Skip to main content

Top 6 Classic Men's Cologne

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Sharing the best of what he knows to find the best for oneself

An unforgettable gift: 6 Classic Men's Cologne

An unforgettable gift: 6 Classic Men's Cologne

Perfume for Guys - Gift Ideas for Him

Are you still undecided on what to give your men for a present? What about perfume? OK granted, a perfume gift for your man is the most unoriginal and uninspired gift idea.

But some men wear the same fragrance for work, for leisure, and for a romantic night out. They consider that particular fragrance as their signature.

Unforgettable Gift

Why don't you change that and give him YOUR signature perfume instead? Then, giving perfume as a gift to a guy isn't a bad idea after all.

Looking for something different to make them feel good may not be easy. Perfume is a very personal choice. Choosing the ideal scent is a time-consuming process. Give an unforgettable gift.

Modern Classic Perfumes

If your man likes the old-fashioned scents or is adventurous enough to try the old classic, it is time to start shopping.

Some of these old fragrances are collector's items especially if it has its own unique designed-bottles. These empty bottles can fetch a good tidy sum on eBay.

Iconic Perfumes

My selection of classic perfumes is iconic fragrances that have been around for generations. One of the brands is more than a century old and has stood the test of time. All the classic perfumes in the list are highly acclaimed and had successful launches and are still produced, sold, and bought by existing and new customers. They have their own cult following for a reason, so it is time for you to venture out and shop for these classic men's cologne.

It is amazing how someone can break your heart, yet you still love them with all the little pieces, and those unforgettable special moments...

— Unknown

1. Givenchy Gentleman Original

My top selection for the classic men's cologne is Givenchy Gentleman. This is the original Gentlemen that was launched in 1974 and designed by Paul Leger. It has that enticing and sensual bouquet of musky notes with cinnamon, honey, Cinnamon, tarragon, rose, bergamot, and lemon as the top notes. Middle notes are orris root, patchouli, jasmine, and cedar. Base notes are leather, musk, patchouli, civet, amber, oakmoss, vanilla, and vetiver.

The updated 2017 modernized reinterpretation of the original Gentlemen has pear and pineapple instead of honey and rose, and denser patchouli layered with iris in the middle notes. It was created by Olivier Cresp and Nathalie Lorson

This original classic is warm, woodsy, and masculine with good longevity and strong sillage.

Givenchy Gentleman Original Edt 100Ml

When Givenchy launched Gentleman, it was during the high point of the men’s designer fragrance revolution. It was moving away from the trendy aromatic fougère fragrances and steering towards the classic musky men's cologne of the '60s.

This woody aromatic is good for evening wear or during autumn and winter.

Givenchy Gentleman Original - the hot favorite in the classic men's cologne range

Givenchy Gentleman Original - the hot favorite in the classic men's cologne range

Just like men, perfume is never perfect right away; you have to let it seduce you

— Jean Patou

2. Bvlgari Man by Bvlgari

Elegant, sophisticated, and contemporary, Bvlgari Man by Bvlgari is an Amber Woody fragrance with a balance of fresh and vibrant top notes of lotus blossom, violet leaves, bergamot, and white pear. The middle note is vetyver. Woodsy notes are sandalwood, cashmere wood, Sandalwood, and Cypriol Oil. base notes White honey, tonka bean, musk, and benzoin are the base notes.

Designed by perfumer Alberto Morillas, this perfume is destined to be classic, yet modern and sensual men's cologne.

With its white woody oriental fragrance, which embodies masculine charisma, it is just right for your man's ego. Perfect for spring and fall.

Scroll to Continue

Bvlgari Man was introduced in 2010 and now you can also get Bvlgari Man Extreme and Bvlgari Man in Black.

Bvlgari Man by Bvlgari

Bvlgari Man by Bvlgari

3. Terre D'Hermes by Hermes for Men

Launched in 2006 and conceived by Jean-Claude Ellena, Terre D'Hermes by Hermes for Men is a woody spicy fragrance that won 'FiFi Award Fragrance of the Year Men's Luxe' in 2007.

