Yves Saint Laurent is a must-try for a would-be cologne connoisseur. The French house is masterful when it comes to producing masculine scents.
The best YSL fragrances are a perfect blend of unique notes that smell great together, capturing timeless elegance across their modern men’s scents.
In this review, I’ve prioritized long-lasting colognes with solid wear time and tried to cover all situations.
$89.00 ($44.50 / Fl Oz)
$99.00 ($30.00 / Fl Oz)
La Nuit De L’Homme harnesses the enveloping warmth of cardamom to present a sophisticated brand of bold sensuality. It’s the best YSL cologne in my opinion – but the other YSL fragrances have their merits, too.
For something a little breezier, take a look at Y Eau de Parfum, a light fragrance packed full of fruity notes perfect for daytime wear. It’s slowly but surely becoming a classic cologne and is one of the most popular in the YSL fragrance family.
What’s the Best YSL Cologne For Men In 2022?
- YSL La Nuit De L’Homme: Best Overall
- Y EDP: Most Popular Yves Saint Laurent Cologne
- Kouros: Most Masculine YSL Perfume
- YSL Opium: Perfect for Date Night
- L’Homme: Classic Fragrance for Intimate Encounters
- L’Homme Parfum Intense: Refined, Powdery, Sweet Masculinity
- L’homme Cologne Bleue: Best for the Office
- La Nuit de L’Homme Eau Electrique: A Versace Eros Alternative
- YSL Body Kouros: Best Longest Lasting YSL Colone
- M7 Oud Absolu: Best Woody Cologne
10 Best Yves Saint Laurent Colognes For Men In 2022
YSL La Nuit De L’Homme – Best Yves Saint Laurent Cologne Overall
La Nuit De L’Homme (the Night of the Man) is an intoxicating, masculine cologne that feels designed to capture the attention of ladies – while remaining subtle and sophisticated.
Subtle and sophisticated, destined to catch the attention of ladies.
This dark, gloomy fragrance is perfect for evenings at the bar or classy parties.
|Occasion: Classy bars and parties||Longevity: 8 hours|
|Age group: 25 – 40||Projection: Powerful|
|Season: Year-round||Value for Money: 5/5|
It makes me think of a dark, cool night with the full moon bouncing off the clouds. You turn the corner, see her, and walk together along the gloomy cobbled streets, hand in hand.
For the first 10 minutes or so, La Nuit De L’Homme is relatively singular, leading with rich cardamom spice. Once it settles down, a heart of fresh lavender and citrussy-bergamot emerges, and the cologne starts to feel like a cool evening breeze against your skin.
In the dry down, you get rich cedar and vetiver that feels rich and full of life. These are no dusty, earthy woods – it’s a sharper, cleaner sense. The effect is a powdery blend of warm, slightly sweet notes that combine for a true night-time scent.
Dark, suave, and sexy as hell.
There’s a reason this fragrance has been a bestseller for over a decade. If you’re still looking for a signature cologne for date nights, La Nuit De L’Homme might be what you need.
Just make sure you don’t over-spray. I’d recommend 3 – 4 sprays max, or you might find that La Nuit De L’Homme ends up wearing you instead.
|Middle Notes:||Lavender, Virginia Cedar and Bergamot|
|Base Notes:||Vetiver and Caraway|
|Designers:||Anne Flipo, Pierre Wargnye and Dominique Ropion|
YSL Y EDP – Most Popular Yves Saint Laurent Cologne
Y Eau de Parfum is one of the most versatile compliment-collecting fragrances I’ve ever owned.
|Occasion: Crowd-pleasing day-to-day||Longevity: 9 hours|
|Age group: 20 – 40||Projection: Moderate|
|Season: Year-round||Value for Money: 5/5|
It basically combines some of the best aspects of classic crowd-pleasing colognes like Dior Sauvage and Bleu de Chanel into a cheaper fragrance with excellent performance, while offering something a little different to separate you from the pack.
When I go out wearing Y Eau de Parfum, both girls and guys ask “what smells so nice” in equal measure, which is pretty rare.
It opens up with a fresh and fruity blast of apple that reminds me of the best Hugo Boss colognes – but YSL Y has greater nuance from bergamot and clary sage to prevent it from being a one-note-wonder.
The apple persists for the lifetime of the fragrance, joined by amber woodsiness in the heart and sweetness from inflections of tonka bean. The dry down is an attractive and powdery landing of sweet white musk.
Now, even though La Nuit De L’Homme is no slouch in terms of performance, YSL Y Eau de Parfum actually goes one step better. It is an absolute beast and will last all day easily.
Anything more than a couple of sprays is going to dominate the room, so handle it with care. Either way, it means your bottle will last a long while, making this affordable cologne even better value for money.
