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The Best Cheap Colognes in 2022

The Best Cheap Colognes in 2022

In a hurry and just looking for our top pick for the best cheap cologne? No worries. We picked the Sean John Body Spray for Men as the overall best.

Best Overall
Sean John Eau de Toilette Spray For Men, 3.4 oz.
Pros:
  • From the design house of Sean Jean 
  • Spicy but sweet fragrance 
  • Great for wearing day or night 
  • Long-lasting 
Cons:
  • Vanilla notes may give it a feminine feel 
  • Fragrance could be stronger 
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What’s the Best Cheap Cologne?

Smelling great shouldn’t cost a fortune. A man should enjoy the pleasure of a cologne that’s not going to break his budget or leave him smelling like he’s wearing a men’s fragrance from the bargain aisle.

If the words “cheap cologne” make you turn up your nose, you’re misunderstanding our fragrance round-up. For our purposes, “cheap cologne” means that the fragrance is a great value since it has a fragrance that’s pleasant, fresh, or warm but isn’t expensive.

Our collection of best cheap colognes all cost less than $30 a bottle. We rank them in types of fragrances, too, since some men’s colognes have fresh scents while others are woodsy, exotic, or spicy. 

Our top 7 picks for the best cheap colognes:

  1. Best Overall Cheap Cologne: Sean John Body Spray for Men
  2. Best Cheap Fresh Cologne: Jean Marc Paris Bleu 
  3. Best Cheap Woodsy Cologne: Nautica Voyage Cologne
  4. Best Cheap Aquatic Cologne: Davidoff Cool Water 
  5. Best Cheap Gourmet Fragrance: Sergio Nero Chocolate 
  6. Best Cheap Floral Scent: Drakkar Noir Cologne for Men
  7. Best Cheap Spicy Cologne: Curve Body Spray for Men
  8. Best Cheap Leather Fragrance: English Leather Cologne

Fragrances can smell different on each individual, so once you settle on a few possibilities from this men’s cologne roundup, look for cologne testers at your local drug store or retailer. Give one or two a try.

Trying more than that will only make you smell like a den of ill repute, plus it would be confusing. Appreciate the top notes of the cologne, and then wear it for a while. What does it smell like an hour later?

Have your friends noticed it, or better yet, has a woman commented on it? Once you’ve worn a cologne sample for a while and it passes those tests, come back and buy a bottle. 

Why You Need a Cheap Cologne

Man spraying the best cheap cologne on his wrists

Body Stock/Shutterstock

A man may want to smell like a million bucks, but he doesn’t want to spend that much on a cologne. The truth is that men want great grooming products including colognes, but they want to spend as little as possible. 

When men find a fragrance they like, usually they make that their signature scent. That becomes their go-to fragrance. Men who enjoy a particular fragrance can then branch out into layering that fragrance.

Fragrance layering involves using a body wash, antiperspirant or deodorant, and other products in their favorite cologne line. Getting the most bang for the buck is the modus operandi when men look for colognes. A great cheap cologne is an affordable luxury.

The 8 Best Cheap Colognes in 2022

You could spend all day in the local drugstore, discount retailer, or department store, spraying and sniffing everything in the cologne aisle to find the best cheap cologne.

We did the detective work for you, so all you have to do is read this cologne roundup to find the best cheap colognes. 

1. Best Overall Cheap Cologne: Sean John

Best Overall
Sean John Eau de Toilette Spray For Men, 3.4 oz.
Pros:
  • From the design house of Sean Jean 
  • Spicy but sweet fragrance 
  • Great for wearing day or night 
  • Long-lasting 
Cons:
  • Vanilla notes may give it a feminine feel 
  • Fragrance could be stronger 
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Sean John, a scent launched by the design house of Sean John in 2016, wins the prize of Best Cheap Cologne for Men. 

It takes top honors for several reasons – Sean Jean is a designer cologne that’s still current, it’s appropriate to wear during the day or out in the evening, and it features a balance of sweet notes with spicier notes such as black pepper, nutmeg, and sandalwood. 

Sean John is versatile, and it checks a number of boxes for men who love smelling great. It’s spicy but not overly so, it has smooth, sweet notes of vanilla, and it doesn’t smell dated as some older designer fragrances can. 

Sean John is soft, clean, and will leave those close to you wanting to smell more of it, the mark of a great cologne. The fact that a bottle of Sean John is available for less than $20 makes it a great value and the best overall cheap cologne. 

