How to Choose & Apply Cologne: The Ultimate Guide for Men

We know why many of you guys wear cologne.

High school, Locker room, Tough day on the dodge ball court!

But, most men apply cologne the wrong way.

Knowing how to apply cologne perfectly is an art form which, if not done properly, can lead to either over-application or a scent that fades quickly. Besides cologne is an afterthought for many men, they spray it on their clothes right before walking out of their homes. This is the worst way to apply cologne, unfortunately.

Fragrance, Perfume, Eau de Toilette & Cologne

What’s more, most men don’t put too much effort into choosing their scent. But, if planned properly, a man’s cologne can be an essential part of their style. A good cologne can make you feel more confident & attractive, which helps you appear that way to those around you.

Also, if the fragrance is so important, why are only 36 percent of men wearing cologne regularly? A lack of education might play a large part. If you’re wondering how to apply, choose, and store cologne, read on.

How to Apply Cologne?

1. Apply on dry skin right after you shower.

Get this, the shower cleanses your body of any other scents and opens your pores. Besides, dry your skin thoroughly before spraying; this helps the scent to absorb.

2. Hold the spray bottle 3 to 6 inches from your body.

3-6 inches are perfect; if you hold the bottle any closer, you risk over-applying; any further & you’ll under-apply.

3. Always apply cologne to heated areas of your body.

The heat helps in diffusing the scent throughout the day while allowing it to meld with your body chemistry to develop your signature scent. Heated areas include your pulse points, neck, chest, forearms, or inner elbows.

4. Start with a light application.

If you are new to using colognes, do not apply cologne to all of the heated body areas mentioned above. Choose an area and start with one spray. If you notice that your scent fades away immediately, choose another area & spray the cologne there next time you apply. You can also ask the opinion of a close friend if the application is appropriate. Why may you ask? Well, you can become nose-blind to scents you wear often.

5. Re-apply if needed.


You may need to re-apply, depending on the type of cologne you buy. It is especially true if you are going out in the evening. So, while going out, just simply dab a little onto your pulse points.

How much is Too Much?

Learning to apply the perfect amount of cologne is a lesson that every man should master. This will not only save you from a lot of guessing, but it’ll also keep everyone else around you from having to endure an overwhelming scent.

The rule of thumb is that no one should be able to detect your scent unless they are within a touching distance from you. You should only need about 1-2 spritzes or dabs to get you through the day, so always start with a small amount and add as needed. Doing this will add to your persona, not an assault on the senses.

How Much Colognes

The amount of cologne you wear mostly depends on your skin type. For oily skin, fragrance sticks longer and more robust, so be minimal with your application. Skin Care is essential; if your skin is on the drier side, the fragrance will probably wear off faster. And to increase its lasting power, try moisturizing the area before applying.

Plus, with the plethora of scented toiletries in your bathroom, carefully pick one scent for the day. Whether it is a scented deodorant, a dab of cologne, or an aromatic body wash, don’t clash scents by using more than one scented product each day.

How to Buy the Right Cologne?

While applying cologne, the correct way is essential; it’s also necessary to start with a scent that complements your natural body chemistry and fits your lifestyle in terms of how long the scent lasts.

How to Buy the Right Cologne?

For example, some cologne (usually the expensive ones) last longer than others. Some start out smelling one way but smell slightly different throughout the day. You can learn which cologne will suit you best by educating yourself on the complexities involved with men’s fragrance.

The Difference between Fragrance, Perfume, Eau de Toilette & Cologne

Fragrances are basically just a mixture of different ‘raw materials’ or perfume oils. These ‘raw materials’ can be synthetic or natural and are mixed with a solvent (usual alcohol) to preserve and dilute the scent.

