Men’s Cologne Guide – How to Wear and Smell Great All The Time
Do you know what could be louder than your voice when you walk into a room? Your cologne. That’s why French fashion designer, Sonia Rykiel said: Perfume makes silence talk.
A lot of people may not know, but the cologne you wear has a voice of its own and says a lot about you. That’s why you should be mindful of the cologne you wear to avoid a misrepresentation of your personality.
There’s more to picking a men’s cologne than its fragrance. The mood it elicits, the personality it creates, the status it represents, where you’ll be wearing it to, etc. These and more are the things you should look out for while choosing a cologne and this men’s cologne guide is written to help you through all that.
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What is a cologne?
Cologne is a perfume originating from Cologne, Germany. The first cologne was originally mixed by an Italian perfume maker, Giovanni Maria Farina in 1709. Colognes consist of 2-5% essential oils and 70-90% alcohol and water. What this means is that all colognes are perfumes but not all perfumes are colognes.
The contemporary usage of this word depicts colognes as perfumes made specially for men.
What is the difference between Cologne and Perfume?
The main difference between perfume and cologne lies in the percentage of alcohol content and essential oils added. The amount of alcohol that’s added will determine if the liquid will be a cologne or a perfume.
Colognes contain more alcohol, which usually ranges between 70-90%, and up to 10% essential oils. Perfumes, on the other hand, have lower alcohol content, stronger scent, and contains up to 40% essential oils.
Colognes are sometimes a less concentrated, and more affordable version of a popular perfume.
While perfumes last longer because they have higher oil concentration, colognes wear off faster. Perfumes could last the whole day and even more, but colognes wear off after a few hours. It is therefore beneficial to know a few tricks such as those shared below on how to make your colognes last longer.
The first trick you need to know is:
Where to Apply Cologne
Your journey to smelling nice doesn’t end at buying the right cologne. There’s more to it such as knowing the right spots to apply your cologne to prolong how long it scents on you.
First thing you need to know about spraying cologne is this: it is best sprayed on your skin and not clothes, because the scent of the cologne is easily lost on the clothes but lasts longer when sprayed on the skin.
Parts of the body to apply cologne are your lower jaw, neck, shoulder, chest, elbow, forearm and wrist. The body temperature of these spots range from hot to medium which makes them the perfect spots for applying your cologne and fragrances, generally.
Please, apply your cologne on only two or three of the earlier stated spots and not on all of them, so you don’t end up smelling too good that you stink. Yes, it’s possible.
Now you know what parts of the body to apply your cologne on, you need to know…
How to Apply Cologne: Get Her to Interact With You More On a Consistent Basis
Colognes are best applied immediately after a shower. Taking a shower washes off the dirt and unwanted oils on your skin and opens your skin pores. Therefore, applying a cologne right after a shower is best because your skin can readily absorb the fragrance of the cologne while it mixes with your natural body oil.
While some people would recommend applying cologne while the body still has some moisture, so the body dries with the cologne on it, others recommend that the body be dried before spraying your cologne on it. Either way is safe, so feel free to experiment and discover which works better for you.
Hold the bottle of cologne 3-6 inches away from your body and spray. Remember those areas we earlier discussed. Those are the areas you should aim for while spraying your cologne.
After applying your cologne, relax for a few seconds to know how it smells on you. If you feel you need more, then re-apply. But do not over do this. The fragrance of some colognes is not easily detected, that is why you may need to spray more than once. However, three or four squirts should be enough.
If it’s a splash cologne, place one finger or your palm over the opening of the bottle of cologne and gently tilt so some cologne rubs off on it then dab on your skin. A splash cologne should not be splashed, although that’s what the name implies.
That’s not all there is to know about how to prolong the scent-life of your cologne. It gets more interesting
Cologne Hacks: 4 Ways to Make your Cologne Scent Longer
Spraying too much cologne doesn’t make it scent longer on the body. It may even make you smell or feel like choking instead. If you want your cologne to scent longer on your body, the following tricks should suffice;
Rub petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, on your pulse point (those points earlier discussed). It makes the scent of the cologne stick to your skin and last longer
Have you observed that your hair absorbs more fragrance than parts of your body? Think of it. The fragrance of your hair cream or hair moisturizer or conditioner usually lasts longer than your cologne and is quickly perceived. You should take advantage of this by spraying some cologne onto your hairbrush before brushing your hair. Your hairbrush, not the hair directly as the alcohol content of the cologne could de-moisturize the hair, making it dry.
Layer the scent
What this means is that you should use more than one cologne or fragrance but apply it in layers. Some brands sell complementary products such as body washes, deodorants, and body cream. They smell similar and could be a good way of layering your cologne. However, you could choose to use different colognes from different brands.
To achieve the required result while layering your cologne, choose three colognes. One will serve as the base note, another as the middle note and the third as the top note.
