Hunting for colognes women love can be a bit of a guessing game. A scent may smell good to you, but will the women in your life agree?
To demystify the fragrance world, I went straight to the source to find out what colognes women love on men: my girlfriends. Aged between 23 and 39, my gal pals dished out the scoop on what colognes women love (and which to avoid, too).
If you’re ready to tap into the massive selection of colognes out there, read this first to choose a scent that will make some serious waves in your romantic life.
For women’s favorite men’s colognes, you can’t fail with a fruity, citrus-forward scent like Bleu de Chanel or Only the Brave by Diesel. These fragrances are easy to wear daily and have a clean smell that’s attractive to women. Though for evening and winter wear, colognes with notes of amber, vanilla, and musk are particularly alluring. Try scents like Dior Sauvage or Boss Bottled Night if you’re looking for something more seductive.
Top Notes: Citrus, Cedar | Middle Notes: Tonka Bean, Vanilla | Base Notes: Sandalwood | Size: 3.4oz | Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
A powerhouse fragrance for more than a decade, this surprising Chanel concoction is simply magnetic. When asking my girlfriends what colognes do women love, Bleu de Chanel cropped up over and over. It’s no wonder why, considering it’s one of the best men’s fragrances of all time.
When I asked why she loved it, Carly, a 28-year-old teacher, told me: “It’s just a timeless scent that smells like a hot man.” Digging a little deeper, my friend Catie who works in finance (and is a serial dater), said, “it’s not too overpowering and smells almost… chic yet manly?”
This is thanks to the bold cedar notes, finished with intoxicating sandalwood and hints of vanilla. Spray a pump or two near your collar for date night, and she’s sure to lean in for a kiss (or at least to get a better whiff).
Top Notes: Pineapple, Orange, Cardamon | Middle Notes: Nutmeg, Violet, Jasmine, Rose | Base Notes: Sandalwood, Amber, Cedar, Musk | Size: 3.4oz | Season: Spring, Summer
Nothing says classic quite like a Calvin Klein cologne. And CK One is a great starting place, as it’s a light scent that’s easy for everyday wear. The pineapple is a bright opening note, and the musky undertone adds some depth that will keep people wondering what cologne you’re wearing.
Since it’s an eau de toilette, the scent is long-lasting but also ensures you aren’t drowning in fragrance when leaving the house. Finished with subtle notes of green tea, jasmine, and sandalwood, this cologne should be your port of call if you’re looking for something lightweight yet captivating.
Top Notes: Birch Leaf | Middle Notes: Cardamon | Base Notes: Louro Amarelo Wood, Musk | Size: 3.3oz | Season: Fall, Winter
Hugo Boss has dubbed this cologne the “secret weapon in the armory of seduction,” and women don’t disagree. An intense scent carrying an air of mystery, Boss Bottled is an exotic yet elegant fragrance with notes of cardamon, birch, musk, and wood.
Thanks to the sophisticated scent profile, this Hugo Boss cologne is best for evening wear, which is just as well since it should accompany you on any date night. Spray it on your pulses and around your torso for maximum effect. People will always be curious about what you’re wearing.
Top Notes: Apple, Bergamot, Pineapple | Middle Notes: Birch, Jasmine, Pink Berries | Base Notes: Musk, Oakmoss, Vanilla | Size: 1.7oz | Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Creed Aventus smells like a million bucks, at least according to my friend Michaela. Her exact words were: “I feel like if you’re wearing Creed, you just smell rich. You smell like money and expensive taste.” She hit the nail on the head, as this is a luxury fragrance with a price tag to match (it’s not the pick if you’re looking for colognes under $50).
Essentially liquid gold, this is one of the top colognes women love on men. It’s Creed’s all-time best seller and was created for guys who want to feel the wind in their wings as they tackle whatever life throws at them (or something like that).
The scent profile is majorly fruity, with wood and spice notes to temper down the sweetness. It’s a fantastic spring fragrance, though can easily be worn year-round, thanks to the cool earthy undertones.
