Well first of all Welcome to basenotes!
By researching fragrances you have already made a greater effort than most other people do and the list with your sample certainly is a pretty good start.
Many BNs have started their cologne journey because of the ladies but for most of them this great hobby has developed such an automotive that they now mostly wear it for themselves in the first place.
Anyway, this being said, your reaction to the Guerlain fragrance is coherent, Guerlain is not as easy to appreciate as other designer fragrances, same probably applies to the M7, however the Sean John and Aqua di Gio should do your intentions justice regarding the effect you are looking for and they are "easier to like".
just one more tip, dont give up in the other samples right after the first sniff!
The sensitivity of the nose is increasing by the times you awaringly use the sense of smell and you might end up liking those "50-y-o-frags/teacher-stuff" more than you would imagine right now.