best colognes for travel

Best Colognes for Travel Guide

Latest posts by Candis Pope (see all)

Fragrances are one of my favorite accessories. In my opinion, it completes an outfit. Whether I’m going out on the town or casually running errands, I spritz on a fragrance. In this guide, I’ll be explaining the best colognes for traveling. I’ve taken a few trips with my significant other, and there are a handful of colognes that I really like to smell on him. But I also wear cologne myself sometimes. If the scent is more on the light/fruity side, I’ll give it a try. 

Needless to say, I’ve collected first-hand knowledge about traveling with cologne over the years. If you’re interested in learning about my favorite colognes for traveling, check out the guide below!

My Fave Cologne Up Front

All in all, I really like Dior Sauvage. I love how fresh and clean it smells. When I go out with my significant other, this is the one that I like to smell on him the most. It’s not too overbearing, but it gets the job done! When it comes to cologne, I prefer alluring aromas more than anything. This one isn’t too strong, but it’s long-lasting. Plus, you can buy a travel-friendly version of it from Macy’s website. Dior Sauvage comes in multiple sizes, and the smallest is a 1 oz. spray.

My Top Picks at a Glance

Here’s a sneak peek at my top picks for this article and an explanation of why I love them so much:

  1. Tom Ford Oud Wood
  2. Dior Sauvage
  3. Creed Aventus
  4. Le Labo Santal 33
  5. Gypsy Water

My Advice for Traveling With Cologne

Traveling With Cologne

Buy a Travel Size

My suggestion for traveling with a cologne is to bring the travel-sized version of the fragrance. The last thing you’d want is to break or lose your favorite scent. Bringing the travel size ensures that you’ll still have your big bottle at home if anything happens. Not to mention, the travel version is much better for packing.

Check the TSA Rules

TSA Rules

The TSA has strict regulations on what liquids you can bring in your carry-on bag. Make sure to check their website before packing your cologne. I can’t stress this enough! The last thing you want is to have to throw away your beloved scent at the airport.

Trust me, I’ve been with friends who didn’t double-check the size restrictions and had to throw away full bottles of lotion and fragrances. Being forced to toss your favorite cologne is not how you want to start your vacay. If you’re unsure, just put your fragrance in your checked luggage. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Bring the Fragrance Without Packing the Cologne

You could forget it in the hotel, or it could break while in your luggage. Literally, anything could happen. To avoid that, I suggest spraying your clothes with cologne while packing. For instance, if you know you’ll be going to dinner on your first night, pack a nice shirt and spray it with cologne before you put it in your suitcase. This way, your clothes will already have the scent, and you won’t have to worry about bringing your cologne with you.

The best way to preserve the fragrance is to spray your outfit really well and then put it in a packing cube. It’ll hold the scent, and you’ll smell nice without bringing the actual bottle.

Consider the Region You’re Visiting

No matter where you go, some people will like your cologne, and others won’t. But if you’re traveling out of the country, take the customs of the country into consideration. Every country has a slightly different version of what they believe is a “pleasant” fragrance.

Just to be clear, I wouldn’t be too worried about this. Like I said, even if you’re in your home country, you may come across people who dislike your aroma. But if you know you’re going to a place that’s vastly different from your home country, take it easy when spraying your cologne. It’s okay to wear what you want but consider making it light, so the fragrance isn’t leaving a trail behind you.

My Selection Criteria for the Colognes Below

Although I don’t always wear cologne, I most certainly like to smell it on others. Below are the attributes that I looked for to select the fragrances highlighted in this article:


For me, long-lasting fragrances are a must! I don’t care if it’s just for a day at work or a night on the town. But if you’re taking a particular cologne on vacation, you definitely want it to last.

When vacationing, you spend long days out enjoying the sights. Therefore, you don’t want a cologne that will dissipate in a couple of hours. The fragrances on this list stay intact for an extended period of time. Of course, they don’t last through strenuous activities like hiking or swimming. But from my experience, they’ll definitely last through sightseeing.


I also chose the fragrances in this guide based on variety. I understand that everyone likes different aromas. Even I like different scents. Sometimes, I prefer for my significant other to have a strong smell, and other times, I prefer a fresh scent on him.

