Whether you’re searching at a bar, coffee shop, or dating app, securing a date can be tough. Luckily, I’m here to help you pin down your best date night cologne.
Aroma and arousal go hand-in-hand, like peanut butter and jelly or turkey and stuffing. So, the perfect date-night fragrance will go a long way.
Like any scenario, though, not every fragrance is tailored toward the same setting, our choice should set itself apart from the rest of your options. There’s a perfect cologne for every situation… And while the rabbit hole of fragrance is tough to figure out, I’ve narrowed down the 10 best date night colognes to consider for your next plan, so all you have to do is read and choose.
The main thing you want to consider here is eliciting “Wow, you smell great” and avoiding “Wow, what were you thinking?”.
Like most situations in the dating world, beauty is in the eye of the beholder — the only difference is that I’m talking about noses, not eyes. The classic notes that perform well for typical guys on more intimate occasions stick to a familiar code: animalic and earthy.
Be it amber, patchouli, leather, or even a pinch of vanilla, these are the safest bet for any night out, and Maison Francis Kurkdijan’s Grand Soir checks every box in that department. The master perfumer’s straightforward elixir pulls no gimmicks, serving as a perennial addition to any cabinet thanks to its foolproof array of notes.
That said, you can’t go wrong with our wallet-friendly runner-up, Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit de L’Homme, composed of a more complex collection of notes.
Ah, the sweet smell of tonka bean — and romance, obviously. Not only does Maison Francis Kurkdijan’s hypnotizing eau de parfum smell remarkable, it offers premier longevity, capable of lasting for well over six hours. If you’re a fan of amber (and who isn’t), then look no further, but keep in mind this is a very linear scent compared to the perfumer’s other complex elixirs.
That said, Grand Soir is bound to leave quite an impression on your date, not to mention whoever’s bringing you two food, making your drinks, or just about anyone within talking distance. All things considered, this is the best date night cologne when playing it safe.
Top Notes: Amber, Siam Benzoin | Middle Notes: Vanilla, Tonka Bean | Base notes: Spanish Labdanum, Lavender | Size: 2.4 / 6.8 | Type: EDP | Season: Fall, Winter
For nearly 15 years, YSL’s La Nuit de l’Homme has served as odorant proof that you don’t have to turn your wallet inside out to smell nice. The signature scent has been a go-to cologne for many over the years, and for good reason.
Boasting a deep collection of cardamom, bergamot, and lavender, this popular pick from the fashion house’s fragrance lineup screams seduction, albeit rather subtly. Its unique aroma is perfect for a romantic get-together as much as it is any standard night out. When accounting for price, longevity, and overall popularity, there’s no compromising here.
Top Notes: Cardamom | Middle Notes: Lavender, Virginia Cedar, Bergamot | Base notes: Vetiver, Caraway | Size: 2 | Type: EDT | Season: Fall, Winter
Creed Aventus embodies sophistication, boasting a history and following as prominent as any. Inside the shiny silver bottle is a perfect blend of fruity and woody notes, with hints of pineapple, blackcurrant, and birch.
It’s a fragrance that exudes confidence and power, making it one of the best date night colognes. This fragrance house has been churning out premium elixirs for over 250 years, so you’d be hard-pressed to find something as timeless — or expensive, for that matter.
Top Notes: Pineapple, Bergamot, Black Currant | Middle Notes: Birch, Patchouli, Rose | Base notes: Musk, Oak Moss, Ambergris | Size: 1.7 / 3.4 | Type: EDP | Season: Spring, Summer
Realistically, any Tom Ford fragrance on Amazon could be deemed as the commerce giant’s best option. But when it comes to everything we shop therefore – speed, convenience, and lower prices – it’s hard to go wrong with a more wallet-friendly pick like Noir Extreme.
Overall, this EDP is about as complex as they come, boasting a list of notes that goes on and on to a point you ask yourself: “do this even work together?” – to no surprise, they certainly do.
Top Notes: Cardamom, Nutmeg, Mandarin Orange | Middle Notes: Rose, Kulfi Jasmine | Base notes: Vanilla, Amber, Sandalwood | Size: 1.7 / 3.4 | Type: EDP | Season: Fall, Winter
Sitting between intoxicating and sophisticated is Le Labo’s best scent by a mile. Let others douse themselves in Santal 33 because you’re better than that – set yourself apart with The Noir 29.
The niche fragrance house’s versatile option starts with floral incense, followed by a robust blend of spice and sweet fig. This combo paves the way for an olfactory experience few can rival, gradually transforming into a smoky option perfect for an after-work dinner, thanks to base notes of tobacco and hay.
Top Notes: Fig, Bay Leaf, and Bergamot | Middle Notes: Cedar, Vetiver, and Musk | Base notes: Tobacco and Hay | Size: 0.5 / 1.7 / 3.4 | Type: EDP | Season: Fall
Part-boozy, part-floral, and, like the average gentleman, fully prepared to woo anyone. One of Givenchy’s most popular scents takes inspiration from whiskey — so much that the barley used in the EDP’s distinct absolute is courtesy of a revered Scottish distillery, assuring nothing short of authenticity and an undeniably masculine aroma.
