Hear me out; you know how there are some people that have a perfume or cologne that is so distinctive and pleasant that you can identify them before you even see them?
It’s powerful, isn’t it?
Of our five senses, smell is sometimes left by the wayside unless something smells either really good or really bad, especially when you’re being social.
And to be clear, I’m not talking about the way your significant other smells because that’s a different conversation.
I’m talking about matching your personality with a scent that fits so well; it’s as if you smell that way naturally.
I think guys have a hard time finding a signature scent especially, because they don’t want to ask the necessary questions Beyond ‘does the smell good?’
Today I want to dive into a few different ways guys can strategically sample scents and find inspiration for a signature cologne or perfume.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
When it comes to finding a signature scent, the first thing is dropping all presuppositions about other types of smells.
If your cologne or perfume has been explicitly musk and tobacco or water and Citrus for the past five years, you’re going to have to try other smell families that you might not be aware of or have tried previously.
You don’t have to buy something you don’t like or chase a popular cologne that you don’t like, but I think you should try something from every family that includes floral, Citrus woodsy, musky, earthy, and more.
For years I thought I had to stick within the Armani cologne family, which included Acqua di Gio for work and Armani Code for going out.
Thankfully, I took a step out of my comfort zone thanks to Mr Porter — which is an amazing curator of all things men.
They have cocktail recipes, grooming products, recipes, and many different colognes.
Not only do they have colognes, they have many articles dedicated to describing how to choose them, so I highly recommend looking at what they have to offer.
GQ Magazine has a very similar offering, and I like to compare the two of them when I’m looking for something new.
Go Beyond The Basics
Earlier I mentioned that I used Armani colognes back in the day, and I would consider Armani Prada, Polo, boss, and most of us Brands you can find at a department store to be “basic” colognes.
And when I say basic, I mean many of those are just very straightforward water smells, or musk smells that don’t have a lot of depth.
This is not to discourage you from using those colognes, but if you go to a department store, I will encourage you to smell as many of them as you can because you might find a diamond in the rough or something that fits your skin perfectly.
Today I use Le Labo and Arcquiste as my two primary brands.
Both GQ and Mr Porter recommend and offer a very curated selection of Boutique cologne and perfume brands it may be hard to find if you don’t live in New York or LA or another big city.
Get a Sample Kit
The way that I found my two most recent signature sense is thanks to sample kits.
I am a subscriber to the GQ best box, a quarterly box filled with awesome products for men ranging from luxury underwear to sunglasses to cologne and more.
It was actually thanks to the GQ box that I discovered Arquiste, and I’m very grateful to them for that.
Both Le Labo and Arquiste offer samples kits that have between 4 and 20 of their different scents, which I highly recommend trying because they offer a discount code off of a full-size bottle if you choose one, which effectively makes the sample kit free.
Especially worth it because you always have some backup bottles for traveling or to keep in your car, so you always have something that smells good.
Don’t Be Afraid to Spend Money
Cologne can be expensive, ranging anywhere from $50 to $300.
You do not need to buy the most expensive perfume or cologne you can find simply because it’s expensive.
But quality cologne it’s very distinct from cheaper mass-produced labels because the oils and ingredients are much purer and smell organic.
At the end of the day, the way you smell says a lot about you without you having to say a word, so I think it’s a worthwhile investment to find something that fits you and matches your personality.
I promise there’s nothing as refreshing as somebody else commenting on how great you smell, and you will have a reputation of smelling great, which is very nice.