Five tips on fragrance shopping for men
Shopping for a new fragrance is a daunting undertaking. We've got some tips and tricks to see you through this assault on the senses.
We know it’s tough. Intimidating even. That wall of fragrances in your local department store. The flanks of beaming sales folk thrusting white arrows of paper towards you while uttering designer names. Or worse still, grabbing your wrists for a spray with the assurance “trust me, you’ll LOVE it”. Guess again, Karen.
Don’t blame you for wanting to run, but despite the sublime wordsmithery on certain grooming websites, there is no substitute for actually letting your nose and brain come to a conclusion.
To avoid getting home only to discover you don’t like it that much after all and that Karen has a no refunds policy, here are our top five tips for getting it right.
1. Do some homework. By which we mean know what it is that you like. If, say, your favourite fragrances are based on citrus or spice or timber, ask the salesperson to recommend three in this category. It’s quite the time saver.
2. Don’t be seduced by celebrity. Most of the budget for scents fronted by stars have gone on securing that talent rather than ingredients and careful distilling. You can most likely do better than this generic swill.
3.Spray and walk away. Let things settle before you decide. Buying a fragrance solely because you like the top notes – those you smell immediately – is like buying a car because you like the colour of the seats.
4. Use the scent strips and coffee beans. Coffee beans clear the palette. And take a pen to write down the names of the scents on the strips. Because even if you only try half a dozen, you’re going to run out of flesh to apply them to. Once you’ve narrowed it down to your top three, spray each of these onto a pulse point – wrists, neck or back of the hands – and see how they settle on your skin. It may smell completely different on your body than it does in the bottle.
5. Don’t be shy. Sticking with only what you know makes what can be a process of joyful discovery a chore at best. You’re spending proper dollars here so take your time. This is an especially good way to pass the time if you’re stuck in an airport and there’s a decent duty free nearby.