Fragrance can be a powerful tool when it comes to your style. Cologne can make you feel attractive and confident, and can influence the way others remember you. While most guys wear cologne, only some have learned to properly use cologne. Applying cologne is an essential skill every guy needs to master at some point. Where to put it on, how much you should use, and which perfume to choose are all important factors when wearing cologne the right way. To help you master this art form, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide on how to apply cologne. From where to spray to how much to use, explore the best ways to put on cologne for a great scent!
Where To Apply Cologne
When using a fragrance properly, you should know where to spray your cologne. Most men will want to apply cologne to the pulse points or the warmest parts of the body. Typically, the most effective pulse points to use are the wrists, the base of the neck, behind the ears, inside the elbows, and shoulders. You’ll want to spray your cologne on these areas to activate the scent and maximize the power of your fragrance. To start, apply one or two sprays to your main pulse points and this should be enough for a lasting scent.
For the perfect amount to wear at work, try a spritz to the base of the neck, the wrists, and the inner elbows. On a casual date, the best places to spray cologne are the wrists, behind the ears, and neck. If you want your cologne to be memorable, pair your cologne with an unscented deodorant and moisturizer. When possible, try to avoid mixing scents since the combination can become overwhelming and nauseating. Fragrance-free hygiene and skin care products will allow your cologne to take center stage.
How To Apply Cologne
- For best results, apply cologne to your clean, dry skin after a shower.
- The best places to spray cologne are pulse points or warm areas of the body, such as your neck, chest, wrists, and inner elbows.
- When putting on your fragrance, make sure to hold the bottle approximately 3 to 6 inches away from your skin.
- You’ll want to use 3 to 5 sprays for proper coverage and application.
- Avoid spraying cologne on your clothes, rubbing the fragrance into your skin, or using too much.
- In the summer, men should wear cologne that is fresh and light.
- For the cooler fall and winter months, consider a musky masculine scent.
- Depending on the strength of the fragrance, reapply your cologne as necessary throughout the day.
- The best smelling colognes for men work with your body’s natural oils to create a unique fragrance.
How Much Cologne To Use
When applying your scent, it is important to use the right amount of cologne. Most guys should spray two to four squirts across different areas. You’ll want to avoid using too much since this can be off-putting and cause some people headaches. The number of sprays of cologne you use also depends on the strength of your fragrance.
If you are applying a strong Eau de Parfum, you will need fewer sprays than with an Eau de Toilette because of the difference in concentration. In general, less is more when putting on cologne. Since your nose desensitizes to fragrance after approximately 30 to 40 minutes, you will no longer be able to detect your own cologne, but others will still be able to pick up your scent.
Ideally, stick to these application rules and assume that your cologne will last according to the longevity advertised. If you want to be sure, ask a friend if they can smell your cologne after a few hours. You are probably safe to reapply if they can’t smell your scent anymore.
Another method is to figure out your fragrance’s sillage before applying it. Sillage is the scent left behind when you walk by and can affect the number of sprays you should use. Fragrances with a strong sillage should be used with a light hand to remain unintrusive, whereas weaker scents can be sprayed more liberally.
A good way to test a fragrance’s sillage is with a spray test. To do this, find a clean room and make sure all the windows are closed. Spray once or twice into the room and close the door. If you can still smell the scent after 10 to 15 minutes, you have a high-quality cologne and the projection of your scent is likely to be excellent.
Should You Put Cologne On Your Skin or Clothes?
While it is common, you should not spray cologne on your clothes. Generally, you’ll want to apply cologne to your skin and aim for your warm pulse points to maximize the scent. Spraying on your skin will also allow the fragrance to interact with your body’s natural oils to create a unique scent. Guys with sensitive skin or allergic reactions to chemicals may consider putting cologne on their clothes. You’ll need to be careful since your cologne’s ingredients may stain your clothing. If you regularly use fabric softeners or boosters, these chemicals can also interfere with your cologne and create a bad scent.
How Long Does Cologne Last?
On average, colognes last between three and twelve hours when applied correctly. The strongest colognes can linger on the skin all day. Woody, oriental and spicy scents last much longer on the skin than lighter floral scents. Also known as amber fragrances, oriental scents contain deeper base notes which evaporate more slowly. Bear in mind that fragrances will last longer indoors than outdoors due to environmental pollutants.
There are several ways to make cologne last longer on the skin. If possible, apply your cologne right after a shower. When your pores are open, the cologne will penetrate your skin for a long-lasting scent. If you moisturize before applying cologne, the scent will cling to your skin more easily and is less likely to evaporate with time.
You’ll want to spray cologne on pulse points such as the neck, solar plexus, and inner elbows, but don’t rub your wrists together. Rubbing your wrists can cause the fragrance to develop prematurely and can alter a cologne’s scent profile entirely.
Most colognes have an average shelf-life of 3 to 5 years, but you can make a bottle last longer with proper care and storage. Cool, dark and dry places are ideal for maintaining fragrances and can make most colognes last much longer than expected.
