5 Expert Fragrance Tips Every Man Should Follow

It’s up there with a sense of humor and confidence, guys: Women love how a man smells.

These three things actually matter way more than what you look like, how much you make and the car you drive. But it’s a highly subjective matter. Your best smell isn’t another man’s best smell, and not all women respond to the same scent. Still, it pays to make every effort to smell your best.

In parts of Europe, a man’s cologne is considered as much a part of his wardrobe as his jacket or shoes, and we Americans need to follow that lead. Try these five tips.

1. Ditch the cheap body spray

For most of you, college is over. The body spray that carried you through countless keg parties over the course of four to seven years isn’t going to cut it in the big leagues. It’s time to upgrade to something more adult, so opt for an actual bottle of cologne, like your dad used to wear, and…

2. Use scents sparingly

Do you know who should smell your scent? People standing right next to you. Not people on the other end of the hallway. Your cologne is more for you and women you’re being intimate with than for everyone you walk by. It takes a little practice to get the right amount of scent on yourself, but for best results, just spray it lightly over your heart in the morning and you should be good to go.

3. Pick manly ones

They can be anything from sandalwood to lime, depending on the season, the occasion, your personality, and other factors. But, with apologies to fellows who prefer such things, we’re going to strongly caution against scents like vanilla, lavender, and gardenia. Instead, go for things that mimic wood and leather or a simple musk. Women want men who smell like men, not flower shops. Try Givenchy’s Gentleman Only Intense, a modern scent with notes of cedarwood and leather. That’s manly stuff.

4. Believe in yourself

If you’re an old-school kind of guy, don’t be afraid of the classics. If you’re a bit metro, embrace it and throw down an extra few bucks for the pricy European stuff. The point is that you want to smell like you, not what you think a woman wants you to smell like. You will reek of phony, which smells even worse than Khlomar’s fragrance.

5. Keep your options open

Fragrance is like fashion, in that it continues to evolve as manufacturers experiment with new and different possibilities. You should as well. Just as you wouldn’t wear the same shirt in summer and winter—we hope!—switch up your scent with the seasons to keep it fresh. That’s the kind of thing a gentleman does, after all.

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