Let’s dive into the golden era of the 70s when men’s colognes were more than just a scent; they were a statement.
$119.85 ($36.32 / Fl Oz)
$15.58 ($3.90 / Fl Oz)
The 1970s saw woody, musky fragrances and super masculine scents surge in popularity, with brands like Ralph Lauren introducing timeless classics that still turn heads today. And then there were the celebrities, who weren’t just wearers; they were trendsetters who made some of these a real must-have!
But I digress; let’s embark on this nostalgic journey.
What Was The Most Popular Men’s Perfume in the 70s?
Ralph Lauren’s Polo Green was easily the most popular and icon men’s cologne of the 1970s.
After its launch in 1978, this iconic fragrance quickly became the signature scent for many, likely because of how it captured the decade’s masculine style.
Classic Men’s Colognes From the 1970s
1. Ralph Lauren – Polo Green
- Price: $60 to $85 for 100ml
It’s one of the more woodsy fragrances which captured the adventurous spirit of the outdoors, making it a favorite for both work and special occasions. The scent’s rich woody undertones spoke to men looking for a bold yet sophisticated aroma.
Ralph Lauren Polo Green had its popularity was further cemented by endorsements from iconic figures like Clint Eastwood, who more or less made it his signature fragrance and a must-have in every man’s fragrance collection.
|Top Notes:||Pine, Lavender, Juniper, Artemisia, Bergamot, Cumin, Basil, and Green|
|Middle Notes:||Coriander, Marjoram, Jasmine, Carnation, Geranium, Thyme, and Rose|
|Base Notes:||Oakmoss, Patchouli, Leather, Cedar, Amber, Musk, and Frankincense|
2. Fabergé – Brut
Faberge is a truly timeless fragrance and a close second to Polo Green in terms of popularity and cultural impact. It was introduced in 1963 and became another emblem of the 1970s man. Trust me, you can’t miss it! It’s got a strong masculine scent that made it a staple in many grooming routines.
They marketed this masculine fragrance as “The Essence of Man” and its popularity soared because of endorsements from celebrities like football legend Joe Namath.
I’d say it’s perfect for both daily wear and special occasions, as its aromatic profile is a blend of spicy, woody, and citrus notes, making it a versatile choice for the modern man of the 70s.
|Top Notes:||Lemon, Bergamot, Orange Blossom, Star anise, and Basil|
|Middle Notes:||Lavender, Geranium, Jasmine, and Ylang-Ylang|
|Base Notes:||Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Patchouli, Tonka Bean, and Vanilla|
3. Paco Rabanne – Pour Homme
Paco Rabanne’s Pour Homme was a trailblazer in the world of men’s fragrances, which is why it’s still a very popular scent nowadays. It has a fresh and aromatic scent profile which was a welcomed departure from the heavier, muskier fragrances of the time.
Paco Rabanne Pour Homme didn’t get any open endorsements from celebrities but people celebrated this scent for its refined and timeless aroma.
Pour Homme was and still is a go-to for men seeking a sophisticated yet understated scent. I’d use it for both workdays and evenings out, as its balanced blend of herbal and woody notes make it incredibly versatile.
|Top Notes:||Rosemary, Clary Sage, and Brazilian Rosewood|
|Middle Notes:||Tonka Bean, Lavender, and Geranium|
|Base Notes:||Honey, Amber, Musk, and Oakmoss|
4. Jovan – Jovan Musk For Men
- Price: $10 to $20 for 88ml.
If you were a free-spirited and adventurous man in the 70s, then Jovan Musk was probably your favorite scent. This classic fragrance has a warm, musky aroma, which really suited the decade’s trend toward sensual and earthy fragrances.
Jovan Musk was also pretty affordable in the 70s, but still offered a masculine scent that was inviting and unique. This scent could be for everyday wear, but its alluring aroma made it a no-brainer for date nights. Simplicity and depth are the reason why it’s been cherished by many during the 70s and way beyond.
|Top Notes:||Carnation, Amalfi Lemon, Lime, and Spices|
|Middle Notes:||Lavender, Amber, Mint, and Spices|
|Base Notes:||Wood, Musk, and Oakmoss|
5. Givenchy – Gentleman
Givenchy Gentleman was unveiled in 1974 and became a real game-changer in the world of aromatic scents. It represented the sophisticated man of the 70s, through its rich and complex scent profile which was both modern and timeless.
Like many of the other colognes I’ve mentioned, this fragrance was more than just a scent; it was a statement of elegance and class, making it perfect for formal events and intimate evenings. It’sa classic scent with a deep woody fragrance that sets it apart from the crowd and leaves a lasting impression.
