Growing up in Cameroon, wearing a fragrance was never a culture in our society. On the contrast, those who wore fragrances were regarded as having unpleasant body odors while those who didn’t, boost of themselves as naturally odor free.
Even though there seem to have been tremendous change in the extent to which fragrances are worn in recent time, ladies seem to be the lead this aspect of grooming.
If you still belong to that school of thought who still wonders why you should wear fragrance, here is the good news for you; perfumes offers numerous benefits to your personality such as; making you more attractive, helping you feel less stressed and making you feel more confident. If you have ever had a beautiful lady tell you “you smell wonderful” then you will understand the power of a good cologne. Fragrance is an invisible part of our personal style, and it has a powerful effect on how we are seen and remembered by others. Personally the bottle that has earned me this complement time without number is Victor and Rolf’s Spicebomb Intense. Treat yourself with one and thank me later.
Picking cologne is often a fuzzy mess of hit-and-miss scents and an assemblage of confusing foreign vocabulary. It’s a whole lot of jargon when all you’re trying to do is find your subtle signature scent. We’ve broken down all you need to know to find the perfect scent that embodies you in one comprehensive guide to fragrances so you can kiss the confusion goodbye after reading this article.
Fragrance Life Cycle
This is refers to the way a fragrance “cycles” through its life in succession of notes until the perfume expires completely. While certain fragrances cycle through their notes one after the other in a straight-forward way, others can be more complex as their notes turn to overlap with one another to form different accords.
There are three different types of notes that comprise the scent of most fragrances: top, medium, and base notes:
- Top or Head notes. These are the first notes perceived immediately upon the application of a fragrance. They are mostly the most volatile compounds which get released first, which are also very quick to evaporate . This explains why head notes are short-lived but very strong and sharp. They serve as first impressions since they introduce the wearer to the fragrance.
- Medium or Heart notes. These notes emerge as the head or top nodes fade. They are known to be the transitory notes that usher the arrival of the base node. They are usually designed to conceal base notes, which unpleasant at first especially when not completely mature.
- Base notes. The base note is the the foundation of a fragrance. Base notes are long-lasting aromas that form accords with the heart notes. They are what determines a fragrance’s longevity and usually last for hours.As a nutshell, fragrance notes are stacked on top of each other like sediments, which serve to represent its life cycle’s chronological order in the form of a triangle which is popularly referred to as a pyramid.
Selecting Your Scent
Visit your local department store and take a sniff of the variety they have and do not be swayed by salespeople flattery. Trust your nose to be your guide.
How to Select and Buy the Right Fragrance
Scientific studies suggest that men can naturally pick the fragrance that works best with their natural body scent. You are the best person to determine the scent that suits you.
The opinions of others should assist in questioning your decision since buying a cologne on someone’s recommendation without trying it yourself is not advisable and can be counterproductive.
Testing to see if the perfume complements your natural body odor in person over the period of a day can be the best method of finding a new fragrance.
Department stores serve as a great resource for this purpose. Make assurance double sure by not buying until ready (fall for the first note is very easy). The maximum number of scents to try at once should not exceed four, even though only two is recommended (one on each arm) especially if you are an amateur.
- Spray one scent on each wrist and each inner elbow in the case of four.
- The cards which are provided by department stores to smell the colognes only allows you to smell the top notes and not how it smells on you so avoid the cards.
- Refresh your palate with something strong, like coffee or tea between each fragrance.
- As explained above, you expect the scent to change over the next few hours so try smelling all the notes.
- Walk around the department store and smell the fragrances at various intervals while paying attention to why you like the ones you prefer.
- Now you can buy a bottle of your winner(s) and start to wear. I will mention here that wearing fragrances is a process and not a destination. You might end up owning and loving dozens of scents just like myself but don’t feel you have to get it perfect immediately with your first buy, you will get there, give it time.
Types of Scents:
The world of fragrances are broken down into about 8 defined scents(mostly available for women) but men’s fragrances fall among these 4 types. If you have a certain smell that you have fallen in love with and are attached to, it should be one of these.
Spicy fragrances are mainly those that are made from anything that you would find in a spice rack in the kitchen like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, pepper, cloves and nutmeg which are combined with oriental materials, such as woods and resins to form a base of very distinct and pleasant notes to the senses. Spicy perfumes are perfect for casual cocktail parties and happy hour events.
These are colognes made from mix of earthy and musky fragrances. Ingredients like amber, musk, and animalistic base scents are often contained in oriental colognes. These scent is claimed to be ideal when a man wants to attract attention or seduce that very special lady. Oriental fragrances are ideal for special dates or a romantic night out.
Wood fragrances are some of the most popular type of fragrances for men and the scent they give off are warm, earthy and dry smelling fragrances that usually contain mossy and leathery notes and but are also dominated by woody scents (sometimes referred to as oud by some designer brands). Wood fragrances are the most recommended in the cold seasons (fall/autumn and winter.
Fresh perfumes embody a wide variety of vigorous scents that focuses on citrus, green, and water smells. Fresh colognes comprise a modern smell that are usually androgynous (men and women) aromas of orange, lemon, freshly-cut grass, and sea breezes.
Fragrance Application RULES
We all have that one friend or have been around some men who used too much sprays. The scent is so overwhelming and a turn off. It’s easy to avoid such a costly mistake by learning how to apply a fragrance properly and judiciously.
- Spray fragrance on dry skin. Preferably right after shower and it is recommended to hold nozzle 3-6 inches from your skin while applying.
- Start light. If you’re an amateur to fragrances, start with one single spray on your chest. As you get accustomed to and knowledgeable about how wearing fragrances properly, you can proceed to a few more sprays in different areas of your body.
- Apply to heat areas. Your body heat will push the scent throughout the day, start with the warmest parts of your body: chest, neck, lower jaw, wrist, forearm, inner elbow and shoulder sequentially. Do not apply fragrance to all these points at the same time; start with one and then as you learn the scent, move on to spray 2-3 other spots.
- Re-spray only when required. You can add more sprays to your wrists depending on how long the scent lasts (not recommended for parfums and eau de parfum for their longevity). For most people (wearing eau de cologne, toilette or fraiche) this will be during the second half of the day.
- Do not kill the note. Rubbing the perfume into the skin seems a sensible thing to do. In reality, it breaks the molecular bond, thereby by weakening the strength of the scent.
- Do not spray and walk. Spraying a perfume in the air and walking through the mist is worthless and a big waste. Most of the fragrance diffuses into the air while some drops straight to the floor.
- Do not spray perfume on your clothes. If you do, the fragrance will not be allowed to mix with your oils, and hence the stages of note are inhibited like it should. And besides, your clothes will end up with stains from the fragrance oils.
- Do not splash. If you are to apply a fragrance from a regular bottle, take one finger and press it against the opening of your bottle and then tip it over gently and dab onto the spots on your body described above.
- Less is more. Let your fragrance be discovered and not announced. People who are close by should be able to smell and be enticed by your cologne and not be overpowered by it.
A nice perfume adds to your overall impression of being a sharp, attractive gentleman and also increases your confidence around women. We know that dressing well boosts your confidence because you just feel better when you look nice. Wearing a nice fragrance enhances that feeling as well because you’ll be confident that you not only look like a million bucks, but do smell like it too.
Let me know what you think.