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  1. #1

    Default What is the "point" of cologne?

    Very philosophical question here guys, but one with some pragmatic implications.

    Why do we wear cologne?

    This may sound like a simple question, but I wonder. I think most of us would answer simply "to smell nice." But to smell nice to whom? To coworkers (in which case, you may go with subtle colognes or power scents if you work a boardroom)? To, naturally enough, women? To anyone and everyone ? To ourselves?

    I would bet that the most common answer is "to women" (sorry for not being sexuality neutral here, it's mostly laziness). In which case, I must ask, why do we care what "we" think of our colognes if the object is to appeal to a girl? Then again, you could ask this question regardless of who your target audience is.

    The only time, it seems to me, that our own opinion counts is if we are wearing a cologne just to make ourselves feel good. This seems a perfectly acceptable answer except for the slightly disturbing implication that we spend a good deal of our time smelling ourselves.

    But a lot of the basenotes community consists of all of us exchanging our own personal views on the colognes we wear. In other words, the women review women's scents, the men review men's, and we all review the colognes that we ourselves wear.

    Does this make sense?

    If you catch my drift on this whole post, I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

    I can't tell if I should bother with sampling and trying on colognes and in the end relying on my own impressions, or if I should just find the girl I know with the best taste and have her make all of the decisions for me regardless of what I think.

    (or is that what marriage is for?)

    Cheers,

    S77

  2. #2

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Smell is one of the five senses. Just like touch, taste, sight and sound, smelling something that your brain perceives as interesting or appealing can be very pleasurable. Ultimately, IMO, thats the point of perfume / fragrances / cologne.
    Last edited by Anthony87; 4th October 2008 at 05:46 AM.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    It's available at low cost, so you can do and think what you like about it, right?

  4. #4

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Hi & welcome to basenotes.
    This isse has been discussed numerous times especially in critical responses to "what scent gets you laid" kind of threads. I believe many members here would agree that wanting to impress potential sex partners with perfume is not a particularly promising approach towards fragrance. Not that this isn't the key marketing message by the industry and a driving force for many consumers (who will also buy totally useless pheromones etc.). "Love Potion" is one of the oldest desires of humans as a myriad myths and fairy tales in many cultures attest to. Yet this is expecting both way too much and way too little from perfume. Not only is there hardly a consensus among potential sex partners about what smells good but perfume will at best ge the icing on the cake of your self-representtion to others, a minor matter. Exceptions that have been reported here júst prove the rule and even there I have my doubts. No man/women will tear your shirt off because you're wearing Kouros, even if they say something like "your perfume turned me on." Natue has taken care that a lot of other factors, some conscious, some not, play a role in such decisions.

    Now I do believe that perfume has something to do with how we perceive ourselves and what we want to be or project to the rest of the world. It is part of the choice of consumer options which help us define identity in postindustrial capitalist societies. You know how to class me by the brands and styles I wear from clothes to cell phone to haircut to car to perfume. We've frequently discussed Creed marketing here. It is primitive and redundant but highly effective because it taps aspirational desires of connecting with aristorcratic tradition, Hollywood glamour and success per se. So perfume works as an actual means of social distinction (Creed - I'm conservative & wealthy, CdG - I'm avantgarde, AXE - I'm a chav) as well as a medium of fantasy fulfilment (I wear Dukes of Pall Mall and feel like an English gentleman though I am perhaps neither).

    But then there's the level of "amateurism" - which has nothing to do with ineptness but with being a lover of things for their own sake. Most people on basenotes love smelling perfume and have stripped it of the social functions it usually serves - which does not mean they can't employ it to those purposes if they wish with great acumen because they know the terrain really well. We love perfume as a craft or an art and we wear perfume for our pleasure - which frequently leads to perspective that it is irrelevant how other people see or rather smell you, since the point is your pleasure in the wearing of a particular grand composition. As always in such cases outsiders will frown on discussions of what grade of patchouli characterizes vintage Cravache etc. pp. But here it is, a whole world of sensuous aesthetic experiences worth simply indulging in, or worthy of intellectual, cultural, chemical inspection and debate. I do know my epiphany as a typical unreflecting single-perfume user (chosen without any real criteria almost at random) which was owed to Creed's Royal English Leather, was straightforwardly: this smells fascinating and good. I can't get enough of how this smells. I want more like this and I want to know more about it. And I haven't looked back since
    Last edited by the_good_life; 4th October 2008 at 05:58 AM.
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matičre/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénčtrent le verre.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    That's a very interesting question.

