Get all the info you need to choose the best Diesel cologne for men right here — because we’ve examined and compared their whole lineup to bring you this article.
Founded as an Italian clothing brand in 1978, Diesel is best known for its sought after denim collections. Due to the incredible success of its early marketing campaigns, Diesel has carved out a niche for itself as a luxury clothing and fragrance brand for young people and the youthful at heart.
We’ve taken a close look at Diesel’s entire cologne catalog to bring you this guide. Chock full of interesting aromatic insights, you’re sure to find a cologne that suits your style and budget.
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5 Best Smelling Diesel Cologne For Men In 2022
Listed below, you’ll find our favorite Diesel colognes for every season, occasion, and reason for wearing. If one of them doesn’t suit your style, then keep reading — because we’re sure that another one will.
Diesel Only The Brave (Our Top Pick)
Whereas Diesel had found moderate success with many of their previous offerings, the debut of Only The Brave in 2009 immediately cemented them as a player in the fragrance world. Clad in its instantly recognizable fist-shaped bottle, OTB is a supremely versatile oriental woody style fragrance that should be in every man’s collection.
Italian lemons join orange rinds and juice in Only The Brave’s top notes, which quickly segue into a heart of violet, cedar, and coriander. The base of Only The Brave is where the magic’s really at, though: Leather and labdanum provide depth, while amber, benzoin, and styrax give a dry contrast that provides significant intensity and width to the composition.
Long lasting and intense, Only The Brave is a strongly masculine scent that can be worn anytime, anywhere. It performs equally well across all four seasons, and works quite well for everyday wear and special occasions alike. If you can only get one Diesel cologne, make it this one.
- Top notes of amalfi lemon and mandarin orange
- Middle notes of violet, cedar, and coriander
- Base notes of amber, leather, benzoin, labdanum, and styrax
- Year round wear
- Anytime wear
- Making your new signature scent
A precursor to Only The Brave’s oriental woody style, Zero Plus debuted in 2003 to a moderate reception. It’s steadily grown in popularity since then as people have caught on to its attractive complexity, though its strong baking spice notes make it best suited for cold weather wear.
Orange and bergamot provide a vehicle for Zero Plus’s spicy top notes of nutmeg, cardamom, and star anise, while cinnamon bridges the gap into its heart notes. From there, it’s all flowers until the base, with rose and jasmine being the real standouts. Anchored by vanilla, musk, amber, and patchouli, Zero Plus is an intoxicating blend with amorous intentions.
Long lasting and fairly intense, Zero Plus is a fantastic date night cologne. Its rich and spicy top notes may be a bit overwhelming in spring and summer’s warmer temperatures, but it’s a perfect scent to warm up by the fire when it’s cold outside.
- Top notes of nutmeg, cardamom, anise, orange, and bergamot
- Middle notes of cinnamon, rose, violet, jasmine, and lily of the valley
- Base notes of vanilla, musk, amber, heliotrope, and patchouli
- Fall and winter wear
- Nighttime wear
- Date nights
A followup to the original, Diesel’s Only The Brave “Tattoo” was released in 2012. Fruity and spicy, strong but with subtle notes, it’s a unique cologne that will appeal to collectors and novices alike.
Red apple joins mandarin orange peels in Tattoo’s top notes, which transition slowly but insistently into a heart of cracked black pepper and rubbed sage. The base is the most complex element of the entire composition, filled with tobacco, benzoin, wood resins, and herbal patchouli.
Long lasting and intense, Only The Brave Tattoo is another Diesel cologne that’s great for dates. It’s one of the most intense of all Diesel colognes, so a little goes a long way — making it a great value if you’re usually wearing it for special occasions.
- Top notes of red apple and mandarin orange
- Middle notes of black pepper and sage
- Base notes of tobacco, benzoin, woody notes, and patchouli
- Making a strong first impression
- Date nights and parties
Described by its creators as “daring and sophisticated, addictive and fresh”, Bad by Diesel is the company’s take on the classic woody aromatic style. Debuted in 2016, it compares favorably with other fragrance houses’ woody aromatics while maintaining the trademark intensity and masculinity that Diesel is known for.
Herbal scents dominate the top notes of Bad by Diesel, with violet leaf and lavender being accented by small portions of bergamot and cardamom. An exceptionally unique heart note of caviar is present throughout the entire scent, and is supported by orris root and sage in this fragrance’s center. To further deepen the experience, tobacco and wood resin are offset by tonka bean and patchouli in the base.
The longest lasting of the Diesel colognes featured in this review, Bad by Diesel is also quite intense. It’s a strongly masculine scent that’s designed to draw attention to you, and is definitely not a cologne for timid men. Wear this on a first date, and you’ll make a lasting impression for sure.
- Top notes of lavender, bergamot, cardamom, and violet leaf
- Middle notes of caviar, orris root, and sage
- Base notes of tobacco, ambroxan, woody notes, tonka bean, and patchouli
- Drawing attention to yourself
- First dates and late nights
Spirit of the Brave is an oriental woody style cologne that debuted in 2019. Exquisitely balanced and strongly masculine, it’s a supremely versatile cologne that can be worn on almost any occasion. If you’re looking for a go-to cologne that’s different from what most men wear, Spirit of the Brave should be your first choice.
Galbanum is the signature top note of Spirit of the Brave, a resinous gum that’s strongly herbal and slightly floral at the same time. It’s joined by bergamot in this cologne’s introduction, which heads softly into green heart notes of fir and cypress. Built on a base of tonka bean and labdanum, the entire composition speaks to uniqueness and complexity from start to finish.
With a moderate longevity of 5 to 8 hours and a fairly intimate intensity, Spirit of the Brave is a much more relaxed cologne than many of Diesel’s offerings. It’s perfect for year-round wear, and could easily become your new go-to cologne.
- Top notes of bergamot and galbanum
- Middle notes of fir and cypress
- Base notes of tonka bean and labdanum
- Year-round wear
- Anytime wear
Is Diesel A Good Cologne?
While cologne preferences are definitely a matter of personal taste, we’re of the opinion that Diesel’s unique and pioneering use of aromatics is evidence of their quality. In fact, Diesel’s Only The Brave is widely regarded as heralding a new age of modern cologne compositions — which is why it’s become just one part of a long line of successful OTB colognes.
Overall, it’s clear to us that Diesel is a good cologne because of the longevity and intensity of each of their bottlings. You can only get truly complex and developing colognes through using significant amounts of high quality ingredients, and Diesel colognes are definitely complex and long lasting.
What Is The Best Diesel Cologne?
If we could only pick one Diesel cologne to wear for the rest of our lives, the choice is clear: Only The Brave. It’s such a fantastic example of how far the art of fragrance making has come, and seamlessly blends both complex and simple elements into one unforgettable fragrance.
Spirit of the Brave deserves a mention here as well. It’s one of Diesel’s most recent colognes, and hasn’t had the time to develop as much name recognition as their other offerings — but it’s incredibly unique, and great for year-round wear.
Last but not least, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle of Bad by Diesel to round out your collection. It’s one of the best date night colognes that we’ve ever found, and sure to make a lasting impression on whomever you’re trying to woo.