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The 70s are largely known for their incomparable music and iconic fashion style. The huge afro, flared denim, and platform shoes all date back to this dazzling period. But did you know that the 1970s also had amazing colognes, some of which remain popular to date?
As perfume increasingly became integral to the perfect outfit, musky and woody scents stole the show, becoming the most preferred aromas. Read on to discover the best retro fragrances that shaped the groovy 70s — and beyond.
What are the Best 1970's Men’s Colognes?
What’s Unique About Men's Colognes From the 1970's
The 1970s are often ranked high among the best decades for colognes, with good reason. Men from this period liked to be clean-shaven, wear suits, and bold, masculine colognes.
As a result, the most popular fragrances from this era were ultra-masculine scents meant for daring men. The type of alpha males who aren’t fazed by minor things — like attracting attention.
It’s easy to recognize colognes of the 70s since their old-school vintage vibe is so unique. The scents are bold and strong, and most of these scents last a long time. A lot of 1970s mens cologne have pine and oakmoss base notes, which are meant to last and draw attention.
While these fragrances were extremely popular back in the day, most scents are considered dated, even if they’re quite timeless. The good thing is that you can get them at a pocket-friendly price. Still, you might be surprised to learn that some of your favorite scents date back to those years.
That said, not everyone likes these colognes of the 70s, as some people find them somewhat dated. But if you grew up in the 70s or 80s, you likely find these scents timeless. As such, they may bring up a sense of nostalgia or stir up precious memories. Let’s go ahead and check them out.
In-Depth 1970's Men’s Cologne Reviews
Brut was a luxury cologne back in the 70s. Celebrities also endorsed it, and rumor has it that even Elvis Presley, the King, wore this cologne. The Fabergé Brut is a splash of fragrance that men would apply directly to their faces.
A classic barbershop fragrance, this is similar in structure to most classic aromatic fougeres with a definitive floral scent profile. It’s known for its distinctive, iconic notes.
The opening notes consist of a bold blast of fresh lavender, citrus, basil, and anise accords. Heart notes are a combination of geranium, jasmine, and ylang-ylang, while oakmoss, vanilla, and sandalwood make up the fragrance’s base.
The anise is the special component here that makes this cologne so unique. It adds a hint of spice, differentiating Brut from other aromatic fougere colognes.
Fabergé Brut has a moderate projection and lifespan and is excellent for spring. You can wear this timeless cologne to work, for an evening out, or whenever you need a pick-me-up.
Brut is a beloved cologne, and the passage of time has done little to diminish this.
Top Notes: Lavender, Basil, Orange blossom, Lemon, Bergamot, Anise
Middle Notes: Geranium, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Vanilla, , Sandalwood
What we liked
- A classic masculine cologne
- Ideal for everyday use
- Smells great
Released in 1978, the Ralph Lauren Polo Green is a timeless classic developed by perfumer Carlos Benaim. The fragrance came in a green bottle, to suit the name. The legendary fragrance is still hugely popular, and very few men would say they’ve never worn or smelled it.
Polo Green is a woody chypre that features green notes from juniper, oakmoss, pine, cedar, and leathery notes thanks to leather and patchouli. It also contains spicy flavors from pepper, tobacco, and coriander. The heavy base notes of oakmoss, tobacco, and patchouli make this fragrance stand out/
This designer fragrance was a departure from the norm. Traditionally, perfumers mainly leveraged citrusy and herby notes for their refreshing scents. At the time, Polo mixed a rare combination comprising leather, patchouli, and tobacco, creating a rich, unique, and profoundly masculine scent.
Ralph Lauren Polo Green could have easily won the top prize for the cologne of the decade. The classic male perfume boasts a fabulous fragrance that lasts up to 8 hours. This compliment-puller is also reasonably priced, hence offering great value for money.
Top Notes: Bergamot, Juniper Berries, Artemisia, Coriander, Caraway, Basil
Middle Notes: Geranium, Rose, Kasmine, Chamomile, Carnation, Pepper, Pine Tree Needles, Leather
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Vetiver, Musk, Amber, Cedar, Tobacco, Patchouli
What we liked
- Awesome scent
- Powerfully masculine
Lagerfeld Classic ranks among the earliest oriental woodsy fragrances. Released in 1978, the scent was packaged in an elegant decanter designed by Karl Lagerfeld himself.
The late Karl Lagerfeld was a German perfume designer, and this was his first male fragrance.
This vintage cologne features a pleasant musky aroma characterized by a robust spice and resin base with a touch of pepper. It kicks off with a bright blast of green herbs and citrus-y top notes, followed by an oriental twist of sandalwood and tobacco. These heart notes are accentuated by traces of rose and jasmine, adding subtle hints of romance. Finally, oakmoss, amber and vanilla usher in the base.
This powerhouse of a cologne boasts longevity and a potent projection. Though the scent is rather subtle and may vary depending on the wearer, it smells amazingly sexy, making it a perfect signature scent.
Ideal for the winter, this is a mature scent meant for classy, fashionable men. Wear this 70s cologne on date nights or for formal dinners, and you will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.
Top Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Tarragon, Clary Sage, Green Notes, Aldehydes
Middle Notes: Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood, Cedar, Orris Root, Patchouli, Tobacco
Base Notes: Oakmoss, Amber, Vanilla, Musk, Tonka
What we liked
- Great scent
- Lasts long
- Sexy and memorable
Jovan Musk is a luxurious men’s cologne from the 70s that was created by the perfumer Murray Moscona.