Types of Colognes
Before shopping for a fragrance, you should learn about the different types of cologne to find the right perfume for your needs. Cheap colognes aren’t necessarily bad, but they won’t last long on the skin and have low concentrations of aromatic essence. The most expensive perfumes will contain a high concentration of aromatic essence. When buying a fragrance, you’ll need to compare the strength and scents of a cologne.
Generally, Eau de Parfum is a higher concentration cologne with 15% to 20% that will last longer and cost more. Eau de Toilette is a fragrance that features 5% to 15% concentration, resulting in a lighter smell that dissipates more quickly.
The strongest fragrances are classed as Parfum and are made with 20% to 30% aromatic essence, meaning these scents last much longer and come from the top fashion brands. Despite their initial cost, concentrated formulas provide a better value and are actually less expensive over time as only minimal amounts need to be used.
For easy comparison, here is an overview of the different cologne strengths:
- Parfum: is the strongest type of cologne with a concentration between 20% and 30% of perfume oil and will last 5 to 8 hours.
- Eau de Parfum: is a powerful fragrance scent with 15% to 20% oil and lasts 4 to 5 hours.
- Eau de Toilette: is a lighter scented cologne used as a freshener with 5% to 15% oil lasting 2 to 3 hours.
- Eau de Cologne: is a light refreshing scent containing 2% to 4% oil that lasts up to 2 hours.
When comparing different fragrance types, it is important to know the difference between designer and niche colognes. Designer brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Tom Ford, Dior, and Hugo Boss are readily available and marketed commercially. These scents tend to be unmistakably masculine, have mass appeal, and are usually cheaper than niche scents.
Special scents are created by dedicated perfumeries and often command a higher price. Brands like D.S. & Durga, Tauer Perfumes and Le Labo are all gaining traction in the fragrance industry and are worth exploring if you are searching for a high-end, unique scent.
Types of Scents
These are the main types of cologne scents you’ll find:
- Floral: is a popular cologne scent with fruit and floral notes such as jasmine, rose, peach, lily, peony, berry and gardenia for a sweet and light fragrance.
- Oriental: is a warm, rich scent with spicy and musky notes such as vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, patchouli and vanilla for a seductive and masculine fragrance.
- Woody: is a manly natural scent made with sandalwood, cedarwood, pine, vetiver and mossy notes for a refreshing smell.
- Fresh: is a fresh and zesty scent containing citrus, water and green notes to create a vibrant fragrance.
How To Choose A Cologne
When it comes to smelling good, it’s important to choose the best men’s cologne for you. While popular colognes can smell great, the ideal fragrance is different for all guys. Testing new colognes is the only way to get a scent that will stay on your skin and create the perfect fragrance for your style.
When shopping for cologne, head to a department store and spritz small amounts on a tester card to confirm which scents pique your interest. Once you’ve narrowed your options, test your favorites on the wrist as your body chemistry can either prolong or mute a scent. The perfect scent is one that travels well without being overpowering.
Though you may like a scent when it is first sprayed, don’t purchase a cologne before giving it time to develop on the skin. All fragrances develop past the initial top notes, so determine how the cologne changes on your skin before you make your final decision. The longer you can leave a scent on the skin, the better. Don’t be afraid to come back to a store the next day if you want to test a fragrance for longevity.
When choosing a cologne, it’s important to consider its notes. All fragrances feature top notes, mid-notes, and base notes. From the moment you apply your cologne, the top notes will begin to dissipate. Top notes will only be noticeable for 15 minutes to 2 hours before yielding to the mid-notes, which make up the bulk of the fragrance and are the most essential to the scent. Mid-notes are noticeable for around 3 to 5 hours, depending on the strength of your cologne. The final notes are the base notes and remain on the skin for 2 to 8 hours.
Most men enjoy having a recognizable, signature scent that is unique to them, but it’s a good idea to change things up with the different seasons. Woody, musky scents work beautifully during the winter months, whereas fresh and light scents are more suited to summer. Just be aware that higher temperatures and humid conditions can make heavy colognes strong and nauseating, making the fragrance unpleasant for those around you.
When selecting and buying the right cologne, always make sure it is a fragrance you enjoy wearing. Your scent is a great way to express yourself, so take the opportunity to choose a cologne you’ll love putting on.
Where To Store Cologne
Where you keep your cologne can impact how long it lasts and the scent. If you want to maintain the smell and make your fragrance last longer, we recommend you store your cologne in a cool, dry place such as a drawer or cupboard in your bedroom. These areas are less prone to moisture, humidity and temperature fluctuations, and are unlikely to affect your fragrance. While some guys keep their fragrances in the bathroom, this area can be a bad choice.
Direct sunlight should also be avoided. The sun and strong exposure to light can alter the fragrance notes and cause the scent to break down more quickly. If you rarely use cologne, store it in the refrigerator. This removes many factors that can spoil a fragrance and will give you a refreshing boost during application.