Best Classic Fragrances For Men

Despite a constant flow of new and exciting fragrance releases, there are many classics that are still in production today. After all, men’s fragrances have a long and fascinating history. We’ll be looking at some of the best and most iconic fragrances from the 1980s and earlier.

In this guide, you will discover the top 10 best classic fragrances and colognes for men:

  1. Pour Un Homme de Caron, 1934
  2. Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, 1973
  3. Old Spice, 1937
  4. Mäurer & Wirtz 4711, 1792
  5. Aramis By Estée Lauder, 1964
  6. Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet, 1902
  7. Floris Special No 127, 1890
  8. Dunhill For Men, 1934
  9. Guerlain Habit Rouge, 1965
  10. Christian Dior Eau Sauvage, 1966

Simply use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to discover them all!

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What Are The Best Classic Colognes & Fragrances For Men?

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1. Pour Un Homme De Caron [Released In 1934]

Pour Un Homme de Caron Cologne Sky Background
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Overview

  • Fragrance Family: Aromatic Fougère
  • Seasonality: Spring & Summer
  • Occasion: Romantic
  • Longevity: 3/5
  • Pricing:

Why Is It A Classic?

Historically, Pour Un Homme de Caron represents the first ever men’s fragrance to be released. Before then, colognes were very much unisex. Caron revolutionised the industry through intuitive marketing and an unusual lavender-vanilla accord. Caron hasn’t aged a day and is a remarkably elegant cologne.

Read More: Pour Un Homme de Caron Review

Seasonality

Spring-3,-Summer-3,-Fall-2,-Winter-1

Aroma Profile

  • Head: Bergamot, Lavender, Rosemary
  • Heart: Vanilla, Sage, Sandalwood
  • Base: Oak Moss, Tonka Bean, Amber

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2. Paco Rabanne Pour Homme [Released In 1973]

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme Packaging and Bottle by Oak Stump and Moss
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Overview

  • Fragrance Family: Aromatic Fougère
  • Seasonality: Spring
  • Occasion: Office
  • Longevity: 5/5
  • Pricing:

Why Is It A Classic Cologne?

When launched in 1973, Paco Rabanne redefined masculine cologne trends for decades to come by starting a craze for Aromatic Fougères. Many fragrances would follow in the next decade in an attempt to mimic its unique blend of aromatics and lavender over an oak moss and honey base.

Read More: Paco Rabanne Pour Homme Review

Seasonality

Spring-3,-Summer-2,-Fall-1,-Winter-1

Aroma Profile

  • Head: Rosemary, Sage, Rosewood
  • Heart: Lavender, Geranium, Tonka Bean
  • Base: Oak Moss, Honey, Labdanum

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3. Old Spice Original After Shave [Released In 1937]

old spice original bottle vanilla
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Overview

  • Fragrance Family: Spicy Oriental Amber
  • Seasonality: Fall & Winter
  • Occasion: Office
  • Longevity: 3/5
  • Pricing:

Why Is It A Classic Cologne?

As one of the most iconic aftershaves in the world, Old Spice couldn’t be overlooked. Despite having been rebranded and (tragically) reformulated multiple times, it still remains relevant today as a representation of the scent of the modern American man.

Read More: Old Spice Aftershave Review

Seasonality

Spring-2,-Summer-2,-Fall-3,-Winter-3

Aroma Profile

  • Head: Blood Orange, Anise, Nutmeg
  • Heart: Carnation, Jasmine, Cinnamon
  • Base: Cedarwood, Vanilla, Amber Resin

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4. Mäurer & Wirtz 4711 [Released In 1792]

Maurer & Wirtz 4711 Bottles Sky Background
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Overview

  • Fragrance Family: Aromatic Citrus
  • Seasonality: Spring
  • Occasion: Casual
  • Longevity: 1/5
  • Pricing:

Why Is It A Classic Cologne?

Although not strictly a men’s fragrance, 4711 claims to be one of the world’s first colognes still in production today. Based off Giovanni Maria Farina’s original formula, it’s a unisex blend with overt citrus and floral notes. It’s also very cheap!

Read More: Mäurer & Wirtz 4711 review

Seasonality

Spring-3,-Summer-2,-Fall-2,-Winter-1

Aroma Profile

  • Head: Bergamot, Basil, Lemon
  • Heart: Neroli, Jasmine, Lily, Rose
  • Base: Vetiver, Cedar, Patchouli

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5. Aramis By Estée Lauder [Released In 1964]

Aramis Bottle Sky Background
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Overview

  • Fragrance Family: Leather Chypre
  • Seasonality: Winter
  • Occasion: Romantic
  • Longevity: 4/5
  • Pricing:

Why Is It A Classic Cologne?

Said to be the first premium men’s cologne to be sold in department stores, Aramis is one of the most masculine fragrances available today. This leathery cologne was a precursor to many modern fragrances and is totally unashamed of its manliness.

Read More: Aramis Cologne Review

Seasonality

Spring-1,-Summer-1,-Fall-3,-Winter-3

Aroma Profile

  • Head: Bergamot, Artemisia, Thyme, Pepper
  • Heart: Jasmine, Patcouli, Cloves, Sage
  • Base: Sandal, Guaiacwood, Labdanum

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6. Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet [Released In 1902]

Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet Flacon Sky Background
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Overview

  • Fragrance Family: Citrus Aromatic
  • Seasonality: Spring & Summer
  • Occasion: Office
  • Longevity: 2/5
  • Pricing:

Why Is It A Classic?

