It’s year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the government is easing social distancing and mask mandates. With the worst of the pandemic behind us, more stores, restaurants, clubs and other establishments are reopening for business.
That means people’s social lives are in full swing again – especially because it’s been a while since anyone’s had a proper night out!
If you’re a man under 30, this definitely applies to you. You might also be worried about keeping your flirting game on point, or maybe you just want to be stylish! Whether you’re prepping for your first date night since 2019, or you’re meeting up with buddies for the first time in a while, a strong first impression can set the tone for the rest of the night. And everybody knows the best way to set a strong first impression is with a fantastic fragrance.
If you want to make a splash, you need a cologne that suits you. We’ve done the research and are ready to unveil the 45 best colognes for young men in 2022.
Feeling adventurous? Pick a number between one and 45 and jump right in! (Hint: Number 1 is our favorite!)
This cologne from Blu Atlas gets the No. 1 slot in this list due to its adventurous and slightly mysterious scent. The balanced blend of aquatic and masculine notes sets it apart from other perfumes in the same price range and scent profile, and youth is all about making your own indelible mark. Look no further than Atlantis – aptly named after the mythical sunken continent – for an allure that can only be described as magnetic.
2. Coach for Men by Coach
This entry is an easy pick for a starter cologne. Its versatility means it can be used any time, in any season – summer, fall, winter or spring, day or night. Wherever you wear it, you’ll get plenty of attention with Coach for Men. The blend of woody and oriental notes makes for a smooth and compelling fragrance.
3. Rainbow Bar by 19-69
This cologne is ideal for daytime use. While not the best choice for winter, its scent shines in the spring and is also suitable for the summer and fall months.
The scent profile is a mix of woody and aromatic, with plenty of vivid green notes. Bergamot, basil, artemisia and cypress combine with a hint of spice to create a distinctly exotic scent.
4. Pacific Cannabis by Baxter of California
A spring and summer perfume from Baxter of California, Pacific Cannabis features a scent profile with fresh and woody notes. With an emphasis on aromatic and aquatic scents, this entry is true to its name, evoking the ocean and beach getaways. This is ideal for daytime, but is potent enough to wear in the evening as well.
5. Sunday Cologne by Byredo
Another spring and summer specialty is Byredo’s Sunday Cologne, which has a woody-aromatic scent blend. As you might have guessed from its name, this product is ideal for those Sunday-afternoon family functions – a backyard barbecue, a posh pool party or a beach trip with the nieces and nephews. Whatever the weekend throws at you, the Sunday Cologne has all your bases covered.
6. Obsession for Men by Calvin Klein
This one’s a classic. First released in 1986, it remains a popular choice today due to its iconic scent. Obsession has an amber-woody blend of scent notes, creating a warm, spicy scent profile with hints of cinnamon and citrus. This is a strong, sensuous cologne, making it ideal for winter use. Save this one for special nights out on the town.
7. Mankind by Kenneth Cole
This cologne is another woody-aromatic blend, joining many others on this list but by no means disappearing in the crowd. Mankind is an office-friendly scent: It’s not so loud as to call undue attention to yourself, and is straightforward, clean and masculine. You can thank the cedarwood and vetiver for that.
This is a daytime cologne that shines best in the summer and spring.
8. This Is Him by Zadig & Voltaire
Another young cologne, this one was released in 2016. With an oriental-woody scent blend, the result is a sensual and mysterious fragrance that lasts for hours in the sun. Its sensuality means This Is Him can be used at night or in the morning, ideally in the colder seasons. If you’re looking to make a statement the minute you enter a room, this cologne will serve you well.
9. Tacit by Aesop
This cologne was created with nostalgia for the Mediterranean coastline in mind. Ideal for daytime use and the warmer seasons, the fresh-woody notes found in Tacit bring a warmth to the user, elevated by the fresh citrus ingredients that conjure imagery of vegetation and fruits – key characteristics of the rustic Mediterranean countryside.
As might be expected from a Mediterranean environment, this cologne can be worn in high heat, ideal for beach days and social gatherings in the warmer places of the world.
10. Spicebomb Extreme Cologne for Men by Viktor & Rolf
The extreme iteration of Viktor & Rolf’s hit Spicebomb cologne is exactly what it says it is. With an explosive amber-spicy blend, the Spicebomb Extreme user announces his arrival by kicking the door down and flashing his pearly whites. Not literally, of course, but the assertive, commanding scent of this cologne will certainly capture the attention of any room you enter.
This is a warm, assertive fragrance that shines in the cold and at night. It’s ideal for events where you want to make a splash, though it may be more than formal events (such as work functions) can handle.
