Expert Cologne Tips For Men


Buying cologne is an art and a science! It’s about figuring out what combinations of smells work best with your specific body odors and style, as well as which fragrances suit your needs best.


Fragrance is a unisex, generic term used for perfume. Fragrances come in many forms and are called different names but generally fall into these categories:

Eau Fraiche – The most diluted version of fragrance, usually with 1% – 3% perfume oil in alcohol and water. Usually lasts for less than an hour.

Cologne (Eau de Cologne) – Oldest term for perfume, used in North America for masculine scents. Light, fresh and fruity, typically composed of 2% – 4% perfume oils in alcohol and water. Tend to be used in fragrances for younger people. Usually lasts for about 2 hours.

Toilette (Eau de Toilette) – A light spray composition with 5% – 15% pure perfume essence dissolved in alcohol. Usually lasts for about 3 hours.

Perfume (Eau de Parfum) – Historically genderless, used to describe both men’s and women’s fragrances. The best term used to describe a fragrance. Contains 15% – 20% pure perfume essence and lasts for about 5 to 8 hours.

Perfume – A corruption of the Latin phrase per fumum (through smoke). The most concentrated and expensive of all fragrance options. Slightly oilier, perfume, or parfum, is composed of 20% – 30% pure perfume essence. A single application of perfume can last up to 24 hours.


Top Note – The top or basic note is the initial, lighter smell of the fragrance that hits the nose first. The top note lasts around 15 minutes – 2 hours.

Typical top and middle notes are various floral scents, fruity scents, marine/aquatic notes, and spices such as cinnamon. Examples of these notes include citruses, powdery scents and light florals.

Medium Note – Also referred to as the middle or heart notes – showcase the main elements of the fragrance. These notes develop after the top note clears – around 30 minutes and can last 3-5 hours after being sprayed.

Heart notes most often include heavier floral scents. The middle and base notes are the extra layers of scents which give the fragrance its distinctive smell.

Base Note – The last to develop and helps fix the fragrance to the skin. This is where you will smell the bolder notes of the scent, which become more noticeable when the fragrance has been on the skin for a while. Base notes lay the foundation for the fragrance and will determine how long the fragrance lasts on your skin. Base notes tend to last from 5 to 10 hours. Typical base notes are sandalwood, vetiver, vanilla, tar, leather, smoke, tobacco, and musk

As the notes dry up, the scent will change, allowing for the scents to evolve and be more interesting. Typically, the mark of a low-quality fragrance is if it remains monotone throughout its life.

Don’t buy a fragrance based on the top notes. Instead, spray the cologne and give it a few minutes for the middle notes to come out. You need to give the cologne time to “settle in” so you can smell the actual fragrance, not just the initial scents.


You may have your “signature” scent (the cologne that you’ve found best embodies the person you want to smell like), but you should consider using a selection of scents—one for each season.

Winter scents tend to be spicier and fuller-bodied with woodsy notes, as the deeper fragrances thrive in cold weather.

Summer scents tend to be lighter, brighter, and heavier on the citrus notes, as these fragrances give a “fresh” appeal in the hot weather.

Did you know you should wear multiple scents throughout the week as well?

  • Work scents tend to be stronger, more authoritative, and with heavier woodsy notes.
  • Athletic scents tend to be musky and spicy, but with an invigorating acidity in the top notes.
  • Manly scents have wood and earth base notes, but with spice and floral top notes for better complexity.
  • Social scents are brighter and more attention-getting, but with a complexity of citrus and floral notes that arouses interest.
  • Urbanite scents can be more versatile, with lighter wood base notes and brighter (green, citrus, herb) scents for the top and middle notes.

The type of scent you wear to the office, gym, bar, or club can change others’ perception of you.


1- Go small with the brands at times. Don’t automatically go for the big-name, celebrity-endorsed brands. You’d be surprised by how much better the small-brand colognes can be.

