Cologne 101: More Important than You Think

cologne aspen

Nick has never really been a ladies’ man. Some things came easily to him, like picking out great-smelling cologne or solving some difficult algorithm. But he has never known how to successfully approach a woman who catches his fancy and make a connection. This was because he did not know how to strike up a conversation. He would just become shy, sometimes painfully so.

That was why he hesitated greatly about going over to the lady seated at another table from him. He could not think of an opener to get her interested. But he knew he had to try. So he went over to her but immediately he got close to her, she looked up. And she smiled at him. Then she asked, “What scent are you wearing?” The rest is history.


Cologne is more essential than most people give it credit for. Unlike perfume, you can wear it without your nostrils feeling cloyed. The importance goes beyond just smelling great and having a conversation starter. It boosts your confidence and self-importance. It is good you know what you have with the right cologne. This knowledge would offer you the confidence to do more, unlike Nick who floundered before he found his footing.

What Is Cologne and Why is it Important?

First of all, cologne is mixture of essential oils, alcohol and water, along with some other ingredients. The essential oils make up a tiny part of it but give it the fragrance you desire. On the scale of concentration on the fragrance table, the cologne contains about 5% essential oils. This makes it lighter than perfume extract but strong enough to take you for several hours.

It would interest you to know that cologne is not exclusive to men. It is said that the name derives from the name of a place in Germany called Cologne. Supposedly, the first known citrus, woody and floral-based fragrance came from there. That is the oldest tale about it, anyway. But the point, you see, is that the name does not mean it is for men only. In fact, main ingredients of cologne would make it seem more feminine than masculine.

If a bottle says Eau de Cologne, do not shy away from it as a woman. Except the scent does not agree with you, pick it for yourself. There is nothing wrong with using a bottle of eau de cologne. It is made for both men and women.

It is important because…

The right cologne can foster deep and lasting emotional bonds. You have absolutely no idea what you are missing out on if you do not use one. People will remember better and more favorably than someone who does not wear one.

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There is no crime in not using any cologne. People get by and will continue to do so without it. However, how you smell, bad or food, would determine how people receive you. It adds a little extra to your overall appearance and personality. And that little is powerful enough to turn things around for you.

If you had a loved one that used some particular cologne, it would become dear to you. You would be more inclined to refer people to it, even if you do not use it yourself. Whenever you smell it, only good memories would come rushing back and that is a good thing.

Great-smelling cologne presents you as someone who knows what they want. It portrays you as a confident person who has everything together. How else would want to be seen but in such a light? Dressing neatly and smartly is all well and good. But when you add the cologne finish…hmmm…

Another reason why it is important is that it makes you more approachable to the opposite sex. So many of us have had instances where strangers walked up to us to enquire about the scents we were wearing. The right cologne makes you more attractive. This does not mean that it is the only criterion to winning hearts. It simply plays a huge role. You would be amazed at how things turn out with the perfect blend.

Why More People Do Not Use Cologne

It may not anything deeper than the fact they do not understand its importance. They have gotten by for so long without it. Why do they have to disrupt their lives now by adapting to a new scent? Believe it or not, it can be disconcerting to some people.

A basic knowledge of what cologne is and the advantages would go a long way in drawing good attention. If more people are taught to use it from younger ages, they would grow up with the right attitude towards it. Thing is, women know about fragrances more than men. The fragrance industry seems to have been fashioned for women, seems being the operative word. It is not so, though. Growing boys need to be indoctrinated into the culture of using colognes. When they grow, they can teach their own children, too.

Essential Factors that Make for Good Cologne Choice

There are some essential points to keep in mind when you are choosing cologne. You see, walking down the isle of a perfume store can be daunting if you do not know what you are doing. You can get intimidated even when you know what you want. This is because you see so many other seemingly better choices jumping out at you.

At such times, narrowing things down would be gold. Designer brands and others can stare you in the eye but you would not be fazed. The factors below would go a long way in ensuring this:

1. Oil Concentration

Colognes are not made with a high percentage of essential oils. They can swing between 3-8%, with most settling at 5%. If you have chosen to use a cologne, therefore, you should not expect to have the same results as an eau de parfum or perfume extract. These contain higher amounts of essential oils so smell stronger and last longer than cologne.

cologne curve

However, you can still choose cologne with a perfect blend of ingredients. With this, you can get a better scent than most others. It is important then, to determine what works for you when it comes to concentration. You do not want to end up with a choice that does not truly satisfy your cologne needs.

2. Notes

When you hear a perfume maker mention the notes of a fragrance, they simply mean the scents which make up the fragrance. Notes could vary, from lemon and orange to patchouli and vanilla. They could be all-natural or they can be synthetically made. The advent of time has seen to it that almost any desired scent can be created.

With this, you get your preferred scent. If you would rather go for the rugged or manly scent, then you choose the right notes. But if you naturally prefer sensual or romantic side scents, your notes would tend to be lighter.