    Basenotes does, actually, seem to be a 'place' full of people who like to sniff themselves. To be quite honest, I habitually sniff my own wrists (help me stop!).
    Anyway, I've always had a sort of obsession with perceiving the world through smells. This probably sounds rather ridiculous, but it's true. I've always taken note of how everything smells, and memories usually have some sort of scent attached to them. For example, I recently found, in my attic, an incredibly old tube of lip balm in a pencil case I used in grade 2. I instantly remembered that it smelled like my friend Danny's house. I haven't seen Danny since I was 9.

    When you place so much importance on your sense of smell, I'd assume it's natural to want to smell good-- and to smell like you want to smell rather than how your girlfriend would have it.
    Also, I strongly associate smells with places and objects (which probably goes without saying), and so it's important to me that I have a smell that others can associate with me.
    This smell, of course, has to undergo intense scrutiny by yours truly before he buys it.

    But then again, there are men who wear fragrance just to attract women. I think this is wrongheaded, seeing as few girls my age have ever admitted to liking cologne. They usually consider it brash and overpowering, and their favourite smells seem to come in the form of roll-on deodorants.
    Last edited by DadaSiegt; 4th October 2008 at 06:02 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    The most powerful of your 5 senses is the sense of smell. It has the ability to stir emotions, bring up memories, and put people in relaxing states and vise versa.

    I wear cologne mainly as a tool to attract the opposite sex, at least that is how it started. However now I also wear cologne because I like the smell of it myself, my choices in cologne usually make me feel uplifted, confident, and more attractive.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    I wear it to please myself pure and simple

  8. #8

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    As the poster above. I wear scent for me.

    if I wore the scents that (most) women seem to like I couldn't bear to be near myself.

  9. #9


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    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    I wear my scents for me; that is it. Yes, of course, when I go on a date then I want my ladyfriend to notice, but on a day-to-day basis smelling good makes me very happy. There is just something positive about putting on a nice scent and smelling amazing. Would it be nice if women would flock to me because of my scent? Well, yeah! But lets be realistic here fellas; a nice cologne is only 1 piece of the puzzle.
    Last edited by TheAttorney; 4th October 2008 at 08:17 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post
    I wear my scents for me; that is it. Yes, of course, when I go on a date then I want my ladyfriend to notice, but on a day-to-day basis smelling good makes me very happy. There is just something positive about putting on a nice scent and smelling amazing. Would it be nice if women would flock to me because of my scent? Well, yeah! But lets be realistic here fellas; a nice cologne is only 1 piece of the puzzle.
    Exactly.

    I can wear the most amazing scents, but as I have a face like a bashed-in crab the women avoid me.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    I wear the scent for me.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Hi & welcome to basenotes.
    This isse has been discussed numerous times especially in critical responses to "what scent gets you laid" kind of threads. I believe many members here would agree that wanting to impress potential sex partners with perfume is not a particularly promising approach towards fragrance. Not that this isn't the key marketing message by the industry and a driving force for many consumers (who will also buy totally useless pheromones etc.). "Love Potion" is one of the oldest desires of humans as a myriad myths and fairy tales in many cultures attest to. Yet this is expecting both way too much and way too little from perfume. Not only is there hardly a consensus among potential sex partners about what smells good but perfume will at best ge the icing on the cake of your self-representtion to others, a minor matter. Exceptions that have been reported here júst prove the rule and even there I have my doubts. No man/women will tear your shirt off because you're wearing Kouros, even if they say something like "your perfume turned me on." Natue has taken care that a lot of other factors, some conscious, some not, play a role in such decisions.

