Why Do Guys Wear Cologne to Work? How to Get it Right (2022)

Key Takeaways

  • Cologne benefits: Cologne can make you more confident, attractive, and memorable at work. It can also boost your mood, energy, and productivity.
  • Cologne etiquette: Cologne should be worn in moderation, with one or two sprays on the pulse points. It should not be too strong, offensive, or distracting to others.
  • Cologne choice: Cologne should match your personality, style, and goals. It should also suit the season, occasion, and environment of your workplace.
  • Cologne tips: Cologne should be applied after a shower, on dry and moisturized skin. It should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. It should be refreshed every 4-6 hours.

It’s not unusual for me to feel a little self-conscious when I’m wearing a new cologne to work. 

Particularly on the tube, in close quarters with other commuters, I suddenly smell my cologne and start to worry I’m fumigating the entire carriage.

Perhaps I’m over-spraying regularly, and have just become nose blind to the fragrances I typically wear.

Either way, the tube is a warm and small enclosed space. You should keep it light when you’re using something new. 

Be considerate to your rush-hour companions.

Then by the time I get to work, I’m now sure I’ve sprayed too much cologne. My co-workers are going to think I’m an obnoxious, smarmy so-and-so.

You never really know how a cologne will emit until you’re getting into it until you’ve roadtested it, particularly colognes for work.

This is not the place to be overly bold with a memorable, disruptive fragrance.

But the reason we do it is that cologne can be a great way to express yourself. Think of it as an addition to your wardrobe.

You have your suit, you have your shoes, you have your hair, you have your scent.

It’s another weapon in your arsenal, and one you could be making good use of.

The Benefits – Why Do Guys Wear Cologne to Work?

Professionalism – Smell Like You Mean Business

A pleasant cologne is one of the best ways to make a good first impression. Consider the senses: we’re worried about how we look and how we sound, but for some reason pay far less attention on average to the way we smell.

But it can often be really important, even on a subconscious level.

Most people are focused on smelling clean and neutral, which is fine. Of course, the priority is to smell not bad first and foremost, but a well-refined Gent can take that one step further and shoot for actively good.

This attention to detail becomes your strategic advantage in negotiations and relationship building. People respond well to you and enjoy being in your company more – even if they can’t pinpoint exactly why.

A good cologne implies that you’re well put together. Your morning routine is a breeze, and you’re not one of these guys who’s still putting on his tie as he’s falling through the door.

After all, if a Gent doesn’t take pride in presenting himself properly, what can we expect from him in terms of his work?

Confidence- Smell Good, Feel Good, Do Good

I find that the right cologne can bring me confidence, too. Like a tailored suit, matching your cologne to the occasion is a good way to feel like you’re in the right place at the right time, and a little more unstoppable as a result. 

I’m in my mid-twenties and often deal with clients and colleagues significantly older than me. If I’m wearing something mature during a meeting, I genuinely feel like it gives me a boost in terms of projecting a self-assured vibe. People just seem to “buy-in” to my experience and expertise more.

Energy Levels- Refresh Yourself

Certain energy-boosting accords have helped me stay alert and productive during a busy day.

I find that minty, peppery notes are best for sharpening my senses and waking me up. The smell of coffee also gets me going, which is probably a placebo from drinking it for so many years. 

The right cologne can refresh your headspace and get you back in the game – it sounds weird, but it works for me.

Creativity – Your Signature

In business, we have to be contextual with how we express ourselves. Sure, we’re all individuals. But at the end of the day, we’re here to work hard and get results.

As a result, I’m always on the lookout for little twists on the classic professional formula that people will remember but never be distracted by. Vibrant socks, for example, are excellent for adding a touch of personality to a stoic suit. 

These infections don’t dominate space or cry out for attention. BUT, they do remind people that they’re dealing with a human with taste, originality of thought, and not just a “cookie-cutter” professional.

The right cologne can have the same effect. Something subtle with just enough personality will take your presence at work from an 8 to a 9.

It’s a fine line between something unique and something jarring. Be considerate to others with your cologne choice, but use it as an opportunity to develop your signature scent.

For instance: Love apples? The best Hugo Boss colognes have an iconic, juicy apple accord that’s common across 5 – 6 of their popular fragrances.

You can work backward from a bold expression of that signature accord until you find something you consider office-safe. 

How Do Girls Feel About Men Who Wear Cologne?

Wearing cologne can help you smell cleaner after a long day at the office, and my girlfriend always appreciates it. 

I also think that there’s something about a cologne and suit combo that girls find hard to resist. It’s a cultural norm for cologne to be associated with success, and I think women view it as one of those things powerful men do. 

What Type of Cologne to Choose for Work?

When you’re selecting a cologne to use in the office, you’ll want to consider how powerful it is. The two main terms used to describe cologne strength are projection and longevity.


How far does the fragrance emit? An office is often a close-quarter, intimate environment, so anything too powerful could come off as obnoxious. You’ll want something that reveals itself as people get within arms-length, but doesn’t dominate every room you enter. 


The typical office day runs from 9 – 5, so you’ll need at least 8 hours of longevity to get you through the day. Performance beasts like Aventus Creed can last through post-work drinks at 10 – 12 hours, too.