YSL really hit a home run with this versatile, classy cologne – particularly if you’re looking for a clean, apple-led fragrance.
- Check out our comparison of YSL Y EDT vs EDP for more.
|Top Notes:||Apple, Ginger and Bergamot|
|Middle Notes:||Sage, Juniper Berries and Geranium|
|Base Notes:||Amberwood, Tonka Bean, Cedar, Vetiver and Olibanum|
Kouros – The Most Masculine Yves Saint Laurent Perfume
Kouros is one of the OG maculine colognes. There’s really nothing else like it out there.
|Occasion: Alpha bravado||Longevity: 8 hours|
|Age group: 30 – 50||Projection: Strong|
|Season: Fall/Winter||Value for Money: 5/5|
Kouros is a bit of a contradiction in terms. A blast of alpha, animalic ruggedness paired with soapy cleanliness and sweet honey. It’s intriguing, compelling, and intense.
Along with strength and primal sensation comes dignity and sensuality, with Kouros somehow fresh without relying on cliched aquatic notes. It’s created by master perfumer Pierre Bordon, who also created Davidoff Cool Water, another top-tier nostalgia freshie.
Kouros is all about unbridled masculinity, but it’s not entirely without nuance. It’s a true departure from most of the cleaned-up fragrances of today, but there are some light floral notes that add some classiness to the mix.
If you’re new to colognes, I’d suggest you steer clear. This is a bold and potentially unforgiving fragrance for tougher guys who aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves.
Particularly when you consider how powerful the scent is, you’ll want to make sure you pick your moments properly – or risk coming across as a bit of an aggressive barbarian.
Having said that, if you yearn for the 80s or 90s when men were men, this is the scent for you. Hipsters beware.
|Top Notes:||Aldehydes, Coriander, Clary Sage, Artemisia and Bergamot|
|Middle Notes:||Patchouli, Carnation, Vetiver, Cinnamon, Geranium, Jasmine and Orris Root|
|Base Notes:||Civet, Honey, Leather, Musk, Oakmoss, Amber, Tonka Bean and Vanilla|
YSL Opium for Men – The Perfect Yves Saint Laurent Cologne for Date Night
Opium is one of the most well-formulated fragrances I’ve ever smelt. This potent and commanding blend of balsam, vanilla, and star anise is deep and mysterious and reminds me of a date in a classy private lounge with a beautiful woman.
|Occasion: Date Night||Longevity: 10 hours|
|Age group: 25 – 45||Projection: Moderate|
|Season: Year-round||Value for Money: 4.5|
There’s a dose of prickly pepper in the top notes, which mellows out to become a delectable pepper/vanilla creamy blend.
As Opium dries down, you discover a current note that adds a little sweetness to the mix – just enough to prevent the blend from taking itself too seriously.
It’s a long-lasting cologne, with enough power from 2 – 3 sprays to last for 10 hours. I’d put Opium in the same performance-beast category as Kouros, but the effect of the scent itself is more subtle.
If Kouros is the electric chair, Opium is a tincture slipped into your coffee, gradually guaranteeing your demise. Either way, it takes a serious man to pull off this cologne, so only buy this blind if you think you’re up to the task.
|Top Notes:||Black Currant and Star Anise|
|Middle Notes:||Pepper and Galanga|
|Base Notes:||Bourbon Vanilla, Tolu Balsam and Atlas Cedar|
L’Homme – Classic Yves Saint Laurent Fragrance for Intimate Encounters
L’homme is a wonderfully masculine ascent that still manages to feel fresh, clean, and playful. It’s the perfect choice for a lowkey romantic lunch on a summer’s evening.
|Occasion: Meeting your girlfriend/wife||Longevity: 8 hours|
|Age group: 27 – 45||Projection: Subtle|
|Season: Spring/Summer||Value for Money: 4.5/5|
Forget about club bangers that aim to take a woman to bed – L’Homme is trying to take them to the heavens.
It’s a classic combination of tonka bean creaminess, the warm spice of ginger, plus a zesty lemon finish. A heavenly combination from start to finish, resting on a masculine bed of cedar and fresh Tahitian vetiver.
It’s one of those fragrances that is safe for any occasion. The office, out on a date, meeting friends – the only place L’Homme might be a poor choice is for particularly boisterous locations like a nightclub, which might demand a stronger fragrance.
L’Homme is a more intimate cologne that people are drawn to, rather than dominated by. It’s nowhere near as loud as Opium or Kourous, with moderate sillage.
Despite that, longevity is still good with at least 8 hours of wear which will comfortably carry you through a full working day.