    Now I do believe that perfume has something to do with how we perceive ourselves and what we want to be or project to the rest of the world. It is part of the choice of consumer options which help us define identity in postindustrial capitalist societies. You know how to class me by the brands and styles I wear from clothes to cell phone to haircut to car to perfume. We've frequently discussed Creed marketing here. It is primitive and redundant but highly effective because it taps aspirational desires of connecting with aristorcratic tradition, Hollywood glamour and success per se. So perfume works as an actual means of social distinction (Creed - I'm conservative & wealthy, CdG - I'm avantgarde, AXE - I'm a chav) as well as a medium of fantasy fulfilment (I wear Dukes of Pall Mall and feel like an English gentleman though I am perhaps neither).

    But then there's the level of "amateurism" - which has nothing to do with ineptness but with being a lover of things for their own sake. Most people on basenotes love smelling perfume and have stripped it of the social functions it usually serves - which does not mean they can't employ it to those purposes if they wish with great acumen because they know the terrain really well. We love perfume as a craft or an art and we wear perfume for our pleasure - which frequently leads to perspective that it is irrelevant how other people see or rather smell you, since the point is your pleasure in the wearing of a particular grand composition. As always in such cases outsiders will frown on discussions of what grade of patchouli characterizes vintage Cravache etc. pp. But here it is, a whole world of sensuous aesthetic experiences worth simply indulging in, or worthy of intellectual, cultural, chemical inspection and debate. I do know my epiphany as a typical unreflecting single-perfume user (chosen without any real criteria almost at random) which was owed to Creed's Royal English Leather, was straightforwardly: this smells fascinating and good. I can't get enough of how this smells. I want more like this and I want to know more about it. And I haven't looked back since
    Excellent post, the_good_life!
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  13. #13

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    @ TGL: It's a pleasure to read your Triptychon on Perfume!
    So I read it twice .
    Last edited by narcus; 4th October 2008 at 11:18 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Some of us also use fragrances to remind us of something, some place, or someone. In a sense, re-visiting a memory is just as important if not more so than creating a new one.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoRoads View Post
    Excellent post, the_good_life!
    One of the best I've read in months. Seriously. I'm archiving the_good_life's post above.

    When explaining my passion for this hobby to non-Basenoters, I tell them that it has to do with the sensual way in which I live my life. My love of fragrance is a natural extension of my sensual nature in that I experience the world with all my senses. Smell being one of the five of course.

    Taste: I love cooking and many difference types of cuisine. Thai and Indian especially because of their intense spice and flavor.
    Sound: I have always loved music and it's a part of daily life. I also play a few instruments and write music.
    Smell: Home fragrance, personal fragrance, flowers, incense, candles, forests, the smell of each season.....
    Sight: I collect silkscreen pop art and dabble in photography, graphic design and silkscreen.
    Touch: Books, cars, engines, tools, guitars, lovers...I love working with my hands. I am also a highly skilled masseuse, among other things.

    This hobby and Basenotes enriches my life in ways I never imagined. I have discovered so many beautiful, mesmerizing scents I would have never found on my own. In addition, the generosity and open-mindedness of Basenotes members never ceases to amaze. I know that here, I am among kindred souls.

    To answer the question posed in this thread, I wear perfume for my own personal experience. I am a sensualist that considers my fragrance collection a hobby that is an integral, enriching part of my life and one of the ways in which I experience the world.
    Last edited by Sloan; 4th October 2008 at 12:40 PM.

  16. #16

    Talking Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Why do I wear cologne? Well, for one thing, it isn't to obtain relations with the opposite sex. Although, as a married man, I do find that if I wear the right cologne, and my wife wears the right perfume, it does enhance whatever romantic interludes we have planned for that night.

    I wear cologne because smell, to me, is where I get most of my memories. Incense in a church. My grandfather making a roux for gumbo on a stove. My mom's hand cream. My father's aftershave. A smell can certainly take you back. And to some extent, having a bottle of cologne is like bottling a good memory.

    Furthermore, I wear colognes primarily to church. While I guess I could be spending my money on more useful things, I feel that I probably should give the Divine some due and show up to His House wearing my best. Certainly, my virtues ain't going to be pleasing!
    "If a perfume stinks, it's a disaster when she turns off the light." - Jean-Paul Guerlain

  17. #17

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Scents interlink with aspects of our feelings of well-being.

