What is one the one thing in your grooming ritual you could never do without? That one thing that, if you didn’t do, or wear, you’d feel naked leaving the house without? There is one thing I put on as the last part of my ritual before I leave my house. It’s the one thing I don’t feel complete without. Its my cologne and every man needs to be sure on where to buy cologne.
Stop laughing, its true. We’re just like the ladies, we love to smell good. There is nothing wrong with walking by someone and seeing the look on their face when they get a whiff of you (as long as you don’t smell like three-day-old dead goat).
Something for men has been really trending over the past few years, and its gaining strength and ground and showing no signs of stopping. Its “beauty” products for men. Creams, lotions, moisturizers, special shampoos, conditioners, soaps, deodorants, makeup, the list goes on and on. Personally, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing (apparently women don’t want to date someone who’s prettier than they are, so I’m not even sure who or what started the trend).
The one item that has been an integral part of man grooming and has been around forever is cologne. From the old standards like Aqua Velva, Old Spice, Hai Karate (I can’t believe I remember that one) and Brut to Dolce and Gabbana Pour Homme, Armani Aqua Di Gio, or the old standby Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men, the market is flooded with great colognes to make you smell spectacular.
While its never an issue to find stores that stock a wide selection of great colognes, maybe you’re looking for the best prices, the best online stores, or the best service in your local department store or boutique. Maybe you happen to be looking for that vintage or hard to find cologne. Here are some places to check out to find the exact scent you’re looking for.
Where To Buy Cologne Online
Online stores are one of the best for where to buy cologne, because you don’t have to stand in line and wait to be looked after, you don’t have a far too accommodating salesperson trying to spritz you with everything in their arsenal, and mostly, because you can check out scent after scent online while you keep one eye on that season opener hockey game or the finals for the World Series. Maybe you just prefer shopping in your socks and underwear without getting arrested. Either way, online shopping, even for something as personal as cologne can be a great experience.
FragranceNet.com is a great place to start looking. They stock over 2500 varieties of cologne just for men alone. They offer your favorites at well discounted prices, ranging from twenty percent to sixty percent off of your typical real live retail prices. If you are interested in subscribing to their site, you can even get coupons (so you can keep more of your hard earned cash for the hot date you’re buying cologne for in the first place).
They have a great selection of the hip, hot, and trendy, as well as some of the old classics. While I can’t promise that you’ll ever find Hai Karate on their site, you will find a lot of the great colognes you may have thought have fallen by the wayside or are simply no longer in production anymore. If they don’t stock it on their site, chances are it’s really just not around, but you’ll have plenty of options to pick a brand new favorite from.
Amazon.com has a pretty terrific selection of Men’s fragrances. Here you can find many of the popular colognes, and some you have probably never even heard of. I managed to find one inspired by Halloween. The prices range pretty close to your basic boutique or department store prices, but there are deals to be had. As long as you are purchasing from a reputable vendor, turnaround time on the orders is fast and efficient. If its just the convenience of the whole online shopping experience that grabs your attention, Amazon is a good bet.
Before you head on your way to Amazon, there is a ridiculous amount of fragrances to choose from. Let us help you out! Check out our posts like, “The very best cologne for men“, and “The best cologne for young men professionals“, to give you a good idea of what you should be looking for.
EBay is another good site worth having a look at for your colognes, and often you can get both the hard to find and more current or well known colognes for a decent price. Some of the individuals online for E Bay offer free shipping as well. Returns are likely going to depend on the particular criteria of the seller, but usually they’re pretty open to accepting a return on a defective product, or if the item does not meet a purchaser’s expectations.
As always when with dealing with a reseller site like this, you do need to make sure you’re purchasing from a reputable vendor. Make sure you check out the reviews of the person you choose to purchase from before you lay down any of your cash.
Those are the top three online stores to consider if you’re not wanting to have to waste a lot of time in a crowded store looking for a new cologne or trying to find something new to try without spending an entire day at a fragrance counter. There are other online stores to have a look at as well. As with anything online, your experience may vary from site to site. Make sure you try to check out reviews first.
BOUTIQUE/SPECIALTY STORE SHOPPING
If the idea of spending some time pacing a potentially crowded mall or smaller store doesn’t faze you, there are some great stores out there that carry exclusively or almost exclusively colognes or scents. I don’t know of any boutique stores that cater to just men’s fragrances (probably just not enough of a market demand) but there are a lot of Unisex stores that should have a little something for you.
Chances are they’re not going to have the selection at your fingertips that online shopping would have, but the upside is that you get to immediately check out your selections to see what you like. Some may even offer you the opportunity to special order certain fragrances. You may only find some of these specialty stores in certain regions, but many if not all of them offer an online shopping option as well.
