Secrets of the Scent: The Rise of Blue Colognes in Men’s Fragrance – 2024’s Best Picks

Fashion

A blue cologne is a social signifier. And very much like the man who wears it, they’re all unique.  A blue cologne for men may be aquatic or oceanic with water notes, citrus, or light florals. Some blue fragrances could even have a woody or warm and spicy base.

According to spiritualist beliefs, a blue aura symbolizes peace, calmness, and tranquility due to the color’s close association with the sea and sky.

Ocean water fragrances are calming to the mind. While some blue fragrances may have a little zest in their wake, they can still induce a sense of serenity.

Marine Biologist and author Dr Wallace J. Nichols explains, “I believe that oceans, lakes, rivers, pools, even fountains can irresistibly affect our minds. Hearing [water], smelling it in the air, playing in it, walking next to it, painting it, surfing, swimming or fishing in it, writing about it, photographing it, and creating lasting memories along its edge.”

Trust me when I say that although there are some similarities, no two blue fragrances are exactly alike. Yet, they all boast a clean, fresh, uplifting vibe, much like a deep breath of fresh air or a gentle sea breeze.

Like some musk, tobacco, and vanilla colognes, blue colognes share some notes. But they’re anything but boring. From fresh and aquatic to aromatic and green, here are my 7 best blue colognes for men. 

Key Takeaways

I’ve waded through the sea of blue fragrances to bring you a treasure trove of the top blue colognes. My top pick, Chanel Bleu de Chanel, is a much-loved, aromatic fragrance that paved the way for blue cologne for men. It stands the test of time due to its longevity, sophistication, and versatility. Close second and runner-up is Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue. A solid blind buy that smells great from the get-go. Fresh, clean, and energizing, my 7 best blue colognes will help you make a splash in 2024.

holding a bottle of blue de chanel
essenceperfumariabr / Instagram

Chanel Bleu de Chanel

Why it’s great: All hail the king of the best blue colognes. Bleu de Chanel reigns supreme with an expensive-smelling blend of zesty citrus, invigorating mint, uplifting spices, musk, and sandalwood. And for good reason. This sophisticated scent is often credited as the OG blue cologne that inspired the wave of blue fragrances that followed its launch.

How to use it: Looking for a scent to elevate your daily style from casual to classy? Then there’s no better cologne brand to reach for than Chanel. This clean and elegant blue fragrance transitions seamlessly from day to night. Spritz on pulse points and clothes to get the most wear time from this Eau de Toilette.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: These days, it’s deemed cool to label things “basic” because they’re popular. Bleu de Chanel sometimes falls under this curse. Redditor Amockdfw89 addresses this best, “There is a reason why “basic” perfumes are popular. They smell good. Maybe not complex or original, but there is a reason why they are best sellers. Crowd-pleasing safe scents. If you enjoy it, wear it. 99.9% of people won’t even know what you are wearing; they will just think you smell good.”

Top Notes: Lemon, mint, grapefruit, pink pepper | Middle Notes: Ginger, nutmeg, jasmine, Ise E Super | Base notes: Incense, vetiver, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, labdanum, white musk | Size: 3.4oz | Type: Eau de Toilette | Season: Spring, summer, fall, winter 

Parfums de Marly Percival

Why it’s great: This sophisticated blue fragrance is a masterclass in how a cologne can demand attention without overpowering. Florals, spices, citrus, musk, and amberwood mingle with aromatic water, creating an elevated yet wearable scent. Percival is the best blue fragrance for men of substance.

How to use it: Percival is the epitome of quiet luxury. This scent has depth. Yet, the subtle aromatic, aquatic notes offer an uplifting lightness that makes this blue fragrance ideal for summer. In hot weather, your blue fragrance should whisper rather than shout. Use 2-3 spritzes on the wrists for long-lasting performance; keep it classy, not cloying.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: If you’re a Parfum de Marly fan like me, you’ll know that Percival is one of their more mass-appealing scents. For guys seeking a niche fragrance, Percival may not be a front-runner.

Top Notes: Lavender, bergamot, mandarin, geranium | Middle Notes: Violet, hedione, jasmine, coriander, cinnamon | Base notes: Amberwood, ambroxan, musk, cedarwood, balsam fir | Size: 2.5oz | Type: Eau de Parfum | Season: Spring, summer, fall

Nautica Voyage EDT

Why it’s great: A cologne with over 83,000 5-star Amazon reviews costing less than 20 dollars? It sounds too good to be true, but Nautica Voyage defies the odds as a quality budget buy. Imagine sipping a gin and tonic next to the water on a sunny day. That’s what Voyage smells like, thanks to prominent notes of apple, green leaves, musk, and cucumber.

