5 AWFUL Men’s Colognes (and Why)

It’s not often I write critique about awful men’s colognes. Nobody likes a buzzkill and nobody likes the thought that their favourite fragrance is a total dud. However, I have a duty to bring you the truth – whatever the cost. Today, I’m revealing 5 of the worst scents on the market right now. Guys, I tried hard to like these but I just couldn’t. Some smelled good in their heyday but have since lost their luster. Others? A steaming pile of excrement straight from the start. Let’s take a look.

Moschino Toy Boy

moschino toy boy

The first entry on my list of awful men’s colognes is the divisive Moschino Toy Boy.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2019, Toy Boy has gained a ton of attention. Firstly for the unique bottle design, but more importantly, the character of the juice within.

Toy Boy is focused on an obnoxious rose note that’s ridiculously bombastic and polarising. It’s heavy and sharp, mixed with pepper to create bold flair. Fortunately, supple cashmeran and dry woods emerge later to calm things down.

Now don’t call me a dull normie. I relish daring scents more than most – just check my thoughts about the spicy beast Parfums de Marly Kalan. However, Toy Boy pumps all its stat points into attention-seeking. Consequently, that comes at the detriment of everything else.

If by some miracle you’re still interested, for god’s sake do not blind buy.

This was very disappointing, lots of hype and definitely did not live up to it. On my skin, all I got was rose, pink pepper and more floral notes, 100% feminine and grandma scent. It was a spicy floral bomb.


Versace The Dreamer

versace the dreamer

I’ve reviewed tons of Versace colognes and enjoy most of them. I truly believe Versace is one of the best bang for buck brands on the market. Therefore, I had high hopes for Versace The Dreamer. Disturbingly, those dreams quickly turned to my worst nightmares.

The love this receives just baffles me. Versace The Dreamer is an astringent aromatic scent, led by sharp artemisia and juniper accords. A basic tobacco note lays underneath them.

Usually I’m a fan of the masculine tobacco vibe. Although here it feels completely out of place and lacks any charisma.

And when you couple an awkward scent profile with poor performance, the only option is to steer clear.

Do Not blind buy this. To me all I get is soft, cold, floral, cigarettes. Like walking into a mid-tier hotel room that used to allow smoking but not anymore, and like there’s some flower deodorizer in there. I believe all those whom said they love it, but I did not, even though I wanted to.


JPG Le Male

jean paul gaultier le male

Yeah, I’m going there. The original, iconic JPG Le Male is one of my most hated fragrances. This pick will be controversial but give me a chance to explain.

Le Male is known for its sweet, aromatic scent profile. It contains prominent vanilla, balanced with crisp aromatic mint and lavender. As it develops, there’s even some warm cardamom and woods that reveal themselves.

Sounds great right?

Unfortunately, the smell has become dated and the last decade has left it in the dust. This is the definition of a dad scent that is obsolete for younger men. Given it was first released in 1995 this should come as no surprise.

Luckily, Jean Paul Gaultier has kept with the times with its newer releases. For example, Le Male Le Parfum is one I highly recommend.

I religiously HATE this cologne. This is crap with nice longevity AND projection but I HATE the smell because it smells like and old man wearing a womans perfume YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Azzaro Chrome

azzaro chrome awful men's colognes

Taking the penultimate position on this list is the 1996 cologne Azzaro Chrome.

This has been a popular men’s wardrobe staple for many years. However like Le Male, Chrome is nowhere near the force it once was.

It smells like sharp citruses and herbs, with green oakmoss and effervescent musk arriving later. Despite feeling clean and uncomplicated, it too smells dated now.

Besides, aquatics are a dime a dozen these days. They’re everywhere and you’re destined to discover something that suits your taste. To start, I suggest the timeless Acqua di Gio and underrated Rasasi Hawas.

One of my first blind buys and I was very disappointed. It smells like you put your nose right on a stainless steel pipe with some lemon and lavender on it, so metallic!


Bad Boy Extreme

bad boy extreme awful men's colognes

Bad Boy Extreme was marketed as bringing a ‘new evolution’ to the Carolina Herrera line. It definitely did that, just not in a positive way.

I’m taking no prisoners here. The opening of Bad Boy Extreme is rotten.

It’s supposedly a quality mixture of cacao and patchouli. Although I can smell their presence, it’s extraordinarily synthetic, sludgy, and imbalanced. Furthermore, it also made me nauseous.

Admittedly, it does come good over time. The incense and ambery elements really tone down that horrifying first phase.

Nevertheless, that opening leaves a shuddering imprint that just cannot be erased.

cacao never fails to ruin a frag for me. On paper this is ok, on skin i can’t get past that cacao note.. it hurts. my boyfriend liked it but said it was too strong for his taste as he recoiled at first whiff


To Sum Up – 5 Awful Men’s Colognes

I don’t like doing these posts but you have a right to know. That’s my list of 5 awful men’s colognes to avoid.

I simply cannot comprehend how these get much (or even any) approval. Because there’s at least 1 big, blaring red flag with each of them.

Undoubtedly this list will generate debate. Thus, don’t forget to leave me a comment below with your views.

I want to hear from you. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts about this list of awful men’s colognes?

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