Many of the best perfumers in the industry reach for invigorating citrus notes when crafting their colognes and perfumes. These bright, energizing scents can bring life to any fragrance and add a freshness that’s pleasing to just about everyone.
While you might have a certain sense memory of what a citrus-forward cologne smells like, these fragrances aren’t all the same. In fact, the opposite is true: You’ll find these fresh notes incorporated into a variety of colognes that fit a range of different styles and preferences. Ultimately, this means there is a citrus fragrance out there for anyone, regardless of whether they lean toward a fragrance that is light and refreshing, woody and warm, or something in between.
We’re here to lead you to your perfect match if you’re ready to bring some zest to your style with your ideal citrusy cologne. Below, you’ll find our comprehensive guide to the best citrus colognes for men currently available on the market.
The Key Citrus Notes to Look Out For
A few major players probably come to mind when you think of citrus scents. Grapefruit, lemon, lime, pomelo and mandarin are some of this category’s most commonly used scents. However, a variety of other notes are also used in the industry to add brightness to fragrances.
Bergamot is one of the most frequently used citrus scents in both perfumes and colognes. Some other commonly used notes include verbena, a plant with a zesty aroma, and cedrat, which has a green, woody scent. You may also find lemongrass, elemi, neroli and yuzu in your cologne, all containing varying citrus aromas. While each has unique characteristics, all of these notes add a dynamic, complex layer to a cologne’s fragrance profile.
Let’s dive into our top recommendations for men’s citrus colognes without further delay. All the fragrances suggested below have their own unique fragrance profile, so you’ll easily find your perfect match.
When it comes to fresh, citrus-forward colognes, it doesn’t get better than Atlantis from Blu Atlas. This eau de parfum, which was crafted using influences from the coastal jungles of Bali, has a crisp fragrance profile that will stoke your inner adventurer.
The citrus aromas in Atlantis come out in the top notes, which feature bergamot and lemon. These bright, energizing scents are balanced by vibrant blackcurrant.
In the middle, this cologne has fruity notes of peach and apricot, as well as herby and subtly floral clary sage and lavender. At the base of the cologne, the soft floral notes are extended in the form of violet and orris. The base also features warm and green oakmoss, ambrette seed, and musk, which add depth that beautifully balances the bright top notes.
While citrusy fragrances are notorious for fading quickly, we’ve found that Blu Atlas’ Atlantis lasts on the skin throughout the day. Since it strikes a lovely balance between freshness and depth, it’s also a cologne that transitions well from day to night and from season to season.
In addition to the expertly layered scent profile, we appreciate the premium quality of this cologne. This vegan and cruelty-free fragrance is produced following industry clean standards, and doesn’t contain parabens, phthalates or synthetic dyes. The sleek and modern packaging and the reasonable price point are also major wins in our book.
2. World of Chris Collins Citrus Grandis
As the name suggests, this unisex fragrance from World of Chris Collins (which was just launched in 2022) is all about citrus. This eau de parfum is balanced by earthy, woody notes, and is a particularly nice fit for a warm, sunny day.
The top notes in this fresh fragrance are all citrus focused. Pomelo, yuzu and cedrat add a sparkling, zesty layer to the aroma. In the middle, woody and subtly fruity blackcurrant is paired with verbena, which provides a citrus brightness to the EDP.
While the top and middle notes are centered around citrus, the base notes add a warmer, woodier depth. These notes include sandalwood, cedarwood and earthy vetiver, which are partnered with incense and musk. Elemi also adds a subtle spicy, lemony aroma, tying together the many citrus notes at the different layers.
We love the classic white and copper flask-shaped bottle, which was inspired by flasks used in speakeasies in the 1920s. While Citrus Grandis is certainly a splurge, it is a special fragrance suitable for any man looking for a bright and lively daily cologne. It also has excellent longevity, which for some men may make the higher price tag worth it.
3. Clinique Happy for Men
With a name like Happy, this cologne is guaranteed to have a refreshing, zesty fragrance profile. Clinique’s Happy for Men has a cool, crisp scent, and is packaged in a playful yet simple bright orange bottle. The packaging and the fragrance are sure to elevate your mood right after spraying the first spritz.