This bar-ready scent is intertwined with a woody finish thanks to notes of cedarwood, as well as iris concrete, to tie it all up and keep things fresh. While it might smell like whatever you’re drinking, it’s one of the best date night colognes out there.
Top Notes: Bergamot | Middle Notes: Iris, Chestnut | Base notes: Whiskey, Amber | Size: 2 / 3.4 | Type: EDP | Season: Fall, Winter
Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male is a bottle that’s captivated senses for decades, oozing confidence and sensuality that help make it the perfect choice for a date night. Its blend of fresh mint, lavender, and vanilla notes makes for an alluring and comforting scent.
With every spritz, Le Male transports the wearer and their date to a world of timeless sophistication and romance, though it’s best suited for colder weather, so keep that in mind before spraying away.
Top Notes: Cardamom | Middle Notes: Lavender, Iris | Base notes: Vanilla | Size: 1.3 / 2.5 / 4.2 / 6.8oz | Type: EDP | Season: Fall, Winter
In the same way that Axe won’t have women leaping all over you at whichever organic grocery store you frequent, Dior Sauvage won’t turn you into Johnny Depp. Still, that hasn’t discouraged countless people from spraying this nighttime icon on before just about any occasion, including a date night.
Ripe top notes of Calabrian bergamot are rounded out with musky base notes, then finished with an extra dash of pepper through the heart notes. This non-offensive option remains a go-to in times of uncertainty, leaving me no choice but to give it its due.
Top Notes: Pink Pepper, Calabrian Bergamot | Middle Notes: Sichuan Pepper, Star Anise, Lavender | Base notes: Ambroxan, Cedarwood | Size: 2 / 3.4 | Type: EDT | Season: Fall
Being weary of coming on too strong applies to more than just your demeanor. While showing up to a first date doused in CDG would be too much of a statement, a spray of the innovative fashion house’s Blackpepper fragrance will do the trick. The warming elixir comprises dry notes that stick with you (and your date, of course).
Unsurprisingly, it leads with Madagascar pepper, and finishes with musky notes of cedarwood and patchouli. This alone could lock down a second date, so play your cards right.
Top Notes: Black Pepper, Cedarwood | Middle Notes: Oud, Patchouli | Base notes: Musk, Tonka Bean | Size: 1.7 / 3.4 | Type: EDP | Season: Fall, Winter
If the sun is still shining, Louis Vuitton’s L’Immensité is an excellent option. As suitable for the beach as it is the club, it features fresh top notes of grapefruit, bergamot, and ginger, and musky base notes of ambroxan and amber. Like any of the French fashion house’s fragrances, L’Immensité’s longevity and sillage make it perfect for a day (and night) out.
As expected, it’s on the pricier side, but it remains a fresh and harmonious scent that will leave a lasting impression on any date.
Top Notes: Grapefruit, Ginger | Middle Notes: Water Notes, Sage, Geranium | Base notes: Ambroxan, Amber | Size: 3.4 / 6.8 | Type: EDP | Season: Spring, Summer
What To Look For In the Best Date Night Colognes
If you’re looking for something that elicits temptation, aim for muskier notes like ambroxan, leather, and patchouli. These earthy scents are bound to leave a lasting impression if concocted well.
But if you’re aiming for something fresh, try incorporating notes like mint or citrus. These bright, uplifting scents can help set the tone for a lively and energetic evening – or day, which leads us to our next question.
Will it last long enough?
Whether or not this will make a difference for you hinges on how long your night lasts. Realistically, even the worst cologne you buy should last as long as the worst date.
Picture this: you’re running around town before your big date and only sprayed a bit of cologne on that morning when you notice it has faded entirely. Aside from that being a problem, it’s a waste of time, so you should aim to buy something with genuine longevity.
Is it suitable for day or night?
Considering you might be one for a lunch or coffee date, it’s also important to note that your cologne of choice operates well at any given time. Lighter and fresher fragrances, like Louis Vuitton’s, with notes of citrus and floral make more sense for the daytime.
On the other hand, richer, darker fragrances with a heavy base, such as MFK’s Grand Soir and Givenchy Gentlemen, are more suited for the night.
While you should never use a fragrance you don’t like, making a good impression never hurts. Once you get a whiff of any option in this guide, you’ll grow to realize what makes them so special.
And even though they’re all great in their own right, Grand Soir should serve as the quintessential option for what to consider in a date night fragrance: rich, deep notes, a long-lasting aroma, and, above all else, perfectly reliable.
A question as old as time: learn your pulse points. The areas of your body that help accentuate the scent are any area where you can feel your heartbeat. Whether that’s behind your ear, beneath your throat, or directly on your wrist, you’re in the clear — just remember, two sprays is typically more than enough.
Your best bet would probably be the same one you were wearing when you asked them out to begin with. But, since that most likely happened over text,wear a spicy, musky cologne. Fun fact, these are often touted as aphrodisiacs; consider notes of sandalwood, saffron, patchouli, or anything along these lines.
Let’s get one thing clear: smelling good is smelling good. Will some of these scents seem overpowering compared to others? Sure, and that’s why I mentioned that, in this case, beauty lies in the nose of the beholder, assuring that it doesn’t have much to do with age as much as it does preference. Moreover, the majority of these options are fit for a younger crowd, especially more niche brands; worst case, you’ll smell a little more mature.