How to use it: Crisp and refreshing, Nautica Voyage is a cool drink of water on sweltering spring and summer days. Eau de Toilettes (EDTs) are more subtle and less long-lasting than Eau de Parfums (EDPs). Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to overspray an EDT. It’s better to top up gradually as the scent fades.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Some guys find the cucumber element overwhelming. I enjoy the botanical feel of Voyage, but if you have any doubts, spritz a sample.

Top Notes: Apple, green leaves | Middle Notes: Mimosa, lotus | Base notes: Musk, cedar, oakmoss, amber| Size: 3.4oz | Type: Eau de Toilette | Season: Spring, summer  

Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue

Why it’s great: Looking for a lighter alternative to cult classic cologne Dior Sauvage? Versace Dylan Blue turns the dial down on the ambroxan, allowing water, citrus, patchouli, musk, and incense notes to shine. This scent’s impressive longevity and silage earn it a top spot on this best blue fragrance roundup.

How to use it: From dusk to dawn and sun to snow, Versace Dylan Blue is an all-rounder, making it a top pick for guys seeking a new signature scent. I like to spray a little on my shirt in winter to help boost projection, but skip this step in warm weather.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Some guys liken the scent of Dylan Blue to a fancy body wash. I have no issue with smelling like I just stepped out of a steamy shower, but I’ll leave that up to you.

Top Notes: Grapefruit, water notes, bergamot, fig leaf | Middle Notes: Black pepper, ambroxan, patchouli, violet leaf, papyrus | Base notes: Musk, incense, saffron, tonka bean Size: 1.7oz | Type: Eau de Toilette | Season: Spring, summer, fall, winter 

Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct Blue

Why it’s great: Abercrombie & Fitch has grown up a lot since the days of shirtless sales assistants and cloying Fierce teen cologne. Today, they offer excellent fresh frags for 20-something young men. First Instinct Blue is a modern, bold, manly scent that delivers excellent aquatic notes. First Instinct is a versatile cologne that’s just nice to have around.

How to use it:  Spray several times on the skin and clothes. This blue fragrance lacks a little in the longevity stakes. You won’t often hear me say this, but you can fix the problem by over-spraying. As a guide, use one spray per hour. Projection is decent at 4-5 feet, which suits an office environment.

Flaws but not dealbreakers:  Some friends say First Instinct Blue reminds them of Versace Dylan Blue. Yes, FIB shares the same traditional blue fragrance opening but at a fraction of the price, which is a win-win for an everyday cologne.

Top Notes: Apple, bergamot, cardamon| Middle Notes: Lavender, rosemary, pepper | Base notes: Tonka bean, sandalwood, amber | Size: 3.4oz | Type: Eau de Toilette Season: Spring, summer, fall

Duke Cannon Supply Co. Solid Cologne Midnight Swim

Why it’s great: The name of this solid cologne says it all. Midnight Swim is an alluring and sophisticated scent. At around $25, it’s perfect for budget-conscious guys wanting to dip a toe into the water of the top blue colognes. Plus, I appreciate that a portion of the sale proceeds benefit US vets.

How to use it:  The balm is concentrated and melts pleasantly into the skin without being too oily. Gently rub clean fingertips in the product and apply it to the pulse points. The pocket-size container lasts a long time, even when re-applied multiple times daily, making it an ideal cologne for work.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The main benefit of the best solid colognes is that you can use them on the go. But the lid on this product slides rather than flips open, which could be a minus point for long trips.

Top Notes: Ozonic, crisp greens, neroli, lemon| Middle Notes: Geranium | Base notes: Sandalwood, amber, oakmoss, musk| Size: 1.5oz | Type: Solid cologne| Season: All-year round 

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Intense

Why it’s great: Scents are emotive, and this blue fragrance reminds me of happy summers spent chilling out on the beach. Light Blue Intense is vibrant and invigorating. It’s my go-to vacation or summer event pick.

How to use it: I’m a big fan of the salty sea water and zingy grapefruit notes I get at the opening. While 2-3 sprays work well for most guys, 6-8 sprays will put you in beast mode if you want to vamp up projection. Overall, you will find the Intense version outperforms the original formula.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: More of an outdoor than indoor scent. But that’s okay for me as it lasts 8+ hours and leaves a pleasing fresh trail in its wake.