The top notes of Happy are packed with zingy citrus aromas, including mandarin orange, kaffir lime, calamansi (also known as Philippine lime) and lemon. These scents are joined with green notes that add freshness and earthiness to the eau de toilette.
In the middle are floral notes of jasmine, freesia, rose and lily-of-the-valley. At the base, the scent has woody notes of cypress, cedar and guaiac wood, as well as warm and aromatic musk.
The bright EDT has a highly flexible fragrance profile that is suitable for everything from the office to a night out on the town. It’s also one of the more affordable colognes on the market, meaning you’ll be comfortable wearing it daily. While the EDT doesn’t have the longest staying power on the skin, the amazing scent and the low price point makes it worth a try.
4. Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Bergamotto di Calabria
Since it was introduced to the market in 2010, this eau de toilette has been popular among men looking for a classic fresh and citrusy cologne. Inspired by the scents of the coast of the Calabria region in Italy, this uplifting cologne is a particularly nice choice for the warmer months.
Bergamotto di Calabria opens with top notes of bergamot derived from Calabria, as well as citron. Middle notes layer in some spice and woodiness with red ginger and cedarwood, while base notes of musk, vetiver and sweet benzoin add warmth and earthiness.
As it’s an eau de toilette, this cologne does have shorter longevity than some of the other fragrances in this list. That said, it can work well for men looking for a bright yet subtle scent that makes an impression without being overpowering.
Like other fragrances in the Acqua di Parma collection, this cologne comes in a bold art deco bottle whose deep blue color echoes that of the Italian sea.
5. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia
Aqua Celestia is one of the best citrus colognes for men looking for a fragrance that also features potent green and floral notes. This splurge-worthy unisex eau de toilette has a long-lasting staying power that will leave you smelling irresistibly fresh from morning until night. While it can be worn all year long, it’s particularly suitable for the warmer days of spring and summer.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Aqua Celestia opens with top notes of crispy lime and neroli, the latter of which has a slightly sweet floral scent with touches of citrus. Other top notes rounding out the fragrance profile include mint and blackcurrant. The middle notes of this eau de toilette include fresh and floral mimosa from Provence and rose and greens. At the base, warm and lightly sweet white musk balances the scent.
The packaging for this EDT is just as clean as the scent, and has a classic look that will never go out of style. The square, clear glass bottle is topped with a simple silver cap.
6. Commodity Rain
Created to mimic the feeling of getting caught in a rainstorm, Rain by Commodity is a crisp fragrance that will instantly brighten your day. The unisex fragrance layers fresh and aquatic scents with citrus for a revitalizing aroma. It wears close to the skin, so it’s an excellent scent for the man who wants a subtle yet statement-making cologne in his grooming routine.
Rain opens with citrusy notes of lemon verbena and bergamot, which are joined by dewy green accord for a bright and earthy scent. Middle notes are centered around soft florals, and include aromas of jasmine, lotus blossom and freesia. As the fragrance absorbs into the skin, you’ll enjoy more depth, brought out by white amber, sheer woods and water musk.
We’re big fans of the packaging for Commodity’s Rain. The clean white label with the contrasting black text is minimalist and classic. The fragrance also gets bonus points for being vegan, cruelty-free, and free of phthalates and parabens.
7. Byredo Sunday Cologne
This cologne from iconic luxury fragrance house Byredo has an expertly crafted scent profile that combines citrus with spice and herbs for an irresistible aroma. Though it’s called Sunday Cologne, we feel that this sophisticated fragrance is appropriate for any day of the week. The eau de parfum has fairly good longevity, so while it’s definitely a splurge, a bottle can last you a while.
The key citrus top note in Byredo’s Sunday Cologne is bergamot, which is joined by the warm spiciness of cardamom and star anise. The brightness of bergamot is layered with geranium in the middle, which has an herby, lemony aroma, as well as incense and lavender. Earthy base notes of vetiver, moss and patchouli ground the crisp scent.
Like the many other classic Byredo scents, Sunday Cologne is packaged in the company’s signature minimalist bottle with a round magnetic cap.
8. Calvin Klein CK One
Since its launch in 1994, CK One by Calvin Klein has become a staple in the grooming routines of many men and women. Considered groundbreaking at the time, it was one of the first fragrances to be marketed as a unisex scent. While this doesn’t seem quite as revolutionary today (look at how many unisex fragrances we’ve recommended so far), the eau de toilette still holds its own as one of the best clean, refreshing fragrances that’s coveted by both men and women.
