Best Woody Cologne
Today we’re counting down our top picks for the best woodsy cologne.
While a trend towards more modern, experimental aromas is perhaps expected with men’s colognes, it’s still tough to compete with the classic scents.
Traditionally masculine scents such as wood and leather are timeless classics in the world of cologne and will remain that way for many years to come.
If you’re looking to tap into your inner gentleman or wear a breath of fresh air as you go about your daily business, then a woodsy cologne (or woody cologne) is an excellent choice.
Let’s dive into our top picks for men’s woodsy cologne. Here they are…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Picks for Best Woodsy Cologne
- Best of the Best: Tom Ford Oud Wood
- Runner Up: English Leather
- Best Bold Scent: Cowboy by Tru Western
- Best Warming Scent: Patrick by Inis the Energy of the Sea
- Best Citrus Notes: Gucci Guilty Pour Homme
- Best Floral Notes: Yves Saint Laurent Splendid Wood
- Best Woody Scent: Lalique Encre Noire
Best Woodsy Cologne Reviews
Tom Ford Oud Wood (👑 Best of the Best)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Tom Ford.
The top fashion brand, which derives its name from its hugely successful founder, has a wide selection of men’s colognes on offer. Oud Wood is one of the colognes produced by Tom Ford, and in our opinion, it’s the best woody cologne available.
Let’s start with the packaging. This cologne, which is technically an eau de parfum, comes in a 50ml bottle that looks every bit as classy as you’d expect from a Tom Ford product.
The sleek bottle resembles a towering tree in both color with the mahogany shade as well as in shape, as the lid appears to bloom at the top. It’s also worth mentioning that this isn’t a cheap cologne, if you want to wear an elegant aroma such as this one, you’ll have to cough up the cash and pay a premium.
As for the aroma of this fragrance, it should come as no real surprise that the dominant scent is woody notes. This, also unsurprisingly, is followed up with a healthy dose of oud.
Then comes an array of other notes which range from the warm and spicy, to the aromatic and sweet. To clear up any confusion upfront, oud is another name for agarwood, which comes from the aquilaria tree and is a very common addition to men’s colognes. Oud provides the main character of this cologne, with its warm woody notes that are undercut with a hint of balsamic.
This is complimented by a couple of other woody notes, such as Brazilian rosewood and the popular scent of sandalwood.
The balance of this cologne is provided by a combination of sweet ingredients like vanilla and tonka bean, as well as slightly spicy ingredients like cardamom and sichuan pepper.
The end result is a wonderfully complex aroma which delights the sense of smell and should draw compliments whenever you’re out and about.
- Oritental woody fragrance
WHY WE CHOSE IT AS OUR TOP PICK
1. This is a designer cologne, which looks the part in an elegant bottle and has an incredibly rich woodsy aroma.
2. The oud brings a complexity to the overall character of the cologne, which is balanced out nicely with both sweet and spicy notes.
English Leather (🥈 Runner Up)
Our runner up pick for the best woody cologne is English Leather from the brand Dana.
Now while you might be wondering what a cologne called English Leather is doing on a list of the best woody colognes, hear us out.
This fragrance offers up more than just notes of leather.
It’s finely complimented with one of the more popular woodsy notes in cedar, along with a whole host of fun and fruity aromas which we’ll get to briefly.
The cologne comes in a curiously-shaped rectangular bottle with a round screw-on lid and contains 8 fluid ounces. The deep amber color of it speaks to its rich aroma, and to the honey that’s present in its aromatic profile.
The top notes of the English Leather fragrance are predominantly citrus fruits like bergamot, lemon, and orange, but are balanced out with the herbal profiles of lavender and rosemary.
Then there’s the sweet notes of honey, combined with the floral notes of rose and iris, which makes for a very pleasant body to the cologne. Finally, the base notes are responsible for the structure of the cologne, and they all lend a richness to the fragrance which makes it seem complete.
There’s leather, of course, which is a traditionally very masculine scent, but then there’s the cedar wood. The wood is very much in the foreground of this cologne, taking centre stage alongside the leather.
Then there’s tonka bean, vetiver, and musk which all help to round out the fragrance and give it a good amount of complexity.
