How to Apply Cologne
Published May 26 2018
How to apply cologne the right way is a skill in itself. We’ve all walked by that one man who smells like a perfume stall fell on him. At the same time, we’ve all been tempted to overdose our own cologne, since it’s a bit hard to smell scents on ourselves. Let’s fix that right now.
The Do’s and Don’t’s of How to Apply Cologne
Do apply cologne to scent points
For the cologne scent to diffuse and be detected by others, it should be applied to simple heat points. These points are warmer than other parts of the body, so they work well with the oil or spray to give off the scent you want.
Go for the neck (at the side, right under the jaw), one of the pulse points. You can also apply the oil or spray the cologne on your wrists, another major pulse point. The inside of the elbows work too, as do armpits (maybe a spray), and even over your shoulders.
Don’t over-apply cologne
Quantity does not count over quality when it comes to applying cologne. Don’t spray or apply cologne all over in hopes of not missing a spot. Don’t even shower or apply on every heat point. Pick 1 or 2 spots that you feel would be most comfortable or least covered by anything else, and do one spray or a couple of drops, and be confident in your cologne.
Do apply cologne on dry, newly-bathed skin
As much as possible, your cologne has to react with your skin at its most natural state. It should also not be diffused by other elements or chemicals currently on your skin. Because of this, the ideal time for application is right after you’ve bathed and dried yourself. Your skin will now be a blank canvas so your cologne will have the best possibility to show itself off.
Don’t apply cologne to hide another scent
For one thing, cologne won’t hide how sweaty you are or where you just came from. At best, it will neutralize the other smells (not likely). At worst, it will combine with all the other smells and create a terrible mix. Since you want to create a certain impression with your cologne, this might turn out to be a pretty bad decision.
Do let the cologne dry on its own
Don’t over-apply the cologne, first of all. If a bit ends up running down the sides, that’s fine. Cologne is mostly alcohol, bound to quickly dry. If it’s a non-alcohol oil concentrate, then you won’t even need that much, just a couple of drops that don’t easily run. Wait it out, so the cologne has the best chance to absorb your body heat and start to give off its unique scent.
Don’t rub the cologne into your skin
Let’s get a bit technical for 2 seconds. Any good cologne is made up of 3 layers. First is the top note, which is the smell that first hits the senses. It is usually the one identified by others, such as citrus or sea breeze. Second is the middle note. It backs the top note and comes out after a few hours.
Last is the base note. It is the foundation of the whole perfume, and it comes out a few hours after the middle note. It is usually solid with a woody or earthy scent. Now, rubbing the oil or spray into your skin kills the top note. Not only do you remove the usual reason you bought the cologne in the first place, you destroy the careful layering of scent.
Do apply cologne directly to your skin
Asking someone to soak your clothes in cologne while you finish up your bath may be tempting, especially if you’re in a rush. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. The cologne will only release the full strength of its scent when reacting with your body heat and the oils on your skin. Apply it directly on your heat points instead through a quick spray or a drop of oil.
Don’t spray and walk or spray your clothes or splash
That’s a lot. It goes with our previous point, though--the cologne only works at full capacity when applied directly to your skin. Spraying a mist and walking through will waste multiple droplets and place the scent non-strategically all over your hair, face, or torso. Spraying your clothes is equally non-strategic. Splashing the oil or emptying the spray even over your heat points will just create one headache of a strong scent.
Trust Your Cologne
Colognes are expensive--sometimes insanely so--because they tend to have solid science behind them. They are carefully designed to react with our skin to produce scents that are pleasing to those around us. Apply the oil or use the spray according to the steps above, and trust your cologne to do the rest.