This unisex EDT has an energizingly fresh fragrance profile that’s made with layers of citrus and fruit notes. At the top, citrusy bergamot is joined by fruity pineapple, papaya, and sweet and spicy cardamom. Middle notes include floral jasmine, rose and violet, as well as nutmeg, which brings an extra dose of spiciness to the fragrance profile. Musk and amber make up the base notes, which warm up the fragrance.
This EDT is packaged in a simple frosted glass bottle that has stood the test of time. CK One is offered at an affordable price point, making it a great choice for men looking for a budget-friendly daily cologne.
9. Hermès Eau de Mandarine Ambrée
Eau de Mandarine Ambrée from Hermès takes a slightly different approach, but it remains one of the best citrus colognes for men. This eau de cologne has that cheery brightness you expect from a citrus fragrance, but adds some unexpected sweet warmth for a complex aroma.
That said, since Eau de Mandarine Ambrée is an EDC (which has a lower fragrance oil concentration than an eau de toilette), it isn’t an overpowering scent; nor does it radiate too far from the skin. This makes it an ideal choice for daily wear. The varied notes make this a fragrance that transitions well from the warmer seasons to the cooler months.
At the top of this EDC is mandarin, which adds zesty brightness to the fragrance. It’s matched perfectly with passion fruit in the middle, which brings a fresh and slightly sweet note to the blend. The base features amber, which layers in a cozy, musky warmth.
The deep orange bottle perfectly represents the mood of this fragrance. It takes inspiration from both the citrusy mandarin and the sweet and warm amber.
10. Ralph Lauren Polo Red
Ralph Lauren always knocks it out of the park when it comes to classic, irresistible fragrances. For the man who wants the freshness of citrus mixed with deeper woody notes and a bit of spice, the fashion house offers Polo Red, which is an eau de toilette.
Polo Red opens with zesty notes of lemon and bergamot, which are expertly paired with aromatic and piney juniper. Middle notes feature spicy red saffron, as well as herby lavender and clary sage. To bring a darker and sweeter tone to the fragrance, the cologne has base notes of cedarwood, vanilla and vetiver.
This thrilling EDT is appropriate for year-round wear, and has a good longevity with intimate projection. These characteristics – along with the fact that it is sold at a reasonable price – make the cologne a suitable choice for a variety of occasions. The sleek red bottle is sure to make a statement as it sits on your dresser.
11. Maison Margiela Replica Under the Lemon Trees
The name alone likely evokes memories of summertime – and that’s exactly what this eau de toilette was created to do. The bright and sunny unisex fragrance from Maison Margiela is part of the company’s Replica line, which features complex fragrances meant to transport you back to certain moments and memories. It is in the citrus floral fragrance family, and might just become your go-to warm-weather scent.
Under the Lemon Trees has a top note of zesty and slightly bitter calamansi lime accord, which is layered with spicy cardamom and sweet and woody petitgrain. The middle notes feature aromatic and green coriander, herbal mate absolute, and green tea extract. Base notes of this EDT include woody and dry Virginian cedarwood and musk and cistus absolute.
Under the Lemon Trees has an impressive longevity, particularly for an EDT, and leaves a pleasantly fresh scent on the skin all day long. The apothecary-inspired bottle has a classic and clean look, and features a rope wrapped around the pump and a label made of cotton.
12. Giorgio Armani Beauty Acqua di Giò Eau de Toilette
This fresh and aquatic Giorgio Armani EDT combines a range of citrus scents with earthy and woody notes for a revitalizing daily fragrance. The long-lasting cologne transitions perfectly from the office to happy hour, and can be worn for various occasions. While it definitely leans toward warmer months, we find that the scent can work as an all-season cologne if you’re on the hunt for your single signature fragrance.
Acqua di Giò opens up with top notes of Calabrian bergamot, neroli and green tangerine, each providing a unique zesty layer to the EDT. At the center of the cologne, floral jasmine and rock rose are partnered with herby rosemary. Base notes include sweet and fruity persimmon and inviting Indonesian patchouli, which grounds the bright fragrance.
