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Want to Smell Like a Million Bucks… Lets Take a Look at the Most Expensive Frangrances for Men

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Men’s Fragrances
15 Best Expensive Luxury Perfumes for Men

When you’re buying an expensive perfume for men you want to make sure you’re getting great performance for your money. We’ve tested hundreds of fragrances and the list below includes the longest-lasting and most sought-after scents with prices thrown out the window in favour of pure performance and great smells. Made by the top master perfumers in the game, they offer nothing short of the finest aromatics. Sometimes all you need is a nose for detail, cash to spare, and a true appreciation for the most expensive perfume for men.

Best Expensive Fragrances for Men at a Glance

Highlights from our list include the following:

  • Best overall: Althaïr by Parfums de Marly
  • For longevity: The Moon by Frederic Malle
  • For value for money: Bal d’Afrique by Byredo
  • For wearing every day: Terre d’Hermes Eau Givree by Hermes
Althair by parfums de marly 2
Althaïr by Parfums de Marly | Image: Parfums de Marly

1. Althaïr by Parfums de Marly

Price: from AU$498

Pros Cons
Outstanding buttery, caramel, and vanilla notes with a touch of orange and citrus on dry down. One of the longest-lasting expensive fragrances for men that we’ve tested with 8+ hours on skin and even more on clothes. While we never found this to be an issue, some reviews online find the vanilla to be quite synthetic and a little offensive with such a strong projection. We don’t find it an issue.

We’ve been wearing Althaïr by Parfums de Marly for the last few months and have fallen in love with this expensive cologne’s buttery vanilla and caramel notes. Some reviews online point to it being a little synthetic in its vanilla scent, but this was never an issue for us because it smells so good. Longevity is outstanding at 8+ hours with 2-3 sprays onto skin and even more on clothes. Projection is very strong until it dries down on the skin so be warned, but once it does you’re welcomed by a little citrus thanks to the Orange Blossom Absolute and plenty of musk with wood. It’s a must-have luxury scent for every guy’s collection.

Top notes: Cinnamon, Cardamom, Orange Blossom and Bergamot
Middles notes: Bourbon Vanilla and Elemi
Base notes: Praline, Musk, Ambroxan and Guaiac Wood

Editions de parfums by frederic malle
The Moon by Frederic Malle | Image: Frederic Malle

2. The Moon by Frederic Malle

Price: from AU$1,265

Pros Cons
Explosive fruit scents on the first spray before leather, musk, wood, and smoke start to push through as the scent dries down and layers pull back. Longevity that seems to last forever and projection that’s beautifully obnoxious. This is a very ‘in your face’ fragrance that suits a very successful person with a dominating presence. Not for the faint of heart, everyone will know you’re wearing something special so expect compliments and attention.

You asked for the best expensive colognes for men and we’re delivering with this outstanding, luxurious scent by Julien Rasquinet for Frederic Malle. If Creed Royal Oud is a Rolls-Royce then The Moon is a Koenigsegg. It’s like nothing you’ve smelt before with a raspberry and lychee explosion that dries down quickly and makes way for a funky oud. After a few minutes on the skin, the base notes come through with plenty of sexy musk, smoke, leather, and sandalwood. Longevity is outstanding as expected from this luxury option at 8+ hours, but what we’re most impressed with is how the scent continues to pull back layer after layer as you move around during the day. One of the best we’ve ever tested.

Top notes: Raspberry, Litchi and Saffron
Middles notes: Turkish Rose, Red Berries, Olibanum, Red Currant and Violet
Base notes: Agarwood (Oud), Leather, Patchouli, Amber and Sandalwood

Bal dafrique by byredo
Bal d’Afrique by Byredo | Image: Byredo

3. Bal d’Afrique by Byredo

Price: from AU$260

Pros Cons
Fresh, crisp, and sunny this is typical Byredo and perfect for everyday wear. The price makes it one of the best value-for-money expensive colognes on our list and with good longevity and a unique smell, get ready for plenty of compliments during warmer months. It’s a floral and soapy unisex scent with violet and jasmine so not a great blind buy option for a ‘blokey’ man who prefers leather, musk, and oud. Longevity is good, but not excellent.

