The 20 Best Selling Men’s Colognes, Tested by Grooming Editors

The 20 Best Selling Men’s Colognes, Tested by Grooming Editors

Best Modern Masculine Scent

Dior Sauvage

Sauvage

Best Modern Masculine Scent

Dior Sauvage

This spicy-fresh cologne has taken the world by storm since its debut in 2015 and has become one of the best selling men’s colognes of all time. Sauvage is instantly identifiable thanks to the bit of peppers throughout the fragrance, from the fresh top note to the smooth, ambery wood base. It’s the epitome of what we now think of a modern masculine cologne and is versatile enough to wear both day and night.

Notes Calabrian bergamot, black pepper, sichuan pepper, lavender, pink pepper, vetiver, patchouli, geranium, elemi, ambroxan, cedar, labdanum

Best Musk Scent

Ralph Lauren Polo Blue

Polo Blue

Best Musk Scent

Ralph Lauren Polo Blue

Launched in 2003, Polo Blue is the epitome of a masculine “blue” fragrance, an exceedingly popular category in men’s cologne because of its wearability and versatility. Known for its lightweight, fresh and clean vibes, this scent is your perfect, crowd pleasing everyday scent that starts out fresh and clean and dries down to a subtle masculine woody-musk. It’s never offensive and always appropriate.

Notes Cucumber, melon, mandarin orange, basil, sage, geranium, suede, woodsy notes, musk

Best Clean Scent

Calvin Klein One

One

Best Clean Scent

Calvin Klein One

Billed as the first unisex fragrance when it was released in 1995, CK One captured the fresh, subtle vibes of the era—and continues to be one of the most popular colognes to this day. It’s citrusy, floral, bright and has an overwhelming clean feeling that’s ideal for summer weather and daytime wear.

Notes Lemon, green notes, bergamot, pineapple, cardamom, jasmine, violet, nutmeg, orris root, freesia, musk, cedar, sandalwood, oakmoss, amber

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Best Citrus Scent

Armani Beauty Acqua di Giò

Acqua di Giò

Best Citrus Scent

Armani Beauty Acqua di Giò

No list of the best selling men’s colognes would be complete without Acqua di Gio, which has had a chokehold on the men’s cologne industry since its debut in 1996. One of the most popular men’s fragrances of all time, you can consider this one of the OG aquatic scents that inspired a thousand imitations. The bright, fresh feeling of citrus and florals mixed with sea notes (think: watery minerals) and grounded in soft woods and amber will forever be one of the most wearable colognes for any occasion.

Notes Lime, lemon, bergamot, neroli, mandarin orange, sea notes, jasmine, hyacinth, violet, white musk, cedar, oakmoss, patchouli, amber

Best Summer Scent

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme

Light Blue Pour Homme

Best Summer Scent

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme

The quintessential summer fragrance, this is a sunny, bright citrus bomb that screams warm weather. It’s exactly what you think of when you imagine a summer cologne—crisp, fresh citrus like bergamot and mandarin orange, a hint of woody spice from juniper and rosemary and a smooth finish of rosewood and oakmoss to ground it to your skin. It’s the olfactory equivalent of a fresh fruit salad.

Notes Grapefruit, bergamot, Sicilian mandarin, juniper, pepper, rosemary, Brazilian rosewood, musk, incense, oakmoss

An Iconic Going Out Scent

Versace Eros

Eros

An Iconic Going Out Scent

Versace Eros

Yes, Eros may be considered one of the ultimate “going out” colognes—bright, fun, sexy and young—but it shouldn’t be restricted to just the nightclub. It’s a cologne that doesn’t take itself too seriously, with notes that range from fresh citrus to sexy vanilla that intermingle to create a youthful masculinity that anyone can enjoy—whether you’re on the dance floor or heading to your 9 to 5.

Notes Mint, green apple, lemon, tonka bean, ambroxan, geranium, Madagascar vanilla, Atlas cedar, Virginia cedar, vetiver, oakmoss

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The IYKYK Scent

Creed Aventus

Aventus

The IYKYK Scent

Creed Aventus

Reading the notes on this iconic cologne can be a bit misleading. Yes, it has a fruity element thanks to notes like apple, black currant and pineapple, but you’ll be surprised if you assume it’s just a cloud of sweetness. This cologne is uber masculine and walks a fine line between traditional and modern. Even over a decade after its release, it’s one of those If You Know You Know colognes that’s always going to be a crowd pleaser.

