It seems simple enough. You’re about to head out the door and so you grab the bottle of your favorite cologne and fire off a couple of shots. This should do, you think, right? But by the time you get out of the elevator at work, you feel as though the scent has completely dissipated. You haven’t been complimented for smelling nice in … who knows how long? It’s a damn shame too, because you put a lot of time and money into choosing a good fragrance. You want it to last.
But you don’t want to over-apply. This is the number one mistake most men make. And we get it. You like how your cologne smells and you want it to last you all day. So you figure that if some is good, then maybe more is even better. Don’t be that guy—fogging up the car or elevator with his pungent choice in scents. Subtlety should be the goal when it comes to fragrances. And it isn’t about applying more to make it last. It’s about applying it the right way. Here’s what you need to know.
Prep your skin before spraying
A rookie mistake is to spritz your cologne on at the last possible moment before leaving the house. The logic being that if you spray it too early, it might disappear before you see anyone. But in truth, the best time to apply your fragrance is right after your shower. Your skin is damp and your pores are open, allowing the fragrance’s oils to seep deeper into the skin. This allows the scent to develop over the day and stay more present.
Note: If you tend to have drier skin, consider moisturizing before spraying, as cologne won’t absorb as efficacy which, in turn, makes it easy for your scent to evaporate more quickly.
Don’t spray your clothes
These fragrances were developed to be applied to your body. Spraying your clothes prevents the fragrance’s oils from interacting with your skin, which helps the scent develop and change throughout the day. Plus, it could end up discoloring or staining a garment.
Pick a place and commit
Like the generations before you, you likely spray in the same place everyday—the neck, the wrists—and that’s good. These pulse points, where veins and arteries are closer to the surface of the skin, are warmer than the rest of the body. The heat actually helps scents retain their potency while also developing them so that they’re able to linger through the rich, long-lasting middle and base notes.
Note: Don’t rub your wrists together or blot the area you just spritzed. This, “bruises the scent,” as they say in the business. Which means, you physically break down the essences in the fragrance, usually making the top notes disappear too quickly.
Store your bottles properly
Although you might be tempted to keep it in your bathroom cabinet, the most fragrance experts advise against it. Heat and moisture from your daily showers are not ideal for a fragrance’s formula. You’re better off storing them in cool, dry places where the temperature is steady and they’re out of direct light.
Watch out for competing scents
You know how most fragrances now have matching soaps or body lotions? Those allow you to remove competing scents and further strengthen your chosen scent’s connection to your body. Of course, you could also use fragrance-free soaps and lotions to remove any chance of drowning out your cologne.