I want to stink good
March 16, 2013 10:59 AM   Subscribe

I am not normally a cologne person, but I found one that I love. Even my scent-averse lady likes it. Tell me how to wear it. Assume I am total idiot, does it go on the skin (or clothes)? Where? How much? Can I apply over a moisturizer? Need I reapply later in the day?

It is from this place if it matters and it is in a small ordinary bottle (not a spritzer or roller). It smells like a forest and incense. It is awesome. I could wear it anytime, work, going out, etc. Do most people wear their fragrance all the time or rarely, or something in between?
posted by Slarty Bartfast to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My advice? Less is more. You and your lady like it, but have a care for those around you who are easily overwhelmed by fragrance. People should notice you first and foremost, with a subtle nice underlying scent that doesn't smack them in the face. As to reapplying, as you get used to it throughout the day, you stop smelling it and therefore may think you need to reapply, but likely you don't. Have an independent smeller tell you if it's still noticeable before you put more on. I'll leave the application how to's to others.
posted by cecic at 11:11 AM on March 16, 2013 [6 favorites]

The way to do it is to spray in the air right in front of you and walk into the mist.
Also, spraying on hair stays longest. I feel like spraying on clothes vs skin is a matter of preference.
posted by Lucubrator at 11:14 AM on March 16, 2013

Without a spritzer bottle I put my fingertip on the end of the bottle, turn the bottle over, then swipe behind each ear with that finger. Another fingertip application, touch my wrist, then rub my wrists together and I'm good to go. Some colognes last longer than others, and there is nothing wrong with reapplying if it wears off later in the day, but as cecic said, it can be hard to tell because you get used to it. I think the most important thing is to wear a lot less than you might think, with your stink radius being very close to your body. That way people who get close to you will know how wonderful you smell, but people who are just passing by will not have their senses assaulted by your cloud.
posted by Balonious Assault at 11:19 AM on March 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Dab some on your chest after moisturizer. You can also dab on your lower arms or behind your ears. Once you figure out your preferred level of smell (only someone very physically close to you should smell a mild waft of it), do not change the amount you apply. Your brain will become desensitized to the scent an you will not smell it as well. Do not apply more so that you can smell it again. This is the slippery slope that results in people having a wretch-inducing cloud of cologne stink around them.
posted by quince at 11:21 AM on March 16, 2013 [7 favorites]

You can buy perfume atomizers if you prefer to spray. I think there are also ones that come with a tube and can just go on top of your full-size bottle.

You definitely don't need to reapply throughout the day. As cecic says, you will stop smelling it as your nose adjusts, but everyone else can still smell it, I promise.

Some people get really into having different scents for different occasions, and some people like to have just one or two scents that they rotate. People usually say "light" perfumes are for day and "heavy" perfumes are for night, but it's a weird distinction. If you found a scent you like, wear it.

I don't know if I would do the spray in front and walk through the mist with a cologne- they tend to be heavier, and you might end up with too much. Balonious Assault's application method sounds perfect.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:23 AM on March 16, 2013

A teeny bit is great. Remember it will stop registering with your nose after a few minutes with it on, so be ultra-conservative about re-application. Cologne tends to stay fairly potent most of the day.
posted by xingcat at 11:24 AM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

As someone continually assaulted by people wearing too much scent, I beg you -- reapply only after a thorough shower. Pretty much, if you know how you smell, everyone else knows too much.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:35 AM on March 16, 2013 [4 favorites]

Be really, really conservative with it, and ask friends you trust if it's too much on a regular basis. There is absolutely nothing worse than someone wearing too much cologne. There are a few people in my office I have to actively avoid sharing a room with if at all possible.
posted by something something at 11:35 AM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Keep it off your clothing. Wearing it on clothing can make it smell too strong. When you are fresh out of the shower and completely dry, dab or spray a bit on wrist and then touch your wrist to your neck. As your body temperature changes during the day, the scent will be more noticeable at different times of the day, making it more interesting to you.
posted by myselfasme at 12:02 PM on March 16, 2013

Some people wear cologne/perfume all the time. Less is indeed more. When I put on cologne (I'm a man), I put in on before I'm dressed by holding a bottle to one wrist and tipping it over and back to get a bare amount on the wrist. Then I rub my wrists together and rub my wrists on my chest/lower neck below collar line.
posted by plinth at 12:21 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh and by they way, shopping cologne with your girlfriend can be a cool thing to do. I had a girlfriend with whom I did this. We went to a men's cologne counter, checked some scents on tester strips then weaned it down to two candidates that I had her check testing on my wrist. She picked the scent. It was "super effective."
posted by plinth at 12:28 PM on March 16, 2013

Less is more. I wear scent every day, unless I use a very scented body lotion. I get used to my scent, i.e. I can only smell it when I first apply it in the morning. By the time I have finished dressing I do not notice it. If I use a different scent I notice it on occasion during the day, for example when I am more active and my body temperature rises. So I know it's there. But less is definitely more because you do not want to be the person people smell before they can see you, even if it is a pleasant smell.

