How to make your cologne last longer: the Dos and Don'ts

Make sure your fragrance sticks around long enough for others to appreciate it

How to make your cologne last longer: the Dos and Don'ts
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Whether you choose to start every day with a nine-step Korean glass skin grooming routine or prefer the old soap and flannel approach, a guy's gotta smell good, right? (That was rhetorical, you really do). 

Showering helps, of course, but it's your fragrance that really takes your olfactory efforts to the next level. That is, providing it sticks around long enough for others to appreciate it. 

Without the right know-how, it's not uncommon to arrive at your destination having burnt through all your sandalwood. Thankfully there are several ways to ensure the best men's fragrances last all day. Here are five of them…

Do: Apply It Right

It may sound counterproductive, but if you want your fragrance to last beyond lunchtime, start by applying it before breakfast. Rather than wait until the last possible moment before leaving home, the ideal moment to spritz yourself is just after you've stepped out of the shower when your skin is still slightly damp. Better yet, apply a body lotion in between to give the fragrance something to cling to, and focus on spraying the body's pulse points, like the wrists and sides of the neck.

Don't: Store It In The Bathroom

Important fact: Exposing your favourite scent to heat, humidity, and light will mess with its chemical properties and weaken the fragrance. In other words, a wet, warm, bright bathroom may be the ideal place to get ready in the morning, but it's a killer for your cologne. Instead, store it in a cool, dark place like inside your wardrobe. Air is one other element your Eaus can't handle. This enters the bottle from the first spray, so avoid having too many on the go.

Do: Pick The Right Stuff

If your scent lacks staying power, the problem could be what, not how, you're applying. As a general rule, oriental and woody juices (think heavyweight base notes like sandalwood, vetiver and oud) last much longer than those that fall under the citrus or floral family. Anything labelled Eau Fraiche, eau de cologne or eau de toilette also has a low concentration of fragrance oils and a more subtle scent. Eau de parfum and parfum, on the other hand, are far stronger and last the longest.

Don't: OD on Eau

Logically, it would make sense that the more de toilette you douse yourself in, the longer it will last. In reality, the only thing it increases is your chances of turning an angry mob of commuters and co-workers against you. You'll still be scentless by the same time. Limit yourself to two or three spritzes, max. You can always keep a bottle in your desk drawer or gym bag to top up with later in the day.

Do: Layer Up

Extended family members are more or less contractually obliged to buy you shower sets at Christmas, but not all are destined for the re-gift pile. Most fragrances are made with accompanying body washes, aftershaves, and moisturisers because they can be layered to amp up the scent. If you don't have the matching set, look for products from the same fragrance family. A shower gel containing lemongrass to go with your fresh, citrusy scent, for instance.

Did you find this interesting? Then why not read our guides on the best women’s perfumes and best men’s fragrances and colognes. If you're looking for more tips, you can read how to choose the right cologne or aftershave.

Luke Todd