Whether you’re heading out to an exotic location or going on a business trip, traveling is no excuse to not smell our best. The path to a sweeter-smelling self, however, is often obstructed by an unsavory fact – lugging around perfumes can be very inconvenient. Big bottles can take up precious luggage space, and there’s always a risk of breaking them every time. Enter the travel size cologne.
From iconic designer scents to popular up-and-comers, here’s a list of the best featherweight frags available in the market today, selected according to quality, price, reviews, and travel friendliness.
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Before you buy
When shopping for a travel size cologne, there are a number of things to look out for. Here’s everything you need to know.
It should go without saying, but the size of your travel-size cologne bottle is the most important factor to consider.
Small, lightweight perfumes make great travel companions, as they’re easier to store in purses or backpacks. Fortunately, some of the most popular perfumes come with pocket-sized versions (a few of the most iconic are listed here).
A travel-size cologne can come in many shapes and forms with its own pros and cons. The right travel-size perfume and cologne for you depends on your lifestyle. Here’s everything you need to know.
The most common type of travel size cologne is the travel spray. They’re among the easiest to find, especially if you’re a diehard fan of designer fragrances like Chanel, Jo Malone, or Versace.
Travel sprays are basically a smaller version of the full-sized fragrance, which makes them easier to slip into handbags, toiletry bags, and purses when traveling. They usually contain around 10-30ml of fragrance, so you can pack more than just one fragrance for different occasions!
The only disadvantage of purchasing travel sprays is that they’re easier to break, as they’re mostly made with glass packaging. If you’re traveling abroad and moving around a lot, consider wrapping your travel spray with towel or scarf.
Rollerballs are the travel spray’s closest cousin – but instead of spritzing, you glide the rollerball head directly on your pulse points. Rollerball perfumes a great option if you’re looking to reapply your perfume throughout the day, thanks to their hassle-free dab and go application.
While rollerball perfumes are the perfect travel companions, a drawback everyone should consider when buying them is hygiene. Since they’re applied directly to the skin, rollerball fragrances tend to collect the grime that settles on the skin’s surface. This makes them expire faster than travel perfumes.
If you’re looking for the best travel-size cologne that’s absolutely ideal for taking with you anywhere, solid perfumes are the best choice.
There are absolutely zero risks of spillage, breakage, and you don’t have to worry about the travel size cologne limit on liquids when on a flight.
Solid perfumes are usually made from beeswax, and all it takes is a simple swipe with your (clean) fingers to apply them.
Because of their waxy nature, solid perfumes usually offer less longevity, projection, and sillage than liquid perfumes. They’re great for travelers who just like to smell pleasant in close quarters without choking everyone in the room.
As such, solid perfumes require frequent reapplication and doing so may make you feel sticky.
The 12 best travel-size colognes
Heading to the beach? When it comes to iconic summer scents, Versace Man Eau Fraiche is a force to be reckoned with.
This aquatic fragrance is delicate and non-cloying (as you would expect from a ‘Eau Fraiche) – just enough to let everyone know you showered this morning. Fresh notes of lemon, bergamot and star fruit mingle with middle notes of cedar, tarragon, and pepper for a little spicy kick.
This travel size cologne set also comes with a mini after-shave balm and shower gel – all you need to stay fresh and rejuvenated on quick trips.
Not all solid colognes are created equal, and it’s safe to assume that Cremo put a little more thought in their products than other brands in the market. From the handsome TSA-approved metal tin to their delicious-smelling balms, everything looks (and smells) premium.
This line of solid colognes sport a simple scent profile – citrus notes are added to amber musk, and the resulting fragrances smell fresh and masculine. Bestsellers include Bergamot and Musk, Leather & Oud, and Blue Cedar and Cypress. Users described the scents as ‘fresh’, ‘manly’, and ‘unique’.
Best of all, thanks to their discreet size and TSA-approved metal tin, these solid perfumes are absolutely made for travel.
For fragrance lovers, Jo Malone needs no introduction. Sleek and simple with unisex appeal, Jo Malone fragrances are easy to love, albeit harsh on the pocket because of their luxury appeal. Fortunately, they now come in affordable travel sizes that you can bring with you anywhere you want.
Nectarine Blossom & Honey is one of their most popular entries – a delightfully sweet and fruity combination of nectarine, peach, plum, blackcurrant, vetiver, and acacia honey.
A whiff reminds most of picking peaches in the middle of a flower garden. It’s an uplifting spring or summer scent that can instantly put you in a good mood!
Going on a romantic vacation? Pack some Versace Bright Crystal Absolu for flirty and feminine fun! Juicy, sparkling, and fresh, this uplifting floral and fruity fragrance from fashion powerhouse Donatella Versace features notes of yuzu, pomegranate, and ice accords that later melt into raspberry, peony, and Acajou wood.
Bright Crystal Absolu was created for the ‘woman who is strong and sure of her charm; sensual and feminine, always glamorous.’ It’s a balance of sophistication and playfulness, which brings into mind a confident woman who knows how to have fun!
Users described it as the scent of ‘uncomplicated femininity’ with a youthful sweetness that evokes carefree days of spring and summer. The same gorgeous dark pink flacon is used in this mini version – a cool collectible if you’re into keeping used bottles of your favorite perfumes!
