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6 Best Colognes for Black Men in 2022

6 Best Colognes for Black Men in 2022

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best cologne for black men is, no worries. We recommend the Blue Mark by Jack Black as the best.

Best Overall
Jack Black | Blue Mark Men's Cologne (3.4 oz)
Pros:
  • Versatile scent for the boardroom or a night out
  • Impressive 4.7-star rating
  • Extremely crisp, clean & refreshing scent
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
Cons:
  • One the expensive side (but so worth it)
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Fellas, we need to talk about cologne. Aware, there is a huge difference between eau de toilette, eau de parfum and cologne. You will learn everything about base notes, middle notes and top notes.

Many of you are using it all wrong. You’re using too much, too little, or simply wearing the wrong type for your body chemistry or the occasion. But are you asking one of the following:

  • What’s the best cologne for men?
  • What is a good men’s cologne?
  • What’s the best men’s cologne?
  • What are popular colognes for men?
  • What are the top colognes for men?

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be like this. Finding the right cologne is easier and more affordable than you probably think. Although cologne is not a topic I expected ever to know much about, I ended up doing tons of research when trying to find the best.

Today, I’m here to help out with a complete guide to the best cologne for black men just like you. Plus, I’ve also gathered up my five favorite picks for 2020. Ready to up your scent game? Let’s get started!

In this article, we are going to review the following colognes:

  1. Jack Black Blue Mark
  2. Kenneth Cole Black
  3. Gucci Guilty By Gucci For Men
  4. Calvin Klein Obsession for Men
  5. Jimmy Choo Man Blue
  6. Kenneth Cole Reaction
  7. Tommy Bahama St. Kitts

The 6 Best Colognes for Black Men

Here are five of the best cologne brands for black men. You’ll find a bit of everything, no matter when and where you want to use cologne:

1. Jack Black Blue Mark

Best Overall
Jack Black | Blue Mark Men's Cologne (3.4 oz)
Pros:
  • Versatile scent for the boardroom or a night out
  • Impressive 4.7-star rating
  • Extremely crisp, clean & refreshing scent
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
Cons:
  • One the expensive side (but so worth it)
Check Latest Price
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

There’s a reason Jack Black’s Blue Mark cologne is first on our list. And you do want the best, right? This brand was a pioneer in the men’s luxury grooming product game, and you can bet that they’ve perfected their craft. Their colognes are no exception.

In pretty much every user review “fresh” is the word that is repeated. You’ve got fresh style. You’ve got game. And you need a cologne that matches both. And trust us, this one does.

Infused with top notes of watermint (very refreshing), cilantro, and bergamot, this scent is one that you just have to smell yourself. It’s cruelty-free and vegan, which is hard to find when shopping colognes.

With an impressive 4.7-star average rating, over 160 other guys agree that this cologne is second to none. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what a real user had to say:

Jack Black Blue Mark is exactly what I desired in a cologne, i love my new Jack Black products. I am impressed with the quality of Jack Blacks stuff and I was sold when I learned they were also cruelty free. I would definitely buy this product again. I would recommend this fragrance to anyone looking for a vegan cologne, it has a surprisingly subtle, pleasant and unique aroma.

Need we say more?

2. Kenneth Cole Black

Runner-Up
Kenneth Cole Black Eau De Toilette Spray for Men
Pros:
  • Scent is sophisticated and masculine
  • Subdued tones augmented by zesty highlights
  • Heavy glass bottle has a contemporary style
  • One of the best values for the money
Cons:
  • The bulky bottle isn’t well-suited for travel
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In a close second is Black from Kenneth Cole, which eschews outdoor scents in favor of a more urban, contemporary aroma. It evokes the feeling of a luxurious city living with a definitive masculine edge.

It’s a mellow aroma consisting of black suede, ambergris, and violet leaf. On top of that is a surprisingly zesty combination of mandarin, watermint, and ginger.

Overall, it’s a soft, sensual scent ideal for dates or a night out. I find it far more suitable for wear in the evening and night, although it could also work during colder days. 

Also, I liked the bottle. Made from heavy, black glass, it’s both subdued but eye-catching. On the downside, it has a bulky shape that might be difficult to take along when traveling.

The only downside is that you’ll probably need to use slightly higher quantities of this cologne compared to other brands. If you plan to wear it daily, you might go through it faster than similarly sized bottles of other colognes.

