Did you know that smell is the human sense most related to memory?
While this is a fun fact, it also demonstrates just how powerful your smell really is.
It’s not something that you can leave for later or largely ignore, even though it’s all too easy to do so.
While we get used to our own smells, people can tell when we stink very easily.
Whether it’s a work situation or social event, men who smell bad don’t receive the same respect or attention as men who take the time to smell good.
In dating life, men who smell better than their uninformed peers will have more success.
In short: smelling great is important.
But how do you get there, especially if you’ve only learned the basics?
Let this guide be your roadmap to smelling like the man you want to be.
We’ll explain all that you need to know, including why you smell bad, how to fix it, and how to apply new fragrances to supercharge your scent.
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Use the table of contents below to jump to the sections most important to you.
Why Do We Smell Bad?
It happens to everyone; as soon as you hit puberty, suddenly you start to smell terrible, and people will comment on your bad body odor if you don’t do something about it.
But why does this only start to affect us as soon as we hit puberty?
At its most basic level, bad body odor is the smell of bacteria chewing down proteins on your skin and converting that protein into acid that gives off a terrible stink.
As you might guess, a sweaty environment is an optimal place for bacteria to breed, grow, and eat, so it’s no surprise that sweaty people often smell much worse than people who haven’t worked up a sheen.
The truth is that sweat by itself is pretty much odorless.
It’s mostly made of water and salt, neither of which give off a particularly noticeable smell on their own.
It’s only when the bacteria colonies start to reproduce and eat protein across your body that you start to smell.
You see, the apocrine glands can be found in your armpits, genital areas, breasts, and even your ears and eyelids!
The glands in your ears are actually helpful since they are partially responsible for creating your wax, which is a critical substance that’s necessary for your protection and health.
The glands in your breasts would create breastmilk if you were a female, but in males, they sit there and do nothing.
The remaining apocrine glands in your groin, armpits, and around your nipples are scent glands.
These are the trouble spots that are the source of all your odor-based misery.
These glands produce a type of sweat that is particularly high in protein consumable by many species of bacteria.
While you sweat all across your body as you overheat, these glands secrete a special sweat that can’t be found anywhere else.
That’s all there is to it.
Sure, the things that you encounter or step in can also give you a bad smell, but that’s distinct from body odor, which is purely the result of the above biological processes.
There are several ways to combat body odor effectively, and the best techniques will utilize methods from all available tools and products.
You can reduce your sweat level, cover up your bad body odor with a strong fragrance, and improve your diet.
All of these will help make you smell better overall.
How Does Diet Affect Body Odor?
You know the saying, “You are what you eat?”
It’s truer than you might think.
The fact is that what you consume is absorbed by your body entirely, and some parts of your meals may end up in your sweat.
The specific molecules that you break down from your food can be excreted through your sweat if your body doesn’t need an excess of that particular protein or fat, for instance.
But what you think happens if your sweat contains an excess of high-energy proteins and fats?
That’s right; the bacteria have a field day and reproduce with gusto.
Besides, the left-over fragrances from your meals might even combine with your sweat.
It’s not uncommon for men who need a lot of red meat, for example, to smell like beef!
The best way to avoid conditions like this one is to change your diet.
We’re not suggesting that you give up meat entirely or completely overhaul your lifestyle just to make your sweat smell better.
But we are suggesting that eating a healthier diet that contains a healthy variety of fruits and vegetables will go a long way toward keeping your sweat as inoffensive as possible.
If you’re trying to tackle bad body odor and really improve your smell profile, you want to take every step you can and go for a complete solution.
A plus side is that you’ll feel a lot better as soon as you start eating more healthily.
Also, if your sweat doesn’t smell quite so bad, chances are you won’t need to stack on as many body odor products to smell good in your day-to-day life.
What About Foot Odor?
Foot odor isn’t a result of apocrine gland secretion.
Most feet are usually covered in socks and shoes throughout the day.
This prevents the sweat from evaporating as it would elsewhere across your body, and it gives bacteria a greater chance to break down protein into smelly odors as a result.
If your feet were constantly exposed, you likely wouldn’t have bad foot odor.
Sweaty feet are doubly annoying because an excess of sweat down there can easily lead to fungal growths and conditions like Athlete’s Foot.
