10 Best Diesel Colognes for Men

Updated June 2021

Signature Scent

Only the Brave

Editor's Pick

BAD

Best Seller

Only the Brave Street

How We Found the Best Diesel Colognes

5 Experts Interviewed

26 Fragrances Tested

Top 10 Picks

Liam Carson

Liam Carson

Diesel is  a fashion label synonymous with jeans and menswear before launching itself into the world of fragrance in 2007.  Diesel Colognes take the classic notes and give them a contemporary twist with multifaceted scents that are unconventional and vibrant.

Since its inception, it has focused on pulling in a younger demographic of twenty-somethings and those in early thirties looking to start their cologne collection with it’s wide variety of scents. It is one of the most successful fashion brand in the world, sold at over 5,000 retailers worldwide and having several diffusion brands, such as Diesel Black Gold, Diesel Kid, and an eyewear line, . 

The eponymous unisex fragrance of Diesel launched in 1996 with Marbert producing the cologne. The contract would eventually change hands to L’Oreal in 2006, who began to explore more unique bottle shapes to attract the younger audience that Diesel was targeting. There are over 40 fragrances in the Diesel perfume list. We’re take a snapshot view of the ten best colognes by the brand and to whom each scent would appeal to.

Summary List

Diesel Colognes Ranked by Cologne Critic

Editor's Pick

Best Overall Diesel Cologne - BAD

Why we chose it

Bad is the men’s cologne that gets the most compliments thanks to its unique blend of caviar and tobacco that gives the scent its richness and addictive feel. It has the inviting manly fragrance with contrasting spice and citrus notes that sneak up on you. The caviar note is added for a touch or eroticism, giving the cologne its provocative feel. BAD has a strong masculine scent, with a leather feel and top notes of cardamom, bergamot, lavender, and violet leaf.

Its bergamot note creates a bite of freshness and balanced with tobacco that gives the fragrance an inner heat. A sophisticated scent that is said to attract the ladies.

Main Accords

  • Aromatic
  • Woody
  • Lavender

Signature

Best Signature Diesel Cologne - Only the Brave

Our Take

With its iconic fist-shaped bottle, Only the Brave is a woody oriental cologne that launched in 2009. It marked a breakaway from Diesel’s previous practice of creating unisex scents.

The scent takes its inspiration from Renzo Rosso, the brand’s founder and the tattoo he got for his 50th birthday, taking its name from another one of his companies.  This cologne is masculine and contemporary, focusing on leather notes with a refreshing twist of citrus and lemon to give it a versatility that allows it to become a signature fragrance.

Only the Brave focuses on contrasting notes of lemon and mandarin with the warmth of amber and leather, encapsulating itself in the benzoin base. This cologne dries down to create a leather scent that follows you like a trail through the night.

Main Accords

  • Amber
  • Citrus
  • Leather

Best Seller

Best Selling Diesel Cologne - Only the Brave Street

Our Take

Only the Brave reflects the age of hip-hop and the rising popularity of streetstyle. The scent is fresher than the original formula with a focus on spice and woody notes.

A best seller that could be worn all-year round and from day to night. With its longevity that lasts up to 8 hours, that means you don’t need to touch-up throughout the day. This scent mixes herbal and fresher notes of citrus, creating a woody cologne that is effortlessly dynamic and modern. Cardamon and licorice give the scent its heart notes of spice. The vanilla note gives the cologne a softer whiff, making the scent more versatile for everyday wear. The top notes of apple, basil, bergamot, and thyme gives the cologne its aromatic opening.

Main Accords

  • Aromatic
  • Fresh Spice
  • Green

BAD Intense

Our Take

Bad Intense capitalizes on the success of the original ‘Bad’ fragrance. It’s woody spice fragrance launched in 2017 as an all-day scent for fall and winter. The cologne opens with top notes of bergamot, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Like the original BAD fragrance, it includes the exotic and provocative note of caviar, a unique note that you’re unlikely to find in many mainstream colognes. It closes with base notes of wood and white tobacco.

If you’re not sure which Diesel fragrance to add to your collection, BAD Intense is one of its best-selling scents with almost universally positive reviews that focus on its underlying sexy aroma and versatility. You can get the impressive longevity that we’ve come to expect with Diesel colognes. It’s an under-appreciated scent that projects unlike anything else in the Diesel perfume list, rivalling the likes of Dior’s classic Homme scent.