Plus, I’ve found that if you use a bit of moisturizer before applying L’Homme, you can extend that by an hour or two.
|Top Notes:||Ginger, Bergamot and Lemon|
|Middle Notes:||Spices, Violet Leaf, White Pepper and Basil|
|Base Notes:||Tonka Bean, Cedar and Tahitian Vetiver|
|Designers:||Anne Flipo, Pierre Wargnye, Dominique Ropion and Juliette Karagueuzoglou|
L’Homme Parfum Intense – Refined, Powdery, Sweet Masculinity
In French perfumery, the word “intense” doesn’t necessarily mean stronger. It’s more about a heightened version of the scent sensation, and can often refer to increased sweetness or prevalence of a primary accord.
|Occasion: Playful masculinity||Longevity: 7 hours|
|Age group: 20 – 32||Projection: Moderate|
|Season: Year-round||Value for Money: 4.5/5|
With this heightened sweet sense, a lot of people draw comparisons between L’Homme Parfum Intense and Paco Rabanne 1 Million. On the top notes, you might say it’s a similar candy-sweet fragrance, but you’d have to neglect to rest of L’Homme’s character to make that comparison with any real seriousness.
L’homme Parfum Intense retains the woody, earthy quality of the original cologne. You’ll find that the sweetness comes in the form of violet leaves and blossom florals that lean toward gentlemanly elegance than the playfulness of youth.
This is powdery sweetness in the same vein as Dior Homme – well worth checking out if you have a penchant for refined french masculinity.
|Top Notes:||Lemon, Black Pepper and Bergamot|
|Middle Notes:||Orange Flower, Artemisia and Violet Leaf|
|Base Notes:||Ambergris, Woody Notes, Benzoin, Leather, Suede and Cedar|
|Designers:||Anne Flipo and Dominique Ropion|
L’homme Cologne Bleue – Best Yves Saint Laurent Cologne for the Office
L’Homme Cologne Bleue feels close to a YSL Y flanker than a member of the L’Homme line and is a great pick for feeling fresh and clean all day.
|Occasion: Casual professionalism||Longevity: 5 – 6 hours|
|Age group: 22 – 40||Projection: Subtle|
|Season: Year-round||Value for Money: 4/5|
It’s my top pick for office days when I’m looking for something with a light sillage that is unlikely to offend my co-workers. It’s a respectable scent that reminds me a lot of a dialed-back version of Invictus Aqua, with a little citrus sweetness thrown in for good measure.
After that bright opening of grapefruit, blood orange, and mandarin, you enter a more mature heart of cardamom, lavender, and thyme. It’s a soothing blend that would suit a Gent in his thirties who knows how to keep composed in the face of stress and difficulty.
As this is a subtle fragrance, I can forgive the relatively average longevity of 5 – 6 hours. L’Homme Cologne Bleue is the sort of cologne you apply in the morning, allow to fade throughout the work day, and then apply something more attention-grabbing afterward without worrying about any scent clash.
|Top Notes:||Sea Notes, Grapefruit, Blood Orange, Mandarin Orange, Cardamom and Black Pepper|
|Middle Notes:||Lavender, Apple, Geranium and Thyme|
|Base Notes:||Patchouli, Cedar and Sandalwood|
La Nuit de L’Homme Eau Electrique – A Versace Eros Alternative from Yves Saint Laurent
The instinctive comparison to make here is with Versace Eros, a powdery sweet, fruity woodsy cologne with a refreshing mint accord. And of course, there are similarities, but again the YSL DNA lingers on and it would be remiss to consider either to be a clone of the other.
|Occasion:||Longevity: 9 hours|
|Age group: 18 – 30||Projection: Moderate|
|Season: Fall/Winter||Value for Money:|
It’s more like a gentleman’s Versace Eros. A little more composed, a little more elegant, a little more money in his pocket.
The woodsy qualities of cedar and vetiver are darker and more foreboding here and make for a great winter date night fragrance. It’s electric masculine energy that lasts for over 9 hours and packs enough punch to cut through colder weather.
|Top Notes:||Green Apple, Lemon and Mandarin Orange|
|Middle Notes:||Geranium, Lavender, Sage and Orange Blossom|
|Base Notes:||Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Cashmere Wood, Cedar, Patchouli and Vetiver|
|Designers:||Juliette Karagueuzoglou, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo|
YSL Body Kouros for Men – Longest Lasting Yves Saint Laurent Cologne
If you’re a little intimidated by the full-throttle OG Kouros but want to scratch that masculine itch, Body Kouros is the pick for you.
|Occasion: Persistent scent on a busy day||Longevity: 10 hours|
|Age group: 30 – 50||Projection: Strong|
|Season: Fall/Winter||Value for Money: 4/5|
If Kouros is a big, dirty, sexy man, Body Kouros is the same guy who has actually decided to have a shower for once and put on a suit and tie. It has the same structure, but it tilts more toward alluring than arresting.
