As with all things in life, there are favourites. Things come and go. Trends live and die. But sometimes there comes along a fragrance that just sticks at the top and won’t budge no matter what. I have selected 10 of the best men’s fragrances that have mainstream appeal and are safe to wear on most occasions. It also doesn’t hurt that women like them too.
Here are some of the most complimented fragrances that everyone (or at least most) will love to smell on you.
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Dior Sauvage (Best for a reason)
I know. This one isn’t a surprise by any means (well neither of the fragrances on this list are) but Dior Sauvage has taken the current crown for the most complimented men’s fragrance. It isn’t original anymore, there are many clones out there, and you WILL smell like someone’s ex-boyfriend, that one guy in the office, or most people in a club.
The note breakdown isn’t revolutionary, but sometimes a simple and masculine blend of fragrance juices can create something intoxicating and popular such as this.
What you’ll find is an extremely well done Aromatic Fougere using Bergamot, Pepper and Ambroxan, as well as a number of other notes. Fresh and spicy. It lasts long, projects well and you will get a lot of ‘You smell nice’ comments.
Tom Ford Oud Wood (Loud. Manly. Smoky)
Tom Ford has some fantastic creations in their private blend collection, and Oud Wood is a classic must-have across the whole line.
Oud, a note that is more so popular around the Middle East and Asia, has been used in a way that also appeals to those in the Western World that are more used to fresh and citrusy smells. With woody notes using Sandalwood and Agarwood, this one is quite masculine too.
It’s a loud and powerful fragrance. It projects like a beast and will live long on your skin. Most people will like this smell on you and the scent trail it leaves behind.
With this one, you’ll find it more common for Men to ask you what fragrance you’re wearing as it is heavily masculine, but that’s not to say it’s unpopular amongst a feminine nose.
Admittedly, it is expensive, but I would say justified. Not for your everyday teenager (not that there’s anything wrong with wearing something you like). Definitely give this one a try before blind-buying.
Creed Aventus (Top tier fragrance)
There can’t be a most complimented fragrance list without Aventus being brought up. There are so many clones and copies out there. Zara Vibrant Leather, Mont Blanc Explorer, Club de Duit Intense and many more.
Aventus opens with a pineapple note (this will be different depending on the batch you have) and other fresh and fruity notes, such as Bergamot, Black Currant and Apple. It stays masculine with woods from Birch, Oak Moss and also musk. This is classic, timelessness and sophistication in a (very expensive) bottle.
Something that has been copied and inspired many more fragrances only means one thing. Creed got it right with this one. Give this one a try at your local fragrance/high-street store and you’ll understand why it costs a pretty penny.
Bleu de Chanel (Masculine and Blue)
This is a fantastic pick and one I would reach for without hesitation. It’s extremely well-rounded, versatile and loved by most.
Bleu de Chanel is an aromatic-woody fragrance, with blue notes (meaning fresh & bright) using Grapefruit, Lemon and Mint and some Cedar, Sandalwood in the base. With some refreshing and safe notes, you could pair this fragrance with a suit, or even more casually dressed too.
Adding this to your collection is a staple. It’s amongst the best and one of the most complimented kings next to Aventus, Ultra Male and Sauvage.
The variants of Bleu de Chanel (EDT, EDP, Parfum) all have some unique differences. Some like the newest Parfum the most, but I would recommend the classic EDT out of personal taste.
Valentino Uomo (Gourmand Beast)
Valentino Uomo is sweet, loud, projecting and almost mouth-watering. If you are used to mainly fresh and clean scents, give this one a try and it may open your nose to a new world of gourmand fragrances. This is a Gourmand king, and rightly so.
The bottle design and quality is of the highest on this list, so it would look great as a gift or displayed in your bathroom/bedroom.
Valentino Uomo opens with bergamot and myrtle (a fresh and sweet floral note), followed by coffee, leather, hazelnut, chocolate, and interesting use of iris alongside woody notes using vetiver and cedar.
A fantastic, masterful creation that will raise heads and make them wonder who the hell smells so good.
Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit de l’Homme
(Date Night King)
YSL is one of my favourite fashion houses, and their fragrance line has some great contenders for the most complimented men’s fragrances of all time. Although this one is actually poor performance and longevity wise, its smell more than makes up for it.
La Nuit de l’Homme is a mysterious woody spicy fragrance, best kept for special intimate date nights. Its use of cardamom for spice, with lavender and vetiver, is masterfully done.
Other than the original del l’Homme, I would also look at Bleu Electrique, if you want something that doesn’t stray far from the original, whilst improving on the current formulation’s performance.
Jean Paul Gaultier Ultra Male (Clubbing Superstar)
When it comes to the best-complimented fragrances for men, Jean Paul Gaultier Ultra Male needs to be in the conversation. Its iconic (and sexual) bottle gives you an insight into the kind of fragrance this is.
This amber fougere uses a host of fruits in the top with pear, bergamot and lemon, and adds cinnamon, amber and patchouli to create the famous clubbing DNA.
It is a really sweet fragrance so keep this one away from the office (unless you can rock it), and leave it for those Friday nights when you’re hitting the nightlife.
The performance in recent batches has gone down due to reformulations, but it’s still one to pick up.
Dolce & Gabbana The One EDP (Woman Pleaser)
As an alternative to La Nuit de l’Homme, Dolce & Gabbana The One (Eau De Parfum) is a fantastic pick for dates, and all around usage.
Grapefruit, Ginger, Cardamon and Amber are some of the most prominent notes in The One. It’s warm, spicy and seductive.
This one can be worn in the office during the colder months and will get heads turning. I’d save it however for more sensual moments. Its performance is average, but from initial spray to end is a blast, so do keep the bottle or a decant with you on hand.
Get a 100ml bottle and thank yourself later.
Paco Rabanne 1 Million (Spicy & Familiar)
Arguably the best men’s Paco Rabanne fragrance, 1 Million created major hype when it was first released in 2008. The mouth-watering juice was shown to be popular in the clubbing scene, due to this one being a favourite of young women.
Combining grapefruit, amber, cinnamon, blood orange and a number of other notes. Paco Rabanne created gold. It’s sweet, spicy and fresh.
Nowadays, it’s still going strong and you will always be able to find a bottle in most major stores. There are many flankers of 1 Million, but the original is best in my opinion and the one you should go for if you want a maximum mainstream appeal.
Acqua Di Gio Profumo (Modern Man)
Acqua Di Gio is the best-smelling fragrance, and the Profumo version has made it even better. Its aquatic scent profile with citrus notes has been enhanced with a seductive and warming incense note. This is one of the most versatile fragrances on this list, and is a heavy-hitter in both warm and cold weather.
The bottle design is simple, with a nifty magnetic cap to keep your spray and juices protected. As it’s so popular, its originality is plagued. You will not smell unique by any means, but you will smell great.
This is the fragrance for the modern-day man. Fresh and masculine. This is one you can reach towards with no problem or second-guessing.