2. Best Cheap Fresh Cologne: Jean Marc Paris Bleu

Best Cheap Fresh Cologne
Jean Marc Paris Bleu Cologne for Men
Pros:
  • Fresh, clean scent 
  • Sophisticated French blend of fragrances 
  • Youthful vibe 
  • Appropriate for work or daytime use 
Cons:
  • May be too light a fragrance for some 
  • Doesn’t last long 
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Paris Bleu has a fresh fruit-forward fragrance thanks to crushed rhubarb and bergamot, but it’s got a European sophistication and flair. Leather and musk give Paris Bleu depth and warmth.

Without that intrigue, fresh men’s cologne could just smell like blue Aqua Velva. Paris Bleu has a clean fragrance that will invigorate you, leaving you refreshed and ready to take on the day. 

3. Best Cheap Woodsy Cologne: Nautica Voyage

Best Cheap Woodsy Cologne
Nautica Voyage Cologne | By Nautica For Men
Pros:
  • Created by the design house Nautica 
  • Long-lasting 
  • Warm blend of apple, amber, cedarwood & musk
  • Can be worn day or night 
Cons:
  • Can be too light a fragrance for some users 
  • May be a better choice for younger men 
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A woodsy aromatic cologne that’s not overwhelming, Nautica Voyage is our pick of affordable woodsy colognes. Priced under $20 and not overwhelming, this is a men’s fragrance that’s office-appropriate but can also be worn on weekends and casual nights out.  

Nautica Voyage, from the Nautica design house, is fruit-forward with notes of apple and greenery, but musk, amber, and cedarwood give it an irresistible woodsy feel. 

4. Best Cheap Aquatic Cologne: Davidoff Cool Water

Best Cheap Aquatic Cologne
Davidoff Cool Water | Cologne Spray for Men
Pros:
  • Smells clean  
  • Refreshing ocean breeze scent 
  • Daytime and work-appropriate 
  • Light but long-lasting 
Cons:
  • Some say Cool Water is too light a fragrance 
  • Cool Water can smell soapy 
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Another classic from the 1980s, Davidoff Cool Water is a minty, refreshing cologne with a scent that brings to mind a bracing ocean breeze. With marine notes, mint, and lavender top notes, Davidoff Cool Water has a woodsy heart.

But overall, it’s a clean, fresh scent that’s light and appropriate for office meetings. Because this is a light, clean fragrance, it’s nearly impossible to overdo it when applying Cool Water. 

5. Best Cheap Gourmet Fragrance: Sergio Nero Chocolate 

Best Cheap Gourmet Fragrance
SERGIO NERO | CHOCOLATE Eau de Cologne for Men
Pros:
  • Notes of cocoa 
  • Warm, spicy undernotes 
  • Unique fragrance 
  • Irresistible to chocolate lovers 
Cons:
  • May smell more like a cheap cologne 
  • Not something you want to wear every day 
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Gourmet fragrances are a growing category of fragrances for men and women. These colognes smell like some of our favorite flavors – think fruity, vanilla, bourbon, or in this case, chocolate.

Sergio Nero Chocolate has top notes of candied orange and grapefruit that accent its chocolate scent with bottom notes of caramel and hazelnut. Sound delicious?

According to reviews on Amazon, ladies find this fragrance irresistible, and women are known for being chocolate lovers. Sergio Nero Chocolate is a great fragrance for wearing on a date for Valentine’s Day, but you might not want to smell like a candy bar every day. 

6. Best Cheap Floral Scent: Drakkar Noir

Best Cheap Floral Scent
Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche | Cologne Spray for Men
Pros:
  • Top notes of lavender, bergamot, rosemary, and basil 
  • Can be worn day or night 
  • Sensual with floral and herbal notes warmed with cedar 
  • Long-lasting 
Cons:
  • Longtime Drakkar Noir fans say they like the older version of the cologne better 
  • The retro fragrance can be an older man’s scent 
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Don’t think of floral fragrances as something just for the ladies. Men’s colognes can be floral, too. Men’s floral colognes are usually made more masculine with herbal and green scents as well as spices and woodsy notes.

That’s the case with Drakkar Noir. A fragrance from Guy Laroche that dates back to 1982, Drakkar Noir quickly became a cologne classic. Its top note is lavender, along with lemon, bergamot, mint, rosemary, verbena, basil, and artemisia.

But Drakkar Noir is warmed with juniper, coriander, cinnamon, carnation, and jasmine. Cedar, oakmoss, pine, vetiver, amber, and resins add mystery. 