I guess it depends on where we’re going and what we’ll be doing. For example, I noticed that strong scents don’t smell good after a long day. Once it starts to mix with other aromas and sweat, the outcome is off-putting. Therefore, I prefer strong cologne for a night out rather than throughout the day. All of the fragrances that I chose are for varying activities and moods.


The fragrances that I mentioned below are all high-quality. Even though some of the brands are expensive, a little bit goes a long way. The quality of a fragrance goes back to my first attribute, which is a long-lasting aroma. If the cologne is cheap, it’ll likely dissipate quickly.

On the other hand, I’ve noticed that quality colognes last much longer. Not to mention, you don’t have to use much of it. Therefore, spending a bit more money on cologne is a good investment.

Works Well with Body Chemistry

Of course, everyone’s body chemistry is different. But from my experience, these fragrances match pretty well with different chemistries. I noticed they worked for both of us when my significant other and I tried them. Testing out cologne before purchasing it is essential.

There have been many times when I’ve smelled a fragrance and loved it, only to hate it once I started to wear it. In my opinion, the cologne brands that I chose smell the same across the board.

Available in a Set

Not every fragrance on this list comes in a set, but some do. I like to get the most out of my fragrances, and the best way to do that is by layering. If you’re anything like me, layering your fragrances is the way to go. It’ll ensure that you smell good for longer, and your aroma will greet others before you do. Whenever you shower with a fragrance, add lotion, then spritz on the cologne, you’ll smell divine!

Travel Friendly

All of the colognes that I chose for this list are travel friendly. You can find these fragrances in a smaller version of the original bottle, which is really helpful. I don’t recommend taking your full-sized bottle of cologne on vacation because the bottle could get damaged.

My Favorite Colognes for Traveling

There’s nothing like setting off on a new adventure, and part of the fun is choosing the perfect cologne to take with you. In my opinion, it’s the fun part of packing! Whether you’re hitting the beach or exploring a new city, these are my options for the best colognes for travel:

1. Tom Ford Oud Wood

Tom Ford Oud Wood perfume

  • Top Notes: Pepper, Rose-bay,  Cardamom seed
  • Middle Notes: Oud, Sandalwood, Vetiver
  • Base Notes: Tonka Bean, Amber,  Vanilla

This woody, oriental scent is perfect for adding a touch of luxury to your travels. It’s rich and exotic, with notes of oud, sandalwood, vetiver, and amber, making it perfect for evening wear. Every time I think of this cologne, I think of a chill, fun evening of grabbing drinks and having a conversation.

This particular cologne isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, I think it can be worn as a unisex fragrance. It’s a bit bold, but the underlying sweetness gives it a feminine aroma.

Also, this cologne is available in a set. You could get the Luxe set, which is fantastic for travel since it comes with other travel essentials, like shades and a Tom Ford card holder. But if you want something a bit simpler, Saks Fifth Avenue sells a 2-piece set that includes a smaller version of the cologne ideal for vacation.

Not to mention, Sephora sells a mini spray version of this fragrance. Therefore, you don’t have to carry your big bottle on the trip!


  • Long-lasting fragrance
  • Perfect for a night out
  • Available in a set


  • Too strong for some 

2. Creed Aventus

Creed Aventus perfume

  • Top Notes: Apple, Blackcurrant Leaves, Bergamot, and Pineapple
  • Middle Notes: Patchouli, Birch, Pink Berries, and Jasmine
  • Base Notes: Oakmoss, Musk, Vanilla, and Ambergris

This refreshing cologne is perfect for daytime wear. It has a fruity, slightly sweet scent with notes of blackcurrant, bergamot, pineapple, and oak moss. It’s the perfect cologne for exploring a new city or hiking through the mountains. It’s also great for making new friends and has a very inviting and pleasant smell. I like this one because it’s not overbearing.

If you want to get a travel size of this fragrance, you can buy the Creed La Olfactive set. It includes a 0.3 oz bottle of Aventus cologne.


