Best Designer Cologne: Top 7 Fragrances Most Recommended By Experts

Designer cologne is an accessory many people need when they’re getting ready for a night out on the town. Going to a club or a bar, first impressions mean smelling good with a fragrance that pops. But which scent will align with you? Thanks to online experts, StudyFinds compiled a list of the top seven best designer colognes on the market today.

Popular Cologne Varieties:

Colognes offer a wide range of aromas, also known as fragrance notes, to cater to different preferences and occasions. Here’s a list of some common types of aromas found in colognes:

  • Citrus: Fresh and invigorating scents like lemon, lime, orange, and bergamot provide a zesty and uplifting aroma.
  • Floral: Delicate and romantic fragrances featuring flowers such as rose, jasmine, lavender, and violet offer a soft and feminine scent.
  • Woody: Earthy and robust notes like cedarwood, sandalwood, and oakmoss provide a warm and grounding fragrance.
  • Spicy: Exotic and sensual scents characterized by spices like cinnamon, clove, and cardamom, often combined with resins and incense.
  • Aquatic: Crisp and clean aromas reminiscent of the sea, often with marine notes like seaweed, sea breeze, and watermelon.
  • Classic: Timeless and traditional colognes often adhere to well-established fragrance families and are beloved for their enduring appeal.

Additionally, colognes can smell different on every person, allowing individuals to select scents that align with their personalities, moods, and occasions. Ultimately, the choice of fragrance is a personal one, and it’s essential to test and explore different colognes to discover the perfect aroma for you.

Are you looking to test out a new luxury scent? StudyFinds has compiled a list of the best designer colognes available today. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Cologne spraying
Cologne spraying (Photo by Oleg Gekman on Shutterstock)

The List: Best Designer Cologne, According to Fragrance Experts


1. Tom Ford

First on the list of the best designer cologne is Tom Ford. “Launched in 2007, Tom Ford’s cologne collection set the trend for other houses to follow suit,” says Ape to Gentleman. “Grey Vetiver and Tom Ford Noir Extreme are the best loved signatures, but our go-to scents all come from the Private Blend collection: Tobacco Vanille, Oud Wood and Neroli Portofino.”

Tom Ford Oud Wood
Tom Ford Oud Wood

Vogue recommends Tom Ford Oud Wood. “Oud wood is one of the most precious and expensive ingredients for any perfumer, and this cologne by Tom Ford nails the woody scent. Combined with cardamom, sandalwood, and vetiver—with hints of tonka bean and amber—a few spritzes of this signature scent is like warming up to a nice cozy fire.”

FashionBeans calls Tom Ford Neroli Portofino the best smelling designer cologne. “Neroli Portofino is as bright and refreshing as Tobacco Vanille is dark and heavy. Opening with a symphony of citrus blended with white florals, botanicals, amber, and musk, Neroli Portofino perfectly captures the irresistible smell of the sunny Med. It is a sophisticated, soap-like scent that’s best worn with a crisp white polo or linen shirt.”

2. Christian Dior

Experts absolutely love Christian Dior as Men’s Journal is a fan of Dior Sauvage Elixir. “You’ve got freshness, addictive spices, rich woods, French lavender, and a sexy licorice note to play up the scent’s sweetness. Opening notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and grapefruit solidify this as a warm, spicy concoction, but it’s the base of licorice, sandalwood, amber, patchouli, and vetiver that is smooth and intoxicating. This beast of a fragrance scores ten out of ten on projection, longevity, sillage, and scent.”

Dior Sauvage Elixir
Dior Sauvage Elixir

Meanwhile, recommends the classic Dior Sauvage. “One of the most distinctive colognes on the market, Dior Sauvage contains hints of ambroxan, Sichuan pepper and reggio bergamot, making it perfect for the man who wants to stand out from the crowd.”

Scent Grail calls Christian Dior Fahrenheit a timeless classic. “Smelling classic and modern at the same time, Fahrenheit still stands as one of the best perfume creations. The fragrance opens up with an intoxicating smell of violet which gives it that signature ‘gasoline’ accord. As the scent dives into the base, the aroma is smoothened out by the expensive leather finish.”

3. Chanel Bleu

Chanel Bleu made the list because of its classic scent. “Bleu de Chanel has everything you want in a cologne: freshness and longevity,” says Brides. “It’s crisp, refined, and elegant, yet it plays to modern styles and scents. It’s not too musky, either. Instead, it boasts a woody cedar undertone with lingering traces of grapefruit, making it a fresh, clean-smelling option. The scent itself is also very strong, meaning that one spray can last the entire day—from the altar to the afterparty.”

Chanel Bleu
Chanel Bleu

“Chanel bottles the woodiness of the earth in a refined, elegant way,” notes Esquire. “This scent is fresh and masculine, with aromatic cedar and New Caledonian sandalwood.”

GQ writes, “Since its debut over a decade ago, its intoxicating blend of incense, ginger, and citrus has converted thousands of customers year after year. Its marketing was next-level, sure, (think cinematic promos directed by Martin Scorsese and starring the late Gaspard Ulliel), but the scent itself more than deserves its legendary status. Pony up for a bottle of your own and suddenly all the commotion will make perfect sense. Congratulations: you’re officially a Bleu guy. Don’t screw it up for the rest of us.”

4. Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio

Coming fourth on the best designer cologne list is Giorgio Armani. “The Armani designer suit has long been a Wall Street/Hollywood status symbol. The Italian label has also made notable contributions to the world of men’s fragrance since 1975,” says Ape to Gentleman. “Acqua Di Gio was one of the iconic marine scents of the nineties, while Oud Royal is one of the best from the Armani Privé Collection.”

Giorgio Armani Aqua Di Gio
Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio

Scent Grail favors Giorgio Armani Aqua di Gio Profumo. “ADG Profumo is the successor to the most-sold men’s fragrance of all time. Ideal for spring and summer, it can be worn either during the daytime or nighttime. The mysterious incense note combined with fresh sea accord creates a powerful aura around you.”

“You wouldn’t think of rosemary as an ideal cologne ingredient, but this Armani Beauty scent is an aquatic-inspired option that’s super fresh and clean. Acqua Di Gio is ideal for the man who doesn’t want an overpowering, woody fragrance,” writes

5. Yves Saint Lauren

Another favorite that made the list is Yves Saint Lauren. “A more intense version of YSL’s original men’s cologne, Y Le Parfum is an edgy and aromatic fougere that’s anything but boring,” says Men’s Journal. “It’s more concentrated than the EDP, so you’ll get more projection and longevity. Apple, aldehydes, grapefruit, and geranium are at the forefront, giving it a bright and zingy opening.”

Yves Saint Laurent Y Le Parfum
Yves Saint Laurent Y Le Parfum

Vogue recommends Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme. “YSL’s L’Homme is inspired by the magnetic attraction of a man with style and sensuality. Its alluring scent pairs citrus notes of bergamot and ginger with cedarwood and vetiver to put a fresh twist on your typically woody perfume.”

Scent Grail is a fan of Yves Saint Laurent Kouros. “Inspired by Greek mythology and ancient Gods, Kouros is a fragrance that celebrates everlasting masculinity and adventurous spirit. An unforgettable musky aroma trail sets apart this masterpiece from any other perfume.”

6. Maison Margiela Replica

Sixth on the list is Maison Margiela Replica. Experts like a few different varieties, like the Jazz Club version. “This whiskey-colored cologne evokes a dimly lit jazz club with leather club chairs and cigars. Warm and spicy, it boasts notes of pink pepper, rum, and tobacco,” notes Brides. “While it doesn’t have a super long-lasting effect, it also comes in a convenient travel size if you want to take it on the go to reapply. We love that it works as a unisex cologne (although your wife may steal it from you).”

Maison Margiela Replica Jazz Club
Maison Margiela Replica Jazz Club

“If you look forward to winter for warm days by the fire instead of the snow and cold temperatures, this Maison Margiela cologne needs to be on your dressing table ASAP,” says CNN, about their “By The Fireplace” blend. “With notes of vanilla, chestnut and clove, it’s a woody, sweet scent. Designed to be comforting yet sensual, it’s the ultimate cold-weather fragrance.”

Esquire also loves the “By The Fireplace” scent and calls it the best nostalgic woody cologne. “Maison Margiela captures the sweet, comfortable woodiness that comes from laying by the fire, warmth on your face. A memory in a bottle, this scent has decadent, rich notes of clove oil, chestnut accord, and vanilla accord, making it sweet and earthy.”

7. Prada

Rounding out the top seven of best designer cologne is the legendary Prada. “Aromatic, musky, and aquatic in nature, Prada’s Luna Rossa Ocean is a refreshingly earthy blend,” states Vogue. “A stand-out reinvented fougère, this smells of Haitian vetiver, musks, and patchouli at its base, accented by smooth lavender, suede, and saffron. Its freshness is achieved by a citrus blend that’s just as intriguing as the bottle its housed in.”

Prada Amber Pour Homme
Prada Amber Pour Homme

“Daniela Andrier, one of Prada’s long standing perfumers, is behind the standout men’s fragrances: one of our favourites, Prada D’Infusion Homme, a powdery iris that conjures a shower fresh, luxury soap vibe seems to have been discontinued, but Infusion d’Iris is a close equivalent,” writes Ape to Gentleman. “The original, Prada Amber Pour Homme, smells relevant and timeless.”

Dapper Confidential calls L’Homme Prada EDT best for every occasion. “Not everyone will get the powerful powdery iris note in this fragrance created by Daniela Andrier, who has created all of the Prada fragrances in recent years, but many have been seduced by its undeniable beauty. The neroli, amber and violet notes just add to its allure. Such is the success of the original that intense, L’eau, Absolu, and Velvet Edition versions have been added to the line-up, too.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Matt Higgins

Matt Higgins worked in national and local news for 15 years. He started out as an overnight production assistant at Fox News Radio in 2007 and ended in 2021 as the Digital Managing Editor at CBS Philadelphia. Following his news career, he spent one year in the automotive industry as a Digital Platforms Content Specialist contractor with Subaru of America and is currently a freelance writer and editor for StudyFinds. Matt believes in facts, science and Philadelphia sports teams crushing his soul.

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  1. Whoever wrote this is very uneducated on fragrance. All of these scents are in Eau de Parfum or Eau de Toilette strengths. Not one is cologne. Cologne is a much weaker version of a scent and isn’t gender specific.

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