Top Notes: Lemon, Mandarin, Coriander | Middle Notes: Violet Leaves, Rosemary | Base Notes: Amber, Leather, Cedar | Size: 1.7oz | Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
This is the scent that made me fall in love with my boyfriend. On second thought, it was probably his personality, but this Diesel cologne definitely scored him a second date.
As far as women’s favorite men’s colognes go, Diesel is a good bet. With citrusy top notes, the amber base brings some sophistication into an overwhelmingly fresh fragrance, which adds dimension and plenty of nose appeal.
Since it’s a lighter scent, Only the Brave is equally suitable for day or nighttime wear and will seamlessly carry (only the brave) men through all four seasons.
Top Notes: Bergamont | Middle Notes: Pepper | Base Notes: Vanilla, Amber | Size: 2oz | Season: Fall, Winter
Dior Sauvage often tops ‘best cologne’ lists, and with good reason. It’s the gold standard of cologne, with a captivating scent profile that makes women want to jump on any guy wearing it. The last bit is according to my friend Lena, who works as a dancer and met her boyfriend while he was covered in the stuff. Three years later and she still turns her head every time she catches a whiff.
It’s raw, fresh, and oh-so-versatile, focusing on bergamot and vanilla. It’s a complex fragrance that doesn’t overdo it but gives an added dose of confidence to the wearer. And how could it not? The smell is nothing short of irresistible.
Top Notes: Blood Orange, Sea Spray, Mandarin | Middle Notes: Pepper, Cedar | Base Notes: Tonka Bean, Vanilla, White Musk | Size: 3.4oz | Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
A little-known fact is women love Old Spice. It’s sporty and casual while smelling crazy good. So if you’re looking for a fragrance with the Old Spice effect, minus the locker room undertones, Chanel Allure Homme Sport is a home run.
This cologne put Chanel on the map for men, as it predated the brand’s now signature Bleu fragrance. It really pops with notes of mandarin and cedar but also shows its sensual side with plenty of white musk.
It’s more of a daytime, summer fragrance, but no matter when or where you wear it, you’ll leave a trail of women smelling the air behind.
Top Notes: Pineapple, Orange, Grapefruit | Middle Notes: Spearmint, Red Apple | Base Notes: Musk, Cedar | Size: 2.5 / 4.2oz | Season: Spring, Summer
My friend Natalie (32) is a chiropractor and spends a good deal of her time in the smelling capacity of men. She can always tell who’s wearing Red Rush by Polo Ralph Lauren, thanks to the crisp, clean scent, and has come to regard it as one of her favorites.
Red Rush is a crowd-pleaser, especially for men looking for a refreshing fragrance to keep the compliments rolling in (definitely one of women’s favorite men’s colognes). With top notes of citrus and mid notes of spearmint, this cologne has an energizing quality, making it a strong contender for an everyday scent.
Polo Blue by Ralph Lauren gets an honorable mention from my friend Alex, who told me: “This kid I had a crush on in high school always wore it, and I guess I never let it go. I genuinely do like the scent, and Fang [her boyfriend] has a bottle.” So if you’re not sold on the Red, opt for cool Blue instead.
Top Notes: Orange Blossom, Grapefruit, Sage | Middle Notes: Iris, Nutmeg | Base Notes: Amber, Moss | Size: 1.7 / 3.4 oz | Season: Year Round
Tom Ford has been in the fragrance game since the early 2000s and is home to several classic women’s favorite men’s colognes. While Black Orchid is the brand’s most popular, the women I spoke to prefer Grey Vetiver ten times over.
Rather than a heavy and musky cologne, Grey Vetiver is spicy and fresh, with an abundance of citrus and soft wood notes. Since it’s a concentrated Eau de Parfum, expect a long-lasting scent even with minimal use. While it’s a classy choice for evening wear, a spritz on the collar before a workday will definitely turn your female colleague’s head.