This is a contemporary classic with orange and grapefruit as the top notes, pepper and pelargonium as the middle notes, and vetiver, benzoin, cedar, and patchouli as the base notes, perfect for men's cologne.

Warm and sensual, Terre D'Hermes by Hermes for Men was described as the relationship between man and earth, and the fragrance that connects man to his origins. If you are looking for manliness in liquid form, this is it.

This long-lasting fragrance with moderate sillage is recommended for daily wear or office wear.

Hermes has also come out with an intense version that is more citrusy.

Terre d'Hermes Hermès for men

Terre d'Hermes Hermès for men

Feeling the earth, lying on the ground, gazing at the sky.

A garden that answers to no one, a cheerful garden watered with light.

— Jean-Claude Ellena, Master Parfumeur

4. Blenheim Bouquet Penhaligon's for Men

Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet Eau de Toilette is an old classic launched in 1902! This cult-favorite is a citrus aromatic fragrance with top notes of Amalfi lemon, lime, and lavender. Rounding out Blenheim Bouquet’s musky charms are base notes of musk, pine, and black pepper for that discreet heart of masculinity.

Blenheim Bouquet Penhaligon's for Men was supposedly worn by the Duke of Edinburgh and Winston Churchill. This is more than a century-old classic with simple fresh elegance and is still a hot favorite in the range of men's cologne. It has moderate longevity and sillage and is a good summer scent, for both day and night.

Although made for men and without floral notes, some women like this fragrance as it is not too masculine.

A century-old classic - Blenheim Bouquet Penhaligon's for Men

A century-old classic - Blenheim Bouquet Penhaligon's for Men

5. F by Ferragamo Pour Homme Salvatore Ferragamo

My fifth selection of classic perfume gifts for your man is Salvatore Ferragamo F Pour Homme, an oriental amber woody fragrance for men launched in 2007. The top notes are apple and lavender, with black pepper as the middle notes, and base notes are amber, leather, and labdanum. The creative designer behind this fragrance is Olivier Polge.

A great scent with a fruity lavender pepper combo but the black pepper notes are initially commanding and can be offensive in a warmer temperature for some people. Ideally, wear this in late autumn or winter. It has moderate longevity and sillage.

Under the F by Ferragamo series, they also have:

  • F By Ferragamo Free Time Pour Homme that was launched in 2011, with top notes; ginger and Amalfi lemon; the middle notes are cardamoms and pink pepper; and base notes are vetiver, musk, and Virginia cedar. F By Ferragamo Free Time Pour Homme is not overpowering or too strong; rather it is so easy on the nose. It lasts for 4-6 hours and it smells like a very expensive cologne.
  • F by Ferragamo Black, launched in 2009 is an elegant and intensive version of the original F by Ferragamo with lavender and apple as the top notes, black pepper and coriander as the middle notes, and labdanum and tonka bean as the base notes.
Salvatore Ferragamo F by Ferragamo Pour Homme

Salvatore Ferragamo F by Ferragamo Pour Homme

6. Un Jardin Sur Le Toit Hermes

If you are still unsure of the selection of perfume for men, then be safe and get Hermes' Un Jardin Sur Le Toit. This perfume gift is not just for your man but can also be for women as it was designed to be used by both men and women. You can always use it if your man decides to put it aside.

Un Jardin Sur Le Toit by Hermes is an aromatic and fruity fragrance and was launched in 2011. Developed by their in-house perfumer, Jean-Claude Ellena, Un Jardin Sur Le Toit contains notes of magnolia, rose, pear, apple, and green herbs. It is the fourth in the garden series.

This is a fruity, floral, and vegetal scent inspired by the secret rooftop garden, hidden somewhere in Paris. This fragrance is good for daytime wear during spring and summer especially if it is hot and sticky summer. It has moderate longevity and sillage.

Un Jardin Sur Le Toit came to the market in 2011 and is destined to be among the top classic men's and women's cologne.

