Sorry to Break It to You, but You’re Applying Your Cologne the Wrong Way

Man using Eau de Cologne
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A lot of men tend to treat cologne as an afterthought. It’s that thing you spray on as the punctuation on the end of getting ready for the day or night, right before you grab your keys and walk out the door. But it turns out that this is the worst possible time to apply on your cologne. In fact, you should be spraying it when you’re completely and totally buck naked.


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According to Ben Krigler, the fifth-generation owner of the perfume brand Krigler, that’s because you’re supposed to be perfuming your skin, not your clothing. “[When you’re naked], your skin is yet untouched by fabrics,” he told Men’s Journal in his French-accented English. “That’s the perfect way for your fragrance to become one with you.”

Your body chemistry affects the smell of whatever fragrance you put on, and the warmth of your skin allows the scent to disperse naturally—from top notes to dry-down notes. You only get the full range of the scent if you spray it on your skin, Krigler said. It also helps preserve your clothes: the oils and alcohols in some fragrances can ruin more delicate fabrics.

How to Apply Your Cologne the Right Way

Ready to spritz? After you get out of the shower, spray along your pulse points—specifically your neck, chest, and wrists, Krigler said. These areas are where blood vessels are closest to the skin, and so they tend to emanate more heat, thus diffusing your fragrance into the air. (It’s actually the same idea used by oil diffusers.) Then give the scent a second to dry before you put your clothes on.

And if you need to reapply, Krigler said it’s a good idea to spray under your clothes again. “This can be difficult, though, so maybe just stick to the wrists and neck,” he advised.


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If you’re still stuck on the idea of your clothes smelling like your fragrance, however, Krigler suggests spraying them before you put them on. That way, you can mist the cologne on instead of dousing your shirts in a direct hit of overpowering scent.

Krigler added that it’s never a bad idea to spray down your boxer briefs before you slip ‘em on. “It’s always a good touch,” he said. “And you never know where the day will lead you!”

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