One of the more affordable ‘expensive’ fragrances on our list, Bal d’Afrique by Byredo is the perfect ‘clean white t-shirt’ fragrance with a crisp and fresh scent that’s typical of this brand. It’s unisex and a little soapy and floral, so not something that we’d recommend blind buying. Longevity is surprisingly good for a freshie, lasting 4-6 hours on skin and more on clothes. It dries down with a hint of cedar and some reviewers online noted a little vetiver, but we couldn’t find that in our testing.

Top notes: Amalfi Lemon, Tagetes, Black Currant, Bergamot and African Orange Flower
Middles notes: Violet, Cyclamen and Jasmine
Base notes: Vetiver, Musk, Amber and Virginia Cedar

Best expensive perfumes for men angels share by kilian
Angels’ Share By Kilian | Image: Kilian

4. Angels’ Share by Kilian

Price: from AU$340

Pros Cons
Like pulling an apple pie out of a wood-fired oven, this is the perfect expensive scent for colder months and a man who likes whisky and the finer things in life. Performance is great with longevity of 6-8 hours and only a few top-up sprays required throughout the day. It’s a mature fragrance and we wouldn’t recommend buying this for an adolescent man or teenager. You’ll only want to wear this if you’re a professional in your field and want to make a big first impression.

Luxurious with notes of cognac and whisky, these are perfectly balanced by spicy cinnamon, vanilla, and wood. The perfect expensive choice for a Renaissance-type man who likes fine watches, cigars, and a glass of whisky but doesn’t mind showing his feminine side from time to time. Don’t mistake it for a typical boozy scent because it’s lively and dries down like an apple pie that’s just been pulled out of the oven. Longevity is great at 6-8 hours on skin and more on clothes while good projection requires only 2-3 sprays.

Top notes: Cognac
Middles notes: Cinnamon, Tonka Bean and Oak
Base notes: Praline, Vanilla and Sandalwood

Terre dhermes eau givree by hermes
Terre d’Hermes Eau Givree by Hermes | Image: Hermes

5. Terre d’Hermes Eau Givree by Hermes

Price: from AU$160

Pros Cons
Very cost-effective with good projection and longevity of 4-6 hours. One reviewer online called it a “not so serious version of the original Terre d’Hermes EDT” and we have to agree here, the citrusy, sour, and bitter notes are less in your face and more suited for daily wear. It’s an excellent casual-wearing fragrance, but not the best option if you’re looking for something serious for formal occasions. Also not the longest lasting option we’ve tried on this list.

Beautifully bitter, sour, citrusy, and very refreshing, this isn’t the most expensive fragrance for men, but it’s a top performer and one that we had to include on this list because we know you’ll want it. Great for office wear, it’s unique enough but doesn’t stand out to the point of being obnoxious and headache-inducing. In terms of performance, you get plenty of bang for your buck here with 4-6 hours on skin and slightly more on clothes in our testing. You can get significantly better performance from the likes of Creed, Parfums de Marly, and Frederic Malle, but you can find bottles of Terre d’Hermes Eau Givree for under AU$200!

Top notes: Citron
Middles notes: Juniper Berries and Timur
Base notes: Woody Notes and Mineral notes

Ganymede marc antoine barrois best expensive fragrances
Ganymede by Marc-Antoine Barrois | Image: Marc-Antoine Barrois

6. Ganymede by Marc-Antoine Barrois

Price: from AU$325

Pros Cons
This fragrance is truly one of a kind. It’s the white whale of the fragrance industry that’s been described by many reviewers online as nothing short of a “modern masterpiece”. We love its fresh and metallic scent with outstanding longevity of 8-10 hours on skin and more on clothes in our testing. If you like the sweetness from Baccarat Rouge 540 it’s almost completely absent here, replaced by a minerality that’s not for everyone. In saying that, we much prefer this over BC540.

