Your Skin Can Lead Your Nose
Your skin type determines which natural oils will mix with a fragrance, so it can be a useful starting point for finding the right scent. Teresa Molnar, executive director of the Sense of Smell Institute, suggests these templates.
Your skin tone: light to medium
Fairer skin is often drier, so it won't retain subtle scents as long as other skin types will. Choose a crisp, accented fragrance that lasts, like the fresh citrus bouquet of Dolce and Gabbana Pour Homme Light Blue ($55, www.dolcegabbanalightblue.com) or the (manly) floral scents in Armani Code ($55, giorgioarmanicosmetics.com). These intense notes won't fade as fast as more understated ones will.
Your skin tone: medium to dark
Medium-to-dark skin pumps out more natural oils, giving scents longevity and enhancing fragrances. More nuanced scents, such as amber, will linger longer, while bolder notes, such as the tobacco and wood scents found in Tom Ford for Men ($60, tomford.com), can create unique combinations with your natural musk. The darker your complexion, the bolder you can go.
Scents are seasonal
Use less cologne in spring and summer. "As your body heat builds up, the fragrance intensifies," says Molnar. "Sweating adds to the effect."
A fragrance can improve your sex life
All smells are not created equal. In a study by the Chicago-based Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, women were turned on by wafts of licorice, cucumber, and banana-nut bread, while cherries and charcoal-barbecue meat were big turnoffs. Your best bet to set an olfactory lure? Seek out colognes with cucumber, such as Polo Blue ($50, ralphlauren.com ), or anise, such as Cereus No. 11 ($125, cereusdevelopment.com). When in doubt, sprinkle on some baby powder, says Alan R. Hirsch, M.D., of the foundation. "It makes women feel secure."
A smell should grow on you
"Genes, diet, hygiene, and skin type can all determine how a fragrance will smell on you," says Molnar. "The biggest mistake men make is buying a co--logne based on a quick sniff at the store and not giving it time to mix with their body." It'll take 10 minutes for the alcohol to evaporate and the scent to mingle with your own chemistry, so hold your fire on the credit card until it does. And limit yourself to testing three scents a day. The nose is overwhelmed by any more, says Molnar. You may also want to rethink that tandoori lunch: Certain foods, especially garlic, olive oil, onions, and curry, can transmit their smells through your sweat and oil glands and may change your cologne scent, says Wilma Bergfeld, M.D., head of dermatological research at the Cleveland Clinic.
Source: Men's Health