While we may consider it quite primal when our puppy dog displays their interest in a stranger via wild sniffing, we, ourselves, aren’t quite different. Scents are often known to excavate childhood memories, trigger deeply rooted emotions and ruin a man’s chances with prospective partners. Why? We can only assume something so powerful is something worth investigating. After all, before you blow your billfold on a cologne completely unmatched to your persona, you’ll want to consciously choose what’s best for you.

How to Address a Cologne

Going back to puppy dogs and their incessant sniffing-before-befriending, one can witness the effect of scents on the human psyche. The Scientific American concludes, “Smell subconsciously facilitates a variety of human social interactions. People use smell to assess a person’s likability, sexual attractiveness and emotional state. They can also use scent to distinguish a stranger from a friend, a male from a female and someone who is gay from someone who is straight.”

Now, of course, mistakes can be made in the initial evaluation of a complete stranger. But, the importance of carefully selecting a cologne cannot be denied. This is because both women and men, as organisms, are geared toward trusting scent-triggered instincts. Rachel Herz’s book, The Scent of Desire, which discusses as length this scent legend, is hailed by Harper Collins as a necessity to our social existence: “Smell was the very first sense to evolve and is located in the same part of the brain that processes emotion, memory, and motivation… Our emotional, physical, even sexual lives are profoundly shaped by both our reactions to and interpretations of different smells.”

That much said, we can agree that cologne shopping isn’t something accomplished within a several minute window. Much like investing in a polished suit to best portray yourself at a party, cologne is an everyday way to impress and to inspire intimacy.

Tips for Scent Shopping

When heading out to a fragrance manufacturer, you’ll most likely have a couple main name brands stuck in your brain that your best friends wore and won women with. While it’s helpful to have such a starting point, instead of randomly picking, you’ll want to remember that scents vary from skin to skin, meaning – nothing concerning fragrance is a matter of fact. Simply because something worked for your colleague, does not mean guarantee you’ll emerge a newly minted casanova. It could mean you’ll emerge like a meat locker.

To avoid this, be open to trying out many different fragrances, at least the top ten bottles on the display shelf. Instead of spraying these spastically across your arms and wrists, use the little stick-like tabs or cards in the cologne area. By spraying the scent on these cards, you will have an easier time evaluating the fragrances without mixing them together or overwhelming your nostrils. Take a little time between each few colognes tested, in order to keep yourself from getting lost. Juliette Samuel, Fragrance Editor of BellaOnline, advises: “When shopping for a fragrance, try not to sample more than three fragrances at a time. When you are trying to distinguish between scents, your nose gets tired and can no longer tell the difference between scents. Try smelling the coffee beans that are on the fragrance counter in most department stores between samplings. The beans help to ‘refresh and cleanse your palate’ and will allow you to try more on…”

Necessary Feedback

When adventuring out to find the perfect scent, it may be wise to bring along a woman you trust, whether it’s a girlfriend or a platonic partner, someone who can honestly communicate to you how you are perceived. After spraying each scent on a card and smelling it for yourself, ask your friend what she thinks of the scent in relation to you. Ask her to list some adjectives or words that come to mind when she smells the card, however random or disassociated. The words she lists will give you an idea of how the scent affects someone other than yourself. Obviously, if all of her feedback leans toward less than appealing, non-attractive impulses, you’ll want to put that bottle aside.

Understanding the Occasion

Yes, it may seem ridiculous that women own such a large variety of perfumes, but there’s some wisdom in it. Women know that not every occasion calls for the same scent and this goes for men as well. It might not feel right to wear a cologne well-suited to formal evenings during a casual day in the office, and for this you may want to shop with two purposes in mind. The first, for your more casual and everyday appearance. The second, for your more special, suit-worthy, after hours moments.