3. Calvin Klein Obsession for Men

Calvin Klein
Calvin Klein Obsession for Men Eau de Toilette
Pros:
  • A classic choice for first-timers
  • Affordable
  • Long-lasting fragrance
Cons:
  • Too familiar for a signature scent
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Cologne shopping can make you feel like a G-rated Walter White. You’ll need to think about your body’s chemistry and top, medium, and base notes. We haven’t even gotten to the confusing fragrance terms like Eau de Cologne vs. Eau de Toilette vs. Eau de Parfum.

For this reason, a classic men’s cologne like Calvin Klein Obsession for Men is perfect for the undiscerning man that “just wants to smell nice.” The cologne is perfectly sensual, with its combination of notes of sandalwood, cinnamon, vanilla, musk, and myrrh.

It is a long-time Calvin Klein favorite that eases you into the exciting quest of finding your signature fragrance. The cologne is also notable for its long-lasting fragrance. The smell can linger for anywhere between 8-18 hours, so you don’t need to keep reapplying.

Furthermore, the cologne is relatively heavy, so a little goes a long way. The best part? It’s affordable, considering this is a premium brand. However, this cologne has one glaring downside. It’s hardly a signature fragrance, given its popularity around the world.

Instead, it is primarily a starter option to get you more comfortable around scents. You will soon outgrow it as your nose, and taste buds become shrewder. 

Calvin Klein Obsessions for Men is a solid choice for a first-time shopper. It embodies the adage old is gold and has been a long-time staple on many fathers’ nightstands. You can hardly go wrong with this intense, rich, and timeless fragrance.

4. Jimmy Choo Man Blue

Jimmy Choo
JIMMY CHOO Man Blue Eau De Toilette Spray
Pros:
  • Great smelling cologne for contemporary men
  • Beautiful bottle design
  • A terrific mix of masculine and fruity notes
  • Long-lasting
Cons:
  • May not be appropriate for professional settings
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Notes such as leather and musk exude manly, bold confidence. But, these scents are better suited for…well…more experienced men. Woody and fruity notes are also masculine but are more youthful and pleasant.

So, if you don’t want to smell like your dad or grandad, this Jimmy Choo Man Blue is a top choice. Jimmy Choo Man Blue cologne is the perfect accessory for the modern man. It features top notes of black pepper, bergamot, amber, and vanilla.

But don’t be fooled by these ‘sweet’ notes. This cologne still features underlying masculine notes, including leather sandalwood, true to the brand’s reputation.The cologne features the non-linear scent that we like to see.

It smells different throughout the day. The bottle is also very well designed, sporting a classic mix of blue and chrome accents. It is reminiscent of a hip flask. There are a few downsides to this cologne. It is expensive.

But, that’s a small price to pay for a signature fragrance. Jimmy Choo is a solid brand out of Malaysia, right up there with the Ralph Laurens and Pradas. Also, the scent maybe a little too prominent for daily wear.

This isn’t the type of cologne to wear daily to work. But, it is perfect for a night out on the town or date night. Still, Jimmy Choo Man Blue is the perfect companion for the contemporary man who’s not afraid to express his feminine side. So it is worth adding to your rotation of colognes. 

5. Kenneth Cole Reaction

Kenneth Cole
Kenneth Cole Reaction Eau de Toilette Spray
Pros:
  • Inexpensive
  • Great for summer or daytime wear
  • Stellar brand reputation  
  • A safe choice for first-time buyers
Cons:
  • You may need to re-apply for all-day protection
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Deciding what constitutes a cheap or expensive cologne is mainly subjective. But anyone who knows their way around fragrances will tell you that it’s challenging to find a good men’s cologne for under $50.

And we aren’t even talking about the premium brands. However, being strapped for cash doesn’t mean you can’t improve your personal-care game.

We did a little digging and found this Kenneth Cole Reaction for our more budget-conscious shoppers. It’s also a safe choice for people buying cologne for the first time. The brand is well known for its luxury range of shoes, watches, and bags.

And, it does just as well in the cologne department. The cologne is best described as fresh, fruity, and aromatic. Its top notes include green apple, melon, lemon, and lime.