The first step towards smelling great in all situations is to bathe well.
This might seem like obvious advice, but the unfortunate truth is that tons of men (and women) don’t know how to clean their bodies effectively and likely aren’t doing a good enough job during their daily showers.
It’s not a complicated process, but you have to put forth some real effort and thought to maximize your showering results.
Getting clean isn’t hard.
Forming the habits and collecting the products necessary to kill all of the surface bacteria possible is another story.
Good thing you’ve got this guide!
For starters: use Products designed to help with your bodily hygiene and smell.
Too many guys refuse to use fancy soaps or scrubs because they don’t want to appear “feminine” or overly concerned with their appearance.
That’s utter hogwash.
Everyone respects a man who smells and looks great and who knows how to take care of himself in the hygiene department.
But no one respects a man that is too fragile when you go to use and effective so instead of the regular boring bar soap that he’s had for the last few years.
The truth is that there is a plethora of excellent body washes, scrubs, conditioners, and other products that are designed to make you feel, smell, and look fantastic.
You’d be a fool not to take advantage of all of the great stuff that you can get in this day and age.
We’d easily recommend that you use a good body wash product at a minimum instead of regular bar soap.
Bodywash is more effective, it cleans your pores more deeply, and isn’t likely to irritate your skin or cause it to excrete an excess of oil.
We also recommend that you use a separate face wash since the skin on your face is often more sensitive than that on your body.
A good smelling shampoo is also key.
Your hair is one of the defining aspects of your appearance; act like it.
Hair that smells good is hair that women want to be around, after all.
You should be using shampoo every time you take a shower unless you have dandruff problems, in which case you can get a dandruff shampoo.
If you have facial hair, don’t neglect it!
Facial hair is an easy spot where the remnants of food, dead skin, and sweat can all collect and pile up to form a smelly smorgasbord that will drive women away from you.
You should be thoroughly cleaning your beard every time you step into the shower.
We’d recommend using a beard balm or lotion afterward to help keep it soft and strong.
If that sounds like a lot of work, you’re wrong.
Once you gather these tools and implement them into your routine, it’ll become second nature, and you’ll wonder how you ever survived without looking and feeling your best.
We can help you find the best picks for many of these products, too, so you don’t even have to wander the aisles of your local store wondering which bottle you should buy.
Use A Sponge/Washcloth
Another common mistake that many guys make when it comes to shower technique is that they forgo using a sponge or washing tool of any kind and rely on only their hands to get the job done.
This is a mistake.
While your hands can be pretty precise, they pale in comparison to the scrubbing power that a good sponge or washcloth can bring to the table.
Men with sensitive skin must be a little more careful, as wells as acne-prone, but neither of these conditions necessarily prevents you from using some scrubbing tool.
Sponges are among the most useful scrubbing implements to bring into your next shower since they can help you get rid of strong debris or dirt that might’ve caked onto your skin much more easily.
Since you must get rid of as much dirt as possible to make your skin as unappealing a spot as possible for smelly bacteria, sponges are always a good choice.
Washcloths are useful as well since they tend to be a little gentler than many bath or shower sponges. Washcloths can be soaked with water and used as a light exfoliator for the skin on your face, too.
Just be sure to wring your sponge or washcloth out once you’re finished using them in the shower, so they don’t collect mold.
Another option for a gentler experience is a loofah.
While these fluffy tools might seem feminine at first glance, remember that no one will be judging you in the privacy of your shower.
Even if they did, who cares? Loofahs are great!
They’re soft sponge substitutes that can scrub your body effectively while feeling fantastic at the same time.
When combined with a great body wash or skin conditioner, they can turn your shower into a truly relaxing and regenerating experience.
In recap: don’t rely on your hands to do the heavy-duty cleaning that your skin requires.
Use a sponge or a similar tool, and you’ll have much better results and start smelling much better in no time.
It’s time to talk about something that too many men are scared to.
The fact of the matter is that plenty of guys don’t wash their genitals or butts as much as they need to.
While it seems like common sense, there are tons of guys that neglect these two areas even if they do a scrubbing of the rest of their body.
You must scrub and clean everywhere possible each time you take a shower.
Body odor is somewhat of a cumulative effect.
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The more times you go without scrubbing your genitals, for instance, the smellier they’ll become over time.
