You’ve seen a hundred commercials that sell the story: women are turned on by men who smell great. Jennifer Aniston once said, “The best smell in the world is that man that you love.” She was talking about a lot more than a fragrance from a bottle, but that is where our story begins. Given that your scent makes a massive statement and genuinely influences people’s perception of you, it is time to ask yourself if you are getting it right. This week, we’re taking the confusion out of colognes and simplifying the scent saga, so that you can wow the world… one whiff at a time.
CHOICES, CHOICES: From roll-ons and deodorant sprays to aftershaves, colognes and eaux de toilette (EDT), there are a fair few options on offer when you are in the market for a scent to call your own. Before you buy up a bunch of these, it is important to understand how each is different from the other and why you need more than one. Antiperspirant roll-ons and deodorant sprays are generally focused on preventing and fighting odour — while they are often scented, the actual pure fragrant oils within them are limited. Colognes and eaux de toilette offer a higher concentration of essential oils, so their scent lingers longer and is more complex than a roll-on or spray. Aftershaves, that are also scented, are meant for your face; while a cologne or eau de toilette is meant for your body.These cannot be used interchangeably. An aftershave (as the name itself should suggest) is for shave days.Its primary function is to soothe you after a shave — assisting in ensuring you smell better is secondary. Ideally, one should use a powerful yet unscented roll-on, followed by a deodorant spray or EDT. It is a common mistake to use both a deo-spray and eau de toilette — the two scents squabble for superiority and an almost-always-expensive EDT will be forced to share the spotlight to ill effect. A good rule of thumb: bath + aftershave (optional) + roll-on + EDT / cologne. It may sound like a lot, but you need it all!
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ON THE SUBJECT OF QUANTITY: Less isn’t more, but too much is too much! The day’s stresses wear your fragrance down, just as they wear you down, so learn to top up and not tank up. Using half the bottle in one shot won’t keep you smelling good all day, it will just be overpowering while it lasts and then you’ll smell like you did before you showered! Carry a travel-size version of your fragrance with you and top up sparingly a few times a day.
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MAKE IT LINGER: The secret to long-lasting fragrance is layering. Established fragrances are usually developed as part of a collection and you can buy an EDT that also has a perfumed soap, bath oil, gel, body lotion or cream in collusion. Build up layers of scent on the skin by using different forms of the same fragrance — each reinforces the impact of the other to extend the life of your favourite scent.
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THAT FAVOURITE SCENT: If you don’t already have a favourite fragrance, you need to get one. With a multitude of options available, you just have to dedicate time to finding your own signature scent. This will be a sensory experience and, as are all things sensory, choosing a scent will be emotional. How a fragrance makes you ‘feel’ is as important as how it smells, so don’t try to rush through the exercise with only 10 minutes to spare at duty-free!
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ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL: Because a fragrance smells fantastic on a friend doesn’t mean it will smell as great on you. Your skin and body temperature creates a unique pairing with perfume, so something that works for someone else may not be the right fit for you. Also, seasonal changes in temperature also impact how perfume is perceived. Pick heavier notes for colder months and lighter fragrances for the summer. At the end of the day, it’s all about chemistry… though we suspect charisma plays its part!
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THE AXE EFFECT: Yes, women love it, but a deo-spray just isn’t potent enough for those red letter dates. If you are on a budget, invest in a handful of good deodorant sprays and just one amazing EDT. If you are going to splurge on an exclusive designer fragrance, it’s okay to save it for special occasions. Just remember: your roll-on isn’t optional.
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SAVE AND SAVE WELL: For those who buy fragrances when they fly and then stock them up for years and years, this is a piece of advice to take seriously. Heat and light impact scent, so if you are going to stock up for season after season, store your stash in the fridge.
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Post by - Sonali Velinker Kamat