Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
If ‘Tall, Dark and Handsome’ is the ultimate goal – what might ‘dark’ be interpreted as?
For some, this could mean having a darker, more mysterious scent. With their earthy and distinctive scent, woody fragrances could be a way to achieve this. When it comes to cologne, all notes of scent are an extremely personal choice, and finding one that suits you just right can take a lot of kissing frogs before a prince emerges.
Below are our top ten choices of woody colognes that hit all the right notes.
What Is Woody Cologne?
Woody fragrances can most easily be characterised by being sourced from earthy materials, such as trees, resin, moss and bark. You’re likely to mostly find top notes that are both aromatic and citric in a woody scent, with the dominance of the wood itself found more in the base notes.
A musky cologne like this will be known for its earthy qualities, combining a richness with an authentic kind of elegant warmth. Sandalwood colognes are amongst the most popular choices, making up the ‘creamier’ end of the scent spectrum.
For a deeper or smokier fragrance, try patchouli or vetiver. Cedarwood is your best bet for a fragrance that’s more dry, while oud wood is considered to be the most complex – and possibly heaviest – of the bunch.
For an extra element in woody fragrances, add an extra dimension to your scent by introducing fruitier notes, florals, herbs or additional spices. This will take your fragrance into different sub-categories depending on the notes you choose to add (e.g. ‘Woody Oriental’), but will ultimately remain a woody cologne at its core.
Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Wood Eau De Parfum Spray
An instant eau de parfum classic, this woody fragrance is the first cologne with sandalwood on our list. The scent is said to explore the secret history of addictive Arabic passions, and the added notes of tobacco only go to prove that further. Inspired by the ‘Dokha’ blend of herbs, florals and spices, this fragrance is a staple for a classic yet heady woody scent.
Gucci ‘Guilty’ Eau Pour Homme for Men Eau De Toilette
Made for men who want to feel liberated, this eau de toilette is one of our more decadent smelling choices. Blending notes of patchouli with pink pepper, the scent has distinctive hints of leather that provides an ultra-masculine edge. Floral and honey notes help to give the fragrance a richer edge, with the heavier richness brought back down to earth by the addition of cedar wood.
Paco Rabanne 1 Million for Men
With top notes of orange and grapefruit, this woody fragrance is both dynamic and passionate. Inspired by wealth and luxury, the fruity overtones are met with complimentary cinnamon notes. Made as a fragrance suitable for all occasions, this woody scent is extremely well suited for all confident men.
CK ‘Eternity’ For Men
A fragrance known for being refreshing, this scent is perfect for everyday wear. Blended with jasmine, basil and rosewood, the scent contains spicy notes that marry beautifully with floral overtones. A timeless classic for many fragrance wearers, this cologne is recommended for daytime wear as it doesn’t overwhelm any of the senses.
Yves Saint Laurent The Oriental Collection: Splendid Wood
Embracing Middle Eastern woody fragrances, this YSL cologne is both gentle and confident. Rooted in cedarwood and spiced with cardamom and thyme, there are many fine layers of different woody and earthy notes. Boasting to be the essence of fascination with oriental textures, this scent is ideal if you’re looking to expand your collection or try a cologne with a new edge.
Lagerfeld Classic by Karl Lagerfeld
If you’re looking for a creative twist on a classic, this may be the fragrance for you. Distinctive for its warm, orange colouring, this earthy, spiced scent is another successful score for colognes with sandalwood. There’s added notes of vanilla and rose here, bringing together the perfect fusion of floral, oriental and woody tones.
DSquared2 Wood Rocky Mountain
Combining the best of floral and woody fragrance, the scent is billed as a complete sensory experience. Additional tones include bergamot, lemon, ginger and violet leaf – each of which are sourced from different points across the globe. Designed around the distinctive characteristics of wood, the fragrance is perfect for a new go-to smell, being recognisable with hints of doing things differently.
Eau D’Aromes by Armani for Men
This is a fragrance known for playing with different contrasts. This scent is one on our list that distinctly is also sweet, adding freshness with sage and giving a kick with chilli pepper. A better fragrance for a special occasion, Armani creates a new kind of depth and definition for what a cologne can be.
Dolce & Gabbana Intenso
The first in our list to combine heady chocolate and tobacco scents, this fragrances is fuelled by the raw power of emotion and instinct. A woody aromatic smell, the classic nature of the fragrance is followed through in the design of the bottle. Elegant and understated, this scent is best suited for long-lasting evening wear.
Givenchy ‘Gentlemen Only’ for Men
Classy and casual in one bottle, this woody cologne truly marries the best of both worlds. Adding vodka and frozen mint, there’s a new style of freshness hidden within the known brand’s fragrance. As best woody scents go, this is hard to beat as an all-around, reliable pleaser.
The Woody Cologne Edit
Woody colognes are a staple in any fragrance collection, being both classic and flexible to wear during any point of the day. Look for subtle mixing differences to find a new scent that suits you and brings out an extra boost of confidence.
- Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Wood Spray
- Gucci ‘Guilty’ Eau Pour Homme
- Paco Rabanne 1 Million for Men
- CK ‘Eternity’ For Men
- Yves Saint Laurent The Oriental Collection: Splendid Wood
- Lagerfeld Classic by Karl Lagerfeld
- DSquared2 Wood Rocky Mountain
- Eau D’Aromes by Armani for Men
- Dolce & Gabbana Intenso
- Givenchy ‘Gentlemen Only’ for Men