I'd apply to skin never clothing, mainly because some scents end up marking clothes or destroying fashion jewellery but I am a girl type person so my clothes are probably made of different materials...
posted by koahiatamadl at 12:36 PM on March 16, 2013

You're a doctor right? Think very carefully about wearing it to work. At worst it should be so light that only someone very close to you can smell it. Preferably you won't wear it at all because, as someone who is allergic to perfume (as I am) having to deal with it on top of a doctors visit when I'm already feeling like shit is pretty intolerable. Lots of hospitals etc ban perfume for their employees for good reason.

Also, don't put it on your clothes. Because then it will build up over time since they don't get washed as often as your skin and you'll be desensitised to it so won't notice. I am way more likely to have an allergic response to stuff on people's clothes than on the actual person. A small dab somewhere on your body such that someone has to lean right near you to smell it and that's it. Any more than that is obnoxious (and if I could pass a law to stop people wearing more than that I would do it in a second, I'm so sick of being made physically ill by random chemical smells).
posted by shelleycat at 12:57 PM on March 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

[The "don't wear it ever" angle seems to be covered - please stick to the actual question from here on out. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:09 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't want to overdo it so it makes sense to ask other people how much is enough and I hadn't considered that I won't be able to smell it myself after a while. Good advice.

yeah, I'm a doctor, but I work in a community health clinic in a hundred year old repurposed firehouse. I suspect my cologne is a welcome respite from the smells of drunken hobo, stale cigarettes, poopy diapers, motor oil and gangrenous foot ulcers. But point taken.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:36 PM on March 16, 2013 [4 favorites]

my advice would be to get yourself a little 5ml glass atomizer and a funnel or pipette from this joint (cheap), fill up the atomizer, then give yourself one (light) shot in the chest in the morning before you get dressed & hit the road. i never use more than one light spray of anything - subtle is the way to go.
posted by facetious at 4:49 PM on March 16, 2013

According to my mom - expert on all things - people should only be able to smell you if they're close enough to kiss you. Some people think your scent should carry a few feet. No way. Fragrance is a little bonus for those who want to get very, very close.

I do a little scent on the center line of my body. One dab of perfume in the morning. Lighter weight fragrances (cologne, eau de toilette) evaporate faster.
posted by 26.2 at 4:59 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Pulse points are where you want it... the scent reacts to heat. Wrists, neck (near ears, kinda), or center of chest. I've heard never to put it on your clothes, though I couldn't say why specifically. As others have said, should only be noticeable within hugging/kissing distance.
posted by jorlyfish at 6:02 PM on March 16, 2013

My husband splashes a bit on his neck and cheeks. He only does this for me, since I love some scents. He does not reapply and the initial application is very light.

As for offending others, I work with the public and, believe me, I wish more people would splash on a little scent (and mouthwash). I wear scent for myself. After I am finished working with the stinky person, I can sniff myself and recover a bit.
posted by fifilaru at 6:35 PM on March 16, 2013

Another tip: A person should never be able to tell you are approaching but your scent should linger just a bit when you leave. That's why I do a quick mist and back into fragrances when my allergies allow me to wear them.
posted by jaimystery at 7:08 PM on March 16, 2013

House of Matriarch scents are made with very high quality, all-natural ingredients so they generally stay closer to the skin, so you have to worry much less about people smelling it from more than a couple inches away from you than you would with mainstream commercial fragrances. They also have incredible longevity so you won't need to refresh during the day. However, they do have a higher likelihood of staining clothing because of all the botanicals.

Some people wear fragrance every day, some only for special occasions. Some have one "signature" scent, some vary between day/evening, office/club, or warm/cool weather. And some hardcore perfume fiends have hundreds of samples and split bottles and try something new almost every day.

Do not "walk into the mist" - you will just be wasting expensive perfume on your bathroom floor. Since you have a dabber bottle, just dab a bit on your wrists, inside of each elbow, and upper chest.
posted by matildaben at 7:40 PM on March 16, 2013

I gotta ask you... which one is it? I'm looking for something different- my favorite is discontinued (axe bergamot,a subtle scent quite unlike other axe stuff)
posted by drhydro at 8:34 PM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Spray, dab or roller, scent goes on your body not your clothes. Two reasons for this: one is that scent reacts to body heat (think of yourself as a giant scented candle!). The second reason is that perfumes and colognes contain essential oils, and applying it directly to your clothing can stain.

As for how much: as everyone else says, keep it to a minimum. It's very, very easy to go overboard; don't reapply between showers, and just use tiny dabs in places like behind your ears/on your wrists/the center of your chest.
posted by easily confused at 3:22 AM on March 17, 2013

I gotta ask you... which one is it? I'm looking for something different- my favorite is discontinued (axe bergamot,a subtle scent quite unlike other axe stuff)

If you are in Seattle, or here for a visit, it is totally worth stopping in at Blackbird Apothecary. Apparently there is an indie perfume scene and staff at Blackbird are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. There's a Blackbird in Portland as well, but I don't know if they do fragrance.

There is literally no way to shop for and choose a cologne without going and trying things. I went to Nordstrom once to choose a cologne, I thought they all kinda smelled the same and came home with a bottle of Polo that I never wore and my wife hated. Shopping a small specialty store was a totally different thing. The spectrum of fragrance was so much broader and you can really pick something individual to you.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:05 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

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