Scents & Fragrances: The Men’s Essential Guide to Cologne

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Essential Oils have been in use nearly as long as man has been around to use them. Ancient cave paintings found in Lascaux, France dating back to 18,000 B.C.E, depict the use of healing plants by humans.

Essential oils, such as myrrh, sandalwood, and frankincense were highly coveted in ancient Egypt, used only by those of importance in ceremonies dating back to 4500 B.C.E. Egyptian pharaohs were said to use their own unique blend of these essential oils for a variety of reasons including sexual intimacy, and in preparation of war.9

Modern men may not need to prepare for war, but the use of manly essential oils in daily life can improve mood, increase libido, and act as a natural deodorant. Essential oils include perfumes and colognes and we have compiled some information about colognes that you should look out for when picking out a fragrance.

Reality is, picking out cologne is often a befuddling mess of hit-and-miss scents and an array of confusing foreign vocabulary when all you are trying to do is find your elusive signature scent.

I do not think anyone can tell you fully what your signature scent is. Not even your own mother/father. Not even your spouse. Not even that person who knows you most.


Reason being, this is a matter of personal preference. Of personality. Of character.

It is a personal endeavour to find ‘yourself’ in a fragrance.

And your fragrance, is, the ACCENT OF YOUR PERSONA – one of the characteristics people remember you by.

So how do you go about selecting the fragrance that suits you best? A scent that truly defines who you are?

As I have learned in studying music composition, less is more.

So look out for these terms on bottles and packaging to help you pick out a scent.

Fragrance Terms:

The French influence is undeniable when it comes to colognes and fragrances. Though this adds a certain degree of je ne sais quoi, this can be difficult to understand for non-French speakers. Here’s some terms that come up while choosing colognes:


This simply means perfume and has the largest percentage of oils (>20%), lasting up to 6 hours

Eau de Parfum:

This is quite literally a slightly watered down perfume, as “eau” means water in French. This has 10-20% oil and lasts 4-5 hours

Eau de Toilette:

A lightly scented fragrance that is used more as a skin freshener, containing 7-12% oil and lasting 3-4 hours

Eau de Cologne:

The lightest of the fragrances, this type only contains 2-7% oil and lasts 2-3 hours

Pour Homme:

This phrase is often found on colognes and means “for men”


Fragrance Pulse Points:

  • Behind the ears
  • Base of the neck
  • Wrists
  • Inside your elbows
  • Inside your knees

When applying, be sure to dab and not rub the scent, as this can compromise the scent by spoiling the high notes, or leading smell, of the fragrance. Allow the fragrance to take its course on its own.  You can venture into the spray-and-walk-away method, however it is easier to overdo it and can be a waste of valuable cologne.

The rule of thumb is that no one should be able to detect your scent unless they are within a 1-foot radius of you. Always start with a smaller amount and add as needed.  You should only need about 1-2 dabs to get you through the day. This should be an accent to your persona not an assault on the senses.

The amount of cologne to wear can also depend on your skin type. For oily skin, fragrance sticks longer and stronger so be minimal with your application. If your skin is on the drier side, the fragrance will probably wear off faster. For increased lasting power, try moisturizing the area before applying.

With the plethora of scented toiletries in your bathroom, be strict about picking one scent for the day. Whether it be a scented deodorant, a dab of cologne, or an aromatic body wash, don’t clash scents by using more than 1 scented product each day.

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