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Top 10 Best 80s Colognes for Men (2023) Full Review

Tags: scent green skin

Besuited Aroma

Top 10 Best 80s Colognes for Men (2023) Full Review

80s Colognes.

Fragrances for a mature man.

This review will describe the top ten best 80s colognes for men. I will detail their smell, performance, and anything else you know. But first, I have to be honest…

…I included one fragrance from ’78.

Yes, I know, I know, but… if I had to go out on a limb here, my guess is that you’re looking for an old-school and masculine fragrance rather than a specific year. Am I right, or am I right? In that case, you’re in the right place. Let’s jump into this review, gents.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Yet, we only endorse fragrances we’ve personally used or are highly recommended by trusted peers. You can learn more about our Disclaimer & Disclosure here.

#10 – YSL Kouros (1988)

The opening starts bright and masculine. It blends citruses, aldehydes, and sweet honey with lingering spices in the background. The citruses are bright and awakening. While the aldehydes are the main emphasis. They give a “dirty” feel to the Scent. Yet, the opening never goes overboard and is always balanced by clean accents.

The citruses dissipate in the mid, while the honey sweetness stays consistent. There is little development in the heart. It is getting considerably deeper and more masculine but no additional notes.

The dry down is when Kouros’s character is really expressed. The honey sweetness weakens, but there is a strong addition of oakmoss, musk, and leather. The woodiness is faint. While the leather is very animalic, giving musk an excellent base to project off.

The rest of the wear is all about animalic musk.

Kouros lasts 12+ hours on the Skin with explosive projection. It pushes out six feet or more in the first few hours and will fill a room. After this period, it slowly recedes closer to the skin. By the time you’re in the meat of the base, it is a skin scent. Best worn in the fall and winter and for all occasions.

#9 – Ralph Lauren Polo EDT (1978)

The opening is intense from the start. There are prominent Green and fresh accords. With this many notes in the fragrance, it’s difficult to determine which is the most prevalent. However, the overarching emphasis is fresh aromatics and masculinity.

There are subtle spices in the background but never too in your face. I smell more of the lively spice that jumps off the skin and invigorates the senses.

As the scent develops, you’ll find that it lacks a strong mid. Wood, tobacco, and leather are lingering in, preparing for the base. It’s equal parts fresh aromatics and woods an hour into the wear.

The wood accords get significantly stronger in the dry down, led by a prominent pine needle note and subtle vetiver. It is a very forest-type aroma. There’s greenness, earthiness, and a degree of a conifer nature. In the background is warm, sweet tobacco that helps break up the woods. Fresh aromatics are present. And leather is only present if you “search” for it.

Polo EDT lasts seven to eight hours on the skin with above-average projection. It pushes out an arm’s length or more for the first few hours before receding. The rest of the wear maintains a couple-foot ambiance. This is fall, winter, and early spring wear.  As for occasions, it is casual wear.

#8 – Davidoff Coolwater EDT (1988)

The opening is ultra-aromatic. This is from a blend of lavender, mint, and other greens. None of these notes specifically stick out over others, as the scent is quite balanced. The general idea is fresh with an invigorating kick. All of this sits on an aquatic background.

After the first few minutes, the scent stays quite similar. The lavender is becoming more prominent, lending a subtle floral and clean nuance. Over time, it comes to dominate the heart of the fragrance. It is important to note that, at this point, it picks up an old-school masculine accent.

Delicate, sweet accents add to the authentic lavender as it develops. The base has an enticing dose of musk paired with greener aromatic accords from before.

This is definitely a simple and linear scent. There are musky and green accents here and there. However, the primary focus is marine accords playing second fiddle to prominent aromatic tones.

Cool Water lasts six to seven hours on my skin with light projection. The first one to two hours, it pushes out a couple of feet. After this period, it recedes closer to the skin, becoming a skin scent. It is exclusively late spring and all summer wear for all occasions.

#7 – Oscar de La Renta Pour Lui (1980)

The opening is soapy and bitter. This comes from a combination of intense greens, lavender, and aldehydes. The lavender is the driving force behind the soapiness.

While the greens and aldehydes duo give the slightly bitter touch, don’t confuse bitter with bad. It is just sharp, in a very clean and herbal way. Like, that’s 80s power. As the scent progresses, it really only has two phases. In the dry down, the greens get darker and richer. This is from the addition of green moss and a prominent leather base.

Mixing with the leather accord are sweet and subdued florals. They are the main reason this scent never gets too heavy. The rest of the wear is leather and greens with woody nuances in the background.

Oscar de la Renta Pour Lui lasts seven to eight hours on the skin with moderate projection. It creates a decent scent bubble of multiple feet the first few hours before receding closer to the skin, never becoming a skin scent. The versatility is all seasons and occasions except for the hottest days of summer.

#6 – Drakkar Noir EDT (1982)

The opening starts with oak moss and lavender notes leading the opening. They are rather dry and smooth but at least jump right into their masculine nature.

In the background is a leathery depth with citric bergamot nuances dancing on the top and breaking up the intensity of the opening. The bergamot shines for a few minutes, but as quick as it was there, it’s gone.

For the next 45 minutes, it is a very linear green scent with all accords from before but with an addition of a crisp, awakening mint. It really helps liven up the entire fragrance.

The fun only begins in the dry-down. A tidal wave of aromatics rushes in. It is a clash of notes, but they are always delightful. Mostly, the aromatics are green, woody, and forest-like. The dry-down is developed after a few hours. The woody notes get darker and add more forest-like qualities.