7. Best Cheap Spicy Cologne: Curve 

Best Cheap Spicy Cologne
Curve for Men Cologne Spray | Spicy Woody Magnetic Scent
Pros:
  • A strong, spicy scent 
  • Young vibe 
  • Not overwhelming 
  • Great to wear during the day or night 
Cons:
  • Some complain Curve doesn’t last long 
  • Millennial reviewers say Curve doesn’t smell like it used to 
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Curve was a must for just about every Millennial man in his younger days. It’s still around, and Curve has an exciting, spicy scent that reviewers say women love.

Top notes of douglas fir, juniper, and lavender give Curve a fresh fragrance that then grows warm with cardamom, sage, and rosemary. Base notes of black pepper and sandalwood make Curve spicy and exotic.  

Curve is a fragrance that you can wear day or night, and its spicy warmth could be a wonderful signature scent. Curve isn’t overwhelming, which is a plus because some spicy men’s colognes can be.  

8. Best Cheap Leather Cologne: English Leather

Best Cheap Leather Cologne
ENGLISH LEATHER by Dana Men's After Shave
Pros:
  • Nostalgic 
  • Warm leather fragrance 
  • Versatile for day and nighttime wear 
  • Warm but clean scent
Cons:
  • Can smell like an older man’s fragrance choice 
  • Fans of English Leather say the older version smelled better 
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English Leather is the mack daddy of leathery men’s colognes. You might remember it being under the Christmas tree for your granddad since English Leather has been around since 1949.

Popular during the 1960s and 1970s, English Leather is still around, and for good reason. 

English Leather does have an attractive leather aroma, but it also smells clean, warm, and intriguing. It’s a classic that’s as welcome in the workplace as it would be on a dinner date.  

Finding the Best Cheap Cologne for You

Guy looking at a bottle of the best cheap cologne

Matryoha/Shutterstock

As you look for the best of cheap colognes for men, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are a few cologne-buying considerations:

Scent 

Within men’s colognes, there are several genres. Some are fresh or give the sensation of an ocean breeze, while others are woodsy or spicy. As you look for the best cheap cologne to wear, decide which type of fragrance you like. That will narrow your choices. 

Concentration 

Colognes come in different concentrations. Eau de cologne is the lowest concentration of fragrance, about 5 percent. This makes for a light fragrance that may need to be reapplied during the day.  

Eau de toilette is stronger, at about 10 percent fragrance concentration. Eau de parfum is the highest fragrance concentration. Eau de toilette and eau de parfum are generally more expensive than eau de cologne. 

Depth 

Men’s colognes have layers of fragrance. The top note refers to the first scent you detect. These top notes are bold but fade within the first hour of wearing the cologne. Middle notes are full-bodied and are noticeable after the first few minutes of wearing a cologne.

These notes last for several hours. Base notes balance out a cologne and last for as long as six hours or more. These fragrance notes linger on skin and clothing and can be quite memorable.  

Frequently Asked Questions  

You may have more questions about finding the best cheap colognes. These FAQs may help you sniff out the answers you need:

Are Expensive Colognes Better?

The best cologne for you is the one you enjoy wearing. An expensive designer fragrance isn’t the best if you don’t like the way it smells on you. A cheaper cologne is truly a value if you feel good about it every time you use it.

What Do Cheap Colognes Smell Like?

Less expensive colognes can offer a range of fragrances. They tend to smell sweet because of the less expensive ingredients used and because younger men may be the ones who buy them most often.

Do Cheap Colognes Have Less Staying Power?

While cheaper colognes vary in intensity and staying power, generally colognes have the lowest duration. Eau de toilettes and eau de parfums last longer.

So What’s the Best Cheap Cologne? 

What cheap cologne is the best for you will depend on personal preference, body chemistry, and personality. For the best overall cheap cologne, we chose the Sean Jean Body Spray as the best.

Best Overall
Sean John Eau de Toilette Spray For Men, 3.4 oz.
Pros:
  • From the design house of Sean Jean 
  • Spicy but sweet fragrance 
  • Great for wearing day or night 
  • Long-lasting 
Cons:
  • Vanilla notes may give it a feminine feel 
  • Fragrance could be stronger 
Check Latest Price
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

Sean John is a deep and balanced designer fragrance that combines spicy and smooth fragrance notes into a scent that’s clean but intriguing. It’s a scent that works well for work and play. 

Give any of these colognes a try, and we think you’ll find one of them to be a great-smelling new favorite that won’t break your bank account.