diesel cologne

Diesel Cologne Guide: How Intense Is This Cologne?

Latest posts by Caroline Lambert (see all)

Diesel has a slogan: “For Successful Living.” This Diesel cologne guide will show you what that means. Success is the result of ambition, innovation, and self-expression, and each cologne from the brand has unique notes, accords, and a throttle count to match your ambitious pursuit of success.

Have you ever noticed how diesel trucks are louder than regular gas engines? The simple answer is that Diesel has more attitude. It’s a seeker of attention, and it wants you to know it’s arrived. Translate that metaphor to your life, your desire for more, and your passion for smelling like an individual climbing the ladder of success.

Diesel cologne is a gateway to your alternative future, one where you decide what comes next. You can be as loud as you want, or you choose to be subtler in your pursuits. My throttle count will help you determine how loud you want to be. Diesel Sound of the Brave makes my partner smell like a unique beast, and I love it!

Let’s help you find your inner beast, and I promise you’ll be magnetically drawn to one of the 10 Diesel colognes, especially if you’re a motivated, progressive man.

Diesel Power

Okay, I must admit that the Diesel brand isn’t directly associated with petrol heads and monster trucks. I’m merely using the brand’s name as a system to fuel the experience of each cologne, pun intended. Reading about cologne isn’t always exciting, so I have to make it exciting for you.

Italian Renzo Rosso is the great mind behind Diesel, and he started as a denim stitcher at fifteen. He’d use his mom’s sewing machine to create the most luxurious bell-bottoms and low-hanging jeans for friends, often selling them for 3,500 Lira at the time. After attending a textile school in Padua, he worked for Moltex.

Rosso was obsessed with quality denim, even loaning money from his father in 1978 to buy 40% holding in the company, which became Diesel by 1985 when he purchased the remaining shares. Diesel had its Italian designer jeans in American stores by 1992, and they opened flagship stores across the states by 1999.

Rosso’s jeans were widely popular, and he began purchasing other fashion brands like Only the Brave, which also owned Viktor & Rolf. Rosso was a determined man, and you could see his throttle count climbing as he pursued his dreams. Additionally, Diesel wasn’t afraid to create surreal advertising campaigns.

Success was inevitable for Rosso’s brand, and the colognes entered the market in 1996. The name was simply Diesel because the brand had an established reputation. Today, Diesel cologne is licensed and manufactured under L’Oreal, another fragrance giant, so rest assured that your favorite will likely stick around.

diesel fuel for life

What Makes Diesel Your Best Option

Diesel is famous for jeans, being the global leader, but they also sell accessories, and lucky for you, colognes. Diesel’s entire brand is about self-expression, innovation, individuality, forward-thinking, passion, success, rule-breaking, and making a statement, and it’s the opposite of luxury brands.

Even though Diesel isn’t considered a luxury brand, it has many reasons to earn admiration.

  • Diesel Spirit of the Brave’s campaign was nominated for a Shorty Award because it encourages young men to embrace their braveness and seek their fullest potentials. The campaign behind the cologne reached tribes with cultural fears and seemingly intangible obstacles, inspiring them to be brave.
  • Diesel also runs the Only the Brave (OTB) Foundation globally, using sustainable ways to help impoverished men and women. I admire their work with violence and abuse victims and how they donate hundreds of tablets to students learning at home during the pandemic.
  • Diesel also launched the green label for improved sustainability in our dying world. Many Diesel products, including colognes, are sustainable, using recyclable packaging and minimalizing the impact of the manufacturing process on the environment. This label is still a work in progress.
  • Diesel also tied for the Media Campaign of the Year in 1998, presented by the Fragrance Foundation.

Diesel might not be a luxury cologne like Prada or Versace, both Italian designers. Still, the brand is a phenomenally innovative move toward pret-a-porter colognes for men who are just as ambitious.

Diesel Cologne Guide: 10 Revs of Success

Diesel has ten unique colognes in 2021, and you get to see how each one evolves on your skin, the finer notes, and the recommended alternatives that smell the same. Additionally, I’ll take it from zero to fun in 60 seconds by adding a throttle counter to each cologne. Okay, I’m a bit of a petrol head, but who isn’t?

I base my throttle system on the two factors that make the cologne intense or not: sillage and longevity. The chart below shows you how each throttle count is calculated because using the two factors is the most accurate way to determine how intense a cologne will smell and how long it lasts.

