Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 37, Tuesday April 25, 2006


….of Colognes and Deo's

We all want to smell nice. You have read about wants in Economics haven't you? Well this isn't one of that. It's more than that. It's actually a need, and a quite basic one at that. And that's where the cologne bit comes in….

And with summer just showcasing some of her ultimately limitless abilities it is of little wonder that colognes and body sprays have become the hot items for stores in the past week or so.

Because summer brings with her the heat, which brings with it sweat and some more sweat. Not an entirely pleasant thought. But then again man has devised a counter attacking formula the cologne and the body sprays. Thank God for small favours.

So what are the best ones out there? Which should you buy and which should you not? What's making the rage and what's being criticized?

Its time we get a little snooty and step into the world of colognes. Happy smelling!

Before we go though, Star Lifestyle has answers to some age old questions for you…

And we begin with the most popular and informative of them all…

What's the difference between cologne and eau de toilette?
In women's fragrances, there is a big difference! It has to do with the concentration of fragrance oil in the bottle. Eau de toilette has more oil than eau de cologne(the official way of saying it) does, and therefore lasts much longer.

But, generally, in men's fragrances there is no difference between the two. If it's an American maker, they'll usually call it cologne, and if it's European, they'll tend to call it eau de toilette.

Why does one cologne last all day, and another doesn't?
This one depends mainly on the acidity of your skin, but the amount of oils used in a fragrance is crucial. Some people's skin just destroys anything you put on it, and others will hold the lightest cologne all day! This has to do specifically with how oily, dry or acidic your skin is.

Someone that has dry skin tends to lose their fragrance fairly quickly because there's not a whole lot of moisture to help keep the cologne locked in. Conversely, oily skin will tend to hold the fragrance much longer, because it's the oil in a fragrance that makes it last. So if your skin has a lot of oil, it will work with the fragrance to keep it locked in.


Now for the acidity. We all have slightly different levels of acidity in our skin which is called our pH level. The actual pH level difference between everyone is minute, but each ingredient in a fragrance reacts differently with our individual level

Believe it or not- your own nose can play tricks on you too! Have you ever noticed sometimes you'll put cologne on in the morning, and by noon you don't smell it anymore? But people walk by you and say, "Your cologne smells great!" This is a classic case of the receptors in your nose becoming full. You see, your nose can only take so much of one particular scent- then it just tunes it out! So to beat this one- try putting on less cologne in the morning, as not to overpower your nose.

To each his own…
It's important to know that every scent or cologne smells different on every person. The way a scent takes to your body and your skin is a question of chemistry, and has to do with the chemical reaction between you and the particular fragrance. While your friend smells great in the latest Calvin Klein cologne, it could make you smell more like a gym locker.

With this in mind, it's always important to try cologne before purchasing it. Never assume that what smells good on everyone else will smell good on you. You would never buy a pair of shoes before trying them on, right? Well, the same goes for cologne.

Trying them on for smell…
Go to the store and spray different types of cologne on a card. Do this if you intend on trying out a bunch of different ones. If you try them all on your arm, by the time you get to the fourth cologne, your arms and wrists will be drenched by the other scents. You won't get a good idea of the right fragrance unless you put each one on different cards or pieces of paper.

When the person standing in front of the cologne section at the department store is ready to attack you with a bottle of cologne -- ready to spritz and spray you with it -- stand back, and tell them to spray a card instead. That way your wrists remain scent-free.

Smell the different cards and evaluate which fragrances you like, and which ones smell more like bug repellent. Start eliminating the ones you really don't like. After having sniffed and smelled all the cologne you are interested in -- or until you feel faint, whichever comes first -- take a breather and walk around the shopping centre or outside the store for a while. You want to give your nose a little bit of a rest so that your sense of smell is rejuvenated before returning to the store to make your final purchase.

Once you do go back to the store to make your decision, you can test out how the cologne smells on you. At this point, you shouldn't have as many options since you won't be as bombarded by an array of scents and fragrances, after having already gone through an elimination process.

There are a variety of cologne's to choose from and here are some that are the most popular at the moment. Most are available in all retail stores like Almas and Price Club but prices may vary.

Dunhill Desire by Dunhill Tk.1800-1900
Hugo by Hugo Boss Tk.2300+
D&G by Dolce and Gabanna variable price
Versace Blue Jeans by Gianni Versace Tk.1900-2000
Contradiction by Calvin Klein Tk.2500+
Davidoff Cool Water for Men by Davidoff Tk.2500+
Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani Tk.3500+

As far as body sprays go, Axe has some enticing lines starting from the exotic Africa to the Touch and my personal favourite, Gravity. Axe costs a bit on the high end of the spectrum with prices ranging to even in the mid Tk.400's. Usually though one can of Axe body spray is available at about Tk.200 250.

Adidas is also another popular choice, especially their Sport series ,it costs a little less than the Axe series and is available at around the Tk.180 Tk.200 range.

And as to where you can find them? The same place you might want to go to for cologne.

Before I leave you I should mention that there were certain occupational hazards involved in the writing of this article; the most prominent of which was when the salesman at a reputed store refused to display anymore cologne's when I answered “I am just looking” to his query of “Are you going to buy it?”

But then again, this is just Bangladesh.

Happy shopping. Go wild but be sure to test it out before you do.

By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam
Photo: Munem Wasif
Special Thanks to ETC, Dhanmondi



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