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The Best Classic Men's Colognes You Can Buy at the Mall

Dec 31, 2023

By Michella Oré

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There’s a quiet revolution brewing at the mall, and the menswear is just the beginning. Not convinced? Take a gander at GQ’s Hype List, our annual compendium of what’s cool right this very second, according to the savviest taste gods in our rolodex. Number 16: Mall-bought fragrances, the classic men's colognes you might remember wafting around the food courts of your youth.

To be clear, the colognes we’re talking about here were always good—over the years, you probably snuck at least one of them into your room before a “big night out”—but if it’s been a while since you’ve uncapped a bottle, now’s a great time to reacquaint yourself with their mythic formulas. Looking for a fragrance with a buzzy Tinseltown pedigree? Bleu de Chanel is for you. On the hunt for a scent that’ll make your cubicle smell like a fresh ocean breeze? Prada’s Luna Rossa line is the first place to start.

The vast majority of the OGs are still available at your local galleria, and now that you’re all grown up, you can afford a bottle of your own. Below, we rounded up the best classic men's colognes you can reliably find at the mall. To quote one of the mall's foremost evangelists: Get in, loser—we’re going shopping.


Bleu eau de parfum


We’ve waxed poetic about Chanel’s legendary scent before, but it warrants mentioning again here. Since its debut in 2010, the iconic fragrance has endeared itself to movie stars and non-A-listers alike, thanks to a formula that’s citrusy, earthy, and spicy. You can score your fix from the comfort of your couch, but we’d highly encourage snagging a bottle at the mall—if only for the flex-worthy Chanel bag it comes in.


Hypnotic Poison eau de parfum


Don’t let the name fool you: Dior’s cologne is not lethal to the wearer. In fact, people are still very much living for the scent's warm blend of almond, vanilla, and musk. It’s spicy, sexy, and just sweet enough—and unlike Snow White’s apple, its powers promise a fever dream you won’t want to wake up from.

Giorgio Armani

Acqua Di Gio eau de toilette spray


Giorgio Armani knows a thing or two about the power of simplicity. So think of Acqua Di Gió as the fragrance equivalent of his influential neutral-toned menswear; its crispy, earthy blend of bergamot, jasmine, and patchouli had made it a classic since its release in 1996. When the era’s minimalism was at its peak, this fragrance delivered on a scent that’s both distinct and inviting, but never overpowering—sort of like a caramel-colored cashmere sweater.

Paco Rabanne

1 Million parfum


Thanks to Paco Rabanne, even if you’re not feeling like one in a million you can, at least, smell like it. The brand’s warm and bold scent fuses the sophisticated accord of leather with spicy peppercorn, a jolt of energy with every spritz.


No. 57 eau de toilette


Think about it: J.Crew fans would totally be spotted sipping whiskey neat in the corners of some social club after a day spent gallery-hopping. So it makes sense that this elegant woody scent whipped up for the retail giant by skilled nose Rodrigo Flores-Roux was inspired by the oak walls of socialite-turned-art collector Peggy Guggehiem’s temporary Upper West Side gallery. It’s a cologne that managers to incite curiosity and intrigue, tamed by the polished knowing of a world traveler (current or aspiring).

Calvin Klein

CK One for Men eau de toilette


Fans of Calvin Klein’s sexy, clean-cut minimalism have fallen in love again and again with CK One. The unisex fragrance is just shy of thirty, but it continues to be a great unifier for people who love a fresh, citrusy, no-frills scent that can be worn out for dinner or layered on top of a crisp button-down at the office. If you’ve been missing this whiff of nostalgia—or somehow managed to skip the scent altogether through much of your formative years—now’s your chance to course correct.

Ralph Lauren

Polo eau de toilette


Whether you’re a die-hard Polo wearer or wouldn’t dare be seen sporting a pique collared shirt in this lifetime, you’ll fall in love with RL’s signature Polo cologne. Billed as a masculine scent built off notes of leather, pine, and tobacco, its fragrance profile is a powerhouse. We’d suggest starting off light then layering on top as the evening draws near for peak performance.


Luna Rossa Ocean eau de parfum


Just like taking a step into the extremely brisk waters lining the shore, Luna Rossa Ocean is an intense, sensory experience that rapidly unfolds once applied. Its use of a patented amber accord charges up notes of citrus and sweet vanilla making for a scent you won’t forget once you’ve experienced it–and will definitely want to recreate again. While beach days are starting to wind down for the year, this wavy cologne can be enjoyed all year long.

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