10 Best-Smelling Aftershave Balms 2021

Updated January 2023


Musgo Real

Editor's Pick

Montblanc Legend

Best Value

Calvin Klein Obsession

How We Found the Best-Smelling Aftershave Balms

5 Experts Interviewed

22 Fragrances Tested

Top 10 Picks

Liam Carson

Liam Carson

Shaving is one of the most essential grooming steps for the modern man.  And while some of us love the look of a full beard, sometimes the occasion calls for a clean shave.

A cleanly-shaven face will not only make you look more presentable in a job interview but will also help to remove dead skin cells, helping to improve your skin’s overall health.

However, shaving is just the beginning of your self-care routine. After the shave comes the post-shave step of applying a delicate aftershave balm.

These aromatic balms will help to protect your skin from the elements as well as giving you a long-lasting aroma that works just as well as a good cologne!

If you are looking for the best aftershave for men, keep on reading!

Summary List

Aftershave Balms Ranked by Cologne Critic

Editor's Pick

Best Overall Post Shave Balm - Montblanc Legend

Why we chose it

A crisp and refreshing aftershave balm from the prestigious house of Montblanc, this balm will help to ease any redness from the shave while leaving a masculine scent on your face.

The balm opens with a fresh and powerful blast of pineapple, bergamot, and verbena. The initial explosion lingers for about 15 minutes before it slowly fades away, leaving behind a soft and comforting scent of oakmoss and geranium, with a slight hint of apples and roses. Finally, the scent becomes a calming woody aroma with the prominent note of sandalwood.

This aftershave balm is one of the best available choices for pre-date shaves, as the scent will linger throughout your date night. Its projection is soft since it is an aftershave balm only.


Classic Scent - Claus Porto Musgo Real

Our Take

Invoking the classic barbershop vibe thanks to its aromatic fougere structure, this aftershave balm will help to protect sensitive skin with its natural base of lanolin and glycerin. It will also smoothen your skin, giving it a better texture, as well as help to moisturize your beard.

The scent is a true classic with a clean and soapy vibe that stems from the note of lavender. As it dries down, the minty geranium kicks in to add a touch of freshness. When the scent has reached its base, the warm and earthy notes of patchouli and vetiver will reign supreme, adding a nice woody touch.

If you are into gentleman-like colognes or classic fragrances, you will definitely love this aftershave balm. It lasts for about 2-4 hours, which is good longevity for a lotion. It does not project really far, so you don’t run the risk of overpowering!

Best Value

Best Value for Money - Calvin Klein Obsession

Our Take

If you have fallen head over heels with the famous Calvin Klein Obsession, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t pick up the aftershave balm version of this cologne!

This aftershave balm is alcohol-free, so if you are looking for the best aftershave balm for sensitive skin, this one certainly is a good candidate.

The scent is a softer and lighter version of Calvin Klein Obsession, but it still retains the signature spicy-hot fragrance, which stems from the note of cinnamon, amber, and vanilla, with a touch of sandalwood. Here and there are the slight hints of fresh lavender, along with clean musk and floral notes, to brighten the fragrance.

Use this aftershave balm after your usual shave, and you will definitely feel much less irritated. Sadly, the scent does not last long, but why not combine it with the cologne for the ultimate double impact effect!

The Art of Shaving Sandalwood

Our Take

True to its namesake, this brand dedicates itself to the art of shaving, producing high-quality men’s shaving products as well as colognes. Sandalwood is the brand’s bestseller, and rightly so!

This aftershave balm is all about sandalwood, the heavenly wood from India. Here and there are soft hints of pine wood to add a touch of ruggedness and reliability. There is also a prominent presence of eucalyptus essence, which gives the balm a touch of green and freshness.

The company only uses sustainably sourced sandalwood essential oil for this product, which is a fantastic selling point. It provides moisture for up to 8 hours, and it is suitable for all skin types.

You should definitely consider this one as your daily aftershave balm, as it really is reliable, and the scent is warming and inoffensive.

The Art of Shaving Oud

Our Take

Unlike sandalwood, which is a calming and powdery wood, oud is much rougher and more profound. Honoring the 5,000 year-old Middle Eastern tradition, this aftershave balm will take you away to a mysterious and magical trip while providing the best protection to your skin.

