Its tough to say which cologne is the best. As you know, one can easily find fragrances that exude accords of leather, spices, sweet, florals heavy or airy and light. For men, colognes could possess any of these qualities coupled with musk, woodsy aromas that are more masculine.
For women, colognes usually tend to move towards the lighter, sweeter side. Of course, several brands have their own compositions, some more successful than others. So we’ve made a list of colognes that have stood the test of time and have just bee introduced.
These five colognes aren’t new, might not be trendy and are rarely reinvented, making them part of the classic collection.They’re time honoured, and manage to gather new fans as time goes by owing to a distinct blend of aromas that can’t be replicated easily or simply stands out on its own. Interestingly enough, some of these blends aren’t complexas opposed to certain fragrances tend to confuse.
1) EauSauvageEDT by Christian Dior
Eau Sauvage was first seen in 1966 and is an original blend as it wasn’t inspired by any fragrances before it. The scent, as you find it now, is fresh but still pretty noble. This edition is clean, versatile and suits any occasion.You can still find it in the flacon designed in the sixties by Pierre Dinand.
The Eau Sauvage fragrance is known for being a very well balanced field of contrasts. In spite of this, it lasts for a very long time and can be worn well in all seasons. So, on one hand you have the fresh, citrusy stuff like bergamot, lemon, basil, fruit, cumin that make up the top notes.
On the other hand, there are these softer floral notes of lavender, jasmine, coriander, iris root, rose, carnation, sandalwood and patchouli that give off the floral heart notes. This sweet- floral balance is mild and made more masculine with musk, amber, vetiver and oak moss.
- clean scent
- long lasting
- moderate sillage
- mildness that mellows down to super mild skin scent
The bergamot top note the bitter, but in an uncharacteristic way and is perfectly rounded out by just the right amount of pepper and what smells like lavender. Eau Sauvage is falls in with the rest of the classic because its simple and blended perfectly. Its the mildness and longevity that makes it versatile.You could call it a refined version of the lemon, citrus cologne, but the difference is that it is clean and fresh as it is daring and adventurous. Its apparently a favourite of John Lennon.
2) Polo by Ralph Lauren
Polo has been edited and repackaged in several brightly coloured bottles. We thought about reviewing the red bottle and that’s when the green one came to mind – the original Polo! First launched in 1978, this scent was really one of the kind, back then and even now.
It was a heavy one for the colder weather, filled with notes of oak moss, pine, patchouli and tobacco.It’s also one of the few blends that don’t have any floral notes all, other than the chamomile which leads to a clean, grassy opening.Opening notes are green too, with accords of thyme, basil and artemisia. The heart notes are just as strong and masculine with notes of vetiver, patchouli, oak moss. And, somewhere in between all of this, there are traces of leather that leave behind an intensive trail.
- long lasing,
- heavy sillag
- better versatility in winters
Polo will always be a great perfume and that has a lot to do with the ingredients used. There’s really nothing to hate about this fragrance, from start to finish. The fragrance is a herbal, spicy chypre that smells like nature right after it rains – its that fresh! And they don’t exactly make fresh, forest scents like this anymore.
From our point of view, it begins with these pine needles and eventually softens down to a tobacco finish.The grassy notes were there, but were very mild. Some people think that it’s too dated for today, but Polo is a classic and the note tend to change=- and not in a bad way – when left on your dresser for a long time.
3) Armani Eau Pour Homme
Launched in 1984, Armani Eau Pour Homme is pretty old. But even after all of the perfumes that have been released since, this one stands out. And that has a lot to do with the performance, which starts out with a mossy and rich citrus. As the scent wear develops, it moves towards a warm nutmeg merged with a white floral that’s almost brittle and frosted. This phase also contains some hidden notes of sweet coriander too.
After that, the performance seems to dissipate to nothing. But then, it comes back to a very talcy after effect, where the floral, citrus notes are warm and soft. In addition to that, this stage has resin, sweet musk and wood too, but you can only get those notes by smelling it from afar.
Armani Eau Pour Homme has been repackaged and the modern version is more sprightly, but still holds onto the old structure that made the original a classic.
- good lasting power
- moderate sillage
- moderate longevity
- revamped version is lighter
Armani Eau Pour Homme is a citrus cologne alright – and you’re reminded of that throughout the grand, spontaneous refreshment too. Blended with citrus leaf, green lemon, mandarin smoothened out with orange blossom. This citrus blast isn’t overpowering at all but still settles down to a softer floral and spicy finish. That natural feeling and depth is created with the addition of cedar, oak moss, vetiver.
A subtle composition that’s classy too and reminded us of the 1800’s Florida Water cologne with the bright spice-citrus. The difference is that it’s subtle, quiet unlike the power punches that came from the 1980’s. Its also one of the few offerings that didn’t require extensive complexity or depth in order to become a classic.
Guerlain Vetiver is another classic originating out of the 1960’s. Jean-Paul Guerlain, its creator, wanted to emphasize each raw material that went into making Vetiver, with the aim of making this timeless fragrance ingredient more modern.So the beauty of this cologne lies in it being a blend of nuance and simplicity, of classicism and abstraction.
