There’s no smell quite as refreshing and classic as what you’ll find in the best barbershop fragrances for men. Dry, airy, and fragrant, this style of cologne is incredibly versatile — you can wear it to the office just as easily as you can draw peoples’ attention with it.
We’ve taken the time to research and compare the wide range of barbershop colognes available today, and will be presenting our findings to you in this complete guide. In it, you’ll learn about our top picks for the best barbershop fragrances for men in every price range, complete with notes on their aromatic profiles and when you might want to wear them.
5 Best Barbershop Fragrances For Men 2021
Barbershop-style fragrances are a favorite of most major fragrance producers — so choosing just five of the best proved to be quite challenging. We took into account how well each cologne fits into the category, compared that to its price, and decided on the following fragrances as the best examples available.
A new version of the 1989 Eternity for Men fragrance, Calvin Klein Eternity for Men is a robust, refined, masculine, and sensual fragrance. It’s an aromatic fougere style cologne that’s complex and classically-inflected, which is somewhat surprising given that it was only released as recently as 2019.
The powerfully green top notes of Eternity for Men are beautifully balanced by a fresh air scent of synthetic ozonic notes. From this introduction of green apple and sage, the fragrance transitions smoothly into its barbershop core: Cypress and lavender offset by geranium, accented with a touch of spicy and sweet nutmeg. In the exceptionally deep base, you’ll find smooth suede mingling with oceanic ambergris and intoxicating orris root.
Calvin Klein Eternity for Men is a long lasting fragrance, with a balanced but insistent intensity and dispersion. It’s truly a modern classic of the fragrance making world, and a perfect example of a balanced cologne that can be worn year-round, to any occasion.
Top notes of sage, green apple, and ozone
Middle notes of cypress, lavender, geranium, and nutmeg
Base notes of suede, nagarmotha, ambergris, and orris root
The story behind D.S. & Durga’s Burning Barbershop gives reason for its uncommon name: “A barbershop in Westlake, New York burned down in 1891. All the tonics with their spearmint, lime, vanilla and lavender notes were ruined. A burned bottle was found and it smelled like this.” A pure aromatic style fragrance, Burning Barbershop is perhaps the most classic cologne in this review.
Bright and fresh spearmint and zesty lime form Burning Barbershop’s top notes, giving a strong and energizing impression from the first application. In the heart notes, you’ll find crushed French lavender paired with subtly aromatic tonic water. A base of vanilla and musk helps to bind everything else together, giving a soft and powdery sweetness throughout the entire composition.
Offering a moderate intensity and moderate wear time of 4 to 8 hours, Burning Barbershop is a lovely scent for anytime wear. If you’re a fan of classic fragrances and love a great story, it’s the perfect choice to add to your collection.
A pure woody fragrance that was originally launched in 1935, Claus Porto’s Musgo Real is an amazingly minimalist cologne that’s totally unlike most modern compositions. If you love minimalist style and want your fragrance to reflect that, Musgo Real will be a dream come true.
The entirety of Musgo Real’s aromatic composition centers around three ingredients: Top notes of heady patchouli give an intense introduction, while heart notes of generous portions of wood resins give way to a base of dry and dusty vetiver. Overall, the effect is one of a constant evolution of aromatics, with each of the three components constantly reinforcing one another.
In line with its minimalist aromatic composition, Musgo Real keeps it simple in both its longevity and intensity — it’s fairly restrained, and lasts for 6 to 8 hours with a soft and easy dry down. Wear it anywhere and anytime, from the office to special occasions and date nights.
An aromatic fougere style cologne originally debuted in 1978, Azzaro Pour Homme was the French-Italian fashion designer’s first fragrance for men. As opposed to the minimalism of many other classic colognes, Azzaro Pour Homme seeks to wow with a complex and varied list of botanicals, all impeccably balanced.
Azzaro Pour Homme’s top notes are a riotous combination of herbal lavender and sage, zesty lemon and bergamot, and intensely aromatic aniseed, caraway, and iris. From there, it only gets more complex through pronounced heart notes of dry vetiver, resinous sandalwood and cedar, and spicy cardamom. Anchored by a base of oakmoss, leather, amber, and musk, Azzaro Pour Homme is a fantastically versatile cologne.
Long lasting with a balanced intensity, this cologne is the most complex and developing of all the barbershop fragrances featured in this review. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants a strong and persistent cologne that never crosses over into being offensive.
Top notes of lavender, aniseed, lemon, caraway, basil, bergamot, clary sage, and iris
Middle notes of vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, cedar, juniper berries, and cardamom
Base notes of oakmoss, leather, amber, musk, and tonka bean
Anyone who wants a complex and long-lasting cologne
Sticking with classic styles and old school aromatics
The most popular of French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s colognes, Le Male is packaged in a distinctive blue torso bottle that gives a hint to its warm and sensual composition. An oriental fougere style cologne, it’s simultaneously masculine and gentle — making it our choice for a barbershop fragrance that’s perfect for date nights.
Lavender and mint are Le Male’s signature top notes, given support by small additions of cardamom and bergamot to leave it fresh and approachable. Floral and sweet orange blossom is joined by spicy cinnamon and savory caraway in this fragrance’s heart notes, while the entire composition is supported by a base of sweet vanilla and tonka bean paired with resinous amber, sandalwood, and cedar.
Exceptionally long lasting and quite strong, but with a gentleness that makes it very approachable, Le Male is set to become your go-to cologne for first dates and late nights. That said, it’s easy going enough to wear just about any time, and is definitely worth adding to your cologne collection.
Top notes of lavender, mint, cardamom, bergamot, and artemisia
Middle notes of cinnamon, orange blossom, and caraway
Base notes of vanilla, tonka bean, amber, sandalwood, and cedar