Mens Cologne Buying Guide

Choosing a men's cologne involves following your nose, using your brain and listening to your gut instinct. It's worth it. A well-chosen cologne can be alluring, and shows you're a man of class and style.

The testing process

There are dozens of colognes to choose from, but you don't have to spray absolutely everything all over you. Use scent strips in the initial stages of your testing until you find two or three you like above all others, and then do some more in-depth research on those selected colognes.

The beauty of scent is skin-deep

It is skin, and the way cologne reacts with it, which gives you the true picture of a scent. When testing your preferred colognes, don't judge them by how they smell when you spray them in the air, or on your clothes. Spray on your wrist instead, and let skin chemistry be your guide.

Be patient

Men's cologne contains different notes that reveal themselves during the day. The notes you smell when you first apply a cologne will change over time, so don't buy one based on that initial whiff. If you can, wear a cologne for an hour or two and let its true character unfold before deciding to buy it.

Keep it simple to start

Choosing a men's cologne as a novice can be daunting given all the brands on the market, and all the dizzying ingredient combinations. So, as a beginner, keep it simple and look for colognes with less ingredients. As you become more comfortable wearing cologne, you'll discover which ingredients work best on your skin and can use them as a base for new colognes containing more ingredients.

Don't just settle for famous brands

Many cologne beginners opt for well-known brands, such as Calvin Klein, Christian Dior or Paco Rabanne...and there's nothing wrong with that. They've stood the test of time for a reason. But there might be a lesser-known brand you've never heard that's perfectly suited to your unique skin chemistry. So, during the testing process, don't be afraid to take a sniff of something you've never heard of.

Scent is seasonal

We change what we wear in different seasons, and it's the same with cologne. Generally speaking, lighter scents, such as citrus-based colognes, are better for summer wear and heavier scents, featuring woody or musky notes, are preferred for cooler winter months. So, don't be afraid to limit your cologne purchase to just one bottle. Think seasonally.

Do YOU like it?

Trust your gut instinct when making your final purchase. By all means, seek feedback from people you trust but as you're the one who has to live with the scent of your cologne all day, you need to be comfortable with the fragrance. Good cologne, like anything that smells good like your favourite food or wine, can pack a real emotional punch...if your cologne has that sort of impact, it's OK to ignore science and go with your heart.

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