How to Buy Cologne
Buying cologne is an art and a science! It's about figuring out what combinations of smells work best with your specific body odors and style, as well as which fragrances suit your needs best.
Types of Fragrances:
- Splash/Aftershave hovers around 1-3% fragrance concentration.
- Eau de Cologne hovers around 5% fragrance concentration.
- Eau de Toilette hovers around 10% fragrance concentration.
- Eau de Parfum hovers around 15% fragrance concentration.
The higher the fragrance concentration, the stronger and longer-lasting the smell.
Understanding the "Notes":
- Base Notes are the subtle, underlying scents that only kick in after 30 minutes or so. They form the foundation of the fragrance.
- Middle Notes are noticeable within a few minutes and are the "heart" of the fragrance. As the sharper, more prominent Top Notes dissipate, the Middle Notes emerge. They are longest-lasting and blend with the Base Notes.
- Top Notes are the immediately perceived scents - the sharper, brighter, stronger notes that are the initial perception.
Don't buy a fragrance based on the top notes. Instead, spray the cologne and give it a few minutes for the middle notes to come out. You need to give the cologne time to "settle in" so you can smell the actual fragrance, not just the initial scents.
What Cologne is Best 'for You? It's Not Just ONE!
You may have your "signature" scent (the cologne that you've found best embodies the person you want to smell like), but you should consider using a selection of scents—one for each season.
Winter scents tend to be spicier and fuller-bodied with woodsy notes, as the deeper fragrances thrive in cold weather.
Summer scents tend to be lighter, brighter, and heavier on the citrus notes, as these fragrances give a "fresh" appeal in the hot weather.
Did you know you should wear multiple scents throughout the week as well?
- Work scents tend to be stronger, more authoritative, and with heavier woodsy notes.
- Athletic scents tend to be musky and spicy, but with an invigorating acidity in the top notes.
- Manly scents have wood and earth base notes, but with spice and floral top notes for better complexity.
- Social scents are brighter and more attention-getting, but with a complexity of citrus and floral notes that arouses interest.
- Urbanite scents can be more versatile, with lighter wood base notes and brighter (green, citrus, herb) scents for the top and middle notes.
The type of scent you wear to the office, gym, bar, or club can change others' perception of you.
Cologne Buying Tips
- Go small with the brands at times. Don't automatically go for the big-name, celebrity-endorsed brands. You'd be surprised by how much better the small-brand colognes can be.
- Remember KISS as your motto: Keep It Simple, Stupid! You don't need a complicated, complex fragrance with dozens of layers. Stick with recognizable scents (fig, lavender, or citrus) with simple woodsy or earthy base notes. Find a cologne with a short ingredients list for a simple, versatile fragrance.
- Experiment, experiment, experiment. Don't expect to wear one scent for the rest of your life. Try new scents to find a variety that work for you, and consider changing up your signature scent once every few years. Your style of clothing, food preferences, lifestyle, and hobbies may change—your fragrance should change with them.
- Buy ONLY legit products. Knock-offs and imitations have a shorter scent lifespan than proper colognes. There are also slight differences in the scent profile, so a cheaper imitation will never be as good as the real deal.
Faveable ONLY links to authentic products, ensuring that you get the high quality brand name colognes. Best of all, we send you to the places where you can find them at a lower price than you'd pay at department stores.
How and Where to Apply Cologne
The ignorant have one rule of applying cologne: put on A LOT and EVERYWHERE! After all, dousing yourself in cologne should keep you smelling nice all day long, right?
Oh, so many types of wrong! When it comes to cologne, there are three rules to remember:
- Less is more. Repeat that a dozen times before applying cologne. Your cologne should be appreciated, not overwhelming. Too much cologne (especially a high fragrance concentration) can turn people's noses and stomach. A few spritzes are more than enough.
- Apply bottom to top. Start with your wrists, then move up to your neck and behind your ears. Just one spritz at each pulse point (point where the blood vessels are near the skin) is more than enough to do the job.
- Just one will do! One spritz per pulse point is enough to do the trick. Give it 30 minutes for the base notes to come out, and you'll find you smell beautiful without overdoing it.
Bonus: Be wary of your deodorant. If you use a strong-scented deodorant AND cologne, the two scents could clash. If you're going to wear strong cologne, stick with a mild deodorant.
You may see people doing the "spray and walk through" method of applying cologne. It's a foolish way to do it and a waste of cologne! You want the particles to cling to your skin, not your clothing. Applying directly (either spraying or dabbing) to the pulse points is the best way to ensure maximum fragrance absorption. The "spray and walk through" method just spreads the particles in the air and reduces the concentration of the fragrance. (Remember, the fragrance particles are oxidized and broken down once exposed to oxygen. Spray close to your neck to apply the fragrance before oxidation.)
How to Make Your Cologne Last Longer
- Use less per application. A couple of spritzes are all you need to smell nice.
- Place tissue paper in your drawers and spray it with cologne. The fragrance will be absorbed into your clothes, making you smell good throughout the day.
- Store in a cool, dry place. Humidity, light, and heat will cause the cologne to break down, reducing its quality.
- Spray after showering. Your skin will absorb the fragrance with the moisture, leading to longer-lasting smells.
- Apply Vaseline or an unscented lotion to your pulse points before spraying. The Vaseline/lotion will make the fragrance last longer.
- DO NOT rub your wrists after spraying. Friction degrades and alters the smell.
- Spray cotton swabs with your perfume and place them in a sealable plastic bag in your bag or briefcase. Use the swabs for fragrance touch-ups throughout the day.
How to Attract Women Using Cologne
There's no "one size fits all" approach to finding the most attractive cologne. It's all about experimenting with the different options to find the one that suits your unique body odors best. Here are some tips to help you out:
Find the Manly Scents – According to the research collected by the consumer science division at International Flavors & Fragrances, women tend to find musky, masculine scents (vanilla, spice, musk, sandalwood, rosewood, or citrus) more attractive than floral notes. However, every woman has their own preference of cologne. Though, the majority of the "sexy" scents for men emphasize musky, woodsy, and earthy notes, mixed with deeper scents like licorice, anise, chocolate, and nuts.
Rotate Colognes – Women may grow tired of the same smell over and over. Consider rotating your colognes seasonally, or change up every few years.
Don't Overdo It – If the fragrance hangs around you in a thick cloud, you're going to make women cough, not find you appealing. A hint of an appealing fragrance will pique her interest; too much will assault her senses.
Be Prepared to Spend More – A cheap bottle of cologne will give off "cheap" smells and will have a shorter lifespan. Consider spending upwards of $50 on a high quality cologne that combines an appealing smell and longer-lasting fragrance.
Stick with the Basics – There are five basic scents that all women can identify as "attractive": lime, vanilla, peppermint, leather, and musk. When in doubt, go for a fragrance that utilizes one of these scents to great effect.