A well-made suit, a posh silk tie, and well-groomed hair are definitely essentials for office attire. However, what most men neglect when getting dressed for the office is the perfect cologne. Trust us, you’re not ready to tackle your to-do list until you wear a great cologne that matches your personality and style. However, this begs the question: Which cologne works best for the office? Admittedly, there is no one-bottle-fits-all answer.
After all, there are so many different types of work environments and situations to account for. Something a little more citrusy and invigorating may be suitable for the man who’s often outdoors, but not the banker heading to CBD in a dark suit.
Rule of thumb for choosing colognes
As a general rule of thumb, you want to select a fragrance that isn’t too loud. It should blend in well with your office environment, your client’s décor, and your own personal workspace. You should also choose something more discreet that isn’t going to assault your colleague’s nostrils. Remember, less is more when you want to make a good impression.
Choosing the best office cologne is an important decision, since it’ll be what your co-workers know as your “signature scent”. Here are a couple of pointers that can help you get started on identifying some of the best office colognes for men.
#1 Sillage / Projection: Medium to Low
In fragrance terms, sillage basically refers to the trail of scent left behind from a perfume. Ever smelt someone before you’ve even realised he or she was in the room? Yep, that “projection” is is sillage, and you don’t want to be in that aforementioned situation.
Hence, in a professional work environment, especially if you’re always in close proximity of others, you’ll want a fragrance with low sillage, so people don’t have to feel overwhelmed by your scent, however charming it is. Keep the heady ones for the after-work drinks.
If you’re always on the go, however, you can get away with a medium sillage perfume -- it should work fine in an outdoor setting or open space. Just avoid perfumes with high sillage at all cost -- unless you hate your co-workers.
#2 Longevity / Duration: High to Medium
For those with full-time jobs, you’re probably going to be out for the most part of your day. Hence, another factor to keep in mind when selecting a work-appropriate fragrance is how long is it going to last.
By the way, a few extra squirts in the morning isn’t going to make your fragrance last longer. If anything, it may just end up overwhelming people around you or stain your white shirt.
Depending on the concentration of essential oils, different colognes possess different longevity, or duration. Most fragrances for men are sold as Eau de Toilette (EDT), which lasts for about 4-5 hours. If you don’t have the luxury of time to reapply your fragrance every now and then, go for something stronger like Parfum or true Perfumes, which last the longest.
#3 Seasons and Fragrance Family matters
Another aspect to take into consideration is the season and type of fragrance. If you’re travelling to a winter country for a work trip, stronger colognes will work better. In humid, tropical climates, however, lighter and fresher scents are more suitable.
Let’s refer to the fragrance wheel as a guide.
Oriental or amber fragrances are stronger, spicier and bolder -- great scents for the evening, romantic dates out and cool weather.
Meanwhile, Fresh scents tend to be lighter and most suitable for daytime use and summer.
Woody scents are easy to wear, and also more versatile. Hence, most colognes tend fall into the fresh or woody categories.
Fougere [Pronounced: foozh-air], characterised by its sharp herbaceous and woody scent, is also extremely popular for men's wear-to-work colognes. The search for the best office colognes for men doesn’t have to be hard. You can ask the woman in your life to pick one out for you and see how you feel wearing it around the workplace. You can even ask a close colleague for comments. More importantly, it’s about how you feel when wearing a certain cologne.