That typical of Guerlain’s style too, filled with strong accents or contrasts to bring out the beauty of the natural oils. For example, the bitter grapefruit is made more prominent after its was accented with mint and citrus.Then, the woody base is made stronger with tobacco and soft, woody accents.The licorice is sweet and spicy. Relaunched in 2000, the perfume now sits in a new bottle with a different colour, but still has the original blend.
- Not a very clean vetiver
- tranquil and unfussy
- long lasting
- moderate sillage
meant for summer days
The start of the Guerlain Vetiver is woody, earthy with the intention of brining out those raw materials – and this is done wonderfully, seeing how this is what the perfumer went for. And its really refreshing too,as its bright and airy as well. It then moves away from this airiness, that can quickly get boring if it hadn’t been for the floral interplay that sneaks up on you. Then, clove and jasmine are the more stronger notes.
Masculine, strong and clean, Vetiver does however fall somewhere in between when it comes to the vetiver strength spectrum. With TerreD’Hermes being less clear and more flinty and Tom Ford Grey Vetiver leaning more towards the cleaner vetivers.
Lime and vetiver seem to be a good combination, and Guerlain does this wonderfully.There’s also a creaminess to it, that makes it classy and versatile too.
Guerlain’s Vetiver blurred these conventions by being an abstract fragrance, but it had depth because of the tobacco, lemon and pepper accords swirling around the vetiver root.This is further amplified by neroli, lemon and bergamotto bring about that freshness of this root, that’s made earthy through the coriander seeds and tobacco.
5) Givenchy Gentleman
Originally released in 1974, Givenchy Gentleman was made to be addition to the 1969 Gentleman Givenchy. Givenchy Gentleman 1974 edition was loved for its honey and patchouli note blend and contains around 35% patchouli oil. The perfume begins with a smell that’s dark, woody and ancient with the indeterminate spicy sweetness, moist wood, bitter honey and floral sap.
Slowly, these notes become softer and are then reminiscent of Aromatics Elixir by Clinique. At this point, the patchouli is stronger than the rose and this grows once the orris sets in. This is when the character of the scent turns to a soft, velvet rose patchouli blend from its previous spicy, smooth alcoholic stance.
The dry down is unmistakeable woody and sort of moves with you and the kind of weather you’re in. In cold, windy areas, the patchouli is mild but in warm weather it gets stronger, with a woody, sweet background.
- timeless dry down
- clean patchouli
- dated opening note
On the first impression, we got classic cologne notes thanks to the honey-patchouli balance that does really well.This initial blast goes away after a half hour and that’s when you get this scent that is woody, earthy, even a bit smoky if you will. With that , you get hints of cinnamon, leather and more honey. The patchouli is present throughout and stays clean regardless of how often the rest of the scent profile changes.
The Current Favourites
This next list consists of perfumes that have released recently, but have managed to make an impact, like their classic counterparts. Such perfumes are modern and might those that don’t like classic fragrances that may turn out to be too dated. Or if their favourite classic scent has been ruined through reformulation. This explains why some of the following perfumes have become so popular.
6) Acqua Di Parma Colonia Sandalo
Acqua Di Parma launched a special update to their world famous Colonia perfume for autumn-winter 2018. Known as Colonia Sandalo, this new formulation retains all of the citrus, zingy goodness of the 1916 formula. This difference here is that it also contains hints of lavender, cardamom enveloped in a creamy sandalwood base. The bottle is new too, with a deep brown glass bottle and rose gold cap.
Although creamy sandalwood is the focal point here, there are notes too, like tonka, lavender that prevent this cologne from turning into a one-dimensional scent. Longevity and versatility are excellent too. This fragrance freshens up, what’s normally seen as a winter fragrance, to make it appropriate for summer.
- old school scent with refreshingly bitter touch
- very strong projection
- moderate longevity
Colonia Sandalofollows in the steps of the Colonia Leather and Colonia Oud. It’s a perfect blend of the company’s ancient eau de cologne secret and some other notes too. It is however much fresh and lighter than the Oud or the Leather blends. The accord ensemble is somewhat predictable and we’ve seen its before – the citruses mixed up with petit grain, cardamom, lavender placed onto a base of amber and sandalwood.
In spite of that, the scent is invigorating, refreshing but isn’t loud, comforting but not boring – and this is that’s the best part about the Sandalo and also the reason why it’s versatile enough for summer and winter.One thing that we did notice is that once the top notes wear off, we got tonka instead of rose and it even drives back down this tonka note but more woody and powdery. This profile can he compared with the likes of Montblanc Legend, Allure Homme Sport or Egoiste Platinum from Chanel.
7) TerreD’Hermes Eau Intense Vetiver
TerreD’Hermes has successfully added another piece to their growing collection.This edition focuses on the dewey, earthy characteristics of vetiver. But its been given more drama with the addition of bergamot and Sichuan pepper for extreme freshness.
This freshness contrasts with the warmness of their other launches and will add that extra zing on a dull winter day.
