Choosing the Right Cologne for You

19 Jan

You must have heard the saying: “Your scent determines how you are addressed.”

Okay, I made that up, but it’s true. Your scent is essential. In fact, in many cases, most people recognize it first and hardly forget a unique fragrance.

According to this European study, a woman’s choice of an intimate partner may be influenced by the man’s scent! If you are looking to up your game with women, choosing the right cologne for you is something you have to do right.

A man a Suit

That is why you need to find your own scent. To do that, you have to choose the right cologne. A good cologne will make you attractive, boost your confidence, and reduce your stress. Are you ready to choose the right cologne for you? Yes? Then, let’s get started.

The World of Fragrances

Fragrances are complex mixtures comprising of raw materials. The raw materials are either from natural or synthetic sources. They are produced by dissolving perfume oils in solvents (usually alcohol). The larger the concentration of the oils, the longer the fragrance lasts on the skin.

Fragrances is an umbrella name for perfumes; it comes in many terms and forms. However, these are the major categories of fragrances.

Eau Fraiche. This is the version with the least concentration of oils. You typically have 1-3% perfume oil in alcohol and water. The fragrance lasts for roughly an hour.

Cologne (Eau de Cologne). This term is reserved for male fragrances. Colognes are usually light, fresh, and fruity that comprises 2-4% perfume oils in alcohol and water. It is used by young people and lasts for roughly 2 hours.

Toilette (Eau de Toilette).  This is a composition of 5-15% pure perfume essence dissolved in alcohol. It can last for up to 3 hours.

Perfume (Eau de Parfum). Although this term used to be genderless, it is now used mostly to describe female fragrances. It contains 15-20% pure perfume essence dissolved in alcohol and can last for up to 8 hours.

Parfum. A corruption of the Latin phrase per fumum (through smoke). Parfum is the most concentrated vision. It contains about 20-30% pure perfume essence and can last up to 24 hours.

The Life Cycle of Fragrances

The life cycle of a fragrance is divided into three sections: the top note, medium note, and base note. Each of these sections has individual scents.

The top note is the smell that the fragrance gives out after applying it to your skin. It can last anywhere between 15 minutes to 2 hours.

The medium note is the smell that develops after the top note has fizzled out. It can last anywhere between 3-5 hours.

The base note is the final bolder smell that becomes noticeable at the end of the day. It lasts the longest as it forms the base of the fragrance. It can last from 5 to 10 hours.

A fragrance that has a single note is mostly of low-quality. However, there are exceptions, as we will see later. That said, when choosing the right cologne for you, check to see that the various notes are there.

Linear vs. Non-Linear Fragrances

Fragrances that change their notes over time are called non-linear fragrances. You can easily spot low-quality fragrances using this as most low-cost manufacturers do not bother to invest in notes. That said, there are high-quality fragrances that do not change notes over time.

Fragrances that do not change over time are called linear fragrances, and they have their purposes. They are used when the wearer wants to keep a distinct smell through the day.

A designer Cologne

Choosing Your Cologne: Designer vs. Niche

Designer fragrances are the ones you find in malls and stores. Produced by designer brands such as Armani, Chanel, and Burberry. They can cost between $25 and $150 a bottle. And they are mass-produced for mass consumption.

An advantage of designer fragrances is that they are safer—meaning they do not produce strong reactions. Almost anyone can wear them. The drawback is that they are created using cheap materials to save costs and increase production volume.

Industry artists produce niche fragrances for people who want to stand out. They are created with more expensive and higher-quality materials. Niche fragrances are for people who want something different from the mainstream scents.

The drawback is that not everyone might like them. In fact, their strong and unusual scents tend to repel some people. However, that strong, distinctive scent is precisely what some people want when shopping for fragrances. A niche fragrance bottle can cost over $50 and well into the hundreds and even more.

Should Price Matter When Choosing Your Cologne?

Contrary to public opinion, price isn’t an indication of quality. In fact, the most popular fragrances are mostly made of cheap materials. On the other hand, you can create an expensive formula that would smell awful.

Most of the expensive fragrances out there are expensive because of the brand appeal. The popular brands spend half of their budget on research and production. The other half is spent on marketing. That is why they are so popular. And the more popular they are, the higher the prices of their products.

So, if the price isn’t an indication of quality, what is?

The Art of Choosing the Right Cologne For You

A designer Cologne

The first thing you should know when choosing your cologne is that it is all about you. You are the focus. You are the best person to determine your body scent and what you want.

Don’t get me wrong. Your friends and family can offer great advice. But in the end, it’s your body. You should have the final say.

That means you have to be patient and sensitive to your bodily smells. Choosing a cologne isn’t something you simply dash in and out of the store for. If you do that, you might end up with something you’ll regret buying. Also, avoid the cards the department store provides. Those cards only allow you to smell the top notes.

Instead, take your time. Don’t buy the first cologne that smells nice to you. Try them out on your wrists (and inner elbows if you are trying more than two) and smell them. Try to smell all the notes. While you are choosing your cologne, refresh your palate with something refreshing, like coffee or tea. Feel free to walk around as you note how the smell works on your body.

When you reach a decision, buy a bottle and begin to wear it. You might end up in the store days later for another fragrance. That is okay. Choosing the perfect cologne for your body is a process. You don’t have to get it perfect the first time.

For your first purchases, buy smaller bottles so your loss would be minimal if you don’t like them. When you are sure of what fragrance you want to wear for a while, you can buy the bigger bottles.


Choosing the right cologne for you is like a personal adventure. The journey of finding one’s scent is always a pleasant one. You don’t have to stick to one fragrance. If you find that two or three fragrances work well with your body, feel free to get them. Remember to go for what works best for you.

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