Finding a cologne that both you and your significant other thinks smells good requires a little more effort than you might think. With the days of showering yourself in Old Spice long gone, you’re looking to upgrade to something a little more mature that you won’t have to constantly reapply.
A go-to scent should be able to stick with you throughout the day without being too abrasive. The first step: know exactly what kind of fragrance you’re buying.
Barney Bishop, author of the men’s fragrance and grooming blog, Fragrant Moments, says that eau de parfum, when compared to eau de toilette (EDT), is much more concentrated, which means the smell is generally stronger. According to the Fragrance Foundation, eau de cologne (EDC) has a very small concentration range of essential oils with only about 2-4 per cent, while eau de toilette is at 4-8 per cent, and eau de parfum has between 8-15 per cent.
The location of each spray also makes a difference in how strong the scent is. Bishop suggests spraying yourself in one central area—not all over—and letting the fragrance do its thing. The chest and neck are the main spots to cover, but for a more subtle approach, spray around your navel instead. “As the day progresses, the scent will make its way up,” Bishop says. He also recommends sticking with three or four sprays; two if the scent is particularly “spicy.”
Where you store a fragrance will also affect its intensity. Although you might be tempted to keep it in your bathroom cabinet, Bishop advises against it. “Heat and moisture from daily baths or showers are not ideal for the fragrances,” he says. “Instead, store them in cool, dry places where the temperature is steady and they’re out of direct light.”
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health