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It’s a bit challenging to find the right fragrances for men, especially when you’re trying to purchase a scent online. I was determined to switch up my fragrance this year, so I decided to start researching a new scent based upon the body wash fragrances I like and a reasonable budget. It was a bit overwhelming at first, with so many choices, which is why I compiled this list of best fragrances for men.

As I was searching for the perfect blend of notes, I found that the market was full of so many possibilities that I had a hard time choosing just one. Below are some of my favorite men’s fragrances, including solid colognes from Duke Cannon, St. Johns No. 77, and Santal Sky from Keirin NYC. They are not ranked in any particular order because men’s fragrances are so personal. What I love may not be in the realm of what your nose find appealing. So, use this list of best fragrances for men to find well priced brands and new scent combinations.

Although choosing the right fragrance can be challenging, it’s also important to know that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just remember that the scent can vary depending on how you feel that day and most of the time it’s someone else smelling you that matters. It’s probably best to consult with your friends or partner about how they feel about your newfound fragrance. For example, I love Old Glory body wash from Duke Cannon, but my wife thinks it smells like her childhood hamster cage.

Our Choice of The Best Fragrances for Men:

Making Sense of Scents

Hawthorne: The Work Cologne

  • Personalized? Yes and No. Hawthorne has a quiz more designed for skincare, but it does make a recommendation for fragrances. However, as far as I can tell there’s only 2 fragrances.

  • Samples or Trials? No. Hawthorne doesn’t offer any samples or trials to test fragrances before you purchase.

  • Subscription? Yes and No. If you purchase a bundle, you can save by subscribing but I couldn’t find a subscription for just the Work cologne.

Hawthorne isn’t just a men’s fragrance brand, they specialize in men’s grooming and skincare. However, their fragrance isn’t just some trumped up blend of scents leftover from their skincare products. They actually had renowned perfumer Olivier Gillotin craft both scent (Work and Play). Olivier is a 5x cologne of the year winner and the nose behind such iconic fragrances as Ralph Lauren’s Polo Red Rush and 5th Avenue After Five. Hawthorne approach to men’s fragrance is unique in that they’ve developed the scents to complimentary. No, that doesn’t mean you wear them together. It means that you should be wearing them in the complimentary aspect of your life, Work and Play. Work is a clean and fresh fragrance, perfect for boardrooms; while Play is woodsy and distinct, perfect for standing out in a crowd.

What I love:

  • Fresh. Hawthorne’s Work fragrance is cool, with a blend of juniper, sandalwood, and basil. It goes on light, but stays fragrant for hours.

  • Happy Hour. The two-step fragrance system is perfect to switch up your scent and mood after work. Splash on some Play after work for a whole new you.

  • Budget. Whether you go with Work, Play, or both you won’t break the bank. Purchase both fragrances for only $100, or split the difference and get one for just $50.

St Johns Bay: No 77

  • Personalized? No. Although St. Johns Bay has a few colognes and aftershaves to choose from, none are customized.

  • Samples or Trials? Yes. Travel sizes are available, which is a great and inexpensive way to test a fragrance before committing to a large bottle.

  • Subscription? No. Choose between splash or spray, but no discount for subscriptions are available.

It’s a bit confusing that St. Johns Bay Run doesn’t actually make rum. Instead, they make some of the most timeless men’s fragrances that have been around for over 70 years. Bay leaf oil from the Bay Rum tree was extracted and mixed with a proprietary blend of spices to create what’s considered a distinctly masculine scent. No. 77 is the newest addition to the St Johns lineup of men’s cologne and brings with it hints of bergamot, lemon, musk, and amber. It’s a fresh scent complemented by an earthy musk, bringing back memories of my time in Hawai’i with a unique island feel. No 77 can also be purchased on Amazon.

What I love:

  • Citrus Musk. Another fresh scent, but with a citrus and musky undertone.

  • Island Time. The whole lineup from St. Johns Bay has an island feel, but No 77’s citrus undertone bring that island feel to life.

  • Bottle or Art? The palm leaf wrapped bottle looks more expensive than the $60 price tag and bring some class to any bathroom countertop.



David’s Perfume #01: Best “Perfume” for Men

  • For Men? Despite the name, yes. David’s Perfume #01 was a finalist for The Fragrance Foundations scent of the year in 2021.

You might know David Dobrik from YouTube and think “What the hell does this guy know about fragrance?” Maybe he knows nothing, maybe he’s an undercover perfumer. To be honest, I have no idea. None of that matters though because David’s Perfume #01 smells great and stays with you throughout the day. Despite being called a perfume, which I generally associate with women’s fragrance, the blend of spice and wood hits just right. This fragrance can be worn all day everyday, from the office to date night with your partner.

It All Makes Scents Now

The best fragrance for men is wildly dependent on personal preference and how a mans unique body chemistry interacts with a cologne or perfumes ingredients. While I can’t guarantee that my scent selections will be right for you, I can guarantee that you can’t go wrong with purchasing from any of the brand mentioned in this article. Let me know in the comment section which fragrance for men you chose, or if there’s a brand that should be added to this list.

The jury is out on this, but there are some schools of thought. Men’s fragrance should be fragrant, but not overpowering. Fragrance should be applied to pulse points like your neck and wrist or subtly to clothes. The idea is that a person should not be able to smell you until you are in close proximity, engaged in a personal conversation. Every fragrance is distinct in smell and potency, so start with one spray or drop and increase from there.

There’s no hard and fast rule in the world of fragrance. If you like a scent, wear it. A women can smell great with a musky woodsy fragrance and man can enjoy roses, orange, and jasmine. It’s all personal preference.

Not necessarily. We equate men’s fragrances with stronger smells like sandalwood, bergamot, and cloves. However, the strength of a cologne comes from many other factors including how much you wear. If a scent is too strong, but you like it, try spraying it in the air and walking through it to diminish the strength.

Of course! DOLCE & GABBANA Light Blue is a classic example of a floral men’s cologne.

All of them! Most guys latch onto a fragrance that they or their partner like, but everyday is a chance to reinvent your scent. I recommend having 2-3 fragrances for the different moods and events in your life. Having a unique smell at work, home, and on the town is ideal.

Start with your current scents – your body wash, shampoo, aftershave, or lotion. Chances are there’s a fragrance that smells similar. Go to your local perfume shop or order samples from sites like Scentbox.

Stop and Smell the Roses, Sandalwood, Bergamot, etc…

Just as every face is unique, personal preference dictates how each person feels about and interprets a fragrance. One person’s Cedarwood is another person’s hamster cage, just ask my wife. Finding the best fragrance for men is all about testing what you like and what you don’t. Luckily, picking is scent is all about fragrance and not results, like skincare. Start with your own medicine cabinets or shower to find what you like, or ask a passerby what scent they’re wearing if you like it. Don’t be shy, try bold scents, cool fragrances, and don’t forget to ask those you’re closest with about how they feel. If your partner thinks you smell like a hamster cage, then your fragrance isn’t doing its job.