As you’ve probably learned from your blunder years in middle school, dousing yourself in cologne isn’t going to do your love life any favors. Although you’ve probably wised up since then, it’s still all too common for guys to make mistakes when applying cologne.
Unlike screwing up your wardrobe or styling your hair wrong, messing up your cologne can be a bit more problematic. According to a 2016 study in the journal Brain Sciences, odors can trigger more powerful memories and emotions than any other cue.
If you don’t want your date to remember you by your overwhelming cologne or strange scent, learning the ins and outs of applying cologne is necessary to achieving a subtle, sexy scent. Below, we’ll cover a few things that every guy should know when it comes to applying cologne.
Choose a Cologne That Suits Your Natural Scent
Before you can apply cologne properly, you first need to find one that suits your preferences, along with your natural scent. Buying cologne is a personal endeavor and, for this reason, it’s why it almost never works out when your well-meaning aunt buys cologne for you.
When you first start searching for the perfect cologne, skip the scent strips at your local department store and always spray the tester colognes directly on your skin. This will help you get a sense for how the cologne smells after mixing with your natural scent.
Only test one or two scents at a time and leave it on your skin all day. A good cologne will have different notes in them that will become more apparent throughout different parts of the day.
Tip: If you want your natural aroma (and thus, your cologne) to smell better, try ditching your worst habits. Smoking, stress and diet can all play a significant role in how we smell naturally, which can make or break your cologne.
Apply Cologne to Heat Points
Heat points, pulse points, hot spots—whatever you want to call them, the areas in which your body generates the most heat is where you want to spray your cologne. These areas help hold the scent of your cologne for longer and amplify certain notes within the fragrance.
A few good places to spray your cologne include the neck, the wrists, chest and behind the calves. Although the armpits are considered a heat point as well, we recommend skipping this spot because cologne can irritate the sensitive skin there.
Spray directly on these heat points for best results. Avoid spraying cologne onto your clothes because it can stain them. Also, avoid the method of spraying cologne into the air and walking into it. Most of the scent won’t catch your skin or clothes and will only serve as a huge waste of your cologne.
A Little Goes a Long Way
From having a good sense of humor to showing kindness to others, there are several traits that are scientifically proven to make you more attractive to the opposite sex. Unfortunately, the strength of your cologne may be overshadowing some of your most attractive qualities.
How is your date supposed to learn more about you when your cologne is giving her a massive headache? Go easy on the fragrance by applying no more than one or two sprays. This will give your date a hint of your signature scent without making her feel nauseous.
If you’re still worried about applying too much, spray your normal amount of cologne and ask a friend if they can smell you from more than an arm’s distance away. If they can, it’s probably too much.
Remember to Moisturize
While most guys view their oily skin as nothing but a nuisance, there are a few upsides to having hyperactive oil glands—especially when it comes to applying cologne. Not only does cologne tend to stick to oily skin more effectively for a longer-lasting scent, it can also counteract the drying effects of cologne.
If you have dry or normal skin, using a daily moisturizer is essential to avoid excessive drying caused by harsh ingredients in your cologne. Specifically, look for nourishing and hydrating skin care ingredients such as glycerin and lavendulan oil, while taking care to avoid artificial fragrances that may clash with your cologne and cause additional dryness.
The best time to apply your moisturizer is after you get out of the shower, followed by your cologne. After a warm shower, your pores will be open which allows the ingredients to sink in for maximum effect.
Change Up Your Scents
A lot of guys will find their signature scent and never deviate from it. Although there is nothing wrong with this, a one-size-fits-all approach may not be the best solution for every occasion.
For example, the scent you wear on a date or to the club on Saturday nights is likely not a good fit for the office and for everyday use. Your daily scent should be light and carefree, while your special occasion cologne is an opportunity to rock a stronger scent that isn’t too overpowering.
Similarly, you might want to mix up your scents depending on the season. Colognes with top notes of mint and citrus work well in the summer, while warmer notes of tobacco and leather are arguably more suited for winter.
Don’t Mix Fragrances
Mixing up your scents is to be encouraged. Mixing them together, however, is a huge no-no. We’re talking specifically about mixing products such as your body wash and strong-smelling aftershave or deodorant with your cologne.
Mixing different fragrances can be drying to the skin and create an overpowering scent that repels anyone within a five-foot radius. To avoid clashing scents, consider switching to daily skin care products that contain no artificial fragrances.
Although switching skin care products may seem like a chore, it may provide additional benefits apart from mixing well with your cologne. According to a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, artificial fragrances are one of the most common causes of contact allergic reactions.
While your scent may be invisible, it remains an essential part of your overall style. Applying the perfect amount of an irresistible cologne can add the finishing touches to your look while increasing your attractiveness.
Just be careful to avoid going overboard with your spritzes and don’t be afraid to experiment with different colognes. Let your nose open you up to the world of unique and exciting scents as you take note of which ones pair best with your natural scent. Soon enough, your friends will be coming to you, the cologne connoisseur, for expert advice and guidance on all things cologne.