Bleu de Chanel is one of the most intriguing mainstream colognes out there. The unique combination of citrus and energizing spice with darker incense and musky accords conjures a fragrance that’s more than the sum of its parts.
It’s a complex blend that many have tried to imitate, but only a few manage to get close to.
I don’t like paying any more than I need to for my colognes, so I set about trying to find the best Bleu de Chanel alternatives that actually capture the essence.
I’m looking for 3 main things:
- Does the scent have a similar note profile to the original?
- Does it perform with similar longevity and sillage?
- Is it at least “half price” on the original?
My top pick comes from Perry Ellis, which is fast becoming one of my go-to houses for “inspired-by” designer-level scents.
Their fragrance, Pour Homme, is actually an improvement on the original in my opinion. It captures everything I love about Bleu de Chanel’s tightrope walk between professional and personality, but without the incense note in the original.
The effect is an airier blend that I find to be more wearable in spring/summer – so that’s my winner.
Let’s get into it.
Best Bleu de Chanel Alternatives for Men in 2024
Perry Ellis Pour Homme: Best Bleu de Chanel Alternative Overall
Salvatore Ferragamo Acqua Essenziale: Best Bleu de Chanel Alternative for Summer
Armaf Voyage Bleu:An Extra Touch of Masculinity
Alexandria Fragrances Bleu Mémoire: Best Budget Pick
Yes I Am The King Le Parfum by Geparlys: Best-projecting Bleu de Chanel Alternative
Parfums Belcam Electric Blue: Best Bleu de Chanel Alternative for Travelling
Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue: A Clean-smelling Bleu de Chanell Alternative
The Best Bleu de Chanel Alternatives for Men
Perry Ellis Pour Homme – Best Bleu de Chanel Alternative Overal
Pour Homme is a 90% similar scent to Bleu De Chanel, capturing all of the intrigue in a slightly lighter way.
It’s the same, well-balanced expression of citrus, musk, woodsiness, and ginger spice that plenty of designer houses have been unable to successfully pull off.
I particularly enjoy the citrusy top notes. If you had to point to one aspect that feels more noticeable, it’s these. They smell just a touch more juicy and noticeable than in the original, at least for the first ten minutes.
After that, everything settles down into a very similar scent palate. Apart from one thing.
Perry Ellis Pour Homme doesn’t have the incense sense you find in Bleu de Chanel. For me, that’s fine.
After a few days of wearing Bleu I find it a little stifling, and removing this ticker element makes Pour Homme more office-friendly if you work in close quarters.
The bottom line is that Perry Ellis Pour Homme smells like it should cost as much as Bleu de Chanel, but it’s only a third of the price.
Longevity is very similar to the original. I find I get around 6 hours from 2 – 3 sprays, which I’m perfectly happy with. Projection is much the same – a nice arms-length bubble of attractive fragrance.
|Bitter Orange, Cardamom, Coriander and Clary Sage
|Lavender, Fir, Mint and Cedar
|Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Moss, Amber, Musk and Patchouli
Salvatore Ferragamo Acqua Essenziale – Best Bleu de Chanel Alternative for Summer
Acqua Essenzial is very similar to Bleu de Chanel, but a better pick for the height of summer when you want to avoid any rougher notes.
The cool, sweet opening captures the citruses and energizing ginger spice, but brings in a touch of refreshing mint to add a green sense. The dry down gradually brings forth the iconic vetiver and musky masculinity, like it’s revealing a secret.
Like Perry Ellis Pour Homme, the denser incense heart is absent. The texture here is smoother, more aquatic – as if something is tugging a bottle of Bleu de Chael towards Armani’s Aqua di Gio.
Bleu de Chanel feels a little dense and dark by comparison, with Acqua Essenzial airier and lighter.
I’ve got no problems with a longevity of 6 hours on a hot day, and this casual spring/summer Bleu de Chanel alternative projects noticeably enough to pick up a few compliments over the week.
|Mint and Lemon Leaf
|Sea Notes, Lavender, Geranium and Rosemary
|Vetiver, Musk, Labdanum and Patchouli
Armaf Voyage Bleu – Bleu de Chanel with a Touch of Masculinity
The second pick from Armaf, this EDP captures the Bleu de Chanel EDT essence very well.
Tremendous longevity. Spray in the morning and you're set for the whole day.
A little thicker, a little darker, a little more mysterious.
Unlike the previous colognes in this list, the darker aspects of Bleu de Chanel are maintained in Voyage Bleu – and maybe even dialed up a bit. The incense is a little thicker, a little smokier – and it lends more mystery to the heart.
But the overriding sense of balance between the incense, woodsy, citrus, and spice is definitely maintained enough to make Armaf Voyage Bleu pretty hard to tell apart from the original Bleu.
Apart from maybe an ever so, ever so slightly synthetic sense in the top notes that vanishes after 20 minutes or so. It’s a cheaper fragrance, after all.
P.S In true Armaf style, the bottle here is a little weird. It feels good quality – great sprayer, magnetic cap – but it just looks a little tacky?
|Lemon, Bergamot, Grapefruit and Pink Pepper
|Ginger, Mint and Nutmeg
|Cedar, Patchouli, Sandalwood and Vetiver
Alexandria Fragrances Bleu Mémoire – Best Budget Pick
Alexandria Fragrances is fast becoming one of my favorite brands to look for when I’m looking for an affordable and faithful “inspired-by” cologne.
This one is a like-for-like replica of the real thing. Bleu Mémoire stacks up side-by-side with Bleu de Chanel, even if you lose out on a little bit of the balance and nuance. It’s a solid, 8 out of 10 fragrance.
It opens up beautifully, without any of the screechy synthetic sense that other budget fragrances suffer with.