Top Notes: Grapefruit, mandarin orange | Middle Notes: Sea water, juniper | Base notes: Musk, amberwood| Size: 3.3oz | Type: Eau de Parfum | Season: Spring, summer

the midnight swim solid cologne by duke cannon
dukecannon / Instagram

Buying Considerations for the Best Blue Colognes

Season

We all know that leather, amber, vanilla, and patchouli scents work well for fall and winter. Meanwhile, fruity, fresh, and floral frags shine in spring and summer. So, where do the best blue fragrances fit in?

Fresh and romantic blue fragrances like Nautica Voyage EDT work well in warm weather. For others, including  Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue and Parfums de Marly Percival, it’s plain sailing all the way to fall.

A small selection of blue fragrances also perform admirably in winter too. This is the case for blue colognes that aren’t overly aquatic. You’ll find that Bleu de Chanel cuts easily through the cold. Plus, Duke Cannon Supply Co. Solid Cologne Midnight Swim which is versatile. This solid blue cologne for men is suitable all year round.

Price

The best blue colognes for men come in all shapes and sizes. One of the most popular sizes, 3.4oz, can carry a wide range of price tags. For example, Dolce & Gabbana Lite Blue Intense sits around the $50 mark. Meanwhile, a bougie bottle of Parfums de Marly, Percival, will set you back $250 for 2.5ozs.

The hefty price gap is due to many factors. For instance, some luxury brands may use rare ingredients that are difficult to imitate. Other blue fragrances, such as Abercrombie & Fitch First Instinct Blue, may use lesser quality ingredients that are cheaper to source.

Concentration levels are another thing to bear in mind when choosing a scent. Eau de Parfums have a 10-20% concentration of fragrance oil. Lighter options like Eau de Toilettes, such as Nautica Voyage EDT, have 5-15% and colognes around 2-5%. This is why EDPs tend to cost more than EDTs. I recommend investing in a smaller-size EDP for special occasions and a generous-sized bottle of an EDT fragrance for everyday wear.

Appeal

Designer fragrance brands tend to target market their products to specific age groups. For instance, Chanel’s audience is primarily aimed at dark-haired, late 25-30+ metrosexuals. If you’re in any doubt about this, check out Bleu de Chanel’s brand ambassador, Timothée Chalamet!

In 2021, A&F turned to TikTok to stage its comeback. Danielle Wiley, CEO of Sway Group, said, “Brands are turning to TikTok to appeal to a different audience.” He explains, “If they were considered stuffy, their presence on the platform can change that perception and project a brand image that is more fun and youthful.”

My top tip is to wear whichever best cologne for men floats your boat and boosts your confidence. Age barriers are made to be broken, whether you are 18 or 85! There are no hard and fast rules for choosing your favorite blue cologne. Blue fragrances have universal olfactory appeal.

holding a bottle of light blue by dolce and gabbana
mrdauthentic / Instagram

Why You Should Trust Us

When it comes to selecting the finest blue cologne for men, our recommendations are not just about appealing scents; they’re about an experience that complements your style and persona. Mal Lee, a seasoned writer with a keen eye for men’s grooming and fashion trends, brings over two decades of journalistic insight into every review. His extensive background includes not only writing for FashionBeans but also contributions to notable publications such as USA Today and LA Times, ensuring a broad and informed perspective on style and grooming.

Mal’s previous works, such as the comprehensive guides on how to apply cologne correctly, the best-smelling aftershave for men, and an in-depth Versace Eros review, showcase his dedication to helping men enhance their grooming routine. Through rigorous testing and research, Mal prioritizes quality, longevity, and how a fragrance complements the modern man’s lifestyle, ensuring that our selections are more than just scents—they’re a vital part of your daily expression.

Trust in our expertise to guide you to the blue cologne that not only smells exceptional but also resonates with your personal style and the statement you wish to make.

Final Verdict

Designer EDT Bleu de Chanel is my top blue buy if you’re surfing for a masculine, compliment-getting. It’s an easy frag to pull off and very versatile. I never have to worry that someone won’t like it. The top blue colognes offer a true scent of attraction that women love. Bleu de Chanel is riding high on the crest of the blue fragrance wave.

FAQ

    • Blue fragrances fall into the subcategory of fresh scents, mostly made up of marine, ozonic, and aquatic accords. They are some of the best fresh colognes for that invigorating straight-from-the-shower or barbershop vibe.

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