I Tested $3,887 Worth of Fragrances, And These Are the 16 Best Colognes for Men of 2024

Credit: Misc. Goods Co.

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In college, I lived in a frat house and had a friend (a “brother,” if you will) who always smelled deceivingly good. I say deceivingly because he smelled better than he acted during weekend parties. Regardless of the wearer, the scent was crisp, clean, and fresh. I had to try it for myself.

I was never a “cologne guy” (See: middle schoolers wearing Axe), but when I found out he was wearing Nautica Voyage and that it was extremely affordable, I picked up a bottle.

I wore it every so often and still do to this day. It’s especially good for summer months—bright and clean. It’s a good cologne, though it’s an eau de toilette so it doesn’t last as long as I’d like it to. Hey, I’m not a hater, especially for its price, it’s a good purchase.

However, this year I decided to man up a little. I got a whiff of some different, more mature brands so I wanted to see what else was out there. And just to clarify, I’m referring to all fragrances as “cologne,” but technically, cologne is a type of fragrance.

Yes, my Nautica Voyage was a good beginner cologne, but it was time for something more complex and distinctive. Join me as I tackle some of the hottest scents from the most expert performers in the world. These are the best colognes for men this year.

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How We Tested

For this story, we tried the colognes in the most appropriate way we could—actually getting them hands on, in person, and spraying them. This is as close to walking through a department store as you can get. We researched some of the most popular brands—from almost-300-year-old brand Caswell-Massey to Swedish upstart Storra Skuggan—to try the most coveted fragrances on the market today.

We also consulted Certified Fragrance Specialist Eudora Nwasike for tips on choosing the right fragrance for you, more from her after our recommendations.

The Best from Each Brand

In most instances, we tried several fragrances from each brand. Some we liked more than others, but in most cases, they were all quality scents for their intended purpose. However, the 16 scents below are what we evaluated to be the best investment for you.

Versatility in Mind

For simplicity’s sake, we named them the best for a specific use case. But, the fact is that most of them would perform well in more than one setting or for multiple types of guys. Understand that these scents are more versatile than just one superlative.

The 16 Best Colognes for Men of 2024

Best Overall:

MALIN+GOETZ

Dark Rum Eau De Parfum

$98
$98
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Type: Eau de Parfum | Top Notes: Bergamot, Plum, Anise | Middle Notes: Leather, Rum, Vanilla | Base Notes: Patchouli, Amber, Milk | Size: 50ml

MALIN+GOETZ Dark Rum takes inspiration from old-world bay rum used by sailors traveling through the Caribbean. The skincare brand honors the rich and spicy reputation of rum with a warm foundation of leather, patchouli, and amber. Bright top notes of bergamot and plum mute any “booziness” the tropical liquor, and their subtle sweetness allows an otherwise dark fragrance to thrive during spring and summer. Whether it’s worn poolside in paradise or to fireside après-ski in a toasty lodge, Dark Rum finds itself right at home. At under $100, for most people this is the best option.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “I tried a sample of this last year. Once I got my hands on a large bottle and wore it frequently, I realized how much range this fragrance has.”

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Best Budget:

Dossier

Woody Sandalwood

$49
$49
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Type: Eau de Parfum | Top Notes: Violet Leaves, Cardamom | Middle Notes: Orris, Ambrox, Cedarwood, Cypriol | Base Notes: Musk, Sandalwood, Amber | Size: 50ml, 100ml

Inspired by Le Labo’s iconic Santal 33, this Dossier cologne showcases the scent of the highest-quality sandalwood — Mysore. The timber’s creamy facets meet the nose gently while maintaining enough endurance to last all day. Pronounced at first, fresh top notes of cardamom and violet leaves gradually mingle with sandalwood’s alpine spirit, culminating in an aroma that’s both modern and masculine.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “It smells extremely close to Santal 33, and all of Dossier’s fragrances are extremely affordable.”

