When it comes to selecting one of the best yet affordable colognes – it can be a bit tricky, to say the least.
With all the different scents found, how can you be sure to pick up one that will compliment you the best?
Here at Tools of Men, we identified some of the best cheap colognes on the market that should serve just about any scent that a man is looking for. Whether you are looking for a cologne that evokes your inner lumberjack, then we recommend a fragrance like Cerruti 1881 By Nino Cerruti For Men as it had a profile of scents derived from herbs, patchouli, along with other fragrant wooded smells.
The 10 Best Cheap Men’s Colognes
1. Best Woodsy Smelling Cologne: Cerruti 1881 By Nino Cerruti For Men
Cerruti 1881 is a long-time favorite that is likened to Drakkar Noir for its rich, lasting scent with a spicy base. Rather than spicy berries that Drakkar brings, Cerruti 1881 has a spicy herbal foundation that plays off the wood notes and Patchouli for a unique lasting scent.
Of the affordable colognes we’ve reviewed Cerruti 1881 is one of the greats for age differential as men of all ages will love it.
That being said, it is typically intended for evening use or your romantic settings because it is a full-bodied scent. The 3.4oz bottle is a steal on price and, frankly, the ladies love when you wear it.
- Mixture of herbs, patchouli, and woodsy scents
- Costs under $25
- Perfect for evening wear
- Only good for limited use
2. Best For Men Of All Ages: Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir
Drakkar Noir is a time-tested favorite that any man’s man should be wearing. It is a deep, long-lasting scent that has classic hints like Sandalwood and Lavender, but is unique in offering quiet fruit notes through spicy berries.
Drakkar Noir has been around a long while though, even with their long-lasting popularity and great reviews, they still keep your wallet fat with affordable pricing.
Spicy and sharp scented, people know when you are rocking Drakkar Noir and you’ll want them to. Additionally, Drakkar Noir is popular for men of all age groups so it will also make a fabulous gift that won’t break the bank.
- Versatile cologne that is preferred by many
- Lasts a really long time
- One of the highest rated colognes
- May be too strong for some men
3. Best Daily Cologne: Nautica Voyage By Nautica For Men
Nautica Voyage is a very affordable cologne that comes with great reviews not only for its wallet-friendly price, but its famous name and super fresh scent.
Nautica Voyage is versatile because the scent is a simple, clean aroma that is wearable on just about any occasion.
The scent has manly musk with notes of Amber, Cedarwood, Moss, and Water Lotus, yet is polished off with cool hints like Green Leaf, Apple, and Drenched Mimosa.
Voyage is great for any budget, but don’t be fooled by “clean scent” which normally means subtle; Voyage is a manly, fresh, head-turner.
- Light and fresh scent
- Great for daily use
- One of the most popular (yet cheap) colognes
- Hard to find
4. Best Value Cologne: Quorum By Puig For Men
Quorum is a bit different from the rest of the list as it is a Leather Musk that the classic, old-school man will love.
Quorum is recommended for casual use like any good musk as it is rich and heavy, departing from your modern clean fragrances. It is crafted with scents of leather, tobacco, and musk so it will make a statement, but not cost you much to turn some heads.
This musk has been around since the 80s and men of all ages have given Quorum very positive reviews on its fair price point and unique blend of scents.
- Incredibly affordable
- Carries a designer name
- Time tested
- May be a bit too bold for some
Intimately Beckham is another price-friendly gem that has a classic manly scent and, while it is intended for romantic wear like Instinct, has different notes upfront that makes it your top-notch evening scent.
Intimately Beckham is hearty with classy notes of Sandalwood, Patchouli, Nutmeg, Grapefruit, and Violet — fruity fragrance with manly spice and wood will raise your date’s eyebrows but not your budget.
In addition, the scent is a bit heavier and, as a result, lasts longer. Intimately Beckham is also a 2.5oz bottle that makes a great gift for the intellectual, romantic man.
If you are new to cologne or don’t often wear it, Adidas Team Force is an economical way to start.
Adidas Team Force won’t overpower but does give that classic citrus scent started from Grapefruit and Mandarin, yet finished clean and musky with Tobacco, Cedar, and Musk.