The good news is that it only takes one good shower to clean everything up for you to start smelling great again.
Reach down and scrub!
Keep scrubbing until you’re sure that you are clean south of your waistline and your body will smell much better.
Beyond these areas, make sure that you wash your face as well.
The skin there fills up with oil and dirt every single day.
While you should have a face care routine that mostly happens outside the shower, you should still wash your face on a surface level using a washcloth or loofah to get rid of any easy dirt and debris.
Hot Water Only
Also, don’t be taking showers using lukewarm or cool water when you need to clean yourself.
While it’s okay to take a cool-off shower after the gym or a day at work, when it comes to cleanliness, there’s no substitute for hot water.
Hot water helps break down dirt and debris and even helps to rid your skin of excess surface oil that bacteria love to collect in and start to germinate.
Hot water is one of the key ways that you make your pores open up a little better.
This exposes the deeper parts of your pores to more thorough cleaning both inside and outside the shower and helps you achieve a closer shave.
Germs hate excess heat, while they can survive just fine if it’s a little cooler than they desire.
To make your body as unappealing as possible for all the bacteria that cause body odor, you need to turn the surface of your skin into a scalding environment once per day.
Hot water, soap, scrub.
It’s that easy to get an optimal wash every day.
After all of this, you’ve only just begun on your path to smelling fantastic throughout the day or night.
Let’s move on to the actual products you should be using both during your shower and after the fact.
Smelling Good: Different Stuff for Different Needs
Remember, smelling great is an ongoing effort.
The natural state of our body is one of smelliness.
But just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s worth having!
We doubt you’d be able to find a woman that prefers a man that smells “natural” over one that smells like a well-groomed guy who uses deodorant, body wash, and cologne to great effect.
You have to use body grooming products to achieve your optimal smelling state.
But you can’t rely on one catchall product that can somehow transform your body odor into something that men and women enjoy instead of detesting.
Instead, you’ll need a combination of different hygiene and odor products to fulfill your olfactory destiny.
Body wash and shampoo are the two cornerstones of good shower experience.
Unfortunately, many guys tend to use only one or the other and believe that they are relatively interchangeable.
This is wrong!
Bodywash is often tougher on the skin than shampoo, and for a good reason: it’s a wash.
Bodywash is primarily designed to rid your skin of excess dirt and debris, and frequently skin oil, as well.
It’s made to clean up the skin on your body alone, not the skin atop your head beneath your hair.
Shampoo is a different type of formula that is designed to get rid of oil and dirt in your hair strands and near your scalp.
The oil and chemical compositions of both types of product are drastically different.
Regular soaps and body washes are more alkaline (or basic, according to the pH scale) than shampoos.
This means that they will strip away healthy oils and compounds that keep your hair healthy as it grows.
Shampoo does not have this disadvantage since it’s been designed specifically for use in the gentler environment that your scalp requires.
Many great shampoos also have hair strengthening effects that can make your strands look younger or more colorful or prevent them from breaking easily if you have longer hair than average.
You need both types of products, for full-body cleanliness.
Shampoo should exclusively be used for hair and body wash only be used on your body where it belongs.
The best body washes will be ones that fully cleanse your skin and leave you feeling recharged and regenerated after the fact.
There are plenty of body washes that have excellent ingredients like caffeine, aloe vera, or hyaluronic acid to make the experience better during application.
Body wash should be used generously and lather it into a layer of soapy bubbles and tangles as you spread it around your skin.
Remember to use a sponge or similar scrubbing implement to achieve maximum results.
The soap needs to penetrate into your pores, which should already be open thanks to the stream of hot water from the shower and dig in deep to effectively remove all the dirt and debris possible.
Keep in mind that you should not use body wash on the facial skin.
Instead, special face washes are a much better option as they can perform similar cleaning work without stripping helpful oils from your face or overly irritating the skin.
Our guide to the best face washes for men has even more information for you.
Shampoo, as previously stated, is gentler on your scalp and won’t strip away healthy oils from your hair that it needs for protection.
Many excellent shampoos also have moisturizing compounds, like hyaluronic acid, to keep your skin from drying out and suffering from dandruff.
Dandruff is the result of a dry scalp or dirty skin beneath your hair, which begins to flake off and causes dusty bits to fall from your hair anytime you get your scratch in that area.
