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Cologne

The Nuances of Fragrance: Art of Cologne

Colognes fall in one of two experiences. Either the wearer hits the nail on the head or he stubs your nose with the hammer. We remember with irritation those who refuse the motif that less is more. And the scent of a slightly off cologne seems to linger in the air longer even than burnt eggs. What is meant to be a final mark of olfactory attraction turns into involuntary recoil. Any man of style wants to smell as good as he looks, but like anything worthwhile, there is an art to it.

To begin, a cologne is not a deodorant. A deodorant exists to mask and suppress noxious body odor from the armpits.  It is a combative instrument.  A cologne is the opposite. Where a deodorant suppresses, a cologne enhances. A cologne is meant as a substance that mixes with and draws out your natural scents and pheromones. It is not designed to cover body odor nor is meant to mask uncleanliness. It is as much a supplement to your scent as whey powder is to muscles.

As fragrance has a positive function, we want to direct our attention to which type will positively affect us and those near us.  Colognes fall in roughly two broad types, citrus and musk. Citrus based fragrances are best used in the spring. Musk based colognes are best used for the autumn and winter. The scents mix in with the natural environment which increases the effect of the smell and so the artistry. When to put on a cologne is as important as which type to wear during the year.




In the morning, after a shower is the best time for a cologne, preferably before dressing. The key place to spray or dab is in front at the base of the neck in the divot between the collarbones. It is best to avoid spreading in the fragrance like a cream. Either spray or dab and then leave alone. This will allow the moisture to work into the pores without dissipating the strength of the smell. A hint of the scent will follow you throughout the day. If it is immediately noticeable then you’ve used too much.




Think of cologne the same way you think of wine, the vigor is in the aftertaste. This is one of the hallmarks of style, the joy comes best in the reverie.  It is spectacle alone that demands full immediate attention. A final word on skin types, if you have dry over oily skin then you will need to use a touch more cologne as your pores will reduce the effects of the cologne faster.  But a touch more is just that, a touch. A cologne is never intrusive.

Michael Snell

Loving father and husband