In every bottle of cologne, one note is almost always more pronounced than the rest at first. That top note is the one you have to decide on before you go shopping. It is the one that would create the very first impression, for you and others. This is not a decision to be made at the store or at the spur-of-the-moment. This is because that is the scent you would have and if you tire of it easily, it would be a waste.

3. Perfumer

Some brands, or perfumers, have distinguished themselves from others by their uniqueness. For some, their scents are easily recognizable from far away. This is because they already have a signature which is noticeable, even with different fragrances.

Having a particular perfumer you favor is a positive thing. Here is why: when they make different colognes, you can still use any one of them. You would not be veering far off from that core scent you like. For example, if you have favored Versace fragrances for years, it would be easy to use different products from them. It does not have to be the particular one you use all the time. And this is possible when you have gotten used to the brand. Therefore, it is advisable to have a favorite brand. This does not mean you should not try out other brands from time to time. It simply means that it would be easier for you make a choice that way.

4. Price

The higher the price of a bottle of cologne, the more it should offer you. This is important to note. That it is cologne does not mean it should be average if it is highly priced. When you pay more, you should never settle for mediocre.

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In the same vein, everyone’s bottle of cologne will not offer the same thing. If your choice goes for $100, for example, and your friend’s goes for $250, there will be some difference. Their scent would last longer than yours. This is because their choice probably contain a higher concentration of aromatic oils, which are expensive, than yours.

Apart from the oils, there are other ingredients that could affect pricing. The rarer the ingredients in a bottle of cologne, the higher the price would be. But this still takes us back to not settling for average. If it is pricey, it should give you a ‘wow!’ effect.

5. Year of Production

Colognes affect the senses the same way wine does. And in much the same way that wine ages, scents age, too. The reason is that some of the active ingredients change and become sharper with time. If you have a good bottle of cologne, and it lasts long, the scent would probably change. It would become sharper. A current scent could smell somewhat different in two years’ time.

The year of production could also affect the types of scents that are available. As the years go by, perfumers go with the changing times. The scents you saw twenty years ago might not be so obtainable now. This does not mean that if you have a bottle of such, you should throw it away. But where you are fashion-conscious, you need to keep the flow of times in mind.

6. Projection

The distance that your cologne travels could be seen as important. But this does not make or mar anything. However, if you are particular about having people notice your cologne, you should check its strength. When it is that strong, you should only use a little. This is because too much of it would be overwhelming. Keep the strength of the cologne in mind when making a choice.

5 Tips to Make your Cologne Shopping Profitable

Below are some tips you can employ to maximize your shopping. With the information above, getting the right cologne should not be so daunting anymore.

  • Check Lesser-Known Brand

Do not fixate on designer brands. Their names do not make them better than that brand that is hardly known. Thing is, a lot of them are perfumers. They focus all their attention on just making scents that are unique, without distractions. This cannot be said for designer brands, which focus on different aspects of fashion all at once.

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The result is usually clear to see. The perfumers give the best worth for your money, creating scents that suit you and last long. You can also trust that they would use natural ingredients most of the time, to eliminate undue adverse reactions. So, do not get away by big names. Settle down and fine what works for you.

  • Trust your Instincts

Nowadays, fragrance bottle come in different shapes, sizes and colors. When you enter a perfume store, you can be dazzled by them. Do not let that faze you. Walk the isles and pick out the ones that are most attractive to you. Go with your gut feeling. When you have done this, begin to smell or test them one by one. One or two would stay with you.

You see, subconsciously, you already know what you want. So when you sniff it, you will know within you. Go with the ones that please you the most. Scents should give you pleasure and make you comfortable. And only you know which one would do that the best.

  • Avoid Complicated Scents

This tip is peculiar for those who are hesitant about wearing scents. There are colognes that have complicated blends. If you are trying out cologne for the first time, you may want to use an easily recognizable scent, like citrus. The same goes for those who are wary about wearing complicated fragrances. Choose something light, fresh and simple. This would help you maximize it to the full.

  • Run a Test on your Own Skin

Everyone has a unique scent. Ten people could use one bottle of cologne and come out smelling differently. This is because the ingredients in it mix in different ways with the skin’s oil. How it comes out on you would not be the same as your friend’s.

This is why you need to test your choice of cologne on you. Do not check it on the salesperson’s wrist. It will not give you the effect you would get when you use it on you. Running a test on your own skin is the best way to know what you are getting.

  • Go Along with Someone

When you go shopping for cologne, take a friend whose opinion you trust. This should be someone who would tell you the truth and help you choose the best. Women are usually better at choosing fragrances. But do not let that restrict you from taking a man if he knows about fragrances. Let them smell the cologne on your skin. Getting a second, or even a third, opinion in such a delicate matter would not hurt.

Ijeoma Chukwuemelie

I am your girl-next-door but there is nothing normal about me because normal is boring. I read a lot and I have a very active imagination. I like to travel, especially to places with ancient histories. There's so much to see, it's almost unbelievable. There is absolutely no price for awesomeness...or attractiveness, for that matter. And I am both.

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