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Best Luxury:

Etat Libre D’Orange

EXPERIMENTUM CRUCIS

$245
$245
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Type: Eau de Parfum | Top Notes: Lychee, Apple, Cumin | Middle Notes: Rose NeoAbsolute, Jasmin Absolute, Honey Accord | Base Notes: Akigalawood©, Patchouli, Musk | Size: 100ml

Etat Libre D’Orange boasts Experimentum Crucis as a fragrance inspired by Isaac Newton’s theory of universal gravitation. It claims to have a precise and clear-cut scent that quickly falls and sticks to your skin. An interesting mix of light and heavy scents. Experimentum Crucis opens with a substantial hit of lychee and green apple, then cooling down with a decadent mix of rose, honey, and musk. It’s quite strong and has projects widely, so it might be too intense when sprayed generously. It’s best to use sparingly on the pulse points.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “I’ve stuck to dark, musky colognes for the most part. I was worried that the rose and fruit notes would lean too sweet, but the final result is a powerful hybrid of earthy and floral.”

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Best Niche:

Stora Skuggan

Fantôme De Maules

$140
$140
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Type: Eau de Parfum | Top Notes: Bergamot, Galbanum, Green leaves, Lemon | Middle Notes: Coriander, Forest Flowers, Cardamom, Lavender Absolute | Base Notes: Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Labdanum, Cedarwood, Tonka Bean, Vetiver | Size: 30ml

Stora Skuggan was founded in Sweden 2015 and has a very limited selection of fragrances. French for “the ghost of Maules,” it’s named after a cryptid that haunts the lush Swiss town, suggesting the green essence of the fragrance hangs about like its namesake spirit. Green leaves, lemon, and oakmoss are presently herbaceous, but understated nutty notes of coriander and tonka bean make it dynamic. Picture this: spring time, windows open, and a home cooked meal rife with fresh herbs and lemon.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “Stora Skuggan will definitely remain on my radar; they don’t have a ton of options, but Fantôme de Maules is crisp, green, and the bottle itself is a masterpiece.”

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Best Natural:

DIME

DIME No. 1 Cologne

$52
$52
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Type: Eau de Toilette | Top Notes: Fresh Lime, Sparkling Grapefruit, Dark Rhum | Middle Notes: Blue Lavender, Rosemary Sprig, Crushed Cardamom | Base Notes: Tonka Bean, Amber Woods, Leather | Size: 50ml

The DIME No.1 is the brand’s first-ever men’s cologne. Made from nothing but natural ingredients, it’ll take you to a bold aromatic blend of sparkling grapefruit, rosemary sprig, and dark rum. The overall fragrance comes off as amber and woodsy, which offers enough masculinity to make the ladies’ heads turn. While the odor isn’t entirely unique, it’s a clean, hypoallergenic perfume that I feel safe wearing. Vegan friendly and cruelty free, the water the brand uses to make No.1 is purified and filtered, making it the cleanest cologne on this list.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “It’s simple and straightforward, and while I love the scent itself, multiple top notes of citrus make it better suited for summertime.”

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Best Sporty:

Offcourt

Fig Leaves + White Musk

$55
$55
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Type: Eau de Toilette | Top Notes: Italian Fig Leaves, Green Figs | Middle Notes: Bergamot, Lime | Base Notes: Vetiver, White Musk | Size: 50ml

An inviting and green blend, the OffCourt Fig Leaves + White Musk brings a mossy, woody scent that rounds off to a crisp airiness. The cologne aims to represent the earthy freshness of Big Sur, California. Designed for daily wear, the Eau de Toilette has a 10% concentration, which boosts projection and longevity. It’ll last roughly six to eight hours when sprayed twice on your chest, neck, and pulse points. The cologne is also colorless so it’s safe to spray on light-colored clothing. This Offcourt fragrance is perfect to wear after a tough workout or game of pickup hoops.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “Between the classy aroma and inexpensive price tag, it’s a shoe-in any time I need a quick refresh after working out.”