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The level of ‘raw materials’ in your cologne or fragrance will determine the length of time it will last when worn. The most diluted fragrances are the most affordable, but the more concentrated fragrances last longer and have a more potent scent. The scent categories are listed below:

  • Cologne (Eau de Cologne): 2–4% perfume oil; usually lasts around two hours
  • Eau Fraiche: 1–3% perfume oil; usually lasts less than an hour
  • Toilette (Eau de Toilette): 5–15% perfume oil; usually lasts around three hours
  • Perfume (Eau de Parfum): 15–20% perfume oil; typically lasts five to eight hours
  • Parfum: 20–30% perfume oil; can last up to 24 hours

While cologne is listed as a scent category, other men’s fragrances are often sold in several of these concentration levels. The concentration level is always indicated on the bottle, and the fragrances are generally categorized by price.

The Fragrance Life-cycle

Fragrances always contain three ‘notes’: the top note, medium note, and a base note. When you’re wearing your cologne or perfume, it goes through three stages of evaporation. Also, top notes are the first to evaporate, then the middle notes, and then the base notes, so consider this when choosing a scent.

Fragrance, Perfume, Eau de Toilette & Cologne

  • Top notes: This is the initial, lighter set of smells that start lingering on the skin soon after you apply. These smells last from 15 minutes to two hours, depending on the type of fragrance you use.
  • Medium notes: These are the ‘main’ elements of the fragrance that usually include more decadent scents like floral or spices. This stage lasts 3–5 hours.
  • Base notes: These scents are the last to develop and are the boldest scents in the equation. These can be detected all day and are the last to evaporate, while lasting 5 to 10 hours at the same time.

As the layers of notes evaporate, the scent starts to change. While this may sound strange, this evolution is actually what makes a scent exciting & attractive.

There are a massive amount of scent types out there, and the way they blend with your skin can vary. So you should determine what scents you are initially attracted to and then test them out on your skin.

How Long Does Cologne Last?

How Long Does Cologne Last?

Oil concentration is the biggest factor in how long a cologne or fragrance lasts. Here’s how long does different types of fragrance last:

  • Eau-de-cologne will last 1-3 hours.
  • Eau-de-parfum can last 7-12 hours.
  • Eau-de-toilette can last 3-7 hours.
  • Parfum can last 12-24 hours.

The type of raw materials in cologne tells you how long it lasts. Fresh & floral fragrances tend to last shorter, while woody and spicy fragrances last longer.

Now, how long a bottle lasts, well, it depends on the size of the bottle and the number of sprays. Most bottles are 75ml, and most people like to spray two to three per application. If that sounds like you, your bottle is bound to last the better part of a year. If you like to switch between fragrances, even your favorite bottle will last well over a year.

How to Make Your Cologne Last?

Cologne does not possess an infinite shelf life, and many bottles will have a date on the bottom that indicates an expiry or a use-by date. To make your cologne & perfume last longer, keep it in its original box as light exposure over some time can cause fragrances to deteriorate. You can also choose to keep your cologne in the dark cabinet or drawer, but avoid exposing them to direct sunlight if at all possible.

How to Make Your Cologne Last?

Fluctuations in temperature can shorten the lifetime of a fragrance. The changes in temperature & humidity can destroy the molecular integrity of the perfume. This means that storing them in the bathroom will move them closer to spoiling. Another place you should avoid storing your fragrance is in your car, where temperatures fluctuate rapidly. While some colognes naturally have longer shelf lives, so if you keep them properly, it’ll allow you to enjoy them for years to come.

Moreover, buying great cologne is an investment that should give you a great return. Whether cologne is a part of your everyday ritual, or you reserve it for those special occasions, your bottle will be safe if you can avoid the following elements:

  • Light
  • Heat
  • Oxygen

If you are an occasional wearer, consider storing your cologne in the refrigerator. This will eliminate many of these factors from spoiling your fragrance.

Now that you know how to choose and apply cologne that speaks to your personality & mixes well with your body chemistry, you can enjoy the perks of daily cologne usage. If you follow our advice, you may start to notice a boost in confidence and maybe even get an occasional compliment. Feel free to try different colognes or fragrances in the same scent family to develop a personal scent brand that your friends & family will associate with you from now on, and get in touch with Awesome Perfume to know more. We are one of the largest online retailers of Perfumes and Colognes.

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