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Scents are a personal and powerful part of our memories. We vividly remember the aromas we smelled years ago, the people who wore them, and the recollections connected to them.
Consequently, it goes without saying that we respond to a particular fragrance depending on the event, occasion, or person we associate it with.
Vintage scents can be very reassuring and comforting. They remind us of our youth, childhood, or dear family members. They also resonate with the fashion of the day.
Take any popular cologne in the 90s, and it will conjure memories of high-rise/flared denim, acid-wash jeans, flannel shirts, capris, and the white tee, to name a few.
What are the Best 90's Men's Colognes?
What's Unique About Men's Colognes From the 90s
The years between 1990 and 1999 were marked by warm, musk-centric scents that focused majorly on the wearer. They were subtle in a way that enhanced an individual’s natural scent, making it easy for anyone around the wearer to venture closer for a better whiff.
Most of these scents remain immensely popular even today when so many new formulations, styles, and trends have flooded the world of perfumes. They have a classic yet unique edge that makes them super appealing. Yet, for many wearers, it’s the sense of nostalgia they induce that makes them keep going back to the old but beloved colognes.
So which perfumes feel distinctly 90s? Check out our collection and see whether your favorite scent from the 90s makes the list. (If you like retro fragrances, look at what we consider the most fantastic picks from the seventies).
In-Depth Popular 90s Colognes Reviews
Aqua di Gio is a unique and deeply appealing blend of citrus, aqueous accords, and earthy tones. A creation of the genius Alberto Morillas et al., the scent expertly captures freedom expressed in the refreshing feel of seawater mingled with warm sun rays on your skin.
A sharp, luminous opening welcomes you to Aqua di Gio. Multiple citrus accords paired with sensual jasmine and neroli pave the way for an aromatic core rich with spices, florals, and a touch of salty marine notes. The base is woodsy and musky, incorporating warmth, softness, and a hint of earthiness from patchouli. The result? A perfect blend.
Acqua di Gio is profoundly intoxicating. The amazing depth, coupled with a beautiful harmony between notes, creates an incredibly seductive scent. Remarkably versatile, it’s contemporary yet invokes nostalgia, and you can wear the fragrance anywhere and everywhere, particularly during summer. As you can see, there are many reasons why Acqua di Gio was a popular cologne in the 90s.
Top Notes: Bergamot, Lime, Lemon, Mandarin, Orange, Jasmine, Neroli
Middle Notes: Sea notes , Peach, Jasmine, Nutmeg, Coriander, Freesia, Rosemary, Rose
Base Notes: White musk, Amber, Cedar, Patchouli, Oakmoss
What we liked
- Sophisticated, timeless, a classic
- Instantly recognizable and wildly popular
- Lasts long and doesn't overwhelm people nearby
Albert Morillas also formulated this citrus aromatic fragrance that comes in a gender-neutral composition. It soon became a wardrobe staple and remains a beloved cologne to this day, thanks to its clean, optimistic, refreshing signature.
CK One notes include bergamot, papaya, pineapple, violet, rose, musk, and nutmeg. Meanwhile, green tea adds a refreshing tingle to this light fragrance that trails off with musk and warm amber.
A popular 90s cologne with a contemporary feel, CK One remains unforgettable decades after its revolutionary launch. The scent is super cool, highly appealing, lasts relatively long, and is quite versatile. In other words, you can make CK One your daily go-to freshie.
Top Notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Green notes, Mandarin, Pineapple, Cardamom, Papaya
Middle Notes: Lily-of-the-valley, Freesia, Jasmine, Rose, Violet, Nutmeg, Orris root
Base Notes: Green accord, Amber, Sandalwood, Musk, Cedar, Oakmoss, Green tea
What we liked
- A genuine classic
- All-time favorite
- Ideal for all men/women regardless of age
This time around, Antony Morillas teamed up with Annie Buzantian to create Tommy, a bright, refreshing, and energizing fragrance. If you wore Tommy in high school or college – it was a wardrobe staple in the 90s – you’ll recall how cool it was to don this incredibly-smelling cologne. Such a hit with the girls!
Tommy Hilfiger sports a clean, fresh, and alluring aroma that draws compliments. The simple blend of citrus, greens, and spice hits all the right spots. It has the right amount of sweetness and spiciness, balanced with fruity essences. Though formulated more than 20 years ago, and possessing a classic barbershop aura, Tommy cologne for men maintains a contemporary vibe.
Tommy is pretty affordable, giving you great value for money. The scent delivers a decent projection and performance and works for both casual and formal settings.
If you are in the market for a laid-back, daily scent with a crisp, fresh, inoffensive aroma, try Tommy Hilfiger EDT. This 90’s men’s cologne is memorable, crowd-pleasing, and excellent for sunny days.
Top Notes: Mint, Lavender, Bergamot, Grapefruit
Middle Notes: Granny Smith apple, Rose, Cranberry
Base Notes: Cotton flower, Amber, Cactus
What we liked
- A classic scent
- Comes highly recommended
- Great bargain price
This popular 1995 classic is credited to Francis Kurkdjian. The fragrance is warm, intensive, and highly attractive, capturing the familiar aroma of shaving soap underlain by vanilla accents. Women find Le Male irresistibly sexy owing to its robust, sensual, and masculine profile.