Ralph Lauren Polo Blue has been around for about two decades, but it’s still one of the best aquatic fragrances to this day. A classic in its own right, it’s a perfume most of us have worn growing up so it’s bound to incite bouts of nostalgia!
Top notes of cucumber, melon and mandarin orange offer a much-needed refreshment in this travel size men’s cologne – great for when you’re heading to warmer destinations.
Middle notes of basil, sage, and geranium melt into warm base notes of suede, musk, and woods for a sophisticated masculine flair. It’s great for casual events or dates, so you can bring this travel-size cologne with you on all your adventures!
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When it comes to solid perfumes, longevity is often an issue. Balms don’t hold much perfume concentration compared to their liquid cousins, so users have to face the inconvenience of constant reapplication. BushKlawz Solid Colognes for men surprisingly stays on for hours.
Stored in 1oz tin cans with trendy labeling, BushKlawz Solid Colognes come in four different scents, Lumber Prince, Pacific Prince, Urban Prince and Active Prince. ‘Be a manly beast without smelling like one’, its Amazon ad says.
Among the most popular scents in the collection are Lumber Prince, with tobacco leaf, vanilla, and leather pine, and Active Prince, a scent made for the cosmopolitan active man with notes of orange, fir, jasmine, musk, and vetiver. Right before you hit the beach club, rub some on directly to your pulse points for instant confidence.
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The cute bunny packaging is part and parcel of this solid cologne’s irresistible charm, but don’t mistake it as a scent for children. Users found the scents to be remarkably sophisticated – just what you’d expect from one of Korea’s biggest beauty brands.
Perfect for travel, the TONYMOLY Pocket Bunny Perfume Bar is a solid stick-style perfume that offers easy application with fresh and subtle fragrances that won’t choke out an entire room. They’re perfect for everyday use when you’re just looking for a hint of fragrance to perk you up!
TONYMOLY offers three scents in their collection: Bebe Bunny (bergamot, orange, rose, and orchid), Juicy Bunny (bergamot, lemon, freesia, and white rose), and Bloom Bunny (lemon, jasmine, and rose).
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Estee Lauder has over 70 years of providing cosmetics and skincare to women, so it comes as no surprise that they’re one of the most popular brands in the world.
The brand has been formulating fragrances for just as long, with perfumes that have been crafted by some of the fragrance industry’s leading perfumers. Fortunately for travelers, most of their iconic scents are now available in travel sizes.
This five-piece mini gift set for women contains five of Estee Lauder’s most popular perfumes, including Pleasures, Modern Muse, Beautiful Belle, Pure White Linen, and Beautiful.
From evoking spring breezes to a fresh field of flowers, all of these offerings are made for the modern woman. The perfumes come in a charming pastel cosmetic bag that you can bring with you to your travels or give as a gift!
Ralph Lauren Polo is one of those signature fragrances for men that almost never disappoints. It’s a scent your father, a bold and confident man, used to wear, while you wondered when you’ll be of just the right age to sport such a mature scent.
Polo smells like a verdant forest floor on a sunny autumn day – it’s incredibly masculine and perhaps the ultimate definition of a green scent.
The fragrance opens with an earthy blast of herbs and evergreen notes and dries into a mossy and leathery tobacco and vetiver – a melange of notes that are masculine, mature, and self-confident. It’s the perfect scent for adventurous men who love the outdoors!
If you’re looking for a travel size cologne you can bring with you in the most rugged of travels, ulio&jack’s solid cologne collection is worth a try. These sleek, travel-friendly colognes are encased in a sleek slide-top tin, packaged in a gorgeous sliding box, and make for a great gift!
Ulio&jack’s collection is made for travelers. This is evident in their choice of fragrance names, which include Explorer, Aviator, and Drifter. Explorer is the brand’s bestseller, with notes of bergamot, jasmine, Japanese grapefruit, and a hint of peppermint.
Drifter features notes of cardamom, mandarin, sandalwood, and leather, while Aviator contains a unique blend of jade, plum blossom, and oud. Like most solid colognes, ulio&jack’s collection gives off a subtle scent without being too cloying.
On a romantic vacation? You’ll need something to bump up your confidence. Bring a bottle of CHER Eau de Couture and embody the sophisticated confidence and individuality of American singer and iconic legend, Cher.
Known for embodying female autonomy in a male-dominated industry, Eau de Couture is everything you’d imagine the Goddess of Pop to smell like – spicy, sexy, and sensual.
Now in a mini travel-sized matte atomizer, Eau de Couture features notes of jasmine, rose, and orange flower that melt into warm and heady notes of vetiver, sandalwood, and vanilla orchid. A little goes a long way with this one, so spray just enough!
Most solid perfumes offer poor sillage and projection, but not Derek Lam 10 Crosby. These solid colognes have distinctive formulas that users claim to be surprisingly long-lasting.
The Derek Lam 10 Crosby fragrance collection features 10 modern fragrances inspired by moments witnessed and imagined in 10 Crosby Street by American fashion designer Derek Lam. The trusty roll-on application of these solid colognes makes them the perfect travel companion.
This particular scent, 2AM Kiss, features notes of salty caramel and crystallized amber. The perfect mix of sweet and spicy that you can wear every day!