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Gucci is synonymous with many things: quality, luxury, sex appeal, and a healthy dose of whimsy. It shows through the clothes and continues right in to the fragrances. Gucci fragrances are about duality—putting seemingly disparate things together to create something new and exciting. These scents are unique and unexpected but, somehow, easy to wear in nearly every situation. It’s a sweet spot that not many other fragrance collections hit quite as well.
From the classic Gucci Guilty and its flankers to the ultra-luxe The Alchemist’s Garden, Gucci fragrances are wide-ranging. You can go sweet, fresh, woody, oudy, or all-out mysterious. You can go office-appropriate or date-night sultry (or a healthy middle ground between the two). What you won’t find in the collection is something boring. No matter what you’re looking for, these eight best Gucci colognes won’t disappoint.
Guilty Pour Homme Eau de Toilette
The test of a good designer fragrance is whether it still smells modern and wearable years after it comes out. The original Gucci Guilty, which debuted in 2011, is one of those—still just as cool and wearable now as it was back then. The opening, while unmistakably floral thanks to the lavender and orange blossom, is also fresh and dries down to a base of cedar, patchouli, and vanilla. It’s a modern take on masculinity that brings out a softer side while still being versatile enough for every man.
Guilty Pour Homme Parfum
This bolder, deeper version of Guilty is woody and musky in a bad-boy way, but it’s not so deep that you can’t wear it pretty much every day. In fact, it’s surprisingly versatile, mostly thanks to the opening notes of lavender and lemon, which bring a freshness that quickly disappears to reveal the musk and patchouli notes. They’re surprisingly subtle—don’t expect this one to have a ton of projection—but instead deliver an interesting scent that smells like your skin, but Gucci-fied.
The Alchemist's Garden A Midnight Stroll Eau de Parfum
Speaking of bad-boy scents, this spooky concoction—which is part of the luxury Alchemist's Garden collection—calls to mind mischievous autumn nights and general after-dark shenanigans (call it a Halloween scent if you must). It’s woody and smoky, like the pop and fizz of crackling logs on a bonfire. It’s absolutely a nighttime scent that pairs perfectly with a leather jacket and a crafty twinkle in your eye.
Guilty Elixir de Parfum Pour Homme
This new version of Guilty is here to capture a moment: namely the current moment that is all about vanilla. It’s a warm, slightly smoky, slightly clean vibe that definitely reads vanilla, but isn’t cloying or sweet thanks to the base note of patchouli, which aids the dry down by giving the vanilla-forward base note an earthiness. It’s new, it’s surprising, and it’s very Gucci.
The Alchemist's Garden A Gloaming Night Eau de Parfum
The Alchemist’s Garden collection is all about high-concept, luxurious fragrances that tell a story. This one, which smells of wet earth, woods, and spice is autumnal, like you’re taking a walk through a forest as the leaves are almost completely off the trees. There’s a hint of petrichor (the smell of earth right after it rains) but what you mostly get is smooth, deep woods with a crackling hit of cinnamon. It’s a unique take on a fall fragrance that pairs incredibly well with a cashmere sweater and a stone fireplace.
Guilty Black Pour Homme
The name here is a bit of a misnomer because this cologne is overwhelmingly green. The fresh, clean opening hits with lavender but then evolves to reveal green, herbal notes with floral neroli to add a touch of sweetness. It dries down fairly quickly, allowing the cedar and patchouli to shine through without losing any of the green quality. It’s surprisingly light and subtle and while it doesn’t have the most longevity, it’s ideally suited to warm months when you want a fresh, clean, nature-y vibe to go with the warm weather.
The Alchemist's Garden The Voice of the Snake Eau de Parfum
Oud is a polarizing note: you either love it or you hate it. It’s also very hard to formulate fragrance with because it tends to take over (one of the reasons people feel so strongly about it). Its deep, earthy, resinous, musky scent is unmistakable and it's what makes this EDP so distinctive. The unique name is meant to evoke not only the sound but also the smooth, sultry way a snake slides across the ground; the blend of oud and patchouli in this cologne captures that slippery, sinuous, hot vibe perfectly. It’s a bold, aggressive fragrance that’s not for the faint of heart. But for oud fans, it’s a home run.
Guilty Eau de Parfum Pour Homme
Like all Gucci fragrances, this one is all about contrasts. The opening is rose forward, to the point that if you’re not a rose guy you might not be prepared for it, but it quickly blends with the other top notes to add a spicy, mineral layer to the floral vibe. The dry down reveals a darker story as the cedar and patchouli shine through without completely overwhelming the floral notes. It’s an interesting and masculine mix of florals and woods that’s unexpected but at the same time very wearable.
What to Look For In A Gucci Cologne
We know that choosing a fragrance is always a personal decision and often requires lots of testing and trying new scents. However, there are always a few things to keep in mind. First, the categories of fragrances are good clues to a couple of things—namely to how long they’ll last.
Parfums and Eau de Parfums have the highest concentration of fragrance, which means they’ll usually last on your skin longer than others (they can also be more expensive because of the higher concentration). On the other end of the spectrum, Eau de Toilettes will last the shortest amount of time—usually only about two to three hours. If you’re concerned about longevity, then keep concentration in mind.
Many brands, Gucci included, also have different collections under their umbrella. In Gucci’s case, The Alchemist’s Garden scents use better and more unique ingredients, have more ornate bottles, and have a more luxury bent (and a price tag to match). Consider both prices but also collection when you’re choosing a fragrance, especially when you think about how often you’ll be re-buying it and, not for nothing, how good the bottle will look on your counter (we totally believe that matters, by the way).
Why Trust Us
We’re not going to say something is great unless it's actually great. Every product in Esquire’s round-ups is carefully curated by our grooming and e-commerce teams.
When it comes to fragrance, one of the most important grooming items a man can have, you can rest assured that we’re hand-selecting scents that we’ve personally tested, tried, and loved. Our grooming editor Garrett Munce, along with the rest of the style team, has spent years spritzing, spraying, wearing, and test driving hundreds (thousands!) of colognes and we are confident that these are the best.
Every pick on this list (and our other lists) comes from these years of testing. We know that no two tastes are the same, no two men are the same, and how you want to smell may vary from someone else. But if you’re looking for the right place to start, with advice from folks who and care (possibly too much!) about this sort of stuff, this is the place to be.
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