If you already suffer from this condition or have drier skin than the average man, you should specifically look for a moisturizing shampoo.
Not only will this help your scalp retain moisture over time and prevent the accumulation of dandruff, but it’ll also help your hair become moisturized and feel fantastic when someone runs their hands through it.
No one likes dry hair that feels brittle or breakable.
Using the right shampoo will eventually result in your hair looking and feeling great, regardless of hair type or style.
But about hair type, keep in mind that three major hair types are genetically linked.
Generally, people with fair skin have one type of hair; people with dark skin have another, and people of Asian descent have a third.
This doesn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things, but certain shampoos are well known to work with one hair type or another.
This is because these three hair types feel and grow in slightly different ways, so they need slightly different formulas to be cleaned and maintained at their optimal levels.
Before making a shampoo purchase, be sure that it’s workable for your hair type so you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
Finally, there’s a conditioner.
While this isn’t a necessity for eliminating bad body odor, it can help your hair and scalp smell better in the long run since it protects your hair is a gross and improves its texture.
Conditioner should only be applied after you’ve used shampoo and is probably a better bet for guys who have long hair or hair that suffers from brittleness often.
Add in some conditioner if you have these issues or if you just want to perform the most thorough showering routine imaginable.
After cleaning, it’s finally time to start adding products to your skin that will alter your body odor more directly.
Once your body has been returned to a state of un-smelliness, you can begin improvement work.
Deodorant and body spray are two different products, first and foremost.
Once again, many men use the two products relatively interchangeably and aren’t achieving the optimal results that they could otherwise.
Deodorant’s purpose can be seen right in the composition of the word: it de-odorizes you.
It performs this excellent function by killing bacteria on the surface of your skin and preventing them from growing.
Besides, many deodorants will also dry the skin in their area of application to stop you from sweating as much as usual, although they are not strictly antiperspirants.
We’ll explain more about antiperspirants later in this guide.
Bodysprays, on the other hand, are fragrance products that add a distinct scent to your person.
They perform a different function than deodorant, even if they have a strong smell.
Some guys think that this fragrance will cover up their bad body odor, but the truth is that the two fragrances usually end up mingling and mixing in negative ways.
You can end up smelling even worse than normal if your body odor mixes poorly with your chosen body spray!
That’s why it’s important to use deodorant each day even if you don’t always use body spray.
Body spray is an additive while deodorant gets rid of your negative smell, or rather stops the bacteria we described above from being as effective in their growing efforts.
Deodorant comes in three major types: stick, spray, or gel.
None of these is necessarily better than the other, but stick deodorant is by far the most common type.
You’ll be able to find stick deodorants in a wider variety of fragrances, types, and sizes than the other two.
Stick deodorant is also handy since it generally is the most effective at eliminating heavy body odor and drying out sweaty areas.
Most men will benefit from a standard stick deodorant, although these types also run the risk of causing streaking on your clothes or staining your armpits.
Be careful when using a stick deodorant and light-colored clothing.
You only need to apply a few swipes beneath each arm to achieve optimal results.
Overapplication of stick deodorant can leave white or gray clumps on your underarm hair, which is both uncomfortable and unattractive.
The advantage to spray deodorant is that you can apply it without having to worry about streaks or clumps.
It dries very quickly over your skin, but you should be careful not to spread all over your clothes, as well.
Gel deodorants are the most recent type invented, and they usually feel refreshing against your skin.
However, gel deodorants aren’t quite as effective at fighting body odor like the other two types and can become slimy or sticky if you apply it after you’ve already started to sweat.
For best results, gel deodorants should be applied straight after the shower and no other time.
Regardless of your ultimate choice, all deodorants need to be applied before you start to sweat.
For most guys, that’s right after exiting the shower.
Even if you don’t feel particularly hot, your body will likely start to sweat in microscopically small amounts from daily motion and activity.
Even something as minor as walking to work on a crisp fall day can work up a light sweat.
Once your body odor starts, it’s hard to eliminate it outright without some extra application of deodorant.
Then you run the risk of streaking or staining your clothes, and so on.
Ultimately, application right after your daily shower is the best bet.
You should also feel fine with using deodorant before going to sleep if you don’t want to smell your sink at the end of a long day.
