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Cologne for an aspiring young gentleman

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Snew, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Snew

    Snew Active Member

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    I'm 22 and just began classes at a tier 1 law school. I've tried to transform my image into a more professional one; I wear slacks and an ironed dress shirt every day and just bought a snazzy pea coat that makes me look like a boss. I feel as though a young gentleman such as myself could use a fragrance to complete the look - the problem is that I've never worn cologne and the Axe spray I used in college doesn't seem to cut it anymore. I'm not sure if it matters, but I'm 5'10", white, athletically built, and my general demeanor is austere.

    For class
    I'm not sure what cologne I should wear to class, but I know that it needs to be subtle (I surely won't be using a lot). I wear blue/light blue/white striped/patterned dress shirts and a mix of black, grey, and khaki slacks every day. I'll be wearing a black single breasted car coat and leather gloves when it gets colder.

    Going out formally
    I recently went to a "roundtable dinner" at my school at which business attire was required. I wore a navy blue suit and a simple gold watch; I was feeling crisp, but I wish I had had a nice scent to add to the outfit. I need a cologne that will compliment traditional suit attire at a formal event (for young men, of course).

    Going out casually
    My school is in the heart of NYC; there are plenty of places to go when I need to socialize. I've only been to a club here once and went bar hopping twice. (I don't go out much [I study straight through most weekends.]) My usual going-out look is a dark dress shirt made to be untucked, possibly rolled sleeves, dark jeans, and white all purpose sneakers. Sometimes I wear a dark polo over an undershirt instead. I've been using Axe spray so far, but again, I feel as though a nice cologne would be a nice touch.

    I'm not sure if this is the right forum to ask this question but I figured this definitely has to do with style and where better to ask. Also, sorry for making my first post a request; I just don't have enough of a fashion sense to make a contribution of my own! I really could use your help, and any input I get will be appreciated more than you know. Thanks for reading.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  2. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Well-Known Member

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    Cologne-related threads usually go in Health & Body but there are sometimes some in here.

    The scent you wear is quite a personal thing so really you need to try a few before you know what you like. Personally I like stuff like Millesime Imperiale (by Creed), Chergui (by Serge Lutens) and Endymion or Opus (both by Penhaligons).
     
  3. Snew

    Snew Active Member

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    I've heard that as advice before, but I don't buy it; I want tried-and-true cologne that other people will appreciate, not what happens to smell good to me.

    I'll only be smelling the cologne for a minute when I put it on and I'm sure any commercially sold scent wouldn't offend my senses. I want to create the facade that I know something about cologne; picking whatever smells good to me won't quite do that.
     
  4. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Well-Known Member

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    Your a young chap, so i'll keep my suggestions contemporary and attainable. Class - Chanel Bleu, it's clean but not uptight and it's pleasing to most noses. Formal - Armani Code, it was literally designed with a tuxedo in mind, modern gentlemen scent. Casual - Dolce & Gabbana The One, ladies love this, and it's perfect for social occasions. All of these should be easy and inexpensive to obtain, and you can get them anywhere, so you should not have a problem sampling them.
     
  5. viator

    viator Well-Known Member

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    OP you are overthinking this. Just choose one you like.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  6. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Well-Known Member

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    I'm liking Creed scents more and more, Green Irish Tweed is one of my favorites.
     
  7. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Well-Known Member

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    Do you dress in clothes that the internet tells you to wear, or do you dress in whatever expresses your own personality? Hopefully the later, and that is also how you should choose your cologne. Also, skin chemistry means a cologne that smells great on someone else could smell less than great on you; another reason you need to try them before you can choose.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  8. Snew

    Snew Active Member

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    I choose clothes primarily based off of what I see other people wearing, not off of what I'd wear if given the choice. So does literally everyone else; think again if you disagree.

    Cologne is different only in that I can't see (or determine by smell) what my peers are wearing.
     
  9. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Fragrances differ from clothing in that they are a substitute for natural body odor. A 'maskirovka.'

    So you need to determine what you think you should smell like--a flower? a fruit? some kind of food or herb? wood? leather? whisky? tobacco? Or some combination?

    Some people prefer unisex fragrances, some like light citrus-y fragrances for summer days and heavier darker fragrances for winter or overcast days.

    Once you decide, you have to know that better fragrances often change over the period of time you're wearing them. Not only do the chemicals react with your own personal chemistry but "notes" often emerge or fade or give way to other notes.There's 'top notes' and 'base notes' and in-between and what you smell when you first put it on won't be what you smell an hour later.

    Also colognes are, IIRC, the weakest and shortest lived of fragrances. Most better men's fragrances are Eau du Toilettes.

    Nothing you buy in Macys is likely to be very outstanding or distinctive. So if you would buy your clothing based on what you see people wearing coming out of Macys, you won't have any problem finding something that suits in the way of fragrance there. If only because they're all pretty much the same thing.
     
  10. Snew

    Snew Active Member

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    So far I'm leaning toward the following. Am I off-base?

