How Do I Choose the Best Perfume for Men?

A. Gamm

For many people, finding a suitable perfume for men may be a daunting task with the numerous brands and combinations available. Typically, your personality is the primary factor in choosing a perfume, but the age and occasion are sometimes equally important factors. Choosing the best perfume may also require testing several colognes over the course of a few days so that the top, middle and base notes of the perfume are tested on its own and mixed with your body’s own personal scent.

A bottle of perfume.
A bottle of perfume.

Typically, scents that fit professional working men are those that have top notes that are slightly floral with an herb or spice inspired middle note, such as rosemary or cardamom. On average, the base notes are a light musk or vanilla. A slight tobacco-woodsy base perfume for men may also suit an older professional, while younger professional men would better suit more exotic herb and spice scents with touches of lavender.

Cardamom is a popular scent for perfumes for men.
Cardamom is a popular scent for perfumes for men.

The best perfume for men who are physically active on a daily basis tend to have a lighter scent. Colognes with floral, fruit and citrus tones tend to work the best as they tend to combine well with a man’s natural scent. It is usually recommended that scents with musk, deep vanillas and sharp spices are avoided, especially during physical activity.

Masculine men may prefer woodsy, mossy and tobacco-based scents. This type of perfume for men tends to have deeper scents with combinations of lighter hints of floral in the top notes and deep herb or fruit scents in the middle notes. Scents with hints of spices, such as cinnamon, may also work well.

Perfume for men with a creative edge tends to be combinations of scents that do not typically go together. Popular scents include cardamom, lavender and basil. Colognes may also include leathery notes and other unusual scents.

When searching for perfume for men, it is important to use a testing strip and not spray the cologne on a person. This will allow you to smell the scent as it is and how it changes over time. Usually, it is recommended that coffee beans are sniffed between each male fragrance to clear the nasal palate. Some high end shops may already provide these.

Once a few perfumes are selected, it is recommended that samples of cologne are then used on the body. It is best to use only one of each sample per day. This is to test how the perfume for men combines with your personal scent and body chemistry. It is possible for the same scent to smell differently on different people for this reason.

Masculine men may prefer scents that are tobacco-based.
Masculine men may prefer scents that are tobacco-based.

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Discussion Comments


It's always a good idea to be really careful about men's cologne. Smells are very evocative, and you don't want your guy wearing something that reminds you of a bad ex-boyfriend! Happened to me once, and I bought him a new bottle of cologne so he wouldn't smell like my ex. That's an unappealing thought.


Always test a new cologne for a day or so. They can "turn" on some people and end up smelling awful!

My personal preference for men's cologne is a crisp, clean scent. I hate musk anyway, and a certain musk-heavy cologne by Calvin Klein popular in the 80s was the poster child for bad musk. It was terrible.

My husband sometimes needs a little help in choosing good cologne. He sometimes tends toward the heavier sides, and I just don't think those smell good on anyone.

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