    It has been proven that smells like freshly baked bread or mown grass on a Summer's day make us feel good.

    There is a primal link between scent and our instincts. We gag when we smell mold or faeces, because these are things that are not good for us. Ok so those are extremes, but they are indicators of how powerful and important scent is to the human animal.

    To those who appreciate the potency of the sense of smell there is a whole world open. Smell is incredibly important in cooking for example, I blend herbs when I cook by smell more than taste - and I am often told what a good cook I am!

    I have had a life-long fascination with fragrance and I wear it primarily for me. A secondary pay off is when others also enjoy the experience.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  18. #18

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    I am enjoying this thread very much. Thanks to all for the discussion so far.
    I think the question of the "point" of wearing cologne is part of a larger issue... an even more philosophical one. Namely, what is the nature of our identity?
    * Is our identity a personal, individual one? Then we do things to affirm or to realize that aspect. "I wear cologne to please myself, to help me project myself, to evoke my memories, etc."
    * Is our identity a social, group one? Then we do things to affirm or to realize that aspect. "I wear cologne to attract others, to make them like me, to evoke memories."
    Notice that I've said "evoke memories" twice. There are memories of private, individual moments to be sure. But how many memories are of being in the kitchen with your mother, being fishing with your father, holding a loved one close? Here there is a social component.
    As I see it, our nature (and reality) is that we have both individual and social aspects to our identity. "No man is an island" as John Donne said. We are both self-as self and self-in-relation. This duality of our existence gives us complexity and yet frustrates us at times. Sometimes we need to be alone, yet we are lonely. We long for contact with others and yet we fear losing our autonomy.
    And scent -- non-verbal, pre-cognitive, sensory, sensual element that it is -- taps into the primal aspects of this duality. It is not entirely clear to us, or we cannot fully express in words, the qualities and attractions of scent. Just as we can never fully understand ourselves, nor others. But we can continually explore the mysteries of life, and learn.
    Cheers,
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  19. #19

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Great thread and I'll make bold to add my little bit.
    For me the perfume thing is connected to the sense that I'm most alive when I'm learning something. And in my forties I'm learning how great a pleasure it is to just notice the physical world. My way of being in the world has had so much to do with athletic effort and intellectual "understanding". Which has been great and useful, but now I'm ready to slow down and learn to smell, taste, touch, look without mobilizing the Aquisitions Department. And as I was learning to cook, more than just a handful of things to keep my kids from killing each other at the end of the day, but really cook thoughtfully, Burr's The Emperor of Scent fell into my hands and at about the same time I found Basenotes. I realized over the course of several weeks that I was barely noticing this whole dimension of the sensory world. That smells tell stories, and that perfumes in particular unfold like music in progressions of chords over time. The body smells different through the day and the garden smells different through the summer and my kids smell different than when they were babies. Holy shite! And through Basenotes suddenly I had all these very able and sophisticated and alive teachers! Not to mention my wife and daughters, all of whom have much better noses than me. Really, it's no small thing to have something that you want to learn arrive at the same time as a teacher. Felt like the universe taking me by the scruff and saying, "Smell this, boy. Now smell this one. No, boy, slow down. Breeeeathe it in."
    So for me approaching perfume as a study has been connected to this whole midlife awaking to slowness, to the senses, and to what happens, rather than focusing so much on what I can make happen. I love that a beautifully composed perfume is full of intelligence and observation, in it are palpable hours of noticing and responding and fiddling with the formula. But that you can't see it at all. Something instructive about invisible beauty and a form of intelligence that isn't intent on dominating the meeting. And now the mint/lavender accord of my Nicolai pour Homme is starting to burn off and I'm going to make some more coffee to go with the musky/tobacco/incense of the drydown.
    I have to say that I'm very often humbled when I read your, ya'alls, writing on Basenotes, and I've spent a lot of energy in my life avoiding being humbled. But this I like.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    I like all that, strollyourlobster (great name!)
    We've heard about slow cuisine: taking time to grow, prepare and enjoy food.
    Let's think about slow smelling, and slow breathing.
    "Be here, now." a zen sentiment.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  21. #21

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    While the social or man-made factors argument of using fragrance is certainly not invalid, we shouldn't discount our connection to other mammals (there are other species too but our link to those is less direct) who use their personal scent for a variety of things - identifying their status in the social hyerarchy, marking their territory, or announcing their readiness to mate (for the females).

