Close this search box.

Here’s How to Apply Your Cologne Properly Without Overdoing It!

If you buy something from the links on this page, we may earn a commission. See our Affiliate Disclosure.

Does your cologne not last long enough?  Is it way too overpowering (you know who you are)?  Believe it or not there actually is the proper way to apply your favorite fragrance so that it does all the things it’s supposed to.  Here are some tips, tricks, and best practices.

How to Apply Cologne Properly in 2024

Did you know there’s actually a bit of an art and science when it comes to putting on cologne?  And since there’s no shame in my game, I’m not afraid to admit I was doing it wrong basically my whole life. I do consider myself an expert in picking out the best cologne each season, but not so much with the actual application.  So in order to get this question answered correctly once and for-all, I researched this (to death) and consulted with a few different experts in the men’s grooming space in order to find the true best tips and tricks.  Let the Q&A begin!


Believe it or not most guys are actually not doing this (self-included) so making just a few of these changes is going to help give you a much better fragrance experience.


Timing:  The best time to apply cologne is as soon as you get out of the shower when your skin is still a bit warm but, more importantly, your pores are open.

Where:  Believe it or not, do it naked!  Spray your favorite cologne without any clothes on (more on this below) and focus directly on your pulse points – neck, wrists, inner elbows, and chest.

How Much:  This is going to depend on which type of cologne you’re spraying (parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, etc) but, on average, most recommend to spray anywhere between 1 – 2 spritzes and spray it anywhere from 2 – 4 inches away from your pulse points.

So that’s all you really need to do.  Really.  It’s pretty simple but, again, I wasn’t doing some of those things and most guys weren’t either.  Speaking of which, here’s what not to do.


Don’t worry, there really aren’t a ton of wrong ways to do this, but stopping any of these practices can help your fragrance last longer and work better with your own body chemistry.


DON’T spray directly on your clothes.  A lot of us have sprayed it in the air and then “walked through” the mist so that is falls all over our clothes.  Nope!  Not only can it stain your clothes (you know when you get those little oil circles all over your shirt), but it doesn’t really interact with you the way it should.  Stick to your skin (only), specifically your pulse points.

DON’T rub your wrists.  This was another one I did daily.  Apparently rubbing your wrists together can break down the molecules of the cologne – either weakening it or changing the scent all-together. Just let it dry on its own.

DON’T spray it all over you.  Sometimes I would start up near my hairline and continue spraying down towards my waist.  Rookie mistake.  Keep it 2 to 4 inches away from you and spray once or twice on your pulse points.


Did you ever notice that some of your fragrances last longer than others?  I’m talking about the scent itself, not the bottle.  I used to think that this was because of the brand itself.  While that’s part of it, it’s more important to take a second to see which cologne type you’re using (or planning on buying) because based on that will help determine how long (in hours) your scent should last.   Here’s a little cheat sheet I put together.

How to Get Long Lasting Cologne


Eau de Cologne:  Has up to 4% concentration and can last up to 2 hours.  These are typically the cheaper options.

Eau de Toilette:  Has up to 15% concentration and can last up to 3 hours.

Eau de Parfum:  Has up to 20% concentration and can last up to 5 hours.

Parfum:  Has up to 30% concentration and can last up to 8 hours.  These are typically designer brands and are the most expensive.

You definitely don’t have to pick out the most expensive colognes in order for the fragrance to last all day, but it’s important to note that typically some of the top designers and brands are either Eau de Parfum or just straight-up Parfum (think of colognes from designer Tom Ford or even the always expensive Creed cologne).


Different from making your scent last throughout the day, if you want to keep your favorite cologne smelling great for a few years (yes, really) where you store your bottle actually makes a difference.


Temperature:  Keep the temperature consistent.  Storing your bottles in your bathroom (medicine cabinet, for example), is a bad idea.  The temperature in your bathroom typically changes when you shower, which can break down and alter the notes, changing the scent all-together.

Light:  Don’t expose your bottles, regularly, to direct sunlight – which can also break down notes.

Air:  Keep the lid/cap on your bottles on and make sure they’re on tight.  You don’t want air getting in and mixing with the liquid, which can also alter the smell.

Now that you know where not to store it.  Basically you’ll want to pick a place where the temperature is typically the same and it’s not sitting directly in sunlight all day.  Instead, store your bottles in safe zones like your bedroom, inside your night-stand, inside your closet, etc.

So now you know all the ins-and-outs of how to apply it, how not to apply it, the difference between the different concentration levels, which ones last longer, and where to store it.  I think we can officially say we’ve all graduated into cologne aficionados.  Now get out there and conquer your day!

The Trend Spotter
Mens Journal Magazine
The Manual
Dapper Confidential