Deodorant can is applicable as often as you need so long as you’re careful not to leave clumps in your underarms.
Check out our guide on the best deodorants for men here.
And if you have particularly sensitive skin we created a guide on the best deodorants for sensitive skin as well.
While there are plenty of guys who use a single swipe of deodorant and believe that they are covered when it comes to sweat, they could be further from the truth.
The primary way to combat excessive sweating, and thus limit the space available for odor-causing bacteria to eat and breed, is to apply antiperspirant.
As you might expect from its name, an antiperspirant is specifically designed to stop you from sweating.
In most cases, antiperspirants operate by blocking your sweat glands by using a physical compound such as aluminum chloride or something similar.
By blocking your sweat glands, antiperspirants prevent those areas of your body which are frequently to cause excessive sweating from spawning terrible body odor.
While they don’t necessarily prevent you from sweating 100%, they drastically lower the amount of sweat you can expect to see in your armpits, which is the only real spot they should be used.
Antiperspirants should be used much like deodorants.
Right after stepping out of the shower is a great time to apply a bit of antiperspirant so that you get sweat protection as soon as your body might start producing the stuff.
There are also antiperspirant/deodorant combo products that you can purchase, which accomplish both tasks at the same time.
These are often great choices for men who are always on the go or guys who don’t want to take up a lot of space in their grooming cabinet with deodorant products.
Don’t worry about causing health issues by blocking your sweat glands.
The water will still emerge from the other spots all across your body.
However, some antiperspirants are certainly better than others.
As mentioned, antiperspirants work by physically blocking your sweat glands.
This traps your sweat inside your body, where it becomes absorbed.
In other cases, the compounds in antiperspirants will “de-escalate” your glands when they try to produce sweat.
This is often a better result since antiperspirants which block your sweat glands use aluminum chloride or its cousin compounds.
While these are effective at their intended jobs, they also may be linked to several serious side effects like the development of breast cancer.
If possible, it’s almost always a good idea to get an antiperspirant product that’s made with natural ingredients and which doesn’t contain aluminum chloride.
Some of the better products have baking soda or other compounds to take the place of aluminum chloride.
These antiperspirants may absorb your sweat as it comes to your skin and dries your underarms out instead.
However, this may be uncomfortable if you already have dry skin or sensitive skin.
Men with sensitive skin can seek out antiperspirant product specifically designed for them.
Besides, most antiperspirant/deodorant combination products use aluminum chloride as one of their key ingredients.
It’s tough to find a combination product that doesn’t have this compound or a similar type.
You might have to bite the bullet and purchase two separate products if you want to ensure that your antiperspirant is as healthy as possible.
Most antiperspirant products last for the length of the day or at least 6-8 hours or so.
Feel free to reapply antiperspirants if you tend to sweat a lot or if you go to the gym for a late-night workout session.
Just remember that antiperspirant is easy to wash off, so you need to reapply it after you step out of the shower if you want to limit the sweat stains on your clothes.
Antiperspirant should not be used in other sweaty areas on your body: just your underarms.
When it comes to other trouble spots like the groin or the backs of your knees, there’s another solution.
Be sure to check out our guide on the best antiperspirants for men here.
That’s right: baby powder.
You might be initially confused but believe us when we tell you that baby powder is one of the most versatile anti-sweat products you can find.
Baby powder was initially designed to soothe soreness or redness on the bottoms of infants.
As you might imagine, diapers aren’t usually a very comfortable place!
But you can repurpose baby powder to great effect.
Put a little bit around your genital area if you experience excessive sweating there and marvel at how dry you feel throughout the day.
The good news is that you only need to use a very small amount of powder to achieve the best results.
There’s no need to coat all your skin with the stuff.
A dab with two fingers is generally fine.
You can also use baby powder for the backs of your knees or other super sweaty areas just as easily.
Baby powder absorbs into your skin and dries out very quickly, so you shouldn’t need to worry about looking funny so long as you don’t apply it right before you walk out the door.
As you might imagine, it’s easy to over-apply baby powder, so be sure only to use a little bit at a time.
You also don’t want to use too much since you might accidentally dry out your skin and require the use of a moisturizer.
All in all, taking care of sweat is an important part of the body odor battle.
