Article updated: January 2, 2023
What’s the best way to finish off an early morning shave?
Apply an awesome smelling aftershave to your face, obviously.
When it comes to choosing an aftershave, one of the most important factors to consider is how well it smells.
Since aftershave spends the entirety of the day in close proximity with your nose, it only makes sense that you should choose an one that is pleasing to the senses — not one that smells like shit.
But the fact is: choosing a great smelling aftershave can be pretty damn difficult, especially if you’re buying online.
Since scratch and sniff technology hasn’t advanced beyond stickers, catching a whiff of an aftershave while shopping online is pretty much a no-go for the foreseeable future.
But don’t worry, I’m working on it:
In the meantime, I compiled this comprehensive list of best smelling aftershave splashes, balms, and lotions for you to peruse and enjoy.
Each one is hand selected by me based on extensive personal experience, and since scent is highly subjective, I also solicited the advice of thousands of user reviews from gentlemen just like you and me.
The end result is this diverse list of best smelling aftershaves for men that offers something for pretty much everyone. I hope you find one to enjoy.
- Barrister and Mann – Seville Aftershave
- Musgo Real – Classic Scent Aftershave Balm
- Detroit Grooming Co. – Bay City Aftershave
- Barberry Coast – Bay Rum Aftershave Splash
- Henri et Victoria – Cognac & Cuban Cigars
- Barrister and Mann – Cologne Russe Splash
- L’Occitane – CADE Aftershave Balm
- Castle Forbes – Lime Aftershave Balm
- The Art of Shaving – Bergamot & Neroli
- Pré de Provence – No. 63 Aftershave Balm
- Wet Shaving Products – Gaelic Tweed Splash
- Truefitt & Hill – Sandalwood Aftershave Balm
- Pinaud Clubman – Aftershave Lotion
- Mistral – Bourbon Vanilla Aftershave Balm
Best Smelling Aftershaves for Men Reviewed
Barrister and Mann – Seville Aftershave
Treat your nostrils to something truly unique and special with this Barrister and Mann “Seville” Aftershave. If you’ve never had the pleasure of smelling a Barrister and Mann created product before, your nose is seriously missing out. Barrister and Mann’s “fragrance first” approach has earned them a loyal fanbase thanks to their incredibly unique and awesome smelling line of shaving products. “Seville” is one of Barrister and Mann’s most popular scents and combines notes of lemon, bergamot, rosemary, lavender, oakmoss, and patchouli. It smells fresh, clean, citrusy, spicy, earthy, musky, slightly sweet, and slightly powdery. It’s reminiscent of an old-school barbershop fragrance, but with a Barrister and Mann twist that makes it truly special and unique. Bottom line: Barrister and Mann Seville is an excellent smelling aftershave that is absolutely worth a sniff.
Musgo Real – Classic Scent Aftershave Balm
If you’re in search of the best smelling aftershave balm, then I highly recommend you check out Musgo Real “Classic Scent.” Founded all the way back in the 1930’s, Musgo Real is known for producing luxury men’s grooming products and fragrances, and offers some of the absolute best shaving products including: creams, soaps, oils, and of course aftershave. Featuring Musgo Real’s “Classic Scent”, their aftershave balm is designed to smooth, soften, hydrate, and calm the skin while it provides an excellent masculine aroma that is sure to make any man’s nose rejoice. The fragrance profile includes a complex blend of lavender, violet, vetiver, patchouli, neroli, bergamot, and musk. The resulting scent can be described as woody, citrusy, spicy, sweet, warm, earthy, fresh, slightly floral, and very manly. It’s the type of scent that makes a man look forward to those early morning shaves. Bottom line: Musgo Real Classic Scent is an excellent smelling aftershave balm that leaves the skin feeling smooth, soft, and well hydrated.
