Best cheap cologne

Fragrance

When trying multiple colognes, coffee and tea can be used as a palate cleanser to refresh your smelling palate between fragrances.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which cheap cologne is best?

A good cologne is just as crucial to individual style as any piece of clothing. Fragrance has a powerful effect on people, and finding a scent that is both attractive to you and others can be somewhat daunting if you aren’t sure what to look for. Although cologne acts as an invisible enhancement, it is an essential part of any wardrobe.

Top pick Old Spice Classic Cologne Spray is reasonably priced and just might increase a person’s confidence in themselves.

What to know before you buy cologne

Cologne notes

Three kinds of notes exist in the world of fragrances: top, heart and base notes. Top notes will smell the strongest at first before quickly fading away. Heart notes are often much more floral-smelling, balancing out the scent. Finally, there are the base notes. These notes are the most prominent and will usually last the longest. Different colognes will have different notes depending on the time of year. Heavier notes tend to reside in winter fragrances and lighter notes in summer fragrances.

Scent families

Scent families vary depending on the season. They can range from warm, sensual and woody scents in the winter to floral and citrus scents in the summer. However, you can also find many scents created for year-round use. There are many different scent families. One such scent family is filled with woody scents reminiscent of forests or other outdoor smells. Another bears herbal or aromatic scents that can consist of hints of lavender, mint and other herbs as well as water scents, which can recall notes of the ocean or rain. If you’re interested in the many cologne scent families, visit the best men’s cologne review on BestReviews to learn more on each scent family.

Fragrance bottle size

Typically, fragrance bottle sizes range between 1-3.4 ounces, but bottles can get even bigger than that. If you are new to cologne fragrances, start with a smaller bottle size to get the feeling of the scent and if you enjoy it. Smaller bottle sizes offer lesser risk and can be used sparingly to test whether the fragrances are suitable for you.

What to look for in a quality cologne

How it feels on your skin

Colognes are designed to interact with the chemistry of the sweat molecules from your skin to create a unique aromatic experience. Because of this, some colognes may smell slightly different when they are applied to your skin versus how they smell when in the bottle or on a tester strip. Pay attention to how the notes of the cologne change when applied to your skin is essential in order to guarantee whether it is a scent you feel is worth investing in.

Linear versus non-linear fragrances

Linear fragrances are those that will smell the same on you from the moment you put it on to the moment you wash it off. In contrast, non-linear fragrances will have subtle changes in their notes over time. These changes are a part of the fragrance’s life cycle, allowing for different experiences with the scent over the course of the day. This means the scent may smell different depending on whether you have just put it on, if it has begun to react with the natural moisture of your skin or if you have been wearing it for some time.

Personal taste

Perhaps the most important thing to note when buying cologne is whether or not you enjoy how it smells. Testing a cologne is an essential step in determining its worthiness, and wearing cologne for some time to get a feel for how the scent evolves over time will help you naturally select what works best with your natural scent. Allowing others to share their opinions of how a cologne smells on you can help reinforce certain thoughts you may form while wearing the scent.

How much you can expect to spend on cologne

Colognes can vary greatly in price, with many traditional colognes ranging between $10 and $25. However, more expensive colognes and designer fragrances are more expensive, sometimes climbing to $125 or more and contain rare essences such as rare flower petals or rare roots from trees.

Cologne FAQ

What are the best places to spray cologne?

A. For maximum results, cologne should be applied to dry skin and heat areas of the body such as the neck and wrists.

Should you rub cologne into your skin?

A. No. Rubbing cologne into your skin can seem like a good idea, but it may kill some of the fragrance notes and weaken its overall scent.

What is the best cheap cologne to buy?

Best of the best cheap cologne

Old Spice Classic Cologne Spray

Old Spice Classic Cologne Spray

What you need to know: Old Spice’s signature scent makes it a go-to cologne for any occasion.

What you’ll love: It comes in a pack of two for a long-lasting fragrance and boasts a crisp, long-lasting scent.

What you need to consider: Some may find that the smell is a bit overwhelming.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top cheap cologne for the money

Adidas Team Five Special Edition Eau De Toilette Spray

Adidas Team Five Special Edition Eau De Toilette Spray

What you need to know: Adidas provides an enjoyable citrus scent at an affordable price in this cologne.

What you’ll love: This light fragrance has citrus notes that turn into heavier, musky ones over time.

What you need to consider: Some report that the scent is fainter than other options.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Original Penguin Eau De Toilette Spray

Original Penguin Eau De Toilette Spray

What you need to know: This cologne from Penguin provides a pleasant floral scent ideal for spring.

What you’ll love: Its floral notes transform into musk and vanilla undertones over time for a light and fresh fragrance that will evolve throughout the day.

What you need to consider: The vanilla undertones can be unappealing for some.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Jared Lindsay writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.