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Behind the brand: Axe – the world’s No.1 men’s fragrance brand


How Axe became a global bestseller and the new G.O.A.T. of male grooming for Generation Z everywhere.

A billboard in Times Square, New York City, advertising Axe Blue Lavender anti perspirant

How it started

It’s three decades since Axe launched in a male grooming market that looked very different from the one we know today.

Young men in the 70s and early 80s had two choices: cologne or deodorant. Both posed a problem. Aftershaves tended to be overpowering and not particularly long-lasting. Deodorants were considered bland.

Axe saw that gap in the market and responded, creating a revolutionary new spray that combined an effective deodorant with a high-quality fragrance.

On 6 June 1983, Axe debuted in three classically masculine variants – Musk, Amber and Spice. The first country it reached was France – the nation where the world’s finest perfumers train and the European capital of scent design and trade. Positioned as ‘the first eau de toilette for men’, it was a fitting beginning to what would become one of the best-known brands in history.

Axe soon reached other European markets including the UK, where it’s famously known as Lynx. Body sprays were the first products to land, followed by antiperspirants and deodorant sticks. Shower gels followed in 1987.

In 2002, Axe hit the US, shaking up the male grooming category to offer products with personality and attraction at their core, as well as functional deodorant benefits.

Three cans of Axe eau de toilette deodorant from the brand’s launch in France in 1983. Fragrances featured are Ambre, Musk and Boise.

How it’s going

Axe is now the world’s No.1 men’s fragrance brand,* worn by men in more than 90 countries across the globe. It’s an expert in male grooming and has been helping young guys feel confident and attractive for as long as any of them can remember.

Axe’s biggest market is the US, where its bestselling product is Axe Apollo body spray. The UK, where Axe is known as Lynx, is the second biggest, with Lynx Africa the country’s most popular male fragrance. Germany, Mexico and France make up the rest of Axe’s top five markets.

In 2021, Axe relaunched its core range globally, upgrading its body sprays and reimagining its Axe Effect campaign to reinforce the perception that attraction is for everyone and between anyone. If you’re into it and they’re into it, Axe is into it too.

Now, in 2023, Axe is redefining the world of luxury scents with the release of its Fine Fragrance collection across the US and Europe.

The set of body sprays was developed in partnership with Ann Gottlieb, one of the world’s top perfumers and the expert behind signature scents for a host of luxury brands. The collection comes in five scents, Blue Lavender, Aqua Bergamot, Green Geranium, Golden Mango and Pure Coconut, and it’s already making waves. Grooming experts named Axe Fine Fragrances Collection Blue Lavender Body Spray in the Men’s Health’s list of 20 Best Colognes for Men in 2023.

A flatlay photo with a can of Axe Blue Lavender fine fragrance deodorant spray in the centre. Also pictured are sunglasses, a Nintendo controller, a razor and a spray of lavender.

The purpose that powers it

Axe has always had the back of its users and the brand’s purpose is simple: give young guys an attraction power-up.

Axe believes in inclusivity, mutuality and progress, all while adding a touch of humour to everything it does – and these values underpin every new product, every ad and every brand partnership.

A photo from an Axe advertising campaign featuring a young Black guy with spectacles. Text reads ‘Smell irresistible all day”

Brand new ideas

  1. Fragrance expertise

    Quality fragrances and constant innovation are at the heart of Axe’s enduring appeal. Fragrance is the key ingredient in Axe.

    Every scent and every variation is tested rigorously. Axe products are crafted by the world’s leading perfumers – Givaudan and Firmenich. The brand spends millions sourcing the highest quality ingredients from across the globe to get the combinations just right, creating premium scents without designer price points.

    In the UK, Lynx Africa is known as the G.O.A.T. male fragrance in the market – the ‘greatest of all time’ – and has sold over 400 million units since hitting the shelves.

    The new Fine Fragrance Collection redefines what it means to be premium, and in blind tests 7 out of 10 men said they’d replace the scent of their current cologne with their favourite of the tested Axe fragrances. This new range is fresher, lighter and more modern than anything the brand has created before and features an eclectic range of scent profiles.

    A can of Lynx Africa antiperspirant deodorant. Text reads “Greatest of All Time: The G.O.A.T of fragrance”
  2. Science and technology

    With 80% of Gen Z guys worrying about body odour, Axe is at the forefront of driving product innovation to ensure they can smell fresh everywhere no matter the conditions – and the only real way to smell irresistibly good all day is by offering high-end scents that also eliminate odour. The job of a deodorant or body spray sounds simple, but in reality it’s a mammoth task. That’s why Axe’s formulation processes involve serious scientific research and pioneering new discoveries. But it’s not all lab work. Fragrances are designed to feel and smell great too – the formula for confidence.

    Drawing on 40 years of body spray research experience, Axe scientists added odour-busting zinc technology to Axe body sprays. This targets the root causes of body odour and absorbs odour molecules to ensure fragrance can shine through while keeping the user smelling fresh.

    And that’s not all. Axe body sprays are formulated with an aluminum-free formula that is easy on the skin, tough on odour and instantly refreshing.

    A man applies Axe deodorant to his underarms. A beam of light appears behind him.
  3. A brand with a bold personality

    Axe is known for its bold, irreverent and humorous nature. Its campaigns and advertisements are unapologetic, often taking risks and pushing boundaries. Axe uses cheekiness and wit to attract the attention of young guys and encourage men to not to take themselves too seriously.

    A man and woman embrace in an Axe commercial.

Iconic ads


Axe/Lynx world’s no. 1 men’s fragrance brand: Source: Euromonitor International Limited; Men’s deodorant & Men’s fragrances retail value sales combined; 2021 data, includes all Axe/Lynx sales.

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