Le Male cologne is an exciting blend of contrasts, pitting the traditional against bold, modern nuances. It opens with fresh mint and lavender, symbolizing power and tradition, respectively, while vanilla at the base incorporates tenderness and warmth in equal measure. Meantime, the heart captures cumin, cinnamon, and orange blossom.
While its potency may have dipped slightly with reformulation (the original formulation lasted up to 24 hours), Le Male Cologne delivers impressive staying power and a solid projection. It’s an absolute masterpiece that will transport you straight to the 90s!
Le Male boasts an overt sensuality, which is evident as soon as you set eyes on the flacon housing the virile liquid. It comes in an eye-catching bottle shaped like a man’s torso – makes an exciting addition to any fragrance collection!
Top Notes: Lavender, Bergamot, Cardamom, Mint, Artemisia
Middle Notes: Cinnamon, Caraway, Orange blossom
Base Notes: Vanilla, Cedarwood, Tonka bean, Sandalwood, Amber
What we liked
- Smells terrific
- Comforting yet unabashedly masculine
- A quality scent with an affordable price tag
Mandarin orange, lime, lemon, jasmine, woods, and sea notes. These are the accords that make up Clinique’s Happy for Men, a refreshingly fruity cologne that closed the decade in focus.
Clinique Happy explodes with notes of citrus orange and sharp green accords. The scent gradually morphs into a clean, soapy, well-balanced composition which persists to the end of the fragrance progression, finally settling into a lovely skin scent.
Cool, crisp, light, and clean-smelling, Clinique Happy EDT suits the office environment to a tee. Its uplifting citrusy aroma enriched by a floral core holds an intriguing attraction, yet it’s not overpowering, making it safe to wear around colleagues. Better yet, it is compatible with both genders.
Longevity is not all that, and Happy EDT could do with a little more depth, but this perfume wears well. Its enticing aroma gives you a feel-good feeling and attracts loads of compliments from anyone who crosses your path.
Top Notes: Mandarin orange, Lime, Lemon, Sea notes, Green notes
Middle Notes: Freesia, Rose, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley
Base Notes: Guaiac wood, Cypress, Musk, Cedar
What we liked
- A bright, fresh, and uplifting fragrance
- Instantly likable
- Great value
Boss Bottled, another popular men’s cologne in the 90’s, is our next entrant. Conceived for the contemporary man whose morning grooming routine forms part of the foundation to his success, this highly-rated cologne still has the ability to make heads turn. It’s also way better than other designer fragrances with a similar personality.
Bottled Boss Eau de Toilette is marked by fresh and fruity apple and citrus headnotes whose sensuous essence is balanced by a smooth spicy/floral core featuring cinnamon, mahogany, and carnation. The base plays host to ultra-manly accords, namely sandalwood, cedar, and vetiver.
It opens somewhat tart, thanks to the green apple wrapped in other citrus scents, but soon morphs into the warm sweet embrace provided by cinnamon.
The great-smelling fragrance arrives in an iconic flacon whose clean lines exude modernism and stylish elegance. It’s well-rounded, suits most occasions – casual settings, work, plus everything in between – and is the perfect blind buy if you are looking to gift a friend.
Top Notes: Apple, , Bergamot, Plum, Lemon, Geranium, Oakmoss
Middle Notes: Cinnamon, Carnation, Mahogany
Base Notes: Vanilla, Cedar, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Olive tree
What we liked
- Soft and cuddly
- A well-loved compliment magnet
- Decent projection and lasting power
Does the thought of a rose accord in a masculine fragrance fill you with intrigue?
Emanuel Ungaro’s Pour L-Homme III captures the unique aroma of rose and vodka. Jaques Polge created the complex scent in 1993. In this ageless masterpiece, the rose accord is vibrant and quite prominent, while the dry down comes off woodsy, sweet, and herbal. Overall, you get a clean, fresh, lovely scent.
Ungaro III is equally at home at the beach or the office. Wearing the uplifting scent leaves you feeling powerfully alive. And while the staying power is on the moderate side, the sillage is incredible. The best part is that it comes at an incredibly low price, so you can afford a few extra spritzes or reapply when the need arises.
Top Notes: Vodka, Lemon, Orange, Lavender, Sage, Coriander, Mahogany
Middle Notes: Rose, Jasmine, Geranium, Lily-of-the-valley
Base Notes: Vanilla, Cedar, Oakmoss, Musk, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver
What we liked
- Best for mature gents
- Easy to wear
- An affordable cologne that punches above its weight
Your fragrance makes an essential part of your identity. People close to you will usually remember the scent you wear or associate a particular smell with you. When you meet new people, your perfume leaves a lasting impression. It is, therefore, important to choose your daily scent with great care.
Our curated list showcases the best men’s cologne from the 90’s. If you are a budding fragrance collector, this provides a great starting point. Which ones will you pick?