Detroit Grooming Co. – Bay City Aftershave
Hailing from the Motor City is this excellent smelling Bay City Aftershave Splash by Detroit Grooming Company. Conceptualized in 2013, Detroit Grooming Co. has established themselves as a premier brand in the men’s grooming market due to their popular products such as: beard oil, beard butter, shave soap, shave gel, DE razors, and more. One of their popular shaving products is their Bay City Aftershave Tonic, and it’s designed to eliminate redness, irritation, and itch caused by shaving. It also features an excellent fragrance of Bay Rum & Bergamot that is perfectly suited for men who enjoy that classic barbershop scent. A closer inspection of their Bay Rum & Bergamot scented aftershave reveals notes of citrus, wood, musk, cinnamon, clove, spices, and patchouli. It smells very warm, inviting, fresh, and masculine. It’s the type of scent that’s almost impossible not to like. Bottom line: Detroit Grooming Company’s Bay Rum & Bergamot scent is perfect for men who like their aftershave to smell fresh, clean, and masculine without being too strong or overbearing.
Barberry Coast – Bay Rum Aftershave Splash
If you’re a fan of the traditional bay rum scent you should seriously consider trying this intriguing interpretation by Barberry Coast Shave Company. Founded in 2013 by a man named Allen Crawley, Barberry Coast Shave Co. broke onto the shaving scene with their very popular all-natural shaving creams. They now produce a long line of shaving products and accessories including: shave cream, soap, brushes, bowls, oils, cologne, and of course aftershaves. Their Bay Rum Aftershave Splash is formulated using all-natural ingredients and is designed to awaken the senses (slight burn), moisturize, hydrate, and tone the skin. It also features a delicious modernized Bay Rum scent that is sure to have your nose hairs singing. Barberry Coast handcrafts their unique Bay Rum scent using a blend of all-natural exotic spices, citrus oils, and the essence of bay leaves from the West Indian Islands. The result is a one of a kind Bay Rum scent that smells very warm, woody, spicy, citrusy, and sweet — with notes of cinnamon, clove, and vanilla. It’s definitely a great scent to start the day with. Bottom line: Barberry Coast’s unique take on the traditional Bay Rum scent is one of my personal favorites. It’s absolutely worth trying.
Henri et Victoria – Cognac & Cuban Cigars
If you’re the type of man that thoroughly enjoys smelling like a man, then this Cognac and Cuban Cigars scented aftershave balm is definitely for you. Developed by the Canada based company Henri et Victoria, this aftershave balm is designed to thoroughly smooth, soothe, and moisturize the skin, while it helps reduce post shave redness, irritation, and discomfort. Performance aside, the thing that stands out most about this aftershave balm is the ridiculously awesome scent. Henri et Victoria combines the smoky aroma of cuban cigars with the rich, sweet scent of cognac. The result is a mesmerizing fragrance that contains notes of cedarwood, leather, grape, raisin, lemon, apricot, and spicy tobacco. It’s bold, rugged, and basically manliness personified in aftershave form. Bottom line: This stuff is absolutely worth a sniff… or two. Tip: it pairs awesomely with the Henri et Victoria Cognac and Cuban Cigars Shave Soap.
Barrister and Mann – Cologne Russe Splash
Another Barrister and Mann creation for you to consider is this excellent smelling Cologne Russe Aftershave splash. Cologne Russe is an old-world inspired scent that takes inspiration from an early 20th century cologne that was created by the House of Guerlain for the Russian royal family. It features a complex scent that can be described as citrusy, spicy, herbal, musky, and warm. The fragrance profile contains notes of lemon, bergamot, petitgrain, herbs, bay, rose, violet, and amber. It also contains castoreum, benzoin, and vanilla to give the scent of this aftershave a nice warm finish. Excellent scent aside, Cologne Russe Aftershave is designed to cleanse, tone, and refresh the skin, while skin hydrating panthenol soothes irritation and discomfort. Bottom line: If you’re interested in trying an aftershave that smells incredibly unique and masculine, I highly recommend you consider Barrister and Mann Cologne Russe.