    You will never see an alpha male of some mammal species hide his scent glands, on the contrary, he will expose them proudly and mark his realm with his scent marks to leave no doubt as to who's in charge here. Weaker or less ambitious males will cover their scent glands with their tails (hence the expression "to have one's tail between one's legs" as a sign of giving up any claim social prominence. The females who are releasing their pheromones to announce their readiness to mate attract an enourmous amount of attention from the males, while at other times these same females don't warrant any interest at all.

    Clearly, the world humans live in is infinetely more complex, but I think that our basic "firmware" programming input by millions of years of evolution is what makes us respond so strongly to scents and embrace the consept of using fragrances so willingly.

  22. #22

    Post Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    In this day,and age there are only so many things in ones life that we can truly control. By that I mean we can't choose how our tax dollars are spent, can't control the huge traffic jam we're sitting in, and on, and on. But the one thing we can control is how we feel about our selves, and when I wear a fragrance, I simply feel better about myself. I can control what I want to smell like that day, for instance, be it Leather, Vetiver, Sandlewood, or what ever the case may be.So that I is why, I choose to spend my hard earned dollars on fragrances I have for alot of years, and will continue to do so.A small price to pay for a little control.IMHO
    Don't panic. Just stay calm, and reload....

  23. #23
    DON'T DRINK AND DRESS

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    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    In a few words: olfactory delight and/or sexual attraction.
    Our job is to live joyfully in this world of sorrows--Joseph Campbell

  24. #24

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Just as we like to please our other senses with food, wine, music, art, etc we also like to please our olfactory sense with pleasing smells.

    Why do wine connoisseurs take so long to smell the wine and talk about the nose and the notes in it?

    We do the same thing with our fragrances. I'm sure I'm not the only BN'r that will spray a fragrance or two even if we're not going out just to partake of their smell.

    Of course we also get satisfaction when we get a compliment, but most of us don't wear fragrances for that reason.
    Last edited by Simon Moon; 4th October 2008 at 06:05 PM.

    The scent grows richer, he knows he must be near
    He finds a long passageway lit by chandelier
    Each step he takes, the perfumes change
    From familiar fragrance to flavours strange
    A magnificent chamber meets his eye

  25. #25
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    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    I wear it to please myself.

  26. #26

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Thanks to everyone who literally overnight answered my question with more depth than I could have hoped for.

    The general theme running through most answers seems to be that colognes and fragrances are not so much about pleasing "others" but about pleasing and defining, in a way, ourselves.

    I am new to this obsession, having jumped on board within the last three years. At first, I definitely would have thought that colognes were entirely about appealing to others, and picked my first few bottles accordingly. As I approached the end of my 20's, I began to have doubts about that, especially after I noticed that I usually would go with those scents that pleased me the most, without thinking (too much at least) about the reactions of others.

    And so I'm glad to see so many of you share this philosophy and took the time to express it in ways I never could.

  27. #27

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    I guess I should add that when you become a hobbyist of these synthetic concoctions, there's a good chance you can't wear the same thing all the time. For me, coming back to a frag a month after wearing it reveals new insights. One example is to be found in some oriental frags. I recently noticed how two that I own are very similar, except that one has a dominant benzoin note to it whereas the other does not. I don't think you can learn about these subtleties any other way. Obviously, a lot of people don't care about this sort of thing and never will, but since it's "the point" for me (or at least one point), it deserves mention on this thread.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 4th October 2008 at 09:51 PM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Mostly I wear cologne when I am alone. I try to apply it at least an hour before I plan to mingle. For the sake of others I would like to smell nice in a subtle way. For my own sake, I like the fragrance a little stronger. For me it's mostly been an exploration of scents. But I wish I had been aware of the social potential of fragrances when I was younger.

  29. #29

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    I purchase fragrances since I like being 1. broke and 2. smelling like a deer's ass.