Drakkar Noir EDT lasts 6 hours on the skin with moderate projection. It pushes out up to three feet the first few hours before receding to the skin. This is best for spring and fall but can be worn in winter and summer with spray moderation. This is great for all occasions.

#5 – Davidoff Zino Davidoff (1986)

The opening is not for the faint of heart. Sharp citric bergamot leads the opening with a much darker woody note in the background. The first 15-20 minutes are not representative of the entire fragrance. After this period, there are fleeting wafts of aromatics, mainly lavender, but nothing sticks out.

The smoky and woody patchouli and vanilla combination is the real joy in the dry down. It’s extremely blended and balanced. Vanilla gives the patchouli note what it needs to be intense but not overwhelming. The scent is simple enough for this.

The longevity is in the five to six-hour range. The first one to two hours pushes out two feet. After this period, it slowly recedes to a skin scent. This is early spring, fall, and winter wear for all occasions.

#4 – Dior Fahrenheit EDT (1988)

The rumors are true; Fahrenheit opens with a dominant gasoline-type accord. It settles down after a while but doesn’t detract from its accuracy. There aren’t actual gasoline notes. The violet leaf, various florals, soft leather, and dry woods make the smell. The violet leaf is the main culprit.

The leather becomes more prominent in the mid. To my nose, it adds a degree of sweetness. The gasoline accord is still present but has settled down and lost its intensity. Yet, it’s still dominant.

The violet leaf breaks away from the other top notes in the dry down. It is paired with now strong leather and sprinkled with spices, white florals, and dry woods. The spices and florals balance out the leather accord, while the woody note gives the base depth.

The performance isn’t anything to write home about. It lasts seven hours on the skin with above-average projection. It pushes out multiple feet for the first few hours and makes your presence known. So, it is all occasion wear, but use your own discretion. And seasons are fall and winter, it needs cooler temperatures to temper its strength.

#3 – Creed Green Irish Tweed (1985)

A recurring theme of Green Irish Tweed is the green tinge that lasts for the entire wear. The first 15-20 minutes are heavy on the greenness. Almost to the degree of mossy. I attribute this mainly to lemon verbena and violet leaf still looking for balance. 

After this period is over, the greenness settles very nicely. This is the elegant and masculine aroma you were waiting for. There is an addition of citrus-based accords that pair perfectly with the greens. Yet, never does this become overpowering.

The scent only gets better as the dry-down develops. Signature Creed Ambergris is the most prominent. Followed by warm sandalwood, a touch of iris, and lingering greenness. I know it’s a vague descriptor, but the base smells gentlemanly and sophisticated. 

As for wear, Green Irish Tweed can be worn for all occasions. It works for nearly all seasons but struggles during the colder times of the year.

#2 – Creed Bois du Portugal (1987)

Lavender and bergamot lead the opening charge, with sandalwood in the background. The sandalwood gives the fragrance depth and will be stronger throughout the rest of the wear.

Bergamot is fleeting but provides an awakening fresh touch. It is an authentic bergamot note with a slightly bitter “bite.” The lavender is the most interesting. It has an old-school quality – the sole reason this fragrance smells old-school. It works well with bergamot, amplifying the freshness but never becoming too floral.

After 20-30 minutes, the citrus dies down, giving way to a more mature and defined green vetiver. It never comes across as earthy. Instead, amplifies both the woodiness and aromatics of Bois du Portugal.

Until it dries down, sandalwood lingered in the background of the scent. But with a power pump, it dominates for the rest of the wear. Touches of lavender and vetiver remain in the background. This trio gives Bois du Portugal its classic woody scent.

The performance here is outstanding, one of the best from the House of Creed. More geared towards cold weather wear but is still useable in moderation on summer days.

#1 – Chanel Antaeus (1981)

Chanel utilizes animalic notes to give Antaeus its ultra-masculine nature. Some of you may cringe when you hear about the use of animalic notes. Yet, it is easy to wear and approachable. Chanel has fine-tuned the use of castoreum.

Right off the bat, the opening is a leathery castoreum (animalic notes). It can be dominant at first and makes you feel like it will be the only smell for the scent. Yet, as the fragrance develops, fresh aromatics peak from the background.

At this point, it is a balancing act between fresh and animalic tones. It took the aromatics some time, but they provided a good balance. 

Once in the dry down, castoreum is still strong, but there are earthier additions. These are oak moss and woody accords. They contribute to the masculine nature but take the scent in a different direction. It was never a dirty scent for the entire wear but rather old-school and masculine.

Antaeus lasts six to eight hours on the skin with moderate and consistent projection. The first couple of hours, it pushes out to an arm’s length before receding to a light ambiance of a foot or so.

This is cool weather wear. Best for the fall, winter, and early spring. The warmer it gets you’ll have to moderate your sprays. As for occasions, it is all.

Final Words

The final burning question is, is it worth having an 80s cologne? Yes. I’m in my 20s, and I enjoy having them in my collection. Some are mature fragrances, but if you’re confident while wearing them, you’ll do just fine.

As for the older gentleman, these are all great ways to smell old-school and masculine.

After you try an 80s cologne, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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The post Top 10 Best 80s Colognes for Men (2023) Full Review first appeared on Besuited Aroma.

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Top 10 Best 80s Colognes for Men (2023) Full Review


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