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Best for Spring:

Caswell-Massey

2571 Eau De Parfum

$200
$200
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Type: Eau de Parfum | Top Notes: Cardamom, Bergamot | Middle Notes: Orris Root, Cypress | Base Notes: Sandalwood, Amber, Vetiver | Size: 7.5ml, 100ml

Casswell-Massey describes the 2571 as “a triumphant symphony of scent.” The invigorating top notes of cardamom and bergamot are reminiscent of a bouquet of ripe citrus, but make no mistake, this is a truly woody fragrance. The combination of cypress and sandalwood is potent enough to transport you back to woodshop class. Unmistakably arboreal. Undeniably classic.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “Think of an old-money mansion filled with luxurious wooden furniture. Distill that scent and throw in bright pops of citrus. Everything about CM 2571 screams class and elegance.”

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Best for Summer:

Jo Malone

Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense

$225
$225
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Type: Eau de Cologne | Top Notes: Cypress | Middle Notes: Grapevine | Base Notes: Amber | Size: 50ml, 100ml

One of Jo Malone’s best-sellers, the Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense embodies the refined and distinctive nature of man. The cypress top note gives it aromatic freshness and the grapevine heart lets it sink into the warm embrace of amber. It gives off the vibe of a strong, calm, yet masculine man. The cool sensation you get makes it a great option for outdoor, summer events — formal or casual. Contradictory yet exceptional, this perfume leaves you and those around you with a lasting impression.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “For an eau de cologne, it doesn’t last as long as I’d like. Fortunately, the smooth demeanor of amber doesn’t become overpowering when I choose to reapply.”

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Best for Fall:

Byredo

Bibliothèque

$225
$225
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Type: Eau de Parfum | Top Notes: Plum, Cinnamon | Middle Notes: Leather Accord, Violet | Base Notes: Birch Woods, Patchouli, Vanilla | Size: 50ml

As the brand’s best selling candle scent, Bibliothèque takes the form of an eau de parfum. Meant to make you smell great with just one spray, it opens up with a jammy plum scent plus a touch of sweet violet. Then you’ll sniff the leather, patchouli, rich vanilla, birch woods accents. It’s perfect for guys who love that new book smell, coming with a touch of fruity and woody notes. It’s the kind of cologne that blossoms on the skin and is great for the coziest season of the year.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “Most people associate amber, timber, or smoky aromas with fall. Bibliothèque manages to capture that moodiness in a way that feels truly different, and it’s become my daily driver for autumn.”

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Best for Winter:

Fulton & Roark

Calle Ocho Extrait De Parfum

$205
$205
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Credit: Fulton & Roark

Type: Extrait de Parfum | Top Notes: Cinnamon, Rum, Bitter Chocolate | Middle Notes: Night-blooming Jasmine, Labdanum, Tobacco Leaf | Base Notes: Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Musk | Size: 50ml

The Fulton & Roark Calle Ocho pays tribute to a specific spot in Miami’s Little Havana, taking all the culture and tradition of Latin America in the form of a rich perfume. It opens with the multifaceted notes of aged rum, then passing the baton to the equally complex bitter chocolate. It projects strong, but is not overbearing, and it works great in the cold winter months. Seeing as cinnamon, rum, and chocolate can be found in comfort treats of all kinds, harmonizing them into a wearable fragrance just works.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “Calle Ocho wears heavily, but it combats frigid temperatures that censor lighter aromas.”

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Best Versatile:

Misc. Goods Co.

Underhill

$48
$48
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Type: Eau de Cologne | Top Notes: Cedarwood, Tobacco | Middle Notes: Wheat, Cumin, Leather | Base Notes: Pine Resin, Beer | Size: 10ml, 50ml

The Misc. Goods Co. Underhill is the kind of cologne that lets you feel and smell nature anywhere you go. Inspired by the great outdoors, it gives off a deep and varied aroma from the wild herbs, leather, wood, and tobacco blend. It finishes off with the sweet scent of ale. Mixed with over 14 ingredients, the perfume allows you to reminisce the salty, woodsy air, the hills of a dry meadow, and the comfort of a cigar in one. The Underhill comes in two sizes or a sampler is available in case you want to just try it out.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “Underhill incorporates the best of many different families of fragrance. I prefer defined scents, but for those looking for the go-to, it fits in wherever it’s worn.”