The opening is very soothing, with medicinal eucalyptus bringing a barbershop-clean feeling. It has a cooling vibe that I find very relaxing, particularly when paired with the more mysterious, darker elements like incense and benzoin siam.
It’s sexy and sophisticated in a way that feels totally effortless, and it should be no surprise that Body Kouros made its debut when Tom Ford was still the creative director at YSL. A Tom Ford fragrance at YSL prices is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned.
But like its older brother, you will get noticed wearing this stuff. It lasts for around 10 hours, but for the first 5 – 6 you are kicking out fragrance.
Just know that in warmer weather, that sort of power can be a little much. This stuff will clean your clock if you use too much of it in summer, and I’d probably go as far as to say it’s something I’d wear on crisp days in fall or winter. It’s definitely strong enough to cut through cool air like it’s nothing.
There are better options out there for the rest of the year, and Body Kouros deserves to be used when conditions are perfect. Give it the right respect, and you’ll get your rewards. Don’t be shocked when you’re picking up compliments from surprising places – this is another YSL cologne that women seem to love.
|Top Notes:||Eucalyptus and Incense|
|Middle Notes:||Chinese Cedar and Clary Sage|
M7 Oud Absolu – Best Woody Cologne From Yves Saint Laurent
This is another fragrance from Tom Ford’s tenure at YSL, and one of my personal favorites. It’s a certified compliment collector that does a great job of standing out from most oud-inspired fragrances.
|Occasion: An intro to Oud||Longevity: 7 hours|
|Age group: 30 – 50||Projection: Subtle|
|Season: Year-round||Value for Money: 4/5|
Most modern ouds are either cleaned up to within an inch of their life, or unbearably animalic and barnyard. By M7 is subtle, drier, and woodier than anything I’ve come across, combined with well-balanced supporting notes in an exercise in French sophistication.
Oud Absolu opens up with some brightness from mandarin and a minerality that reminds me of cherry cough syrup. After about 20 minutes, this medicinal quality mellows out and makes space for oud to enter the scene. It intersects magically with a streak of dirty patchouli and subtle smokiness that I just can’t resist.
This sense persists into the base about 4 hours in, with a touch of French Labdanum which cements the sophisticated feeling.
I’d put M7 Oud Absolu up there with Oud Wood or Noir de Noir by Tom Ford, and the best Arabian Oud fragrances, as an excellent example of modernized oud fragrance for the modern gentleman.
The best one for you will come down to personal preference, but one thing that isn’t subjective is the price point. This YSL cologne only costs around $80, making it a perfectly viable first oud fragrance if you still haven’t experienced the accord.
|Top Note:||Mandarin Orange|
|Base Notes:||Agarwood (Oud), Myrhh and French Labdanum|
$89.00 ($44.50 / Fl Oz)
$99.00 ($30.00 / Fl Oz)
What You Should Know When Choosing From the Best YSL Colognes
Where is the Best Place to Wear YSL Cologne?
It is important to know when or where you will wear your cologne in order to make the right choice.
For instance, men who want a cologne to give them a feeling of power, confidence, and ambition should look for something with good projection and a bold note profile like Body Kouros or YSL Opium. It’s perfect for parties, dates, and similarly uptempo events.
Conversely, if you are in professional environments most of the time, then a milder, fresher, and more gentle Yves Saint Laurent cologne like YSL L’homme Cologne Bleue will always be more appropriate and less offensive to the sensitivities of people around.
How Long Does YSL Cologne Last?
Pretty much all of the best YSL colognes last at least 6 hours, and my favorite ones can go up to 10 hours.
The lighter, summerwear fragrances don’t tend to reach these heights, but that fits with their purpose as breezier, easy-going blends anyway.
How Can You Tell if YSL Cologne is Real?
Here are a few of the best ways to confirm your YSL cologne is authentic:
With fake YSL colognes, you’ll often find that the text on the box isn’t an exact match to the original. Check carefully that the font is the same style and type, and typos can be another huge giveaway.
If the bottle has imperfections that is another huge red flag. Shoddy build quality might come in the form of a leaky atomizer or a cap that doesn’t quite fit right, for example.
Another giveaway can be a deal that seems too good to be true. Of course, there are sales where you can save money, but if something is ridiculously cheap, you should be extra vigilant to make sure you’re not being duped.
Where Can I Purchase YSL cologne?
You could buy directly from Yves Saint Laurent too, but I find that the prices are usually much higher by going direct.
FAQs – The Best YSL Perfumes for Men
If you enjoyed this guide, check out some of our other brand reviews here: