Lots of lotions have a secret superpower: they can help your cologne and deodorant last longer and smell better. All it takes is the best smelling body lotion for men to bring your scent A-game.
As you’re reading, keep in mind, oftentimes the best smelling lotions are the most subtle ones. They layer well, protect your other scented products, and avoid that weird, universally recognized “lotion” smell.
Many of the lotions on this list fit that criteria. They smell great when you’re applying them, but take a backseat to your deodorant or cologne.
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Pre De Provence Body Lotion (Our Top Pick)
Pre De Provence is one of those men’s care brands that every other brand tries to copy, and the reason is obvious: they make men smell like MEN! So obviously, we had to put it on our official “best smelling body lotion for men” list.
Their No. 63 body lotion is meant to pair with their other No. 63 scented shower products, but as long as you tend to go with deep, spicy soaps and after-shaves, you don’t necessarily need to buy the set together. Just keep the warm scent in mind when you’re reaching for a cologne or deodorant; any clashing will be painfully obvious.
The lotion itself is also higher-quality than anything else you’ll find on the men’s product aisle. Pre De Provence knows how to sell luxury.
• Pre De Provence really embraces that classic “manly” smell. Deep, spicy, warm – if that sounds like your go-to scent combo, then this is the lotion for you.
• The bottle is priced surprisingly low for how high-quality the moisturizer and scent are. I’ve seen similar products go for a significantly higher price, so I’d call this a steal.
• It’s a highly distinct smell, so you have to be ready to commit to scent matching. On the bright side, it shouldn’t be too hard to scent match.
Brickell Men’s body lotion is for the guys who need something breezy. If your deodorant has keywords like “cool,” “rush,” “rain,” or “wave,” congratulations! This is the lotion that pairs with that.
It almost smells planty, but the best way to describe it is fresh. It’s a refreshing lotion experience. Plus, it provides value alongside scent. The lotion is creamy, and a little goes a long way. Apply it thinly after you shower, let it dry, and you’ll see cracked, flaky skin clear up in under a week.
Best of all, Brickell Men’s is an all-natural brand, so you’re paying for authentic ingredients that will support your skin health in the long run. We believe in Brickell’s body lotion so much, we even ranked it as one of the best body lotions for men and one of the best body lotions for black men, period!
• Very fresh scent that layers well with other products, but especially deodorants and colognes that label themselves as breezy.
• It’s is high-quality and will soothe dryness.
• The ingredients are all-natural and skin-friendly.
• It’s not that unique, but it’s also not that generic, which might make scent matching slightly more difficult if you’re not sticking with the same brand.
If you’re looking for a lotion that will come out of the gate swinging for you, Outlaw is the way to go. Their Blazing Saddles body lotion is so strong you can throw away your cologne.
I’d particularly recommend it for men who are trying to smell more woodsy. Though the lotion promises a wide mixture of outdoorsy scents, including leather, gunpowder, sandalwood, and sagebrush, what really comes through is the wood burning stove. The Amazon reviewers will back me up on this. It has that warm but smoky smell.
My only complaint is that you have to be really, really careful when you scent match with Outlaw. The lotion is so distinct that you’ll need to be cautious about choosing your deodorant and any other scents.
• It’s one of the most manly lotions I’ve ever laid my nose on.
• Outlaw is especially good if you’re the type to accidentally over-apply cologne. Swap out your spray for this lotion, and you won’t have to worry about overdoing it.
• The moisturizing is pretty average. The real attraction is the wild scent.
Jack Black’s Cool Moisture lotion is begging to be layered. It smells like a men’s product without having any distinct stand-out scents, so it’s incredibly easy to pair with any of the colognes in your closet.
What you’ll find is especially convenient is how it protects the scents of any other products you apply directly after the lotion. We mentioned earlier that most moisturizers do this – the oils in the lotion trap the scent of colognes and sprays, holding them against your skin for longer. Jack Black is especially good at that. Some of the top ingredients in this bottle are scent-promoting oils.
The bottle itself is also hefty, so you won’t need to purchase another for several months.
• Very easy lotion to layer with other scents; holds a subtle manly scent of its own, but remains unobtrusive.
• The bottle has a long lifespan, great value for your money.
• The lotion is thin, so lots of guys who want the benefits of lotion but can’t stand the texture will find this much more palatable.
• No distinct scent…I don’t consider this a huge con, but I know some guys do.
• The only thing keeping the lotion from being too generic is that it’s slightly higher quality than what you’ll find elsewhere. If you just need something that gets the job done, this might be overkill.
Marlowe’s is the one unscented lotion on this list. I mean, it advertises itself as a “light, fresh scent,” but really it’s invisible.
Think of it this way: I had to include Marlowe’s because sometimes the people in our lives who smell best actually smell like nothing at all. Unobtrusive, invisible, and clean is always a good scent. There’s just no way to go wrong with it.
On the other hand, if you’re the guy who uses some obscure cologne or soap, this might be the perfect scent-layering lotion. It’ll stand back and let your essential oils work their magic.
The lotion itself is also pretty sweet. It’s easy to apply, dries quickly, and softens your skin almost immediately.
• It smells like nothing! And sometimes, that’s the best way to smell.
• The lotion is great for a variety of skin types. If you have sensitive skin, check for anything you might be allergic to beforehand, but other than that, moisturize away.
• No need to re-apply! You’ll have smooth skin all day.
• I know some of you will give Marlowe flack for being the unscented lotion on the scented lotion list.
Is Scented Body Lotion Bad?
Scented body lotion is safe and effective for most skin types. But guys who have especially sensitive skin, or who suffer from skin conditions or even mild things such as skin getting darker without being under the sun, may need to be wary.
Both natural lotions and lotions that use artificial fragrances can cause allergic reactions and breakouts. Natural lotions tend to be safer, but that promise doesn’t always hold up for men dealing with finnickey skin.
If you fall into the “everything I put on my body causes me to break out” category, unscented, natural lotions are your safest bet.
Otherwise, for the rest of us with average skin, scented lotions are great. I’m a personal fan because “unscented” lotions often still have that soft scent that reminds people of the way babies smell.
How Can I Make My Body Lotion Smell Good?
Unless you’re hoping to get really hands-on with a DIY project, the easiest way to make your body lotion smell good is by buying one that smells good in the first place!
And if you’re currently working on an unscented bottle that you want to finish off before you buy a new scented lotion, try pairing it with a cologne to make the scent last longer against your skin. Moisturizers like body lotion are great at preserving scents throughout a long day.
On the other hand, if you’ve bought yourself a lotion and you simply don’t like how it smells, there aren’t many solutions besides tossing it out. Pairing it with a cologne can create a clashing smell. There’s no way to dilute it. So the best plan of action is to get rid of it, perhaps as a birthday gift to someone you don’t know that well. Don’t worry, there’s always a better-smelling lotion for you somewhere out there.