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  1. #1

    Default Best practices when pairing aftershave with cologne? Top, middle or bottom notes?

    I've searched the forum as best I could and not found an answer. I'm hoping someone may be able to give me some advice. I am not very cologne savvy, but I have tried quite a few decants over the last 15 months and I know what I like when I smell it. Should I focus on pairing an aftershave with the cologne based on top, middle, or bottom notes and/or which specific scents would be the safest to focus on to accentuate, rather than detract from a cologne.

    I tend to use aftershave balms since I have fairly dry skin and the scents in the balms I've used tend to linger for many hours. I could go with an unscented balm, but I really prefer scented. I had considered using an unscented balm and mixing it in my hand with a tiny bit of cologne, but I'm thinking that it would just be too powerful a smell to put that close to my nose.

    Any help would be much appreciated. I've pasted info for BdP from the creed site, which is my cologne of choice. Again, the conversation need not revolve around a type or brand of cologne, but I figured adding the description of the notes may help serve as an example since I'm not well versed in scent formulation or chemistry.


    Classification: Woody Oriental / Rich

    Top Notes: Bergamot
    Middle Notes: Lavender
    Base Notes: Cedar, sandalwood from Mysore, vetiver and ambergris

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Washington, DC

    Default Re: Best practices when pairing aftershave with cologne? Top, middle or bottom notes?

    Mixing two different scents may not work, especially when you put one so close to your nose. Unfortunately, very few scents have associated aftershave balms. Alcohol aftershaves disappear in minutes, leaving the nose free to smell the cologne, so there's no problem there. I would go for a scent free balm.

    If you really must, you should focus on the base note, which is the one you'll be smelling most of the times. Beware, as usual, that listed notes are often pure fantasy, so you should check with your nose.


  3. #3

    Renato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Default Re: Best practices when pairing aftershave with cologne? Top, middle or bottom notes?

    I mix my own aftershave balms quite often. Pour some unscented balm in the palm of your hand. Spray three squirts maximum into it, mix with finger and apply.

    I don't think three sprays makes the balm too strong. Spraying four or more sprays doesn't seem to make it much stronger. One or two sprays into the balm is noticeably weaker.

    As for using different aftershave balms with an EDT - I do that all the time too, mainly because I bought 6 tubes of Cool Water balm at $1 each and am using them up (I'm nearly through my first tube). The scent from balms usually doesn't last as long as that from splashes. Regardless, no matter what EDT I put on, I only really smell Cool water for a couple of hours, and nobody has ever pulled me up to tell me my scents clash.

    But if I were going to try to match different ones, I'd aim to match the basenotes - since they are the ones that last longest, those on your face will match the scent on your body for the greatest length of time. It's pretty pointless matching topnotes, as they disappear after half an hour or so.

    Better yet, try pairing similar style scents - some that I've done are Fahrenheit aftershave splash with 212 EDT(both are green mossy), and Good Life Aftershave balm with Ferragamo PH EDT (both are fig leaf).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best practices when pairing aftershave with cologne? Top, middle or bottom notes?

    Thanks for the advice Cacio and Renato. I will try some unscented balm and mix in some BdP. I bought a flacon of it which should last a while, so I can experiment a little bit. I appreciate the info about the base notes, that helps a great deal as well.

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