Cologne Masters

Top 7 Freshest Smelling Colognes

freshest mens cologne

The term “fresh” in the cologne world is one of the most overly used words to describe a scent. Here at Cologne Masters, we are guilty of abusing it mostly because that is how fragrance novices describe a scent when smelling it for the first time.

Note** If you don’t have time to read and want to jump right to the #1 freshest cologne, click here, but you may be missing out 😉

The problem with the word “fresh”, is that it has different meanings depending on who you ask. For example, my mom thinks of fresh as taking clean clothes out of the dryer and inhaling that cleanliness smell. Some people consider fresh as stepping out of the shower or emerging from a hot bath. Still more people consider “fresh” to smell like you’re taking a walk on a beach and breathing in the fresh oceanic air.

Officially in the fragrance world, the term “fresh” has changed throughout the years. In the 1980s, dihydromyrcenol ruled the world of freshness. If you’re wondering what dihydromyrcenol is, picture a powerful fresh lime-like, sweet citrus, lavender, bergamot, coriander and floral aroma. It has many other functions than just fragrance. You can find dihydromyrcenol in soaps, detergents, and air fresheners. You can also find a pretty in-depth article over here.

Drakkar Noir was one of the first to jump onto the stage in 1982 with a whopping 10% of its formula consisting of dihydromyrcenol.

What does %22fresh%22 smell like?

When smelling Drakkar Noir, I don’t think it smells what I would be considered fresh. Instead it has more of an older scent and you can see the full review here.

When the 90s hit, colognes such as Acqua Di Gio and Le Male emerged. Instead of containing high concentrations of dihdromyrcenol, other fresh ingredients such as calone, hedione, and ethyl maltol emerged as the trending popularity for what “fresh” smells like.

To me, despite being a self-proclaimed Cologne Master, I find “fresh” as clean, bright, airy, zingy, and watery. That is why you will find my explanation of what I mean by “fresh” almost everytime I use the word to eliminate confusion.

After researching this topic for several days, I have concluded that the word “fresh” is not something you can smell. Yes you heard me, you can’t smell it. Instead, think of “fresh” as being something you feel. There are many chemicals that can be considered as “fresh”, but ultimately it is up to you to decide what cologne makes you FEEL the most fresh.

So with this list, you will find colognes which will make you FEEL fresh. These colognes may or may not have the chemicals of dihdromyrcenol, calone, hedione and ethyl maltol in them, but they do give you the sensation of feeling clean, zingy, and bright.

#7 Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche (1982) – Click For Pricing

Drakkar Noir (click here for full review) is an automatic first ballot entry into the world of the most fresh cologne. Why do you ask? Drakkar Noir emerged onto the scene in 1982 with the largest concentrate of dihdromyrcenol the world has ever seen.

Even today your can find men wearing Drakkar Noir religiously because of their strong roots using it when they were in high-school, college, and entering the working world.

This is a great example of a cologne that I think doesn’t smell “fresh”. It doesn’t smell like you’re climbing out of a hot bath, but it makes you FEEL fresh as you’re going about your day.

You should give Drakkar Noir a chance if;

  • You want something that will last all day
  • You want to smell “old school”
  • You’re over 30 years old
  • You want to smell “manly”

Click Here For Pricing

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#6 Cool Water by Davidoff (1988) – Click For Pricing

Cool Water by Davidoff (1988) (click here for full review) is another cologne that was created back in the 1980s when the dihdromyrcenol craze was going on. The interesting thing about Cool Water is when Drakkar Noir was able to start the trend of going fresh, Cool Water actually doubled the ante and consists of 20% off dihdromyrcenol.

Cool Water, unlike it’s 1980s companion Drakkar Noir, smells clean. When taking a whiff of this classic cologne, it’s easy to feel like you’re on a boat somewhere on the ocean. This feeling amplifies the smell of cleanliness and is an amazing addition to the list of the freshest smelling colognes. If you’re interested, I recommend checking out the full review which you can find by clicking on the link above.

