Ah, cologne. When I was a kid, I remember my Dad slapping on some Old Spice or Brut and calling it a day. Most guys didn’t give so much thought to finding the right fragrance – they wore whatever they saw at the corner drug store, and everyone should consider themselves lucky they even put that on. These days, there are so many choices; it’s easy for even the most cultured gentleman to get confused by all the options on the market. Don’t get stuck wearing the same Musk you’ve been drenching yourself in since you were 14. Here are some quick tips to help you find (and apply) the best scent for you.
Skip certain ingredients
Some ingredients can dry you out, leave you blotchy, or even cause rashes. Avoid benzyl alcohol, acetate or acetone, as they don’t always play well with various types of skin. Going more natural can be better for you. There are a lot of brands out there making cologne without all of the additives, so if you have sensitive skin, take a look at these types.
When to apply your cologne
It’s probably a no-brainer that you wouldn’t want to apply your cologne after a long workout session or a day of heavy manual labor. Cologne isn’t made to mask bad smells, it’s made to enhance a “clean palette,” so to speak. Apply it before you leave for work in the morning, or after you shower at the gym. The scent will last longer and smell better on your body.
Apply cologne strategically
If you are spraying your cologne like a cloud all over your body, you probably aren’t doing it correctly. You’re going for more bang for your buck, not a scorched earth type of policy. A little goes a long way. Dab or spray your cologne on your neck, your jawline, wrists, below your ears, and on your throat. These are all places where your fragrance will stand out better, and if someone’s getting close to you, it’ll probably be near these points on your body. No need to spray it on your ankles, guys.
Know the cologne landscape
There are literally thousands of combinations that result in some great, some interesting, and some funky scents. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know all of those in order to find what works for you – simply understand the basics. Figure out if you like citrusy, woodsy, floral, fruity, spicy, or aquatic (which luckily almost never smells quite like the ocean). These categories are the base scents for most of the colognes on the market. There are certainly other combinations, but these are some of the most popular you’re apt to run into regularly.
Test multiple types of cologne
Don’t get stuck on one type of scent. It doesn’t hurt to have a go-to cologne, but you don’t want to get stuck with only one smell for every occasion. Your date night cologne may differ from your work cologne, for instance. Like most things, a little variety in your fragrances is a plus. Also, keep in mind that your body chemistry makes cologne smell differently from what it’d smell like on someone else, so if you try one type and it isn’t what you’re looking for, try a few more to find what works.
Remember, choosing the perfect cologne for you is totally subjective, so when you find something you like, go with it. Hopefully this guide will help you understand what’s out there and find the scent that works best for your needs. What do you use for your everyday cologne? Do you have multiple colognes for different occasions and – if so – what are they?