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These are our top 16 cult classic fragrances for men

Shelves in beauty stores today are heaving under the pressure of fragrance bottles, which see new additions and versions launch often. In such a cluttered market, how do you save time and choose one that you can be sure is a winner? Luckily, there are a handful of quintessential fragrances that have stood the test of time — these are our favourite sixteen fragrances for men, which are cult classics.

Described as Chanel’s first men’s fragrance, the Pour Monsieur is a 1995 Henri Robert impression. The cologne opens valiantly with citrusy bursts, topped with equitable amounts of verbena, bitter orange, lemon, and neroli. While the base delivers citrus notes, the subtle keynotes of basil, ginger, cardamom, and coriander give this unique concoction an added edge.

Allowing its wearer to embrace the robustness of the mix, the novel men’s fragrance has a signature woody base of Chypre aroma, which offers a musky ending. Worth a king’s ransom, and conclusively, a classic best-selling fragrance.

Image credit : Courtesy Chanel

A design unblemished by time, the Colonia Acqua di Parma, a signature fragrance was created for the modern man in 1916. An all-time Hollywood favourite, this masculine cologne is sweet and intoxicating. The unparalleled blend of sandalwood, cedar, lavender, Bulgarian rose, verbena, rosemary, vetiver, and ylang-ylang give it a revitalising spin.

The mellow composition is bolstered with strong, citrusy opening notes that radiate elegance. After all, who doesn’t like a bright fragrance that’s all about modern masculinity?

Image credit : Courtesy ACQUA DI PARMA

When it comes to pure extravagance, there’s nothing quite like the Jubilation XXV. Unveiled in 2008, this is an opulent choice for the young, modish man. Created by the legendary Bertrand Duchafour, the Jubilation XXV by Amouage is the exquisite fresh scent that’s dominated by the scent of frankincense, rock rose, and fruity liqueur. All in all, this Eau de Cologne has a refined fragrance that is all about warm, woody undertones.

Image credit: Courtesy Amouage

House of Dior’s first classic men’s fragrances, the Eau Sauvage is a 1996 composition by perfumer Francois Demachy. A floral, citrusy scent infused with woody notes of vetiver, it evokes grandeur. What’s more, the refreshing notes of Calabrian bergamot, bitter grapefruit, and pink pepper give out a tinge of spiciness, just like a surprise done right.

Image credit: Courtesy Dior

Literally translated to the ‘Earth of Hermès’, this Jean-Claude Ellena formula opens with powerful notes of acetic grapefruit and the mirth of orange. The Terre d’Hermès gets its inspiration from the core elements of the Earth, featuring invigorating pepper and geranium base notes with a fusion of patchouli, cedar, and vetiver. It’s an absolute fit for the gentleman who loves a delicate earthy signature scent.

Image credit: Courtesy Terre d’Hermès

Want to give your man a good men’s fragrance? Get hold of Versace Eros Flame, a fragrance that symbolises passion, diversity, and confidence. Enriched with exotic ingredients like wild rosemary, rose facet, tonka bean, vanilla, and cedar, the perfume exudes a musky scent that will remind you of a tranquil evening in the woods.

Image credit: Courtesy Versace

Bvlgari’s new collection, Man in Black, is characterised by the mysterious energy of fire and emanates a magnetic vibe. Infused with the eclectic luminous blend of iris absolute, tuberose, benzoin, and guaiac wood, this Italian extravaganza will lure you. So, what are you waiting for? Wear luxury on your sleeves and make a daring statement.

Image credit: Courtesy BVLGARI

Let your skin imbibe the mystical aura exuded by the Eau de Parfum collection from Yves Saint Laurent. A woody and bold fragrance, this perfume has a curious mix of geranium, sage, and wood. Embrace your masculinity with enthusiasm as you spritz on a few puffs of this seductive perfume.

Image credit: Courtesy Yves Saint Laurent Y

Bleu de Chanel has been crafted for the ones who like to defy convention and embrace their sensuality. This masculine scent combines the refreshing zest of grapefruit with the rustic aroma of dry cedar and Caledonian sandalwood. Wearing this perfect fragrance would remind you of the arcane aura of the wilderness.

Image credit: Courtesy Chanel

Soak in the charismatic aroma of Explorer Eau de Parfum crafted by Montblanc. The classic scent represents freedom and adventure, proving to be a suitable match for all the backpackers and globetrotters out there.