Apply Bleu Mémoire once you get out of the shower for an aromatic freshness that stays with you for up to 6 hours. That’s pretty remarkable staying power for such a cheap buy. It’s like a little 2 ft forcefield of Bleu de Chanel goodness.
|Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Mint, Aldehydes, Coriander and Pink Pepper
|Melon, Jasmine, Ginger and Nutmeg
|Cedar, Amber, Sandalwood, Incense, Amberwood, Patchouli and Labdanum
Yes I Am The King Le Parfum by Geparlys – The Best-projecting Bleu de Chanel Alternative
It almost doesn’t bare discussing how Yes I Am The King smells – because it’s pretty much exactly the same as Bleu de Chanel.
The only difference might be a singular bright lemon note in the opening rather than the more general citrus sense in Bleu de Chanel, but beyond that everything is the same.
A gorgeously powdery sense, slithering down a velvety, woody backbone.
The main reason I’m bringing it to your attention is that this stuff really kicks out fragrance. Like, the room still smells Yes I Am The King after you’ve left.
It’s the most intensely projecting scent on this list, and anything more than a couple of sprays in the morning is probably overkill.
I can still smell it on myself the next day, sometimes – so handle it with care (particularly if you want to keep things subtle at work).
There’s also a nice tip of the cap to Bleu de Chanel in Yes I Am The King’s bottle designer. The cap and atomizer work in tandem with a dipole magnet which means it twists to the front on contact with the bottle. Very fun.
|Lemon, Nutmeg, Coriander
|Tonka, Lavander, Iris, Violet
|Frankincense, Moss, Musk, Sandalwood, Vetiver
Parfums Belcam Electric Blue – Best Bleu de Chanel Alternative for Travelling
Electric Blue by Parfums Belcam is similar to Bleu Mémoire by Alexandria Fragrances – another fragrance available for pocket change.
It’s very close to the note profile of the original Bleu de Chanel, notwithstanding a slightly more heavy-handed approach to balancing the ingredients.
You’d only notice that in a side-by-side smell test, though. The powdery woods and astringent spices are all here in a combination that more than punches above its weight
In terms of firepower, I’d say Electric Blue is a little lighter than Bleu de Chanel – definitely more of cologne than a parfum.
It lasts well into the afternoon, which is pretty good for a cheaper fragrance. Sure, it doesn’t have designer Eau de Parfum strength, but you will get 5 hours of use per application – and maybe an hour more if you apply moisturizer first.
The reason I’ve included Electric Blue as my travel pick is the TSA-approved container it comes in. If you want to take colognes abroad with you, I’d recommend Parfums Belcams range more broadly to avoid misplacing any expensive scents in the excitement.
|Grapefruit, Lemon, Mint and Pink Pepper
|Ginger, Nutmeg, Jasmine, and Iso E Super
|Incense, Vetiver, Cedar, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Labdanum and White Musk.
Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue – A Clean-Smelling Alternative to Bleu de Chanel
Fresh and clean scent with a hint of sweetness and a subtle smokey element.
This versatile and masculine scent collects way more compliments than the price might suggest.
The composition starts with top notes of grapefruit, fig leaves, and bergamot that smell clean and fresh.
This soft, fruity opening leads into a heart of violet, ambroxan, pepper, and patchouli, with an aquatic sense throughout that keeps the scent feeling light, airy, and uncluttered.
The combination of Tonka bean, musk, saffron, and incense makes the calming, endnote smell so enjoyable.
It’s got a lot of versatility, and you can wear it in the evening or during the day, casual or dressy. It has a moderate sillage for masculine freshness that will linger on throughout the day.
Plus, the deep blue bottle with a gold cap and a medusa seal makes it a beautiful addition, even as an object.
|Calabrian Bergamot, Water Notes, Grapefruit and Fig Leaf
|Ambroxan, Black Pepper, Patchouli, Violet Leaf and Papyrus
|Incense, Musk, Tonka Bean and Saffron
Want the Real Deal? Consider a Decant From MicroPerfumes.com
If none of these alternatives are jumping out at you, maybe consider getting a sample decant of the real deal from Microperfumes.com instead.
You can order 2ml vials of fragrances for just a few bucks so you can try out designer colognes without blowing the bank.
The most affordable place to try genuine samples of designer colognes - starting at 99 cents.
A huge range of the most popular colognes, with quick and easy shipping options.
Once you’ve tried Bleu de Chanel, there’s a good chance you’ll fall in love and be able to justify splashing out on a full-sized bottle. At least, that’s what happened to me.
What You Should Know Before Buying a Bleu de Chanel Alternative
What does Bleu de Chanel Smell Like?
Bleu de Chanel is an intriguing and inviting modern classic. This well-balanced cologne is distinctive, but not necessarily easy to define.
It’s somehow spicy and fresh, yet also warm and musky. It walks a fine line between these two senses – and does so with style.
A modern-day classic that's got plenty of character, but is professional enough for work, too.
This unique scent profile fits together like a jigsaw puzzle.
The different facets of the scent fit together like a puzzle. No one thing stands out and overpowers the rest. Everything just fits together mellowly and with aplomb.
Bleu de Chanel starts with a refreshing grapefruit note that makes you sit up and take notice. Combined with incense and ginger, the result is an energizing composition that tingles the nostrils.
In the base, vetiver is poised against the spicier, fruity elements and they do a great job of mellowing each other out.
The result is a masculine vibe that still feels youthful – there’s no stuffiness here.
It’s a pretty linear scent that remains consistent throughout its lifetime. What you get at the opening is, for the most part, what you’ll be kicking out hours later.
We updated this guide in January 2024 to reflect the most recent pricing information.