pick a cologne

Finding the right scent for yourself can be tricky, but it’s actually not hard to pick a cologne. There are obviously a few things you need to know so that you don’t end up smelling like old cheese and gym socks, but you can streamline the process with relative ease. You can go from just another guy to “The Smell Good guy” pretty quickly. Take a peek at this handy guide, and you’ll have the ladies fawning over you every time you walk into a room.

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Spray and Wait. The first mistake people make when they shop for colognes is that they spray the cologne on their wrist of a strip of paper, and they immediately smell it to decide whether or not they like it. Colognes have three layers of scent called Top Notes, Heart Notes, and Base Notes. All you get when spray and sniff are the Top Notes, plus whatever alcohol is in the cologne. In a half-hour or so, that scent could change dramatically, and by the end of the day, it could be even more different. Don’t buy a cologne based on the first whiff. What smelled good at first may end up clashing with your body chemistry hours later. Give the cologne time to really reveal itself and then decide.

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Different People React Differently. So your buddy wears a certain type of cologne, and you think “Damn, he smells like a boss. I’ve got to get me a bottle of that.” Not so fast, slick guy. Just because it smells good on him doesn’t mean it’s going to smell good on you. How much oil is in your skin, how much you sweat, even the pigment of your skin can change the way something smells dramatically. Body chemistry plays a big role in how a cologne works on you, so make sure you give each scent plenty of time to react to your body. As a general rule, oily and dark skin retains the natural scent of cologne better than pale, dry skin. Who knew that being a tanned-up, grease ball could actually make you smell better?

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Alcohol Content. You have to watch out for colognes with high alcohol content. It can be tempting to save yourself a few bucks and get a cheaper cologne that smells the same as a top shelf scent, but chances are that you’re getting more alcohol and less fragrance. Apart from the fact that you’ll need more of the cologne to smell good, thus meaning you’ll end up spending more money anyway; alcohol dries out your skin. Try getting ladies to notice you when you’ve got the cracked skin of the dead because your cologne dried you out like a mummy. Check the box and look for “Eau De Parfum.” That’s the good stuff. “Eau de Cologne” is almost completely alcohol.

Check The Reactions. OK, so you’ve narrowed down your scents to a few, and you think you’ve found the one you like. Just because you like it doesn’t mean that’s the scent for you, though. You have to make sure that the ladies like it, too. You might like vanilla musk, but if the girls around you tell you how great the cologne with a hint of cucumber smells, it’s probably a safe bet to ditch the vanilla. Individual preference will vary, but ultimately your cologne should draw other people to you, so make sure that’s what it’s doing, and that you’re not just making yourself more attractive to yourself.

Once you find a winner, you’re all set. A good cologne will give you more confidence, and should act like catnip for the ladies. Even if you’ve already got a special lady, you want to smell good for her, don’t you? Let her catch a whiff of your new fragrance, and she’ll start purring like a kitten. Happy hunting!