Is the fragrance world only devoted to women? Step aside, ladies — 27% of the fragrances on the market are made for men.
Like women, men want their signature scent — one thateveryone will associate as their unique smell.
Are you finally done with your cheap body spray and are buying a nice cologne? When you search for cologne, you’ll find a myriad of different brands, scents, and even types of fragrances.
It makes it difficult to know how to pick a cologne, especially if you want to find your signature scent.
Are you asking yourself, “how do I pick a cologne?” In this article, we offer some advice on choosing your signature scent.
Why Wear a Signature Cologne?
Why are you even trying to find a signature cologne anyway?
Cologne offers many psychological benefits. You’ll feel more confident and attractive. People will also connect with you more, whether you’re on a first date or you’re collaborating with work colleagues.
Last but not least, men who smell good are respected more. A whiff of nice cologne tells someone you take care of yourself, and more people will enjoy your company.
How to Pick a Cologne
You should take great effort when shopping for your signature scent. Before you grab the first bottle of cologne, you find, read our cologne buying advice.
1. Learn Scent Families
Maybe you don’t know the exact scent family classifications. You may not even know what a scent family is. But you can identify the scents you enjoy and dislike.
For example, let’s say there’s nothing you love more than the smell of a campfire but gag at fruity scents.
These are more than just preferences. Your nose and unique preferences will help you identify different scent families and how they can help you choose your signature scent.
Using the previous example, men who love the smell of campfire will enjoy colognes in the woodsy family. If they’re not a fan of fruity fragrances, they will want to deter from clean and crisp colognes.
2. Know Fragrance Notes
Now that you identified specific scent families, you can study the individual fragrance notes. These are the scents in a scent family.
Using the example in the last section, those who prefer scents in the woodsy family will find to find colognes with dominating sandalwood, cedar, and even patchouli or vetiver.
But that’s not all. Every fragrance has top, heart, and base notes.
The top note is the scent that hits you immediately, but the middle note is the one that will last the longest. Base notes are bolder and usually develop after a few hours of wearing the cologne.
It’s recommended you look at all of the notes in these different bases.
With that being said…
3. Linear vs. Non-Linear
If identifying multiple fragrance notes sounds too complicated, find a linear cologne. These colognes don’t change drastically, containing fragrance notes in one family. These colognes are usually less expensive but are more ideal as a signature scent.
The more complex fragrances are non-linear. These colognes change throughout the day, but high-quality non-linear colognes change gradually. You’ll still be able to wear a more complex cologne daily without smelling too loud.
4. The Strength of the Cologne
When shopping for cologne, you’ll find different labels, such as “Eau de Cologne” and “Eau de Toilette.” What do these mean? These labels indicate the strength of the fragrance.
The strongest fragrance is a Parfum, which is more concentrated and usually contains between 20% - 30% of pure fragrance.
The weakest is Eau Fraiche, which only has between 1% - 3% of fragrance. For a daily signature scent, you’ll want to choose something in the lower-middle range.
Eau de Cologne is a top choice for men. It contains a 2% to 4% fragrance concentration. But don’t think the scent is weak; men’s cologne has more robust notes, so you don’t need a high fragrance concentration.
If you want something a little stronger, opt for an Eau de Toilette. It has between 5% - 15% fragrance essence and lasts for several hours.
5. Go for the Classics
You can make the cologne buying process easy and try the classics. These colognes are popular for a reason — they smell amazing and work with most men.
So, what are these classics? If you recognize the designer, the scent is probably a classic. Perfect examples include Chanel, Issey Miyake, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Davidoff.
Sample the best-selling cologne from these brands and find the ones you like the most.
6. Ask Around
Sure, it may be weird to approach your friend and ask what cologne he’s wearing. But this will also help slim down your cologne options.
Keep in mind; there’s a couple of flaws with this method. Just because a cologne smells great on one guy doesn’t mean it’ll smell good on you.
We all have different pheromones and skin. It can affect the way fragrances will smell on you.
The other flaw is you’re only smelling certain notes, usually the heart notes. You may not like the way the cologne smells during its entire course.
While this method has its flaws, it can be an excellent way to open you up to cologne knowledge and even introduce you to colognes that you didn’t know existed.