The Explorer offers a melange of interesting accords, with juicy bergamot and pink pepper creating a citrusy blend at the top while embodying the musky men’s scent of Indonesian patchouli leaf and cacao pod as its base.

Image credit: Courtesy Mont Blanc

Add a touch of sensuality to your persona by sprinkling a burst of Carolina Herrara’s 212 VIP Black RED. It has a spicy base and warm fougère concoction, with an interesting blend of pimento berry at the top, absynth in the middle notes, and the woody essence of leather and guaiac wood at the base. This fragrance will be a perfect pick if you’re planning to step out for an elaborate soirée.

Image credit: Courtesy Tata Cliq

Say hello to Boss Bottled Night crafted by Hugo Boss, a masculine fragrance that abounds in intense woody accords. The perfume opens with the aroma of birch trees and soothing lavender while exuding the mellow nuances of the African violet and Louro Amarelo tree that forms the base. The fragrance presents itself as the right fit for the young, ambitious man who wouldn’t shy away from new challenges.

Image credit: Courtesy Hugo Boss

Meet this cult classic from Prada, enriched with the mystical aroma of six timeless ingredients. The Luna Rossa Eau Sport is the embodiment of true innovation, as it redefines lighter Eau de toilettes with rich, exotic notes. The fragrance opens with the citrusy flavours of juniper berries accentuated by tart ginger. At its heart is the mellow aroma of lavender, while the base has warm notes of tonka bean and vanilla.

Image credit: Courtesy Myntra

Acqua Di Gio Absolu from Giorgio Armani celebrates the relationship between man and nature. This iconic fragrance is composed of fresh marine notes at the top, which is further enhanced by labdanum at its heart with patchouli leaf at its base. This curious amalgamation lends a sensual base along with a warm twist to the whole ensemble. With this men’s cologne, you can indulge in the summer feeling year-round.

Image credit: Courtesy Myntra

Dolce & Gabbana never fails to surprise us with its unique collection of fragrances. Meet its latest creation, K, which features a handcrafted crown-shaped cap on the bottle. The crown adds a regal touch, perfectly capturing the essence of a man in his element.

The perfume opens with an eclectic fusion of Sicilian lemon and blood orange, warmed by spicy accents of lavandin, clary sage, and pimento. The base unfolds the earthy aroma of cedarwood combined with the sweetness of patchouli.

Image credit: Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana

landscapes of the American Southwest. The fragrance combines the sensual aroma of black leather with the rich texture of patchouli and vetiver, accentuated by floral notes of jasmine sambac. Stand out from the crowd and make yourself feel desired!

Image credit: Courtesy Tom Ford

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Question: What are cult fragrances?

Answer: A fragrance reaches a ‘cult’ status when it earns a devoted fan following due to its timeless, perfect scent. Cult fragrances are usually composed of a melange of mysterious notes and often remain under the radar. These scents stick with you for years, and you can identify them with just a passing whiff. In simple words, cult or best men's fragrances are like an acquired taste; not everyone might like them, but those who do cannot step out without wearing them.

Question: What are the most affordable cult fragrance options?

Answer: The cult scent is usually expensive, but some of the relatively affordable labels from the aforementioned list include Hugo Boss, Prada, Carolina Herrara, Versace, Ralph Lauren and Montblanc.

Question: How to choose fragrances?

Answer: Choosing a scent can sometimes be a struggle, with the wide range of options available in the market. While purchasing a cult fragrance, check for your preferred notes and concentration. Perfumes or colognes with a high concentration have a richer, long-lasting aroma. Lastly, don’t forget to try to sample the scent of other fragrances on your wrists.

Question: What are the types of fragrance options?

Answer: Typically, fragrances or perfumes are of five categories — parfum, eau de toilette, eau de parfum, eau de fraiche, and eau de cologne. The key difference among these types is their fragrance oil concentration.

Tharayil Aishwarya Gopinath

A gourmand at heart, an aspiring novelist, and an enthusiastic writer by nature, Aishwarya loves to dig deep into the culture and lifestyle of the place and people around her. A beauty and wellness addict, she is on the ball with the latest launches and beauty ideas and hopes to change the world with her writing. 

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