- 8 fluid ounces
- Includes bergamot, leather, and cedar wood.
Cowboy by Tru Western (🍃 Best Bold Scent)
If you’re looking for something a little different, something with a bold scent that will leave a lasting impression on those you come into contact with, then Cowboy by Tru Western is a fantastic cologne for you.
This cologne embraces everything associated with being a cowboy; from the musky saloons to the leather boots and the great outdoors. It’s a cologne which comes in a 3.4oz bottle, which is every bit as sturdy as you’d hope a fragrance of this name would be.
The robust bottle houses the rugged Cowboy scent, which is made up of a combination of woody, spicy, and earthy notes. As an extra bonus when you invest in this cologne, Tru Western will donate $1 to a nonprofit helping those in the Western community.
Like any good cologne should, Cowboy by Tru Western takes your sense of smell on a journey with its top, middle, and base notes.
It starts out with the fresh aroma of juniper berries and fresh moss, then tantalises the senses with spices such as black pepper and sage, before introducing you to the main ingredient – mahogany woods.
The mahogany wood is what holds this fragrance together, and lends the aroma a distinctly woodsy character.
This complex scent captures the sense of spirit and adventure of the cowboy lifestyle well, and should be a great everyday cologne.
- Includes juniper, fresh moss, and mahogany
Patrick by Inis the Energy of the Sea (🧣 Best Warming Scent)
Patrick, the Irish-themed cologne from Inis the Energy of the Sea, is our choice for the best of the warming woody colognes.
When you think of woodsy colognes, after you imagine the rich notes associated with trees, your mind may wander off to images of cosy log cabins with fires blazing.
This warmth, which is a result of burning wood, has a close connection to many woodsy notes used in colognes. So when you have a mix of ingredients which bring out and highlight the warming character of the wood, you’ve got a recipe for an enticing cologne. Patrick does just that.
The pleasant combination of fern, pine, oak moss and patchouli make for an incredibly earthy yet fiery fragrance. The fresh green notes are offered up by the fern, pine, and oak moss, which are then balanced out nicely with the patchouli.
Patchouli is known for its spicy character, and lends itself well to balancing out wood-dominated aromas. There’s also the Celtic associations that are evident with this Irish cologne, evoking imagery of dense forests and green lands.
As a bonus when you buy this cologne, both the bottle and the box come with a design that is based on the famous Book of Kells which is one of the greatest examples of Celtic art.
- 8 oz
- Includes fern, pine, oak moss, and patchouli
Gucci Guilty Pour Homme (🍋 Best Citrus)
Gucci’s Guilty Pour Homme cologne is our pick or the best of the woody fragrances with notes of citrus.
If what you’re looking for is an aroma that has that classic rich woody scent but comes alive with invigorating citrus scents then Guilty is an excellent option to consider.
The base of this cologne is a pleasant combination of Virginia cedar wood, spicy patchouli, and soothing vanilla.
But it’s the top and middle notes of this fragrance that really capture the imagination.
Amalfi lemon and lavender are the first sweet scents to emerge from the fragrance, which can make you feel like you’re walking through a Sicilian lemon tree grove or wandering a wonderfully scented forest.
African orange flower is the main middle note which makes up the heart or body of the cologne.
The end product of all of these scents combining is a wonderfully refreshing aroma that captures the essence of the woods while also offering a wild, floral edge to it to make you feel like you’re on an outdoor adventure.
- 3 oz
- Includes African orange flower, Amalfi lemon, and Virginia cedar
Yves Saint Laurent Splendid Wood (🌼 Best Floral)
Splendid Wood by Yves Saint Laurent is our pick for the best woody cologne with floral notes.
If you like to feel as though you’re wandering through a field of flowers or heading into the forest then you’ll love the mystical nature to this aroma.
The agarwood (oud) provides the backdrop for this complex fragrance that blends herbs and spices for a floral yet fiery finish.
Among the main notes you should be able to pick out the rich aroma of incense, the floral smell of rose and jasmine, and a touch of cardamom which lends the slightest hint of spice to the fragrance.
This is a cologne for special occasions, romantic dates, and formal dinners.
