We’ll help you find the best Perry Ellis cologne for men with this guide to the famous fragrance producer’s finest scents.
An immensely popular fashion designer in the United States, Perry Ellis rose to fame in the 70s and 80s before his untimely passing in 1986. Carrying on the legacy of his company, notable fashion and fragrance designers have continued to produce clothes and colognes in his signature raw and real style.
In this guide, we’ll be covering five of Perry Ellis’s top colognes, complete with notes on their complex and enticing aromas and suggestions for when and where to wear each scent.
By the end of the article, you’ll know which Perry Ellis cologne you want to add to your collection — so let’s get started.
5 Best Smelling Perry Ellis Cologne For Men 2021
Though the Perry Ellis cologne catalog isn’t as deep as longtime producers, each of his offerings is unique and special. We’ve selected our five favorites based on approachability, versatility, and value.
In the fragrance world, most colognes focus on aromatics that make them most appropriate during either warm or cold weather. A rare few are appropriate for wearing year-round, at the cost of never drawing on explicitly seasonal aromatics. Perry Ellis’s 360 Red, however, pulls off a more interesting feat: It’s a perfect cologne for seasonal transitions, and performs best during the spring and fall.
An oriental spicy style cologne, 360 Red opens with a huge array of citrus fruits including lime, bergamot, and orange. Not to be outdone, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg contribute to a huge top note selection, supported by lavender and coriander in the composition’s heart. Anchored by a strong base of musk, patchouli, and exotic woods, it somehow manages to maintain a fine balance despite its complex aromatics.
Long lasting and displaying moderate intensity, 360 Red offers fantastic value to the everyday or occasional cologne wearer. While it performs best in the shoulder seasons, we think this cologne deserves to become many a man’s go-to cologne all year round.
Top notes of lime, bergamot, cinnamon, orange, mandarin orange, cloves, and nutmeg
Middle notes of lavender and coriander
Base notes of musk, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, red cedar, and oakmoss
Released in 2006 as an addition to the 360 line pioneered by 360 Red, Perry Ellis 360 Black is wonderfully complementary to our top pick. It’s a strongly masculine cologne built in the oriental spicy style, and deserves a spot in just about any cologne collection.
A curious and intriguing top note selection of tobacco, cardamom, basil, and tamarind announces 360 Black as a cologne that’s designed to make a strong impression. Transitioning to a spicy and leathery heart, you’ll find ginger and nutmeg alongside aged suede. Based on a firm foundation of leather and amber, it’s Perry Ellis’s most abruptly masculine cologne.
Featuring moderate longevity but a strong and pronounced intensity, 360 Black is an amazingly affordable date night cologne. We strongly recommend keeping a single bottle in your closet for special occasions, and any time that you want to make an unforgettable impression on someone.
Top notes of tamarind, basil, tobacco, and cardamom
The third leg of a tripod of scents in the 360 lineup, Perry Ellis 360 white is the yin to 360 Black’s yang. A citrus floral style cologne, it’s an exceptionally fresh and dry scent that’s perfect for daytime wear and splashing on before work or after the gym.
Zesty lime juice and bergamot peel are offset by spicy and exotic cardamom in 360 White’s top notes, which quickly transition into a floral heart filled with orange blossom, orris root, and lily of the valley. Were it not for the sweet, spicy, and masculine base of vanilla, tonka bean, white musk, and cedar, this cologne might trend too dry. As it is, we love the balance and would be happy to wear it any time of year.
Long lasting and imbued with an approachable, moderate intensity, Perry Ellis 360 White is a versatile cologne for any situation where you’re not sure whether cologne would be appropriate. It’s gentle enough to not offend, but just insistent enough to refresh your senses and draw the right type of attention to your scent.
Top notes of lime, bergamot, and cardamom
Middle notes of orange blossom, orris root, and lily of the valley
Base notes of vanilla, tonka bean, white musk, and cedar
The first in an offshoot series from the main Perry Ellis line, Perry 18 is designed as a fresh and youthful cologne that we think is perfect for warm weather wear. Made in the aromatic fougere style, it’s an intriguing but approachable combination of citrus and wood tones with a notable presence of freshly aquatic scents.
Citrus peels abound in Perry 18’s top notes, with lemon, lime, orange, and bergamot making a strong and zesty impression before quickly fading to a heart filled with seawater, baking spices, and jasmine. Built on an ever-present base of birch and sandalwood, it’s a noticeably masculine cologne that seeks not to impress but to accentuate.
Offering a moderate longevity and restrained intensity, Perry 18 is a much softer take on cologne than many others featured in this review. It’s lovely to apply any time of year, but particularly shines during spring and summer, or warm and sunny fall and winter days.
Top notes of lemon, lime, orange, and bergamot
Middle notes of seawater, baking spices, geranium, and jasmine
One of the oldest offerings from Perry Ellis’s fragrance catalog, Perry Ellis Reserve has been around since 1998. It’s made in the strongly classical aromatic fougere style, and does a fine job of balancing a wide range of aromatics to create a single unified impression.
Bergamot and grapefruit peels form the most noticeable element of Reserve’s top notes, and are given a lift by lavender, juniper, and geranium. An uncommon heart of floral rose and carnation, herbal tarragon, and savory caraway. Complemented by a low base of resinous, exotic woods, amber, and musk, it tends towards masculine tones without becoming overbearing.
With a moderate longevity and moderate intensity, Perry Ellis Reserve is a restrained example of a date night cologne that we absolutely love. It’s complex but approachable, deep but clear, and decidedly different than the modern predilection for fruity and zesty compositions.
Top notes of lavender, bergamot, juniper berries, grapefruit, and geranium
Middle notes of tarragon, rose, carnation, sage, and caraway
Base notes of exotic woods, sandalwood, amber, oakmoss, and musk
We find it somewhat odd that Perry Ellis colognes don’t get more publicity and followers than they already do. With a range of classical and contemporary compositions that’s sure to appeal to nearly everyone, why hasn’t this brand become a staple in more men’s collections?
Part of this might have to do with Perry Ellis’s price: It’s actually much lower than most comparable cologne brands. Since cologne is often seen as a luxury product, this may lead some people to think of Perry Ellis fragrances as being “cheaper” — but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In summary, we think that Perry Ellis makes great colognes because of their affordability. While they may not rival the complexity or longevity of today’s top colognes, you can safely try out multiple Perry Ellis colognes to find the best one for you without having to empty your wallet.
Which Perry Ellis Cologne Is Best?
We’ve chosen Perry Ellis 360 Red as our top pick for good reason: It’s a supremely versatile cologne that’s available at a great price, and tends to fill in the gaps in cologne collections in a way that few other fragrances can. If you can only choose one Perry Ellis cologne to try out, 360 Red is our choice for the best one available.
Honestly though, any of the offerings in the 360 lineup should be high on your list of fragrances to try. Perry Ellis 360 Black is a sultry and sexy take on the oriental spicy style, and works perfectly for date nights and cold weather. In a different direction, consider 360 White — a fresh and invigorating scent that just begs to be worn on bright, sunny days all year round.