Un Jardin Sur Le Toit Hermès for men and women

Un Jardin Sur Le Toit Hermès for men and women

Fragrance Category Based on Perfume Oil to Alcohol Ratio

To make your selection easier, consider buying men's perfume based on its strength, i.e. how much high-grade alcohol and/or water are added to the perfume oils i.e. the oil to alcohol ratio. Fragrances for men and for women can be divided into 5 categories, based on this strength:

Eau Fraiche

This is the weakest dilution for a fragrance and is from 1% - 3% of the actual perfume oil. It is mixed with alcohol and water and thus has less staying power. Body splash and aftershave are in this category. If they work outdoors, are always at the beach, like to go hiking, or are active in sports and don't mind reapplying frequently, the body splash is ideal. It is also affordable. The deodorant spray has a much lower concentration at 0.01% to 0.9%.

Eau de Cologne EDC

This has about 2% - 4% of the actual perfume oil and can last up to 2 hours. If you are on a budget, this is also a good selection.

Eau de Toilette EDT

This comes with the dilution of between 5% to 15% of the actual perfume oil. The wide range in the dilution means the fragrance can last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. This is the recommended stuff and can be worn for most occasions.

Perfume EDP

This is a stronger fragrance with a dilution of 10% to 20% of perfume oil and can easily last from 5 to 8 hours. As it is most noticeable to others, it is not the best for work if they work in close quarters or out and about in the sun, but ideal if they are on a date.


Parfum is top in the list with 20% to 30% of perfume oil. It is the most expensive in its range and can last one whole day or even more. They have to be careful when applying parfum as it is strong and can fill up the whole room with its scent.

Eau de Toilette EDT and Perfume EDP are neither too strong and have about the same staying power. You can buy EDT and EDP from almost all brands and with excellent selections from the top brands.

Never before has someone been more...Unforgettable, in every way and forevermore, that's how you'll stay.

— Natalie Cole

Pulse Points for Perfume for Men

Where should men apply a fragrance? First, let's talk about pulse points, the pressure points on the body with veins close to the skin surface that produces heat. When a fragrance is applied on one of these pulse points, it slowly radiates off the skin for a good fragrance projection, which is why it's good to know some basic notes:

  • Top Notes: This is the first scent you smell after spraying the perfume that evaporates the fastest.
  • Middle Notes: The scent you smell after the top note fades.
  • Base Notes: This will linger the longest and is also the heaviest scent.

Where to Spray Perfume

For men, they can spray the fragrance behind the ears, the base of the throat, the jugulars, the chest, shoulder joints, and at the nape.

Some people apply it on the wrists and elbow, but unfortunately, these are well outside the projection sphere and are ineffective. Likewise, spaying on clothes and hair is also ineffective and can even stain and, over time, damage your clothing's fabric.

Perfume Bottle Size

Fragrances are sold in different bottle sizes, usually from 1 oz. to 3.4 oz. The bigger size is more expensive and costs less per spray. If your man likes a certain fragrance, buy him the bigger bottle as it is cheaper in the long run.

But if you are not sure of his preference, then buy the smaller bottle. It is also easier for traveling as all airlines do not allow bottles bigger than 100mL or 3.4 fluid ounces to be carried onboard unless you check them in.

It is also cheaper for you!

Classic Men's Cologne

Perfumes come and go with the trends and seasons, but the old classics never go out of style. I hope the above list of classic perfumes has helped you in some ways with your selection of gift ideas for your man.

To quote John Steinbeck:

"Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wild flowers hidden in the grass"

So go ahead and give your guy a classic and also an iconic men's cologne for Valentine's Day, for Christmas, for his birthday, or for the anniversary.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Mazlan A

Classic Perfume Comments

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on January 31, 2019:

Aha. Annick Goutal Musc Nomade with its strong scent, is also my favorite. Thanks for sharing TYN.

TYN on January 29, 2019:

Annick Goutal's Musc Nomade is my favorite and would recommend you give it a try.

Related Articles