From a young age, all of the cologne advertisements have been telling us that smelling nice will get you all the ladies. As an adult, I can tell you there’s definitely some truth in those marketing strategies.
A hint of that wooden or spicy smell as you walk by can make heads turn. And whether or not people are suffocating from all the “masculine” fragrance you’re giving off is also something to consider.
That’s why it’s so important to pick the right cologne and apply it properly. And we’re here to help you with that.
Types of Fragrances
Before buying a cologne, you need to be familiar with the marketed fragrance terms. It can be very easy to get confused with all of the fancy names out there.
Most people think perfume is catered for women, and cologne for men, but they’re essentially the same thing. That, my friend, is not true. There’s a huge difference in each type of fragrance, based on their strength. Here are a bunch of terms and their explanations that will help you understand what you’re looking at.
Eau de Fraiche
These are the most diluted fragrances, with 1-3% perfume oil. The rest is alcohol and water, which means they’re not very long-lasting or powerful. In fact, this difficult to pronounce fragrance is probably only going to last you an hour or less.
Eau de Cologne
Cologne is the broader term used for male fragrances in the market. But in reality, it’s just a category. These have 2-4% actual perfume and last around two hours.
Eau de Toilette
Also called Toilette in some bottles, these are more powerful scents and contain 5-15% pure perfume essence. They’re stronger than cologne and last up to three hours. You’ll usually find these packed in spray bottles.
Perfume is the oldest term in the market, used mostly for genderless fragrances. Nowadays, it contains 15-20% pure perfume essence and can last for around five to eight hours. Perfume is also sometimes labeled as Eau de Perfume.
This sounds similar to perfume, but its composition is pretty different. This is the strongest fragrance, containing 20-30% pure perfume. These are pretty intense scents and can last up to 24 hours.
Cologne Notes and What They Mean
The really cool part about colognes and perfumes is that they’re a mixture of notes. Each of these notes has different smells that appear over time. But the notes are selected in such a way that they work well together.
This may sound like magic, but there’s a lot of science and evaporation knowledge involved. Here’s a guide that will help you understand the concept better.
Top notes are the first fragrance that hit your nose. They’ll basically be your first impression of the cologne. Top notes tend to be a lighter hint of the fragrance you chose. They also evaporate the fastest, lasting around fifteen minutes.
Middle notes come out when the top notes evaporate completely. This is the main part of the cologne and can also be called the medium or heart notes. These notes are much heavier and contain the main fragrances being marketed.
Base notes are bolder than the others and are the last notes to show up. These notes work well with the middle notes and are completely set in with your body temperature. The fragrance of your base note is what you’ll smell like at the end of the day.
Choosing the Perfect Cologne
Picking the right cologne has a lot to do with biochemistry. The perfume oils mix with your natural oils, giving the cologne its true fragrance. This basically means that colognes don’t work the same way on everybody’s skin.
That’s why you should always test it out at the shop before making a purchase. And no, it shouldn’t be a rushed two-minute test either. Apply some on your wrist and walk around for at least 30 minutes before deciding. Take a second opinion as well. And, of course, read the information on the bottle!
If you’re confused or don’t have a lot of time, you could always buy a smaller bottle first. As for the price, with fragrances, the more expensive ones are usually better in terms of quality and duration but don’t just stick to well-known brands. Try exploring smaller brands, too, because you never know when you’ll find the perfect match!
The Right Way to Wear Cologne
We all love cologne, but how many of us actually apply it properly? Doing it the right way can make all the difference, making you smell nice for a longer period of time.
The perfect time to put cologne on is right after a hot shower. Of course, you can put it on other times as well, but make sure it’s applied directly to dry, moisturized skin.
You don’t want to douse yourself in the whole bottle either, no do you need to. Simply giving a light spray from a distance of three to six inches away will do the trick.
An age-old hack for a long-lasting scent is to dab a little lotion or cream on your pulse points first. These are the places where heat radiates the most, like on the inside of your wrist, on the base of your neck, and behind your ears.
What Not to do with Cologne
Do not spray the cologne on your clothes. Also, don’t bother spraying it into the air and walking through it. Good cologne needs to be in contact with your skin to work. Once you know your pulse points, don’t spray them together. This is a sure-fire way of overdoing it.
Never splash or rub your cologne either. If it’s not a spray system, simply press a finger on the cologne bottle, while tipping it gently, then dab it onto your pulse points. Don’t rub your wrists together, either because it will ruin the delicate composition of the notes. Once you dab it on your pulse points, you can continue on with your day.
Cologne has existed for centuries, and it is a vital part of any man’s getting ready routine. And it’s safe to say that the perfect cologne will definitely make you a hit among the ladies.
Finding a signature scent takes time, so don’t fuss about that. Your preferences might change with the seasons, your lifestyle, and even with what activity you are doing.
The key is to try different colognes out and see what fits with your taste, skin, and personality. Just make sure you choose wisely and apply it the right way.
So, use the information you just learned and go on the hunt for the cologne of your dreams!