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Best Citrus:

Ourside

Moon Dust

$196
$196
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Type: Eau de Parfum | Top Notes: Cedarwood, Grapefruit, Jasmine | Middle Notes: Peppermint, Anise | Base Notes: Vetiver, Juniper Berries, Palo Santo | Size: 50ml

Moon Dust combines citrus, clean, and masculine elements. The grapefruit top notes define this fragrance in a way that’s true to the fruit. Instead of a predictable candy-like sweetness, Ourside calls on the fruity bitterness of the rind. When the deep hum of palo santo and vetiver chime in, the aura resonates as truly mature and inventive.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “I love how fresh this is, and the fact that Ourside is made in small batches without harmful ingredients is a huge plus for me.”

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Best Crisp:

Oars + Alps

Venture Cologne

$59
$59
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Type: Eau de Parfum | Top Notes: Bergamot, Coastal Lime | Middle Notes: Coriander, Pepper | Base Notes: Cardamom, Fir Balsam | Size: 50ml

Backpackers and hikers will find the Oars + Alps Venture Cologne the ideal choice for their adventures. It’s a highly concentrated perfume oil that comes in a travel-friendly package. You’ll only need to spray a few times on your pulse points and it’ll project nicely all day long. The canned packaging makes it more durable than most other colognes, making it perfect for travel. The charismatic scent blends marine accords and citrus notes with a pinch of aromatic herbals. Made from sustainably sourced sugarcane alcohol, it’s a natural fragrance that’s gluten free and won’t cause skin irritation.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “This isn’t the most luxurious option, but it’s perfect for travel and quick sprays.”

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Best for Date Night:

Marc-Antoine Barrois

Tilia

$209
$209
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Type: Eau de Parfum | Top Notes: Lime, Broom, Jasmine Sambac | Middle Notes: Vetiver, Heliotrope | Base Notes: Georgywood, Ambrofix | Size: 30ml, 100ml

The Marc-Antoine Barrois Tilia treats anyone who gets a whiff to flowers in a state of everlasting bloom. Heliotrope and jasmine greet with a flattering waft of mild florality. The masculine notes begin to shine once the eau de parfum has had time to breathe, evolving into a lean, musky, and spicy sillage thanks to its ambrofix and georgywood bones. Barrois Tilia makes one thing certain: flowers aren’t just for the ladies.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “Because heliotrope and jasmine steer away from the stereotypical “flower shop” smells propagated by roses and tulips, they work well in a male fragrance. I enjoy the floral freshness, but broom and vetiver notes still make it interesting—something you want on a date.”

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Best for the Beach:

Henry Rose

Menace

$120
$120
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Type: Eau de Parfum | Top Notes: Lime Heart, Tangerine Heart, Lentisque Absolute Maroc | Middle Notes: Crisp Marine Notes, Mediterranean Cypress | Base Notes: Cedarwood Heart Virginia, Patchouli Oil, Sensual Musk | Size: 8ml, 50ml

Henry Rose’s Menace doesn’t rely on the usual tactics to mimic an aquatic atmosphere, which most of the time smell soapy and commercial. Instead, sharp top notes of lime and tangerine heart paint a picture of Mediterranean orchards teetering over a blue sea. Cypress and crisp marine notes form the oceanic vibe of Menace while warm lulls of patchouli and musk counter the more eager top and middle notes.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “The citrus, cypress, and marine notes work together to conjure the Italian beach villa experience. I love clean scents, and this is leagues above ‘seaside breeze’ body wash in terms of complexity and desirability.”

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We don't like

Best for Younger Guys:

Particle

Gravité

$89
$89
Code:
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Type: Eau de Parfum | Top Notes: Bergamot, Plum, Pepper, Grapefruit, Rosemary | Middle Notes: Papyrus, Cashmere Wood, Apple, Nutmeg | Base Notes: Musk, Amber, Vetiver, Cedarwood | Size: 100ml

Youthful, vibrant, and savvy, the Particle Gravité is for the guys who always strive to be at their best. It’s designed to have a powerful, unforgettable effect that leaves a mark on anyone fortunate enough to get close. The citrus top notes emit a bold opening that exudes freshness and confidence. It’ll unfold into an aromatic symphony as the middle notes create depth, character, and sophistication. It will dry down into a warm, compromising, and captivating imprint that lasts. The Gravité will keep you smelling good all day no matter how long or hard you party.