The power of your cologne will depend on the throttle count out of six. A count of six would mean the cologne is intense, powerful, and motivational. A count of one would mean it’s as bad as a car that goes zero to 60 in 54 seconds. Let’s have some fun and count those revs.

Diesel Only the Brave EDT

diesel only the brave

Diesel Only the Brave is an amber, woody cologne from 2009, inspired by the non-profit organization determined to enable greatness among impoverished people, meaning it’s a sure winner for amplifying your ambitions. The bottle is also the famous first design, further elevating ideations of determination and success.

Key Features:

Accords: Amber, leather, citrus, animalistic, powdery, woody, aromatic, and violet

Top Notes: Lemon primofiore, coriander, and mandarin orange

Middle Notes: French labdanum, rosemary, and violet

Bottom Notes: Virginia cedar, leather, and amber

Smells Like: The cologne starts with a warm amber and leather fragrance surfacing quickly from the base before you get that bold citrus burst that turns the smell animalistic. The aromatic notes start peaking around the second hour as your woody and violet accents complement the spiciness of the cologne.

Sillage: Medium

Longevity: About 6 hours

Throttle Score: 4 revs

Sensual Personality: Bold, brave, and confident

Similar Alternatives: Guilty Pour Homme by Gucci and Coach for Men

Slam the Brakes:

  • It has a great throttle count, but only wear it if you want to feel bold and unapologetic

Diesel Only the Brave: Street EDT

diesel only the brave street

Diesel Only the Brave: Street is an aromatic, woody fragrance from 2018. It’s another fist-inspired bottle that hides determination, success, and bravery but in a street form. The streets are a place of unexplained and unexpected situations, meaning you should wear this cologne if you want to express your mysterious side.

Key Features:

Accords: Aromatic, woody, fresh spicy, vanilla, green, soft spicy, fresh spicy, warm spicy, sweet, and citrus

Top Notes: Apple, bergamot, thyme, and basil

Middle Notes: Licorice, marine notes, and cardamom

Bottom Notes: Vetiver, vanilla, patchouli, amber wood, and cedarwood

Smells Like: It opens with an intense exchange of aromatic blends, dancing between thyme, basil, and cardamom, while the woody undertone keeps it warm and exotic. You get a mild break where sweetness seeps through from apple and vanilla before the spiciness lights up again. It all ends in a refreshing citrus wake.

Sillage: Medium

Longevity: About 6 hours

Throttle Score: 4 revs

Sensual Personality: Wild, mysterious, and unexpected

Similar Alternatives: Ultra Male by Jean Paul Gaultier and Eros by Versace

Slam the Brakes:

  • It has an almost cheeky nature that only suits younger guys

Diesel Only the Brave: Tattoo EDT

Tattoo EDT

Diesel Only the Brave: Tattoo is an oriental, woody fragrance from 2012. It’s pretty similar to the street version, except it uses more pungent fruity undertones, making it a modern twist for young men. This cologne earns a full six revs, meaning it’s powerful, somewhat overwhelming, and perfect for a man with plans to succeed.

Key Features:

Accords: Fruity, sweet, tobacco, warm spicy, woody, amber, citrus, patchouli, fresh spicy, and aromatic

Top Notes: Granny Smith apple and Mandarin orange

Middle Notes: Sage and Bourbon pepper

Bottom Notes: Tobacco leaf, amber wood, patchouli, and benzoin

Smells Like: The sweet fruitiness first hits your nose as apple and orange notes intertwine with each other. You’ll slowly enter a new arena where masculine tobacco and oriental notes twist your senses until you reach a softer woody undertone before the cologne ends in a gentle spiciness hours later.

Sillage: Strong

Longevity: 6 to 8 hours (unusual for an EDT cologne, but it’s a bonus)

Throttle Score: 6 revs (caution for this cologne)

Sensual Personality: Seductive, explosive, and insanely ambitious

Similar Alternatives: Polo Red Intense by Ralph Lauren and Black XS by Paco Rabanne

Slam the Brakes:

  • It’s another wonderfully naughty fragrance for younger guys but not mature men

Diesel Sound of the Brave EDT

Sound Of The Brave 50ml

Diesel Sound of the Brave is an Oriental Fougere fragrance from 2021, making it the newest addition. This cologne is something else, and it calls your inner beast to the surface, much like a chief calls his warriors to battle. Whether you’re battling on the professional or social battlefield, this cologne inspires you to be your all.