Top Notes: Bergamot, Ginger | Middle Notes: Sage, Violet, Geranium | Base Notes: Incense, Balsam, Cedar, Musk | Size: 3.4oz | Season: Fall, Winter
When it comes to what colognes women love, YSL always hits the mark. A heavier fragrance than most of the fruity options on the list, this deep and alluring scent will have ladies following your fragrance trail wherever you go.
It ropes you in with simple bergamot and pulls you in deeper with complex mid and base notes like ginger, cedar, musk, and incense. It’s definitely a spicier nighttime fragrance, so wear it on your next dinner date. Great for cold weather, a spritz of this cologne will give her an excuse to snuggle up when temperatures start to drop.
Top Notes: Cardamon | Middle Notes: Lavender, Iris | Base Notes: Vanilla | Size: 2.5 / 4.2 / 6.8oz | Season: Fall, Winter
While his original Le Male made huge waves in the young men’s cologne world, Jean Paul’s updated version of the classic is well-loved by grown-up male wearers (and women smellers) worldwide.
This fragrance isn’t as juvenile as the original and makes for the ideal cold-weather cologne. The heavier scents like cardamon and deep vanilla make it particularly enticing for evening wear. Think dark wine bars, low-lit restaurants, and other sensual hot spots. This cologne will carry you through whatever the night throws at you, and who knows… the scent is so tempting it may even score you more than a good night kiss.
What to Look For When Buying Colognes Women Love
While many women adore a fruit-heavy cologne during warmer months, they may prefer something spicy during the depths of December.
In general, the light, citrusy scents belong to spring and summer, while deeper, more sophisticated scents are a winning choice for autumn colognes and winter fragrances. Keep this in mind when shopping for colognes women love on men, as this could very well change with the seasons.
Formal or Casual
You’ll also find that some colognes are more casual, while others are strikingly formal. Lighter scents are an ideal pick for daily wear as they’re appropriate for the office and keep things fresh as the afternoon wears on. The right casual fragrance may finally grab the attention of a certain female colleague (hint, hint).
Once the sun goes down, it pays to opt for a scent that’s more mysterious and seductive, with plenty of pepper, wood, and vanilla notes. The depth of formal fragrance shows the women in your life that you’re not afraid to be bold.
Arguably the most important consideration in choosing colognes women love is the scent. Most women I spoke to were drawn towards clean fragrances that lead with fruit and citrus, with additional notes of sandalwood, cedar, and musk (think Bleu de Chanel and Polo Red Rush).
However, heavier scents like pepper, vanilla, incense, and cardamon are best reserved for evening and winter wear and make up some of the world’s best-selling colognes (Dior Sauvage and Le Male, to name a couple).
Carefully consider the scent of the fragrance you choose, as this will help you understand the best time of day and year to wear it.
Finally, how long is the scent going to last? In general, most colognes last between one to three hours after application, but this majorly depends on how concentrated it is.
If you’re looking for long-lasting colognes, choose an eau de toilette, which is more concentrated than a basic cologne or aftershave. Want something even stronger? Eau de parfums are the most concentrated scents that will leave you smelling fresh all day long.
When it comes to colognes women love, it’s easy to play it safe with a citrus-heavy, fruity scent. These crowd-pleasing colognes are clean and bursting with freshness, which is attractive to any woman who catches a whiff.
Though since this type of scent is best for daytime or warm weather wear, guys looking for a winter or nighttime cologne might want to go with a deep musky scent filled with seductive amber and plenty of pepper.
Most of the women I spoke to were most attracted to fresh citrus scents with notes of fruit, sea spray, and cedar. Though many women are also attracted to musky scents, with sandalwood, pepper, and a hint of sweet vanilla.
Dior Sauvage is one of the most seductive colognes, thanks to the bergamot, vanilla, and amber scent mix. It’s a top choice for date nights or evenings on the town… Don’t be surprised if women start sniffing you everywhere you go.
If you’re looking for colognes women love on men, you can’t go wrong with Diesel Only the Brave, an energizing scent that’s great for day or nighttime wear. Or, stick with the classic Bleu de Chanel, which is well-loved by women far and wide.