On its own, the word musk refers to a very strong smell that’s emitted by animals and some plants, with the musk deer having the highest concentration in the wild. This glandular secretion, a scent that’s often identified with sex pheromones, has been used as the base scent for many masculine fragrances over the years with great success.
We’ll be breaking down some of the best musky colognes in the market right now and dive into the finer details that define their top, heart, and base notes to find out what makes them tick. If you have been shopping around for a musk cologne and can’t seem to make up your mind, then this is the article for you.
- At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Musky Colognes
- Top 10 Best Musky Colognes for Men – Our Reviews:
- The Bottom Line
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Musky Colognes
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the musky colognes that most people buy).
Top 10 Best Musky Colognes for Men – Our Reviews:
1. Jimmy Choo Man Intense
The Jimmy Choo Man Intense Eau de Toilette was created by John Varvatos and was launched in 2006, making it one of the oldest fragrances on this list. However, despite the number of years it has been around, the musk cologne still ranks highly among users of all ages, especially men.
The Jimmy Choo fragrance can be described as the ultimate masculine fragrance thanks to its heavy woody undertones that define it. It has a touch of honeydew and pink pepper that are blended together so seamlessly that it’s hard to pinpoint the nature of the unique aroma that the musk exudes when worn.
The best time to use this eau de toilette is during winter as it combines pretty well with the cold and damp air, especially at night when out for an evening stroll with your date. Put some on your pulse points, and it would be hard for anyone to miss it even when they walk into a room that you left minutes ago.
The scent can last for up to 36 hours, more than enough time to maintain your cool through any situation you may be in. It has decent sillage, too.
Top Notes: Lavender, Musk
Heart Notes: Mandarin
Base Notes: Pink Pepper, Honeydew
2. Jo Malone London Basil and Neroli
Housed in a small rectangular bottle, it’s easy to dismiss this cologne as simple, but that would be a mistake.
The Jo Malone London Basil and Neroli Cologne is a fragrance that has set itself apart from the regular Jos you find on the shelves. It has a unique white musk scent that clearly defines its identity, a note that’s worth being called a designer brand of perfume, although at times it’s reminiscent of Iris & White Musk which was created by Christine Nagel.
The fragrance strikes a balance between orange blossom, neroli, and other fruity and floral scents, and without any individual aroma stepping over the other, everything combined into a harmonious medley. Walking around with the perfume on is akin to walking with a target for attention on your back because people will notice you form a mile off.
The scent is an all-season fragrance that can be worn during daytime and nighttime activities and has impressive longevity with several hours worth before it starts fading off. The best part of this cologne is that despite all its amazing features, it’s reasonably priced and well within the affordable arrangement of most people who may fancy giving the fragrance a try.
Top Notes: Basil
Heart Notes: Neroli
Base Notes: Vetiver, White Musk
Read Also: Best Jo Malone Perfumes
3. Narciso Rodriguez ‘For Him Bleu Noir’
The Narciso Rodriguez ‘For Him Bleu Noir’ Eau de Toilette is a unique scent that has been around for quite a while, gaining a horde of fans and regular users.
It has a bright and fresh aura to it with musk that blends so well with the natural scent of the user, which means each person gets their own unique smell once the cologne acts on their natural body odor. This is something that very few colognes are able to pull off.
The Narciso Rodriguez ‘For Him Bleu Noir’ Eau de Toilette scent is ideal for use during winter and fall, but you can also use it in spring. It is a versatile fragrance that can be worn to any occasion, be it day or night; you simply have to pair it with some good clothes, and you’ll be assured of going home with some company at the end of the night.
The amber color scent of the Narciso Rodriguez ‘For Him Bleu Noir’ Eau de Toilette combines a fruity smell with wood undertones to give it a muscled touch that has played a huge role in ensuring that the fragrance flies off the shelves as soon as it lands.
Top Notes: Lavender, Pink Pepper, Violet
Heart Notes: Musk
Base Notes: Amber, Patchouli
4. Molton Brown Milk Musk
The Molton Brown Milk Musk cologne is one of the most recent musk fragrances to be released, having been launched at the start of the year some few weeks ago. The fact that it is featured among the best colognes that have been around for years is proof that this fragrance is of top-tier quality.
Created by Maia Lernout, the Molton Brown Milk scent is milk white with a touch of cream that evokes feelings of sensuality for anyone who happens to be caught in its enveloping embrace. The fragrance is marked by a whiff of vanilla that combines well with resin and elemin to give the musk a unique touch that would get everyone to take note of you—no one can ignore this scent.
The scent can be worn during winter or spring for any occasion but works best for nighttime activities like dates or an evening at the movies. The musk fragrance has impressive longevity that can reach 48 hours before the effects start wearing off slowly.
Moreover, the fragrance has good sillage and is a highly recommended scent for any man that values what they smell like on the way.
Top Notes: Elemin Resin, Milk
Heart Notes: Musk, Vanilla, Ambroxan
Base Notes: Benzoin, Tonka Bean
5. Burberry Touch for Men
Burberry is a well-known brand name in the fashion industry, and they’re involved with everything, from apparel to beauty products to scents. Among their long line of perfumes, they have the Burberry Touch for Men, an exquisite musk cologne that’s housed in a beautiful bottle and packs one of the most unique fragrances you’ll ever come across.
Designed by Pierre Bethouart and unveiled in 2000, the Burberry Touch for Men signature scent is a mixture of softened notes, a tonka bean note, and rugged woody accents that clash with each other to give the wearer a cocktail of divergent smells that make them stand out anywhere they go. The ability of the cologne to exhibit both light and heavy scents is something worth marveling at as it is something that’s hard to pull off for a fragrance.
