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How many of you actually know the nitty gritty details on how to choose a cologne and apply it. Forget everything you were taught as a 15 year old and get ready to relearn, as a men. This is the first of a two part buyers guide for cologne this fall.

So where is this advice coming from? Just like wine has master sommeliers and cologne has experts like our friend Danette who is the resident cologne expert at Sephora. Each week she consults hundreds of customers on the ins and outs of cologne buying and has been gracious enough to share her tips with us.

Lets kick things off with a few things you shouldn’t do when buying and applying cologne.

Sample Before You Buy

Never buy the cologne after smelling it for the first time at the store. Always go home with a sample first.  Cologne will smell much different on you then it does on the paper strip. At Sephora they’ll hook you up with as many sample bottles as you’d like. These samples last about two weeks and allow you to make an informed investment.

Buy For Yourself

Never let anyone buy cologne for you.  They might like the smell but it’s such a personal thing. You are the one who has to wear it every day so be sure you are the one doing the choosing.

Only Two Sprays

Never use more then two sprays. Once on your neck and once on your forearm. More and you’ll send everyone within 10 feet running for the hills. Less and you won’t smell the cologne.

Don’t Rub It

When you apply cologne never ever apply it to your wrist and rub it to your neck. Or rub your wrists together. In fact never rub the cologne. Just do your two sprays and let it sit. The rubbing action completely messes with the chemicals and ruins the smell.

Keep The Cap

Replace the cap immediately after use. A bottle without a cap will cause the oils and alcohol to evaporate greatly effecting the quality of your cologne.

Don’t Travel With A Full Bottle

Don’t travel with your full cologne bottle. The bottles can break easily in a checked bag and f you carry on the TSA will toss your bottle if it is over 3.4 fluid ounces. As an alternative, go to Sephora and get an atomiser. For $15 they’ll downsize your cologne to a nice 1 ounce bottle.

Avoid The Middle Bottle

Only suckers buy a medium sized bottle of colonge. If you like to switch things up and like to maintain a large collection of cologne go with the small bottle. If you are loyal to one cologne opt for the large bottle. Large bottles are typically $15-18 more expensive than the middle level but you get almost twice to amount of cologne.

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