- Includes rose, jasmine, and agarwood
Lalique Encre Noire (🌲 Best Woody Scent)
If you consider yourself somewhat of a purist when it comes to fragrances, and you don’t like to experiment too much with different scents, Lalique’s Encre Noire could be great choice for you.
We picked this cologne as the fragrance with the best woody scent, since it doesn’t try to be anything but a fantastic woodsy cologne.
There aren’t any exotic ingredients, spicyness, or fruity notes in this cologne.
While this may seem unusual, Encre Noire is an exceptionally popular cologne, and many men can’t get enough of the bold earthy and woody notes this fragrance offers.
The first impression you’ll get of this cologne is one of woods and mosses, as cypress is the sole top note. From there, the scent develops into something more complex picking up the smoky and dusty profile of vetiver along the way before introducing the main base notes of cashmere wood and musk which round the aroma out well.
- Includes cypress, vetiver, and cashmere wood
Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Woodsy Cologne
In order to select the perfect woodsy cologne for you, it’s worth bearing in mind a few factors before you go ahead and invest.
These factors, which we’ll get into now, include what some of the best woody ingredients and what notes are in a cologne.
While the scent of a cologne may be a largely subjective matter, the difference between a well-made one and a poorly-made one is huge, so it definitely benefits you to spend some time thinking about what’s best for your needs.
If you’re looking for those colognes which really pop and stand out with rich and bold woodsy fragrances, then you’ll need to know what the best ingredients are.
Each woodsy ingredient will have a distinct character it can add to a cologne, so you should think about what it is exactly you want from your woodsy notes.
Are you looking for something rich and earthy?
Or perhaps something with a little more spice and warmth?
If you’re at all familiar with the world of fragrances, you’ll know that sandalwood is a very popular wood used, and this isn’t without good reason.
Sandalwood provides an intriguing scent, which may go against what you would imagine from a typical woodsy note.
Sandalwood offers up a smooth and warming fragrance, which stops short of being the typical warmth offered up by wood, and instead explores more exotic sweet aromas.
The first time you smell the nuanced aroma of sandalwood, you’re unlikely to forget it.
What makes this an especially sought after ingredient for colognes is the origins of it.
The sandalwood tree belongs to the Santalum genus, and is a slow-growing tree which holds onto its rich aroma for many years.
What’s more, it is one of the most expensive woods you can find, partially due to the fact that it can take anywhere up to 15 years until it is ready for harvesting.
There’s also a positive correlation between how long the tree lives and how much oil it gives off, so it’s worth waiting a long time before feeling in order to maximise the yield.
Sandalwood works well with many floral scents, so if you see a cologne that has a hint of orange blossom or jasmine for example, you can be fairly sure that it’s going to have a great scent.
Cedar wood is one of the classic woodsy notes, and its oil is derived from the bark of the tree.
This is one of those notes that gives you exactly what you’d expect from a woodsy ingredient.
It has rich earthy and woody aroma, and the oil is often used for bringing on a state of relaxation such as its grounding character.
You can also expect a good deal of freshness with cedarwood, the kind of freshness which you’d imagine breathing in somewhere like the Rocky Mountains.
As for the tree, it can grow up to 100ft tall, and is one of those which outlives whole generations with a lifespan of over a 1000 years.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that cedarwood is commonly used to make all kinds of jewellery boxes, cigar boxes, as well as in colognes.
We’re all familiar with pinecones – the curious conical christmas decoration fodder – but not so much with the trees these cones come from.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of smelling a pine tree in person before, here’s what you can expect.
Pine has its own distinct aroma, which is hard to put it into words, but it generally smells very clean and fresh, with just a little sharpness.
This is a type of wood that is most commonly associated with christmas trees, given its status as the festive tree, so if you’ve had a real christmas tree in your house before you should have an idea of what to expect.
If you do have these associations with christmas, then a cologne with pine in it can bring back a feeling of nostalgia for the festive period.
Amber is a type of fossilized tree resin, which is often used in jewellery due to its bright orange color.
The aroma of amber generally lives up to expectations based on what it looks like.
