The Ultimate Fragrance Guide for Men: Choose the Best Perfume

Women go crazy over men who smell good...

With such a wide array of choice, finding a fragrance can be overwhelming for many people. From oriental to citrus, fruity to floral, it may seem like a tricky decision – but we’re here to simplify.

What are the fragrance notes?

When shopping around for a fragrance, it’s quite likely that you’ve come across the terms top, heart and base and wondered what exactly they stand for. But what are these stand for? In the world of fragrance, ‘notes’ are used by experts to describe different layers of scent in a single perfume. Traditionally perfume makers were unable to sustain the same scents over a long duration, so to compensate for the volatility of the oils, they layered them so as one oil wore off, the next would become notable.

Top Notes

As its name suggests introduces a scent. It usually displays aromatic launch of a perfume/cologne. Mostly floral scents are used as top notes and they normally fade away 5 – 10 minutes after a fragrance has been applied. Tthe top notes are designed to draw you in. This is the first impression that you get from a fragrance, so perfumers must work especially hard to get the blend right. They include fresh citrus or green notes such as lemon, lime, neroli, bergamot and fresher herbaceous notes like lavender, thyme & basil.

Heart Notes

Unlike top notes, this layer of the blend is the heart of your scent and becomes more apparent once the top note has evaporated. It gives a scent its signature fragrance that is felt throughout the day. They are the part that holds everything together. They support the top notes and act as a buffer for the base notes which wouldn’t very fragrant on their own. They include notes such as flowers, spices, woods, resins and grasses.

Base Notes

This layer of a fragrance is what you can smell once the middle note has worn off. These notes last the longest and add real depth to your scent. The base notes are often where you can see the real quality of a fragrance come through. Common base notes for men colognes are sandalwood, amber, musk, and moss.

Therefore, as an individual, you first need to find out what appeals to you, whether it is an earthy scent, something floral, oriental, woody, spicy, or citrusy.

Difference between Toilette, Cologne, Perfume and Sprays

When it comes to looking to buying the perfect fragrance, there a few things to know and take into consideration, besides your preference of scent. What you may not know about fragrance is that there are four different types of ‘perfumes’ you may choose from, each with a different concentration of scent. There’s an eau de toilette, eau de parfum, eau de cologne, and perfume.

1. Perfume:

Also called perfume extract or extrait, this is the most expensive version of any fragrance; it’s also the most beautiful because of the whole symphony of top, heart and base notes released over a period of time. This is due to the high concentration of essences – as much as 40% by volume. Perfume is applied directly to the skin on pulse spots – insides of the wrists, behind the ears, at the throat… The average concentration of essence in a perfume is 25%, which makes it the longest lasting of all the scent categories. Only a tiny amount is needed, which is reflected in the sizes in which it is sold.

2. Eau de Parfum:

After the top notes have died away, the middle notes or heart notes of a perfume become noticeable. This is the focus of eau de parfum which makes it perfect to spray on hair or clothing. The concentration of oils is over 15%, sometimes reaching as high as 20%. Since it is less intense than perfume extract, it is also cheaper, but it usually lasts well and is sold in small sizes.

3. Eau De Toilette:

Eau de toilette is a lightly scented cologne used as a skin freshener. It is also referred to as “aromatic waters” and has a high alcohol content. The high alcohol content means it will not last very long. Typically there is be 4-15 percent pure perfume. The top notes – the first scent released by a perfume – are dominant, making it refreshing when it is applied.

4. Eau de Cologne:

EDC has a low concentration of perfume essence, only about 2-4% of perfume essence. This is perfect for someone looking for a hint of a scent rather than something strong and longer lasting. Eau de Colognes come in bigger bottles since more liquid is needed because the fragrance only lasts up to 2-3 hours. Traditionally, colognes are a safe choice for fragrances at a lower cost.

Each perfume house uses their own terminology and categories to classify their perfumes according to the concentration of essences or aromatic oils they contain, but the following should give you a general idea of what you’re buying.

When To Wear What Fragrances

Whether you’re going to work, the beach or dressing up for a birthday or wedding, the wide selection of fragrance families offer something for everyone. When it comes to fragrances, treat them like an extra dimension to your outfit and tailor it to fit the occasion.

Perfume At Work

For work or business meetings, pick a scent that stands out but not so overpowering. Go for light, fresh and delicate fragrances from the floral or fruity families for example apple, green tea, mint and citrus, as these won’t come across as too overpowering during the day – and take care not to overspray at work.

Perfume At Date

Look for scents with spicy notes of cinnamon, clove, or anise. These spices are familiar to most individuals but are still intriguing. Individuals who are planning for a big date but don’t have a lot of time to shop for a scent should rely on an amber-based perfume. Warm, sensual amber makes a great impression without being over the top.

Perfume At Casual Barbecues and Parties

Choose a light, fresh scent for a casual barbecue or party. A simple floral with notes of rose, jasmine, or lavender can be the perfect choice.

Perfume At Night-Out Clubbing

Some people have a go-to party fragrances in their arsenal, and it’s a good idea. Going for a spicy, heavier scent can be a good idea, especially since the warm environment of clubs will get you sweating so your pores will open up and the scent will carry on through the night

How To Pick The Best Fragrance

Longevity. Is it Eau de toilette, cologne, Eau De parfum and perfume. Not all scents wear the same. Some stay longer, others take few hours depending on perfume category.

Consider the season. Many brands are keen on seasons hence they have scents for summer, winter and spring.

Understanding head notes, heart notes and base notes is a good place to start when choosing the best fragrance for men.

More money does not necessarily mean better colognes or perfumes. Some of the most popular fragrances of the past were relatively cheap formulae. It is possible to mix expensive raw materials and end up with a pricey mess. Usually, the amount of concentrate a fragrance contains will affect its price.

How To Wear Male Fragrances For Maximum Impact and Longevity

  • Spray perfume on dry skin, preferably right after a shower. Hold the spray nozzle 3-6 inches from your skin while applying.
  • Applying a moisturizer over your body is an excellent preparation for applying fragrance, and will help you get more bang for your cologne investment. If you don’t have an unscented moisturizer you can lightly apply some petroleum jelly to your skin before applying your fragrance.
  • You don’t want to blindly saturate your body. You want to accurately hit the pulse points. The “pulse points” are locations on the body where the blood vessels are closest to the skin. These spots emanate heat, which helps the fragrance mingle with your own natural odors. Start with the warm parts of your body – chest, neck, lower jaw, wrist, forearm, inner elbow, shoulder.
  • No matter how much you love your perfume, it is not cool to drench yourself in that fragrance. You might feel good about yourself doing that but trust us, you will successfully be choking the person sitting next to you. Less Is More – “Fragrance should be discovered, not announced.”
  • Over time, fragrances become stale. So, the minute you open your perfume bottle and you feel that the fragrance isn’t the same anymore, it’s time to get a new bottle.

So, here is your fragrance guide. Now you know about the fragrance notes, types of fragrances, how they each work differently, how to choose your perfume and how to wear them. You can now never say that you don’t know what scent to be spritzing before you leave the house anymore, that’s for sure! And if you haven’t but a perfect perfume for yourself then now is the time.

Recommended: 11 Most Seductive Perfumes for Men in India

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