Key Features:

Accords: Aromatic, woody, amber, balsamic, citrus, fresh spicy, sweet, fresh, and warm spicy

Top Notes: Granny Smith apple, juniper essence, and lemon essence

Middle Notes: Lavandin, orange flower, rosemary, clary sage, cardamom, elemi essence, and bison grass

Bottom Notes: Vanilla, musk, amber wood, and patchouli

Smells Like: Powerful aromatic and woody accents engulf your senses when the first hour of the spices, grass, and amber surface. Slowly, you’ll travel through the exotic and balsamic nature of the cologne as apple, berries, and lemon tickle your nose, but the cologne will end with a soft and fresh spiciness.

Sillage: About 6 hours

Longevity: Medium

Throttle Score: 4 revs

Sensual Personality: Animalistic, determined, and unapologetic

Similar Alternatives: Luna Rossa Ocean by Prada and Original Invictus by Paco Rabanne

Slam the Brakes:

  • This cologne is an excellent beast-like option for mature men but not young guys

Diesel Spirit of the Brave EDT


Diesel Spirit of the Brave is an amber, woody Fougere fragrance from 2019. It’s a recreation of masculinity, and it combines playfulness with hints of elegant and sensual attitudes. It’s great for a spirited man or a man who wants to feel enthusiastic and confident, but it’s not the boldest cologne from Diesel.

Key Features:

Accords: Aromatic, fresh spicy, woody, citrus, amber, green, vanilla, sweet, conifer, and fresh

Top Notes: Artemisia, bergamot, and galbanum

Middle Notes: Elemi essence, cypress, and clary sage

Bottom Notes: Tonka bean, labdanum, and balsam fir

Smells Like: The cologne begins with gentle notes of artemisia and galbanum blended into the clary sage in the heart of the evolution. You move through subtle hints of woody undertones before you experience a freshness from the citrus accord, and it ends with a slightly sweet but refreshing tone.

Sillage: Medium

Longevity: 4 to 6 hours

Throttle Score: 3 revs

Sensual Personality: 

Similar Alternatives: Armani Code by Giorgio Armani and Cedrat Boise by Mancera

Slam the Brakes:

  • This cologne is great for men who want a little bravery but not too much (it’s more optimistic than bold)

Diesel Spirit of the Brave: Intense EDP

Intense EDP

Diesel Spirit of the Brave: Intense is an amber, oriental Fougere fragrance from 2020, and it sure steps up the game from the original spirited cologne. Any intense cologne from Diesel is a more potent version that lasts longer, and it’s a gorgeous fragrance that exudes manliness and modern determination.

Key Features:

Accords: Woody, vanilla, aromatic, fruity, amber, fresh spicy, green, patchouli, powdery, and fresh

Top Notes: Bergamot and apple essence

Middle Notes: Clary sage and cypress

Bottom Notes: Dry amber wood, vanilla, and patchouli

Smells Like: The woody notes surface first, leaving you with a strong masculine scent that dries down to bold aromatics blended with sweet and fruity notes. Amber notes warm the cologne again before you enter a new kind of spiciness, one that feels fresher, greener, and cleaner. It ends with a refreshing and powdery accent.

Sillage: Medium

Longevity: 8 to 10 hours

Throttle Score: 5 revs

Sensual Personality: Modern-masculine, ambitious, and undeterred

Similar Alternatives: Y by Yves Saint Laurent and Armani Code Absolu by Giorgio Armani

Slam the Brakes:

  • This cologne smells like a manly dream for mature men but not for young guys

Diesel Bad EDT

Diesel Bad EDT

Diesel Bad is a woody, aromatic fragrance from 2016, and don’t be fooled by the name; it’s a great scent! It’s almost classical, expressing the mature man on a new level with subtle modern notes. It has a robust woody personality, and it wreaks havoc on the senses, making it seductive, alluring, and somewhat charming.

Key Features:

Accords: Woody, aromatic, lavender, savory, citrus, animalistic, tobacco, fresh spicy, and amber

Top Notes: Violet leaf, lavender, bergamot, and cardamom

Middle Notes: Sage, saline essence, orris root, and caviar (just to make it uniquely sophisticated)

Bottom Notes: Tonka bean, patchouli, tobacco, and ambroxan

Smells Like: An olfactory scent never smelled this good, and you’ll journey through strong woody accents before reaching the softer lavender and aromatic teasers. Your nose will smile with the savory citrus blend before you dive into animalistic and classical undertones. It ends with a warm touch of amber.

