How to Apply Cologne

A lot of young men who have just started wearing men’s fragrances don’t know how to apply cologne. You’ve probably come across the teen guy who trails a clouds of perfume scents everywhere he goes, dominating any room he’s in. While too much cologne might not be as offensive as body odor, it’s an unpleasant and distracting smell. Men are supposed to have a subtle scent of masculinity, not the smells of perfume.

Of course, you’ve probably noticed there are men who’ve been wearing colognes for years who still don’t know how to put on cologne. And there are young ladies and older women and all the ages in-between that never figured out how to apply perfume. Aromatic scents and essential oils are supposed to mask and enhance a body’s smells, not dominate the room they are in.

But if you don’t know ow to apply cologne right or your sense of smell doesn’t pick up when is too much, how do you start applying fragrances in the right amounts? Read our guide to apply colognes and perfumes and follow these steps the next time you put on all those musky, citrusy oils.

Why Wear Cologne?

How to Apply Cologne

How to Apply Cologne

Let’s start with the reasons men wear eau de cologne. There are two main reasons: backup for deodorant and personal scent. When you get hot in certain places on your body, the odor protection deodorant provides starts to break down. That’s why you have cologne in reserve, to mask the natural body scents that women you meet are going to find offensive.

Also, you want a signature scent. When you walk into the room, you want women smelling how your cologne smells on your body and asking themselves, “What cologne is he wearing? Nice”. Even better, you want her asking you that question. So wearing a mens fragrance is about wearing a scent that’s going to go well with your body chemistry, and wearing enough that it becomes your scent, while not fumigating the room around you. It’s the difference in wearing a smart tuxedo to a dinner, or wearing a loud purple tuxedo to the same dinner. Applying cologne properly is about having a sense of yourself.

Finally, you want to put on cologne so that it lasts all day, instead of an hour or two and then going away. That’s why guys tend to douse themselves in too much cologne, because they’ve had that experience where they didn’t apply enough and it ran out too soon. You want people to smell this nice, expensive fragrance you bought, and you want them to smell it all day long.

So that’s why we wear cologne and here’s how you apply just the right amounts.

Select the Fragrance for You

Each man will have a different body chemistry. You can have a perfectly good cologne and, if you don’t have the right body chemistry, that cologne won’t smell nice on you. When you purchase colognes or decide to wear a new scent, try it on and see how it smells. Ask the women in your life (mother, sister, girls you know) what the aroma smells like on you. Test it yourself. Ask before you go out on a big date.

Fragrance Notes

Once you find a fragrance which works for you, learn what ingredients it contains and what the fragrance notes are. “Fragrance notes” simply mean what the cologne is supposed to smell like in different stages. Top notes are what the cologne smells like when you first apply it. Middle notes are what the cologne smells like for an hour or two after you apply the cologne. Base notes are what the cologne smells like moving ahead through the day. Each cologne will change with time, so what smells good at first might not smell good later.

Most colognes come with designer suggestions based on fragrance notes. These actually matter, so learn a tiny bit about notes and read them when you buy a new cologne. If you need long-lasting protection, find a cologne reviewed to have good base notes. If you want to make a quick impression, wear cologne with nice middle notes. While top notes are important, this is what cologne smell out of the bottle or when applied at the cologne counter, so top notes have more to do with marketing cologne than wearing it.

Match Scent to Body Chemistry

Also, get a scouting report on which aromas smell best on you. This cologne that you’re testing out with the women in your life has ingredients called “essential oils”, which province the smell of the cologne. They are called “essential” because they provide the “essence”, or smell, of the fragrance. Some essences are considered citrusy. Some are considered musky. Many women’s perfume is considered fruity or floral. Others to look for are amber, wood, leather, aquatic, chypre or gourmand. Men’s fragrances these days are often described as “wood” or “aquatic”, for what they called “outdoors” or “ocean” scents, respectively.

So when you buy a cologne and see whether it smells good on your or not, look at the essential oils and note those. If you want to try out new colognes and build your “fragrance wardrobe” so you don’t always smell the same, test out other cologne brands with similar ingredients to the ones which have worked for you in the past. Subtle differences are often more intriguing to a woman than radically different smells.

Buy a Spray Bottle, If Available

Now that you know what you want to purchase, get the right kind of dispenser to help you with your cologne application. If you have a choice of a spray bottle or simple cap, choose the spray bottle. This is easier to regulate than simply turning the bottle over and letting it pour out.

Some brands don’t give you the option. Weigh this when you purchase cologne, though it’s not a disaster if you have to buy one without the spray dispenser. You might have a few more mishaps, though.

Spritz Once or Twice

Regulate the number of spritzes when applying cologne. One or two is enough when applying to the body. Hold the bottle about 2 inches from your body and spray. This gives a concentrated amount in the right spot, but also provides coverage.

Don’t splash cologne like actors do in the commercials. That looks cool on tv, but is a chief way people overdo their cologne application. Those actors don’t apply cologne that way every day.

When you don’t have the spray bottle, dip your finger into the cologne and apply to spots on your body that you want scent.

Where to Apply Cologne

You want to apply cologne where your body generates the most heat. When you do this, the cologne will “kick in” when you most need it throughout the day: when those body parts heat up and body odor would naturally escape.

The following regions are places to consider applying cologne, depending on your activity and your own personal needs. You know your body best, when it comes to sweating and trouble spots.

These spots tend to be wear blood flow is closest to the surface of the skin, or where your clothes fit tightest on your body. For non-strenuous activity, I would recommend applying cologne to your wrists and neck.

Remember, choose one or two of your problem spots to apply cologne. Do not apply cologne to all six areas I described above at once. If you do, you’ll end up dragging that cloud of cologne along with you.

Don’t Rub the Cologne onto Your Skin

A common mistake men make is to apply cologne and then rub the area where the cologne is applied. This is a mistake, because it alters the scent of your cologne. If you bought an expensive new fragrance and you don’t know why it doesn’t smell as good on you, you may be negating a large part of the effect by rubbing the fragrance into your skin or off your problem parts. It’s very common.

Application under the Clothes

You can apply cologne under your clothes to let the scent escape throughout the day. Common places to apply cologne in this way are the chest, underarms or thighs.

Applying Cologne

Now you know how to apply cologne. Once you learn a few basic fragrance concepts and you practice a little bit, applying cologne in the right way is easy and intuitive. Play around with it and see which colognes work best for you, and which parts of your body need cologne the most.

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