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On the staying fresh spectrum, a body spray lands somewhere between deodorant and cologne. To get technical about it, body spray is essentially a super light cologne—to the tune of about 0.5% perfume oil concentrations—in an otherwise water-alcohol mix. Yes, they can help cover up a slight stench, but they don’t go directly on the underarms, nor do they neutralize any odorous bacteria, so they're not exactly deodorants, either.
TL;DR, body sprays are like a post-shower splash, a midday pick-me-up, or a pre-date confidence boost—especially if you’re fragrance-averse. A body spray will wear super light, but it keeps you smelling fresh. (We suggest using a deodorant or antiperspirant, too.) All that being said, some brands blur the lines between all three categories, making high-concentration body sprays, or labeling them as deodorants and antiperspirants. So, while it’s important to know the technical distinction, don’t get too hung up on the execution of it and just find the one that's right for you.
Read on for the best body sprays for men on the market now.
Best Overall: Jack Black Turbo Body Spray
Jack Black’s Turbo Spray is formulated as precisely as a fragrance, with notes of spearmint, eucalyptus, black tea, rosemary, lavender, wood, and palo santo. However, it bears the price of a body spray and pretends to be nothing but—it works terrifically as a boost before a big meeting or a date, without pronouncing itself to the people five tables over. It smells terrific and refreshing.
Best Budget: Axe Body Spray for Men Dark Temptation
Dark Temptation is a little bit spicy, and a lot sweet, blending notes of hot chocolate (hm!), amber, and peppercorn. It’s the finest fragrance of Axe’s all-day-fresh body sprays, and one of the furthest from “this smells like a seventh-grader would wear it." It's also super affordable, making it an easy pick-up when you’re next at the drugstore
Best Drugstore: Old Spice Refresh Body Spray Pure Sport
The citrus-crisp Pure Sport has officially replaced Old Spice’s signature, classic scent—that, or it’s the one that defines the millennial/Gen-Z deodorizing experience. Who hasn’t used the brand’s Pure Spice roll-on stick at some point? So, here it is in a deodorizing body spray, perfect for the post-workout shower boost. And it’s not as polarizing as many other drugstore options, since Old Spice keeps most of its scents in an ageless, universal-appeal territory. Pure Sport is the most universal of them all.
Best Splurge: Tom Ford Oud Wood Body Spray
Tom Ford could own a lot of spots on this list if it were a rundown of the very best body sprays, sans category. And of all its beloved fragrances that have been transitioned into body spray scents, we love Oud Wood best, for its woody-spicy-earthy notes, which deliver come-hither energy directly to your skin. Plus, despite being $75 for 5 ounces, it’s a fraction of the price tag worn by Tom Ford’s 3.4-ounce eau de parfum cologne of the same name. Sure, it won’t project as long or as far, but you’ll still smell incredible for a couple hours.
Best Soothing: Bálla Body Spray
This aloe- and chamomile-packed spray is cooling and calming to the touch, and is technically targeted at your junk and feet (since the Bálla’s signature powder also hits the same spots, to absorb moisture and cool on contact). But this isn’t a powder spray; it’s a traditional body spray with those added refreshing benefits, to keep everything smelling ripe and fresh, just in case you need to make a good impression in that department.
Best Unisex: ck one Body Spray
CK One is one of the most balanced fragrances you can buy, and the brand’s take on body spray is equally harmonious. The scent blends spicy, floral, sweet, citrus, and musk notes together, for a positively uplifting result that's terrific for any pick-me-ups throughout the day. We say, buy the actual fragrance for special occasions, and wear this one around the house or on errands.
Best Natural: Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs & Rosewater
While this product is technically a facial mist, you can spray this natural potion all over your body for a toning, refreshing, soothing sensation. It combines rosewater with aloe gel and seaweed extract—though it smells nothing like seaweed, we promise. Wherever you spray it, a tingling, calming feeling follows. It’s like a shot of caffeine for your skin, and plays especially well on overly-sunned (not yet sunburned) patches.
Best Long-Lasting: Dior Sauvage Very Cool Spray
Nomenclature gets murky here because Dior touts this as an eau de toilette body spray. The truth is, it’s the former, but it still wears as strong and for as long as an eau de toilette, given you’re applying it to bigger swaths of the body. And it smells like a fresher version of the classic, crisp, spicy Sauvage, no less, which merits all kinds of accolades.
Best Antiperspirant: Dove Men+Care Dry Spray Extra Fresh
Foremost an underarm antiperspirant, you can spray this super fresh deodorant on any part of your body that sweats, if you want to mitigate the moisture. Don’t get too crazy with daily all-over applications (after all, it’s derived for your pits), and definitely don’t spray it on your face, but deploy it in those instances where you simply don’t want to arrive someplace with a sweat-drenched back. If you’re avoiding swamp crotch or soggy feet, we suggest using the powder spray below.
Best Powder: Dry Goods Athletic Spray Powder Dry Goods Athletic Spray Powder
This powder spray has one clear task: to prevent moisture from accumulating in your junk drawers and socks. Spray it on after a shower (but dry yourself off fully first), particularly on the days you plan to sweat a bunch (be it before sports, on a hot sunny day, or just from sitting at work for 8 hours). Once it lands on the skin, it dries into a nice powder residue, one that also helps prevent friction and can be applied to the thighs to prevent rubbing and chafing.
If all you need is a post-workout or post-shower boost, opt for the drugstore body sprays like Axe Body Spray for Men Dark Temptation. However, if what you want is something that is almost a fragrance, but a subtle one at that, then the Jack Black Turbo Body Spray and the CK One Body Spray are your best bets—and they don’t cost exorbitant amounts, either.
What to Look For in a Body Spray for Men
Given that body spray means different things to different brands, it’s important to understand exactly what it is you’re buying. Is it something that stops sweat, or masks odor? Is it slightly more concentrated with perfume oils, and thus something closer to a lightweight cologne? Is it a natural, skin-toning face mist that can also refresh the body? Read the label carefully, to understand what it is this product does once applied. No two are the same.
If you’re paying top dollar for a body spray, is it simply because the brand is prestige? Or is it because they are using less alcohol, higher perfume concentrations, and offering a bigger size? You’ve got to weigh all these things against one another, because the prices of body sprays can range from $5 to $100. Also, if you’re buying one from a top-tier fragrance brand, is it worth simply upgrading to their actual eau de toilette or eau de parfum in the same scent, given you’ll use less of it on each application, and thus it’ll actually last longer?
Anything under 3.4 ounces won’t be allowed in your carry-on bag. And anything with aerosol spray must not be flammable if you’re planning to check it or carry it on (regardless of its size). Check for that little flame icon on the backside of the product, and leave it home if it is, in fact, flammable. Many drugstore brands sell their body sprays and spray-on deodorants/antiperspirants in travel-friendly sizes, but again, always double-check whether or not it’s flammable.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Adam Hurly has been covering grooming for nearly eight years. He began working for Birchbox in 2013, then became a freelance writer/editor in 2016. Since then, he has written for GQ, Men’s Journal, Men’s Health, Esquire, Gear Patrol, Bloomberg, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Forbes...and of course, Byrdie.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any body sprays for men from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will evaluate the product ASAP.