Best men’s fragrances and colognes 2022: long lasting scent for the discerning gent

We’ve rounded up our pick of the best men's perfumes, from classic brands like Creed and Acqua di Parma to modern upstarts like Narciso Rodriguez

A man spraying one of the best men’s fragrances onto his neck
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(Image credit: Future)

A great fragrance is a powerful thing. It can make you feel put together on a big day, put you in a good mood, and even make people remember you, so finding the right one is extremely important.

Luckily though, the pressure’s off, because whether you’re looking for a delightfully scented gift for a loved one, or on the hunt for your own signature scent, we’re here to help with our list of the best men’s fragrances available right now.

How to choose the best fragrances for men

Not sure what you like, or aren’t sure how to put your own preferences into words? 

Fragrance families can be a good starting point: scents will fall into a floral, fresh, fruity, citrus, oriental, woody or spicy category – all fairly straightforward and telling.

But even the most high-end fragrances can suffer a little from poor application. Every sitcom has at least one episode where a young man heading out on his first date is chastised for wearing too much cologne, so don’t let that be you.

One spritz, on dry skin, will usually do for polite sillage (that’s how much the fragrance lingers in the air after you). Scents are best applied on the warmest parts of the body to help them project, so pick one spot out of the neck and lower jaw, chest, wrist and forearm, or inner elbow. 

If you do apply to your wrists, don’t rub them together, as this can break the molecular bonds in the perfume and “kill” the note – and nobody wants that.

Looking for more expert fragrance tips? Check out our guide on how to choose the right cologne or aftershave.

While you're looking for fragrances, why not look for the woman in your life too? Take a look at our list of the best women's fragrances (opens in new tab)

What's the difference between Aftershave, Eau de Toilette, Cologne and Perfume?

First off, let's clear up the difference between aftershave, eau de toilette, and cologne – it's a common misconception that the terms are interchangeable.

It's all to do with strength. An aftershave is the weakest, and is made up of around 1%-3% perfume oil. To help soothe your skin after a shave, it'll usually contain soothing and cooling ingredients, such as Aloe Vera. It should only last around two to three hours after application.

An eau de toilette (EDT) is made up of around 4%-8% of perfume oil. This is too much oil to apply to the face, so should be put on the 'pulse points' (neck, wrist, or chest). It should last around six to eight hours after application.

A cologne contains between 2%-5% oil, and is a happy medium between aftershave and EDT.

Finally, if you're looking for something really powerful, a parfum or perfume contains around 15%-30% oil. That means you only need a tiny amount on the pulse points to last for a long time. It is quite rare and expensive.

The best men's fragrances you can buy today:

How we test the best men's fragrances

A selection of three men's fragrances on a wooden table. There is a green wall and dried flowers behind them.

(Image credit: T3)

We've all, at one point in our lives, gone into a shop, sprayed a few different colognes on our wrists, sniffed them straight away, and then made a snap decision on which one we like the most. This may seem like a good way to test fragrances, but it's not, and you'll be happy to know that at T3 we spend a little more time finding the best men's fragrances and colognes. 

We'll either spray the fragrance on blotter paper from around 15 centimetres away or test the fragrance on our own skin. This will give an accurate representation of what the scent actually smells like. 

We'll take in the strong top notes that hit straight away. Of course, we'll then continue to come back to the fragrance to test how it develops over time as the heart and base notes come out. This is important as this 'dry down' is what the fragrance will be like for most of the day.

It's important to mention we don't test men's fragrances in a lab at T3 – we use them just as you would. This lets us know how they develop in the real world and means we can give accurate recommendations based on our experiences.

Spencer Hart
Style and Travel Editor

As the Style and Travel Editor at T3, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting, basically. He's been a part of T3 for over seven years, and in that time covered every industry event known to man, from CES and MWC to the Geneva Motorshow and Baselworld. When he's driving up and down the country in search of the greatest driving roads, he can be found messing around on an electric scooter, playing with luxury watches, or testing the latest fragrances.