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Choosing a fragrance can be challenging enough, but your favorite brands don’t make it any easier by producing such a big array of fragrances. To wit: Are you a Dior Sauvage guy or a Dior Homme guy? Both are outstanding—but which is the best? Same for Calvin Klein: Is Eternity the right option for you (and if so, which of its iterations makes the most sense?), or does CK One take the prize, or… is it something else?
If you’re already loyal to a label, then you probably have a preference. But if you’re in the market for a signature scent or another fragrance to round out your rotation, then consider our choices for the best scent from your favorite menswear brands. They’re here in no particular order, but they all outshine the others made by their houses. Though sometimes, the victory is only by a nose.
Dior Homme EDT
Some will be surprised not to see Sauvage in this spot—and it would be a close second—but Dior’s latest Homme release is one of the easiest layups when it comes to a crowd-pleasing signature scent. Sure, a million guys have this as their go-to scent already, but that’s for good reason.
Ermenegildo Zegna Essenze Florentine Iris EDP
You know those multi-pronged scalp tingler devices—the ones that give you goosebumps and an all-over calm as they massage your head? That’s the same effect Florentine Iris has on the senses, thanks to an A+ blend of powdery florals and musk.
Calvin Klein CK Everyone EDT
A citrus-woody splendor makes this the prototype for spring-and-summer unisex scents. A lot of Calvin Klein scents could jockey for this spot, but this one smells like an idyllic weekend—so, even if it’s Tuesday, at least you’ll remember what you’re working for.
Ralph Lauren Polo Cologne Intense EDP
Ralph Lauren’s update to its iconic green bottle offers we treasure about the classic Polo scent, but in a more chypre-citrus punctuation. Grapefruit, sage, patchouli, amber… a dream roster in a crowded fragrance field.
Tom Ford Oud Wood EDP
You could wear a different Tom Ford fragrance every day of the month and always smell fantastic. But one of or favorites is Oud Wood, often considered the top oud scent in the game. It is equal parts alluring and commanding. If you wear this one, you’ll smell like the boss, even if you’re a couple rungs down yet.
Hermès Terre d’Hermès Eau Intense Vétiver EDP
On the one hand, this vetiver remix of the fan-favorite Terre d’Hermès couldn’t live without its predecessor. So, while we owe a lot to the original, it’s also casting a shadow over Eau Intense Vetiver, which we say is definitively superior. It’s like The Godfather vs. The Godfather: Part II. We’ve always loved Robert DeNiro, and we’ll always pick Eau Intense Vetiver.
Gucci Guilty Pour Homme EDT
Pink pepper, French lavender, honey, orange blossoms, patchouli, neroli, cedarwood, leather, incense. Gucci is guilty of arming millions of men with this potent, sensual fragrance. It’s an olfactive ego boost, whether you need one or not. It signals confidence with every spritz.
Louis Vuitton Orage EDP
Louis Vuitton never falters with its fragrance launches, but one of the brand’s earliest men’s scents still tops our list. Orage is a powerful, powdery patchouli, and a transportive one at that. Wear it to ground your senses, or to lift your spirits.
Yves Saint Laurent Y Eau Fraiche
Among YSL’s many stellar scents, its lineup of Y fragrances are all something to call home about. And we’re picking the barely-there Eau Fraiche as our pick for two reasons: First, it’s the best Eau Fraiche in the entire field, period. (That category of scents is the least powerful—very subtle, never attention-seeking.) Secondly, it’s positively radiant, thanks to a cooling citrus-floral-woody medley.
Givenchy Gentleman Boisee EDP
Let’s hear it for Boisee: The Givenchy Gentleman line is like eight spinoffs deep by now, but it’s this woody, spicy blend that stands out most. It’s the coriander and black pepper notes that give it depth, and the cocoa subtlety that makes it rich. When scrolling the Givenchy selection, remember to look for the black label on a black-gray gradient bottle to make sure you’ve got the right scent.
Prada Ocean Luna Rossa EDT
Somehow, the trio of crisp citrus, powdery iris and woody vetiver send us out to sea. It’s like a day on the water, or at least enjoying the ocean breeze from land. Either way, Ocean Luna Rossa accommodates any carefree attitude, and when your life’s stressors start to stack up, a few sprays can remind you of a relaxing trip to the shore.
Burberry Hero EDT
We mean this in the best way possible: Hero is a winning pick, but not because of any standout characteristics. It’s the woody fragrance you pick as a calming, warming accent, and plays second fiddle to your own personality and magnetism. Its absence is notable, but its presence is heroic without having to beg.
Chanel Bleu de Chanel EDT
What hasn’t already been said about Bleu de Chanel? We all have some positive association with this sensual, enchanting scent. You won’t be the first to wear it, by any means, but in doing so, you can perpetuate its legacy of charming the pants off everyone you meet. (And, for the record, Chanel does offer some menswear.)
John Varvatos Artisan EDT
Artisan is instantly recognizable—it’s packaged in a vessel as iconic as the scent it contains. It’s a terrific citrus-herbal-spicy mélange that wears fresh. Like others on this list, it is part of a whole lineage of similarly named products, but this is one instance where the original reigns supreme.