Givenchy Gentleman was the epitome of luxury and refinement, So get yourself a bottle if you’re seeking a classic cologne with depth and character.
|Top Notes:||Honey, Cinnamon, Bergamot, Rose, Lemon, and Tarragon.|
|Middle Notes:||Patchouli, Orris Root, Jasmine, and Cedar.|
|Base Notes:||Leather, Amber, Patchouli, Musk, Oakmoss, Vanilla, Vetiver, and Civet.|
6. Geoffrey Beene – Grey Flannel
Next up we have Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene, introduced in 1975, which also diverts slightly from the ultra-masculine scents of the era.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not exactly a light fragrance, but it certainly is more on the understated side. Plus, it’s got a distinct violet-dominated aroma that sets it apart. The fragrance evolves into a scent that’s fresh, slightly powdery, and memorable.
Grey Flannel is best for those who wanted to stand out without being overpowering, which is why it was the choice for 70s men who liked subtlety with a splash of sophistication. Also, its balanced blend of woody and herbal notes made it great for both day and night, while cementing its place as a classic fragrance of the 1970s.
|Top Notes:||Galbanum, Neroli, Petitgrain, Bergamot, and Lemon|
|Middle Notes:||Mimosa, Iris, Violet, Sage, Rose, Geranium, and Narcissus|
|Base Notes:||Tonka Bean, Almond, Oakmoss, Vetiver, and Cedar|
7. Pierre Cardin – Pour Monsieur
Pierre Cardin launched Pour Monsieur in 1972, giving the world a truly unique fragrance that pretty accurately represented the 1970s man. Its rich and complex scent profile radiated confidence and charm. Perfect for those who wanted a fragrance that was both bold and refined, Pour Monsieur was a nice mix of freshness and depth.
Lastly, its aromatic and woody notes made Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur one of the more dynamic men’s colognes, from business meetings to romantic dinners.
|Top Notes:||Orange, Lavender, Basil, Bergamot, and Lemon|
|Middle Notes:||Leather, Carnation, Sandalwood, Patchouli, and Geranium|
|Base Notes:||Leather, Tonka Bean, Amber, Benzoin, Oakmoss, and Vanilla|
8. Lagerfeld – Classic
You can’t talk about fine colognes and not mention Karl Largerfeld’s Classic. Yes, projecting masculinity was big in the 70s but coming across as elegant and sophisticated was still a huge part of this. And this is where Classic came in; a statement of timeless style.
I’d say that this timeless classic is one of those scents for men who like the finer things in life, with its rich blend of oriental and spicy notes. So you’d probably smell it at a gala event or quiet dinner. Overall, the Lagerfeld Classic has a depth and complexity that makes it a standout, ensuring its place as a 1970s favorite.
|Top Notes:||Aldehydes, Bergamot, Nutmeg, Sweet Orange, and Estragon|
|Middle Notes:||Cedarwood, Intense and Sweet Jasmine, Iris, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, and Tobacco|
|Base Notes:||Amber, Musk, Oak, Tonka Beans, and Vanilla|
9. Pfizer – Hai Karate
- Price: $10 to $80 for 110ml (Considered a vintage item)
One reason why I love Hai Karate was its quirky marketing, which made it a memorable men’s cologne for many. It was less about masculinity and sophistication and more about fun and cheekiness.
The marketing campaigns would hilariously warn men about the “dangerous” allure that wearing it would give them, making it a household name and one of the best colognes to gift those with a sense of humor.
It wasn’t as “refined” as other colognes of its time, but Hai Karate’s blend of citrus and spicy notes made it a favorite for casual wear. Its unique approach to branding and its accessible price point at the time ensured its place as a memorable fragrance of the era.
|Top Notes:||Lavender, Bergamot, and Lemon|
|Middle Notes:||Rose, Geranium, and Heliotrope|
|Base Notes:||Oakmoss, Vanilla, and Amber|
10. Royal Copenhagen – Royal Copenhagen
If you wanted to smell like European Royalty, then Royal Copenhagen was the fragrance you’d wear in the 1970s. It effortlessly gave off class and refinement, with its well-balanced blend of fresh and woody notes.
It was a great scent for day and evening wear, as well as for any gentlemen who wanted to feel like James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever. While it wasn’t the flashiest men’s cologne of the 1970s, its quiet elegance ensured its popularity through the decade.
|Top Notes:||Aldehydes, Lime, Lavender, Green Notes, Bergamot, Cardamom, and Lemon|
|Middle Notes:||Carnation, Patchouli, Orris Root, Jasmine, Vetiver, Cedar, and Rose|
|Base Notes:||Honey, Tonka Bean, Amber, Musk, Oakmoss, Vanilla, and Heliotrope|
What men’s cologne was popular in the 60s?
Old Spice by Shulton Company was a favorite cologne among many men during the 60s. It was originally introduced in the 1930s as a women’s fragrance, but its spicy, oriental aroma transitioned to a men’s scent and became symbolic of the decade. English Leather is another very popular option from the 1960s.
Why were musky scents so popular in the 1970s?
Because the 1970s were a time of change and trying new things, musky scents stood out and felt like the epitome of the modern man. Also, the warm, musky aroma was very fitting considering the decade’s bold spirit.