Fragrances do not last forever on the shelf. Rapid heat fluctuations like those found in most bathrooms will cause the molecules in a fragrance to break apart.

Sunlight does the same thing (so avoid window sill storage). Extend the lifespan of your fragrance by storing it in cool, dark, dry environments. Bedroom closets are a great place.

We’ve all been around men who used too much cologne. The scent is overwhelming and off-putting. You can easily avoid this mistake by learning how to apply fragrance properly and judiciously.

  • Spray perfume on dry skin, preferably right after a shower. Hold the spray nozzle 3-6 inches from your skin while applying.
  • Start light. If you’re new to wearing fragrances, start with one single spray on your chest. As you become more comfortable and knowledgeable about how to wear cologne properly, you can branch out to a few more sprays in different areas…
  • Apply fragrance to heat areas. Your body heat will push the scent throughout the day, creating a nice scent trail commonly called sillage. Start with the warmest parts of your body: chest, neck, lower jaw, wrist, forearm, inner elbow, shoulder. Do not spray on all these points at the same time; start with one and then as you learn the scent, spray 2-3 other spots. I do not recommend spraying your crotch area; if you have issues there then check out Brett’s article on swamp crotch.
  • Re-spray only when required. You can add more sprays to your wrists depending on how long the scent lasts. For most this will be in the second half of the day.
  • Don’t kill the noteRubbing the perfume into the skin seems a sensible thing to do. In reality, it breaks the molecular bond, making the scent weaker.
  • Don’t spray and walk. Spraying a fragrance in the air and walking through the mist is worthless. Most of the fragrance drops straight to the floor.
  • Don’t spray fragrance on your clothes. In this case, the fragrance isn’t allowed to mix with your oils, and hence it can’t naturally go through the stages of notes like it should. Also, the oils in a fragrance will stain many fabrics.
  • Don’t splash. If you are applying cologne from a regular bottle, take one finger and press it against the opening of your bottle and then tip it over gently.  Dab onto the parts of the body described above.
  • Less is more. Fragrance should be discovered, not announced. People who are close by should be able to smell your cologne, but not be overpowered by it.


As we’ve seen, smell is actually our strongest sense. It is connected to our memory and we can develop deep connections to our emotions. Wearing a fragrance is a distinctive way of expressing yourself beyond the visual. It makes you memorable and forms an impression.

Once you find some fragrances that you feel comfortable wearing and build an appreciation for colognes that complement your natural scent, you’ll be well on your way to exploring this interesting olfactory world.

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