Sillage: Strong

Longevity: About 6 hours

Throttle Score: 5 revs

Sensual Personality: Traditional-masculine, mysteriously seductive, and untamed

Similar Alternatives: Bad Boy by Carolina Herrera and Man Intense by Jimmy Choo

Slam the Brakes:

  • The slight classical feel is better for mature men who want to express a desire to shred hearts

Diesel Bad: Intense EDP

1.7 oz Eau De Parfum Spray Diesel Bad Intense Cologne By Diesel Eau De Parfum Spray Cologne for Men

Diesel Bad: Intense is a spicy, woody fragrance from 2017, and it has one sad story. It’s not available anywhere right now. This cologne also earns six revs because let’s face it, it’s in-your-face, but some men love the boldness of their scent. You shouldn’t wear this fragrance if you’re a shy or soft-spoken man.

Key Features:

Accords: White floral, fresh spicy, woody, cinnamon, animalistic, savory, nutty, warm spicy, marine, and citrus

Top Notes: Bergamot, cinnamon, and nutmeg

Middle Notes: Caviar (again, some finesses is always good)

Bottom Notes: Woody notes and white tobacco

Smells Like: It starts with a white floral accent, which is hard to understand how it develops, but it does. The cologne dries down to a cheeky interaction between woody and aromatic notes to create a beast-like accent before you journey through nutty and unusual undertones. It ends with a refreshing citrus accord.

Sillage: Strong

Longevity: 8 to 10 hours

Throttle Score: 6 revs

Sensual Personality: Exorbitantly wild, masculine, and unstoppable

Similar Alternatives: Intense Euphoria for Men by Calvin Klein and 1981 Los Angeles for Men by Guess

Slam the Brakes:

  • Maybe it was too overwhelming or too unusual, but you can’t get it in 2021

Diesel Fuel for Life: Man EDT


Diesel Fuel for Life: Man is an Aromatic Fougere fragrance from 2007. If there was ever a cologne that says unique, it’s this one. It starts as a touch of feminine modernity that fades into a modern man with unusual accords. I can only smell this cologne on young guys because mature men will smell fruity and lady-like.

Key Features:

Accords: Sweet, fruity, anis, lavender, woody, soft spicy, aromatic, citrus, fresh spicy, and floral

Top Notes: Grapefruit and anise

Middle Notes: Lavender and raspberry

Bottom Notes: Heliotrope and woody notes

Smells Like: Sweet and fruity notes twist your senses into disbelief for the first hour before you travel into the heart of the fragrance, where floral and woody accents please your nose. You get a burst of fresh and citrusy accents blended with spicy notes before your cologne ends in a notable floral undertone.

Sillage: Strong

Longevity: About 6 hours

Throttle Score: 5 revs

Sensual Personality: Slightly feminine, ambitiously modern, and unique

Similar Alternatives: Playboy London by Playboy and Individuel by Montblanc

Slam the Brakes:

  • It’s just too weird for mature or traditional men (too feminine as well)

Interesting Fact: The Fuel for Life was a Diesel range, much like the current Brave range, but they’re mostly discontinued now. It might be due to their strange smells or the boldness of femininity blended with masculinity. You won’t find them online, but they once included:

  • Diesel Fuel for Life Unlimited
  • Diesel Fuel for Life Spirit
  • Diesel Fuel for Life Denim Collection Homme
  • Diesel Fuel for Life Summer

Diesel Plus Plus Masculine EDT

2.5 oz Eau De Toilette Spray Diesel Plus

Diesel Plus Plus Masculine is a woody, amber fragrance from 1997, and it reminds you that the brand can be manly enough and not so tutty fruity like the Fuel for Life range that came later. It’s a classic cologne from Diesel and smells fantastic on men who want to be their manly selves while expressing their ambitions.