However, the cologne still features a masculine profile with its sandalwood and musk base notes that become more pronounced as it wears off. We highly recommend this cologne for younger men.

Given its somewhat aquatic vibe, it’s an excellent choice for a daytime cookout, a day at the beach, or an afternoon date. It’s also great for spring and summer wear or for freshening up after a workout. The main downside of this cologne is its moderate longevity.

It lasts roughly 4 to 6 hours, so you may need to reapply if you want it to last all day. Also, at the risk of sounding uppity, you may want a more premium cologne as your signature scent. Otherwise, this is another excellent choice for budding cologne aficionados.

It is also inexpensive, so you won’t feel bad if you change your mind halfway through the bottle. Finally, you may want to consider this cologne in your rotation for your more casual or laid-back days, like an office picnic.

6. Tommy Bahama St. Kitts

Tommy Bahama
Tommy Bahama Eau De Cologne Spray
Pros:
  • Tropical-inspired scent
  • It truly shines in warmer climates
  • The subtle scent is suitable for professional settings
  • Reputable brand
Cons:
  • Moderate staying power may require reapplication
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Tommy Bahama is a notable brand for its island lifestyle-inspired range of colognes. The Tommy Bahama St. Kitts is an outstanding choice, with 4.8 stars on Amazon. It features an exotic, tropical scent profile.

This cologne is reminiscent of a sea breeze, including citrus scents like tropical star fruit and Kaffir lime. It also features more manly base notes like cedarwood and musk. While some people like colognes with a strong smell, this Tommy Bahama has a gentler, more subtle scent.

This profile makes it incredibly versatile, especially for men living in warmer climates. You can use it as a daily-wear cologne for work or even a night out on the town. Its scent truly shines on warm, summer days.

But, it can have a nice pick-me-up effect on colder days. This Tommy Bahama St. Kitts is an excellent choice for a signature cologne. You’ll feel like you’re on the beach 24/7.

Plus, it isn’t offensive or overpowering, giving it a delightful scent. On the downside, this Tommy Bahama St. Kitts has moderate staying power.

It lasts between 5 and 6 hours, so you may need to reapply for all-day freshness. Otherwise, it’s an excellent choice for men who want an understated but attractive, sensual, and manly scent.

Picking the Best Cologne for Black Men

Best colognes for black men on a table

FabrikaSimf/Shutterstock

Are you not sure where to even start shopping for cologne? I was once just like you! Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to understand. Let’s start with the basics, and then move onto the more complex stuff:

What Factors Influence The Smell?

Did you know that cologne scents vary from person to person? Factors that influence how your cologne smells include:

  • Your unique body chemistry — the combo of water, acids, proteins, and more found in your skin.
  • Diet and medication
  • Stress and general lifestyle

The big takeaway here is that if someone else’s cologne smells good on them, it might not be the right choice for you. To find the best cologne for your body chemistry, you’ll need to do some experimenting (we’ll cover how to do that in just a minute).

Also, keep in mind that your favorite cologne might change scent over time due to a myriad of factors, including:

  • You go on or off a medication
  • You change your diet substantially (for example, you become a vegetarian)
  • You experience prolonged stress or an on-going medical issue

Aside from your physiology, the scent also varies due to the cologne’s chemical construction. Let’s take a closer look at that.

What are Scent Components?

Don’t worry. You don’t need a degree in chemistry to understand cologne and perfumes. However, it’s helpful to understand the basics, which is a concept called “scent components.”

Best cologne for black men image

Cologne, and all types of perfumes, go through three stages of scents. That’s right – the smell of your cologne changes while you wear it! I had no idea; knowing the smell changes seriously alters how you should approach wearing cologne.

The three stages of smell, or scent compounds, are:

  • Top Notes
  • Middle Notes
  • Base Notes

The Top Note is the first scent that hits your nostrils. It’s what you smell immediately after opening and applying the cologne. It hits its peak aroma in about 15 minutes.

This first scent is designed to entice. It’s typically made from strong, spicy, and unconventional smells. The idea is to slightly shock your sense of smell for a brief time but not hang around too long. It usually dissipates within about a half-hour.

Next up is the Middle Note, also called the Heart Note. They slowly replace, then eventually overtake, the Top Note. Heart Notes are strongest within three or four hours of application.

