Tuesday, December 17, 2013


#012 - The scent

There are some confusing and rather stressful moments for us gents. One of those is shopping cologne at a store with a setting of hundreds of choice and surround by aggressive sales at the counter.  And here is your simple guide to do right. 

1. Go It Alone.

You're not here to find a cologne that will please your girlfriend or your buddy. You're here to find one that you feel comfortable with.

2. Skip the Deo for the Day.

Wearing strong deodorant or another cologne will confuse your nose. You want an olfactory blank slate for your expedition.

3. Ask the Clerk This One Question: "What's Your Favorite Scent Here?"

If she robotically reaches for the closest bottle, she's getting a bonus for pushing that brand. Move on. You want a clerk who will give the question honest thought. Even if you don't like the scent she chooses, it means this person won't sell you on Eau de Nostrilburn just for a commission.

4. Act Like Scorsese—Give Lots of Direction.

If you remember only one thing throughout this mission, let it be this: You have the wallet, which means you're the one in charge. Before the clerk starts shoving bottles in your face, offer up as many guidelines as you can—even if it's as simple as "I don't want to smell too sweet" or "Something wintry"—so she can fine-tune her suggestions. No clue what you're after? Ask to sniff the four new-for-fall colognes in the slideshow above, which cover the key guy-scent categories, and work from there.

5. Shoot Down Any Spritzes Aimed At Your Skin.

Salespeople will tell you that colognes smell different on your body. This is a lie, and a good way to end up wearing something that you hate for the rest of the day. Have them spray scent strips, then sniff-test from there.

6. "No. Nope. No. Maybe. Hell No."

The clerk's probably going to drop a cluster bomb of strips on you right away. Say "no" often. She doesn't make the colognes, she just sells 'em, so no hard feelings. Have her trash the losers immediately, so the scents you do like won't get lost in a pile of duds.

7. Don't Be a Label Snob...

Even if a flashy $5,000 Prada suit isn't your vibe, the brand's latest cologne might be exactly what you're searching for. In other words, give everything a fair whiff.

8. ...But It's Okay To Be a Bottle Elitist.

Maybe you don't want what looks like a phallic fertility idol sitting on your dresser. That's completely fair.

9. Clear Your Head (And Your Nose).

Narrow your choices down to two samples and take a half-hour stroll. Try on some new shades. Visit your favorite not-yet-extinct music store. You want to give your nose a chance to reset and allow the samples to evolve (because lots of colognes will).

10. Now Take One Last Whiff and Decide: Which Cologne Would You Rather Smell All Day?

Got it? Good. Mosey back to the department store, reward the soul behind the counter with a commission, and hustle out of the mall for some fresh air.

What's HOT in the winter??

Polo Red packs ruby red grapefruit, which is neither too sweet nor too sour—just fresh and clean. $76 | 4.2 oz.

Bottega Veneta Pour Homme is like a fir Christmas tree you'll want to smell long past New Year's. $80 | 1.7 oz

Gucci Made to Measure has a hit of cinnamon and the musky sweetness of a well-worn baseball mitt. $88 | 3 oz.
For Zegna Uomo, the company bought an orchard of bergamot trees, then mixed the zest with violets. $80 | 3.4 oz.

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