Looking for the best Kenneth Cole cologne for men? We’ve got you covered. Read on to discover our top picks for every style and budget.
Launched in 1982 as a shoe company, Kenneth Cole began producing fragrances in collaboration with French perfuming giant Coty in 2002. With scents offered under the Kenneth Cole, Reaction, and New York labels, they have a solid selection of classic and contemporary cologne styles to choose from.
You’ll find everything you need to know to choose the best Kenneth Cole cologne for men in this handy guide. We’ve collected the cream of the crop to present for your viewing and smelling pleasure, and accompanied each listing with notes on its aromatic profile and suggestions for how to wear it best.
5 Best Smelling Kenneth Cole Cologne For Men 2021
Narrowing down the excellent colognes in Kenneth Cole’s catalog was no easy task, but we’re confident that you’ll love the unique and vibrant aromatic combinations of the following five scents.
Since its debut in 2003, Black has consistently held the title of best selling Kenneth Cole cologne for good reason — it’s a long lasting woody aromatic style cologne that tends to work well with every man’s skin chemistry. If you’re looking for a new scent to wear every day, Kenneth Cole Black receives our highest recommendation.
Mandarin orange and spicy ginger join cooling and herbal mint and basil in Black’s top notes, transitioning smoothly and leisurely into heart notes of lotus flower, burning incense, grated nutmeg, and fresh wood resins. Anchored by animalic musk and deep base notes of suede and amber, it’s a strongly masculine scent that never goes so far as to offend.
With a longevity of 5 to 8 hours with a single application, Kenneth Cole Black offers a great value for the price. Thanks to its moderate intensity, it never projects too much — making it a truly versatile cologne that you can wear anytime, anywhere.
Top notes of mandarin orange, ginger, mint, and basil
Middle notes of lotus, incense, nutmeg, cedar, and exotic woods
The polar opposite of Kenneth Cole’s usual compositions, Reaction is a powerfully fruity citrus aromatic style cologne that debuted in 2004. It’s notable for its innovative use of fruit top notes, and tends to work best when worn in warm weather and daylight hours.
Green melon, cantaloupe, and watermelon form an incredibly juicy trio of top notes, accented by sour green apple, lemon, and lime to prevent it from becoming overly sweet. A classic heart of patchouli and lily of the valley is present through the entire duration of this scent, and everything is built on a masculine foundation of musk and sandalwood.
Offering a moderate longevity of 4 to 6 hours and a restrained intensity, Reaction may require a reapplication or two to wear it all day. We especially enjoy using it as an invigorating and refreshing spritz after hitting the gym.
Top notes of melon, watermelon, green apple, lemon, and lime
The asymmetrical follow up to the wildly popular Kenneth Cole Black, Vintage Black maintains the woody aromatic style while moving into newly gourmet territory. While it shares many of the qualities of the original that inspired it, we think Vintage Black makes a much better summertime cologne thanks to its fresh and zesty top notes.
Lime and white grapefruit are joined by a bevy of crushed green leaves in Vintage Black’s top notes, which move quickly and assertively into heart notes of blanco tequila, French lavender, and crushed black pepper. Full of oak and sandalwood in its base, Vintage Black is a fantastically masculine take on a fresh and invigorating cologne.
With its moderate longevity and moderate intensity, Kenneth Cole Vintage Black plays well in just about any situation. It’s a wonderful daytime cologne that works as well in the office as it does on a late summer date night, and should be at the top of your list for wearing to summertime weddings.
Top notes of lime, grapefruit, and green leaves
Middle notes of tequila, lavender, and black pepper
Made in partnership with Parlux, Mankind is designed to speak to the jack of all trades — and it’s versatile enough to be worn almost anywhere. Made in the same woody aromatic style as Black and Vintage Black, it takes everything that Kenneth Cole has learned about hit colognes and adds a fresh and approachable touch.
Ever-popular pineapple joins green cardamom, intense ginger, and savory, herbal tarragon in Mankind’s top notes, while a dry and spicy heart of cedar, vetiver, and cinnamon provides a countertop to the juicy top. Rounded out by oakmoss, sandalwood, musk, and tonka bean, Mankind’s base notes provide a welcome intensity that matches the top and heart notes without becoming overwhelming.
Offering a longevity of 6 to 8 hours from first spray to last dry down notes, Mankind’s slightly exaggerated intensity makes it a popular choice among men who want to make a statement with their cologne. If you like the fresh and fruity style of modern colognes, Mankind is one of the finest compositions available today.
Top notes of pineapple, cardamom, ginger, and tarragon
Middle notes of cedar, vetiver, and cinnamon
Base notes of oakmoss, sandalwood, musk, and tonka bean
A marked departure from Kenneth Cole’s usual woody and aromatic style, Mankind Hero is a more daring and intense cologne that leans heavily on classically masculine aromatics to make an impression. Made in the oriental fougere style, it was released in 2016 and has already attracted a devoted following.
The most prominent top note in Mankind Hero is an uncommon one, to be sure: Fresh mountain air. A synthetic note that mimics the herbal, cool, and refreshing scent of high mountains, it’s joined by small accents of lemon and coriander. A heart of sage, lavender, and vanilla continues this powdery and refreshing character, while the entire composition is made full and round by white musk, coumarin, oakmoss, and amberwood in the base.
Featuring a better than average longevity and a strong opening but moderate drydown, Mankind Hero is a near-perfect date night cologne. It’s destined to make a strong first impression, but quickly dries down to a soft and welcoming scent as the night wears on.
Top notes of mountain air, lemon, and coriander
Middle notes of lavender, vanilla, plum wood, and clary sage
Base notes of white musk, coumarin, oakmoss, and amberwood
If we could only choose one Kenneth Cole cologne, the answer is clear: Kenneth Cole Black. It’s the most classically styled of all this producer’s scents, and walks the fine line between masculine and approachable that’s the sure sign of a top notch cologne.
That said, Mankind is a fantastic alternative to Black. Made in a more modern compositional style, it shares many woody and aromatic notes with Kenneth Cole Black while accentuating the fruity, juicy, and herbal notes that have become popular in today’s colognes. For a fresher and more youthful take on a daily wearer, go for Mankind.
If you’re looking for the ideal Kenneth Cole cologne for dates, however, Mankind Hero is definitely the best way to go. It’s a heady and intoxicating blend of oriental spices and animalic musk, perfect for making a lasting impression and drawing attention to yourself without being overly assertive.