By Anthony Galasso
Have you ever been enjoying yourself at a gathering or bar when suddenly a fellow male passes by, wafting in a pungent trail of overly musky cologne? It’s overkill, and it kills the mood, right?
I know many of us have experienced this at one point or another, and if not, then sadly, you may be the culprit at hand. Here’s a helpful guide to effectively wearing cologne. Every man should know because, after all, the way you smell is the best way to make great first impressions.
HOW MUCH COLOGNE SHOULD I APPLY? WHERE SHOULD I APPLY IT?
This is probably obvious, but the number one rule is not to marinate in your cologne. Dousing your body in fragrance could actually do more harm than good for your sultry personal appearance. The goal here is to apply the appropriate amount of cologne without driving friends, family, strangers or potential love interests away. And, let’s be honest, it’s that last one that matters most.
There are a couple of key areas called “pulse points” that a man should hit while applying his cologne. Generally speaking, your chest, mainly around the base of your throat, is the best place to apply fragrance. This allows the cologne to mingle with your own natural odors and pheromones, creating something distinctly you. Additionally, a dab of cologne under each ear will surely grab the attention of a hot date leaning close. Some men may even apply cologne to their wrists, just remember not to rub the cologne into your skin as the friction will break down the molecules causing the fragrance to dissipate quicker.
Another aspect to be mindful of while applying cologne is the type of skin you have. Fragrances tend to cling to men with oily skin complexions longer than those with drier skin, which soaks up the scent. Therefore, if you have dry skin, feel free to apply a little extra cologne remembering not to drown yourself in it.
WHEN SHOULD I PUT ON MY COLOGNE?
Applying your cologne immediately after a nice, hot shower will maximize your efforts. After a hot shower, your pores will open, capturing the scents of your cologne. This will help keep you smelling great all day, whereas applying cologne to dirty, unshowered skin will run you the risk of smelling like a middle school locker room. And nobody wants to relive that era all over again.
Also, while we’re on the topic, it’s worth mentioning that combining the scent of your cologne with strong scented soaps, deodorants and body washes like Axe or Tag are not recommended. The strong fragrances of these hygienic necessities will either completely cover up that fine cologne you’re using or alter the scent of your cologne altogether, making it rather pointless. A fragrance-free or light-scented soap, deodorant or body wash is recommended in order to allow your cologne to work with you rather than against you.
WHAT TYPES OF COLOGNES ARE THERE?
There are many different types of cologne. One mistake a lot of men make is sticking to one particular scent — a “signature” scent, if you will — all year. However, your scent should actually change throughout the year, particularly with the seasons. A light, citrusy scent won’t thrive during cold weather, therefore it’s best left for warmer, spring or summer-esque weather. Similarly, full-bodied spicy or woodsy fragrances during warm weather could be overpowering and are best left for the fall or winter months.
It’s also worth noting that the cologne you wear to the office may not always be the best cologne to wear to a night club or lounge. If your goal is to simply wear a single scent on a daily basis, shoot for a more uniform fragrance that fits your own personal style. AskMen.com has a great list of cologne types fitted for specific lifestyles.
ANYTHING ELSE FOR ME?
Of course! Lastly, remember to be mindful of what you’re putting in your body. Drinking, smoking and eating certain foods can have a negative impact on your scent. For instance, if you’re heading out on a date, it may not be the best idea to gorge on fried chicken and french fries while pounding beers and smoking cigarettes. Spicy foods such as Indian or Thai as well as garlicky foods may not be the best idea either. These substances can mix with your cologne as you perspire throughout the night, making it pretty difficult to keep the date moving forward, guarantee a second date or seal the deal for the night.
In essence, colognes are like fine whiskeys. There’s a varied selection of great colognes, each with their own distinct sensory profile. Not every scent is going to be suited to your own personal style, so what’s important is to pick out a couple of great smelling colognes, preferably a light one and a full-bodied one, that will help to establish you as your own man. Try a few different samples, see how it mingles with your natural odors and enjoy.
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