I got into fragrances around 2004 or so and I think at the time very sweet gourmands and citruses were popular. I was basically just buying what people were telling me was good and then I was pretty happy with just having colognes that got female compliments.
However over the course of 8 or so years I have been searching more and more stuff that I liked personally whether or not it got compliments. I have found that I really like more animalic...raunchy stuff and very gentlemanly fragrances like Pour Monsieur or similar ones.
I'm still exploring.