2 – Remember KISS as your motto: Keep It Simple, Stupid! You don’t need a complicated, complex fragrance with dozens of layers. Stick with recognizable scents (fig, lavender, or citrus) with simple woodsy or earthy base notes. Find a cologne with a short ingredients list for a simple, versatile fragrance.

3 – Experiment, experiment, experiment. Don’t expect to wear one scent for the rest of your life. Try new scents to find a variety that work for you, and consider changing up your signature scent once every few years. Your style of clothing, food preferences, lifestyle, and hobbies may change—your fragrance should change with them.

4 – Buy ONLY legit products. Knock-offs and imitations have a shorter scent lifespan than proper colognes. There are also slight differences in the scent profile, so a cheaper imitation will never be as good as the real deal.


Spray cologne on dry skin, preferably right after a shower. Hold the spray nozzle 3-6 inches from your skin and focus on these rules for applying cologne:

Pulse points – Your body heat will push the scent through out the day, creating a nice scent trail commonly called sillage. Start with the warm parts of your body – chest, neck, lower jaw, wrist, forearm, inner elbow, shoulder.

Re-spray only when required – You can add more sprays to your wrists or take sprays away depending on how long the scent lasts.

Don’t kill the note – Rubbing the perfume into the skin seems a sensible thing to do. In reality – it breaks the molecular bond, making the scent weaker.

Don’t spray and walk – Spraying a fragrance in the air and walking through the mist is worthless. Most of it the fragrances drops straight to the floor.

Don’t spray fragrance on your clothes – The fragrance isn’t allowed to mix with your oils, and hence it can’t naturally go through the stages of notes like it should. The oils in a fragrance will stain many fabrics.

Don’t splash too much – If you are applying cologne from a regular bottle, take one finger and press it against the opening of your bottle, and then tip it over gently.

Less Is More – “Fragrance should be discovered, not announced”. People should be close to smell the perfume but not overpowered by it.


Use less per application. A couple of spritzes are all you need to smell nice.

Place tissue paper in your drawers and spray it with cologne. The fragrance will be absorbed into your clothes, making you smell good throughout the day.

Store in a cool, dry place. Humidity, light, and heat will cause the cologne to break down, reducing its quality.

Spray after showering. Your skin will absorb the fragrance with the moisture, leading to longer-lasting smells.

Apply Vaseline or an unscented lotion to your pulse points before spraying. The Vaseline/lotion will make the fragrance last longer.

DO NOT rub your wrists after spraying. Friction degrades and alters the smell.

Spray cotton swabs with your perfume and place them in a sealable plastic bag in your bag or briefcase. Use the swabs for fragrance touch-ups throughout the day.


There’s no “one size fits all” approach to finding the most attractive cologne. It’s all about experimenting with the different options to find the one that suits your unique body odors best. Here are some tips to help you out:

Find the Manly Scents – According to the research collected by the consumer science division at International Flavors & Fragrances, women tend to find musky, masculine scents (vanilla, spice, musk, sandalwood, rosewood, or citrus) more attractive than floral notes. However, every woman has their own preference of cologne. Though, the majority of the “sexy” scents for men emphasize musky, woodsy, and earthy notes, mixed with deeper scents like licorice, anise, chocolate, and nuts.

Rotate Colognes – Women may grow tired of the same smell over and over. Consider rotating your colognes seasonally, or change up every few years.

Don’t Overdo It – If the fragrance hangs around you in a thick cloud, you’re going to make women cough, not find you appealing. A hint of an appealing fragrance will pique her interest; too much will assault her senses.

Be Prepared to Spend More – A cheap bottle of cologne will give off “cheap” smells and will have a shorter lifespan. Consider spending upwards of $50 on a high quality cologne that combines an appealing smell and longer-lasting fragrance.

Stick with the Basics – There are five basic scents that all women can identify as “attractive”: lime, vanilla, peppermint, leather, and musk. When in doubt, go for a fragrance that utilizes one of these scents to great effect.