11. Invictus Victory by Paco Rabanne
It was only a matter of time before Paco Rabanne appeared on this list. Their Invictus and 1 Million colognes sell like hotcakes among young men. This iteration of Invictus is the latest, having been released in 2021. In terms of Paco Rabanne appeal, Invictus Victory takes after its predecessors.
Equal parts vanilla note and amber note, this is a highly masculine and sensual cologne, most potent at night and in the fall. The tonka bean and vanilla essences shine here without being overpowering, and you’ll be impressing people faster than you can say “silent strength.”
12. Citrus and Woody by Hawthorne
As a brand, Hawthorne likes to differentiate themselves as perfumers who simplify the world of fragrances for the consumer, so they can make easy and informed choices without poring over article after article learning every cologne term and concept in the book.
Citrus and Woody is as straightforward as its name. It’s designed as a workplace cologne: humble, professional, never overpowering. And it performs beautifully in that capacity. Tangerine, vetiver and grapefruit are the standout notes. With its warmth and woodiness, Citrus and Woody is great for breezy summer days.
13. Dark Rum by Malin+Goetz
Dark Rum is a highly versatile cologne. Its aromatic-fruit scent profile shines in every season and is suitable for daytime or nighttime use. Along with aromatics and fruity notes, hints of leather and rum rise to the surface, creating a sense of reserved masculinity. This particular scent is assertive and lingers for hours.
This cologne is ideal for young men looking to dress up on formal occasions. It would pair well with a sleek suit, a vintage watch and a polished sportscar.
14. Pi by Givenchy
This entry by industry stalwart Givenchy carries an amber-woody scent profile blend, with the essences of vanilla and almond complemented by sweet notes.
With its spicy-minty top notes, Pi quickly captures the attention of any bystander fortunate enough to be caught in its aura and rewards them with a pleasant green cocktail of anise, geranium and lily-of-the-valley.
The vanilla notes lend it a nice vintage feel. Due to this, the cologne enjoys sustained success among young men as a sophisticated dress-up cologne.
Include this entry among your nighttime colognes, especially in the colder seasons.
15. Pi Neo by Givenchy
A successor to the previous entry, Pi Neo takes inspiration from the Matrix series of movies. It’s a citrus-woody scent profile blend, and by the admission of its own perfumers, it is intended as a departure from its parent cologne. It’s a safe cologne, ideal for office use and anyone who is on a quest for a pleasant, unobtrusive scent.
16. K by Dolce & Gabbana
A woody-aromatic blend by design house Dolce & Gabbana, K is best suited to warmer environments, shining especially in springtime or summer. Its top notes open with citrus and transition into smooth florals.
There’s a lot of class and culture packed into this cologne, and it’s perfect for a countryside day trip if you’re a man looking for a dose of suave.
17. Bad Boy Le Parfum by Carolina Herrera
Another 2021 release, Bad Boy Le Parfum breaks onto the scene with a primarily leather note. Bad Boy Le Parfum is a unique scent right out of the gate, managing to be both aggressively masculine and deeply compelling. The leather is flanked by smoky notes, creating a dark and mature fragrance. This one shines at night and is best suited to the colder seasons of the year.
18. Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone London
Released in 2005, this is one of the older colognes on this list, but these veteran colognes always hang on precisely because they’re timeless. With an aromatic-fruity scent profile blend, this one falls more within the purview of a “holiday cologne.”
Its ingredients and scent notes are more aligned with the colder seasons of the year, but it’s hard to ignore the Christmastime connotations of ingredients like pomegranate, plum, pink pepper, cedarwood and cloves. Pick this one for your next Christmas Eve function.
19. Wood Sage and Sea Salt by Jo Malone London
This cologne is a fresh, classic entry from Jo Malone London, with plenty of floral and aquatic notes in its composition. It evokes a breezy, sunny day at the beach. Look to this scent for your next trip away from the city.
20. Black Tea by Murdock London
Black Tea is another unique entry, with strong notes of leather and tobacco. This is an earthy and decidedly masculine cologne, with a hint of maturity. It is ideally worn in the spring or the fall. Keep this cologne in your daytime collection.
21. Un Musc by Obvious
Released in 2020, Un Musc is another newcomer, sporting floral-woody notes in its blend. It’s another daytime cologne that shines brightest in the spring and the summer. This cologne features subtle musky and powdery notes, which disappear in colder environments. This one is best suited to indoor use.
22. Greenley by Parfums de Marley
Greenley features a citrus-aromatic scent profile blend. Released in 2020, this is another newcomer. Along with its citrusy aromatics, woodiness and fruitiness rise to the top, creating a versatile olfactory cocktail.
Don’t let its fruity-green top notes deceive you – this fragrance develops into a masculine woody scent profile with its heart notes. An ideal springtime and summertime perfume, this cologne will turn heads even in an outdoor setting.
