The Best Fragrances for Men in 2020

Finding a fragrance that suits your style, your lifestyle and our skin is not a decision that should be made lightly.

Your scent can have a powerful impact on how people perceive and remember you, so make sure it’s precise for the impression you aim to leave on people.

This is why we are here to help you make that decision. So, let’s begin by covering the basics…

What is the difference between different types of fragrances for men?

Fragrances for men are split into four main categories… Perfume (not the feminine type), Cologne, Eau De Toilette and Aftershave.

Although a lot of people cross reference these 4 types of fragrances, they are very wrong in doing so as all four serve different purposes.

The difference in the four? Their strength.

Let’s talk aftershave… made up from around 1-3% perfume oil, aftershave is the weakest of the bunch. It is not a long-lasting product, but rather used as a soothing product for application after a shave (hence its name) and often includes soothing ingredients such as aloe vera and chamomile.

It’s scent usually lasts around 2-3 hours after application and therefore may not be the perfect choice for those looking to smell an entire small village out with their fragrance.

A cologne is the second weakest product on the fragrance market, containing between 2-5% fragrance oil. Still weak enough to apply to the face area, however, the stronger colognes (those that contain 5% fragrance oil) may cause a slight stinging sensation if applied directly after shaving.

Cologne will last roughly around 5 hours after application, again not one to opt for if you’re wanting a really strong scent, but a nice, subtle smell will be smelt by others when greeting or standing closely.

Now for Eau De Toilette, we’re now getting slightly more towards the “I could smell you from the other end of the street” strength. Containing around 4-8% perfume oil, EDT would be too strong to apply to the face.

The skin on your face is hyper-sensitive and therefore anything above a 5% perfume oil strength should be avoided in that area. EDT is best applied on the wrist, neck and chest area for optimal scent pay off.

This perfume lasts between 6-8 hours depending on the quality of the product, therefore this is a great choice for those that want to be smelt pleasantly without causing people to gasp for a fresh breath as you walk by (we all know the type).

The strongest fragrant is a perfume (or parfum if you’re posh). Now this only requires 2-3 squirts and will last hours on clothes and on the surface of your skin (top tip: for a really long lasting scent spray over your hair)

Your hair strands trap fragrant for a longer pay-off of the perfume). This contains 15-30% oil meaning you don’t want to be going too crazy with this stuff, bathing in it is not the answer.

Perfume can also be very expensive too, the average price for a branded bottle ranges from £30-£50 and some of the top brands like Dior and Chanel being £80 or over.

Therefore you should certainly be picky when choosing your perfect perfume and we’re going to show you how you can do this…


Let’s talk about applying your scent. Finding a smell that you like and want to wear will be explained later on in this blog, but finding one is actually the easier part. Applying one, on the other hand, is an entirely different ball game but is simple once you know the best ways to do so.

Top tip number 1: Always apply in the “hot points” of your body

These areas are called ‘pulse points’ and it is where blood pumps near to the skin’s surface. These areas are perfect for applying perfume as the scent will diffuse around the room with your body heat and make your scent seem stronger and more vibrant for a longer period of time.

Great pulse points are as follows: chest area, behind your knees (not as effective if you are wearing trousers), inside the elbow and behind your ears.

Now you might think we’re crazy for saying this but all of the above mentioned areas of the body, when sprayed with perfume, will radiate the scent, making for a longer lasting scent. Getting more for your bucks and a longer lasting fragrance, it’s a win win.

Top tip number 2 : Don’t rub your wrists together

We don’t like to take the generic route, but applying to the wrist area is also a common way to apply your favourite perfume. If you do tend to apply fragrance this way, be sure to not rub both of your wrists together as this can have an adverse effect.

It does in one of two ways, by breaking down the molecules in the perfume and weakening its original smell and also by rubbing the perfume into the natural oils in your skin and changing the smell of the original scent.

Top tip number 3 : Use a primer

You may associate a primer with a base for a paint coat… however you can also use a primer when it comes to locking in your fragrance and making sure it lasts longer in the same way a paint primer would work on paint! This primer is a little something we commonly know as ‘moisturizer’.

Now, I’m sure you already own a moisturizer of some form, especially after reading our article, any moisturizer can be used for this but one with a minimal scent works best to avoid two strongly scented ingredients fighting for your attention.

The application of the primer is easy, straight out of the shower, slap a layer of moisturizer to the pulse points and spray away! Moisturizers will lock in your fragrant and applying this base before applying your spray will make the scent last much longer.
Now onto different sorts of scents – what group do they belong in?