    Cheers,
    Al

  30. #30

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Quote Originally Posted by anak View Post
    I purchase fragrances since I like being 1. broke and 2. smelling like a deer's ass.

    Cheers,
    Al
    LOL

  31. #31

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony87 View Post
    Smell is one of the five senses. Just like touch, taste, sight and sound, smelling something that your brain perceives as interesting or appealing can be very pleasurable. Ultimately, IMO, thats the point of perfume / fragrances / cologne.
    Well said. This is my answer as well.

  32. #32

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    And what has Al been wearing lately? I won't guess, to avoid offending anyone! LOL.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    1. Due to olfatory memories: don't ask me why, I smell certain fragrances and I recall past times quite vividly. This actually means that I keep fragrances I don't like just for the sake of recalling past times.

    2. Just to please myself as well as others. I like wearing fragrances.

    3. As a political standing: I favor fragrances designed long ago and / or original scents.

  34. #34

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    it is a great question and one i hae thought about often. I thought about this when i was showering one day and i thought to myself the same thing about soap...why use a scented soap when in two hours no one around me will smell it anyway, but i realized that its enjoyable while im showering to smell that scent. Anthony87 says it best here...its another sense of ours that is probably more neglected than any other sense....enjoy it for yourself first and as a secondary prize everyone else will too.
    Current Top 5:

    Tabac, Cardinal, Brookes Brothers, Musc Kublai Khan, Andron

  35. #35

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    I wear scents that I like for the same reason I wear clothes that I like. Because I like them. It's a bit of self-expression, it's a bit of personal identity, it's a bit of machismo.

  36. #36

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    it was and is a simple question, with simple answers given above.
    Last edited by bxbwbk; 5th October 2008 at 01:12 AM.

  37. #37

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    In my case....because I feel more confident and because I love to smell good......Its an experience, an accesorie. Very important for me. CONFIDENCE is the word.
    "Burn their homes and churches.Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again.
    For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a new Armenia."

    William Saroyan.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Using: Antaeus, The Dreamer, Eau Sauvage and Voyage d Hermes

    Wishing: Tuscan Soul by Ferragamo and Concentré d Orange Verte




    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  38. #38

    Wink Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity."

  39. #39

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    I know some of you won't like this, but more frequently than you think perfume is used to 'fit in', to assimilate yourself to whatever group of wearers you want to belong to. You want to smell special, of course, but at the same time most of us also observe the invisible fence around the garden of fine fragrances.
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  40. #40

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    I know some of you won't like this, but more frequently than you think perfume is used to 'fit in', to assimilate yourself to whatever group of wearers you want to belong to. You want to smell special, of course, but at the same time most of us also observe the invisible fence around the garden of fine fragrances.
    I have no problem with that viewpoint and can see that happening, especially in certain social scenes. At least, for some peope anyway.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Very interesting replies! My slant on this is a bit different. I would say that my choice in fragrances to wear says something about my taste, my aesthetic sense. It doesn't mean that everything I consent to wear is equally beautiful or identical in style or tone. That would be boring, to say nothing of impossible, given the number of scents that rotate through my repertoire.

    Still, I would say they represent a range of taste which, though wide, roughly parallels the range of moods
    I want to express and occasions I wish to observe. Not all moods rank equally in my hierarchy, and I can say the same for occasions. Some are more serious, more grand, more significant than others, and my choices can reflect that as well. I can also definitely opine on the comparative artistic merit of different fragrances I am willing to wear in public; yet all of them fit somehow within the range of my taste and say something about my aesthetic of scent.

    For me, that's the "point": to express who I am as a person that aspires to a conscious appreciation of taste in fragrance. Smelling good is included ab initio and a radice in that project.
    Last edited by JaimeB; 5th October 2008 at 07:47 AM.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

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  42. #42
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    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Lord, this is a wonderful thread. So many great explanations - thoughtful, passionate, funny, and hauntingly familiar. We are not all on exactly the same wavelength, but there is harmony. And that is also what I think is the answer to this question - the analogy to music mentioned by sloan_8013, Strollyourlobster, and Simon Moon...

    Fine fragrance is music for the nose.