Notes Bergamot, black currant, apple, lemon, pineapple, patchouli, Moroccan jasmine, birch, musk, oakmoss, ambroxan, cedarwood

Most Versatile Scent

Chanel Bleu de Chanel

Bleu de Chanel

Most Versatile Scent

Chanel Bleu de Chanel

There’s a reason Bleu is known as one of the most popular men’s colognes of all time—it’s one of the most versatile you can find. The fresh top note, smooth spices of the middle and the woody, earthy base notes are all crowd pleasers so every moment of wearing this cologne smells great. It’s equally appropriate for both day or night, office or date or anywhere else you can possibly think of wearing it.

Notes Grapefruit, lemon, mint, pink pepper, ginger, nutmeg, jasmine, Iso E Super, incense, vetiver, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, labdanum, white musk

Best Sandalwood Scent

Le Labo Santal 33

Santal 33

Best Sandalwood Scent

Le Labo Santal 33

Perhaps the ultimate niche fragrance success story, Santal 33 catapulted Le Labo from indie perfumer into household name. To this day, the instantly identifiable sandalwood fragrance is one of the brand’s best sellers for the simple reason that it’s incredibly wearable while still smelling unique and hip. It’s one of those rare fragrances that kept its street cred the more popular it became. Cool might as well be in its DNA.

Notes Sandalwood, leather, papyrus, Virginia cedar, cardamom, violet, iris, amber

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Best Long Lasting Scent

Versace Dylan Blue

Dylan Blue

Best Long Lasting Scent

Versace Dylan Blue

If Eros is a party boy scent, then Dylan Blue is his older brother. This crisp, inviting aquatic cologne is appropriate for any and all occasions, even the office. It has great longevity that lasts nearly all day and as it evolves from fresh, citrus to smooth musk and tonka bean, it just gets better. It’s one of the best modern masculine fragrances out there with a popularity to match.

Notes Calabrian bergamot, water notes, grapefruit, fig leaves, ambroxan, black pepper, patchouli, violet leaf, papyrus, incense, musk, tonka bean, saffron

A Warm Weather Scent That Stands Out

Yves Saint Laurent Y

Y

A Warm Weather Scent That Stands Out

Yves Saint Laurent Y

What sets this crowd pleaser apart from other fresh colognes on this list is the aldehydes in the top note, which give this a bit of clean soapy quality. It’s light and pleasant, perfect for warm weather, and is inoffensive enough to wear on pretty much every occasion. It’s a the perfect daytime scent that toes the line between subtle and statement-making.

Notes Aldehydes, ginger, bergamot, mint, lemon, apple, violet leaf, pineapple, sage, geranium, ambergris, musk, cedar, balsam fir, vetiver, incense

Best Blend of Citrus and Spice

Issey Miyake L’eau d’Issey Pour Homme

L'eau d'Issey Pour Homme

Best Blend of Citrus and Spice

Issey Miyake L’eau d’Issey Pour Homme

Another iconic fresh scent of the 1990’s, this cologne has stood the test of time and remains a best seller because it’s identifiable and unique. The Yuzu note adds sweetness to the crisp citrus and the unique mix of spices and herbs make what could be a very straightforward fresh cologne into something much more elegant and layered.

Notes Yuzu, lemon, bergamot, mandarin orange, cypress, blue lotus, nutmeg, lily-of-the-valley, saffron, ceylon cinnamon, Tahitian vetiver, musk, cedar, sandalwood, amber, tobacco

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A Scent that’s Sweet, but not too Sweet

Hugo Boss Hugo Man

Hugo Man

A Scent that’s Sweet, but not too Sweet

Hugo Boss Hugo Man

This versatile cologne is anchored in woods, making it a mature, masculine daytime cologne that’s not overwhelming or aggressive. The sweetness of apple and the floral lavender help to lighten up all the woods at the base. It’s a mature scent for a guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously—perfect to office wear.

