Finding the best men's cologne for you isn't easy. After all – every man is unique.
Look around you, gents. You'll see men from all walks of life looking completely different from one another.
One man might wear a suit while another wears sweats.
One man might be bald while another rocks shoulder-length hair.
Every man has his own personal sense of style that carries him through his day to do life. His clothes suit his personal needs, and his body is his own to craft however he pleases.
But what about fragrance? If every man appears unique, then surely every man needs to smell unique too, right?
To some extent, yes. But also, no.
A right of passage for every man is to find his own ‘signature scent' – meaning that one cologne that people associate with him and his personality.
Finding your signature scent isn't an easy process – it involves a lot of trial and error and time to get right.
Fear not, gents – I'm here to tell you how you can discover your own signature scent in less time than you might think.
Let's get to it.
‘Fashion is about something that comes from within you.' – Ralph Lauren
1. Don't Overthink It
The best men's cologne for you is somewhere out there, gents – you just have to find it.
But before you run off to the store and buy as many bottles as you can carry, pause for a second.
Your wallet will thank you.
Finding your signature scent is not necessarily about trying as many fragrances as possible until one sticks.
No – instead, it's about knowing your own likes, dislikes, and fragrance needs and then shopping for colognes that will fit the bill.
At the end of the day, most colognes smell nice, so there's really no need to overthink this process.
The most important first step is to simply start smelling different fragrances to recognize the scents you like.
‘Play to your mood: I like to keep a selection of fragrances for different moods.' – Tom Ford.
Sure, in the beginning, you might make a few mistakes and try a scent that just isn't right for you.
That's life, gentlemen. Before any success comes hard learning – which is exactly what you guys need to do in the early stages of finding the best men's cologne for you.
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2. Trust Your Own Scent Judgement
Who knows you best?
Your partner? Maybe your mother? Do your friends know you best?
Sure – the important people in your life are going to have a great understanding of your character.
However, at the end of the day, the person who knows you best is you.
That's why I advise you to shop for fragrances that you like rather than ones that will appease those close to you.
Should You Aim For Mass Appeal?
As with our personal style, we obviously want everyone around us to enjoy our scent.
Unfortunately guys, that just isn't going to happen. It's a well-known fact that pleasing everyone entirely is impossible and, while most people might like your choice of fragrance, there will always be someone out there who thinks ‘Jeez, that guy stinks!'
It's important that you guys know what works best for you and how to buy fragrances according to that. With a bit of research, you'll be able to work out your body's preferred scents and start buying the best men's colognes to suit that profiling.
A good rule of thumb is first to consider fragrances that you like. Then consider fragrances that your loved ones will like, and finally consider fragrances that everyone will enjoy.
3. Test, Test, and Test Again
Let's put this into perspective for a second.
When looking for a new car, would you buy the first one you test drive?
I'm guessing not – after all, if you don't play the field, you could miss out on finding your ideal car.
The same theory applies to buying a fragrance. If your goal is to find the best men's cologne for your skin, then it's vital that you try out several different samples before making your final decision.
Good news, gents: trying out fragrances is much easier than test-driving cars.
Where Can You Test Colognes?
When searching for your signature scent, the best place to peruse parfums is a department store.
The reason for this is simple – in the perfume section of every department store in the country, you will find hundreds of free-to-access cologne testers that you can sort through and smell at your leisure.
Head to one of these department stores to gain free access to the best men's colognes on the market – spend an entire afternoon testing out different scents if needs be! By the end of the day, you'll have a much better idea of what scents you like and what scents you should avoid.
4. Wear Your Fragrance Every Day
Now I know they say variety is the spice of life.
However, it's important to assess your attraction to that fragrance when it comes to discovering your signature scent.
The best men's cologne for you will be one that you can wear consistently without growing tired of how it smells.
That isn't an easy thing to discover, gents. After all – can you imagine wearing the same t-shirt for a year without getting bored of it?
I know I couldn't.
As such – when considering which fragrance you want to make your signature scent, you need to ensure that it isn't a scent that you're going to get bored of after a month or two of wearing.
To do this – it's vital to give yourself as much exposure to that scent as possible.
Wear your scent every day and ensure you spray enough of it so that it maintains its longevity for a long period of time (don't go crazy – 3 or 4 sprays will do the job).
Pro tip: don't buy a large bottle of your potential signature scent to begin with. Most fragrance houses will offer smaller bottles of fragrance and samples that you can use to test your enjoyment of the scent before committing to an expensive large bottle.
5. Do Your Research
Another great way of firmly deciding on your signature scent is to do the research on the best men's cologne and learn as much about that fragrance's components, history, and science as possible.
The reason for this is simple: the more knowledge you have, the more informed your decisions can be.
If you know the different notes within a fragrance, the fragrance's origin, and how it's created from ingredients to bottle, then you're far more likely to appreciate the finer details of the product.
What Should You Research About Your Fragrance?
For those not in the know:
Fragrance notes are the individual building blocks of scent – think of them as the different layers to a complex smell.
- Top Notes – the basic, initial scent that is experienced. Typically lasts 15 minutes – 2 hours.
- Heart Notes – the main elements of a fragrance that showcase how the perfumer intended the scent to be experienced. It can last 3-5 hours.
- Base Notes -the final layer to develop within a fragrance. The base note has a potential longevity of 5-10 hours.
Depending on the ingredients used to create each of the above notes within a fragrance, they can also be subcategorized into either summer and winter scents.
- Summer fragrances are made up of lighter notes such as citrus and floral notes and last on average 5-7 hours.
- Winter fragrances commonly utilize intense base notes such as wood and tobacco and last at least 10 hours.
If you do the research and find out where your chosen fragrance sits within these categories, you'll find you not only enjoy the scent of your fragrance but also the more technical aspects of its construction as well.
Remember – knowledge is power, gents.
6. Build A Fragrance Collection
Okay, gents – I know for the whole of this article I've been talking about having your one signature fragrance.
Bear with me – I'm gonna throw a curveball in here to liven things up a bit.
You don't just have to stick with one signature scent – if you play your cards right, you can have a signature collection of scents that you dip in and out of at your own leisure.
Hear me out. As we know, men can wear different fragrances at different times of the day, week, and even year:
- Day time fragrances are different from evening fragrances.
- Working week scents are different from weekend scents.
- The colognes you wear in the winter differ greatly from those worn in the summertime.
As such, building a smart collection of your most loved fragrances will help you get through the whole year smelling great.
It's a good idea to stick to similar notes within your collection of fragrances. After all, if you're known for having a particular type of scent, deviating from that with a completely contrasting cologne might raise some questions.
To ensure that your different signature scents have some element of consistency to them, look for colognes that share a few similar ingredients so that there is a hint of similarity between the fragrances you wear in the winter and the summer.
How To Find Your Signature Scent
Being unique and individual in your style is really important, guys.
Whether it's at work, home, or on a date – acting and dressing in a way that makes you feel great is the key to success.
Part of being an individual is to find that one signature scent that defines you and your personal style. Your friends, family, and colleagues should instantly think of you when they catch a smell of your signature fragrance.
Finding that personal scent isn't easy – it takes a lot of trial and error and should be heavily informed by researching the best men's cologne on the market. However, once you do find that one fragrance that just works for you – you'll never want to stop spraying it.
Want to know which fragrances drive women crazy? Check out my guide to the best men's cologne that women love.
Click below to watch the video – How To Find Your Signature Scent (Backed By Science)