It is a common misconception that perfumes are for the ladies while colognes are for men. They are both fragrances but are made with different concentrations of essential oils.
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Cologne has about 5-8% oil concentration (as a % of alcohol), and as a result, generally lasts for a shorter period of time, and is meant to be sprayed on rather generously. Cologne is also generally crafted with the masculine in mind, and tends toward fresh, musky or spicy notes, as opposed to the more feminine floral and fruity notes common in perfumes.
A quick google of cologne will bring you to various pages referring to EDT and EDP. Eau de Parfum (EDP) or Eau de Toilette (EDT) simply refers to a perfume’s oil concentration (as a % of alcohol content).
EDP has 8-15% perfume oil, and is generally stronger and longer-lasting, which also commonly translates it to be more expensive than EDT.
EDT on the other hand has 5-10% perfume oil and is a lighter fragrance which will last a good 2-4 hours. Most colognes are however geared towards lighter scents and are therefore really EDTs.
Today, however, the term cologne is used rather loosely to refer to perfume for men. Hence, for the purpose of this article, we will use the terms interchangeably
How to Pick the Best Cologne for You
Choosing the best cologne for men can be tricky and difficult. Again, the best cologne is one that suits you/your man’s style. Every man is different and the secret is to figure out what you want the scent to say about you/your man. Men and women don’t always like the same thing, and it’s all about playing to your strengths and your surroundings.
Top 5 Cologne for Men:
Given that it is an impossible task to test every brand of cologne out there, we have done some groundwork for you to help you in your search for the best cologne for men. We’ve rounded some of our favorites below according to the two fragrance families which are male favorites, with suggestions for where to wear each one.
*Note that these have been geared towards light, masculine fragrances with citrus, aqua, chypre, and musky scents. Florals are normally not a popular choice as it exudes femininity and romance.
Best Fresh Colognes for Men
Fresh fragrances consist of a wide range of scents from citrus and fruity families to herbal, green and aqua families. Generally a male favorite, it offers an energetic, clean and airy summer feel, making it suitable for everyday wear.
Fresh fragrances please the nose with fresh and juicy notes such as mandarin orange, lemon, pineapple and/or herbs such as lavender, jasmine, and mint.
Spray on a fresh scent when you’re in a fun and relaxed environment – e.g when on vacation, after the gym, or on a simple day out with your girlfriend. Fresh scents are also suitable for the office.
Best Woody Colognes for Men
Woody fragrances are a combination of earthy, musky and leather scents which exude sensuality and masculinity. It is generally a heavier scent, suited towards evening use. This scent conjures up an image of a confident, but down-to-earth man.
Woody scents are built on base notes of musk, sandalwood, amber, and sometimes combined with spice such as cinnamon and cumin.
Spray on a woody or musk perfume if you’re going on a special date. However, if you prefer darker/heavier scents, and would like to use them during the day, choose appropriately and apply sparingly so as you don’t come off too strongly.