7. Take Your Personality Into Consideration
The cologne you wear says a lot about you. Stronger colognes impress those around you — these are better suited for a date or a meeting with an executive. Clean and lighter fragrances are more casual, perfect for a day out with friends.
But since you’re finding a signature fragrance, you’ll want to take your overall personality into consideration. Also, your signature fragrance also shouldn’t overwhelm everyone.
If you’re still unsure what to pick, stick to a fresh pine cologne or a warm woodsy cologne.
You’ll be wearing your signature scent daily and will have to re-purchase it often. That’s why it’s essential to set a cologne budget.
While you don’t want to be cheap, some colognes may be out of your price range. Besides, more expensive colognes don’t mean they’re better quality.
9. Designer or Niche
Designer fragrances are popular and familiar — fragrance enthusiasts can easily identify a Jean-Paul Gaultier, Calvin Klein, or Marc Jacobs perfume. But you shouldn’t forget about some of the niche colognes on the market.
Niche colognes are made by individual artists or fragrance experts rather than a designer. While these can be as expensive as designer fragrances, they’re usually high-quality and very unique.
10. Bottle Size
Let’s say you found the perfect cologne.Some colognes are available in different sizes, andothers restrict their size options. The average cologne bottle is between 30 and 100 ml, though there are larger colognes available.
So, which size do you buy? If this is your first time wearing the cologne, buy the smallest size available. It may smell great in the bottle, but it may not be the cologne for you.
Once you finish the bottle and you’re positive that cologne is your new signature scent, buy the next size up.
Additional Advice to Follow
There’s more that goes into buying and wearing cologne than you think. Here’s some extra advice when wearing your signature scent.
Be Wary of Samples
When you shop for a cologne, you may be given a sample.
The sample is usually a card that has a sticker. You peel off the sticker, revealing the scent.
The issue with these samples is the scent may not be exact; most of these samples only show the top fragrance notes.
What if you’re unsure if you’ll like a cologne? The best course of action is buying from a perfume store that has a lenient return policy. If you don’t like the cologne, you can exchange it for another one.
Apply the Cologne Correctly
There’s a science behind cologne — the fragrance notes absorb into the skin more easily in some parts of the body.
That’s why most men spray cologne on their neck. The neck is one of the warmest parts of the body, and the fragrance sticks to the skin.
However, you shouldn’t apply cologne in more areas of the body. You should also only spray a little bit — less is more when it comes to cologne.
Pay Attention to the Scent Changes
As we stated previously, non-linear perfumes change scents throughout the day. Try and identify all of these scent changes. If you can, discover what fragrance notes are at the top, middle, and base.
How to Pick a Cologne: Find Your Signature Scent
Did you realize that you need a signature scent? Knowing how to pick a cologne isn’t always easy, but this advice will lead you to the signature scent you’ve been looking for.
Are you ready to shop for cologne? Take a look at our men’s cologne section!
- Try out only three scents a time. ...
- Start with lighter scents first. ...
- It's good to rebound with a fragrance. ...
- Try to understand what you are smelling. ...
- Skip the coffee beans. ...
- See how a scent evolves after four hours. ...
- Understand why some fragrances cost $30 and some cost $300.
- Think about the Mood You Want to Set. The same principles of aromatherapy go into scenting your home as other areas of self-care. ...
- Mix Different Products. ...
- Get Inspired by Nature. ...
- Better Yet, Use Living Things. ...
- Pick a Through Line. ...
- Keep It Clean. ...
- Don't Stick to Just One.
What Is A Signature Scent? A signature perfume is one scent by which other people recognize you. Not only this, but a signature is also a scent that works best with you and your body chemistry. This perfume boost your mood, makes your day better, and occasionally garners you a compliment or two.
You should know within a few minutes after putting it on your pulse points whether you like it, or it it is just falling off your skin." Further, Knotek suggested that it is important to try something you're not sure you will like, and to that end, always try it on your skin, as what's in the bottle might not smell the ...
There are four scent families: woody, floral, amber, and fresh. These families each take a respective space on the Fragrance Wheel, a circular diagram which illustrates the four scent families in relation to each of their corresponding subfamilies.
If you want people to remember you a bit more intensely, though, a signature scent is an excellent way to do it. Your signature fragrance can actually become part of your personal brand—an unspoken statement of who you are.