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The art of wearing cologne: Dos and don'ts.

Christina Ablahad

Posted by Christina A.

05.15.23

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The art of wearing cologne: Dos and don'ts.

Have you ever had that feeling where you think you might smell bad, but you can’t quite be sure? 

Well friend, we have some bad news for you. That feeling is a well-informed bit of intuition, and you probably did smell bad. It might not have been enough to clear the room, but it wasn’t your best moment. 

If you’d like to avoid that in the future, then you need to figure out a personal scent and how to manage it. For that, you need to delve into the subtle art of wearing cologne, and we’re going to teach it all to you right now. 

When should you wear cologne? 

When is it right to wear cologne? In general, if you’re going to be around other people, it’s good to wear cologne. You can wear it to work, on a date, to church, to your book club. . . whatever. 

As long as you wear your cologne properly and avoid a few specific scenarios (We’ll cover these at length.), you can wear your cologne as a default part of your daily routine. 

When you do, it'll add to your allure, since people will associate you with the delightful fragrance that gently tickles their sinuses whenever you’re around. 

handsome couple

When should you leave it in the bottle? 

It’s sometimes surprising to guys, but one of the most important lessons in wearing cologne is learning when not to wear it. Not to worry, a few simple tips take care of the whole concept. Here are the situations where you want to avoid cologne. 

In tight spaces. 

First off, avoid cologne if you know you’re going to be in an enclosed space for a long period of time. Commercial flights and road trips are easy examples. When you’re enclosed like that, even a tiny amount of cologne can build up and create problems. This idea applies to dentist appointments, cramped offices, and anything else that comes to mind. 

Keep in mind that time matters. It’s okay to wear cologne even though you have to get on an elevator. Unless you’re suddenly in the plot of a romantic comedy, you shouldn’t be in the elevator for very long. You can apply that logic to any small space. 

When it clashes. 

The next place to avoid cologne is when fragrance matters a lot. If you’re going to a wine tasting or some type of culinary experience, don’t wear cologne. In fact, try your best not to smell like anything at all. Even though a nice cologne fragrance is generally pleasant, it can clash with the culinary delights that you’re pursuing. 

Even outside of food and wine, this idea applies. If you’re going perfume shopping with a friend or significant other, still don’t wear your cologne. You want to avoid clashing with or drowning out other fragrances. 

When you already stink. 

The third time to avoid cologne is when you plan to smell bad. That might sound weird, but bear with us. If you’re going to the gym, climbing a mountain, fishing, hiking, playing basketball, or doing any other activity that typically comes with some personal odor, leave off the cologne. It’s not entirely appropriate for these activities, and even a great cologne will eventually lose to your own man stink when you sweat enough. Instead, apply the cologne when you’re done and showered. 

man with sweaty pits

When less is more. 

Lastly, skip the cologne any time you’re trying to be a little more muted. A sad but good example is at a funeral. You’re not trying to be the center of attention, so skip the cologne. Less clear examples involve job interviews and first dates. Even though you're trying to make an impression, in those cases, you don’t want the impression to be that you used too much cologne. 

We’re going to teach you how to use cologne responsibly, but if there’s ever a concern that any cologne is too much, leave it off. Showering and using deodorant should be enough to keep you from stinking. Cologne is a little more specialized. 

How do you apply cologne? 

If you ask this question to enough people, you’re going to get a lot of answers, even among self-proclaimed experts. Let’s keep things simple. 

There’s not exactly a right and wrong way to apply cologne. You really want to stick to two rules: 

  1. Use it when you’re clean.
  2. Put the cologne on your skin, not your clothes. 

Let’s elaborate a bit. 

You want to use cologne right after you shower. You can reapply later if needed, provided you aren’t dirty and sweaty and gross. Cologne is designed to make you smell good, but no matter the fragrance, it’s going to clash with the smell of a dirty man. Avoid that and make cologne part of your post-shower routine (even if it’s a shower at the gym after a workout). 