- good longevity
- mild sillage
- intense vetiver
- fruity top notes
This is nothing to do with the original, but quiet the opposite that’s lighter and cleaner. The scent profile comes pretty close to the Tom Ford Grey Vetiver, but it is more woody and peppery. The sillage may be light but it seems to go on forever. The vetiver is definitely strong here and the citrus, bergamot appears to be adding dimension to it or balancing it out.
Hermes gets the thumbs up for ding a good job of creating a scent hot, sunny weather. A lighter, softer edt that starts out on this rhubarb like note that vanishes minutes after applying it, but might last longer when applied on clothes. Its remains discreet with whiffs of the various notes every now and then. This Hermes offering is the right alternative for those that don’t like the soapiness of GuerlainVetiver.
8)Valentino Noir Absolu Oud Essence
The Noir Absolu Oud Essence from Valentino has been created for an experimental, intimate attitude for fragrances. You can wear it alone, but it’s been designed for layering with other Valentino scents. Either way, it exudes this rich, oriental vision through the bottle that’s ebony glass covered with studs.
When you add fresh fragrances, you highlight the sophisticated, powder notes and this is when the cedar, sandalwood, soft spices and florals of myrtle, saffron come into play. The notes are mild on their own and intensified when layered.
- mild and strong when required
- high versatility
- beautiful packaging
- better when layered
- sandalwood drowns out other notes
The Noir Absolu Oud Essence from Valentino has been created by the same perfumer behind the PacoRabanne 1 Million perfume. On the first spray, you get this nutty mix that is feels medicinal and tart, but that is offset by a certain degree of sweetness brought about by the myrtle and saffron. Within minutes, these top notes that feel a lot like saccharine grow into a strong musky sandalwood.
The idea of creating the profile this way was so that it could be layered easily. And, when you do that you make the notes stand out even more. That being said, the scents are strong enough to work on their own. The notes are mild on their own and intensified when layered and its very rare to find a blend that can morph in this way. This adds versatility too and is suited for evenings and day wear.
Dunhill is a popular brand, and almost everyone has at least one edition on their nightstand.Dunhill Century made this list because it’s one of the top choices. And, because its got this stylishly refined cube bottle design.Century is a very subtle, daily wear fragrance and can easily work for the office or for a glamorous evening out.
The top notes are largely citrus with mandarin orange, grapefruit and bergamot.The base is a full sandalwood, cypriol oil and musk with the addition of mandarin, neroli and citrus. These accords might not be all that new, but together they make for this wonderfully contemporary fragrance. And might even turn it into a new cult classic as well.
- soft masculine scent profile with accents of florals and citrus
- poor staying power
Dunhill Century is interesting, but in a nice way. We did get some really strong citruses but that died down to a floral, more white floral profile.It’s definitely masculine, even with the florals, but on the softer side owing to the neroli. We’ve only tested it out once and noticed that it didn’t last long. We’ll do another test and update you on the projection and longevity.
Nonetheless, this is a good offering from Dunhill that’s beautiful in a sophisticated, grown up way and that many will appreciate. We just wished it was a tad more potent, that way it would stay on for longer.
10) Thierry Mugler Angel Men Pure Havane EDT
Angel Pure Havane for men is the third offering following the original Angel Men and the Angel Pure Coffee. It is a gourmand representation of the tobacco accordcreated by perfumer, Jacques Huclier.
Based on that, the composition starts out on a fresh tobacco and honey note blend. This is soon followed by bitter cocoa, patchouli and vanilla.All of this is placed onto a base that’s oriental and warm and has more notes of amber and labdanum.
It settles down toa heavy yet cosy and sweet tobacco with chocolate haze. The dry down is a little less sweet, patchouli-choco and this is when the odd notes like labdanum, styrax is noticeable.
unusual mix of tobacco and chocolate, long lasting, heavy sillage
limited use to winters only
The Pure Havane edition from Thierry Mugler is a sweet, masculine blend of amber, leaf, bitter cocoa, honey and tobacco. In simpler words, its like enjoying a cigar with chocolate and honey! The scent profile is a warm gourmand and a better option for the winter, we think.
You could attempt to pull this off in summer too, but the sweetness in the Pure Havaneis undeniably great but you need to be in the mood for it.It hits your senses from the very first spray, and can get pretty addictive.
As for the longevity, its decent and the weather at the moment has a lot to do with that. On hotter days, it should last six to seven hours easily, and that’s because the fragrance is relatively strong.On colder, days that don’t have too much humidity,Havane sits on your skin and performs exceptionally well.Pure Havane is a niche, very unique scent with a simple composition and should suit anyone who really knowstheir fragrances.
Havane may not be for all, even though its been advertised as a universalperfume.You do need to use for some time to see how it smells, performs on your skin to see if its for you. And even if its doesn’t, the sceneprofile alone makes it a great gift or ideal for use during winters.
Conclusion: Top 10 most popular cologne
So that’s our list of the top ten most popular colognes. We’re sure there are several more favourites that we’ve missed out on and will hopefully cover in the upcoming reviews.