Key Features:

Accords: Citrus, warm spicy, aromatic, fresh spicy, woody, powdery, cinnamon, green, vanilla, and sweet

Top Notes: Orange, heliotrope, palm leaf, and bergamot

Middle Notes: Birch, violet, sage, cardamom, green notes, lily of the valley, coriander, and jasmine

Bottom Notes: Tonka bean, sandalwood, cinnamon, patchouli, nutmeg, musk, anise, clove, oakmoss, and vetiver

Smells Like: You first journey through warm but refreshing citrus and aromatic blends that tickle your senses before you dive into the depths of woody and spicy undertones. The cologne smells clean and slightly sweet toward the end of the evolutions.

Sillage: Medium

Longevity: About 6 hours

Throttle Score: 4 revs

Sensual Personality: Manly, classical, and sophisticated

Similar Alternatives: Desire Blue by Alfred Dunhill and Mustang Sport by Estee Lauder

Slam the Brakes:

  • It’s incredible for traditional and masculine men but not modern or young guys

Tips to Choose Your Signature Diesel: How Intense Is Your Rev or Ambition Count?

If only choosing your Diesel cologne was as simple as filling your gas tank. Wait, it might be! It certainly won’t be as complicated as keeping track of the dollar increases per gallon, and that’s a win on its own. Use these five steps to choose your perfect signature cologne:

  1. The notes in a cologne come in three layers, meaning the first notes will express before the final notes come through, in most cases. Notes are merely the ingredients in the cologne, but it’s the first step to choosing one you love.
  2. The accords show how the notes evolve, which you’ll notice aren’t always layered, depending on the ingredients’ strength. The first hour will typically express the first two or three accords, and the rest will follow in the order given. How do you want your cologne to unfold?
  3. Look at the personalities of each cologne. I kept it simple by allocating three to each one, but they help you determine what kind of attitude you want to express in your wake. Do you want to be masculine or ambitious? Choose the three that fit you best.
  4. Most importantly, choose your throttle count. You don’t want a six if you’re a soft-spoken man. Ambitious isn’t for every man, and some men need a hint of it, meaning you should choose a lower intensity.
  5. Finally, stick to colognes that suit your age range. Don’t wear a mature cologne as a Gen Z.

You might have to go through the steps again or in a different order, but they’ll help you choose your favorite scent.

Tips for Layering Diesel Cologne

Layering your cologne increases its power and longevity, which you might not worry about if you have a throttle count of five or six. You don’t want to scare the people who should enjoy your fragrance, and you don’t want to make kids run from you. Use these products on your skin before spraying a “rev 4” or lower:

The layering products are soaps because showering before you apply cologne is a great way to evolve to its fullest potential. After all, the Diesel brand is about encouraging and inspiring you, so why shouldn’t you use it to the best ability by maximizing the smell?

Recommendations for Other Cologne Brands

Maybe Diesel isn’t your brand, or you don’t feel confident enough to wear the bold colognes. That’s alright! Some other brands can offer similar benefits:


Question: Is Diesel Bad Ironically a Great Cologne?

Answer: Yes, the name is a terrible misinterpretation of the cologne. Bad refers to bad boys rather than the cologne smelling awful. It smells olfactory, masculine, woody, animalistic, and unusual. It’s a perfectly ironic name for a great cologne. However, it’s as bad boy as they come, just in a more mature sense.

Question: Does Diesel Only the Brave Smell Good?

Answer: Diesel Only the Brave smells fantastic if you ask me. It’s another pleasurable tease for the senses as it begins with a warm and leathery touch before it dries into animalistic citrus. From here, it becomes a manly aromatic blend that ends in a more traditional violet and woody accent.

Answer: It’s always tough to choose the best cologne, but I’ve found the most popular one on Amazon. However, not my favorite, Diesel Fuel for Life has an 88% approval rating after more than 1,000 reviews, which is one of the best you’ll find in any cologne. I can’t argue with the numbers.

Diesel is an inspiring brand, and its colognes show how creative, spontaneous, unique, and ambitious any man can be. I’ve turned the denim designer into a petrol head concept to make it more exciting to choose your favorite cologne. I based my system on the two factors that precisely measure the intensity.

Therefore, you won’t have a more accurate way of finding your throttle count among sensual pleasures for your skin. Use your new knowledge to choose one and buy it now. My favorite remains Diesel Sound of the Brave because it suits my partner’s personality and lifestyle perfectly.

I am, however, considering buying him the Diesel Only the Brave as well. He loves having multiple options, which helps me expand my expertise on fragrances. Irrespective of which one suits you, don’t miss out on owning a great cologne with endless potential.

To read about more impressive colognes:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top