If you love Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian but you’re sick of smelling like every other person, check out this fresh option from Marc-Antoine Barrois. It’s a tough fragrance to describe because it’s so complex and niche, but think fresh, metallic, and sour rolled into one. One reviewer online described it as ‘fresh printer paper,’ and we tend to agree. It’s very masculine leaning, the woody undertones help with performance, and there’s even a little lemon zest through the top notes. We only sprayed 2-3 on the skin because the projection is very strong and found outstanding longevity of 6+ hours.

Top notes: Mandarina from Italy, Essence Heart Orpur, Safran
Middles notes: Violet, Chinese osmanthus absolute Orpur
Base notes: Akigalawood and Immortelle absolute

Tom ford noir extreme parfum
Noir Extreme by Tom Ford | Image: Tom Ford

7. Noir Extreme by Tom Ford

Price: from AU$310

Pros Cons
One of the best options for an older man who prefers to wear masculine scents all year around. Fruity on first spray, but dries down to a lovely blend of vanilla, wood, and a little spice. For the amount of money you pay, it doesn’t have great performance and our tests found longevity at under 6 hours. Also not a great option for younger men, very serious.

Like most Tom Ford fragrances this is an expensive, sexy, and masculine scent that dries down to reveal vanilla, leather, and wood. The opening is pungent and fruity with plenty of zest through the top notes. As such, we don’t think this is one for every man and we recommend testing this in-store before blind buying online. If you prefer to wear suede-style fragrances in winter then this is a great option and something that you’ll want to have in your collection alongside a freshie, spice-bomb, and lavender option.

Top notes: Cardamom, Ginger, Mandarin Orange, Neroli and Citruses
Middles notes: Kulfi, Bulgarian Rose, Orange Blossom and Jasmine
Base notes: Vanilla, Leather, Suede, Amber, Tonka Bean, Guaiac Wood and Cedar

Royal oud by creed
Royal Oud by Creed | Image: Creed

8. Royal Oud by Creed

Price: from AU$539

Pros Cons
Universally liked. This is one of the best creamy, chocolatey, and peppery fragrances money can buy. It does lean a little ‘fresh’ as it dries down, but still a great option for mature men. Projection is great for the first few hours but fades quickly. Look for an older release if you can (2011-2016). Reviews online found the new bottles to have average longevity and our tests confirmed this. Expect a maximum of 6 hours on skin and slightly more on clothes. That’s not great for the amount of money you pay.

One of our favourite expensive fragrances for men who want to feel sophisticated and a little old-fashioned, Royal Oud by Creed is universally loved for a reason. On the first spray, you’ll be slightly overwhelmed by spicy ginger, cedar, and musk before it dries down into a delicious bar of creamy chocolate. We found the longevity to be slightly underwhelming at 4 hours and reviews online back this up. New bottles (like the one we tested) only last hours on the skin compared to older bottles that have longevity upwards of 10 hours.

Top notes: Pink Pepper, Lemon and Sicilian Bergamot
Middles notes: Cedar, Angelica and Galbanum
Base notes: Sandalwood, Agarwood (Oud) and Musk

Grand soir by maison francis kurkdjian
Grand Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian | Image: Maison Francis Kurkdjian

9. Grand Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Price: from AU$540

Pros Cons
Spicy amber and sweet vanilla undertones coax your nostrils, but it’s the musky, tonka dry-down that has us coming back for more here. Longevity is also exceptional at 6-10 hours and we’d expect nothing less from one of the greatest houses in perfumery. Again, it’s spicy and full of amber so be warned if these aren’t to your liking. Projection is also very strong so wear with caution. Probably not the best option for daily wear, save for special occasions.

