The Complete Guide to Buying Fragrances for Men: Everything To Know


Are you looking to upgrade your fragrance game? Are you tired of relying on the same old Cologne or body spray?

While buying fragrances seems like a breeze on paper, one walk through the perfume department at any store will make you realize it can be quite the challenge.

Are you ready to find your signature scent but aren’t sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here’s your complete guide to buying fragrances for men.

Perfume vs. Cologne

When it comes to men’s fragrances, most people immediately think of Cologne. But, Cologne, or Eau de Cologne, is just a label for a specific level of perfume concentration.

There are five different options for fragrances on the perfume-concentration scale. The weakest fragrance type is Eau Fraiche, consisting of about 1-3% perfume oil. A few spritzes of Eau Fraiche will only linger on your skin for about an hour.

Cologne is the second-weakest concentration, containing only 2-4% perfume oil. Generally speaking, most Cologne only lasts about two hours. So, no matter how expensive your Cologne is, if you’re looking for all-day coverage, a bottle of Cologne won’t cover you.

Eau de Toilette is the next most concentrated, containing 5-15% perfume oil and lasting around three hours. After that comes Perfume, or Eau de Parfum, which consists of 15-20% perfume oil and lasts five to eight hours — which is generally is enough to last a full day.

Finally, Parfum is the most concentrated containing a whopping 20-30% perfume oil, which is enough fragrance to last 24 hours.

Of course, because Parfum is the most potent, it is generally the most expensive. If you’re comparing fragrance costs, you’ll quickly realize potency directly correlates with price. So, if you’re looking for a lasting fragrance that won’t break the bank, you may want to consider Perfume rather than Cologne.

How to Dissect a Scent

High-end fragrances don’t contain one solitary note — they possess distinct levels that burn off over the day. So, the way your fragrance smells when you first spray it on won’t be what it smells like an hour or five hours later.

The top note of a fragrance is generally the brightest smell — and the first thing to hit your nose. The top layer is also the first level to wear off. Depending on the concentration of perfume oil, your top note will last anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours.

The medium note is the heart of the fragrance. Also called the heart note, this level is the main body of the scent and usually contains heavier florals or spices. The medium note generally lasts around three to five hours, depending on the concentration.

Finally, the base notes of your fragrance contain smoky and musky scents and will linger for anywhere to five to ten hours. These notes will be the last element to fade.

Choosing Your Fragrance

Fortunately, most men’s fragrance brands, like Hugo Boss, are readily available at department and toiletry stores which is essential because, like with clothes, the only way to determine whether a scent would work on you is to try it on. Perfumes react with your natural body chemistry and outside elements like your deodorant. So, if you want to get an idea of what a scent will smell like on you, you’ll need to take it for a spin.

If you’re interested in buying fragrances online, you may want to consider visiting a store first to sample products and figure out what works best on your skin.

Your Guide to Buying Fragrances for Men

Now that you know a bit more about buying fragrances for men, it’s time to get shopping.

Are you looking for more advice on how to up your fragrance game? We’ve got you covered. Check out the rest of our blog for more helpful articles.


Megan Barnes
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