Cast your mind back to the early 2000s, you’re out shopping (without a mask, remember those days?) and you walk into a retailer’s fragrance department. It’s dominated by one trend and one trend only: celebrity aftershave and perfume brands. At the time, it was a consumer’s dream.
Celebrity culture was rife all over the world and the opportunity to wear a fragrance handpicked by your favourite rapper, singer or Hollywood star made us feel special. So much so that A-listers (and even some Z-listers) made a fortune out of it.
While women led the way in branching into the olfactory industry, male celebrities were quick to follow suit with the likes of Diddy, David Beckham and Michael Jordan launching their own self-branded aftershaves of all mediums.
From luxury high-end offerings to more affordable scents, it was the biggest grooming trend of the era. And though things have changed and like many other beauty trends, the celebrity fragrance phenomenon has been left in its rightful decade, there are still some timeless scents we’ll always remember.
Here are five of the best celebrity aftershave and cologne brands ever made…
1. Instinct Cologne Spray for Men by David Beckham
David Beckham is the king of celebrity aftershaves. With countless releases, it can be hard to pick a favourite but his Instinct Cologne Spray for Men is a clear standout. The classic fragrance was first launched back in 2005 and contains a blend of fresh citrus and spicy notes. Just like Beckham, the scent is smooth, charming and masculine. So much so that the aftershave is still popular today, over 15 years after its launch. The Beckham effect is a powerful force indeed.
2. Unforgivable by Sean John
Diddy is another fragrance connoisseur with his long-standing Sean John fragrances being a firm favourite among men around the world. While most of his offerings are impressive, Unforgivable is the most sophisticated, especially when compared to other celebrity-produced aftershaves. The warm spicy scent is daring, distinctive and memorable. As for the bottle, it certainly fits the bill resembling a stylish bottle of cognac. It’s all very Diddy.
3. Flight by Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan isn't just the best basketball player of all time, the legend has an array of talents, including sourcing up a stellar aftershave that smells expensive but is quite the opposite. Flight is the most high-end of his fragrance offerings and despite its generous price point, the scent could easily be compared to top-tier designer brands. It contains masculine and aromatic, woody notes, and just like all good colognes, a single spray is all you’ll need.
4. Gold by Jay-Z
Jay-Z’s gold is another suave option on the celebrity aftershaves shelf. The packaging alone is inciting, coming in a stylish design reminiscent of a bottle of liquor - and we’re talking the top-shelf stuff. The scent itself is made with notes of ginger, grapefruit, blueberry and cardamom, creating a fresh and elegant masculine aroma. The scent is warm, comforting and has an effortlessly cool feel, much like Jay-Z himself. It’s one of two aftershaves launched by the rap legend and entrepreneur, first released in 2013.
5. Adam Levine for Men by Adam Levine
The same year as Jay-Z’s aftershave launch, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine also branched into the world of olfactory by releasing his own self-titled fragrances: a perfume for women and an aftershave for men. The latter is a woody aromatic fragrance with top notes of grapefruit, lemongrass, mandarin orange, violet leaf and sage. The design of the bottle reflects Levine’s musical career, featuring a weighted cap that resembles a microphone.