Fragrance is deeply personal, both from a choice standpoint and because of its unique interaction with each individual person’s body chemistry. It’s sort of fascinating, actually, how a single scent won’t smell exactly the same from one person to the next. Still, though, despite a fragrance’s interchangeability, there seem to be those select scents that strike a chord the most among the male consumer base, even in a rather overwhelming category.
From legacy boxed cologne to private collection perfume oils, the following fragrances are the go-to faves of the influencers, models, hairstylists, musicians, dancers, and male beauty gurus we tapped for this male-specific fragrance tell-all. Guys reveal why the following colognes made it into their self-care routines to offer insight for your next olfactory obsession. Below, find the best fragrances according to the men who wear them.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir
Chris Winn, beauty and fragrance expert for Rave Reviews says, “Grand Soir is a bold, lush amber scent that is perfect to wear out on the town, though probably not in a stuffy office setting. It projects well, and lasts between 10 and 14 hours. With its lush amber hues, this cologne works great in winter or autumn.”
Comme des Garçons Blue Encens
Patrick Boateng, founder of skincare label Ceylon by Anim Labs says, “Comme des Garçons Blue Encens is relatively warm and spicy. It works in most occasions and isn’t overwhelmingly masculine. Somehow, the fragrance also defies seasonality. Additionally, I find that it’s distinctive enough for people to remark on but not easily identifiable like something from Le Labo, for example.”
Yves Saint Laurent Y
Love Island star, Ray Gantt says, “If I had one fragrance I had to wear for the rest of my life it would have to be that Yves Saint Laurent Y. Not only do you get that fresh crisp feel, but it never fails to leave a lasting impression.”
About Last Night
“Confessions of A Rebel’s, About Last Night, is sensuality in a bottle,” swoons YouTuber Angel Alonso aka Cubaknow. “It’s a beautiful spicy pink pepper followed by a smooth earthy vetiver vibe.” He adds that it’s a “perfectly unisex fragrance,” but after all, we happen to think that applies to all fragrances.
Bulgari Man Wood Neroli
Influencer David Ruff says of this offering, “This Mediterranean inspired scent is the perfect mixture between fresh and intriguing.”
Byredo Black Saffron
Ruff also enjoys this luxe, understatedly sweet offering from Byredo: “Radiant, opulent, yet delicate would be my initial description of this unique scent. I love Black Saffron because it is sweet but still herbaceous.”
Comme des Garçons Blackpepper
“Blackpepper is my go-to fragrance,” says principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre, James Whiteside. “It’s aggressively spicy, which I deeply relate to. Sweet fragrances nauseate me, so if I’m wearing something, it must be woody, smoky, or peppery.”
Eight & Bob
Business/personal advisor and mentor Billy Goldberg says, “I like Eight and Bob for its classic scent and classic style. It’s a modern take with old-school branding. Masculine, yet not overpowering. I specifically favor the Robert F. Kennedy Special Edition.”
Clive Christian Woody Leather with Oudh Intense
“Clive Christian’s private collection Woody Leather with Oudh Intense is my ultimate favorite cologne that I’ll probably wear for the rest of my life,” gushes Matthew Milèo, founder of oud skincare line, Milèo New York. “Its leathery scent is enhanced with masculine florals like Narcissus and Jasmine Sambac, along with Oud from agarwood, giving it a smoother, more resinous aroma that, when applied in the morning, lasts way into the evenings hours.”
Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
Model and soccer star, Shane Mooney says, “My favorite fragrance is probably Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier. It is very nostalgic for me. One of my best friends Paul discovered it way back when we were going to teenage discos in school. Thereafter, he was always charged with finding the newest fragrances, a responsibility he takes very seriously to this day.”
Hugo Boss Man
“Crisp, clean, not overpowering, goes with anything,” says social media guru and author Peter Shankman. “I’ve been wearing it for years. I don’t have to think about it—it just works for me.”
Paris Hilton Gold Rush
“This cologne smells so sophisticated yet sexy at the same time, with the perfect blend of vanilla and lavender,” professes beauty influencer and LGBTQ activist Kenny Screven.
Honore des Pres Love Coconut
Founder of The Detox Market, Romain Gaillard says, “These fragrances were developed by Olivia Giacobetti, a very well know veteran perfumer. Love Coconut makes me feel like I’m on vacation—it’s a happy, uplifting scent. The coconut milk is balanced by white cedar, so it’s not too sweet.”
Lotus Wei Inner Peace Oil Ointment
Gaillard also loves this fragrant ointment, which can easily stand in as your new go-to scent: “Lotus Wei Inner Peace Oil Ointment is a beautiful line of floral essences. I find this scent so relaxing. The blend includes lavender, vetiver and juniper that help me clear my mind and focus.”
“Creed Aventus has been my go to cologne for years now because of its incredible scent that gives me the final touch while getting ready every day—plus, my wife loves it on me,” quips Snob World creator, Cole Moscatel.
Dunhill Desire Red
Artist and entrepreneur Rio Rocket says, “Dunhill Desire Red has been my go-to cologne for years. It’s one of the most versatile scents for almost any situation. The scent blends vanilla, wood, and citrus for a non-overpowering masculine fragrant effect when it hits your skin.”
“I love Flooid by Non Gender Specific,” celebrity hairstylist Michael Dueñas tells us. “It is a concentrated cologne, so the scent is very pure, and you do not need a lot. It mixes so well with everyone’s natural chemistry.”
Musician Kygo says, “It’s inspired by the energy of music and is an onstage must-have with its electrifying blend of spicy red saffron, red grapefruit, and redwood.”
“My go-to is Envie Desoir,” says founder and creator of perfume line Petite Histoire, Jeff Smith. “It has the lightness and freshness of a traditional cologne, but instead of citrus, it’s a luscious iris and sandalwood blend. Dashingly modern with an unexpected elegance.”