The 1970s were a time of change – in both the world and in the world of men’s grooming. During this decade, men’s cologne started to become popular, with new brands and scents hitting the market.
As the 70s hit with a bang, we saw perfumers showcasing fragrances with captivating marketing campaigns. This instantly inspired men to get into the world of perfume and as such, more and more men started to pay attention to their cologne selection. At a time when fashion and image were everything, that final touch of a spray of classic 70s aftershave finished off your disco look perfectly.
I’m about to take you back in time by sharing some of the most famous men’s colognes of the 1970s. It’s a nostalgic look back at some of the best scents from that decade.
17 Of The Most Popular Men’s Cologne From The 70’s
From the ultimate 70s classic, Brut to more contemporary fragrances like Paco Rabanne, the 70s delivered some seriously memorable colognes. There are too many for me to list all of them here, so I’ve chosen a selection of some of the most popular. Is your favorite on the list?
1. Sex Appeal by Jovan – 1975
Sex Appeal was a fragrance that was pretty fitting with the theme of the 70s. The image of a super hot, masculine guy was plastered everywhere and there was no doubt that you needed to be sexy and desirable.
Fortunately, even if you didn’t have the look to match, Jovan’s Sex Appeal made you feel as though you were the most attractive guy in the world. It was a warm, spicy fragrance whose sole purpose was seduction. No respectable guy in the 70s would be seen on a date night without it.
2. Polo Ralph Lauren – 1978
Polo by Ralph Lauren is potentially one of the most iconic men’s colognes from the 1970s. In fact, it was so well loved that I still regularly smell this on guys today. Yes, it’s a bit of a classic scent that probably won’t appeal to the younger generation but older guys absolutely still dig this.
Just like many of the other 1970s colognes, Polo by Ralph Lauren is hugely masculine and a fragrance that’s going to get you noticed. It features many of the classic 70s notes like leather, tobacco, and vetiver which give it something of a warm and comforting character.
3. Jovan Musk For Men – 1973
Jovan was a popular brand in the 1970s and if you weren’t looking to display your sex appeal, then you’d definitely want to get that beautiful musky scent that was popular in the decade. Musk for Men was one of the most popular musk colognes of the 1970s and made a great signature scent.
In fact, there are a lot of guys that still swear by this classic fragrance right to this very day. What’s even better is that it’s super affordable and while it does make a statement, it doesn’t suffocate with its musky aroma. It’s simple, sweet, manly, and lasts a surprisingly long time.
4. Royal Copenhagen – 1970
Let’s head right back to the beginning of the 1970s when Royal Copenhagen started the decade’s perfume character off with a bang. Starting off with some rather fresh accords, Royal Copenhagen soon dries down to a musky, masculine scent that is extremely reminiscent of the decade.
Super manly but not in your face, Royal Copenhagen was something of a classy fragrance that still allowed you to feel powerful and in control. It’s still around today although not everywhere stocks it so you might have a bit of a search on your hands.
5. Faberge Macho – 1977
Musky scents are somewhat timeless but if you recall a musk cologne 1970s then it was probably this one. Macho by Faberge was fresh, powerful, and uber-masculine. There’s something about this decade that made people go mad for aromatic scents which is probably why Macho was so popular.
Faberge Macho went alongside everything it was to be a 70s sex god. Heck, you could even strut your stuff to the accompanying song Mucho Macho which formed the perfect marketing campaign. What’s more, there were other products in the Macho range including oil, soap on a rope, and deodorant so you could go to town with this fragrance.
6. Azzaro Pour Homme – 1978
Many of you would call this a barbershop cologne thanks to its fresh yet aromatic accords. Bursting with bergamot, lemon, basil, and leather, Azzaro was a very manly fragrance that was immensely popular in the late 70s.
Had the fragrance been released sooner, I’m sure it would have been one of the top rankings of the decade. Amazingly, you can still get it today. If you want a taste of nostalgia that makes you feel powerful all day, this long lasting scent should find its way into your collection, whether you’re a 70s veteran or someone a little younger.
7. Faberge Brut -1968
Brut is one of those colognes that will forever be recognized as a timeless classic. It was launched at the back end of the 60s but moving into the following decade, became a staple piece in the fragrance collections of many men.
You’d probably call this a classic fresh scent and despite its age, it still works excellently for the modern man. If you’re looking for a cologne from the 70s that won’t make you smell like your grandpa then Brut should be at the top of your list.
8. Alain Delon Pour Homme – 1979
It’s a shame that Alain Delon Pour Homme wasn’t launched earlier in the 70s as it probably would have done extremely well. Even so, as we move out of the decade, this aromatic fragrance captured guy’s attention.
Alain Delon Pour Homme is an aromatic cologne that starts off fresh and ends up warm, sweet, and woody. It feels classy, romantic, and sophisticated and something I’d still splash on myself today, especially for a date.
9. Aramis For Men – 1966
Aramis may have been launched in the late 1960s but it was a men’s cologne that you smelled everywhere during the 70s. That image of the hairy-chested guy with the gold chain melds so well with this aromatic woody fragrance.
