Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know how to apply cologne the correct way! I’ve got your back.
It’s extremely easy to go overboard with cologne. Apply just one too many spritzes, and you run the risk of watering the eyes of those around you. Even worse, some people with fragrance sensitivities may have adverse reactions.
But most serial sprayers aren’t trying to overdo it — they’re just applying cologne the way they were taught.
The problem is that not all application methods are equal, and it won’t randomly occur to most guys to double-check that they’re doing it right.
For instance, the “spray-a-cloud-of-cologne-and-walk-through-it” method is probably what you think of when you think of applying cologne, but this technique actually doesn’t work very well at all.
All in all, there’s a good chance you’re applying cologne incorrectly. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s important to be aware of. There’s a fine line between smelling good and smelling, so you need to know where that line is for you.
What You Should Know About Cologne
Like clothing and accessories, cologne is a personal thing. The whole idea of cologne is that your body reacts to the scent and changes it, a concept often described in the fragrance world with the phrase “body chemistry.”
Because cologne is such an individualized accessory, finding the right scent — and the right amount of any particular scent — can take some trial and error.
In short, you need to choose a cologne that not only appeals to you but also works with your natural scent.
It’s also critical to understand the different types of fragrances and their intensity levels. If you don’t read the label, you can easily end up over- or under-spraying. (Don’t worry; I’ll provide some suggestions below).
Once you have that baseline cologne knowledge, you can work on your application technique.
The Proper Way to Apply Cologne
Here are three simple steps for applying cologne the right way:
- Start with bare, clean skin. The best time to apply cologne is right after you’ve showered and dried off, but anytime in the morning will work. Just don’t wait too long!
- Target your pulse points from 3-6 inches away. The areas on your body where you can feel your pulse are particularly warm and help diffuse the fragrance. Your neck/upper chest area and wrists are the two most common pulse points for cologne application.
- Use 1-4 spritzes depending on the cologne type and strength. If you’re using a lighter fragrance like an eau fraîche or eau de cologne, you’ll probably be safe to spray 3-4 of your pulse points. If you’re using a parfum or eau de parfum, you don’t want to do more than 1-2 spritzes.
Keep in mind that these are basic guidelines for applying cologne, so you’ll likely need to experiment a bit depending on your scent preferences and your physiology.
Tips for Applying Cologne
Like anything else in life, applying cologne will get easier the more you do it.
That said, there are a few things you should be aware of, especially if you’re just starting your fragrance journey.
If you’re new to cologne, start by applying just one spritz to your neck and upper chest area.
Next time, if you want a bit more scent, give your wrists one spritz each.
From there, you can experiment with spraying more or going for different pulse points.
Use Extra Caution for Non-Spray Bottles
If your cologne bottle or vial doesn’t have a spray nozzle, press one finger against the opening, and gently tip the container to release a small amount of liquid. Then, lightly dab the cologne onto your preferred pulse point(s).
Don’t Rush to Reapply
Last but not least, be careful about reapplying. Nose blindness is real, and it means that the people around you may still notice your fragrance even if you think it’s gone.
Unless you’re using an extremely light scent or eau fraîche, you probably won’t need to reapply.
A partner or friend can help you determine whether your scent has worn off. It’s better to ask rather than unknowingly discomfort others.
Applying Cologne FAQ
Got a few lingering questions? Here are a few common questions answered:
What is the proper way to apply cologne?
In short, you want to spray your pulse points 1-4 times from 3-6 inches away. A good way to start is to spray your neck or upper chest area just once.
Do you put cologne on bare skin or clothes?
Always put cologne on bare skin. The cologne needs to interact with your natural oils, which can’t happen if you spray it on your clothes. It’s also possible for cologne to stain clothing, which is another reason to avoid it.
Should you rub your skin after applying cologne?
After applying cologne, either leave it alone or gently pat it in — do not rub it in. This breaks up and thus weakens the cologne.
Should I wear cologne every day?
You absolutely can wear cologne every day, though it’s ultimately based on personal preference. If you do apply it daily, make extra sure you’re not applying too much. No one wants to be known as the “way too much cologne guy.”
Improper application is the cause of many cologne problems, so if you’ve had negative experiences with fragrances before, give this method a try and see how it works for you.
Even if you’re not a self-proclaimed fragrance person, applying a subtle spritz can make for a pleasant scent that lingers without overwhelming.
Applying cologne properly will not only keep you at the right level of scent but also ensure that your fragrances last. A bottle of cologne is expensive, but if you apply it correctly, it should last for months if not years.
Do you have any cologne tips to share? Leave them below!