    I.e., it is the same answer as the one to "What is the point of music?"
    * * * *

  43. #43

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    I wear cologne to reflect my sense of fashion. I consider it no different than buying a pair of shoes to a shirt. Different situations call for different styles. Furthermore, I wear scents to either reflect or enhance my own moods. When I feel worn out, a spritz of Tangerine Vert fires me up. When I know I have a tough day at work, I wear No 88 because of how it makes me feel.

    TNMA
    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
    -- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)

  44. #44

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Me likes Philosophy! Can I give the Neo-Heidegger explanation? It basically boils down to

    Life's a b**ch and then you die. So you might as well smell awsome while you are at it.

    Scents are an abundant source of beauty... kinda like a woman with tasty neck and incredible eyes.

    I cannot think of any other consumable of which you can claim ownership quite like fragrance. (Maybe shoes, but that is another thread). In that way, fragrance is an important extension of (the) being.

    this reminds me of a story about Jesus. So a woman comes and anoints all this expensive perfume on Jesus' feet. Some will say it was Creed but that ain't true. Everybody was like: what is he doing using all the expensive perfume. he could have sold it and helped the poor. And then Jesus was like: Shut up man! I am gonna die soon. Life's always gonna suck. We can be good later, but today I deserve this...
    anyway, just a story... no religious comments here.

    Still, the truth is that most of the scents are made to
    1. Mask unpleasant odors. Can you think of any cleaning product that has no fragrance? Now even bleach smells like freakin jasmines!
    2. Be attractive
    Last edited by irish; 5th October 2008 at 08:25 AM.

  45. #45

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Quote Originally Posted by Igor01 View Post
    Clearly, the world humans live in is infinetely more complex, but I think that our basic "firmware" programming input by millions of years of evolution is what makes us respond so strongly to scents and embrace the consept of using fragrances so willingly.
    I'd agree - and well put!

    Millions of years of evolution is surely the basis for our fascination / attraction to scents. It would be interesting to know how cave men used scents to their personal advantage!? Now we wash off all those smells and use cologne instead.

    Human intelligence has taken us to ever more sophisticated ways of using this ability - even towards pure aesthetic pleasure.

    So...Why I use cologne:

    First and foremost for the pure enjoyment of scents - which themselves are a product of millions of years of evolution. I enjoy wearing cologne "alone at home".

    Secondly (and of less importance) - using scents to express aesthetic beauty or "good taste" to those around me - which I'll admit is an attempt at using cologne to personal advantage. I guess I'm wired that way for survival purposes. How successful I am at the above is a totally different question.
    Last edited by Delmar; 5th October 2008 at 12:12 PM.

  46. #46

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Quote Originally Posted by irish View Post
    Me likes Philosophy! Can I give the Neo-Heidegger explanation? It basically boils down to

    Life's a b**ch and then you die. So you might as well smell awsome while you are at it.
    I'm currently working my way through "Being and Time"

    A Heideggerian analysis would probably have cited the use of perfume as a tool that allows Da-sein to discover the being of its being through active involvement with the world.

    Anyway...

    to answer the OP question, I think that for most people on BN the simple answer is hardly philosophical; because we like nice smells.

    Now getting behind the question and asking why we like nice scents could provoke some really philosophical content; an aesthetic of scent.

    cool my 500th post....
    Last edited by surreality; 7th October 2008 at 01:09 AM.
    Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant

  47. #47

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    I'm currently working my way through "Being and Time"
    Ha, Nice!. That is one of the hardest works I have ever had the opportunity to read. Although it is interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    I'm currently working my way through "Being and Time"

    A Heideggerian analysis would probably have cited the use of perfume as a tool that allows Da-sein to discover the being of its being through active involvement with the world.
    i.e. Be by spraying on some very cool smellies congrats on you 500. posts.
    Last edited by irish; 7th October 2008 at 02:05 AM.

  48. #48

    Default Re: What is the "point" of cologne?

    I couldn't resist adding my simple answer to a very profound question. The point(s) of cologne in my mind:

    To define the individual (this is my taste)
    To stimulate (your sense of smell)
    To enhance (a special occasion)
    To create olfactory associations (memories)
    To develop (a learned appreciation)

    Thanks for all your contributions so far - great reading!

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