L’Occitane – CADE Aftershave Balm
If you’re in search of a masculine yet refined smelling aftershave balm for men, “CADE” from L’Occitane might be exactly what you’re looking for. L’Occitane is a French retailer of premium grooming products and fragrances for both men and women. The scents of their products take inspiration from natural ingredients and botanicals found in a region of France known as Haute-Provence. Their aftershave balm features L’Occitane’s unique fragrance for men called “CADE”, and it features a complex blend of juniper, sandalwood, immortelle, and rosemary. The result is a masculine aroma that smells very warm, woody, earthy, sweet, musky, peppery, and slightly spicy. It also contains notes of pine, tobacco, and honey. It’s complex, masculine, and perfectly suited for refined gentlemen such as ourselves. Bottom line: L’Occitane CADE is a true gentleman’s aftershave balm that is damn near impossible not to love. Highly recommended.
Castle Forbes – Lime Aftershave Balm
Give your nose something to be excited about with this Lime scented Aftershave Balm from Castle Forbes. Founded in 1996, Castle Forbes originated as a perfumery that was located in a small dairy building on the grounds of Castle Forbes in Scotland. They now produce a long line of luxury scents, fragrances, and grooming products for men, including: cologne, shaving cream, pre-shave lotion, and of course aftershave. Their Lime scented aftershave is designed to moisturize and hydrate the skin, while the all-natural lime essential oil acts as a antiseptic for minor nicks and cuts. Aside from it’s antiseptic properties, lime essential oil is responsible for giving this aftershave it’s awesome scent that can be described as fresh, citrusy, sweet, zesty, and slightly spicy. It’s very reminiscent of a fresh and delicious key lime pie (in a great way). Bottom line: Castle Forbes Lime Aftershave Balm is definitely worth considering if you enjoy the fresh, citrusy scent of lime.
The Art of Shaving – Bergamot & Neroli Balm
Start your day off right with this “Bergamot & Neroli” Aftershave Balm from The Art of Shaving. Founded in 1996, The Art of Shaving is a retailer of high-end men’s shaving products and grooming accessories, including: shaving creams, soaps, razors, brushes, hair care, skincare, and aftershave. Their Aftershave Balm is designed to moisturize, hydrate, and sooth the skin thanks to it’s long list of natural ingredients, including: shea butter, grapeseed extract, jojoba oil, Irish moss, gotu kola, glycerin, and essential oils. It also has a kick-ass Bergamot & Neroli fragrance that smells citrusy, spicy, sweet, floral, and slightly woody. It’s very fresh and pleasant, but isn’t too strong or overbearing. In my opinion it’s an excellent summertime or warm weather type of fragrance. Bottom line: The Art of Shaving Bergamot & Neroli is an excellent smelling aftershave balm that is perfect for gentlemen who enjoy light, fresh, citrusy scents.
Pré de Provence – No. 63 Aftershave Balm
Take your nose on a tour of the French Countryside with Pré de Provence No. 63 aftershave balm. “No. 63” is a unique and masculine scent created by Pré de Provence and is used extensively throughout their line of male specific grooming products, including: bar soap, shave soap, shave cream, body lotion, body wash, and of course aftershave. Handcrafted in France, the scent of No. 63 is inspired by the natural scents, fragrances, and botanicals that are found throughout the countryside of Provence, France. The smell can be described as warm, citrusy, spicy, peppery, and slightly sweet — with notes of cedar, plum, violet, leather, and tobacco. It’s an incredibly masculine and well refined fragrance, and is perfect for gentlemen who want an aftershave balm that smells very one of a kind. Bottom line: Pré de Provence No. 63 Aftershave Balm features a complex and refined scent that is very unique and masculine. It’s also pretty inexpensive too. Definitely worth a whiff.
Wet Shaving Products – Gaelic Tweed Splash
Take your nose on a walk through the Irish Countryside with this Gaelic Tweed Aftershave Splash from Wet Shaving Products. Formulated with all-natural ingredients, this aftershave splash uses alcohol to clean, tone, and tighten the pores, while witch hazel and allantoin soothe and refresh the skin. Wet Shaving Products is an American based men’s grooming company based out of Chandler, Arizona. They handcraft all of their shaving products in small, quality controlled batches using only safe, all-natural ingredients. Their products not only check all the boxes when it comes to quality and performance, but they also smell pretty damn good too. Wet Shaving Products has a diverse line of scents and fragrances that they use throughout their product line, but the one that stands out most is their Gaelic Tweed. It’s a very unique and masculine scent that is inspired by the Irish countryside, and contains notes of lemon, verbena, iris, violet leaf, sandalwood, and ambergris. It smells woody, citrusy, earthy, sweet, powdery, and slightly spicy. It’s definitely a unique edition to this list. Bottom line: Gaelic Tweed Aftershave Splash is nice departure from typical aftershave fragrances. It’s certainly worth a try if you enjoy fresh, masculine scents with prominent citrus and woody notes.
