6 Best Perfumes Under $100
Welcome to Fragrance Friday, where each week we’ll update you on the most iconic new releases from the dynamic world of men’s fragrances. Born out of a desire to showcase one of the most overlooked, yet versatile elements of any discerning man’s style, this weekly column will help you polish your own signature scent.
It’s all well and good to really dive into the world of niche perfumery, but it’s also expensive. Brands like Amouage, Creed, Kilian and BDK charge hundreds of dollars for the privilege of creating a quality signature scent. But don’t go thinking that men’s perfume is a huge investment all the time. There are plenty of great options out there if you’re looking for affordable men’s fragrances that work under (or at least around) a $100 budget.
I’ve rounded up six of my favorite affordable men’s fragrances, most of them well-known, but some surprisingly under the radar. Some of them, like Dior Sauvage, may require you to compromise a bit when it comes to the actual bottle size, but if you’re on a tight budget, you have to accept at least some sacrifices.
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Affordable Men’s Perfumes and Fragrances Under $100
EDT ‘Men’ Coach
Coach has truly put together one of the best affordable men’s fragrances of the past decade with the woodsy flavor profile of “Man”. The eau de toilette was launched in 2017, a collaboration between perfumers Anne Flipo and Bruno Jovanovic who present a truly sophisticated and satisfying blend of fruity notes like pear and grapefruit approaching spicy cardamom and coriander before sink into a lightly restrained woody base that’s worn close to the skin.
You can often find this one for under $100, but when it’s not on sale you’re looking at $101. That’s close enough to qualify Coach ‘Man EDT’ for this list of the best affordable men’s fragrances.
Top notes: Pear, kumquat, bergamot, lavender, grapefruit
Heart notes: Cardamom, geranium, coriander
Background notes: Ambergris, suede, amber wood, vetiver from Haiti
Paco Rabanne ‘1 Million Lucky’ EDT
Paco Rabanne still has one of the best-selling perfumes of the modern era with “1 Million Lucky”, a woody scent that was refined and reinvented in 2018 by perfumer Natalie Gracia-Cetto. For many men around the world, it may be the best affordable fragrance in recent years, and while it’s certainly up for debate, it’s also hard to argue against.
Those gorgeous plum and grapefruit notes on top help create a really fresh and pleasant profile before diving a little deeper with nutty, hazelnut-like notes mixed with the sweetness of honey, cedar and cashmere. On the base you have the usual suspects of amberwood, patchouli, oakmoss and vetiver to bring it home in style. It is a great option when looking for affordable men’s fragrances.
Top notes: Plum, ozonic notes, grapefruit, bergamot
Heart notes: Hazelnut, honey, cedar, cashmere wood, jasmine, orange blossom
Background notes: Amberwood, patchouli, oakmoss, vetiver
Moschino ‘Toy Boy’ EDT
Moschino ‘Toy Boy’ is very underrated when it comes to good quality affordable men’s fragrances. A surprise when it was released in 2019 and still something that deserves more attention. The designer market likes to play it safe when it comes to fragrances, but Moschino has taken bold steps appreciated here with creative director Jeremy Scott commissioning perfumer Yann Vasnier with a unique woody-spicy profile.
You’ve got pink peppercorn, pear and a lovely Indonesian nutmeg on top, though they all fade away fairly quickly to make way for magnolia, clove, flax and a prominent rose note. which might be a bit too strong for some guys. It’s not overwhelming though, especially when the base comes into play with lots of sandalwood, amber, and Haitian vetiver.
You’ll usually find Moschino ‘Toy Boy’ for just over $100, but often Chemist Warehouse puts it on sale for around $90. Right now you can find it for cheap on Amazon.
Top notes: Bergamot from Italy, green pear, elemi, pink pepper, nutmeg from Indonesia
Heart notes: Magnolia, rose absolute, clove, flexible flower
Background notes: Gold of Haitian vetiver, cashmere, sandalwood, ambermax, musk
Viktor&Rolf ‘Spicebomb’ EDT
Viktor & Rolf ‘Spicebomb’ is often one of the first to pop up when looking for the best men’s fragrances under $100. It is not an error; what Olivier Polge has achieved with this very warm, spicy and intensely sympathetic fragrance is simply impressive considering the price.
Launched in 2012, Viktor&Rolf ‘Spicebomb’ makes good use of its openness, all steaming with pink pepper and elemi blended nicely with bergamot and grapefruit before building into this really spicy profile of cinnamon, saffron and paprika. It’s the middle that sticks around the longest here, covering the woody base and living up to the fragrance’s name as the profile sinks into notes of tobacco, leather and vetiver.
Top notes: Pink pepper, elemi, bergamot, grapefruit
Heart notes: Cinnamon, saffron, paprika
Background notes: Tobacco, leather, vetiver
Dior ‘Sauvage’ EDT
By now you should be very familiar with Sauvage if you are looking for affordable men’s fragrances. You’ve no doubt seen the billboards plastered all over the world with the face of male perfume, Johnny Depp. Even before the Johnny Depp libel case against Amber Herd, Dior reportedly sold a bottle every three seconds. This now makes Dior Sauvage the best-selling perfume of all time. And it is not without reason.
Although Dior Sauvage Elixir is the newer and more potent version, if you’re on a budget, it doesn’t seem like a compromise for the Eau de Toilette. Perfumer François Demachy relies heavily on a juicy, fresh take on bergamot for the noteworthy note of this pleasing profile, making it work well with pepper for the opener before gently doubling the spice with Sichuan pepper, then bring out the freshness of lavender, cedar and labdanum.
Top notes: Calabrian bergamot, pepper
Heart notes: Sichuan pepper, lavender, pink pepper, vetiver, patchouli, geranium, elemi
Background notes: Ambroxan, cedar, labdanum
Giorgio Armani ‘Code’ EDT
While Acqua di Gio, which turns 25 in 2022, is perhaps the most recognized name in Giorgio Armani’s considerable fragrance line, no one should ignore what the designer house has done with Code. And although the house is playing it safe with Giorgio Armani ‘Code’, it’s an incredibly versatile everyday scent that can be adapted to almost any occasion, whether as a casual office scent or as an upscale dinner scent.
Top notes: Lemon, bergamot
Heart Notes: Star anise, olive blossom, guaiac wood
Background notes: Leather, tonka bean, tobacco
Affordable Fragrances for Men – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best perfumes for men under $100?
If you’re on a budget, some of the best men’s fragrances under $100 or thereabouts include Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb, Dior Sauvage, and Giorgio Armani Code.
What is the difference between an EDT and an EDP?
EDT stands for Eau de Toilette and is slightly lower in concentration than an EDP, which stands for Eau de Parfum. If you are looking for affordable men’s perfumes, you will usually find that these are all eau de toilette.