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Ultimate Men’s Fragrance Guide: How to Find Your Signature Scent

June 16, 2023

Ultimate Men’s Fragrance Guide: How to Find Your Signature Scent

There’s a reason that certain scents bring up feelings and memories for you. Due to human physiology, your sense of smell is highly associated with memory and emotion. What’s more, we experience 75% of our daily emotions because of smell.

The science is clear: if you want to make a positive impression, the way you smell matters. Whether you want to make a splash at work or connect with a date, fragrance can help. If you’ve never purchased cologne before, though, it might seem impossible to know where to start.

We’re here to help! This quick guide will answer all your burning men’s fragrance questions and help you choose the right one to suit you.

What Are Fragrance Families and Notes?

Before you pick out a fragrance, you need to understand a few foundational concepts that you’ll run into while shopping around. Fragrance families are a classification system that people use to group similar scents. The families can be broken down into sub-groups, but we’ll keep it simple for this high-level guide.

The main families are:

  • Woody: Warm and rich, these scents are typically used in men’s fragrances. They provide scents that can be described as earthy and dry, as well as scents that remind you of sawdust or the forest.
  • Floral: Floral scents, as you might expect, are inspired by flowers. They’re typically used in women’s fragrances, but can also add complexity to men’s fragrances.
  • Fresh: This fragrance family is a crowd pleaser, as it can be both masculine and feminine while working for just about any occasion. Fresh fragrances can include musk, herbs, and fruits.
  • Oriental: Sensual, dense, sweet, and powdery, oriental scents can be androgynous and rich. They often include spices like cloves, vanilla, and cinnamon, as well as resins like amber and myrrh.

You’ll also hear people referring to the “notes” in a fragrance. This simply means ingredients that you can pick out within the cologne. We can categorize the notes in a fragrance as top, middle, or base notes.

Top notes, like citrus, evaporate quickly, while middle and base notes stick around for longer. You typically notice top scents first, so they make a big first impression, while middle and base notes tend to leave a lasting memory.

Consider These Factors While You Shop

Platini Fragrance Gold

Even knowing the basics of fragrance, you might still feel lost in a sea of cologne options. You can use the following factors to help guide your shopping.

Personal Preferences

You’re likely naturally drawn to certain scents. Use this as a guiding light! If you tend to love woodsy smells, lean into it. On the other hand, you might enjoy fresh, bright scents. There’s no right or wrong answer. Go with your gut.

Body Chemistry

You have a natural body scent that will affect how the fragrance smells on you. The same fragrance can smell different depending on who is wearing it. The best way to determine how a fragrance mixes with your unique chemistry is to test it for a day before making a purchase decision.

Occasion and Settings

Where will you wear the fragrance? If your answer is work, you might want to choose an oriental or citrus scent that leaves a bright impression. If you’re on a date, choosing a scent that lends itself to romance, like a woody scent, is best.

For example, if you’re headed to work we recommend the Platini 24k Pour Homme Fragrance, which captures the essence of masculinity and sophistication. If you’re purchasing a fragrance to impress a date, we recommend the Platini Imperial Por Homme Fragrance, which is vibrant and long-lasting.

Age and Lifestyle

Different scents are popular with different age groups and lifestyles. You likely associate certain scents with your dad or grandpa, for example. Meanwhile, people who are in your generation wear something completely different. There’s no wrong scent, of course, but this is worth considering if you want to attract people in your age range.

How to Find Your Signature Scent

Platini White

With the above in mind, you’re ready to start your search for your signature scent. Use the following tips to make it happen.

1. Take Your Time

The most important thing to remember here is that it’s a trial-and-error process. Give yourself time to explore and discover scents. Since you’ll likely want a couple of scents for different occasions, it’s okay to end up with a few different bottles!

2. Test, Test, Test

Try going to a department store and just sampling fragrances. When you find one you really like, spray it on your body and leave it for the day so you can test out how it does with your chemistry. You can also buy sampler packs online or try small rollerball fragrances to test out scents before purchasing a larger bottle.

Be sure to apply the fragrance to your body, not just a paper tester strip, to get an accurate read on the scent. You can apply one to each arm to test two at a time.

3. Get Expert Help

Fragrance counters at department stores are always staffed with an expert who is happy to offer advice. You can tell them what notes you’re naturally drawn to, where you plan to wear the fragrance, and what has worked for you in the past. They can recommend options to try from there. Just know that these folks work on commission, so they might try to push for a sale. Ask for samples and tell them you’ll be back after testing a few options out.

4. Trust Your Instincts

You are the expert on your body. You’re the only one who spends all day with you, so only you can determine how a fragrance wears on you after a full day’s use. Trust your instincts when it comes to determining what smells best to you.

How to Apply Fragrance

Platini Imperial Cologne for Men

The way you apply your fragrance makes all the difference. You don’t want to overwhelm people with too much scent, but you don’t want to put so little on that no one knows you’re wearing it. Follow these simple tips to apply it the right way:

  • Apply the fragrance to one or two areas. Choose from the lower jaw, neck, shoulder, chest, inner elbow, forearm, or wrist.
  • Start light. Try a single spray on one area first, especially if you’re new to wearing fragrance.
  • Don’t rub it in. Rubbing the fragrance breaks down the molecular bond, which makes the scent weaker. Just spray it on and let it air dry.
  • Don’t put fragrance on your clothing. This can stain your clothes, plus the fragrance won’t get to mix with your natural scent.
  • Don’t spray and walk. Spraying a cloud of scent and walking through it is a waste, as most of it will just land on the floor.
If you follow the above advice, you’ll find your signature scent in no time. With the right cologne in hand, you’ll be ready to make an impression, create memories, and conquer your day.


If you want to skip the pushy salespeople in department stores, feel free to shop online. Check out Franky Fashion for all the latest European fragrances from Platin

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