Main Accords

  • White Floral
  • Woody
  • Fresh Spice

Only the Brave Tattoo

Our Take

This woody spice cologne is a night-time scent with a focus on the apple and mandarin orange top notes. The heart of the cologne is sage and bourbon pepper, following through to a fragrant base of benzoin, amber, patchouli, and tobacco. This scent is long-lasting, lingering on the skin for upt to 9 hours after its first application.

If you’re a fan of scents like Dolce & Gabbana’s The One or Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million, you’ll be instantly drawn in by this cologne. It has an impressive longevity for its price point, drying down into a scent that is reminiscent of Dior’s iconic Sauvage scent. This cologne is what you want to wear on a first date or when you want to grab someone’s attention in the ground. It’s guaranteed to give you complements, whether you’re in a restaurant or a nightclub.

Main Accords

  • Aromatic
  • Tobacco
  • Sweet

Fuel for Life Men

Our Take

This musky citrus fragrance was released in 2008 alongside a female version of this cologne. Its scent is similar to London by Playboy, with complimenting spice notes and opens to top notes of star anise and grapefruit, while you’ll smell lavender and raspberry in the heart. Fuel for Life closes with base notes of dry wood and heliotrope giving a pleasant non-over bearing fragrance.

It is a scent that has a strong silage and captivating that makes everyone in a room wonder what cologne you are wearing. It gives a woody aromatic smell that lingers on the skin for up to 6 hours and the deep and earthy scent is something to have on your cologne collection.

Main Accords

  • Lavender
  • Soft Spice
  • Aromatic

Spirit of the Brave

Our Take

One of the latest releases from Diesel is ‘Spirit of the Brave’, a woody oriental cologne that launched in 2019. This fragrance is once that could easily become your signature, with a more and sensual aroma that any man could wear. It’s a masculine scent that feels modern but with an elegance that allows you to wear it anywhere from the office to the club.

You’ll smell artemisia, bergamot, and galbanum in the top notes. The heart notes contain cypress, elemi, and sage, which give way to the base of balsam fir, labdanum, and tonka bean.

Main Accords

  • Aromatic
  • Woody
  • Fresh Spice

Diesel Plus

Our Take

Plus is a staple within the Diesel cologne line-up. It creates the idea of casual everyday luxury with an oriental woody scent that is both refreshing and sweet, with a smoothness that falls in with the brand’s idea of masculinity. This cologne follows Diesel’s typical demographic of targeting younger men, with a mild aroma that is subtle and not overpowering. It’s a scent you could easily wear to the office or layer with others for a more night-time aroma.

You’ll know you’re wearing a warm and masculine cologne but it’s not a scent that demands your attention. The top notes contain bergamot, heliotrope, orange, and palm leaf. In the heart, the notes are fresher and aromatic with coriander, sage, and lily-of-the-valley. It concludes with a base of nutmeg, musk, oak, and sandalwood.

Main Accords

  • Warm Spice
  • Citrus
  • Aromatic

Spirit of the Brave Intense

Our Take

This cologne is the latest release from Diesel, with an oriental fougere aroma that you’ll want to wear throughout the colder months as a day and night-time scent. It’s a more potent and intense formulation than the original ‘Spirit of the Brave’ cologne and part of a collaboration with Neymar Jr. It has the same signature notes as the original, with the addition of apple and vanilla for a fruiter twist. Cypress remains the keynote in this cologne.

Main Accords

  • Woody
  • Aromatic
  • Vanilla

Diesel Zero

Our Take

If you’re searching for a night-time fragrance, look no further than Diesel Zero. It’s a strong cologne with a woody oriental scent that lets everyone know you’ve arrived. The top notes give Zero its spice and citrus feel with anise, bergamot, cardamom, nutmeg, and orange. It’s the heart notes that give this scent its potency and dominance, focusing on a note of cinnamon with lighter scents of jasmine, rose, violet, and lily of the valley. Zero dries down to focus on the base notes of amber, heliotrope, patchouli, musk, and vanilla.

Main Accords

  • Warm Spice
  • Cinnamon
  • Powdery

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Researched by a team of fragrance experts.