They’re the main part of the cologne. Typically, the Middle Note is a deep, complex scent. It’s the smell most people will associate with the cologne, so it’s arguably the most important note.

Finally, we have the Base Note. It’s a subtle scent that eventually fades away completely. The Base Notes are strongest between four and five hours after application.

They play an important role in holding and augmenting the Top and Heart Notes. Typically, Base Notes consist of musky, watery, and woodsy scents.

Quantity Vs. Quality: How To Use The Right Amount

Guy using the best cologne for black men in his left hand while standing shirtless

Freeograph/Shutterstock

When I first started wearing cologne, I was surprised at how quickly I went through a bottle. It was a conundrum: Should I not wear cologne every day? Should I switch to a cheaper brand?

Fortunately, I found a solution. It was far better to buy a high-end cologne, and use less of it, instead of buying a cheaper brand and using a lot.

So, how do you make your cologne last longer? It’s easy!

Spray once or twice towards your chest and neck area from a distance of about 10 inches. It might feel like you’re not using a lot of cologne but, trust me, it’s enough for all-day coverage.

Additionally, spray the cologne directly on your skin. Skin is far more absorbent than fabric. I apply cologne after my morning shower (after I dry off).

Now, I did say the best way to apply cologne is a few sprays to your body. However, some guys prefer applying it to the pulse points on their wrists. If that’s how you want to do it, I’m not here to dissuade you, but I do have a few tips:

  • After applying cologne to your wrists, don’t then rub your wrists. The heat and friction created will change the cologne’s smell.
  • However, before applying cologne, first put unscented lotion or Vaseline to your pulse points. It helps the fragrance last longer.

Have you ever heard about putting cologne on tissues, and then placing the tissues in a drawer with your clothes? I’ve tried it and found that it works well. Just spray a light misting on one or two Kleenexes, and then place them near your clothes, such as on a shelf in your closet or drawer.

Finally, another way to increase the lifespan of each bottle is to store it correctly. Keep them somewhere cool and dry. Otherwise, heat and humidity can cause the cologne to evaporate (and also affect the smell).

How To Pick The Best Signature Scent For Yourself

Guy holding the best cologne for black men in his left hand

Freeograph/Shutterstock

So, you now understand how cologne is divided into three notes. Also, you know how your body chemistry influences specific aromas. With that information under your belt, you’re now ready to select a cologne.

Unfortunately, that’s not always a simple task. You can’t make an accurate determination of a cologne’s scent on your skin in just a few minutes.

That’s worth repeating:

You need to wear cologne for at least 30 minutes to smell it accurately.

Ideally, you want to wear the scent for several hours so that you can experience the full gamut of notes. Remember, the Top Notes will blend into the Heart Notes, which makes up the bulk of the aroma.

Wear the cologne during sampling in the same general conditions you plan to wear it if you buy a bottle. For instance, if it’s cologne meant for a night out on the town, don’t put it on and sit around your house.

Throughout the day, try some nose-clearing techniques. While they might seem simple, they’re a scientific way to clear a familiar scent from your nose. Taking a deep whiff of coffee beans or wool will clear your olfactory senses and allow you to smell your cologne anew.

Also, enlist the help of family and friends. After all, if your loved ones can’t stand the smell, or are allergic to it, that’s probably not the right cologne for you. Likewise, get input from co-workers.

Alright, young grasshopper. You now know everything you need to know about finding the best cologne. Let’s recap our top picks for you to consider:

What’s the Best Cologne for Black Men?

All the cologne brands on the list have lots to like, but if you’re looking for the best cologne for black men, I recommend Blue Mark by Jack Black. However, that’s not to discount the other selections.

Best Overall
Jack Black | Blue Mark Men's Cologne (3.4 oz)
Pros:
  • Versatile scent for the boardroom or a night out
  • Impressive 4.7-star rating
  • Extremely crisp, clean & refreshing scent
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
Cons:
  • One the expensive side (but so worth it)
Check Latest Price
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

I’m recommending Blue Mark because it’s the most versatile. You can wear to professional, formal, and casual occasions. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for something to wear every day or a bottle to keep in your cabinet for occasional use.

However, if you’re looking for something more specialized, you have plenty of options, too. Any of these colognes on our list smell great, are reasonably priced, and will keep you smelling fresh in the boardroom or out on the town.