So a few years back I decided to buy my brother a bottle of cologne for Christmas. He had just graduated from the best law school in Australia with Honors, and had gone to work with one of the top firms in Australia. Naturally, I think of how he’s going to attend work and how I may influence that. Yes a tie is a fine idea, but it’s only that, just fine. People would see it one day, maybe acknowledge it, probably not though, and then it would sit in the closet until he felt safe people wouldn’t recognize him wearing the same tie over and over. He needed quality. He needed something that would turn heads. He needed a cologne that spoke to his new status, and there’s only one for that – Tom Ford. I must say I was proud of my present giving ability and the thought that went into it. However, to my dismay, he didn’t quite see it that way and proceeded to sell it on eBay – true story.
Now a few years on I have forgiven him for this indiscretion, even if dear old Mum still brings it up each year around the Christmas period. But starting my first full-time job, a defining cologne was definitely on the checklist for my first day. You’ve got the job, you obviously have some kind of skill, now it’s time to present yourself to a standard worthy of a full-time office job. First impressions are important, and in a big office, especially working with a group of gorgeous women in the beauty and cosmetic industry, I felt the pressure to showcase what style I may have. However, your first day often isn’t your first impression, rather the interviews that proceeded it. And, unfortunately for me, and I have no idea why I did this, but I came to my first interview wearing flip flops. It wasn’t like it was the middle of summer wearing nice sandals and shorts either – even though that still wouldn’t be appropriate for an interview – I was wearing rolled up slacks and old, dirty Cotton On flip flops that had fallen apart on me numerous times. Thankfully I still managed to get the job, but attire took a backwards step, so, how else can you make an impression, apart from the standard of your work of course?
Hair? Not really my strongest area. Tie? Doesn’t have a lasting affect. Cologne though, now there’s something that will always leave an impression. A person’s scent is undoubtedly an area that they will be judged and remembered on. I know I do, and that goes for both men and women. So if you’re a grown man, not even working full-time, just a man past the days of when your Mum would still buy your underwear, I’d expect you to have a go-to scent. None of this cheap stuff from adidas or over-powering old-man Brut, I’m talking about the cologne that gives you that confidence, what you’d want a women to be able to smell on your collar, and the first thing she’d smell when she woke up next to you, that scent that defines who you are.
I’ve always had the strong view that one’s scent will help you get what you’re after. My mate Eugene will attest to the exaggeration of this belief back when I was 19 and thought that a watch, cologne, and a soul-patch would help me in my quest for a woman. Although I’ve outgrown that little bit of fluff under the bottom lip – replaced for now by the 70’s-like upper-lip growth – I still believe in the power of the watch, no longer an over-sized leather band however, and most of all, the cologne. It’s a sign of power, maturity, class and modern style.
Until recently, I’ve been using the same cologne as I was wearing that night in a hostel on the east coast of Australia in 2007. Davidoff – Cool Water. I still have it around as my backup, but I’ve moved up to what I think is a more career-orientated and manly cologne. Bvlgari – Man. The name says it all, right? There’s just something about it that oozes professionalism and a bit of class that definitely gives me an edge of confidence. A cologne that can make a statement will help build your look and define your style, but the wrong one, not suited to you or your look, can throw everything off.
I know it may sound ridiculous, but these are the things that circle my mind. Although not everyone will admit as to why, but you will always have your own grooming habits and staple products. It’s funny with cologne, you will want to be different and unique, but the reasons for choosing a scent will always stem from a desire to smell like something in particular.
I was pleased to discover that my brother now takes his cologne-wearing a bit more seriously, and just reiterates to me how important it is to a man and who he is. He let me in on what and why he wears what he does, and for the most part it’s reasons you’d expect – girlfriend likes it, wants to be different and thinks it smells good. But the power of cologne is evident when he told me that it’s the same cologne a boss of his wore at his casual job almost 10 years ago. That’s the impact I was talking about, the ability to turn heads and make people take notice, even if it is between two blokes. He even keeps a little bottle stashed at work and reapplies before all client meetings. Now this is a man who (finally) knows what he’s doing.
I know we’ve all got one, so what’s your go-to scent?