Hello amber! Grand Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian hits you with a combination of vanilla, amber, and dusty wood on the first spray before it dries down into a mix of powder and musk. It’s intoxicating with balanced sweetness and spice thanks to the orange zet top notes, but we’ve also found a little lavender in our testing. Performance is outstanding with strong projection, moderate sillage, and longevity that lasts 6-10 hours depending on skin type and weather conditions. A stellar addition to any man’s collection.

Top notes: Labdanum cistus, Orange
Middles notes: Benjoin siam
Base notes: Amber, Cedar, Musk, Tonka, Vanilla

Atkinson james in hand
James by Atkinsons | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

10. James by Atkinsons

Price: from AU$280

Pros Cons
Very powerful, musky, and heavy with a slight hint of lime. Not a great option for wearing every day, but a fantastic option for standing out at special events and occasions. Also very well priced compared to other options on our list. Not a great option if you’re looking fro something with longevity. Our tests found this one only lasts 4 hours on skin and slightly more on clothes. Top-ups required.

While it’s far from the most expensive fragrance on our list, James by Atkinsons has quickly become a favourite of ours due to its clever balance of staple aromatics. On the first spray, you’ll be hit with vanilla and wood before vetiver and musk take over. Priced under $300 AUD, it’s an affordable option that we’d happily wear every day. If you like Dior Eau Sauvage Parfum it’s a great alternative that stays in the same ballpark.

Top notes: Clary Sage, Bergamot, Finger Lime and Pink Pepper
Middle notes: Violet Leaf, Elemi Resin and White Flowers
Base notes: Vetiver, Patchouli, Akigalawood and Musk

Best luxury perfumes and fragrances for men penhaligon the inimitable william penhaligon
The Inimitable William Penhaligon by Penhaligons | Image: Penhaligons

11. The Inimitable William Penhaligon by Penhaligons

Price: from AU$445

Pros Cons
If you want an expensive perfume for men that oozes ‘royalty’ look no further, The Inimitable William Penhaligon is the choice of the Royal Family. We love the warmth from wood and vetiver that’s balanced by the bergamot and jasmine. Performance is good but not great compared to other scents at this price point. We marked longevity at 4 hours on skin and projection requiring 4-5 sprays.

There’s a reason The Inimitable William Penhaligon is the choice of the Royal Family, it’s expensive, irresistible, and balanced. We instantly found the dashes of bergamot and jasmine on the first spray before they were overtaken by woody cedar, incense and vetiver towards the middle and base. Like any great masculine fragrance, there’s plenty of warmth thanks to the sandalwood. However, the ambroxan is a ‘love it or hate it’ scent. Performance is good but not great with our test showing 4 hours on skin and significantly more on clothes at 6+ hours. Projection and sillage follow suit and you’ll want to spray 4-5 times.

Top notes: Bergamot and Jasmine
Middle notes: Vetiver, Incense and Cedar
Base notes: Sandalwood and Ambroxan

Best luxury perfumes and fragrances for men le labo santal 33
Santal 33 by Le Labo | Image: Le Labo

12. Santal 33 by Le Labo

Price: from AU$488

Pros Cons
It’s become one of the most popular fragrances in the world and has garnered quite a lot of unjust hate online. We LOVE this scent and the balance of woody furniture, old leather, and even a little dill pickle. Performance is good and we get plenty of compliments. What was once a unique, niche scent has become so popular it’s unbearable for some. Reviews online found notes of dill pickle offensive, but we couldn’t smell this in our testing. Performance is good, but not great.

This unisex fragrance often fills our office with its intoxicating blends of wood, spices and leather. Described by the brand as “an open fire with a soft drift of smoke” we found the leather note particularly dominant and almost impossible to replicate. Warm, musky and addictive, the scent has managed to carve out a niche on its way to becoming one of the most popular scents in the world. Performance is long-lasting and our tests showed 6+ hours on skin and more on clothes. Projection is also great although it fades rather quickly after drying down. If you don’t like this, try Another 13 by Le Labo!

