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Niche and Designer | Men's Cologne and Fragrance

First off, let me say I have the utmost respect for IAmAlphaM's Aaron Marino, which had an awesome take in Chance White's article "Tickle Her Scentsibilities" on colognes.  I just want to take the subject one step further.

Yes, I am a cologne fanatic.  I always stop by the fragrance counter and see what's new. Further, I am always researching what's coming out and assessing whether it's worth the money.  I am just an average Joe when spending money, so I spend wisely and not on junk.

I am going to echo exactly what White said: make sure to test all fragrances on your skin to make sure you don't get a funky smell, as well as give the fragrance a few wearings before you buy a bottle. I have a few bottles that I bought on impulse which I subsequently gave to my kids (they are in high school – not little kids; plus if they were little their mom would kill me. LOL!).

What I recommend is having  your significant other or someone within your age group go with you so they can smell the cologne on your skin.  I normally smell the fragrance at least 3 different times:

  1. once on the initial spay
  2. once in about 2 hours
  3. and then the last time in 4 hours, so you can get the top, middle, and base of the fragrance.


I warn you – only try two colognes at a time or you will become **that guy** in 2.2 seconds. Trust me! One time I had 6 fragrances on me, and people walked by covering their noses! The more you add doesn't always equal better. So, please practice restraint.

Two markets for colognes are available, which some people will know, some won't, and some don't care.  But, hey, if you made it this far here is a quick rundown of the two fragrance categories.

Niche vs. Designer

  • A niche costs a bit more but the ingredients are quality, including the oils. Most of the time the quality ingredients are optimal  for folks that get headaches from fragrances.  Most designers use chemicals, which normally cause a lot of headaches.
  • A designer is a cheaper fragrance that uses synthetic materials that really can do a great job, but as I said before, for some people it can give them headaches.


Niche fragrance get noticed more frequently than a standard designer. Additionally, it would be safe to say if you're wearing a niche, you are about in the top 15 percent of smelling unique.  Most people have no idea about niche, but I will say some price points really hurt- this is going to be really up to you.

Test some of the niche fragrances at Barneys, Neiman Marcus or Saks 5th Ave.  Ask for samples, which will at least give you a few wearings.  Most of the fragrances will last at least 6 hours plus.  I will stress – do not, I repeat, do not blind buy any niche fragrances without testing.

Here are some great fragrances from both sides.  These fragrances are the easiest on the nose, as well are people pleasers and compliment grabbers:


  • Summer/Spring: Creed – Millesime Imperial, Bond Wall Street, Heeley Sel Marin 
  • Fall/Winter: Creed – Original Santal, Tom Ford - Tobacco Vanille, Creed – Aventus



  • Summer/Spring: Yves Saint Laurent, Dior Homme Sport, Allure Homme Sport 
  • Fall/Winter: Burberry London, Givenchy Play Intense, Chanel Allure, Yves Saint Laurent La Nuit


by Tim

Past Topics

New Topics Added Weekly!
Tickle Her Scentsabilities | Men's Cologne and Fragrance -
December 26, 2011
As a guy who by profession is a purveyor of men’s fragrances, I have to tell you that I am always amazed by how little many men know about one of the most potentially lethal additions to one’s skirt chasing arsenal – a great scent. Women are complex beasts, as you well know, and when wading out into the brutal world of dating and relationships, the better armed you are, the better, and trustRead More»
Wearing Your Scentsational Scent | Men's Cologne and Fragrance -
December 18, 2011
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 resultsRead More»

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