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Last Updated on March 24, 2023 by Steal the Style
Did you know that the US fragrance market is the largest in the world?
The annual sales of perfume and cologne reach several billions of dollars.
With so many options in this booming industry, choosing your signature scent can seem like a challenge. Should you opt for something masculine and musky, bright and fresh, or earthy and natural? Or something different altogether?
If you’re wondering how to choose a scent, keep reading.
In This Post:
A Quick Lesson on Perfume vs. Cologne
You might be wondering why this is a men’s perfume guide instead of a cologne guide, but fear not.
The idea that perfume is for women and cologne is for men is not true. The differences between these two have nothing to do with gender—rather, it informs the concentration of fragrance oil in alcohol and water.
Cologne has about 2 to 4 percent perfume oils, making it short-lasting. In general, cologne lasts about two hours tops.
Perfume is the most concentrated of the fragrance oils, clocking in at 20 to 30 percent essence. One single application of perfume as you get ready in the morning can last you all day—up to 24 hours. That also means it’s traditionally more expensive (something to keep in mind as you Google ‘Dolce Gabbana perfume price‘).
With such a long-lasting scent, choosing the best perfume for men becomes a top priority. It’s going to follow you around like your shadow all day!
Find Your Signature Scent
Here’s how to discover the best men’s perfumes for you.
Follow Your Nose
Choosing your scent doesn’t have to be a challenge. Think about what you already like—and dislike.
If you love the smell of fresh flowers, you might opt for something more light and floral. If you’re into that post-campfire smokey smell that lingers on your clothes, look for something bolder and muskier. If there’s someone in the office that wears a scent you enjoy, ask them what it is.
Similarly, if being around patchouli gives you a headache, stray from anything that’s too earthy.
Try Your Options
Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, you can sample before you buy (and you should—perfume can get expensive).
You can do this in several ways. You might buy a small tester bottle, which is usually about 1/8 of an ounce and significantly more affordable. You can also visit the brand’s storefront or a fragrance counter in the department store for quick sniffs, usually applied to pieces of paper and fanned before your face.
To cleanse the nose’s pallet between smells, most stores offer a small glass of coffee beans, which wipe the slate clean and allow you to keep smelling nuances.
Go With the Season or Situation
Choosing a signature scent doesn’t mean wearing one perfume—and one perfume only—24/7.
Think of perfumes like a mood board. Your scent should change whether you’re going to a party or a work conference. You should also choose something heavier and bolder in the winter (think: warm and woodsy) and something lighter in the summer (like citrus or fruity).
Eau de You
What’s your signature scent?
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? A party-goer or staple at your local library? A WFH-er who likes fine dining or an office-goer that loves a good happy hour at the local dive bar?
Not only should your nose help inform your signature scent, but your personality, too. Hint: there are no wrong answers!
Round out your new perfume with a lesson in style. Head back to our homepage for more fashion advice like this, and be sure to spritz accordingly.