Fragrances often fall within the following categories:

  • Floral
  • Fresh
  • Fruity
  • Spicy

But how to choose one that suits you, where you’re going and what you’re wearing… This is where we come in.

Floral scent

Not just women can pull off a firm floral scent, back in the day, kings used to stuff their sleeves with blossoms in order to welcome potential spouses, friends and guests with a pleasant smell.

Most male perfumes in fact contain orange blossom and lavender oil, however, companies don’t advertise this as some men might be put off as they may think that a fragrance containing these elements will be too feminine for their style.

Floral is a great scent if you’re looking for a more day time wear or holiday scent as the floral scent is accentuated by the scenic views of the Mediterranean or the Greek islands.

Pair it with some loafers, a brown leather belt and a crisp white shirt and you’re good to go.

Which fragrance to pick?

ACQUA DI PARMA COLONIA is a popular one amongst the floral scent lovers. It is bursting with fresh flower aromas without it being too feminine as it’s peppery after smell masculinity the fragrant and compliments it perfectly.


When wearing a fragrant everyone is aiming for a ‘fresh’ scent but when we talk about it in terms of a particular scent we are talking cotton fresh. Think newly washed bedding smothered in fabric softener, or a newborn baby straight out of a bath lathered in talcum powder.

This is perfect if you’re looking for a fragrance for an early morning run, a gym workout or just to wear on a daily basis. It is great for the morning as it will give you a boost to spring you from your bed and start the day.

Which fragrance to pick?

A great fragrance for this is the NAUTICA VOYAGE EAU DE TOILETTE SPRAY FOR MEN . This is arguably one of the best fragrances for men, at a reasonable price that won’t have you breaking the bank.

With it being an eau de toilette, it is slightly weaker in strength than a perfume but is great for office wear.


And no we don’t mean that you’ll be smelling like a fruit bowl, rather like an exotic island.  A fruity fragrance will typically  exhibit an array of exotic, citrus and fruity scents all compact into one bottle. Although it is more daytime wear, it would perfectly accompany afternoon drinks, a day-time date or a business meeting.

Slightly more dressy than the ‘fresh fragrant’.

Which fragrance to pick?

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO F FREE TIME EAU DE TO­ILETTE SPRAY. This perfume is affordable, but don’t let you put you off the quality of this product. Buying a fragrance that is slightly cheaper than rest will not mean anything other than you’ll have a little bit of spare cash to spend on something else.

Often quality comes at a high price, but that rules does not necessarily apply when it comes to fragrances.
May we also add that the longevity of this product is also outstanding and 2-3 squirts of this product will see you through the day.


This is a fragrance that will take you through the night and perfect for a hot date. If you’re looking to add a little spice to your life, then adding a fragrance that has a spicy element is one simple way to do it.

Which fragrance to pick?

A great fragrance is SAUVAGE by Dior. An extremely popular fragrance, this one does unfortunately come with a little hefty price tag however, the scent is so unique, you can be sure you won’t find the same scent at a lower value.

It is sexy, inquisitive and spicy.

Seasonal Fragrances

Now let’s talk about the season, and how to switch up the fragrance weather depending…
In the summer you should be looking at more of the floral, fresh and citrus scents to brighten and play along with the warmer temperatures.

However, in the winter months you should be focusing on warming scents.

We associate these with woody scents and spices, similarly to things we see as heating up our body temperature.

These scents are cosy and will psychologically make you warmer and more relaxed.

Do a patch test

Once you have found a bottle you have fallen in love with, don’t buy it straight away! Instead carry out a patch test. Take the bottle, and spray once on your wrist, once on your neck and once on your chest area.

Leave on for a full day, yes that’s right we’re telling you to not shower for the 24 hours you have the fragrance on your skin. This will tell not only how the fragrance ingredients will interact with your skin’s chemistry but also the longevity of the product.

Different fragrances smell different on different people’s skin so this test will ensure this fragrance is right for you skin as well as the fact that you’re not allergic to anything in the bottle.

If you still love it after the 24 hours, go back and purchase it! This may seem like quite a lot of effort, however, the average bottle of fragrance isn’t cheap and therefore it is worth it until you find your perfect scent.

Trust your instincts

You can do all the research and reading about a fragrance in the world but actually finding a smell that you like is a very personal thing and the only way to do this is through trial and error in person.

Or take along with you a trusted friend that will be honest with you and tell you what suits you and what doesn’t.