Sweat is by far the best spot for bacteria to breed, and it provides them with plenty of nutrition so they can grow and continue to add nasty smells to your immediate area.
Getting rid of sweat is key!
After sweat has been taken care of and you deodorize your body entirely through a mix of good shower hygiene and deodorant, you can start thinking about adding artificial fragrances.
The fact is that most people don’t smell particularly remarkable.
Add in the fact that women generally have better olfactory senses than men do, and your odds of standing out from the crowd without adding some fragrance are slim to none.
If you want to attract women or cultivate a better personal aesthetic, you’ll need to add some fragrance.
Fortunately, you have several options depending on your needs or preferences.
Body spray can be applied as well if you’d like to add a mild to moderate fragrance to your body.
This is great for adding to an overall aesthetic or trying to make yourself memorable if you are going to meet several new people.
For instance, you could get a body spray that elicits smells of the coast or the ocean if you’re wearing light-colored clothing and you’re going to the beach.
This is where you start to smell interesting to women and other men and will start to appreciate all the effort that’s gone into your body odor work.
But body spray is no substitute for deodorizing.
It should only ever be applied after you’ve already deodorized.
It’s also fairly easy to over-apply body spray, so we’d recommend taking it slow if you’ve never used body spray before.
Just a small amount of the spray can leave you with a lingering fragrance that impresses people of both genders.
Body spray is often not as initially strong as cologne or perfume, so it’s a great choice for daily wear, while many colognes are better for special occasions or for impressing a lady on a date night out.
To properly apply body spray, make sure that your skin is totally dry before application.
It’s often a good idea to get out of your bathroom since it’s probably humid immediately after your shower.
Once your skin is dry, hold the can 6 to 8 inches away from your skin and spray a small amount onto your neck, chest, or armpits.
These areas are spots where your body naturally produces musk and your normal odor; adding the body spray here will cover this up in favor of the fragrance you chose.
Also, body spray works by evaporating off the surface of your skin.
The neck and chest are spots where body heat naturally flows, allowing this evaporation process will go more quickly.
For even more fragrance, spray a very small amount of body spray onto your wrists.
It’s easy to over-apply in this location, however.
Check out our guide to the best body sprays for men if you want to learn more.
If you want to wear good cologne, you’ll first need to know all the different types of fragrances at your disposal.
Despite manufacturers and customers alike all using the word “cologne” as a catchall term for artificial fragrance, each major type is slightly different and is better suited for different types of fragrance intensity or lengths of application.
Perfume is the default artificial fragrance.
It was the first type to be elaborated upon and altered into a wide variety of different scents.
Perfume uses 20 to 30% oils in its formula, which means that it’s not the best choice for men with oily skin.
If you overapply, you can make your skin look shinier than you ever intended.
Perfumes tend to be a bit stronger than the other types of fragrance.
Also, don’t be fooled by the name and think that perfumes are only available for use by women.
Perfumes and colognes can both be used by men or women alike.
The difference is purely in intensity and in how long they last.
In perfumes case, you can expect a standard application to last up to 24 hours.
This is actually why many women use perfume as a daily fragrance since they’re practically assured that it’ll last the length of their normal day.
Eau De Parfume
The next type of artificial fragrance is Eau de Parfume.
This only has 15 to 20% oil and lasts for between 5 to 8 hours. As you can see, it’s much less powerful than regular perfume.
This gives it a weaker overall fragrance, but this isn’t necessarily a weakness.
For one, fragrances that are weaker than perfume are harder to overapply.
For another, they can be more easily combined with other fragrances or your natural body odor to great effect.
Eau De Toilette
Next up is Eau de Toilette.
This type of fragrance has 5 to 15% oils and is usually in a spray form rather than relying on a manual stick applicator to be put on your skin.
There are tons of men’s products of the toilette format. Besides, toilette oils dissolve in alcohol.
This helps them catalyze and evaporate more quickly once they rest on the surface of your skin.
Toilettes typically last for around three hours before needing refreshing.
Cologne is also a common choice for men.
It has 2 to 4% of oil in its various formulas.
These oils are usually dissolved in a mixture of alcohol and water.
Like with toilettes, this means that colognes catalyze and evaporate much more quickly than the other fragrance types in many situations.
Colognes usually last about two hours in total.
