What makes a masculine scent? Masculinity in fragrances is hard to define. We all know a masculine scent when we smell one, but how do we describe it? What are the standout elements of a masculine scent? First, it’s important to recognize that scents and fragrances are very personal things. What one person might find calming and soothing, another might find downright offensive. For some people, sensitivity and allergies can also come into play. When we’re talking about wearable scents like lotions, body wash for men, or cologne, there’s an additional factor to consider. Your body’s unique chemistry reacts with different scents in a way that doesn’t apply to anyone else. That’s why the exact same scent can smell profoundly distinct between two different people. Some scents are going to work well with your chemistry, pleasing everyone around you, while others might have the opposite effect.
There is a pleasing scent out there for everyone, one that works with your chemistry and compliments your natural aroma. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the scents that work best for men so you can find that perfect fragrance that suits you just right.
What Defines a Masculine Scent
So, what are the base notes and key identifiers of masculine fragrances? How do we identify which scents are manly and which are feminine? As a starting point, generally speaking, feminine scents are more sweet and floral than masculine scents. Masculine aromas are sharper and muskier and often laden with spice. Digging a little bit deeper, we find that masculine scents are often defined by outdoorsy aromas and traditionally masculine things like different types of wood, tobacco, and leather. Masculine scents in aftershave and cologne also tend to be heavier on the base notes. Some manly scents hit more of those masculine notes than others, and the ones that resonate most with you is a personal choice with no wrong answer.
Popular Masculine Fragrance Notes
There are many manly base notes that are frequently found in aftershave and other scents for men. These notes work well with guys and often compliment natural aromas. Let’s go over some of these notes so you can look out for them when making your next fragrance purchase.
Leather is a common note in men’s fragrances and is commonly described as smelling like oak or other varieties of wood. It’s distinctly earthy and can sometimes have subtle burnt notes or hints of tobacco. Leather compliments organic scents that are woody or floral, and leather blends well with herbal notes as well.
If you’re looking for a solid cologne for men that is reminiscent of a manly leather scent, Kingsmen Premium’s Holy Grail will tick the leather box.
Some assume that a tobacco scent will smell smokey, but this scent is derived from fresh tobacco leaves. The fragrance is a sweet one that pairs well with warm scents like vanilla and spice. Tobacco can also have base notes that are slightly floral, which makes this fragrance easily paired with just about any scent for men.
Wood comes in so many varieties that all smell slightly different, but in general, wood notes in fragrance smell warm and earthy, especially oak, oud, and cedar. There are, however, some woods that can smell crisp, clean, and bright, like sandalwood. The warmer wood notes pair beautifully with cozy vanilla or spice, while the brighter wood scents are elevated by citrus, fruity and floral notes.
Kingsmen Premium’s flagship scent is one of oud wood which is a warm, manly, regal scent that has subtle notes of vanilla. Perfect for the man who loves woody base notes.
Musk is a very woodsy fragrance, often used as base notes in various men’s products. It’s quite earthy but unlike any other scent often found in commercial fragrances. Musk is beautifully complimented by vanilla notes as well as citrus. As such, Kingsmen Premium’s White Knight scent is the perfect pairing with any musk fragrance, and Holy Grail can fill in for a great musk aroma with warm undertones.
Allspice originally got its name from its tendency to smell like a perfect blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The scent is warm and spicy and compliments vanilla notes as well as earthy scents like patchouli.
Kingsmen Premium’s Black Knight is a manly scent with spicy undertones that will please any man who loves the smell of allspice.
Cedar has a unique smell that is often described as slightly prickly with herbal, woody, and cooling undertones. It is a scent unlike any other wood scent out there. Derived from the bark of the cedar tree, cedarwood is complemented by various herb scents like rosemary as well as some florals, including jasmine. This is a clean, warm scent that works well all year round.
Kingsmen Premium’s Black Knight scent is reminiscent of cedarwood as well as Dragon, with its patchouli undertones.
Rosemary is a full-bodied scent that draws the mind to pine needles, sometimes with a subtle smokey note as well. Rosemary pairs well with other herbal scents as well as anything floral like lavender. It’s also a good compliment for cedarwood.
Kingsmen Premium’s White Knight has a clean, lavender and citrus scent that lovers of Rosemary will appreciate.
Oakmoss smells like the forest, with mushroom notes as well as earthy undertones and woody, smokey and leathery hints. Oakmoss is the perfect partner in scent with herbal fragrances and will effectively complement citrus aromas. It also mixes beautifully with various woody scents and florals.
Black Knight is a manly scent from Kingsmen Premium that can smell somewhat of oakmoss and contains ingredients like sandalwood that compliments it.
Sandalwood can often make one think of soap, with powerful earthy and woody notes. It’s sweet and rich and can have a hint of floral notes in there. Complimentary scents for sandalwood include clean notes like citrus and fruit, as well as some herbal scents and warm, inviting spices.
Black Knight is Kingsmen Premium’s go-to sandalwood scent with spice notes and citrus, berry, and lavender undertones.
Rum spice is sweet and slightly rummy with notes of caramelized sugar and molasses. You’ll catch a whiff of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon as well. It’s a warm scent that compliments other warm notes such as vanilla and allspice and combines with lavender and juniper well.
One of Kingsmen Premium’s most popular fragrances contains rum spice. Black Knight is a clean, warm scent featuring sandalwood, lavender, citrus, berries, and rum spice.
