Words by Randy Em
If you were to ask a group of guys today about their use of cologne, you’ll likely hear the same answer: the majority don’t wear any fragrances of any kind (other than the off-scent of deodorants and lotions). And though this isn’t necessarily a startling fact, it begs the question of why us fellas decided to get so lazy with this whole concept of personal grooming and hygiene.
You could attribute it being less of a hassle, but one of the more plausible reason is the fact that miseducation (or lack thereof) in regards to men’s fragrances is likely the main culprit. Folks have forgotten the general gist of its beneficial purposes and what makes it significant to personal presentation to begin with. And whether you’re new to the world of fragrances, or just re-familiarizing yourself, here’s the lowdown on what you need to know.
Wear it with Purpose
The thing to remember with fragrances is that choosing the right one can instantly draw folks to you. Especially if you’re dressing to impress; you need to think of a good scent as an invisible aspect of style and grooming that can seriously step up your game, subtly is key.
And just how important is the concept of pleasant smells. According to The Smell Report, it’s a hidden trigger in humans for mood and emotion. The sensation of scents are picked up by the cortex, where certain cognitive functions occur, and stimulate deep neurons within our brains. This activates the limbic system and helps us to associate certain smells with strong emotions and feelings, making it a very personal and different experience for everyone.
This alone ought to be a solid reason to think twice about the power of a good fragrance. Science with the #swish!
Know Your Stuff
When selecting a fragrance, there’s most definitely more than one way to go about it. The first thing to differentiate is that various types of fragrances contain multiple levels of notes: top, middle (heart), and base. Depending on the concentration of essences, some fragrances can showcase middle and base notes more prominently, while others merely put an emphasis on those initial top notes.
So what are the differences between the varying types? Eau de parfumes contain up to a 10-20% concentration, eau de toilettes contain 6-10%, and eau de colognes are generally somewhere in the 2-5% range. A higher concentration level, like in an eau de parfume, produces top layer notes that dissipate to reveal complex mid-layer notes that linger nicely. Eau de colognes, on the other hand, offer refreshing, more top note-heavy properties that can evaporate more quickly than that of a higher concentration, requiring reapplication more frequently.
You’ll also want to consider the types of notes to dabble in. Getting a good whiff can make way for the best deciding factor, but as a general guideline, just know that the industry standard for fragrance families generally fall under: fresh, Oriental, floral, and woody. Some fragrances contain properties from all the different families, but it’s a more common occurrence within the Woody category with scents like fougere, woody oriental, mossy woods, dry woods and citrus. That being said, this is definitely a smell-it-for-yourself ordeal.
Apply it in the Right Places
The number one insecurity about men rocking fragrances can surely be lent to the idea of oversaturation and completely doing too much. A little goes a long way if you’re hitting all the right spots.
Common areas to utilize a slight dab (sans Future) are either on the inside wrist, back side of the hand, behind the ear, or even the frontal section of the neck. Don’t take ‘swagger splashing’ literally by dousing yourself like there’s a fire – just do one light spray and then dab it on to a few of the mentioned body parts. And avoid over-rubbing or massaging the fragrance into your skin too vigorously since the abundance of heat can activate your scent past the top layer of notes too quickly, completely depleting the longevity of your fragrance.
You also shouldn’t be afraid to experiment tastefully with different areas of application — maybe on a different part of arm or maybe even on clothing, like slightly at the collar or sleeve. You could even try it different times of the day, such as after a hot shower in order to settle the fragrance in more nicely.
Less is more, so whatever you do, trust in the subtle nature of a fragrance. This is every man’s classic move. Trust us, it’ll speak volumes to the maturity and sophistication of your overall style.