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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Cologne

by Lou-Ann Jordan Jun 3, 2024

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Man using cologne

Father’s Day is approaching. If you’re considering getting dad a cologne, this article should help you choose the perfect fragrance—one that he will love! After all, he’s the one who will be using it.

Fragrance terminology to keep in mind

Before we delve into how to choose a cologne, here are a few terms you’ll need to know. Get familiar with these, as knowing them will help you tremendously when making your purchase.

Notes: These are the various ‘ingredients’ that are in a fragrance’s composition. A cologne comprises top, heart, and base notes. Top notes are what you first smell at the spritz of a cologne or perfume. Once these evaporate, typically, it happens quickly, and the heart notes surface. Lastly, usually about an hour after the spritz, the base notes, which are long-lasting, arise. 

Accord: In perfumery, an accord is a combination of materials that produces a new or distinct scent. It tells the story of the fragrance. Some known accords are oriental, wood, citrus, floral, amber, chypre, and fougère.

Cologne: Generally, this term is used to refer to masculine scents. However, eau de cologne is a particular concentration of perfume oil in perfumery. It is less concentrated than parfum and eau de toilette as it is made with fewer perfume oils. 

Intensity: Scent or fragrance intensity refers to its strength. It refers to a fragrance’s concentration of aromatic oils. Parfum is known to have the strongest concentration of perfume oils, and this makes such fragrances longer-lasting.

How to Choose the Perfect Fragrance

First, you need to know what kind of notes or scents he likes. Does he find the fragrance of coffee, pine, tobacco, or leather appealing? Secondly, you should consider his lifestyle and the environment in which he is most likely to wear it. The New York Times writer, Tynan Sinks, advises that certain fragrances are best suited for specific times. For example, intense, musky scents may not be well-suited for professional environments as they can be overpowering. 

An additional factor to consider when selecting a cologne is that fragrances react to hormonal levels and body chemistry. You may have experienced this before—the scent of a fragrance changing after some time has passed. Because of this, it is always best that you test the fragrance on skin before purchasing. Of course, you’re choosing a cologne fragrance for a man, so it may not be possible to test it if it’s a surprise. Don’t be dismayed. It’s a limitation that can easily be sidestepped. Simply pay attention to the notes of those you’re considering and choose one based on a note that he actually likes. The top and base notes are particularly important because those are the essence of the fragrance. The top notes are what he’ll smell when he first sprays, and the base notes are the scents that linger.

Findyello article on how to choose a cologne and top fragrances for Caribbean men with image of man spraying cologne.

10 Men Share their Favourite Colognes

We wanted to offer you a list that is based on what men say they like. Therefore, we reached out to several men, asking them to name their favourites. Here’s what they had to say:

Azzaro Chrome and Kenneth Cole Black

“When I first began using cologne, I started with Chrome. Now, Kenneth Cole Black is my favourite! It’s definitely my go-to scent.” – Nicholas R.

Azzaro Chrome, Versace Man, Jimmy Choo Intense and Legend Spirit by Mont Blanc

“Chrome was the first cologne I fell in love with. Lately, I’ve been using the Versace, and I also have a Jimmy Choo Intense. But one of my favourites (and I stress ‘favourites’) is Legend Spirit.” – Nigel J.

Versace Man, Dunhill Fresh, Sean John 3 AM by P. Diddy and Issey Miyake Intense

“Those are subtle but imposing fragrances. I also like that when I enter a room or space, they command the attention and more often than not, it’s a room where I will need the attention of others.” – Roger J.

Findyello article on how to choose a cologne and Caribbean men top fragrances with images of colognes

Curve, Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche and AB Spirit Millionaire

“I like cologne with musk, so these are the ones I stick with. Also, I have sinus problems, and these don’t trigger them.” – Basil F.

Toy Boy by Moschino, Y by Yves Saint Laurent, and Hermès H24

“I’m currently using these three. Our senses connect us to the world, evoking emotions and feelings and recalling memories. They also excite us. Colognes do the same thing by playing on our sense of smell. These are my favourites because they do all of these things.” – Adel P.

Explorer by Mont Blanc and Dior Homme

“It’s interesting because these two are very loud but soft too. Also, neither irritate my sinuses. I like that both linger; they can last days on my clothes even after washing. I’ve also received good reviews about how I smell from people when I wear them.” – Mtumda D.

Paco Rabanne Invictus

“This one is my number one! I love the scent. It’s just…masculine.” – Hanniff M.

Findyello article on how to choose a cologne and Caribbean men top fragrances with images of colognes

Hugo Boss

“It’s not too strong. The fragrance is very subtle. You don’t really catch the scent unless you’re speaking to someone close by, and I like that. It suits my personality.” – Khalid U.   

Legend Spirit by Mont Blanc

“I love the scent; it’s fresh and clean. Also, it lasts very long.” – Allen T.

Polo ‘Red’ Collection by Ralph Lauren and Eternity by Calvin Klein

“I love the collection as a whole (Red, Rush and Extreme). I love the remixes of the red, but the original is the one—grapefruit and redwood. However, Eternity is my go-to fragrance. It complements any look I go for. I’m a sucker for the sandalwood endnote.” – Geffen G.


You’ve heard it from the men, and they were super excited to share! It appears men take their cologne selection very seriously.

We hope this list will be a helpful guide when shopping. Do keep in mind that the same cologne may smell differently on two people because of the differences in their body chemistry. Also, to aid you in your selection, check out Fragrantica. You can research colognes, learn about their accords, and read expert reviews.

Sources: Bespoke Post, Moellhausen, The New York Times and The Perfume Shop.