23. Curve for Men by Liz Claiborne
Another vintage entry, Curve for Men first came out in 1996.
This an aromatic-green scent profile blend, with compelling scent notes that evoke youthfulness and energy. It’s not a sophisticated scent, but that works to its advantage. It’s not trying to compete with top-of-the-line designer colognes; rather, it’s a starter cologne that is straightforward, memorable, and effective.
Curve for Men is a springtime and summertime perfume, ideal for use during the day.
24. Lucky You for Men by Lucky Brand
Lucky Brand’s amber-green blend is another older fragrance, and has been around for more than two decades. Crisp and refreshing, this vivacious cologne will make you think of young love, sunlit rooms and bees on clover. It’s simply a joy to wear.
This one is a springtime fragrance that performs at its best during the daytime.
25. Oud Silk Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Oud and rose rise to the very top of this cologne, and it’s a combination that works well. With a strong green scent profile, this is a cologne that shines on sunny summer days. On your way to a five-star beach resort, wearing a cream linen shirt and aviator sunglasses? This scent is the final puzzle piece to that suave ensemble.
26. Music Festival by Maison Martin Margiela
With its woody-smoky scent profile, this cologne does exactly what its name suggests – it captures the olfactory experience of an open-air music festival. As you might expect, smoky scents, aromatics and a bit of spice show up here. Herbal top notes create a vintage, natural blend.
This cologne can be worn in the day or night, but is more appropriate for colder seasons.
27. Luna Rossa Ocean by Prada
This cologne from Prada carries aromatic notes and is a great option for both daytime functions and evening gatherings. The citrusy notes will capture the attention of bystanders right away, rounding it out with a combination of sage and lavender.
This is a versatile pick for young men looking to simplify their choice of fragrance.
28. Prada L’Homme by Prada
Another Prada entry, Prada L’Homme carries woody notes, but where it really shines is in its iris heart note. The resulting powdery floral scent profile blend is a gentle yet effective combination when the cologne has had time to settle in. Reinforced by base notes of amber, cedar, patchouli and sandalwood, this cologne only improves as the night ages.
Consider this entry your go-to nighttime scent, as it lasts a good five to six hours.
29. Valentino Uomo Born in Roma by Valentino
Valentino has created a compelling woody-spicy scent profile blend with this cologne, which is a fresh 2019 release. Born in Roma features a unique salt-and-mineral combination that is undeniably masculine. The blend adds a nice natural sharpness to the woody notes, elevating the fragrance to a sophisticated elegance.
Subtly steal the spotlight at posh soirees with this Valentino Uomo fragrance. You won’t regret it.
30. Forest Lungs by The Nue Co.
This piece is a woody-aromatic fragrance from The Nue Co. It features some greens in its top notes that transition into a woody-spicy blend that has hints of smoke. It lasts on the skin as a dry, warm wood that will make you think of a lumberjack in the middle of his busy workday.
This is a great complement for outdoorsy nature trips.
31. Insurrection II Pure by Reyane Tradition
This 2013 release features a classic woody-aromatic scent blend, with primarily fruity notes. Pure is a delightful blend of fresh and sweet, complemented by notes of vivacious green. It’s ideal for the outgoing young man who prefers a simple, straightforward scent.
32. Polo Black by Ralph Lauren
Yet another addition to the roster of woody-aromatic blends on this list is Ralph Lauren’s iconic Polo Black. This scent has fantastic versatility: It will work well in the day or night, and in any season.
Among other fragrances that rely on citrus and aquatic notes, Polo Black is a standout due to the effectiveness of its triple woody-aromatic-spicy blend.
33. Layton by Parfums de Marly
A 2016 perfume, Layton features an amber-floral scent profile blend, with hints of vanilla rising to the top. The sweetness and creaminess of the vanilla is a hallmark of this cologne, which is considered Parfums de Marly’s star fragrance. Its popularity is in no small measure due to its versatility, as the scent shines on all but the warmest and sunniest occasions.
This sweet scent is a departure from other traditionally masculine scents, which are based on wood, smoke and minerals, though it maintains a subdued, refined masculinity. It’s a good pick if you’re in the market for a subtle fragrance.
34. Carlisle by Parfums de Marly
Another Parfums de Marly entry, the 2015 release Carlisle features a floral-fruity scent profile blend. There are hints of smoke and tobacco in its top notes, but those quickly dissipate to make way for the sweetness of tonka bean and rose. These scents receive strong support from its vanilla and patchouli base, creating a powerful, dynamic scent that is equal parts sweet and warm.
This cologne has great day-night versatility but shines in cold weather.
35. Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger
This citrus-aromatic release from Tommy Hilfiger is another vintage fragrance, this time from 1995. It opens with citrusy notes of mint, bergamot, lavender and grapefruit. The heart notes are sweet and are supported by green base notes, yielding a natural and vivacious fragrance.
This cologne can be worn in both cold and warm weather, but shines more in the daytime.
36. Imagination by Louis Vuitton
This cologne features a citrus-aromatic scent profile. With a hint of amber beneath the surface, this 2021 release offers great daytime performance and shines in warm weather. Ambroxan makes an appearance here, and despite being a synthetic compound, it adds a pleasant depth and musk to the scent ensemble of this fragrance.
37. No. 1 by Clive Christian
Clive Christian’s No. 1 features an amber-woody scent profile blend, with some powdery and floral scents floating to the top. This one is an ambitious cologne, featuring more than 20 scent ingredients. Those notes meld seamlessly to create No. 1’s distinct vintage scent. There is a strong floral ensemble in its middle notes, which eventually dry down into a powdery sensuality, supported by the amber, musk and sandalwood.
Look to add this to your cold weather and nighttime collections, as its complexity is wasted in high heat and warm weather.
38. Versace Man Eau Fraiche by Versace
This Versace release features a unique woody-aquatic scent profile blend, with a strong showing from its citrus components. Its freshness means it has great applicability year-round and is subtle enough for daily office use.
39. Light Blue Eau Intense Pour Homme by Dolce & Gabbana
Light Blue is a woody-aquatic scent profile blend from Dolce & Gabbana. It’s a light application, and is ideal for situations that demand subtlety and restraint. Although it features ingredients commonly used in aquatic scents, the composition is balanced and deftly executed, giving it superb performance on hot summer days.
40. Green Irish Tweed by Creed
A blend of woody, floral and musk notes characterizes this 1985 release, with powdery and citrusy notes rising to the top. Creed keeps it simple with a five-note composition, and the ambergris musk ties the ensemble together to create an elegantly simple scent.
With fantastic daytime and warm-weather performance, this is a must-have summer scent for young men.
41. Illusione for Him by Bottega Veneta
This cologne primarily features woody notes but has plenty of support from citrus and aromatics to create a rounder scent profile. With a tight six-note scent composition, each ingredient really shines. The lemon and orange are so well blended that they are indistinguishable. This is a clean scent that dries down to a smooth, creamy sweetness provided by the tonka beans.
Illusione for Him is a great summertime fragrance.
42. L’Homme Cologne Bleue by Yves Saint Laurent
As with most blue-themed fragrances, L’Homme Cologne Bleue is an aquatic-aromatic scent profile blend, with citrus and spice undertones. It’s clean and fresh, with calming floral support from scents like lavender and geranium. This is a subtler fragrance than many others on this list, making it unsuitable for cold weather and loud nighttime scenes like nightclubs, but it’s a perfect intimate cologne for one-on-one hangouts and office functions.
There are advantages to maintaining a low profile!
43. Luna Rossa Carbon by Prada
This cologne is another triple-header, featuring aromatic-amber-spicy notes, which give it great versatility in anything but the coldest weather. It’s also a great day-and-night cologne, as its relative subtlety means it’s subdued enough to wear in quiet functions but won’t vanish in lively settings.
Luna Rossa Carbon makes excellent use of intriguing metallic and coal notes.
44. Mandarino di Amalfi Acqua by Tom Ford
This cologne is a citrus-aromatic scent profile blend that gets plenty of help from its citrus undertones. There’s a zesty element to the perfume, which fades into herbal notes of jasmine, coriander and basil. The natural composition is given punctuation by the one-two punch of vetiver and amber in its base, transforming it into a masculine summer scent.
Save this one for daytime summer functions, as the warm weather blends well with the airy aromatics of this Tom Ford fragrance.
45. Inis the Energy of the Sea by Fragrances of Ireland
This 1998 release is dominated by aromatic notes, with the support of some citrus and aquatic undertones.
Its fresh, clean scent lasts all day, with the dry-down segueing into an oceanic salty note. The longevity makes for a good bonus, as it lasts all day. As with most aquatic notes, this perfume is perfect for summer days.
With this list of the 45 best colognes for young men, we hope we’ve given you more than enough options to choose from for your big night out. As a young man, this might be your first step into the world of colognes, perfumes and fragrances. It’s an exciting journey, and there are many scent profiles for you to discover.
Don’t choose a fragrance just because it uses expensive ingredients – the most important thing is to discover a scent you like. Your cologne should suit your personality and work well with your natural chemistry. Experiment with a few of those on this list, and you’ll be sure to find a fragrance that suits you and your lifestyle.
This article has been supplied by Verma Media, a paid advertiser. Content has not been independently verified by Los Angeles magazine.