The top note will be perceived first. So, when choosing, remember it will be your first impression. It will also wear off first so don’t bank on it. Apple and grapefruit scents will be a good first impression to make, what do you think?
The middle notes are perceived after the last layer has worn off. You can’t tell what time the top note will wear off, so you also need to choose a cologne you’ll like to be remembered for.
The base note lasts longest and is the strongest. For men, a wonderful base note would be one with woodsy scent such as sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli or juniper.
Layering the cologne also creates a unique smell.
When applying the cologne to your pulse points, you can try out two or three points today and another two or three spots the next day till you know the spots that keep the scent of the cologne longer, then stick to spraying the cologne on those spots.
When next you apply cologne, try these tricks and see how much difference it makes.
Now you know what to do, you should also know:
6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Applying A Cologne
Spraying the cologne on your cloth
Spraying the cologne on your cloth is a waste because the essential oils of the cologne does not get to mix with your natural oil which is what the cologne needs to emit a unique scent
Combining many colognes
We know we recommended combining more than one cologne to give you a unique fragrance and make the cologne last longer, but this doesn’t mean you should combine in excess. Three is the standard
Rubbing the cologne onto your skin
We understand that you are trying to force the cologne to seep into the pores of your skin by doing so, but you will only succeed in making its scent wear out faster. Next time you are tempted to rub the cologne onto your skin, dab it instead
Applying cologne to cover a bad smell
Gentlemen, colognes cannot take the place of warm bath or properly laundered clothes. That’s why you should take a shower to wash off the dirt on the skin before applying. You will only succeed in annunciating a bad smell by trying to cover it up with a cologne.
Spraying the Cologne into the Air and Walking Through It
This must be the fastest way of wasting your cologne. The probability of the cologne landing on any pulse point is less than 3.5% when you do this, if it will even make contact with any part of your skin. Your cloth may successfully catch some of the cologne, but the rest will be as good as air freshener
Spraying Too Much
If you are not trying to fumigate yourself, why will you spray so much cologne at a time? It’s a cologne, please, not a fumigant and should be applied reasonably. If three to four squirts don’t give you the desired result, then change your cologne to something with a stronger scent.
Additionally, it is not advisable to spray on all the spots earlier recommended for applying colognes as that would equally result to spraying too much.
While spraying your cologne, keep in mind that less is more.
What Your Cologne Says About You
“A perfume should be as imbued with meaning as it is light to wear
– Paco Rabanne.”
You should choose your cologne keeping in mind that your choice of cologne is laden with meanings and reflects your personality.
Fragrances generally fall under one of the following categories: spicy, woody, fresh, floral, fruity and citrusy. Each of these classifications say different things about the personality of the wearer. They may also relay the mood the person was in while buying it as well as things they love.
For example, if you are attracted to scents that smell like dew or ocean or water, it’s likely that you enjoy swimming, surfing, or any water related activity.
On the other hand, men also pick colognes that are reflective of a personality they lack. This serves as a form of compensation and closure.
Fruity and Citrusy
Choosing a cologne with this fragrance could mean you are playful, fun and don’t take things too seriously. Research also reveals that some people are drawn to such fragrances because of their therapeutic benefits. The smell of citruses is known to improve both mood and cognitive performance
Woody Fragrance Cologne
Woody colognes reinforce masculinity. Men who choose them do so to prove their masculinity. For some people, especially men advanced in age, woody colognes bring back memories.
Floral Scented Men’s Cologne
For a man to choose a cologne with a floral fragrance- which is often associated with women– it means he is confident of himself and is not yearning for any form of appraisal to feed his masculinity
Spicy could mean sensual, exotic, and daring.
Factors to consider before investing in Men’s Cologne
If you need long-scenting colognes, go for cologne oils
Yes, you. Do not buy colognes simply because you loved the scent on someone else. Study and understand your body chemistry and skin pH. The cologne which smells nice on your friend or colleague may smell awful on you because your skin pH are not the same and will react differently to colognes
Check the date the cologne should expire before buying. Colognes tend to smell rancid when they expire, you don’t want that smell on you. Synthetic-based colognes expire many years after they are produced, if they expire at all. But natural-based colognes have a life span of about 3-4 years.
So, if you have a cologne that you’ve been keeping for future use now is the best time to use it.
Where will you be wearing the cologne to? What purpose will the cologne serve?
If the answer to the former question is “for a meeting or official gathering,” then a cologne with woody smell will go a long way in presenting you as someone in control or someone that likes to take charge.
If your answer to the second question is “sensual or aphrodisiac” then you need a cologne with a spicy fragrance.
Now you know all these, why don’t you go ahead and pick that cologne you’ve been putting off for the last few weeks. You never know when your crush may pass by and you want to leave a lasting impression of how good you scent on her mind.