Did you know that smell is the most developed sense?
Wearing cologne correctly can make a great first impression, but applying it is NOT spritzing some drops on your clothes before you go to work, it’s a lot more.
In this article I’ll show you how to apply cologne like a champ.
Perfume, Eau De Parfum, Or Cologne?
Do you get a little lost when shopping for fragrances?
Don’t worry, after reading this section you’ll know exactly what each fragrance is.
Firstly, it’s important that you understand the different types of fragrances.
Knowing the differences will help you with buying the right fragrance for your needs or wearing the perfect fragrance for a specific event.
Fragrances are essentially perfume oils diluted in water and alcohol.
The different types differ by the concentration of oils and alcohol. This is what determines how strong the scent will be, and how long it will last.
And I know that this is a common misconception, but the title has nothing to do with who’s the fragrance is for.
For example, perfumes are not only for women.
Perfume: The most concentrated fragrance. Perfumes usually have around 20%-30% perfume oils (that’s a lot!). Perfumes can last for up to 24 hours and usually the most expensive fragrance.
Eau de Parfum. These products contain between 15 and 20 percent of perfume oils. They are mixed with alcohol. The scent can last as long as eight hours.
Eau de Toilette. These fragrances typically last for three hours and contain between 5 and 15 percent of pure perfume oil which is mixed with alcohol.
Eau de Cologne. These fragrances only contain 2 to 4 percent of perfume oils. Colognes usually last for two hours.
Eau Fraiche. This is the lightest fragrance you can find (The translation from French is ‘Fresh Water’). With 1 to 3 percent of perfume oils. It lasts for about 1-2 hours. This fragrance doesn’t contain alcohol like the other fragrances, instead it’s mixed with purified water.
A Primer on Notes
The notes make up a fragrance and each note has a purpose.
A quality fragrance will go through an entire lifecycle as new notes become noticeable.
The top note is the most noticeable one when you first apply the cologne.
Most colognes for men have a top note that evokes citrus or spices.
The middle note becomes noticeable after a few hours.
Spicy, fruity and green scents are common for men’s cologne.
The last note is the base note. It can take up to five hours for it to become noticeable. It is typically wooded or balsamic but musk is another common note.
The top and medium notes are the most noticeable ones with most colognes.
This is the reason why you shouldn’t try a cologne and buy it right away. You need to give the notes time to become noticeable.
It is actually best to use a display bottle to spray a little bit of cologne on your wrist or on a paper strip.
You can then keep track of how the fragrance changes and get an idea of how long it lasts before deciding if you want to purchase this cologne.
How to Apply Cologne
Applying cologne correctly is something you need to learn. It’s very easy once you know the dos and don’ts.
Where to Apply Cologne?
There are two rules to follow:
1. The first rule of applying cologne is to apply the fragrance directly on your skin.
A common mistake is applying cologne on clothes, fragrances are meant to interact with your skin natural oils. They will last longer as well.
2. The second rule is applying your fragrance in the areas that generate the most heat. Your body’s heat will naturally make the scent more noticeable and the cologne will mask your body odor. These areas are commonly known as ‘pulse points’:
My Tip is to start light. I would recommend to spray the cologne on your chest once to get an idea of how strong it is and how it mixes with your natural body odor.
As you get more familiar and comfortable with it, then you can use more depending on your taste and feel.
As a rule of thumb, don’t overdo it and limit application to two areas at a time.
When to Apply Cologne?
The best time to apply cologne is when you get out of the shower. Your skin is clean, and your pores are open and the cologne will be absorbed better. If you’re using scented soaps or gels, make sure they don’t interfere with the scent of the cologne.
Re-apply the cologne as needed throughout the day, but avoid applying when you’re sweaty, you probably won’t get the result you hope for.
Making the Scent Last
You can make the scent of your cologne last by hydrating your skin before applying the fragrance. I always give my skin a few minutes to absorb the moisturizer before applying cologne.
You can also experiment with layering different colognes.
It’s a good way to create a lasting scent.
If you decide to give it a try, choose two colognes that mix well together and remember that the fragrance you apply first will be your base layer and last longer while the second fragrance will work as your top layer.
While we’re at it, keep in mind that the scent can collide with other products you use, for example, your deodorant, or in case you’re sporting a beard, your beard balm or oil.
Make sure they mix well together with your cologne. (You can get unscented versions if they don’t).
How to Store Cologne
A quality cologne will typically last between two and three years. You can usually tell when a fragrance has gone bad because the smell won’t be pleasant or because the cologne will look darker or discolored.
If you want your cologne to have a long shelf life you need to store it in the right places.
I recommend keeping your colognes in cool and dark spots.
Finally, avoid storing your colognes in hot and humid places, like the bathroom.