Finally, Eau Fraiche is a light fragrance that has 1 to 3% of oil in its composition.
It only lasts for about an hour before needing refreshing, so it’s best used as a quick fragrance besides right before a date or social event.
Colognes and other fragrances work by evaporating on the surface of your skin, much like body sprays do.
What makes these artificial fragrances special is their dynamic nature.
You see, colognes have different notes or scents which are expressed as the formula evaporates over time.
There are three major note types:
The interplay between all three types of notes keeps you smelling interesting for the entire time that cologne is active.
For men that want to attract women, colognes are a great bet since the changing scents are sure to keep many a female interested as the night progresses.
To properly apply cologne, you first need to be clean and be sure to apply deodorant so that your body odor doesn’t interfere with the olfactory sensations.
After you’re clean and dry, take the spray applicator and keep it 6 to 8 inches away from the surface of your skin.
Spray a small amount of cologne at a time.
Just one push of the applicator is usually fine. If you use a manual applicator, only use a small dab.
The ideal spots for application are locations where you’ll have blood vessels close to the surface of your skin.
These spots are usually warmer than other sections of your body and thus will cause evaporation to happen more quickly.
We’d recommend applying cologne in the crooks of your elbows, the sides of your neck, or the insides of your wrists.
It’s also fine to reapply cologne once it started to wear off but be careful not to overapply accidentally.
Cologne that is applied to heavily is likely to overpower the senses of anyone who smells it.
You might accidentally have the opposite effect on women than you intend.
Check out our guide to the best colognes for men in 2020 to see the best options and learn more about them, specifically.
How Fragrances Combine
We did say that you should be using plenty of different products to achieve ultimate olfactory victory.
But that doesn’t mean that you can combine any number of products and expect them to play nicely together.
The truth is that some fragrances work better together than others. Also, you have to take into account your musk or scent that might interact with each fragrance in its unique way.
No two men smell identical, and that’s a good thing; it lets you carve out a personal identity expressed through your clothing, facial hair, hairstyle, and smell.
Prevent Bad Mixing/Overpowering
The key to making yourself smell great once you’ve applied the above products is to prevent overpowering the senses of anyone who gets close enough for a sniff.
We’ve all been in the situation where the guy the party has put on too much cologne, and it’s just not working for him.
Instead of improving his situation, men and women are avoiding him and leaning back when he talks.
To not be this guy, make sure that you apply all of your fragrance products gently and evenly.
In most cases, it’s enough to put the smallest amount possible of cologne, perfume, or body spray on your skin and achieve the scent you’re going for.
Think of it this way.
If you pay for a $70 spray bottle of cologne, you should have enough in that tiny bottle to last you for six months to a year with regular use.
Take this into account when you apply it for the first time and consider whether or not the amount that you’re thinking about could be repeated hundreds of times in the future.
If you can’t imagine it, lower the amount you spray.
Lower is almost always key.
Remember, too, that women have better senses of smell than men more often than not.
You don’t need to worry about women failing to recognize that you put on cologne before your date.
Also, you don’t want to mix fragrances with the scents from your body wash or shampoo.
Body washes and shampoos often have different fragrance combinations than the types you’d expect from a body spray, perfume, or cologne.
Because of this, strong body washes or shampoos can accidentally interfere with the intended fragrance that evaporates off your body.
We’d recommend only using lightly scented or non-scented body washes and shampoos if you plan on using cologne or any other type of artificial fragrance.
This will let your chosen fragrance stand out, and you won’t have to worry about combining your cologne with your shampoo many hours after the fact.
When it comes to layering fragrances, such as wear using some body spray for the day and adding a tiny, tiny bit of cologne later, there’s no real way you can go wrong as long as you use some common sense.
For instance, it’s always a great idea to take a fragrance like cedar, which is a classically masculine fragrance and combine it with something else that reminds people of the forest.
Pine, leather, or sandalwood are all great choices. But you can also go for an “opposites attract” effect.
Many men and women will find a fragrance more interesting if you combine something like cedar with something spicy or interesting, like cinnamon or citrus.
The choice is totally up to you, and this is where a lot of the fun of deciding your overall smell comes from.
You get to decide how people perceive you and what they think about when you enter the room.
