How to Pick a Personal Scent
One thing that truly sets French men apart is their knack for picking cologne. The thing about personal scents is that there is truly no black and white answer for finding the best cologne. There are certainly recommendations from others and convincing ads, but choosing a cologne is an intimate experience. It should be tailored to you, just like a great blazer. So what are the guidelines if you’re walking into a cologne shopping experience completely blind?
It’s better to spend more money on your fragrance than to skimp in the name of frugality. A higher quality product means a higher price, but it also means better ingredients. For something you are spraying directly on your skin every day, you should go with the best options. After all, perfume is a luxury product.
A cologne can’t be chosen by browsing on the internet. You must go to a department store or perfumerie to determine what scent you like. Try a few different scents and brands – what are you gravitating towards? Is it woodsy? Musky? Citrus? Floral? Dark? Light? If you smell something you like, take note of the ingredients inside. In time, you’ll start to see a common theme. That being said, keep in mind that just because you like the scent when it is sprayed onto a paper sample does not mean it will smell the same when it is applied to your skin.
Try it On
Just like a piece of clothing, you must try on the cologne to see how it wears on you. Every cologne and perfume is made of three layers – a top, middle, and base note. The top note is the lightest, most ephemeral layer (citrus for example) and disappears the fastest. As the cologne begins to sink into your skin, you’ll be able to smell the subtle complexities of the fragrance underneath this first layer. A single cologne can react differently on everyone’s skin, so just because you like how it smells on your friend doesn’t mean you’ll like how it smells on you. To figure out what truly works best for you, ask for a sample of the cologne, wear it through the day, and see how it develops in order to make your decision.
How to Wear It
Fragrance should be discovered, not announced. Don’t be the guy that can be smelled before he can be seen. Fragrance should be applied to pulse points – wrists, neck, temples. At these places, the skin is thinnest and can absorb cologne the quickest. The skin is also warm at these places, which helps the notes in the fragrance to naturally unfurl.
Switch It Up
If you have a fragrance you love, consider changing it out from time to time. It’s a great idea to have your signature scent, but also one for special occasions. You could also consider changing fragrance according to the seasons. For example, try a citrusy scent for summer, or a woodsy type for winter.
Below are some of our go-to favorites. These are modern classics that are complex and alluring. Is your go-to on the list? Tell us what you would add in the comments below!
Le Labo, Santal 33
A defining image of the spirit of the American West with all it implied about masculinity and personal freedom. A perfume of cardamom, iris, violet and ambrox, which crackle in the formula and bring to this smoking wood alloy (Australian sandalwood, papyrus, cedarwood) some spicy, leathery, musky notes, and gives this perfume its unisex signature and addictive comfort.
Frederic Malle, Monsieur
Monsieur is for the man who wears a pinstripe suit with ease and self-assurance, whose highly sophisticated virility is tinged with artistic flair, and whose ruthless pursuit of seduction is somewhat of an aesthetic endeavor.
Guerlain, Guerlain Homme
Guerlain Homme is an authentic call to adventure. Keen on discovery, man flourishes in a nature that he makes his own. This Eau de Parfum surprises with its vibrant freshness lent by the mojito accord, the fresh floral accord and the green woody accord, which come together in an intense composition.
Hermès, Terre d’Hermes
A new essential that underscores the woody, mineral facets of Terre d’Hermes, and is enhanced by the freshness of citrus fruit and shiso.
Etat Libre d’Orange, Modern Classics Discovery Kit
What we love about Etat Libre d’Orange, and why we included it in OuiPlease Homme’s V1.2 Winter Box, is its dangerously witty approach to finding your signature scent. Like this, You or Someone Like You, or Tom of Finland – these are just a few of many alter-egos you can channel for every day of the week with the Etat Libre d’Orange Discovery Kit. Discover the gallery of avante garde fragrances from Etat Libre d’Orange in the current OuiPlease Homme box here.