It’s generally believed that expensive means better, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. The best colognes under 50 bucks also happens to top every best scent list—regardless of price. Even major designers like Versace bottle attractive musks at jaw-dropping prices. Now there’s something to think about before you reach for that bottle of Creed.
In many ways, luxury cologne isn’t so different from bargain scents. The process for making both cheap and costly cologne is actually the same. While some ingredients differ, both types of cologne can–and do–contain synthetic ingredients. Plus, tons of pricey colognes linger just as long as their affordable counterparts.
Suddenly, breaking the bank on a premier fragrance feels silly, if not downright preposterous. So, save your money for dinner and drinks. The best affordable men’s cologne will pair well with a Spritz on a long summer night or warm your heart like a shot of whiskey in the dead of winter. From adventuresome earth notes to clean and preppy freshness, we have the best colognes under 50. Scroll on for our eight best picks.
Our Top Picks
There’s plenty of sensuality in Curve. Also known as the babe magnet, this scent has sold for over twenty years. A spritz of this has been said to make women nosedive straight for your chest.
The perfect combination of lavender and middle notes of cardamom signify strength and warmth with just the right touch of oakiness. Combined with black pepper, sandalwood lends an exotic flair that burns slowly and beautifully on the skin for hours.
It’s the top-notch day-to-night versatility that makes Curve one of the best colognes under 50.
Notes: Lavender, Sandalwood, Cardamom | Size: 1oz, 2.5oz, 4.2oz, 6.8oz | Season: All
Ever wondered how to bottle up the feeling of drinking lemonade after cutting the grass on a gorgeous day? Clinique has done it for you. Bright and fresh, this scent will make you feel just as the name implies. If you’ve ever taken a whiff of the iconic women’s fragrance, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
Energetic top notes like lime and mandarin orange provide a juicy splash against long-lasting cooling notes of cypress and cedar. But perhaps it’s the heartwarming, fruity, and sensual notes of jasmine and freesia that make Happy truly pop.
Notes: Mandarin Orange, Jasmine, Cypress, Cedar | Size: 3.4oz | Season: Spring, Summer
On a hot summer’s day, there’s no point in getting dressed without a spritz of Voyage. Wildly popular since the early 2000s, this cologne has it all. Fruit-forward notes tantalize over coastal herbs for a clean scent reminiscent of ocean waves.
You might first notice water lotus heart notes, pleasant and sweet. While the dry-down does get a bit earthy from the cedarwood and amber, the scent stays consistently green as you wear it.
Nautica Voyage smells good enough to drink. Though you might be tempted, this fragrance is best kept on the inside of your wrist.
Notes: Apple, Water Lotus, Cedarwood | Size: 5oz, 10oz | Season: Summer
Feeling safe this winter? Then feel free to purchase Drakkar Noir like everyone else. It’s a great scent, but if smelling bold and unique is what you’re after, then the highly niche Bentley Intense is for you.
Reminiscent of leather goods and wood paneling, this cologne is crafted with the same “expertise, tradition, excellence, and modernity” the brand’s premier cars are known for. Considering it was created by master perfumer Nathalie Lorson, it’s pretty miraculous that this scent falls under the 50-dollar mark.
Oriental and spicy, the intoxicating combination of rum, cinnamon, and leather attracts men to this rather mature scent. The top notes are even enriched with incense for added depth. As for the dry down, let it warm up your winter nights with patchouli and vanilla lingering for up to 12 hours.
Notes: African Geranium, Rum, Leather, Cedarwood, Patchouli | Size: 3.4oz | Season: Winter
Named after the Greek god of erotic love, Versace Eros has been the king of clubbing for years now. This fragrance proves to be fresh, woody, and unmistakably vibrant. Even though it’s crafted in Italy and comes in an expensive-looking bottle, it’s one of the great colognes under 50 dollars.
The first word that Eros evokes is inviting. Top notes of Italian lemon zest mingle with cool, bracing mint that lasts on the skin for up to two hours. However, the dry down brings the sexy with sweet scents of sensual vanilla. You can see why you might spritz it on before dancing close. It’s perfect for nighttime and gels with every season.
Notes: Mint, Green Apple, Amber, Vanilla | Size: 3.4oz | Season: All
This scent is crisp, clear, and uncomplicated. All of Cremo’s colognes are pretty straightforward, but they also happen to work. If you’re searching for that ideal masculine scent reminiscent of cool evenings spent by the fire with a hot toddy in hand, Cremo is your fragrance.
This cologne is a big
Notes: Tobacco, Black Vanilla, Spices | Size: 3.4oz | Season: Fall, Winter
Subtle, versatile, and sophisticated. No wonder they chose a charismatic guy like Ryan Reynolds as the face of Armani Code. There’s a lot going on in this scent, but the overall effect is masculine yet elegant with a slightly creamy finish.
Top notes of lemon and sunny bergamot add balance to the licorice-like aroma of star anise and guaiac wood, which has a soft smell similar to rose. Once the base notes emerge, the masculine scent is here to stay for up to six hours.
Earthy and fresh, tobacco combines with the warm, slightly vanilla scent of tonka bean. Finally, you can smell like the refined man that you are.
Notes: Bergamot, Star Anise, Tobacco | Size: 1.01oz | Season: All
If Grey Flannel feels familiar, that’s because it is. Since 1975, men have embraced the timeless scent that remains alluring today. Powdery and violet, Grey flannel is a sophisticated and approachable smell worth the embrace. As you might imagine, it pairs perfectly with your softest flannel shirt.
While distinctly powdery, it’s anything but chalky or dry. The classic gentleman will prefer it after a nice shower and before a delicious dinner. Refreshing top notes akin to dried citrus peels really get the ball rolling.
As the scent opens up, things only grow deeper and mossier thanks to floral notes of mimosa and geranium. But the violet and oakmoss at its heart give this subtle cologne a woodsy appeal without feeling too aggressively manly.
Notes: Neroli, Lemon, Violet, Mimosa, Sage | Size: 8oz | Season: All
What To Look For When Searching For The Best Colognes Under 50
If smells evoke certain memories, each season has its particular scents. Winter colognes are typically oriental, woody, and aromatic with mellowed, spicy citrus. Summer fragrances are fresher and oceanic, relying on oak moss, fruits, and herbs like basil and mint.
Both Fall and Spring are transitional seasons. Fall leans on leather, spices, and wood, while Spring is aromatic with fresh notes like cedar or patchouli reminiscent of rainy months.
If creating a certain vibe or matching your mood is what you’re after, then pay attention to the top, base, and heart notes of a particular cologne. Leather and spice pair well for a manly musk, while hints of vanilla create a warm, familiar feeling. Keep in mind top notes create an initial smell, heart notes ground the fragrance, and base notes are what linger on the skin.
How long does it last
Overall, the most concentrated scents last the longest. Without having to drench yourself in cologne, a good, affordable fragrance should last at least up to four hours. Some scents on this list (looking at you, Bentley Intense) can last up to half a day. Check several customer reviews before purchasing. They’ll reveal how long a scent actually lasts.
Versatile and seriously intoxicating, the best cologne under 50 dollars is Curve for Men. Fresh, attractive scents like Happy by Clinique and Nautica Voyage are other top favorites among men.
Buying a great cologne under 50 is a no-brainer, especially if you love the scent. Plenty of delicious fragrances fall under the 50-dollar mark, and some have been beloved for decades.