Guide to men’s fragrances

By: Salman Said

Image taken from: (Designer & Niche Fragrance Collection)

Many people love to keep up their hygiene to live up to high societal standards. If that’s bleaching your teeth white, using fake hair, or even getting surgery. Some may feel content with who they are but others want to change. Sometimes the drastic change people are looking for comes in a more simplistic form; the way we smell.

The way you smell is more important than you think. Human’s strongest sense is their sense of smell. It is 150,000 times stronger than sight, and people can detect over a trillion varying odors. Scents can also elicit vivid memories or intense emotions. Scents travel directly to the brain’s olfactory bulb, which is linked to the amygdala and hippocampus. The amygdala is the part of the brain that deals with our more intense emotions such as fear, rage, and even pleasure. The hippocampus, on the other hand, is the part of our brain that deals with memories. 

The way you smell can be the one-and-all for some people, and if you’re trying to make the best first impression, smelling good is one of the best ways to do so. It can trigger positive memories for some people and studies show that a woman’s sense of smell is much stronger than a man’s. In recent research in Europe, women tend to choose men who smell better in a first reaction stand point than any other factor.

Fragrances are measured in milliliters or ounces. The standard fragrance sizes are 1.7, 3.4, and 6.7 ounces (50, 100, and 200 milliliters are the alternative sizes). These are the sizes that most bottles come in. The concentration of the bottles is also specified. The amount of actual scent in the bottle is referred to as the concentration. The majority of the bottles are made up of alcohol and the actual fragrance. The duration and strength of the fragrance are determined by the amount of fragrance in the bottle. The longer it lasts, the higher the concentration. Eau Fraiche has the lowest concentration, with only 1-3 percent. Then it moves on to Eau De Toilette with a concentration of 5-15%, Eau De Parfum with a concentration of 15-20%, and finally Parfum with a concentration of 20-30%. These are going to be the main types and most fragrances come in EDT (Eau De Toilette) or EDP (Eau De Parfum).

Fragrances are classified by different brands and each brand is called a House. Popular Houses are Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel. Each house has fragrances and most likely their flankers. Flankers are just a different variation of a fragrance. The Dior Sauvage EDT and Dior Sauvage EDP are two different flankers of the Sauvage fragrance and both hail from the same house: Dior.

There are two types of houses. Designers and Niche. Designers are the popular ones mentioned before. Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, etc., but Niche are the more lesser known fragrances. Popular Niche fragrances are Creed Aventus and Mancera Red Tobacco. Niches aren’t as well known as designer houses, and tend to be higher quality and more expensive.

If you were looking for a safe and easy way to buy your fragrance you can do retail. Retail chains like Macy’s, Sephora, and Ultra all sell Designer fragrances at typically higher prices. But you get to smell, test, and buy your fragrances safely and efficiently, and of course, you get the highest quality all at the same place. For some, that peace of mind is worth the price.

But, if you’re not trying to spend more for your favorite fragrances you can shop at Discounters. Discounters are typically the same popular Designer and Niche fragrances but at a lower price. Discounters can be the only places people can purchase Niche fragrances since they aren’t popular enough houses to be sold at retailers. Discounters are cheaper because often they are imported from different countries that sell the same fragrance for different prices. Typically, houses import the fragrances to retailers, and the cost of shipping and handling is reflected in the price at retail. Discounters cut the middle-man and get the fragrances straight from the source. This results in cheaper fragrances, and more options. 

Fragrances have distinct smells and each fragrance is marketed for different settings. Dolce and Gabbana The One is a popular date night fragrances that smells like tobacco and amber. While Prada L’homme and Bleu de Chanel are summertime fragrances that are designed to smell fresh and even soapy. The difference between a date night, club, and seasonal fragrances can be detrimental. You don’t want to wear a highly concentrated soapy fragrance during a date where they are sitting so close to you. 

Fragrances are divided into three notes. The top note is usually the shortest to last. It’s the first thing you notice when you spray the fragrance, and it really sets the tone for the rest of the scent. The middle note, which lasts much longer (usually after the first hour) and is the main note that fragrances are intended to smell like. Finally, there is the fading note, which is the base note. After all of the other notes have broken down in your skin, the base note usually outlasts them and smells like a blending of everything else.

You should use fragrances on your heat points (wrist, neck, sides of your chest close to your armpits, and the insides of your elbows). This is how you get the most out of your sense of smell. When applying, simply spray it on the heat points and leave it alone. Don’t spray it on your clothes because it’ll stain them. Don’t rub your skin after applying; the notes in the fragrance will be destroyed and the smell will not last as long.

Lastly, don’t over-spray; after the top note, our noses become nose blind to the smell, and we don’t notice it at all because it can be so overpowering. Just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean no one else can. Ask someone after applying, “Can you smell me?” If they don’t, apply more. If they do, don’t.

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