It has a smell which encapsulates resin, but there’s also rich and earthy notes in it too. The deep amber color lets you know that it’s going to be a warm fragrance, and it doesn’t disappoint in that regard.
It’s not your typical woodsy note, but it is derived from trees, and it contributes its own unique character to many popular colognes.
Vetiver isn’t actually derived from a tree, but rather, from a type of grass which is native to India.
This grass grows tall up to a height of 1 and a half meters, and its leaves are long and thin, often curling over towards the ground.
While vetiver isn’t an especially well-known plant, it is related to lemon grass and the super effective mosquito repellent citronella.
This should give you some idea of what you can expect in terms of the aroma it gives off.
While sweet to some extent, this grass is better characterised by its woody, smoky, and earthy notes.
This is what makes it one of the best woody notes, since it brings a complex blend of scents in addition to the traditional wood smell.
Similarly to sandalwood trees, the longer the vetiver grows, the more oil can be extracted and the higher the quality will be.
Hit the Right Notes
There are 3 different types of notes you will find in any cologne, or perfume for that matter.
These are often referred to as the top, middle or heart, and base notes.
Each type of note brings something different to the fragrance, including a different duration and each is associated with certain types of scents.
Top notes are associated with the first impression of a fragrance, and they will last anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.
The scents used for top notes are often citrus-based or floral, this is because brands want you to smell their colognes and instantly get a good impression of it.
Even if the top notes can come off as a little strong sometimes, they won’t stick around for too long afterwards.
Middle notes, which are often commonly called heart notes, are responsible for creating the main body of a fragrance.
They take the top notes of the cologne and add more structure to them by introducing other scents, except these ones will linger a lot longer.
Middle notes tend to last for around 20-60 minutes, which makes them longer-lasting than top notes, but still not comparable with the base notes.
They are also the most prominent scents in a cologne, making up around 70% of the total aroma.
You’ll often find that middle notes are full-bodied, since they account for the majority of the cologne’s overall character.
Common scents here tend to include aromatic and floral ingredients like jasmine, as well as spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
The base notes are where things get interesting with regards to woodsy colognes.
This is the layer of the cologne where woodsy notes can truly thrive, and add great texture to a fragrance.
The base notes will be rich and sometimes quite heavy, and they will last the longest at around 6 hours or more.
Some of the best base notes are woodsy ingredients such as sandalwood, oakmoss, and cedarwood, given that they can provide a rich and earthy aroma that acts as the foundation of a cologne.
Oftentimes a good woodsy cologne will have several types of wood as base notes, along with a complimentary sweet or spicy note such as vanilla or patchouli.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Woodsy Cologne
What is a woody scent?
A woody scent is one which is characterised by warm notes and woody notes, the likes of which can come from ingredients such as patchouli, amber, and sandalwood.
Woody scents have been associated with masculine fragrances for the longest time, and they can make you think of a warm, cosy retreat in a log cabin or a stroll through a dense forest full of exotic vegetation.
They aren’t typically overpowering scents, and are usually used in the base note of a fragrance, allowing fresh aromas from things like spices and herbs take centre stage.
What men’s cologne gets the most compliments?
While the answer to this question will vary wildly due to differences in taste, there are some scents which always tend to go down well.
For men, there are a few aromas which have stood the test of time and can always be trusted to draw a compliment or two.
These special aromas include the likes of leather, tobacco, and woodsy notes.
There’s something very rugged and masculine about all 3 of those bold scents, so any of them would be a great one to look out for in a cologne.
Why does cedar smell so good?
Cedar wood smells so good because like many other scents, it comes from a towering tree which provides a fresh and invigorating aroma.
Woodsy notes are known for being earthy and refreshing at the same time, so this is a big reason for the popularity of such scents as cedar and sandalwood.
There is another reason for cedar’s intoxicating smell though. Thujaplicin is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compound which has healing properties and adds to the aroma.
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A Final Word From The Trending Man
Woodsy colognes are an excellent choice for men, and they can be relied on to deliver a soothing yet earthy aroma which is great for everyday use.
Picking the right woodsy cologne for you boils down to which scents capture your sense of smell most, and how much you’re willing to pay to wear a cologne.