Our Tester’s Overall Thoughts: “This is a gift that I’d love to receive in high school or college—it’s affordable and a big step above budget brands.”

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We don't like

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MALIN+GOETZ
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Best Overall:
MALIN+GOETZ
$98
$98
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Best Budget:
Dossier
$49
$49
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Best Luxury:
Etat Libre D’Orange
$245
$245
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Best Niche:
Stora Skuggan
$140
$140
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Best Natural:
Best Sporty:
Best for Spring:
Caswell-Massey
$200
$200
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Best for Summer:
Best for Fall:
Byredo
$225
$225
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Best for Winter:
Fulton & Roark
$205
$205
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Best Versatile:
Misc. Goods Co.
$48
$48
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Best Citrus:
Ourside
$196
$196
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Best Crisp:
Oars + Alps
$59
$59
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Best for Date Night:
Marc-Antoine Barrois
$209
$209
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Best for the Beach:
Henry Rose
$120
$120
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Best for Younger Guys:
Particle
$89
$89
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Men’s Cologne FAQs

What men’s cologne attracts females?

There’s not necessarily one single scent that attracts those around you more than others. It’s more about whether or not your fragrance works well for you personally. The best option is to find a cologne that you genuinely like and that complements your overall style, thus allowing you to be more confident as you go about your day.

What is the difference between eau de parfum and eau de toilette?

The difference between eau de parfum and eau de toilette relies on the amount of perfume oil used. In creating colognes, the oil is mixed with alcohol to create its intensity. The more you put in, the stronger the fragrance and the longer it’ll last. That said, eau de toilette is lighter than the eau de parfum, containing around  five to 15 percent perfume oil and eau de parfum has 10 to 20 percent.

How do you apply cologne?

The best parts to apply cologne on the body are your “pulse points.” These are the areas of the body where you can feel your heartbeat and they give off heat, thus enhancing the scent into the air. The pulse points are your wrist, inside your elbow, behind the ear, at the bottom of your throat, and behind your knee.

Cologne Tips & Considerations

Think About Your Personality

There are hundreds if not thousands of fragrances available on the market. Each one has a different scent and some are more versatile than others. Certified Fragrance Specialist Eudora Nwasike says “The most important thing to bear in mind when purchasing a fragrance is if it reflects who you are as a person.” If you don’t truly connect with a fragrance, don’t buy it…”

Make sure the cologne you go with matches your style. The better the fit, the more confidence and flair you’ll have in your day-to-day life.

Know the Different Types of Fragrances

Fragrance comes in multiple forms. Technically, “cologne” is a type of fragrance. But all fragrances are categorized by concentration of perfume, Nwasike told me:

  • Parfum: Contains about 20 to 40 percent perfume oil and lasts about eight to 12 hours or more.
  • Eau de Parfum: Contains around 15 to 20 percent oil, the scent sticks around for around eight hours maximum. 
  • Eau de Toilette: Contains five to 15 percent perfume concentration, and lasts about six to eight hours on the skin.
  • Eau de Cologne: Contains three to five percent perfume with a high alcohol concentration.

Stronger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to colognes, each one fits certain occasions more. For example, parfum is best worn for events where you want to make a strong impression while eau de toilette is great for everyday use.

Go for High-Quality Ingredients

“Due to the fact that some fragrances are made with raw natural ingredients that have a hefty price tag, the cost of the fragrance might be on the pricier side, but they can add complexity and depth to the fragrance composition,” Nwasike says.

There are certainly tradeoffs both ways, but think about your budget and what you want to be putting on your skin.

Why You Should Trust Us

Joe Niehaus is an experienced product tester, commerce writer, and researcher at sites like Travel + Leisure, Men’s Health, and more. For this article, he tested the products hands on and consulted a certified fragrance expert, allowing him to make recommendations based on real-life evidence.

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Dossier
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Stora Skuggan
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Offcourt
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Caswell-Massey
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Byredo
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Fulton & Roark
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Ourside
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Oars + Alps
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Henry Rose
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Particle

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