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Where to begin?

Hey everyone! So a basic question, right? So open ended with no limits or restrictions, how does one even begin to answer this? Well, maybe background would help.

So I've never been a big fragrance guy. Nothing wrong with them, but not my church. A big part of that was working as a chef for 10 years. Working within 12" of a coworker, I shied away out of courtesy. Keep up on hygiene and no offending smells. They'll take away from where the money is made (on the stovetop just above waist level). Fast forward a bit, and now I have a position where not only have I rediscovered these things called weekends and somewhat normal sleeping and eating patterns, I can also smell nice!

The position is with a plumbing company. I'm not a plumber, but work with them. And, to put it kindly, sometimes the work of a plumber can leave him smelling of things other than flowers in the spring. I know, it's crazy but suspend disbelief for a minute.

I found something called a solid cologne from Target of all places. It's a take on some marketing exec's thoughts on bay rum. A quick rub of my finger on the wax? paste? tin! then into my mustache just under my nose would overpower the smell of work.

Anyways, that got me thinking about colognes in general. While the Target stuff works well for what I got it for, it's not really something I'd like to smell like all day. I love bay rum, but as a cologne that was a swing and miss.

I have a wife and kids and mortgage, and I'm not really wealthy (independently or otherwise). I can't really throw money at Amazon until the perfect product appears at my doorstep. I'm all for trial and error, that and a pencil it's still one effective way to learn. But in Rookie's little world, I need a direction to start first.

So we find ourselves back to the title question. To be honest, I'm not sure what I don't know. That makes it hard to know the questions to ask.I don't quite know what to put into the search bar. So far, all I can tell you is I like bay rum (most of the few I've tried) and Mrs. Rookie loves Clubman (I got a beard care setup with the oil and waxy balm). And I know that Axe is NOT shower in a can no matter how much certain college students think it is.

So armed with such knowledge, where do I start in the world of fragrances?
Thanks everyone for your advice.
 

never-stop-learning

Contributor
Ambassador
With fragrances, it's hard to predict how the combination of the fragrance will combine with your body chemistry until you try it.

Samplers can certainly provide access to a variety of scents without breaking the bank. At least get you pointed in a general direction.

Captains Choice, Stirling and others have samplers. Or do a search on Amazon for 'mens fragrance sampler set' - lots on there.

Just my opinion and YMMV. :)
 
My interest in fragrances started late in life, an outgrowth of aftershaves. I had noticed that my local discount department store (Marshall's and TJ Maxx) had a lot of marked down colognes. I wrote down a number of ones that looked interesting, went home and did research: web sites and youtube video reviews. Those that got a good write up or review, I went back and bought.

I started cheap and there were a few misses. But I learned about the various groups and notes, saw what I liked, and built on that.

I have 50 or so colognes now. I've never gotten anything expensive and I have more than enough scents to wear something I like every day. And I still enjoy looking. Picked up a 4-pack of English Laundry scents and am more than happy.

If your wife likes Clubman, and you want to please her, look at some "old school" fragrances: Azzaro pour Homme, Drakkar Noir, Aramis, Quorum and then branch out from there.

Good luck on your journey.
 
Thanks everyone! I think it might be worth a trip to a department store and spray a bunch and see what sticks. I like the idea of an admission sampler. And a few older fragrances to check out.

Amazon reviews I'm a little skeptical of. Too many stories of too many bots and employees artificially inflating positive reviews. I've found floating Amazon reviews is the hands down absolute best way to get a mediocre product. I place much more stock in forum reviews than Amazon. Old prejudices, I'm sure, from a lifetime of paranoia. But some skeletons make my closet feel comfortable.
 
Gotta try on your skin first...
But mixing too many won't work either.
And try to concentrate on a smell you like, then how long you want it to last.... some smell nice but vanish quickly. When I travel I make sure I spray a lot of my longest lasting fragance (cologne)
 
I think it might be worth a trip to a department store and spray a bunch and see what sticks.
This really is the way to go. Some places like Sephora and Nordstrom will actually make up little samples for you to try at home. Just get your nose on as many different types of fragrances as you can, and don't judge a fragrance until you have experienced it from beginning to end.
 

emwolf

Contributor
I started as an outgrowth of aftershave scents, something longer lasting. I've got cheap and expensive. I've got a LOT of samples.
 
This really is the way to go. Some places like Sephora and Nordstrom will actually make up little samples for you to try at home. Just get your nose on as many different types of fragrances as you can, and don't judge a fragrance until you have experienced it from beginning to end.
Excellent advice. Department stores have samples of most every fragrance, or can prepare a small spray vial for a few uses. To get a grasp on what works, it is necessary to wear the scent from spray-on to fadeaway several hours later, and determine if you enjoy the scent during all the phases it goes through.
 
My advice is to go to the store, briefly smell some things on the little sample papers (this only really gives you the top notes). If something is interesting spray it on the back of your wrist. You'll then get to see how it plays with your chemistry and wears over a number of hours. If something is interesting, do the test at least one more time - sometimes your chemistry/nose will be different on one day compared to another.

And a good shop will have a cup of coffee beans on the counter - this is for you to smell in between the different scents as you can go nose-blind.
 
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