These best-selling colognes make for a perfect Valentine's Day gift

Nikhita Mahtani, CNN Underscored
Updated Tue February 4, 2020

Story highlights

  • These are the best-selling and best-smelling colognes at Sephora
  • Top-rated picks include scents from Tom Ford, Versace, Dior and more

If you don't know what to get the guy in your life for Valentine's Day, and you've already exhausted our extensive list of gifts for him, why not play it safe and go for a classic: cologne. But picking a signature cologne can be tricky. Often formulated with notes like cedar, amber, green apple and sensual vanilla, just one spritz can instantly transport you anywhere from the energizing shower of your dreams to a cozy night next to a fireplace to a beachside vacation.

Though all those options might sound tempting, it can be difficult to figure out a scent he'd like, especially one he'd want to wear everyday.

Luckily, our team is here to help: We went through the entire Sephora catalog to find the best-selling — and best-smelling — colognes that have a rating over four stars that make the perfect Valentine's Day gift for your favorite guy. With choices from Chanel, Armani and Versace, he'll smell better than a fresh bouquet of roses. Looking for gifts other than cologne? Check out our Valentine's Day guides on the best gifts for him, gifts for kids, Nordstrom gifts and gifts for couples.

Chanel Bleu De Chanel Eau de Parfum ($95-$160;

A clean, woody fragrance, this Chanel scent boasts a 4.9 star rating for a reason: The citrus and amber notes complement one another perfectly, while the cedar wood adds an element of punch. "I have literally about 100 colognes and this is one of my go to colognes for everyday wear. Great for business folks that have to wear a suit like me and need a day cologne," writes one reviewer. So, if you're looking for an everyday fragrance you can get a ton of use out of, consider this one.


Maison Margiela 'Replica' By The Fireplace ($126;

If the weather recently has you imagining warm days by the fire, this Maison Margiela cologne needs to be on your dressing table ASAP. With notes of vanilla, chestnut and clove, it's a woody, sweet scent. Designed to be comforting yet sensual, it's the ultimate cold weather fragrance.


Giorgio Armani Beauty Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme ($70-$150;

You wouldn't think of rosemary as an ideal cologne ingredient, but this Armani Beauty scent is an aquatic-inspired option that's super fresh and clean. Acqua Di Gio is ideal for the man who doesn't want an overpowering, woody fragrance.


Dior Sauvage Eau de Toilette ($77-$145;

One of the most distinctive colognes on the market, Dior Sauvage contains hints of ambroxan, Sichuan pepper and reggio bergamot — making it perfect for the man who wants to stand out from the crowd.

"To create Sauvage, I used man as my starting point. A strong and unmistakable masculinity," says Dior perfumer François Demachy. "Like the image of a man who transcends time and fashion." It's different, but in the best way.


Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille ($150-$615;

With ginger, tobacco and cocoa, this high-end Tom Ford cologne is the ultimate sweet and spicy scent for the person who just can't pick between the two.

"Tobacco Vanille is opulent, warm, and iconic," says Tom Ford about his favorite fragrance. With over 17,000 "loves" on, it seems the high price tag hasn't deterred consumers from trying it out, either. "I can smell it on my skin for hours, which is exactly what I wanted and expected from a luxury fragrance," writes one reviewer. Well worth the cost, to be sure.


Versace Eros ($70-$118;

Named after the ancient Greek god of love, Versace Eros uses mint leaves, lemon zest and green apple to bring about a fruity, cheerful vibe — no woody scents in sight.

If you're looking for an energizing scent to give you a pick-me-up through a long work day, this is absolutely the option to choose. "It's masculine without being overly musky, and as other reviewers have noted, something about it just sets it apart," writes on reviewer. "It's fresh, yet a bit sweet, and manly, but not overpowering."


Fresh Cannabis Santal ($50-$90;

Don't let the name fool you: this scent doesn't smell like marijuana!

Instead, this affordable option boasts notes of kumquat, plum, vanilla and musk to create a sultry, yet fruity scent. It's a warm option that reminds us of cozy blankets and delicious hot chocolate that's ideal for fall.


Paco Rabanne 1 Million Eau de Toilette ($72-$120;

If the bright gold bottle doesn't lure you in, the scent most definitely will: ths Paco Rabanne cologne boasts notes of rose, musk, cinnamon, peppermint, patchouli and white wood, among many others.

This leads to a multi-layered fragrance that starts off with citrus top notes, spicy middle notes, and woody base notes — everything you need in one fragrance.


Versace Dylan Blue ($70-$118;

Using fig leaves to give it a unique edge, Versace Dylan Blue is a cult favorite, with over 4.8 stars on Sephora.

Other fun additions include violet and black pepper, which gives a sultry touch to an otherwise modern fragrance. Described by one reviewer as "clean, masculine, sexy and not too sweet or powdery," it's a great option for those looking for something that's a bit outside the box.


Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit De L'Homme ($58-$92;

Designed as an experiment in contrasts, this YSL scent uses cardamom, cinnamon and cedarwood to create a spicy scent that has hints of woody accents. A true seductive fragrance in every sense of the word, it's the one scent to try for a special date.

Note: The prices above reflect the listed retailer's price on the date this article was published.