You should buy this cologne if;

  • You want to smell clean & fresh
  • You want to smell “old school”
  • You’re over 30 years old
  • You’re not looking for something to last you all day”

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#5 Nautica Blue – Click For Pricing

Nautica Blue recently entered my cologne collection so it excites me to be able to add it to a top list. When I first took a whiff of this best selling cologne, I was instantly reminded of Cool Water which I smelled a just a few minutes ago when I wrote about it on this very list.

The difference between these two is that Cool Water truly places you out on the ocean as if you’re on the water making you feel refreshed. Nautica Blue gives you that refreshing and clean feeling, but with a little bit of a zing. The longer you wear this cologne and more you smell it, the more it transforms into something even cleaner.

You should buy this cologne if;

  • You want to smell clean & fresh
  • You want something that is in-expensive
  • You want something that smells differently as your day continues


#4 Chrome by Azzaro (1996) – Click Here For Pricing

Ohhh yes…. Chrome by Azzaro (full review here) makes a splash by capturing what it means to be truly fresh. Chrome is another refreshing/clean scent that takes you on an aquatic journey of cleanliness. It is starting to turn into a classic cologne because of it’s strong popularity despite being over 20 years old already.

Chrome is a “fresh” scent because of the aquatic notes and a hint of a metallic smell in the background. It is certainly one of the best “fresh” colognes on the market today and has an enormous following of men that will wear nothing but this scent.

You should buy this cologne if;

  • You want to smell clean & fresh
  • You like a metallic undertone smell
  • You’re older than 25


#3 Acqua Di Parma – Colonia – Click Here For Pricing

Acqua Di Parma by Colonia is the definition of what a classic cologne is. The first fragrance was created over 100 years ago in 1916, and was used to scent handkerchiefs.

While searching around the web, a few names continued to come up as colognes that smelled fresh and this was one of them. I have to admit, I have not yet smelled this cologne, but if every Cologne Master is saying that this is one of the best fresh scents around, it is worth taking a peek.

Give this cologne a shot if:

  • You want to smell clean & fresh
  • You like history
  • You don’t care about price


#2 Green Irish Tweed by Creed (1985) – Click Here For Pricing

Green Irish Tweed is an expensive cologne that is one of the favorites among celebrities. It was made in 1985 when the dihdromyrcenol era was still exploding. The argument between Cool Water and Green Irish Tweed (GIT) is ongoing on which cologne is better and for the purpose of this article, which cologne is more fresh.

GIT is more of a natural, high-class, elegant smelling cologne that was made for movie stars and celebrities. Cool Water was created as an inexpensive alternative and smells more aquatic and synthetic than the natural vibes you get from GIT.

Regardless, of all the colognes on the list, Green Irish Tweed takes the cake if you’re looking for something that smells natural, fresh, and you wish to wear something that nobody else does except for movie stars.

Buy this cologne only if;

  • You want to smell clean & fresh
  • You’re willing to spend $150 on a bottle
  • You want to smell like a movie star


#1 Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani (1996) – Click For Pricing

If you haven’t heard or smelled Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani (click here for full review), you are either brand new to the world of cologne or have been living under a box your entire life. Acqua is by far the most popular cologne on the market today. This cologne is simply one of the best colognes that has ever been made from a designer cologne stance.

This cologne wins the “freshest” cologne, because not only does it contain the ingredients necessary for cologne critics, perfumers, masters, and experts to consider it fresh, but because it also makes you FEEL fresh as you go about your day. If you don’t already have a bottle of this cologne, you need one and do yourself a favor by clicking our discount link to Amazon to add a bottle to your cologne arsenal.


Buy this cologne if;

  • You want to smell clean & fresh
  • You’ve never heard of Acqua Di Gio Before
  • You’ve ran out of your current bottle of Acqua Di Gio
  • You’re still debating on what fresh cologne you should buy


Please leave any comments, questions, or concerns at the bottom of this article. If you disagree or wish to add something, please let me know!


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Jason is the first ever self-proclaimed “Cologne Master” that is dedicating his expertise and knowledge to helping people choose that special scent for the 1st or 50th time.

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