Fragrance is an invisible part of our personal style, and it has a powerful effect on how people see and remember you.
+A good cologne offers numerous benefits, from making you more attractive, to helping you feel less stressed and more confident.
+Most men who use colognes and perfumes do so because they had a father or role model who introduced them to the practice. Men have been wearing Fragrance since the time of the Ancient Egyptians, and during the French Revolution, Parfum Houses became well known in France, Italy and throughout Europe.
Why Wear Fragrances?
+Wearing a fragrance will increase not only your attractiveness, but also your confidence and overall appeal.
What is the Difference Between Fragrance, Perfume, Toilette, and Cologne?
+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. Tends 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.
+Perfume/Parfum - (Eau de Parfum) Historically genderless, used to describe both men’s and women’s products, and is the best term for describing a fragrance. (I’ll be using cologne more in this post though, simply because that’s the term most readers associate with fragrance.) Contains 15-20% pure perfume essence and lasts for about 5 to 8 hours.
The Life Cycle Of Fragrances
+Fragrances have a three-part life cycle; think of an evaporating pyramid where the top slowly disappears until you reach the base. Each of the three sections contain individual scents, or notes, that are belted together into what you smell.
+Top note. The top note is the initial, lighter smell of the fragrance that hits the nose immediately after application to the skin.
+Heart note. The heart note showcases the main element of the fragrance. Heart notes develop after the top note clears and can last 3-5 hours after being sprayed.
+Base note. The last to develop, these scents are often the bolder notes of the scent which become more noticeable later in the day. Base notes lay the foundation and will determine how long the fragrance lasts on your skin.
How to Select and Buy the Right Perfume/Cologne
+Don’t let others choose for you — there is a reason why gift scents sit unused for years.
+Don't be dissuaded by 'Male Scents' and 'Female Scents'. In Europe, people purchase the scent they like. All Scents are unisex, and it depends on your personal taste. Many women wear Men's Colognes, and many popular Women's Fragrances smell exceptional on men. It's about your nose, and the feedback from others. Trust it.
+Don’t blind buy, which is when you purchase a cologne on someone’s recommendation without trying it yourself.
Rules For Fragrance Application
+We’ve all been around someone who's used too much perfume or cologne. The scent is overwhelming, off-putting and intrusive. You can easily avoid this mistake by learning how to apply fragrance properly and judiciously.
+Spray perfume on dry skin, preferably right after a shower. Hold the spray nozzle 3-6 inches from your skin while applying.
+Start light. If you’re new to wearing fragrances, start with one single spray on your chest. As you become more comfortable and knowledgeable about how to wear cologne properly, you can branch out to a few more sprays in different areas…
+Apply fragrance to heat areas. Your body heat will push the scent throughout the day, creating a nice scent trail commonly called sillage. Start with the warmest parts of your body: chest, neck, lower jaw, wrist, forearm, inner elbow, shoulder. Do not spray on all these points at the same time; start with one and then as you learn the scent, spray 2-3 other spots.
- Re-spray only when required.
You can add more sprays to your wrists depending on how long the scent lasts. For most this will be in the second half of the day.
- Don’t spray and walk.
Spraying a fragrance in the air and walking through the mist is worthless. Most of the fragrance drops straight to the floor.
- Don’t spray fragrance on your clothes.
In this case 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. Also, the oils in a fragrance will stain many fabrics.
Written by Antonio Centeno
Founder of Real Men Real Style