The cologne is an all-season product for perfume lovers that can also be worn during the day and at night for various occasions. It is an all-round musky fragrance that can be worn to the office in the morning and to an evening out at a high-end restaurant for a dinner date.
Top Notes: Tonka Bean, Musk
Heart Notes: Woody Base
Base Notes: Fruity Essence, Guaiac Wood
6. Acqua di Gio Absolu
The Acqua di Gio Absolu Eau de Parfum is a stunning fragrance that was unveiled in 2015 and has been a big hit among men over the years, earning raving customer reviews. This is a big reason why it features among the top musky colognes on the market.
Designed by Giorgio Armani, the Absolu Eau de Parfum relies on a fruity scent that combines with a woody base and a touch of marine note to give it a cool feeling that leaves any wearer and the people around them to feel calm and at ease. The scent of musk is hard to miss, and everyone who’s familiar with it can smell you and detect your presence even before you appear.
Owing to its cool nature, note that the best time to wear the Absolu musky scent for men would be in hot summer for those daytime engagements with friends and family alike. You could also rock the fragrance for that important business meeting or wear it as an every day accessory to the office.
The scent has a long-lasting lifespan of 24 hours, which sets you good for the day without any need to touch up yourself every two minutes. Also, the cologne has average sillage, but the fragrance can be made more potent when mixed with a little water on application.
Top Notes: Marine Wood
Heart Notes: Fruit Essence
Base Notes: Woody Scent
7. John Varvatos Vintage
Created by the celebrated perfumer John Varvatos, this fragrance was launched in 2006. It was an attempt to bring back the 80’s era, something that was successfully accomplished as the scent gives a nostalgic feeling for those who were lucky enough to experience that golden age.
The scent makes use of an elite raw material called Santolina that’s mixed with bergamot, lavender, and basil to bring forth a subtle floral fragrance toned to perfection by combining with a moss base note. The scent of musk will soothe your senses, putting you at ease when you go out for a date.
This cologne for men is an all-season fragrance and is ideal for daytime wear, depending on the event you intend to grace. It’s a long-lasting perfume that can linger on for 12 hours, which is more than enough to get things done.
Top Notes: Soapy Juniper
Heart Notes: Lavender, Basil Accord
Base Notes: Moss
8. Kiehl’s Original Musk
Simplicity is what defines the Kiehl’s brand of perfumes. They make use of simple ingredients that can be found just about anywhere to make a fragrance; it is the way they combine them with such striking balance that makes products like Kiehl’s Original Musk Cologne such a hit with males users around the globe.
The scent features notes of citrus and bergamot that are blended with a floral smell of orange blossom to create a medley of scents that will knock the breath out of anyone fortunate enough to be near the fragrance. It also features mild fragrance versions of patchouli and heavy notes of musk, a base that truly defines the masculinity of the cologne.
It is a versatile perfume that can be worn in any season and for any day and night occasion. Its longevity is a bit lacking, but the alluring fragrance can still linger on for about half a day before it starts fading off slowly.
The fragrance is perfect for those who like to smell fresh and captivating no matter the time of the day.
Top Notes: Orange Blossom, Bergamot
Heart Notes: Ylang-Ylang, Lily, Neroli, Rose
Base Notes: Musk, Patchouli, Tonka Bean
9. Diesel Fuel for Life Pour
Right from the unique bottle that houses this cologne to the artwork on the labels and to the unique scent, the Diesel Fuel for Life Pour fragrance may not be a household name, but it packs as much a punch as any high-end designer musk fragrance.
The musk scent is raw musk that combines the masculine scents of woody bases with soft floral and fruity scents to create a unified woody fragrance that’s well balanced. This is the kind of fragrance that gives you all the confidence you need when stepping out of the house for a date or for your usual day at the office.
When combined with the 36 hours it stays active, you have in your hands one of the best musk cologne on the market that will definitely last throughout the day, all at an affordable price range.
The ideal season to wear the Diesel Fuel for Life Pour scent is in winter and spring, for daytime wear or night affairs; it performs very well in cold weather when combined with clean and warm clothes that trap that musk scent and mix it with the skin and body’s warmth on a cold night to give someone a nice smell for a long time.
Top Notes: Almond
Heart Notes: Cream
Base Notes: Musk
10. Clubman Pinaud Citrus Musk
The first thing that will strike you about this musk cologne is the design of the bottle; it comes in an olive green small bottle with the beautifully inscribed label of the iconic Pinaud name. The fact that the cologne is cheap and still competes with higher-end designer scents is a thing worth marveling at.
The musk cologne uses musk for its base to get that masculine scent that defines the fragrance. For a lighter touch on the skin, this scent of musk has fruity notes in the middle, which make it an ideal scent to wear during the summer and spring seasons as it is cool on the skin.
Top Notes: Lemon, Lime, Lemongrass, Bergamot
Heart Notes: Lily of the Valley, Jasmine, Carnation
Base Notes: Musk Amber, Tonka Bean
The Bottom Line
Without any good user experience, getting the right cologne is a lot of work.
The process involves having to test each perfume, and this may dull your sense of smell after a while. Making up your mind on a fragrance after assaulting your nose with all kinds of scents can be challenging.
To better help you navigate this treacherous fragrance road, these 10 are among the best musk colognes out there right now. Checking them out would be a good place to start before you expand your search to other places.
It will take time, but eventually, you’ll find that scent or fragrance that will tick all the boxes and meet your needs.