The opening of this aftershave is bright and refreshing, with the prominent presence of lemon, orange, and rosemary. The initial blast dissipates after a while, leaving behind a spicy trail of geranium, lavender, and saffron, adding a fresh spicy touch to the scent as a whole.

The base is all about oud, accentuated by notes of vetiver, cedarwood, patchouli, and dark guaiac wood. This oud base gives the aftershave a much deeper and more mysterious vibe than most mainstream aftershave balms.

Definitely try this aftershave when you want to look classy and sexy, like before a date, for example! The longevity and projection of this aftershave balm are surprisingly very decent for a balm.

Calvin Klein Eternity

Our Take

Refreshing and invigorating, Calvin Klein Eternity is among the best colognes for summer, and the aftershave balm version is no less fresh and energizing.

It first bursts open with a blast of green botanicals and mandarin, taking the heat of summer away from you. After a while, a medley of soft and fresh spices kicks in, accentuating the green aspects of the balm.

As it reaches closer to the base notes, the balm becomes increasingly woody thanks to the presence of sandalwood, rosewood, and warm amber.

This aftershave balm will reinvigorate your skin and brighten up your day as soon as you apply.

If the heat of summer is making your skin miserable, Calvin Klein Eternity really works!

L'Occitane Soothing Cade

Our Take

L’Occitane en Provence is one of the most notable mainstream houses out there that produce unique, high-quality colognes. This aftershave balm is among the best from the house.

Made from a blend of shea butter and birchwood, this soothing aftershave balm will help to rejuvenate your skin after a shave. It will also ease the irritation you will typically feel if your skin is particularly sensitive. The scent is a gentle and soothing blend of juniper, sandalwood, and immortelle.

This is a nice casual aftershave balm, which could work for special occasions as well, as the scent is pretty unique.

For a balm, its longevity is pretty impressive, but doesn’t radiate too far.

The Art of Shaving Bergamot & Neroli

Our Take

This one comes very close to claiming the title of the best men’s aftershave balm. It is a natural-smelling lotion that will moisturize your skin and brighten up your day!

Made with shea butter and natural essential oil, this uplifting aftershave balm will revitalize your skin and provide well-needed moisture, preventing it from becoming dry and irritated. Its fragrance is a lovely citrus aromatic scent that instantly reminds us of the Mediterranean beaches, where the bright sun and the fresh sea breeze will take all your worries away.

This high-quality aftershave balm should be reserved for days out in summer. Its uplifting scent and caressing touch will definitely brighten your mood. Since it is made from natural essential oil, the scent lasts longer than most mainstream aftershave balms. It projects much better as well.

Mistral Men's Bourbon Vanilla

Our Take

This amazing aftershave balm is made from the finest bourbon vanilla extract, offering you an amazing sensual scent while helping to moisturize your face. Also present are aloe vera, jojoba oil, witch hazel, and a range of other natural ingredients in the formula to provide better care for your skin.

The scent of this aftershave is a soft and whispery vanilla fragrance with a slight woody touch that reminds us of aged oak barrels. The brand has also added a pinch of gold tobacco into the formula that gives the scent a mysterious and masculine aspect.

If you don’t like colognes and would prefer something with a more subtle presence, this aftershave balm might just be your thing. The scent should last for 3-5 hours, which is pretty impressive!

Johnny B. Balm After Shave

Our Take

Johnny B. is a great men’s grooming products brand, and their aftershave balm is undoubtedly worth your attention if you are looking for an efficient and reasonably priced post-shave choice.

With witch hazel being one of its main ingredients, this aftershave balm will soothe your skin and prevent redness along with sores after a shave. It will also moisturize your face, keeping it fresh and nourished throughout the day! The best part is that the texture does not feel greasy at all, so you can rock this balm without worrying about your complexion.

This is a fantastic aftershave balm for daily shaves. Its fragrance is very soft as well, so if you are not the kind of guy who is into colognes, this is another reliable option.

Aftershave balms are solid alternatives to colognes. Although they don’t really project or last as well as a good EDT, they are made my most fragrance houses, so you can couple your favorite cologne with its matching balm.  Apart from providing great scents, they also help to moisturize your skin, so that is a huge plus!

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Researched by a team of fragrance experts.