As far as price goes this really the best cologne for the money and has converted many non-cologne users with its catchy, spice-based scent.
The 3.4 oz bottle makes a great stocking stuffer for men of any age whether you are buying for a high-school student or Grandpa.
Curve is an absolute classic that has been flying off the shelves for years. Don’t be fooled by the Liz Claiborne name (known for women’s products) this everyday use cologne is affordable and manly.
Curve has Green notes and hints of wood that couple with very smooth spices for a noticeable man’s man aroma that doesn’t overpower.
Age, status, occupation won’t matter as Curve is popular and positively reviewed by all men, plus it is versatile and should be used in any setting. Besides its popularity, the 4.2oz bottle will last; with all of this, Curve ranks among the top cheap colognes.
Mr. Beckham’s Instinct is aptly named as it is recommended for “romantic wear” for the simple fact that its spicy aroma cannot be missed.
Instinct is cheap and effective because it takes advantage of the classic scent tandem of spice and fruit. Orange, Mandarin, and Bergamot mix and pair with Cardamom, Pimento, and Star Anise that will have people saying “what are you wearing?”
Instinct is not only intended for your big date; it is a great everyday cologne that is professional and still manly. The 2.5oz bottle is affordable and backed by very favorable reviews.
Perry Ellis’ 360 Red is a neat citrus and wood scent that ranks among the best review affordable colognes for its versatility and likable fragrance. 360 Red can and has been used by men of all ages because the scent is not overpowering but noticeable and great for any situation, though primarily a daytime cologne.
Citrus and Spice lead the way and are backed by fragrant wood notes with musk (think autumn/winter aromas). The low-price point and great reviews tell us this is a great gift to spoil yourself with or give to a friend as this manly scent is a crowd-pleaser.
Grey Flannel is another classic that has endured the test of time, passed the popularity test, and remains among the best cheap colognes. Grey Flannel is an absolute classic because it is the scent that you smell and think “now that’s manly.”
Oakmoss, Sandalwood, and Patchouli give Grey Flannel that spicy, wood-laden flavor that backs the best manly colognes, but citrus notes from Orange and Lemon polish it off with a clean zest.
Men of all ages use Grey Flannel because it is a noticeable, robust scent that lingers but does not overpower. Also, the 4oz bottle provides enough to last without reducing your billfold.
How and When Do You Plan on Wearing your Cologne?
Depending on the scenario, designers make colognes for different occasions.
If you are looking for a splash to put on after hitting the gym – there are colognes such as the Nautica Voyage By Nautica For Men as they will play up more of a fresh clean scent.
On the flip side to colognes for daytime use, there will also be ones that are suited for evening wear.
Therefore, when selecting a cologne that’s best for you, it’s important to think about your lifestyle and how the cologne fits into it.
Are Cheap Colognes Going To Be Inferior To The Pricier Colognes?
In general, colognes are highly subjective and will react to everyone’s body differently.
Also to note, the environmental and humidity factors can also play a key role in how your cologne smells as well.
However, if you are still trying to figure out the scent that evokes the most positive reaction from those around you – cheaper colognes are an excellent gateway to discovering new scents and figuring out what works best for you.
Beyond the list provided below, it’s important to note that some of the big designer brands do offer their platinum colognes in smaller sizes to suit most men’s budgets as well.
Are Lower Priced Colognes Less Effective?
When looking at all the fragrance products on the market, you will see not only colognes, but also products like aftershave balms along with body sprays as well.
While an aftershave splash may contain the same base ingredients found in colognes: alcohol and fragrance – their utility is drastically different.
Aftershave splashes core purpose is to serve as a disinfectant in order to prevent growth of bacteria in your pores immediately after shaving.
As we have spoken extensively about the different aftershaves in this post, they don’t always necessarily contain alcohol (i.e. aftershave balms are absent of alcohol).
Body sprays on the other hand are very similar to colognes.
Their core purpose, much like a cologne, is to provide a complimentary scent to your aura.
However their individual strength and typical applications do differ ever so subtly.
While we make mention to colognes that are better suited for your after gym workout, body sprays do tend to have a bit more dominance in this category.
A body spray is typically reserved for day time and has a less powerful scent after application when compared to a cologne (I.e a few hours vs several hours).
Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn’s expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.