    Class: Boss Bottled

    Formal: Dolce & Gabbana - The One

    Casual: Calvin Klein Men - Euphoria
     
  11. Snew

    Snew Active Member

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    You seem to know what you're talking about. I don't think the level of customization you suppose is necessary, though - I smell like nothing, so I don't need a smell to go with my smell. I just need help picking a mainstream brand that will make it seem like I know something about cologne (or Eau du Toilettes, which I thought were the same thing until just now). As far as what I think I should smell like...I have no idea, nor could I have any idea. I gave a pretty detailed description of what I'm going for; do you have any specific advice for me that allows me to forego unnecessary effort learning about scents myself?
     
  12. Jobst

    Jobst Well-Known Member

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    What cologne did Patrick Bateman wear? I have a feeling you'd appreciate something similar.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Well-Known Member

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    come on man, you are not being yourself and that will be obvious. You are attempting to project something that isn't there. Therefore, no matter the clothes or the cologne, you will look fake.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  14. Snew

    Snew Active Member

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    Yep. I literally went out and bought leather gloves because I remembered how classy they made him look.

    The difference between me and him is that he probably made 500 grand a year in that movie; I'm living on a 10k/year stipend.
     
  15. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Well-Known Member

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    Can i ask why you aren't confident enough in yourself to do/wear what you like?
     
  16. Snew

    Snew Active Member

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    Everyone wears what other people like. In your mind, is it a coincidence that every man happens to like the wearing suits? I'd wear sweatpants every day if it was up to me. So would you (whether you're willing to accept that or not is a different story, I suppose).

    It's such nonsense that people advocate originality as important; if I literally copied the style of similar to me down to the smallest detail, no one would ever know. People are not mind readers, and although I'll readily admit on the internet that I'm faking it, the only difference between me and you is admitting it. I think it's pretentiousness that keeps people who know about style from recognizing that a well thought out style can reasonably fit many, and that with a few general details about someone you can say quite a lot about what they can do that will be well-received.
     
  17. iTylerStewart

    iTylerStewart Active Member

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  18. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Well-Known Member

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    well what you're not understanding is that there are many different ways to do a "suit". Btw, seemingly very few people "like" to wear suits, but they instead do so because they have to. I wear suits because I look good in a suit. I don't think I will be cooler, better looking, or more attractive to women because I'm wearing a suit. I also like tweed. Most people my age could barely spell tweed. But I like it, so I wear it.
     
  19. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    I don't really know all that much. I just know what I like. I suspect what you don't realize is that you do smell like something...even if it's only soap. You may not be able to smell yourself...we get used to smells and don't notice them anymore...but you smell like something to others. But while fragrances differ in very fundamental ways from clothes, they are similar in one respect--they express something of yourself...or should. I am a boot and shoemaker, I like the smell of leather. Some leather is tanned with tree bark, and I turn wood as a hobby...I like the smell of wood. I like single malt scotch and peat reek (smoke) and I smoked a pipe (Balkan Sobrannie) for many years...I like the smell of tobacco and whisky and wood smoke. These are aspects of my life and have been for over 40 years. In a very real sense they represent my passions and my attitudes and my day-to-day interests. I don't think you can choose a fragrance based on an event. For one thing, many of the better fragrances will last 6-8 hours and some will still be there after 24 hours and a shower. I think you kind of choose a fragrance based on how you feel that day. So if I'm feeling a little anti-social I have an EdT that smells like I've been up all night drinking Lagavulin and playing poker with Humphrey Bogart--Fumidus by Profumum. Or one that smells like sweat and celery (and people either love it or hate it)--Yatagan by Caron. And another that was reputedly favoured by both Humphrey Bogart and Winston Churchill--vintage Tabarome by Creed. One that is all wood smoke and fireplace--Eau du Fier by Annick Goutal. And of course, vintage English Leather...the one I liked the most when I was in college. I've even mixed that with some birch oil to get what I think Russia calf would smell like...seeing as how it was curried with birch oil. The interesting thing is that you can purchase samples, splits and decants (some of which are not available in the US) on the internet for very little money. That lets you explore your own tastes and work up a selection for seasons or moods or day/night or even situations. Better yet when Christmas comes around you can give your wife or girlfriend a decant of some famous parfum that would ordinarily cost $600.00 an ounce for less than $50.00 or so. Maybe even give her several.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  20. div25sec9

    div25sec9 Well-Known Member

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    Go into a shop and get some assistance!

    Fragrance is a personal purchase. What works for one person might not work for you. You don't want to drop $100 or more on a fragrance you might not like after wearing just because you read on a forum that it worked for someone else. You need a salesperson to guide you to a subset of their offerings that match what style you are looking for. You can then decide based on which one smells the best to you and what is in your price range.

    You also need to try some on. Your body chemistry also influences how a fragrance works with you. It might not smell the same on you as it does on the sample card or on someone else. Ask for some of the take home samples. Wear them for a few days and you'll be able to tell if it's the right purchase for you; both based on your own experience and as well from the feedback from others. The opinion of some hot girl in one of your college classes will be worth more than all our opinions combined. Go out and experience some.
     

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