Most men are applying cologne the wrong way.
Knowing how to apply a cologne is an art form which, if not done properly, can lead to either over-application or a scent that fades almost immediately. Since cologne is an afterthought for many men, they spray it on their clothes right before they walk out the door to start their day. This is, unfortunately, the worst way to apply cologne.
What’s more, most men don’t put much effort into choosing their personal scent. If planned properly, a man’s cologne can be an important part of their personal style. A good cologne can make you feel more attractive and confident, which helps you appear that way to those around you.
If fragrance is so important, why are only 36 percent of men wearing cologne on a regular basis? A lack of education may play a large part. If you’re wondering how to properly purchase, apply and store cologne, read on. You can also find our handy infographic below.
One of the fears many men harbor about fragrance revolves around over-application. Most people have known or worked with an individual that wore way too much cologne. In order to avoid being “that guy” you should apply sparingly. You should also apply strategically so that the cologne you put on lasts all day. This is the proper way to apply cologne:
There are a few mistakes men commonly make when applying cologne that can prevent them from getting the most out of their cologne usage. When applying the fragrance you should avoid:
While applying cologne the correct way is important, it’s also important to start with a scent that complements your natural body chemistry and fits your lifestyle in terms of how long the scent lasts.
For example, some colognes (usually the more expensive ones) last longer than others. There are some that start out smelling one way but smell slightly different throughout the day. You can learn which cologne is right for you by educating yourself on the complexities involved with men’s fragrance.
Fragrances are mixtures of different “raw materials” or perfume oils. These “raw materials” can be natural or synthetic and are mixed with a solvent (usually alcohol) to preserve and dilute the scent.
The level of “raw material” in your fragrance will determine the length of time it will last when worn. The most diluted fragrances are the most affordable, but the more concentrated fragrances last longer and have a richer scent. The scent categories are listed below:
While cologne is listed as a scent category, most men’s fragrances are sold in several of these concentration levels. The concentration level is usually indicated on the bottle and the fragrances are often categorized by price.
Fragrances almost always contain three “notes”: a top note, medium note and a base note. When you’re wearing a fragrance it goes through three stages of evaporation. Top notes evaporate first, then the medium notes and then the base notes, so you should take this into consideration when choosing a scent.
As the layers of notes evaporate the scent will change. While this may sound strange, this evolution is actually what makes a scent interesting and attractive. The higher quality fragrance you buy, the more you will notice these changes.
There is an enormous amount of scent types, and the way they blend with your particular skin can vary. It’s best to determine what scents you are initially attracted to and then test them out on your skin. The fragrance color wheel above can give you a good idea of what kinds of scents are available on the market.
Testing a cologne before you buy it is important so that you can see how it will react with your particular skin chemistry. Of course, you will not be able to test more than a few scents on your skin at a time, so there are a few steps you can take to ensure you get to sample a wide variety of scents and choose the one that is right for you.
Remember, you can always decide that you don’t like a certain type of scent after smelling it in person and the store representative should be able to direct you toward another scent based on your preferences.
When applying the cologne to the scent blotters, spray two or three times in a downward motion onto the blotter. Be careful not to get the scent onto your skin just yet and sniff the papers individually until you find a few scents that you really like.
Notice how each smell has developed once it’s had a chance to work with your body chemistry. This will give you a true idea of what each cologne will smell like on you.
Don’t forget, you can also do this from the comfort of your home by ordering fragrance samples online. If you prefer the help of a human attendant to help you pick your fragrance for the first time, you can always order the fragrance online next time at a discounted price.
Cologne does not have an infinite shelf life, and many bottles will have a date on the bottom that indicates its optimal use-by date. To make your cologne last longer, keep it in its original box as light exposure over a period of time can cause fragrances to deteriorate. You can also choose to keep them in a dark drawer or cabinet, but avoid exposing them to direct sunlight if at all possible.
Fluctuations in temperature can also shorten the lifetime of a fragrance. This means that storing them in the bathroom will likely increase their likelihood of spoiling. The fluctuations in temperature and humidity can destroy the molecular integrity of the fragrance. Another place to avoid storing your fragrance is in your car, where temperatures can fluctuate rapidly.
While some colognes naturally have longer shelf lives than others, properly storing the fragrances should allow you to enjoy them for many years.
Now that you know how to pick a fragrance that speaks to your personality and mixes well with your body chemistry, you can enjoy the perks of daily cologne usage. If you apply it correctly and appropriately you may start to notice a boost in confidence and maybe even the occasional compliment. Feel free to try different fragrances in the same scent family to develop a personal scent brand that your friends and family will associate with you from now on.