If you wanted a cologne that made you feel masculine and powerful then Aramis would have been your go-to. In fact, even coming out of the 70s and into the 80s, this fragrance remained just as popular. You can still get it today so if you want a classic, unmistakable cologne from the 70s, I’d suggest getting your hands on a bottle right away.
10. Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme – 1971
YSL has always been associated with luxury so guys in the 70s that wanted something a little more sophisticated would have gone for Pour Homme. Launched right at the beginning of the decade, Pour Homme had a chance to make a real statement and did that perfectly.
It does have that classic 70s character with elements like rosewood, citruses, vetiver, and musk, yet there’s something about it that turns heads, that’s for sure.
YSL Pour Homme is incredibly masculine and powerful, like the most influential colognes from that time.
11. Dior Eau Sauvage – 1966
Has there ever been a men’s cologne that’s made such an impact as Eau Sauvage? While it was released in the late 60s, Eau Sauvage was all the rage in the 70s, and it’s just as well loved and well worn today. Even after Dior launched the almighty flanker, Sauvage, Eau Sauvage has remained a favorite for many older gentlemen.
Eau Sauvage is masculine, classy and demands attention with its highly aromatic accords. It’s much more mature than the newer version but just as strong, long-lasting and perfect for summer. Those fresh citrus notes at the head do it for me.
12. Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur – 1972
Have you been racking your brains trying to remember what the Pierre Cardin cologne 1970s was? Well, I would bet my bottom dollar that it was Pour Monsieur as anyone who was anyone in the 70s was splashing this woody spicy fragrance all over themselves.
This is probably a cologne that younger guys would want to avoid as it has a very mature character, making it a true old-school classic men’s cologne. But if you’re looking to invoke a sense of nostalgia, you’ll fall in love once more with Pour Monsieur.
What I also like about it is that it’s such a delicate and light fragrance. Many 70s colognes were powerful and in your face so I believe it is an excellent choice for day to day wear.
13. Grey Flannel – Geoffrey Beene
Another of the 70s aromatic fragrances; do you think there’s a theme here? Grey Flannel is actually a unique cologne in that the composition features some blends that don’t appear in other men’s colognes from the 70s.
Things like petitgrain and neroli at the head, with mimosa, narcissus, and violet at the heart. The base woody notes and tonka bean together, which is a little more similar to other colognes of the time, but I love how Geoffery Beene takes its own spin on the classic 70s vibe.
14. Paco Rabanne Pour Homme – 1973
In the 70s, aromatic colognes were all the rage and it doesn’t get more aromatic than Paco Rabanne Pour Homme. It’s the ultimate classic 70s aftershave that’ll make you feel clean, fresh, and pampered while also feeling manly.
Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne is still in stores to this day and what I love about it is that it’s unlike anything else on the shelves. The composition is pretty simple but contains a blend of notes that have a character all of their own. With rosewood rosemary, lavender, honey, and oakmoss, Pour Homme will certainly make you stand out in a sea of people that are all wearing Sauvage or Bleu de Chanel!
15. Lagerfeld Classic – 1978
It’s incredible how popular amber woody scents were in the 1970s and if you were a fan of those kinds of fragrances, you probably had a bottle of Lagerfeld Classic. This was a highly unique men’s cologne characterized by a classic yet modern feel.
Lagerfeld Classic is still available today and it’s the perfect choice for guys who want something heavily masculine. I’d also recommend this for men who want something more mature and classy. With notes like bergamot, tarragon, patchouli, and cedar, you’ll feel like this perfume is meant to take on the world.
16. Old Spice Original – 1938
OK, you’ve probably just looked at the date of release for Old Spice Original and thought that’s not a 70s cologne. It might have been launched decades before but Original Old Spice was one of the most well loved lemon colognes from the 70s.
With fresh citrus accords melting into spices, florals, and woods, you can’t mistake the classic scent of this lemon scented perfume 1970s for men. And even though it’s seen as something of an old guy’s perfume, there’s no denying it’s remained forever popular. Even today, guys looking for a classic fragrance will turn to Old Spice.
17. Givenchy Gentleman -1974
When you think of Givenchy, you think of French luxe and that’s exactly what Gentleman delivers. If you didn’t want to fall in with all the other similar smelling guys of the decade, you’d settle for this woody aromatic and highly masculine perfume.
Notes of honey and cinnamon gave it a sweet opening while patchouli, leather, and civet made it richer, animalistic and warm as it dried down. A 70s cologne that makes you feel powerful, Givenchy Gentleman wins hands down.
In the 70s, guys wanted to stand out with aromatic perfumes that grabbed attention left, right, and center. Yes, there were a few more delicate colognes in this decade but for the most part, the fragrance was just as loud and in your face as the fashion.
Looking back at some of these men’s colognes has got me thinking about how many of them remain popular today. I wonder whether that’s because they have such a timeless character that fits with almost every occasion.
One thing is for sure, they’re not going anywhere and guys today are still sporting spritzes of Aramis and Polo Ralph Lauren, so the 70s definitely made a lasting impression.