The Body Shop
This store is known practically all over the world, and is very popular with both men and women. While they don’t carry your usual run of the mill popular fragrances, they do have some very pretty interesting product. The majority of their fragrances are scents that are naturally based; lime, lemon, spices, citrus and woodsy, grassy scents. Prices range to the mid price point, so you’ll be spending around the same as a typical middle of the road cologne scent at other retailers.
If you want to find something that takes a more natural approach to scents and men’s body care products, this is a fantastic store. Staff are knowledgeable about their products. They do offer an online shopping option.
Anytime you hear this name, you can’t be blamed for thinking immediately of makeup, toiletries, and skin care for women. However, they also carry a very good line of men’s fragrances. These are huge stores and almost always packed with people, so be prepared to be in a high energy, busy, fast paced store. Sephora may tend to stock the newer and hipper colognes, so this is not a place for where to buy cologne for Dad that you want to try on yourself.
Staff is upbeat, energetic, and very knowledgeable about everything they stock. Price points for men’s fragrances are going to run from the mid to the high end of the scale, and you may be able to find some colognes here that you won’t find anywhere else, even online. Bonus points here for also having a huge variety of other products just for men that may have you going back again and again. Sephora also offers an online shopping experience if you feel like you can’t handle the crowds.
Shopping Mall Kiosks (various names)
These small, often nondescript stores found in shopping malls all over the world can be your biggest nightmare or a dream come true. More often than not, they are privately run or at the very least part of a franchise. Much like online shopping, check out the reviews on the shop you pick before you lay down your cash.
Consumers are very honest and will have left their mark if a store is selling sub par product. Most of the time, the products are bona fide designer fragrances and hard to find or exclusive items at reduced prices. Just be aware that many of them also carry a “Final Sale” warning, so once your money is gone, its gone and you may be stuck with a very good knock off. Do your homework first.
DEPARTMENT STORE/DRUGSTORE SHOPPING
Heading to a larger or box style store is a good option if you want to check out what your scent is going to be like on you firsthand as well. Typically, they are not as crowded or busy as the specialty stores will be (just don’t choose to go fragrance shopping on a Saturday morning at some of them). Don’t decide ahead of time that you won’t find what you are looking for here. Many of these stores have great men’s fragrances.
Yes, I will mention Wal-Mart here. While it may be the last place you’d think of for where to buy cologne, the stores usually have a pretty extensive health and beauty section, and that includes a selection of men’s scents. You can find pretty much anything you’re looking for here (and this is one place you may just find that old stand-by of Dad’s that you always loved and want for yourself). They do carry the newest fragrances as well, but these tend to go pretty fast. The price point is typically anywhere from bang on the competitor’s prices to almost half price from what you would find elsewhere.
Shoppers Drug Mart (Canada)
This drugstore chain has come a long way since its inception. They now have an entire section of their stores dedicated totally to beauty aides, and this includes a great selection of men’s colognes. You’ll find almost everything here (much like Wal-Mart but without the potential entertainment/shock value) that you could possibly want when you are shopping for a new scent.
The price point here will range from fantastic sale prices to your average expected price for the newest designer fragrances. They also offer a coffret selection; this is a boxed set of the most popular fragrance samples at a decent price. Why samples? So you can choose from a variety of fragrances before you hand over your cash. The sets also come with a coupon for one bottle out of the set that you like the most. There is no further cost to you once you pick out your favorite cologne.
Just walk in with your coupon once you’ve chosen which one you like, and go home with your new full sized bottle of that scent. It’s a win-win.
Another great drugstore that can be found on practically every other block in almost any city. This store boasts a selection of men’s fragrance that you will find in the other higher end stores. Designers fragrances stand beside the favorites of high school stand-bys. Again, you can find extreme bargains here on a weekly basis.
The typical price point of these fragrances is going to be your standard retail expectations, so expect mid to high price point. The great thing about these stores is the quick in and out you can manage, so if you’re running out to get your favorite cologne you just ran out of before the big date it’s a quick stop.
There are many other department stores and drugstores that carry name brand fragrances all over the continent, and some of the locals (or very similar namesakes or forerunners) have even made their way to other countries.
-Macy’s Department Store
-Hudson Bay Company
The bottom line is that you can find your favorite cologne almost anywhere. You can shop in your underwear from the comfort of your couch, or you can arm yourself with your old high school football shoulder pads and brave the crowds on the weekends. You can hit your local drugstore, and you’ll probably even be able to charm a few samples out of them while you’re there so you can make a decision between a few and come back to make a purchase later.
Shopping is a lot less painful than it used to be. I wouldn’t call it fun, but it’s pretty painless and it doesn’t have to be a challenge to go and pick up a bottle of that scent that it going to turn everyone’s head. Minus the goat. Let me know if you find any Hai Karate anywhere. I miss that stuff.