The man’s guide to choosing cologne
Men's Health / April 11 2016
How to pick your next scent
What’s the secret when it comes to choosing a new cologne? “Go with someone you trust,” says Nick Smart, Director of Agence de Parfum. They’ll be brutally honest, preventing you from walking out of the store smelling like your grandma’s potpourri.
But don’t make a final decision until the scent has lingered on you for at least 15 minutes. The fragrance has to fully react with your skin before you get an accurate impression—like red wine, you have to let it breathe. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are nine ways to figure out the best men’s colognes according to your personality type.
For the go-getter
Need a blast of energy? Crystalised ginger delivers a heady rush of freshness, while the combo of raw salt mixed with vetiver packs a powerful punch. The result? “An exhilarating, salty oriental fragrance,” says fragrance expert and scent designer Ainslie Walker.
For the alpha male
Used for centuries to make high-quality incense, oud is one of the world’s most expensive types of wood. Here, it’s spiced up with cardamom and a judicious splash of bitter orange for a smoky and uber-masculine scent.
Try: Versace Pour Homme Oud Noir
For the avid surfer
This fresh reinterpretation of the 1996 classic features zesty grapefruit and sea salt – the kind of smell you’d associate with a killer right-hand reef break. “Ideal for hot climates and sporty types, it’s like a salty wave in a bottle,” Walker says.
For the quietly confident
Equilibrium is the key to a life well lived and this fragrance strikes the perfect balance. Delicate but masculine, clean and fresh top notes mix into rich and warm aromas of tobacco and hay.
For the high achiever
What’s the sweet smell of success? For men, a mix of patchouli and heavy spice notes, according to research done by Creston’s Marketing Sciences Sensory Unit, which studied the smells that give off the greatest whiff of accomplishment. It’s the fragrance world’s equivalent of a corner office.
For the fashion forward
You might not be able to bend it like Beckham, but now you can smell like him – or at least like a sophisticated concoction of lemon, bergamot and basil. “Elegant and masculine, like the man himself,” says Walker.
For the boss man
A man of authority never has to raise his voice. That’s the effect this scent will have as it makes a stealthy impression, with the initial hit of fresh juniper spiced up with fir and anchored by a warm hint of leather.
For the deal maker
Need a client to sign on the dotted line? Researchers at Leiden University say that lavender can make you seem more trustworthy. This scent features the note toughened up with a hint of suede leather.
For the rock star
Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey, described this fragrance as “trying to create the atmosphere of a gig in a juice”. Translation: a powerful mix of leather and incense that’s worth an encore.
Try: Burberry Brit Rhythm
Main image credit: Getty