A summer flower with a strong scent, lavender is calming, floral, organic, and fresh. Earthy fragrances pair well with lavender, like oakmoss, cedarwood, and sandalwood. You’ll also get a beautiful scent when you combine lavender with citrus and fruit.
Both Black Knight and White Knight are fragrances in the Kingsmen Premium lineup that will get you those lavender base notes that you’re after.
A spicy, clean, and crisp scent, black pepper can add to a fragrance in pleasing ways. Paired with citrus, other spice notes, as well as deep, herbal fragrances, black pepper shines.
Black Knight has subtle hints of black pepper and is one of Kingsmen Premium’s most sought-after scents for men.
Vetiver is a pungent organic scent rooted in dried grass, hints of fresh soil with soapy and citrus fruit notes that make an appearance. Many compare the smell of vetiver to lemongrass.
Vetiver is complimented by woody scents like patchouli and sandalwood, as well as citrus such as tangerine. You can also mix it with Jasmine, lavender, and other florals for a pleasing blend.
Those looking for a vetiver-like scent will be pleased with Kingsmen Premium’s Dragon, which has notes of patchouli, incense, and campfire.
Patchouli is an ancient fragrance that is sweet and earthy. There is a hint of spice in there to give it an exotic feel. Patchouli pairs well with sandalwood, frankincense, bergamot, cedarwood, and vanilla. You’ll also love a blend of patchouli and jasmine or rose.
Kingsmen Premium’s Dragon scent is the perfect manly fragrance for patchouli lovers, with subtle hints of incense and campfire notes in the background.
Ginger is a bright but spicy fragrance and often smells crisp and clean. Ginger is often blended with bergamot, citrus, cedarwood, clove, and juniper.
Kingsmen Premium’s White Knight and Chainmail are both bright, clean fragrances reminiscent of ginger-based fragrances that any man is bound to love.
Eucalyptus is a distinctly menthol-centered fragrance that is very strong but cool, herbal, and soothing. It’s a great scent for hot, muggy summer days. Eucalyptus is complimented well by cedarwood, cypress, floral scents, ginger, citrus, juniper, marjoram, peppermint, pine, rosemary, and thyme.
For men who love aftershave with clean fragrances like eucalyptus, Kingsmen Premium’s Chainmail is a fragrance you’ll love.
Warm and spicy, cinnamon is fruity and a little bit peppery with some notes of vanilla. Scents that are peppery, spicy, floral, and citrusy will compliment the smell of cinnamon as well as, of course, vanilla.
The rum spice in Kingsmen Premium’s Black Knight gives a subtle hint of cinnamon, making it the perfect scent for men who love this fragrance. Kings Court is another warm scent that cinnamon lovers will enjoy.
Cumin is a deeply pungent, organic scent that is slightly nutty, a little bit spicy, and bold. Earthy notes, as well as various spice scents, would compliment cumin well. Citrus and herbal aromas are also paired well with this scent.
Kingsmen Premium’s Black Knight has pleasing spice notes reminiscent of cumin for any man looking for these notes in a fragrance.
Sage often brings images of Thanksgiving dinner, as it’s a key ingredient in the holiday’s traditional dishes. It’s warm, earthy, and herbal. The inviting scent of sage is often paired with different spice notes, florals like jasmine, and citrus scents like lemon, orange, and grapefruit.
Kingsmen Premium’s White Knight is a blend of citrus and lavender and provides that deeply herbal scent sage lovers will enjoy.
Bergamot is a clean, citrusy scent that is often compared to orange or tangerine. There are floral notes, and it is the dominating scent in Earl Gray tea. Naturally, bergamot is complemented impeccably by floral and citrus notes, but it also pairs well with pepper fragrances and herbs.
Lemon is a bright, sunny scent that makes you feel clean and fresh. As a citrus scent, it pairs exceptionally well with florals like lavender, herbal fragrances like thyme, and wood scents like sandalwood.
Kingsmen Premium’s White Knight features a lemon scent alongside sage and lavender, and Chainmail is a bright, clean blend of citrus oils that will satisfy your lemon love.
Amber is a scent that comes from a blend of different ingredients. The blend is notably warm and often features vanilla notes as well as patchouli. Amber pairs well with spice fragrances like cinnamon and clove, as well as woodsy and earthy aromas.
With its warm oud wood base notes, Kingsmen Premium’s Holy Grail is the perfect, seductive oud cologne scent for those drawn to amber.
Costus is musky and may remind you of aged wood. This unique scent is paired well with warm, woodsy fragrances as well as herbs and florals like jasmine and lavender.
Holy Grail by Kingsmen Premium is a perfect stand-in for costas, delivering warm, cozy woody musk notes and vanilla undertones.
Hay can provide a sweet note to fragrance blends that are also earthy and grassy. This aroma blends well with woody notes like patchouli and sandalwood. You’ll also get a pleasing aroma from blending this with herbs and citrus scents.
For those who love the bouquet of hay, Kingsmen Premium’s Dragon scent is a perfect choice featuring warm, earthy patchouli.
A clean, bright, sunny scent, grapefruit is citrus and works well in shower-fresh scents. Grapefruit pairs well with other citrus fragrances as well as various herbs and florals like lavender.Kingsmen Premium’s Chainmail is a blend of citrus oils that will please anyone looking for grapefruit notes in their various scented products like body wash for men.