How to wear the perfect cologne for every occasion

Are you getting your fragrances mixed up?

Peter Iantorno December 1, 2014

On the face of it, picking a fragrance should be easy - just sniff a few and take whichever one you like the best, right? Unfortunately it's not quite that easy to get your scent right.

There's a time and a place for every fragrance, and what might smell great and be perfect for one occasion might be completely inappropriate for another. Think of it in another context - you'd never don your beachwear getup to a fancy black-tie dinner, would you?

With countless fragrance faux paus to negotiate, the world of aftershaves can seem like something of a musky minefield. But never fear, because here we've outlined all the essential information you need to ensure you're wearing the right scent for every occasion.

Morning meeting

While it's important to have a bit of get up and go in your morning fragrance, at the same time you don't want to blow people's heads off with an overpowering musk first thing either. A decent compromise would be something like Versace Pour Homme - a light yet undeniably masculine scent with top notes of sage and blue hyacinth and a cedar wood base. Versace pour homme.

Job interview

Our advice for fragrances has always been that less is more, and nowhere is this more important than at a job interview, where one overzealous blast could destroy your chances of a dream job. We'd recommend a meagre spritz of something light such as Dolce & Gabbana's Light Blue, which features top notes of bergamot, mandarin and grapefruit, or else just stick with simple deodorant. dolce & gabbana light blue

Casual weekend

By the time weekend rolls around, you want everything to be as easy as possible, so if you've got a light lunch in the day followed by sundowners in the evening, wearing something that compliments both social situations is key. Go for something versatile like Allure Homme Sport from Chanel, which has musky and intense base notes punctuated with highlights of mandarin and black pepper. Allure Homme Sport from Chanel


Any date-night fragrance worth its salt will make the wearer seem infinitely more alluring and leave a lasting impression on the companion. The best scents in this regard are slightly heavier and sweeter than you'd perhaps wear normally and tend to feature rich notes such as patchouli, vanilla, amber and sandalwood. Go for something like Tom Ford Extreme For Men, which just so happens to feature all four of the mentioned scents. Tom Ford Extreme For Men


On such a formal occasion as a black-tie dinner when you're putting a lot of effort into your appearance, it makes sense that you should put just as much into your fragrance. While you want something rich and luxurious, it's also important not to overpower, as you'll be sitting in close proximity to others and their food. The fresh yet spicy range of Paco Rabanne's $1 Million is always a safe bet. Paco Rabanne 1 Million $

Night out

A night out calls for something far more powerful than what would be appropriate in the daytime in order to cut through the smoke and other odours in busy late-night venues. This is your one chance to wear something powerful and deep without stinking out the rest of the room, so take advantage and go for something along the lines of Nuit D’Issey by Issey Miyake. Built on masculine leather, wood and spice, it's as manly a fragrance as you're likely to find. Nuit D’Issey, Issey Miyake