5 Men’s Colognes I DON’T Recommend – And Why [2023 Update]
Are you new to the fragrance market? Do you think it’s a bit of a minefield? Not sure which men’s fragrances you should avoid? In today’s article, I’m going to cover 5 men’s colognes that I DON’T recommend – and why.
5. Tom Ford Tuscan Leather
Some of you may be surprised by this one.
Tom Ford Tuscan Leather is an edgy, bad boy, aggressive leather interpretation that’s difficult to pull off.
Although this cologne is loved in sections of the fragrance community, Tuscan Leather can only be worn by specific men in certain situations. This is due to a bold, animalic leather accord which will indisputably turn heads (for better or worse!).
One fragrance reviewer had this to say about Tuscan Leather:
Meh. Cowboy leather and florals and chocolate. I don’t really get the hype, it either will smell too masculine or too feminine depending on what stage.Fragrantica.com
The scent profile, coupled with its relatively poor performance, make this difficult for me to recommend.
However, I DO recommend Tom Ford Ombre Leather which has much more mass appeal. It’s a great introductory leather scent that’s one of the most affordable Tom Ford offerings on the market.
4. Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey
L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme comes in at #4 on the list.
L’Eau d’Issey has been a warm weather favourite of the fragrance community since it was first released back in 2009. It has a very expansive scent profile, consisting of several citruses, spices, and woods.
However, rumours are that is has been reformulated since its success a decade ago. And I’d believe it, because the most prominent accord to my nose is a piercing, screechy, sharp citrus note.
This fragrance reviewer seems to have a similar opinion:
This fragrance used to be good and smelled a lot different than it does now. Right now it’s not a good scent. I can’t really describe it other than it has a terrible astringent lemony chemical cleaner smell that is not pleasant in the least.Fragrantica.com
Although I haven’t tried the earlier batches to compare, I simply can’t recommend this cologne in its current form. That one note alone is too off putting to give the rest of the fragrance a chance.
Nevertheless, not all is lost! Versace Man Eau Fraiche fills a similar role, at a similar price.
3. Creed Millesime Imperial
A controversial inclusion in the list from the niche fragrance powerhouse, Creed.
Millesime Imperial is a refreshing composition consisting of sea saltiness, citruses, and fruits. This scent is what you’d expect a luxe, expensive, 5-star resort to smell like.
Sounds great! So what’s the problem?
It’s simple really. Millesime Imperial has very poor performance for such an expensively-priced scent.
This reviewer kept it concise in their assessment:
very nice smell, very weak performance. given the price, it is a no no for meFragrantica.com
If you have some cash to splash, I’d say go for it. However if you’re like me and want bang for your buck, there are alternatives. A notable release I recommend is Armaf Milestone, which is an ‘inspiration’ of Millesime Imperial. And honestly, they do a pretty good job for 1/5th of the price.
2. Lalique Encre Noire
Lalique Encre Noire makes it into the #2 spot on this list.
Much like the other fragrances here, Encre Noire is a veteran of the fragrance world, having first been released back in 2006.
It features a masculine scent profile of cypress, vetiver, cashmere wood, and musk. Additionally, it has good performance for such an affordable designer cologne.
However, this fragrance smells rather unusual, and not in an endearing way. It’s absent of a warm, likeable quality that you’d expect to find in cold weather scents. Additionally, it’s one of the least versatile colognes out there.
Check out what this reviewer had to say:
A simplistic fragrance that has fallen victim to its own hype. While I can appreciate what it is, I don’t like this smell at all. It is far too dark and different to be versatile or worn casually.Fragrantica.com
I can’t recommend this release by Lalique given the points above.
1. YSL Y EDT
Unfortunately, this cologne was a disappointment, and I can’t recommend it.
YSL Y EDT was released in 2017 and has notes you’d want to see in any quality designer scent. Bergamot, ginger, mint, violet, sage, musk, cedar, the list goes on.
My issue with YSL Y EDT is subtle, but not something I can ignore.
Y EDT smells too familiar, like an aroma you’d expect to smell in a laundry detergent or disinfectant. Although the scent on its own is safe and isn’t awful, this isn’t something I’d want to wear on my skin.
One reviewer on Fragrantica.com had this to say about YSL Y EDT:
It’s not a bad smell. It’s fine. Just very, VERY boring. The first sniff was a nice bergamot smell, but it quickly turned into a cleaning product kind of smell. It’s also very weak/mild.Fragrantica.com
Therefore, the scent profile, coupled with the poor performance, means I can’t recommend this scent in its current form.
YSL Y EDP on the other hand? Now THAT scent is a beauty. It featured high on my Top 5 YSL Colognes list.