Best Cologne to Wear to Work

Hugo Boss Bottled – Beginner Tier – Best Colognes to Wear to Work

Boss Bottled is like a hot apple pie with a warm, woody base. The dominant apple is inflected with cinnamon and cloves and manages to feel juicy without being overly sweet.

Boss bottled

It also has excellent longevity, meaning it will last you a full 9 – 5 without any problems. 

I’d recommend it for Gents in their early 20’s looking to put forward a mature, masculine vibe. 

You might be new to the boardroom, but you’re not just there to take part – you’re there to take over. 


Note ProfileHugo Boss Bottled
Top Notes:Apple, Mandarin, Cinnamon
Middle Notes:Patchouli, Rosemary, Lavender
Base Notes:Olivewood, Sandalwood
Hugo Boss Bottled Fragrance Notes

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille – Mid Tier – Best Colognes to Wear to Work

Tom Ford has a special place in my heart. When I started wearing Tom Ford to the office, it felt like I had stepped up from “plucky with promise” to “legitimate authority”.

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

A few things aligned at the time – a promotion, and a new style direction in general. But I’ll always associate Tom Ford fragrance with this sense of “graduation” from intern to expert. 

Tobacco Vanille is the best of theirs for the office because it’s minimal. This is sleek, refined, and clean, uncluttered. Two notes and they’re in the title. 

BUT, crucially, the quality is there. This is not generic vanilla or tobacco fragrance. The vanilla is musky and gourmand, while the tobacco is bright, spiced, and a little biting. 

A heart of characterful smokiness and crackling black pepper adds just enough electricity to let people know that something wicked lurks beneath the surface – without screaming “masculine”. There are no heavy woods or leathers in the base, for example.

Tom Ford is one of the best in the business for long-lasting fragrances. Tobacco Vanille is no exception; it’s one of my go-to colognes if I know I have a long day and need something professional that will carry me through to the evening.


Read our round-up of the best Tom Ford colognes here.

Note ProfileTom Ford Tobacco Vanille
Top Notes:Spicy Notes, Smoke, and Tobacco
Middle Notes:Tonka Bean, Tobacco Flower, Vanilla and Cocoa
Base Notes:Woody Notes and Dry Fruit
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Fragrance Notes

Creed Aventus – Top Tier – Best Colognes to Wear to Work

Aventus is known as one of the best colognes in the world. When you think of high-end, designer men’s colognes, you think of Aventus. They’re the Lakers, they’re Real Madrid, they’re certified. 

Creed aventus

The play is in two parts. First is a bergamot pineapple combo that lures people in, followed by a woodsy, blackcurrant-splattered birch base that makes them stay. The rest of the ride is a greener, musky dry-down that is perfect for holding space in the office.

If you haven’t tried Aventus and you’re looking to get deeper into the world of colognes, it should be one of your first stops for sure. 

It’s the yardstick a lot of reviewers will measure colognes against:

“Yeah it’s good, but it’s not Aventus level.”

That goes for the longevity too, by the way. 10 hours, easy.

That said, you might find that the Aventus horse has sort of bolted for you. If you’re someone who likes a niche fragrance that you won’t bump into in the wild, Aventus is not it. In any given board meeting of 10, 2 of them are wearing Aventus (citation needed). 

Maybe that’s important to you. Either way, Aventus isn’t miraculously popular by accident. It’s a 10/10 must-smell just the right side of the “professional masculinity” line. 

Neither boastful and obnoxious, nor timid and plain. 

Just right.


Read our round-up of the best Creed colognes here

Note ProfileAventus Creed
Top Notes:Blackcurrant, Apple, Bergamot, and Pineapple
Middle Notes:Rose, Patchouli, Jasmine, and Birch
Base Notes:Vanilla, Oakmoss, and Musk
Aventus Creed Fragrance Notes

FAQ – What You Should Know About Why Men Wear Cologne to Work

How to apply cologne so it lasts?

The best way to apply cologne so it lasts is to bind it to absorbent material. Spraying on your jacket or shirt will hold the fragrance all day, far better than your skin might.
I also find a spritz in my hair to be very useful. It holds the fragrance quite well, and people are drawn close to it during a hug hello, or goodbye.

If you want it to project further for longer, apply it to your pulse points – your wrists and neck. They emit the most body heat and give the cologne the best chance to diffuse properly.

Should men wear cologne every day?

There’s a cologne for every occasion, so there’s no reason why you wouldn’t find one to match your outfit every day.

The only exception I can think of is with people who suffer from sensitive skin and may find that daily application of alcohol has too great a drying effect.
For these individuals, I’d recommend looking at solid colognes as a moisturizing way to smell your best. 

Imagine a Regular Office Day. But with Added Superpowers.

Hopefully, you’re starting to get the picture around why a man would want to wear cologne to work. It’s not without its considerations, but if you can pull off the balance successfully the rewards are great. 

If you’re looking to find a cologne to wear to the office check out this article where we explore the best choices for 2022. 

Otherwise – click here for the rest of our cologne content. We’ve got comparisons and reviews from all the tried and tested favorites, and news updates about exciting releases.

Talk soon,


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