Here’s a fact: The most common compliment I’ve ever gotten when I’ve just met a girl is “Oh wow, you smell nice.”
Sure, it’s nice to hear but I’ll let you in on a secret: my smell has never been accidental.
Au contraire, it’s the product of endless experimentation with fragrances, studying cologne reviews in depth, and making very careful use of my favorites.
I’m a true believer that proper use of cologne is as important for your style as choosing the right pair of shoes or perfecting your Personal Style Profile.
And after a lot of trial and error, it’s become an obsession of mine to always smell incredible. Fortunately, you can smell just as good—even if you’re not quite as passionate about it as I am.
Here are the three most important things to consider when applying your cologne.
The Best Way to Wear Cologne
1. Know What You’re Using
There are, mainly, four kinds of mixtures you’ll find when buying colognes.
Each defines that fragrance’s concentration and strength, in turn meaning you can somewhat accurately predict how much of it you’ll need and how long will it take to wear off. Here’s the list, from lightest to strongest:
- Eau de Cologne
- Eau de Toilette
- Eau de Parfum
The stronger the cologne, the longer it will last and the less you have to use per spritz. While Parfum will last all day, an Eau de Cologne might need a refill during the day.
So keep that in mind when putting it on. This leads me, in the smoothest of transitions (just let me have it, ok?), to the next pointer.
2. Your Fragrance Has to be Discovered, Not Announced
Nothing is more off-putting than the pungent smell of someone who used way too much cologne.
Regarding the little insight on my personal life I gave at the beginning, all those compliments had one thing in common: the girl was pleasantly surprised when she found out that I actually smell great.
The best way to wear cologne is to make sure you don’t over do it—there’s no need to spray your whole body 15 times to get the smell to stick. Just a few spritzes in the right places and you’re set. These spots are called “pulse points” and they are where blood flows heavily. These spots heat up and let the fragrance dissipate better.
The best way to make sure you’re not using too much is to adhere to the three-shot strategy. One on the right side of the neck, one on the left, and one on the wrist, then pat it with the other wrist. (It’s important to pat them together, not rub; rubbing makes the fragrance lose strength.)
Also, remember to spritz it on your skin, not your clothes; the oil might stain and you do not want to try and get that off.
3. You Have to Switch it Up
Let the Scenario Inform Your Scent
Would you wear the same shirt everyday for the rest of your life? The same shoes? The same sweater? (Ed. Note: I hope not!)
The same applies to cologne—different fragrances are meant for different things. That’s why it’s important to switch it up and keep it interesting.
For example, one of my all-time favorite colognes is Paco Rabanne’s One Million. It sits great on me and I love the smell, but I won’t use it every single time I go out. It is a stronger, more elegant scent that’s meant for equally elegant attire.
Matching the fragrance with your lifestyle, your personality and your outfit is part of smelling amazing.
In Dave’s review of Hawthorne’s cologne, he points out that Hawthorne provides guys with two variations, which they call “Work” and “Play.” I love that. It’s important to recognize that sometimes you have to mix it up – even in the same day!
So, have a few different colognes that you like and fit them around what you’re going for with your outfit.
Cologne is amazing and it’s a perfect way to get an edge over other guys who don’t know how to wear it properly.
However, it is not a replacement for regular showering—the best way to wear cologne is as a supplement to good hygiene, not a replacement for it.
Putting cologne over an bad-smelling body will only make it worse. So, take a shower, follow the above pointers and go out, meet people and rack up those compliments.
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