  • Ideal for refreshing your smell after a long day
  • Unisex fragrance
  • Available in travel size


  • Too sweet for some

3. Le Labo Santal 33

Le Labo Santal 33

  • Top Notes: Violet accord and Cardamom
  • Middle Notes: Ambrox and Iris
  • Base Notes: Leather, Sandalwood, and Cedarwood

This cologne is perfect for those who want a more unique scent. It has a woody, smoky smell with hints of leather and spice. It’s ideal for evenings out or special occasions. I find that it works well in any setting, whether at a fancy dinner or grabbing drinks with friends.

Santal 33 comes in multiple sizes, and the smallest one is 15ml. If you don’t want to bring your large bottle of cologne on vacay, opt for the small one.


  • Long-lasting
  • Vegan and cruelty-free


  • Strong fragrance

4. Dior Sauvage

Dior Sauvage perfume

  • Top Notes: Calabrian bergamot and Pepper
  • Middle Notes: Geranium, Elemi, Lavender, Sichuan Pepper, Pink Pepper, Vetiver, and Patchouli
  • Base Notes: Cedar, Labdanum, and  Ambroxan

Dior Sauvage is a modern classic. It has a fresh, clean scent with bergamot, citrus, and pepper notes. It’s perfect for any occasion, day or night. I like to wear this cologne when I’m traveling because it makes me feel confident and stylish.

This fragrance isn’t technically a unisex scent, but I’ve mixed it with sweet perfumes and loved the outcome. I enjoy spritzing it on when I want to change up my scent. 

This one is really good for layering because it’s available in a gift set with a fragrance and shaving gel.


  • Good for day wear
  • Ideal for staying fresh while out and about
  • It can be used as a unisex fragrance


  • Fragrance doesn’t last through certain outdoor activities
  • Peppery aroma might be offputting for some people

5. Byredo Gypsy Water

Byredo Gypsy Water

  • Top Notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Juniper Berries, and Pepper
  • Middle Notes: Pine Needle, Incense, and Orris
  • Base Notes: Vanilla, Sandalwood, and Amber

This bohemian-inspired cologne is perfect for those who want to add a touch of mystery to their travels. It has a woody, earthy scent with bergamot, lemon, and pine notes. It’s a great fragrance for exploring new places and meeting new people. I find that it’s also perfect for unwinding after a long day of sightseeing. Shower, spritz it on, and enjoy the remainder of your night.

Nordstrom sells a travel-sized fragrance set that includes a 0.4 oz bottle of Gypsy Water.


  • Perfect for day and night wear
  • Vegan
  • Unisex


  • Strong scent for some


Question: Can I refill a travel-sized cologne bottle?

Answer: Absolutely! In fact, refilling it can save you money. Keep in mind that every bottle is different, but it should be pretty simple to refill. Untwist the atomizer, and set it out of the way. Securely hold the small bottle in your hand, and grab the large cologne bottle. Hold the nozzle of the large fragrance over the opening of the travel-sized vial. Spritz the cologne until the small bottle is filled.

Question: Can I pack cologne in a carry-on bag?

Answer: TSA regulations permit you to bring a small bag of liquids in your carry-on bag. The bag can contain aerosols, which include fragrance sprays. The items are restricted to travel-sized bottles that are under 3.4 ounces each. All colognes must go in a single, clear plastic, zip-top bag that’s quart-sized.

Question: What are the best ways to make cologne last?

Answer: There are a few things you can do to make your cologne last:
• Spritz it on your pulse points: The heat from your body will help to diffuse the scent.
• Layer it with other products: For example, if you use aftershave, apply that first, then follow with your cologne.
• Avoid rubbing your wrists together after spraying the fragrance: Doing this will break down the molecules and make the scent fade faster.
• Store it properly: Keep your cologne in a cool, dark place. Extreme temperatures can break down the fragrance molecules and impact the scent.
• Spray it on your clothes: This can help make the scent last longer, as well as help distribute it more evenly.

Closing Thoughts On Colognes for Travel

Choosing the perfect cologne for travel is tough, but hopefully, my guide has helped you narrow down your options. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious, sophisticated scent or a refreshing daytime cologne, there’s something for everyone. 

I love smelling nice and like to be around people who smell nice. That’s why I prefer Dior Sauvage. In my opinion, it’s the ideal cologne for vacation. The fragrance is fresh and long-lasting but not too overbearing. I love it! Overall, any of the colognes listed above will keep you smelling amazing while on vacation. So, which one do you think you’ll try?

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