Male Essence

By Myron Mariano / August 27, 2016

Searching for a fragrance that is clean, healthy for the skin and irresistibly appealing.

There are very few style risks you can take that have a long-lasting impact quite like the way you choose to smell. Your fashion choices change over the years—at times, you may even willingly choose to forget an entire decade—but your scent, less so. Think of it this way: Even though you have been out of school for years now, doesn’t the smell of a certain three-letter drugstore brand immediately transport you back to high school?

Fragrance has such strong ties to emotions and memory that the decision to wear one doesn’t just make you, well, smell good, it’s also a subtle way of handing out the calling card of your personality. Research from Frontiers in Psychology confirms what we already know: your fragrance is related to society’s impression of you. When compared to natural body odor, those who use perfumed cosmetics are seen as more attractive, agreeable and extroverted.

This connection can be used to your advantage, by picking the right type of natural scent. Synthetic fragrances tend to be “overpowering and gross,” says Hall Newbegin, founder of Juniper Ridge. The all-natural ones, on the other hand, are gentler on your skin and less imposing.

They also tell more personal stories. “I care about making a perfume that is singing with the place where it was harvested,” says Newbegin. “[Our] Big Sur Cologne oozes Big Sur: Monterey cypress tree pitch, wild sages, asters, lichens from the coast. It’s real, and I think it’s important that guys have a real scent.” Here is a guide to selecting scent for guys.

Wear it Well

The best time to spray on perfume is after a shower, when your skin is hydrated.

Organic perfumes are pleasant and subtle—chalk this up to the absence of preservatives—so don’t be timid; mist liberally to your pulse points, the back of your ears and your sides. You may find that you will still need to repeat this process after a few hours.

If bringing along a bottle of cologne is out of the question, consider wearing a solid perfume. Its oils do not evaporate as quickly as a liquid’s, eliminating the need for re-application.

Customize

Your overall “bouquet” is not dictated solely by your scent; you also have your natural body odor and the bath and body products you use.

As you become comfortable with what works for you and what doesn’t, slowly experiment with different scent combinations. This can be as simple as buying a body oil that shares the same notes as your cologne.

Store it Right

Store your bottles in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. This can be in a shelf in your room or by your bedside, just never in a hot and humid bathroom.

In general, fragrances last more than a year. However, improper storage will contribute to the rapid degradation of the scent.

Myron Mariano

Myron Mariano

Myron Mariano is a New York-based men's-lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications such as the international editions of Men's Health and Marie Claire. He enjoys covering fashion, grooming, and fitness.
Myron Mariano

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