I get asked for cologne advice all the time, so I figured I should share some of my favourite suggestions. I always feel a little nauseated when I peruse the men’s fragrance counter. Men’s scents have gone the same direction women’s have – everyone copying each other, nothing very original, and loads of ingredients that make fragrances stronger and last longer so they can use less fine ingredients. You don’t want those.

Let’s start with basic “eau de colognes”. These are usually citrus and herbal scents. Eau de colognes are soft and non obtrusive, allowing for the skin chemistry of the wearer to come through. The original eau de cologne can be traced back to 1709. You will never offend anyone in the office with soapy clean eau de colognes, and you will probably make new friends because you smell so darn good. Let’s start with cheap to spendy, emphasizing that cheap doesn’t mean “smells bad”. I’m only recommending stuff that smells good, and you can choose the price point you like.

The Bargain Hunter Who Smells Amazing:

4711 cologne

4711 Eau de Cologne: This cologne has a storied history, but let’s say it’s been around in it’s current form since around 1800. I love it, it smells clean fresh and wonderful. It is very soft, and not particularly long lasting, but it costs a song, so reapply as you wish. Bottles around 100ml ( I think they are 90ml/3oz) are under $20 at pretty much every drugstore. You’re welcome.

roger gallet jean marie farina

Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Farina: This guy started making his eau de colognes before 4711 did, and apparently there was some drama between these two houses. At any rate, Roger & Gallet Jean Marie Farina is a bit stronger and longer lasting than 4711, and I’d say its more “zesty” and interesting. I love it, and it really does have that clean soapy feeling without smelling like detergent. More like expensive French soap. A 100ml bottle is around $40, in Canada you can get it at The Bay. US shoppers can find stockists here.

The Sophisticated And Understated Guy:

hermes eau d orange verte

Hermes Eau d’Orange Verte: This is soft, elegant, simple and easy to wear. Hermes Eau d’Orange Verte was created in 1979 and really feels like splashing fresh invigorating citrus water all over. The green notes gently take over as the citrus notes fade, and like falling leaves, your skin is left subtly scented. It’s almost a dry scent, due to the mossy notes, and is understated and elegant in the way only Hermes can do. Available at Hermes boutiques and department store fragrance counters, a 100ml bottle is around $115.

guerlain eau de guerlain

Guerlain Eau de Guerlain: It’s no secret I am a massive Guerlain fan, and their 1974 contribution to the world of eau de colognes is one of my favourites. The citrus notes are simply gorgeous – elegant and understated in a way that only the French can do. The base of this eau de cologne packs a little more punch than most with a sexy musky undertone that makes it irresistible. Try this if you want to walk softly and carry a sexy scent. Available at Guerlain boutiques and some of the larger Guerlain counters in department stores, it’s around $130 for 100ml.

The Cologne Connoisseur: 

aqua di parma colonia

Acqua di Parma Colonia: Cary Grant wore this. Ava Gardner did, too. It smells like Hollywood in the 50s, crisply ironed white linen shirts, and sailing in the sunshine off the Amalfi coast. I think the quiet woodsy notes in the base of this are what make it my number one favourite eau de cologne. I own it and love it, and think the world would be a better place if more people did the same. A 100ml bottle is around $165, and is available at finer department stores fragrance counters. Also, Sephora has it as it online exclusive.

tom ford neroli portofino

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino: Easily the most expensive of eau de colognes, Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino is also a yummy one. Slightly more floral with emphasis on the orange blossom, and the soft ambery dry down, you’ve got to really love this one the most to justify the approximately $315 that a 100ml bottle will set you back. I really love it, but have yet felt moved to shell out that kind of cash. The bottle is gorgeous, and yes it smells amazing – Tom Ford brings his almost obsessive elegant aesthetic to all his fragrances, and this is no exception. If you want the creme de la creme of eau de colognes, then Tom Ford is your man. Available at Holt Renfrew in Canada and Neiman’s in the US. Maybe some other department stores too.

Steve McQueen Jaguar XK SS

Ok, guys, any eau de colognes I missed that I need to know about? Share!

 

 

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