So you’ve been wearing the same cologne for years and are looking to switch it up, or maybe you have never really been so much into cologne but want to try it out.  How to choose a cologne a lot harder than it seems.  There are literally hundreds of colognes out there.  Not only does each bottle smell different, but individual colognes smell different on everyone.  Obviously, you can’t go about this completely alone, so I have written a guide for choosing your signature scent.

Set a budget

The first thing you have to decide when picking out a signature scent is your budget.  Brand name colognes such as Calvin Klein or Ralph Lauren are costly, so if you are not willing to shell out $50-$75 for a bottle of cologne look for cheaper drugstore brand.

Bring a pal

After you decide on your budget, go shopping for your new fragrance.  Make sure you take a friend with you.  If you are in a relationship, be sure to bring that person.  If not, a female friend is always good.  Try to hit up a specialty cosmetics store, such as Ulta or Sephora.  These stores will allow you to sample the colognes before buying.

You may have to experiment

Once you’ve found a cologne that you and your friend/significant other approve of, it’s time to buy.  Before buying what is possibly a bit of an investment, though, check to see if the store has travel-sized bottles of the cologne.  Popular fragrances often come in a sample size, which will last you anywhere from two-six weeks.  These usually cost around $12.  Travel-sized colognes are great because they allow you to test the cologne.  If you do not like it, you do not end up with a year’s supply of something that smells totally disgusting on you (no offense).

Ask after applying

After you have purchased a cologne, ask the same person you went shopping with if they still approve of the scent.  If they do, go back and buy the full-size bottle after the travel size bottle runs out.  If they don’t, start the process again.  It may sound tedious, but a cologne that smells great in the bottle may not smell great on you (even if you think it does).  If that’s the case, it’s not worth your money.

Stick with a winner

Once you’ve found a cologne that everyone likes, stick with it.  A signature scent is a grooming tool that can last a lifetime.

Deodorant

You still have to use deodorant.  If you use a really strong cologne, don’t use a really strong deodorant.  It’s pretty simple.  You can also use antiperspirant, but plain old (unscented) deodorant is the best way to go if you wear cologne every day.

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