As for the second rule, it’s easy to just spray some cologne around after you’re dressed and hope for the best. Some people will even say to spray a mist and walk through it. 

Here’s the thing. Cologne is precisely engineered, and it’s designed to go on your skin. It actually uses the heat of your own body to slowly, consistently release the fragrance throughout the day. If you spray your clothes, it will mute the scent, maybe cling when you don’t want it to, and not work quite right. 

If nothing else, spraying your clothes makes it really hard to get the volume right. 

Now, some people are going to tell you to focus on pulse points or other things. That can make subtle differences with your cologne, but it’s important to understand the science here. It’s your body heat that helps vaporize the cologne and get it out into the noses of other people. Sure, pulse points are usually warm, but so is the rest of you—unless you’re battling snow, in which case you don’t really need cologne. 

Refined cologne

How much should you wear? 

That brings us to a major concern. How much should you wear? 

Unfortunately, there’s no simple, magical answer. Cologne reacts differently with different people, and you don’t always want the same strength of fragrance around you. It’s a variable thing. 

But there is good news. There’s a bit of a process that can get it right consistently. 

For starters, less is more. Even if your cologne smells fantastic, it’s possible to go too strong. Generally speaking, the gentleman's scent is subtle, so start with very, very little cologne. You can always add more later. 

Take a shower, towel off, and then spray your cologne. Start with a single spritz at least six inches away from yourself. (You shouldn't be clothed yet.) That’s pretty much a minimal application. From there, test it. Can you smell it easily? It might be too much.

If you’re not sure, it’s time to ask people you trust. Everyone needs a brutally honest friend. This is their chance to shine. Let them give it to you straight. 

If that single spritz was too much, then try applying while the cologne is even farther away. To really minimize the scent, you can spray a cloth and then dab it on yourself. The cloth will absorb most of the cologne. This isn’t ideal, and it’s rarely necessary, but if you want the faintest, subtlest fragrance, you can get there.

If you need a stronger dose, you can spray a little closer to yourself, and you can always do another spritz as needed. 

Just remember to keep it light. It’s okay to not wear enough cologne. It’s never okay to wear too much. 

What scents are best for you? 

Persevere cologne

That covers most of what you need to know, but how do you pick the right scent? It can be a little tricky, but once again, we can break things into simple concepts that will help you out a lot. 

There are a lot of different cologne scents out there, and just trying to sample your way through them is a project. You’ll have to spend a lot of time and money, and you still may not find what you want. 

An easier idea is to steer into what you already have. We’re kind of assuming that you use soap on a regular basis. And maybe you have a deodorant that you like. What are the scents that you use?  

In theory, if those scents already work, then you want a cologne that mixes well with them. If you use floral soaps, you want a floral cologne. You can also think about musk, citrus, wood, and fruit. Those are the most common scent categories. 

Break your existing scents into those, and you can browse scents a lot easier. 

Of course, there’s an easier way out. You can steer into the MANSCAPED® ecosystem. We have two fragrances: Refined® and Persevere®. Both are light scents. Refined® has a little more citrus for a gentler aroma while Persevere® steers into masculinity with a stronger emphasis on woodsy smells. 

How do you layer scents? 

Lastly, scents need to be layered, and this is where the MANSCAPED® ecosystem is at its best. To explain the concept, we’re going to assume that you’re in the ecosystem. Even if you’re branching out to create your own untested scent layer, the concept is universal. 

You need to start with a base layer. This is your soap. In other words, take a shower. 

Next, you want to have hydrated skin. A good body wash helps with that, but you also want lotion in the mix. The scent of the lotion has to complement the other aromas. 

After that, you can add your deodorant layer. With MANSCAPED®, you get to use complementary scents for your pits, feet, and balls. It’s a holistic approach to scent layering. 

Finally, apply your cologne. Because you’re layering, a little bit of cologne will last all day and provide the cherry on top of your excellent and enticing personal aroma. 

05.15.23

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