That’s social power, friends, and it’s something every man should think about if they want to succeed in any aspect of social life.
We’ve gone over the basics, but how about some specific situations?
In this part of our guide, we’ll go through some common scenarios that most men will face on a daily or weekly basis.
Whether at the office or outdoors, men at work should smell professional and masculine.
While it’s okay to smell somewhat interesting, you don’t want your fragrance to be too overpowering or attention-grabbing since this can seem off-task or frivolous.
When it comes to exact notes, things that are heavier yet understated are always a great choice.
Any kind of fragrance that elicits classical masculinity and control are likely to complement you while you’re at work, doing what you do best.
Of course, any routine starts with the shower.
Be sure to clean yourself thoroughly every morning before work that you look and smell your best even if you didn’t add any extra fragrance after cleaning.
After you dry your skin, it’s probably a good idea to apply deodorant or antiperspirant if you’re worried about sweat showing through your work clothes.
This is obviously more important for some men than others, but if it matters to you, insert antiperspirant application here in the routine.
Next, it’s time to think about adding your fragrance mix.
We’d recommend a body spray at most rather than full-on cologne, which tends to be stronger and is also associated with dating and other extracurricular social activities.
However, if you have experience using cologne, you can certainly wear it to work and make use of its benefits.
There’s often nothing more impressive than a man who wears his cologne well.
On A Date
Every guy wants to impress the lady takes out on a date, but that the last thing she’ll be if you show up smelling like you just exited the gym.
Obviously, showering takes precedence first and foremost once again.
On the off chance that you have to go straight from work to your date and don’t have time to take a shower, you should liberally apply deodorant and antiperspirant as soon as possible.
It’s not as good as totally cleaning yourself, so you smell as fresh as possible, but it’s better than nothing.
After showering, apply deodorant or antiperspirant as needed.
You’ll also probably want to do your hair to some degree, and don’t forget to trim those other facial hairs!
After you finish this step, now it’s time for the added fragrance.
The decision between body spray or cologne is up to you, but in our experience, properly apply cologne can add a layer of excitement and intrigue to any date.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going doing something casual for your date, be it a simple movie affair or a game of bowling.
Cologne, when not over applied and chosen carefully, can really impress any woman with a working nose.
Cologne works extra-well if you take her out to a fancy restaurant where class is key.
In fact, in these situations, it’s probably best to think of cologne or at least some other strong artificial fragrance as a necessity.
After all, she’s likely put on perfume and dolled herself up just for you.
It’s best to return the favor and look and smell your best!
At the Gym
The gym is a different story.
You’re not here to impress anyone but yourself (although impressing people with your lifts and gains is a nice bonus).
To that end, adding any kind of artificial fragrance to your body is essentially a waste of time.
Not only will you be sweating enough and generating enough body odor to make all the strongest fragrances effectively irrelevant, but you’ll be trying to draw the wrong kind of attention to yourself while everyone else is trying to get their workout on.
We’d recommend avoiding cologne or body spray of any kind while at the gym, although body spray that you applied at the beginning of the day is likely weak enough to be fine.
Apply deodorant and/or antiperspirant.
Thankfully, it doesn’t matter as much if you stain your clothes, so antiperspirant isn’t strictly necessary here.
It’s still a good idea if you know that you’re an exorbitant sweater, though.
You should shower once you get home, of course.
Remember to use body wash and shampoo equally.
Otherwise, you’ll step out of the shower and won’t smell as fresh as you should.
Relaxing at Home
When it comes to taking some time for yourself at home, the choice is much more relaxed.
This changes if you live with your partner or have roommates, of course, so the standard plethora of showering, applying deodorant and antiperspirant, and optionally adding body spray are all good options.
However, there’s less of a need for body spray here since no one will be making judgments about you via smell.
Besides, wearing body spray and lounging on the couch can easily transfer the body spray oils to your furniture, which isn’t something you should be going for.
All in all, every single man alive can smell fantastic put in work and spend a little bit of time planning and preparing.
While this all might seem like a lot at first glance, it becomes more and more manageable as you practice and eventually integrate it into your daily routine.
Performing excellent body hygiene and smelling your best is a goal that’s worth for one reason above all: self-respect.
When you’re smelling great, you’ll feel great, and that’s the goal for all of this in the end.
Thanks for reading!