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Grooming Tips: A Guide for Men in Choosing the Perfect Cologne

Millennial Magazine - choosing-the-perfect-cologne

Are you searching for a signature scent? Something that will become associated with you over time? It is a big decision and you need to think about it carefully. There are many fragrances on the market. Even though many of them smell great, they aren’t necessarily good for you. Since your cologne is going to be your signature scent, it has to be unique and meaningful. Here are a few tips to choose the perfect cologne for men.

1. Study Different Notes

Understanding some Perfume 101 will help you make a good decision. There is a lot to learn about scent structures and a little knowledge goes a long way. Notes generally reveal themselves in three layers: base, heart, and top. Top notes are very strong at first. However, they soon evaporate to pave way for the other notes.

Heart notes tend to be floral. They balance out your cologne and bind to the ends. Base notes are the longest-lasting. They are prominent and intense. They are the notes that stay lingering for hours. The notes change depending on seasons. Therefore, the perfect cologne for winter may not be so great for summer.

2. Learn About Seasonality and Scent Families

Learn about different scent families and determine which one you wish to draw from. If you want different colognes for different seasons, you need heavier scents for cold months and lighter options for warm months. Woody and oriental fragrances are perfect for fall and winter. Citrusy and floral scents are perfect for warm months. If you wish to have a signature scent throughout the year, ensure that it is simple and balanced.

The basic fragrance families are oriental, woody, green, floral, fruity, and water. The oriental family covers vanilla, musk, amber, and other spicy notes.

Scents in the woody family evoke a sense of earthiness and forests. They include moss, vetiver, cedarwood, and sandalwood. Unlike woody notes, scents in the green family are fresh and aromatic. They include mint, lavender, rosemary, and mint.

The floral family has notes like lilies, roses, and bitter orange. They are generally fresh, sweet, and ripe.

Scents in the water family evoke the feel of being out on a humid night or spending some time close to the ocean.

All fruits except citruses fall into the fruity family. The scents include wild berries and fresh peaches.

3. Get Clues From Others

Everyone knows a few people that smell great. Consider getting a few clues from them. You can try these other men’s grooming hacks from the experts behind Rooftop Squad, and once you understand the basics of scents and how they work, you want to try out different options. Instead of going on a wild goose chase, try options from people that you trust. Find out what other guys enjoy and why they enjoy them. The employees of department stores may be able to give you a few ideas as well. If you like someone else’s scent, don’t be afraid to appropriate it unless you see each other every day.

4. Consider Your Intentions

What do you want your cologne to do for you? What is your personality and how would different scents help bring it out?  Do you want to come off as sexy, cool, or sophisticated? Think about the alter ego you are going for and how different scents may come off to your friends, strangers, and partners. Everyone is going to associate the scent with you so it should suit all your different situations. When trying to emphasize your sex appeal, stick to woody and green notes. If you want to ooze sophistication, try citrus scents.

5. Try Classic Scents

When unsure, always go with classic scents. If you already know a few classic colognes, you are on the right path. Picking your own shouldn’t be a problem. Try them out and determine what you like about each scent. You can use it as a basis for choosing your signature scent.

6. Try Before Buying

Do not purchase your cologne before trying it at the store. Try out a few options and determine what you like most. Email different brands and ask them to send you testers. Many of them will be happy to send them for free. If you are confident in a brand, it may be okay to pay a small fee for the testers. Do not rely on people’s opinions or online reviews completely.

7. Testing In Stores Isn’t Enough

Testing your colognes in the store is important but it isn’t enough. Since fragrances have three notes, you may be unable to identify all of them in a short time. If you make a decision solely on what you smell at the store, you will be missing out on two important notes that distinguish a cologne from others.

Even when the top note is great, you have no assurance that the next ones will be equally impressive. Take a few sample cards home to get the full experience of your cologne.

8. Cost

Pricey colognes are generally better than cheaper ones. They use natural ingredients and their notes are more established. They go through delicate production processes and may smell better. However, you shouldn’t pick a cologne just because it is expensive. Sometimes, you are only paying for the label name.

9. Be Subjective

Disregard everything you hear about colognes and use your nose to make a decision. Pay attention to the advice you get but don’t trust it completely. Try out scents from all the families, masculine colognes, and everything you can get. If you are a beginner, resist the temptation to try out too many options and educate yourself first.

10. Avoid Harmful Ingredients

Consider the ingredients in your cologne before making a decision. Unfortunately, there are no regulations over the types of ingredients that go into your cologne. If you aren’t your own advocate, no one will protect your health. Some cologne makers will use silicone, sulfates, and glycols in their products.

Do not buy cologne with these products no matter how nice it may smell. It could trigger skin sensitivity and irritation.

Even though most men gravitate towards woody cologne scents, they aren’t the only options. Men can get signature scents from all the fragrant families. Whether you are looking for a sexy scent for your night outs or something light and crisp, the options are endless.

What do you think?

Written by Brooke Chaplan

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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