When it comes to choosing the right men’s cologne, one should understand that it’s very similar to buying a new pair of shoes or buying suits; the cologne should “fit” you as well as the occasion you’re going to wear it on. It’s not just a marketing stunt because there is such a thing as aromatherapy. Different scents trigger different brain responses, and if you wear a musky, sexy, warm scent in office, your female co-workers may find it a bit hard to deal with you professionally--- then again, that can’t be too bad, at all. Still, if you want to smell like a really sophisticated person you should read on.
Do not use the same cologne you’ve used when you were younger
This is not just a rite-of-passage sort of thing. It has a true scientific basis. As you grow, your body chemistry changes and a cologne that smelled good on you back when you were 16 will not necessarily smell that good now that you’re 32. And besides, how many men are able to develop a decent amount of sophistication during their teenage years?
Do not buy a cologne because it smells good on other people
Again, this has something to do with body chemistry. Just because a scent is the latest fad doesn’t mean you should be wearing it, too. As the cologne mixes with your sweat and natural body odor, it results in a subtly unique scent that may either be a good or a bad one depending on the fragrance you choose. So, don’t go jumping into bandwagons or wear cologne that you got as a gift. Instead, use the one that you picked for yourself.
Do not stick with one fragrance
On the average, men must have at least three scents: one for use during the day, office and casual events, one for special occasions and evenings, and one for date nights. Citrus and other light scents are great for daily use at work. Heavier earthen scents, on the other hand, are best for those romantic evenings and other night outs.
How to choose your cologne
Types of scent
Cologne scents are described according to the natural scents they approximate. Citrusy ones have a hint of fruit such as lemon or orange while fruity ones are those that smell like non-citric fruits such as melons and strawberries; the earthen type are more like the smell of moss and soil; and florals are as fragrant as flowers such as roses or lilies. Spicy scents are the sort that “stings” like cinnamon, myrrh and pepper; the woody type smells like fresh-cut wood; while musk approximates animal odors.
Some scents such as fruity and floral have been tagged as feminine while spicy and musky scents masculine. However, high-end colognes produce scents that transcend gender boundaries. There are even women who would deliberately choose to wear men’s cologne because they like its smell on their skin. The point is, whether or not you choose a type of scent should not be infuenced by your gender prejudices. Even the girliest scents may smell manly if one would only explore them with an open mind.
Take advantage of scent strip samples
Cologne on a card or a paper will smell differently from a cologne that has dried on your skin. Still, scent strip samples do have their use because spraying 20 different scents on your left and right forearms will make you look silly and the entire exercise, utterly useless. Once you hit the stores, use these strip samples to weed out the bug and pepper spray from the lot. If you can, narrow down your choices to at least four.
Take your time
Buying cologne in a hurry is not recommended because it takes time before its scent settles on your skin and mix with your own. This is because colognes and perfumes alike undergo three stages called “notes” where the scent transforms into a slightly different one as time passes by. The top note is the most apparent and is what you’ll initially smell when you first applied the cologne. The middle note manifests after 20 minutes to one hour while the base or bottom note is the most long lasting scent that a cologne leaves. This doesn’t mean that one should linger about the store premises for five hours waiting for the bottom note to reveal itself. Just give the cologne about 5-10 minutes to settle.
Take “coffee” breaks in between
Chances are, your nose will have been bombarded by different fragrances by the time you narrow down your choices to four giving it a numb sensation. Coffee has been known to refresh your sense of smell, so whenever you feel the need for an olfactory reboot, get your dose of the fine brew.