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A guide to gifting cologne: Pick his perfect scent


Choosing a new fragrance for that special man doesn’t have to be a hassle. Keep these tips in mind.

t woman choosing cologne

Photo credit: Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images

t It was in the second half of the 20th century that the practice of exchanging Valentine’s cards was extended to encompass the art of gift giving. Since Valentine’s Day is traditionally about love and romance, what better way to create the ambiance than with his favorite scent? So you won’t break your significant other’s heart, I’ve put together a “how-to” guide for selecting the perfect fragrance for that special man.

t Anyone who has a father or brother can attest to the fact that men are often impossible to shop for. Colognes are always an excellent option, but many find it frustrating to choose a fragrance for men. Here are our top five pointers for anyone wishing to buy a new fragrance for a special man in her life this Valentine’s Day.

Consider purpose

t Does he wear cologne to please himself? Does he wear it to please you? Or is it just part of his daily grooming ritual? These factors can influence the style of fragrance you might like to buy. If he uses cologne purely as part of his shaving habits, consider an aftershave splash, moisturizing balm or light eau de cologne. If he’s more social, a sexy, masculine, mysterious eau de toilette or eau de parfum could be just the ticket.

Consider lifestyle

t An important consideration when choosing a scent is to consider his lifestyle. A young athletic guy might prefer something citrusy, fresh and sporty over something heavy, spicy and conservative. A businessman would likely enjoy something bold, confident and commanding, while a doctor or undertaker might want something low-key, hushed and unassuming.

Consider scenario

t When and where is it most likely to be worn? To school? To the office? To a special event or occasion? You can refine your choices by choosing a scent that will work best in any specific situation. A hard-hitting woodsy, musky stinkbomb may not go down well at work or on a date, but something well-mannered, refined and sophisticated might.

Consider age

t Just be mindful that no mature man wants to smell like a rock star! By the same token, a guy in his teens will not appreciate the same strong cologne his grandfather wears. Let your nose determine which colognes are targeted at certain demographics, and make your purchases accordingly.

Consider personality

t A lot can be determined about a man by the cologne he chooses to wear, so find something that matches his personality. If he’s artistic and devoutly independent, look for a unique niche scent that will set him apart from the crowd. If he has a good sense of humor, even the fragrance name, bottle and packaging can play a role in the choices you might consider.

A quick note about splashes vs. sprays

t A splash-on scent has been designed to apply to the face from the jawline up, and a spray from the jawline down. Aftershave splashes act as a tonic for skin after shaving, and eau de toilette sprays are for perfuming oneself.

t This quick checklist should help take some of the guesswork out of buying fragrances for men, and arm you with the tools to find something every bit as individual as the man you’re shopping for.

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