Although predating Pour Un Homme de Caron, Blenheim Bouquet was actually conceived as a unisex fragrance. Nevertheless, it has gone on to become a cherished scent for men of distinction including Winston Churchill. Although a fleeting fragrance, it has a delightful citrus composition.

Seasonality

Spring-3,-Summer-3,-Fall-2,-Winter-1

Aroma Profile

  • Head: Bergamot, Lemon, Lime
  • Heart: Lavender, Pine
  • Base: Labdanum, Cedar Wood

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7. Floris Special No 127 [Released In 1890]

Floris Special No 127 By Oak Tree
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Overview

  • Fragrance Family: Citrus Aromatic
  • Seasonality: Spring & Summer
  • Occasion: Office
  • Longevity: 3/5
  • Pricing:

Why Is It A Classic?

Like Blenheim Bouquet, Floris Special 127 was a Winston Churchill favourite. Similarly, it was a unisex fragrance that tended to be preferred by men. Overall, it’s much more herbaceous than Blenheim Bouquet with a floral heart and a musky finish.

Read More: Floris Special No 127 Review

Seasonality

Spring-3,-Summer-3,-Fall-2,-Winter-1

Aroma Profile

  • Head: Bergamot, Orange, Lavender, Petitgrain
  • Heart: Geranium, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Neroli
  • Base: Labdanum, Patchouli

8. Dunhill For Men [Released In 1934]

Dunhill For Men Cologne French Garden
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Overview

  • Fragrance Family: Woody Spicy
  • Seasonality: Fall & Winter
  • Occasion: Office
  • Longevity: 4/5
  • Pricing:

Why Is It A Classic?

Released in the same year as Pour Un Homme de Caron, Dunhill’s eponymous fragrance is also a contender for the first fragrance for men. However, it’s a polar opposite in terms of profile, favouring instead rich spices and resinous notes of wood.

Seasonality

Spring-2,-Summer-1,-Fall-3,-Winter-3

Aroma Profile

  • Head: Lavender, Geranium, Nutmeg, Lemon
  • Heart: Rose, Iris, Carnation, Jasmine
  • Base: Vetiver, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Cedar Wood

9. Guerlain Habit Rouge [Released In 1965]

Guerlain Habit Rouge
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Overview

  • Fragrance Family: Woody Oriental
  • Seasonality: Fall & Winter
  • Occasion: Office
  • Longevity: 4/5
  • Pricing:

Why Is It A Classic?

Guerlain’s first venture into a male-marketed fragrance was a daring tour-de-force of individuality. Released when leathery Chypres were at their peak, it offered the discerning gentleman a mellowed alternative with citrus and balsamic Oriental notes.

Seasonality

Spring-2,-Summer-1,-Fall-3,-Winter-3

Aroma Profile

  • Head: Clementine, Basil, Redwood
  • Heart: Rose, Sandalwood, Patchouli
  • Base: Labdanum, Guaiacwood, Vanilla

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10. Christian Dior Eau Sauvage [Released In 1966]

Christian Dior Eau Sauvage
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Overview

  • Fragrance Family: Aromatic Citrus
  • Seasonality: Spring & Summer
  • Occasion: Office
  • Longevity: 3/5
  • Pricing:

Why Is It A Classic?

Christian Dior followed soon after Guerlain’s trailblazing Habit Rouge with their own interpretation of the quintessentially masculine fragrance. Sadly overshadowed by the more recent Sauvage, the Eau variant is still available today and offers a wonderfully aromatic fragrance with a citrus head.

Seasonality

Spring-3,-Summer-3,-Fall-2,-Winter-1

Aroma Profile

  • Head: Bergamot, Basil, Rosemary
  • Heart: Coriander, Patchouli, Jasmine
  • Base: Labdanum, Oakmoss, Vetiver

Also Featured In

Why Are Classic Colognes Important?

Floris Special No 127 & Penhaligon Blenheim BouquetEvery year we are treated to new and exciting releases in the perfume industry. However, more often than not, we’re disheartened by them being very much more of the same.

Furthermore, many men are growing to become disillusioned by masculine fragrances and their continued venture into synthetic notes. Nevertheless, we have a rich history of fragrances that predates the Ancient Egyptians.

Although the year of the first men’s fragrance began in 1934, there’s much to choose before then that is still made today. For instance, much of the fragrances made by either Penhaligon’s and Creed are continuations of their original blends.

However, if you want to stick closely to men’s fragrances, there’s much to choose from as well. The releases of iconic fragrances throughout the 20th Century is truly breathtaking. Fortunately, not as many as you’d think have been discontinued and many are preserved today.

brut original eau de toilette detail shot

Many of these fragrances are emblematic precursors to contemporary perfumery. Furthermore, they timelessly represent masculinity and its fluctuations throughout the eras.

Alternatively, think about it this way: you’re not just wearing any cologne but a piece of history. After all, it may be something that your father or grandfather wore when they were your age.

If you’re disheartened by the new fragrances of today, take a look at what was released before. Sometimes choosing a classic is more exciting and exotic than chasing after new releases.

For these very reasons, the majority of designer brands keep their original blends as heritage pieces that represent their roots. Many of these flagships are still exceedingly popular and you may own one or two without even knowing it!

What Next?

Interested by our list and want to discover the other best fragrances that we showcase? Head back to the top to see our other guides.

Alternatively, you can peruse the other cologne and fragrance resources that we offer below:

Best Men's Classic Colognes & Fragrances
Reviewed by Harvey D., on .
"Fascinating selection. I've already got a few of these classics but I will now be expanding my collection!"
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

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