Notes Green apple, lavender, pine, woody notes, balsam fir

A Cozy Classic

Calvin Klein Obsession

Obsession

A Cozy Classic

Calvin Klein Obsession

Widely considered one of the best men’s colognes of all time, Obsession is a warm, spicy, deeply layered fragrance that smells just as modern today as it did when it was first released in 1986. Where other Calvin Klein fragrances may be known for their freshness, this one is cozy and masculine and is best worn in the winter sitting next to a roaring fire (but is just as appropriate anywhere else).

Notes Cinnamon, lavender, coriander, mandarin orange, lime, myrrh, nutmeg, carnation, Brazilian rosewood, pine tree, amber, vanilla, sandalwood, musk, patchouli, vetiver

A Fresh Daytime Scent

Davidoff Cool Water

Cool Water

A Fresh Daytime Scent

Davidoff Cool Water

The scent that launched a thousand aquatics, when Cool Water hit the scene, it changed the game for men’s cologne. It has since become a bona fide cologne icon and for good reason. The fresh, aromatic, aquatic scent is the ultimate watery cologne that’s both instantly fresh and incredibly masculine thanks to the musk, tobacco and cedar at the base. It remains one of the best daytime colognes available.

Notes Sea water, lavender, mint, green notes, rosemary, calone, coriander, sandalwood, neroli, geranium, jasmine, musk, oakmoss, tobacco, cedar, ambergris

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The Date Night Go-To

Azzaro The Most Wanted

The Most Wanted

The Date Night Go-To

Azzaro The Most Wanted

What makes this one so popular is one simple thing: it’s ultra sexy. Warm, spicy and a little sweet, it’s exactly what you think about when you think of a seductive, masculine cologne—the kind of scent that you reserve for those really special dates where you want to make the best impression possible.

Notes Ginger, woodsy notes, bourbon vanilla, green cardamom, toffee accord

A Festive Favorite

Paco Rabanne 1 Million

1 Million

A Festive Favorite

Paco Rabanne 1 Million

If Versace Eros is a party scent, this is its counterpart. Instead of fresh, One Million is spicy, warm and a little sweet tempered at the base with woods and patchouli. It’s an undeniably masculine cologne that still feels young and approachable. It’s perfect for winter, especially festive parties or intimate get togethers.

Notes Blood mandarin, grapefruit, mint, cinnamon, spicy notes, rose, amber, leather, woody notes, Indian patchouli

Best for Formal Environments

Montblanc Explorer

Explorer

Best for Formal Environments

Montblanc Explorer

This woody, fresh cologne is like your best fitting suit—masculine, professional and what you put on when you want to feel really confident. It’s the platonic idea of smooth professionalism—the ultimate boss scent. The longevity is great and the sillage is minimal, meaning you won’t overpower the room when you walk in, but those closest to you will know you mean business.

Notes Bergamot, pink pepper, clary sage, Haitian vetiver, leather, ambroxan, akigalawood, Indonesian patchouli leaf, cacao pod

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A Woodsy Scent You Can Use for Years

Valentino Uomo Born

Uomo Born

A Woodsy Scent You Can Use for Years

Valentino Uomo Born

What sets this cologne apart is the mineral saltiness of the opening. It’s a unique introduction to a fragrance that is familiar enough to be crowd pleasing (fresh and woody) but feels youthful at the same time. It’s a modern interpretation of traditionally masculine vibes that’s exceedingly wearable, especially during the day, no matter how old you are.

Notes Mineral notes, violet leaf, salt, ginger, sage, woody notes, vetiver

A Timeless Daily Scent

Terre d’Hermes

Terre d'Hermes

A Timeless Daily Scent

Terre d’Hermes

There’s a vintage quality to this mature masculine cologne that makes it feel timeless, which is part of why it’s so popular. Fresh and woody, with a little mineral-ly kick to it, it’s the type of cologne you could imagine your grandfather wearing, but smells just as modern on you. It’s ideal for a daytime signature scent.

Notes Orange, grapefruit, pepper, pelargonium, flint, vetiver, cedar, patchouli, benzoin

Headshot of Garrett Munce

Garrett Munce

Garrett Munce writes about men’s style and grooming. He’s written for Esquire, New York Magazine, Spotlyte, and Very Good Light and held staff positions at GQ and W. Follow his skincare obsession on Instagram at @garrettmunce.

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