Truefitt & Hill – Sandalwood Aftershave Balm
When it comes to men’s grooming products and aftershave, sandalwood scent is a timeless classic. But if you’re looking for the best smelling aftershave not just any sandalwood scent will do. That’s why I highly recommend you check out Truefitt & Hill’s Sandalwood Aftershave Balm. Truefitt & Hill is a London based barbershop that was founded in 1805 and holds the title of oldest barbershop in the world, as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Truefitt & Hill produce premium men’s grooming products and are very well known for crafting unique scents and fragrances. Their Sandalwood scented aftershave is one of their most popular shaving products and offers a unique take on the traditional sandalwood scent. It features notes of sandalwood, tonka, cedarwood, lavender, thyme, jasmine, pineapple, melon, lemon, and bergamot. The smell can be described as woody, citrusy, fruity, sweet, earthy, herbal, and spicy. It’s definitely a one of kind sandalwood scent. Bottom line: Truefitt & Hill Sandalwood Aftershave Balm features a very unique and complex sandalwood scent that would make an excellent edition to any man’s aftershave collection.
Pinaud Clubman – Aftershave Lotion
What the hell kind of aftershave list would this be if Pinaud Clubman wasn’t included? While many of you gentlemen have probably experienced the masculine aroma of Clubman before, I felt compelled to include it on this list not just because this stuff smells awesome, but because it’s scent is timeless. Believe it or not Pinaud Clubman Aftershave Lotion was first launched over 200 years ago (1810) in Paris, France. Since then it has grown to be one of the most commonly used aftershave lotions in barbershops all over the world. I suspect it’s excellent, masculine aroma has something to do with all that success. Pinaud Clubman’s fragrance profile contains notes of orange, bergamot, jasmine, lavender, botanicals, and musk. It smells very fresh, warm, citrusy, clean, powdery, and basically masculine as all hell. Bottom line: Pinaud Clubman is a classic smelling aftershave that every self respecting gentleman should try at least once. It’s pretty damn cheap too which is a plus.
Mistral – Bourbon Vanilla Aftershave Balm
If a masculine smelling aftershave is what you’re after, it doesn’t get much more masculine than this Bourbon Vanilla scented aftershave from Mistral. Founded in 1994 in California, Mistral is a French inspired grooming company that specializes in handcrafted soaps and grooming products for both men and women. Their Bourbon Vanilla Aftershave Balm is formulated with organic plant extracts and is designed to moisturize, hydrate, and soothe the skin. It also helps reduce redness, and even promotes healing of minor nicks and cuts. It’s awesome scent is a masculine combination of smokey bourbon and toasted vanilla. The smell is very warm, spicy, sweet, and incredibly inviting. It also features a subtle twist of golden tobacco leaf that helps round out the masculine aroma. Bottom line: Mistral Bourbon Vanilla Aftershave Balm is a rich, masculine smelling aftershave perfectly suited for men who enjoy smelling like men.
Thanks for checking out my list of best smelling aftershave splashes, balms, and lotions. If you found this article helpful, check out my list of best smelling shave soaps. As always, if you have any comments or questions feel free to drop me a line in the comment section below.
3 thoughts on “Best Smelling Aftershave – Splashes, Balms, & Lotions”
Thanks for this list of aftershaves and balms. I’ve always been a Clubman sort of guy but recently decided to branch out to different aftershave scents. The world of aftershave lotions is actually pretty big once you go down that rabbit hole. Anyway thanks for this list of recommendations.
Thanks for reading and commenting, Paul.
If someone could reproduce Cade Aftershave Splash, I would buy every drop. Neither the balm nor the cologne come close.