Make it relatable to your fashion sense

We could go into a whole load of detail here but that would be wasting both our time. You know what you want the world to think of you and the look you wish to present to the world and this goes the same for what smell you want to wear and be remembered by.

If you tend to go for a cool and chilled back look, then a weaker scent, such as a cologne or an EDT. However, if you like looking smart 24/7 with an oxford shoe and ankles showing, go for a perfume, it will be strong and people will begin to associate that smell with you, your personality and your dress sense.

So let’s get onto the juicy part, here are the best fragrances for men…

Sauvage by Dior

A classic and a house favorite here at the Bald Gent. warm and spicy with a slight citrus scent that burns in the background you simply cannot go wrong with this scent. It is perfect for all year round, dressy occasions.

However, maybe slightly less suitable for everyday wear and is slightly on the pricey side so is best kept for those special occasions.

1 Million by Paco Rabanne

An extremely popular, yet distinctive smell, a firm favourite amongst all the ladies and will guarantee you will have them falling at your feet. A fantastic fragrance for men that dont want to be the centre of attention but are also bold enough to wear something slightly different. A popular choice and with good reason.

Again, slightly costly, but will last ages and has a seriously good longevity.

Noir by Tom Ford

A luxurious, refined and sexy smell, this wooden aroma will be suited to most skin types. It goes on like second skin, sinking deep into pores for a long lasting and slow releasing scent. It is bold and powerful and should be worn in conjunction with smart/casual wear.
Less expensive than its competitors, this is a great choice for most budgets.

Boss Bottled by Hugo Boss

Expensive but a classic when it comes to men’s scent. This is a dreamy smell, one that’s quality can only be understood when smelt through your own nose. Quality, superiority and suave ooze from this fragrance and so if you like standing out in a crowd and being the centre of attention, Boss Bottled by Hugo Boss is your perfect match.

On the negative side, this may be too overpowering for some people, especially those with a more chilled out approach to life and so this should be taken into consideration and accounted for when buying this fragrance.

Private Blend Neroli Portofino, Eau de Parfum by Tom Ford

A perfect blend of Tunisian neroli, Italian bergamot, Sicilian lemon, winter yellow mandarin, lavender, orange flower, rosemary and amber. This fragrance is a timeless classic. Not for the ill-hearted, this perfume is a crisp, subtle yet defying smell that is long lasting and expensive (in its quality and pricing).
Don’t let the price put you off however, as this scent really is truly unique.

Le Male, Eau de Toilette by Jean Paul Gaultier

A modern and perfect recreation of old fashioned shaving soap, this fragrant will not be a stranger to your nose. Its spouse of vanilla essence, mint and lavender make this fragrance traditional with a modern twist.

Extremely popular and with a reasonable price tag, we really don’t have a bad word to say about this product. Perfect for day wear.

CK One by Calvin Klein

A uni-sex eau de toilette fragrance that is light, airy and full of character. Perfect for summer days and nights and especially holiday vibes. It has a floral and herbaceous scent with a pinch of lemon and manderin. So if you like non fussy, one application fragrances, this EDT will be perfect for you.

Better yet, it will suit you and your partner/friends or anyone else that may wish to share.
A very affordable spray and it in a small and versatile bottle ready to go where you go.

Bleu Noir by Narciso Rodriguez

Often sold-out, there is a reason why! Be quick to grab these whilst in stock as it doesn’t stay that way for very long. A musky, woodsy smell, you will feel like you have just breathed in a fresh breath of woodland air.

Perfect for winter nights. This is a firm favourite all around the world.

Tommy Impact by Tommy Hilfiger

Ever heard of ‘save the best till last’? Yep well that’s exactly what we just did. This divine smell will have you at your news for more and will become a staple in your grooming kit, that we can assure. Woody and aromatic this fragrance will take you on an adventure from its initial spray to showering it off at the end of the day.

Timeless and classic this scent will be suited to all age ranges, styles and occasions. Housed in a classic glass bottle, it is a perfect accompaniment to any bathroom self.

Priced reasonably too, we cannot recommend this scent enough.

Final word

So, why not give any of our suggested fragrances a go and let us know what you think. Make sure you take into consideration all the things listed in this article and you will not go wrong. Good luck on finding your perfect fragrance.

Paul Inman

Paul Inman is the founder of The Bald Gent. As the main contributor to TBG, Paul has years of knowledge, experience and stories to share with our users. His insights, advice and blogs form the backbone to everything we do and what makes being a true gent so important to the ethos of TBG.

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