This masculine floral fragrance was released in 1973. It has an intoxicating mix of lavender, spices, and citrus accords that result in a truly irresistible scent. It boasts an intense, spicy, sweet scent that’s not overpowering. Indeed, the projection is relatively moderate.
The best words to describe this throwback cologne are warm, powdery, and musky. A sniff of this fragrance reveals powerful carnation notes. The scent evolves with lavender and amber accords, finally settling into a clean, musky aroma.
This signature scent can be worn daily as it blends with your pheromones to create an appealing aroma that’s uniquely yours. Moreover, it has decent longevity and will last between 6 and 8 hours. And the best part? It comes at an incredibly affordable price.
There’s absolutely no reason why this fabulous cologne shouldn’t be in your fragrance collection. It has withstood the test of time and still smells great today. Besides, it makes a great blind buy since it won’t hurt your pocket.
Top Notes: Carnation, Amalfi Lemon, Pepper, Lime
Middle Notes: Lavender, Amber, Spices, Mint
Base Notes: Musk, Woods
What we liked
- It makes an excellent gift
- Incredibly affordable
- Ideal for everyday use
Old Spice was a luxurious cologne back in the day. Albert Hauck was the nose behind this aftershave from the 70s.
Interestingly, Old Spice was initially created as a women’s fragrance in 1937 by Shulton Company. It was so successful that the company formulated a male version of it the following year which was an instant hit.
The Old Spice Classic Aftershave contains unique components that result in its cool, crisp, and spicy formulation.It opens with a zesty burst of citrus while the heart mellows to a floral bouquet featuring jasmine and carnations. Cinnamon spices add their rich notes to the woody amber base, which trails off with a vanilla flavor.
You can wear this warm and fresh scent almost everywhere, particularly during fall and winter. Its aroma reminds one of a dependable, hardworking man who loves taking care of his family.
This cologne might not be appropriate for young men. It’s not that potent and will only last about 4 hours, though it doesn’t fade entirely. Hence, it’s an endearing, timeless scent that makes the perfect scent.
Top Notes: Nutmeg, Blood Orange, Lemon, Star Anise, Aldehydes
Middle Notes: Jasmine, Cinnamon, Geranium, Carnation, Pimento, Heliotrope
Base Notes: Ambergris, Musk, Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Cedar, Benzoin
What we liked
- Great price
- Smells wonderful
- A cuddly scent with a feel-good quality
Givenchy Gentleman is unique in that it remains a refined cologne that remains relevant to this day. A 1975 release, the perfume was the work of Paul Leger.
This luxurious woody fragrance is blended to produce a scent that never goes out of style, lending the wearer a sense of class and maturity.
Givenchy Gentleman has oriental leanings characterized by spicy rose and honey top notes, jasmine and patchouli heart notes. It is rounded off by classic leather and oakmoss base notes which ensure that it dries down to a scent that is truly elegant.
The powerful combination results in a unique, mysterious elixir that exudes quiet confidence. The dominant notes are from patchouli, while the drydown is a civet-patchouli blend that’s quite distinctive.
This men’s cologne from the 70s lasts moderately long – about 4 hours – and is not overbearing. Light yet masculine, it has a rare scent profile that makes it ideal for evening wear. It’s particularly well suited for a romantic evening.
Givenchy Gentleman never goes out of style.The all-time classic is a true gentleman’s scent!
Top Notes: Tarragon, Bergamot, Tarragon, , Honey, Rose, Lime, Sandalwood
Middle Notes: Cedar, Orris, Jasmine, Patchouli
Base Notes: Amber, Musk, Oakmoss, Honey
What we liked
- Features a complex, yet subtle scent
- Excellent price
- An all-time classic fragrance
English Leather is a woody fragrance that was launched before the 1970s (in 1949, to be exact) but found mass appeal during this decade. It’s rough, rugged, and uncomplicated. The fragrance was created by MEM, a company based in Vienna.
Originally known as “Russian Leather” the name was changed to “English Leather” in 1949 when the scent was brought to the U.S.
The cologne’s opening is striking. Fresh citric notes from lemon and orange blend well with bergamot. Next, calm heart notes creep in, followed by a dry grassy aroma and deep woodsy accords. Ultimately, the fragrance evolves into a warm, soft, and powdery leather.
This leather fragrance for men features an old-school vibe. Its rich, sensual aroma is well-suited for anyone bold enough to express their unique sense of style.
English Leather lasts reasonably long (6-10 hours). While the leather notes remain prominent, you can also smell the delightful oakmoss as well as subtle traces of honey. It’s best to wear this scent during the colder winter months.
Top Notes: Bergamot, Lavender, Rosemary, Citrus (lemon and orange)
Middle Notes: Rose, Honey, Iris
Base Notes: Leather, Vetiver, Cedar, Tonka Bean
What we liked
- Extremely affordable
- Well-rounded masculine scent
- A time-honored classic
The seventies are now part of history, but it’s still possible to get some of the fine colognes that caused a stir back then. While you can buy most of them from online stores like Amazon, others are rare finds – you can only get them from collectors.
If you’re looking to experience a blast from years gone by, try sniffing one of these classic 1970’s mens colognes. Better yet, buy one or two and add them to your collection.
So, take a trip down memory lane, revisit some old scents and try them on for yourself so you can explore the colognes of the 70s and find your signature fragrance among them.