The packaging for Acqua di Giò is just as clean as the scent. The matte, frosted-glass bottle is bold yet subdued.
13. Clean Reserve Acqua Neroli
Clean’s Acqua Neroli is one of the unique unisex Reserve line fragrances that is made using sustainable ingredients. As well as the fresh scent, we love the thoughtfully crafted formula, which is vegan, cruelty-free and phthalate-free.
This citrus eau de parfum features fresh and floral notes for a clean, summery fragrance. At the top, the fragrance star is sustainably sourced Brazilian mandarin oil, joined by bergamot and Sicilian orange. In the middle, floral notes of neroli, jasmine and orange blossom layer nicely with the bright, zesty top notes. The fragrance warms up a bit at the base, which features notes of acqua musk, ambrette and amber.
Clean eau de parfum, like other fragrances in the Reserve line, is packaged in a clear glass bottle with a wooden cap. It’s created to be layered with other Reserve scents, if desired. This means you can create unique fragrance profiles that are personal to you.
How to Make Your Citrus Cologne Last: Application Tips
As mentioned, citrus-forward fragrances don’t always have the best staying power (although many of our recommended colognes challenge that stereotype). That said, there are some things you can do to make your fragrance of choice last on your skin for as long as possible. Here are some application tips for improving the longevity of any cologne you choose to wear:
Apply to Damp Skin: Fragrances work best when applied to slightly damp skin, which improves the absorption. When applied to dry skin, your cologne can evaporate more quickly, which can dramatically shorten the longevity of the fragrance. Get into the habit of spraying your cologne after you shower or after applying body lotion. For an easy on-the-go method, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to a small area of the skin, and then spray your cologne. Petroleum jelly can lock in your fragrance for much longer than if you were just to spritz it on your dry skin.
Focus on Pulse Points: The best areas of the body to apply a fragrance are the pulse points, which include the neck, chest, inner elbows, back of the knees and wrists. These spots are naturally warmer, and that warmth improves the projection of the scent.
Spritz Directly on the Skin: If you use a misting cloud to apply your fragrance (an application method where you spritz your cologne into the air and then walk through it), we’re here to tell you to cease and desist. This method negatively affects the longevity of your cologne in two ways. First, since much of the fragrance ends up on areas of the skin other than your pulse points, you aren’t maximizing the power of your cologne. Second, you end up wasting a good amount of your cologne, since so much eventually lands on the floor rather than on your skin. Instead, hold the bottle about three to six inches from a pulse point, and give your skin a more concentrated spritz.
Avoid Rubbing the Skin After Application: Another habit to break is rubbing your wrists together (or your wrist against your neck) after application. This speeds up the evaporation of your cologne, and negatively impacts how it develops on your skin. Simply spritz your skin directly, and then leave the cologne alone as it dries.
How to Make Your Citrus Cologne Last: Storage Tips
Beyond applying your cologne correctly, it’s important to be aware of how you’re storing the bottle. Improper storage can cause the fragrance to spoil more quickly. Since we all know fragrances can cost a pretty penny, you’ll want to make sure nothing goes to waste and that you can use every last drop. Here are a few key storage tips to make sure your bottle doesn’t go bad:
Store It in a Dark, Cool, Dry Place: The best place to keep your fragrance is a spot that’s free of direct light, and that doesn’t get overheated or damp. This is because humidity, extreme temperatures (on both the hot and cold sides), and light (from the sun and from lamps) can break down the chemicals in a cologne, permanently altering how it smells. Ideal storage spots include your closet, a dresser drawer, your bedroom (so long as the bottle is not kept near a window) or even your kitchen pantry.
Don’t Keep It in Your Bathroom: With all of this in mind, you can probably imagine bathrooms aren’t the best storage spots. People frequently store their fragrance on the counter along with their other grooming essentials, but this is a big mistake. Bathrooms are prone to extreme changes in temperature and humidity, both of which can affect the fragrance profile of your cologne.
Keep Your Fragrance Sealed: After spritzing your cologne, be sure to put the cap back on. Exposure to oxygen can change the fragrance’s makeup and speed up evaporation, so it’s best to keep it sealed when it’s not being used. While this isn’t as much of a concern with airtight bottles that have a sprayer, it’s still a good habit to get into to maintain the quality of your cologne.