Fragrance Brands Are Finally Designing Men’s Cologne That Won’t Punch You In The Face

Tone it down, pungent fellas.

Fragrance Brands Are Finally Designing Men’s Cologne That Won’t Punch You In The Face
[Image: Hot man via Shutterstock]

Fragrance brands are redesigning scents to be more seasonal, the Wall Street Journal reports, in part to counter the fact that men aren’t sparing enough when they spraying on scents.


The industry has realized that the typically darker, warmer aromas of men’s colognes (wood, amber, spice) tend to intensify in summer, and hang around longer. That’s the case even though men’s scents typically have a lower concentration of fragrance oils than women’s scents do (8% to 12% vs 15%). And men, who are less experienced than women at wearing fragrance, tend to use more cologne in summertime, to hide the odor of their sweat. (Men sweat more than women.) Well, it all makes men a lot more pungent. Also problematic is the fact that younger men may be used to all-body brands, such as Axe, and so they tend to over-apply with fragrances as they grow out of those brands.

What’s in are lighter scents, such as citrus, and scents that remind you of the ocean or of the Mediterranean. (The last includes fresh herbal scents such as rosemary, mint, pine, basil, thyme, and lavender.) Some may be branded with hints of summer by using terms like “sport” or “aqua”–to some extent a branding scheme. (The perfumist Rodrigo Flores-Roux, who created John Varvatos’s year-round scent Artisan Acqua, says the concept was summer all year.)

The scent-makers that the Journal spoke to encourage men to vary up their scents according to weather or even according to what kind of clothing they wear. Maybe the same advice would hold for heavily scented retail stores, too. And while we believe that men do overscent–and also believe that those heavier scents are too intense for summer–we also must observe that brands have found an incredibly savvy way to get men to buy more fragrance.

No brand is sitting around losing opportunities, after all. But if you’re going to spend your money, why not spend it on the variations of smelling good?

[H/T Wall Street Journal]

About the author

Dan Nosowitz is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Popular Science, The Awl, Gizmodo, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. He holds an undergraduate degree from McGill University and currently lives in Brooklyn, because he has a beard and glasses and that's the law.