March 19, 2018

How to Wear Cologne – Ultimate Guide to Applying Cologne the Perfect Way

How to Apply Cologne

Have you ever been out enjoying an evening with your friends and caught a whiff of another man’s heavy cologne? 

We've all met one somewhere - Mr too much cologne...

He thinks he smells great, but the truth is far from it...

Smelling good is one of the easiest ways to make a positive first impression on someone. First date, interview or just a casual meeting, can have a much better outcome if you're smelling good.

Unfortunately, it's also easy to do exactly the opposite even if you have good intentions. You can avoid being that guy if you know how to wear cologne properly. 

There's more to the art of wearing cologne than simply picking a nice scent.

How much cologne is appropriate to wear at a time?
Does it vary depending on what event you're attending, or who you'll be around?
Are some scents better than others?

I'm here to answer these questions and more for you.

How Much Cologne Should You Wear?

The goal when applying cologne is to spray just enough for people to detect it without being overpowered by the scent.

If you just bought a cologne, and you're new to wearing one, start with one single spray. 
As you gradually become more comfortable wearing the scent, you can try applying a bit more.

How to wear Cologne correctly

Skin Type

You'll want to consider your skin type when applying cologne.

The reasoning behind this is simple, when the skin is very dry it's harder for it to absorb cologne. Much like the difference between healthy and non healthy soil. Degraded soil can't absorb water very well and it won't seep through as with healthy soil.

Bottom line: If you want the scent to stay longer you need to keep your skin moisturized.


When it comes to the amount of cologne (or perfume) you want to apply, you should definitely consider the weather.

Temperature has a big effect on how your cologne will smell on you.

Warmer temperatures intensify scents, which means you need to apply less cologne. Keep this in mind when applying. If you usually apply two sprays of cologne, use just one spray on a hot or humid day.

The natural heat that your body produces will cause the scent to linger longer than usual. In contrast, during cold weather, you can afford to apply an extra spray.

  • key
    Key Takeaway

Adjust the amount of cologne according to your skin type and weather.
Warm or humid weather or oily skin ==> less cologne.
Cold weather or dry skin ==> more cologne.

When Should You Apply Cologne?

Let me first say this:

Don't apply cologne at the end of a long, sweaty day when you haven't had time to shower. The results won't be enjoyable for you or anyone in the room with you.

The best time to apply cologne is directly after a hot shower.

Heat and steam cause your pores to open, which creates an ideal environment for your skin to absorb the cologne. As you sweat throughout the day, your pores will release the scent.

If you're planning to wear cologne to an event, you'll want to consider the other scents you're using. If you use a heavily scented deodorant or body wash, this might diminish the effect of your cologne. Try to use lightly scented shampoo or deodorant for your cologne to perform the best.

when to apply cologne

Where Should You Apply Cologne?

Try to avoid the impulse to spray a cloud of cologne all over your body.

You want to make sure the cologne is applied directly to your skin for it to retain its scent.
If you spray it on your clothing, the scent of your cologne could interact poorly with your detergent scent. This can produce an undesirable odor.

Instead, you want to utilize your "pulse points" when applying cologne.
These points include: 

  • The area at the base of your throat
  • Behind your ears
  • Your inner elbow
  • Your inner wrist

You want to apply cologne to your pulse points because the scents will complement the natural odors that your body produces. As these odors mix, they will create a scent that is specific to you.

Match Scent to the Weather

You should definitely consider your cologne as a seasonal product.

As you rotate clothing options and beer choices with each season, you should do the same with your.

It's easy to find your favorite scent and wear it year-round. 
However, choosing a couple of different colognes to rotate every few months will complement you best.

Summer & Spring

Spring and summer temperatures lend themselves best to citrusy scents.
If you wear a more floral citrusy scent in colder weather, the scent won't hold up well.

Winter & Fall

Heavier, more spiced scents will thrive during colder temperatures.

Do you love woodsier, traditionally masculine scents?
These are best to wear during the fall or winter when the air will support the weight of the scent.

Time of Day

These rules also apply more loosely to the time of day. 

The earlier in the day, the lighter the scent should be. If you want to wear a scent to the office, stick to something very light with a hint of floral.

For date night or heading to a bar with your bros, you can pick a muskier scent.

where to apply colgone

Tips to Make Your Cologne Last Longer

One of the reasons most men over-apply cologne is because they feel it doesn't linger on their skin throughout the day. These few steps will help your skin retain the scent after you apply.

1. Don't Rub

If you apply to your wrist or neck, don't rub the scent into your skin.
This will cause the molecules to break down, making the scent dissipate faster.
Apply the cologne and allow your skin to absorb on its own.

2. Don't Spray on Your Clothes

Cologne is formulated to interact with the natural oils of your skin.
Applying it to fabric will inhibit this interaction. Your scent will quickly smell stale or be completely undetectable.

3. Spray Close to Your Skin

If your cologne comes in a spray bottle, try to spray as close to your skin as possible.
This concentrated area will help preserve the scent for a longer period. If your cologne doesn't have a spray top, dab small amounts of cologne directly to your skin.

How to Layer Different Colognes

If you're comfortable with wearing cologne and want to start experimenting with combining scents, you'll want to follow a few rules.

Starting with a basic scent is the most important aspect when layering colognes.
Choose a fragrance that has a simple scent profile. This will serve as the base of your new scent.

To achieve a well-rounded scent, you'll want to add a touch of a musky or heavily spiced scent. You can balance this out with a scent that has a light, citrusy scent. The strength of the citrus will cut through the heavy musk and should blend nicely with your base scent.

Apply the scents in this order, starting with your base, adding the heavier scent and finishing off with the light fragrance. This will create a balanced scent that will have multiple layers as you wear it.

When wearing or experimenting with cologne, it's always good to remember that less is more.

If someone comments that you smell nice, you can take that as a sign that you are wearing the scent well.

Cologne is a great way to express your personality. Look for scents that reflect who you are and what you enjoy.

Enjoy the process of exploring new fragrances!


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Arief Wibowo - March 23, 2018 Reply

Hi Jason,

This article is so helpful. I understand cologne more because of this.

Which one do you prefer, cologne or perfume?


    Jason Hall - March 24, 2018 Reply

    Thanks Arief
    I prefer colognes, they’re light and it’s a perfect match with my personality πŸ™‚

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