.
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Carefully reviewed and curated men’s grooming brands for your personal care routine
Colonia Leather Eau de Cologne Concentrée by Acqua di Parma
Introduced in May 2014, this cologne was announced as an “original creation born by unconventional combining of freshness coming from citrus notes of the original fragrance Colonia and rich, sensual shades of aromatic leather”.
And true to its description, the warm scent is reminiscent of luxurious, well-crafted leather accessories. It features top notes of Brazilian orange and a touch of Sicilian lime. The heart features rose and petit grain from Paraguay, artfully combined with leather, Atlas cedar and guaiac wood from Paraguay.
Suitable for: The stylish and elegant man who appreciates the finer things in life.
FRESH AND OCEANIC NOTES
CK2 by Calvin Klein
The lightest of the lot, CK2 comes in a minimalist glass bottle, and is touted as a unisex scent (you can share this with your significant other!) that celebrates the diversity of connections between two people. Think spicy wasabi notes coupled with rose absolute, earthy incense, and sandalwood. Note: This scent wears off pretty fast.
Suitable for: Fresh and easy to wear, it’s likely to appeal to a millennial crowd.
1805 by Truefitt and Hill
This is Justin (Team Urban Oak)’s pick. 1805 features bergamot, mandarin and cardamom as top notes, while lavender, geranium and clary sage makes up its heart. Rounding off the fragrance are warm notes of sandalwood, cedarwood and musk. Established in 1805 — more than two centuries ago — Truefitt & Hill is the oldest barbershop in London and the world, and its line of grooming essentials is a favourite with discerning gentlemen worldwide. Plus: Ingredients used in the brand’s products are cruelty-free and not tested on animals. For the above reasons, this is why 1805 by Trueffit and Hill deserves to be Best Smelling Cologne for Men list.
Suitable for: Men who don’t want an overpowering scent. This one is light and fresh enough for everyday use.
Truefitt & Hill Official Store (USA)
Truefitt & Hill Official Store (Singapore)
Armani Code Profumo by Giorgio Armani
Inspired by the label’s handsome tuxedos, the Profumo is the latest addition to the Armani Code range. It starts off fresh with notes of green mandarins, crisp green apples and cardamom before revealing a soothing combination of lavender and nutmeg. Now imagine all of that enveloped in hints of tonka bean and tobacco.
Suitable for: Stylish executives who want to smell as sharp as they look at work.
Black Absinthe Eau de Cologne by Crabtree & Evelyn
Paying homage to the rich history of absinthe, this cologne underscores lively, herbaceous notes in a most sensuous manner. Feel the rush of absinthe, artemisia and fennel flower — green, rejuvenating notes which celebrate absinthe’s rich apothecary heritage.
Underneath the aroma of the wild herbs, lavender notes marry with smooth black liquorice and peppery vetiver, bringing to mind an intimate Parisian bar. A creamy tonka base note rounds the scent off on a deep, sensual tone we adore. It’s fortunate the cologne doesn’t last as long we’d like it too — most of it melts away by midday.
Suitable for: Men who do not like typical masculine scents, and are looking for something with green notes.
This brings us to the all-important question: how does one pick the right cologne? Well, price comparisons aside — how do you like your base notes? Do you prefer something citrusy, minty or musky? Check this piece on how to select the right cologne especially for work. If you are looking for colognes to attract females, we have a dedicated list for you here as well.