Top notes: Violet blossom, Cardamom seed
Middle notes: Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Iris
Base notes: White musk, Leather and Amber

Best luxury perfumes and fragrances for men maison francis kurkdjian baccarat rouge 540
Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian | Image: Maison Francis Kurkdjian

13. Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Price: from AU$369

Pros Cons
Overhated, somewhat overrated, but still very luxurious and one of the best expensive fragrances for men. Very sweet and balanced by amber wood, ambergris and spicy saffron. Don’t expect to standout anymore, however, that shouldn’t stop you from trying. Popular, very popular. Performance is good, but not great with up to 6 hours on skin and more on clothes. The amber and spice doesn’t quite balance out the excessive sweetness.

Undoubtedly one of the most popular fragrances in the world right now, Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian is expensive, but that hasn’t stopped everyone from buying a bottle to just get a whiff of this addictive smell. You’ll find distinctive sweet notes balanced by amber wood, ambergris and spicy saffron. Longevity is good, but not great at 6 hours on the skin and slightly more on clothes.

Top notes: Jasmine and Saffron
Middle notes: Amberwood and Ambergris
Base notes:  Fir resin and Cedar

Best luxury perfumes and fragrances for men creed aventus
Aventus by Creed | Image: Creed

14. Aventus by Creed

Price: from AU$369

Pros Cons
Classic by any stretch of the imagination, Aventus has defined what a ‘successful’ man has looked like for years. What was once a fairly niche fragrance is now popular and mainstream, however, that hasn’t stopped our appreciation for the blackcurrant, Italian bergamot, French apples, and musky undertones. Like BC540 it’s extremely popular and a little obnoxious in its projection. Performance is good, but not great, with 6 hours on skin and a little more on clothes. If you’re looking for something niche, look elsewhere these days e.g. Parfums de Marly.

Expensive and niche, Aventus is the most popular Creed fragrance ever created and celebrates strength, power, and success. It makes sense then that many online reviews point to this being a great option for business professionals, real estate agents, and sales executives. Every bottle is filled with high-quality ingredients and we found the musk and oak base notes to be a standout with plenty of longevity. Top notes are equally as enticing with blackcurrant, Italian Bergamot, French apples and a burst of pineapple.

Top notes: Pineapple, Bergamot, Black Currant and Apple
Middle notes: Birch, Patchouli, Moroccan Jasmine and Rose
Base notes: Musk, Oakmoss, Ambergris and Vanille

Best luxury perfumes and fragrances for men maison martin margiela jazz club

Jazz Club by Maison Martin Margiela | Image: Maison Martin Margiela

15. Jazz Club by Maison Margiela

Price: from AU$215

Pros Cons
Affordable, smoky, and masculine, this is a smell that could define your whole personality. Try it on your skin and transport yourself to a dusty music store or underground cocktail bar where they serve the best Scotch whisky. Masculine as it gets. Quite smoky and masculine. Not a great option for the younger lads amongst us. Performance is as expected for this price point and won’t blow you away at 6 hours on clothes and less on skin.

Here’s another long-lasting, luxury cologne that brings affordability to the expensive perfumes for men category. Jazz Club by Maison Margiela is all about tobacco, leaf to be specific, with a smoky blend of lemon, pink pepper, styrax and neroli. The result is a warm, sharp, spicy cologne that stays its course the whole day thanks to the increased use of exotic oils. We found longevity to be around 4 hours on the skin and 6 hours on clothes which is about average for scents around this price point. Sillage and projection are good and you’d expect to spray 4-5 times on average with top-ups throughout the day.

Top notes: Pink Pepper, Neroli and Lemon
Middle notes: Clary Sage and Java Vetiver Oil
Base notes: Tobacco Leaf, Vanilla Bean and Styrax

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