Gents Among Men

Look Good, Live Well

30 DAY PRIMER: Day 9 – Breaking Down Your Cologne

30 DAY PRIMER: Day 9 – Breaking Down Your Cologne

Colognes are just like all of the other favorites things we have in our life: sports, team, automobiles, foods, and children (yes, we secretly know you have a favorite child). Some colognes we’ve manage to discover through our own costly trial and error. While others were probably passed down to us from our father or older brothers. Either way, it is a scent that we appreciate for one reason or another. Many of us are attracted to the initial smell of a fragrance and automatically cling to the top note. Rarely do we think about the anatomy of what makes up that $300 bottle of Creed, or why the same scent smells different later in the day than it did at the start of it. 

All scents come in three notes: top, middle and a base. Each note in their own way carries their own identity, but manages to work well together inside the bottle.  Let’s start with the top note. 


Picture 35057Top

This is the representative of the fragrance. This is the first thing we smell once we spray the cologne. The top note doesn’t last to long at all. It usually enough time to determine if this cologne is right for you. Time duration – 5 minutes.


The middle comes in slowly after the top note, just enough for the fragrance’s oil and your body’s chemistry to adjust and become familiar with each other. Time duration – 10-60 minutes  


This is the part of the cologne that really sticks on to you. The base holds the fountain of the scent, and has the most impact once the middle begins to fade. This is where you will start to pick up on the hidden flavors of the scent. Time duration – 30-Rest of the day

What is the Drydown?

As a fragrance is more volatile components – the top notes and middle notes – evaporate, the endnotes linger and carry the body of the fragrance. All fragrances change as they dry down, and all fragrances are affected by each person’s unique skin chemistry, but the fragrance should remain true in character. Perfumers use fixatives (aromatic ingredients that fix or prolong scent) in the drydown to ensure a scent’s longevity. – The Perfumed Court