A scent guide to the best colognes and aftershaves for men.

By Yvette E

What the difference?

There are three fragrances typically used by men: aftershave, cologne and eau de toilette. The difference between them is actually only % of perfume oil. Aftershave has the weakest scent with 1-3% perfume oil and is mostly used on the face, and lasts about 2 hours.

Cologne is between 2-5% perfume oil and lasts 3 to 4 hours. I would choose this type if your dad is sensitive to scent.

Eau De toilette (EDT) contains 5%-8% of perfume oil and can last up to 8 hours. Each choice depends on your father’s choice. If he does like to pile on the perfume, choose a cologne instead.

How to wear fragrance

The appropriate amount of sillage (how much fragrance lingers after you leave the room) should be 3 to 5 minutes. Dap it on the warmest part of your body instead of the usual places of behind the ears and wrist. Decide where it smells the best.

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The fragrances in style today are spicy or woodsy. Spicy fragrances features black pepper, nutmeg and bergamot giving a warm scent. This scent is also considered a summer.

If your father is adventurous (likes fast cars or Nascar, dines out or travels) then choose a spicy fragrance. Here are some choices:

Top left: Nest, Cocoa Woods, $37 (sale) sephora.com; bottom left: Caroline Herrera, Bad Boy, $76, Macys.com; Right: Yves St. Laurent, L’Homme, $80 (1.7oz), nordstrom.com.

For a more relaxed home body, choose more woody scents containing cedarwood, juniper and patchouli. Sometimes, alcohol scents like whisky and brandy are added.

Top left: Tom Ford, Costa Azzurra Aqua, 1.7oz, $128, ulta.com; Bottom left: Dolce & Gabbana, K by Dolce & Gabbana, 1.6oz, $76, macys.com; Right: Guerlain, Les Absolus d’Orient Santal Royal, 4.2oz, $200, nordstrom.com

There are some unisex brands that you could consider for more sensitive men. Look for a combination of wood and floral scents.

This Memorial day is the last day to shop for a father’s day gift that will arrive on time (without paying for expedited shipping).

Happy Friyay!


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