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Wearing Your Scentsational Scent | Men's Cologne and Fragrance

Do you have a signature scent?  A scent that is synonymous with your name, which others identify you by?  If so, hopefully, it’s a pleasant experience for everyone, and you’re getting the response you’re looking for.

If you don’t wear cologne, or any other fragrance, and would like to, this article will give you some buying and wearing tips that should get you the compliments and results you’re seeking.

Let me start by saying, not all scents have to come from cologne, which I’m sure you’re aware of.  Aftershaves, soaps, hair products, aromatherapy essential oils and deodorants all have pleasant scents that can stay with us for hours, if not all day.  But, if you want to smell like something other than a bar of soap; men’s cologne is probably what you’re looking for.

Once, primarily a market for women, the men’s cologne industry took off back in the 1970’s and is now huge; giving us options beyond yesterday’s limited Old Spice and Hai Karate (the cologne that came with self defense instructions to fight women off!) colognes.  Not that these aren’t great colognes, but it’s nice to have a large selection to choose from, so we’re not all walking around smelling the same.  However, along with all the possibilities comes a lot of confusion and uncertainty about which cologne or scent to wear.

The price tag may also be a factor in selecting cologne, but there are great colognes in every price range, which means there’s something for everyone.

Wearing a scent is a very personal experience, and is based on the individual.  It’s about body chemistry and personal preference, so what smells good on someone else, won’t necessarily smell good on you.  Checking out the countless fragrances is the best way to find your perfect scent.

Checking out countless fragrances…

sounds intimidating, but it’s really not, and can actually be a lot of fun.  Here are a few suggestions which will make the journey less confusing and a little easier to tackle.

  • Finer department stores always have a men’s cologne section or counter where you can sample the various fragrances.  There will be a sales person there to assist you, who will answer questions and give guidance, if you need it, so don’t panic – you’re not alone!
  • Start by choosing several different colognes, or ask the rep for recommendations of popular fragrances, which you’ll eventually narrow down to ones you like.  NEVER spray or allow the cologne to be sprayed on your person/body, but instead have the sales person apply it to a card (a small piece of paper intended for this purpose), which avoids blending the colognes together; making it possible to identify the individual scents.  Go ahead; smell as many as you want!  Set the cologne cards whose scent you like aside.  If at any time your olfactory system, or sense of smell, is overwhelmed and you can’t make heads or tails of what you’re smelling anymore, take a break and take a walk.  Let the sales person know you’ll be back in a few minutes after your nose clears.
  • Once you’re finished choosing the cologne samples you like, go for a walk, regardless if you’ve already taken one, so your nose can be totally refreshed; enabling you to make a suitable choice.  Then, after clearing your head, have the sales rep spritz your wrists, and the inside of your forearm if you’re interested in several scents, with the potential colognes you’ve chosen.  Try to keep the number of colognes to as few as possible, so you’ll be able to get an honest smell of each.  Too many sprayed on your arm will make it difficult to know which cologne is which because their scents will blend together.  If you’ve chosen a lot, nothing’s wrong with coming back another day with clean wrists.  By the way, it’s also okay to bring a friend along to help you choose.  Women just love this sort of thing!


Ok, assuming you’ve decided on a cologne, or two, let’s talk about cologne etiquette.

How to Wear Cologne

  • Gentleman, here’s possibly the number rule regarding cologne: DO NOT wear it to cover up bad body odor.  A fragrance can only do so much, and expecting it to be a suitable substitute for a good bath or shower is just poor judgment.  That funky stank has a way of surpassing any cologne or fragrance you put on; actually making you smell worse by blending the two scents together.  Just don’t do it – it’s nasty and you’re not fooling anyone.
  • Places men typically apply cologne are the neck and chest, and yes, sometimes even the crotch, if done in moderation.  You can apply cologne and other types of fragrances to your clothes, but be careful, since some products have the potential to stain fabric, especially if it’s oily.  Another way to apply cologne is to spray it in the air, and quickly walk through the mist.  This gives a light application all over, and doesn’t concentrate in one area.
  • When applying cologne, hold the bottle several inches, but no more than about six, away from the area you want the cologne to be on and spray.  Holding the bottle too close will cause the cologne to spray onto just one small area; making it very concentrated and overwhelming.
  • Don’t overdo the amount of cologne or any fragrance you wear.  I don’t care how great it smells, nothing’s worse than being near someone who sucks the air out of the room with their cologne.  You know what I’m talking about… think grandma!  This is especially important at work, where rooms are small, and people sit next to each other in cubicles.
  • If possible, try not to use other products, especially aftershaves, which have strong aromas of their own.  They will compete with the cologne, altering your scent.
  • Often, colognes are used for social events, particularly in the evening, and are not used for everyday activities like work, going to the gym, grocery shopping, etc.  There are no set rules about this; just be practical and use good judgment.


There are many great colognes on the market, which I’ve chosen not to mention by brand name, since my favorites may not be ones that appeal to you.  So, get out to the store and find that perfect, complimentary cologne that will enhance your image and add to your sex appeal!

by Aaron Marino

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