An Indian man’s guide to the difference between cologne and aftershave

Imagine this you’re at the airport, in the duty free area staring at a bunch of designer scents with a sales rep breathing down your throat. The pressure is on you need to pick one quick, do you choose a cologne and use it for going out and shaving or do you buy an aftershave and use it for both? Which is the right answer? None!

The terms aftershave and cologne have been used interchangeably by men and designer brands alike, but the truth is that while both are scented they are used for very different purposes. An aftershave is used after shaving as you might have guessed. They help in fighting infections in any cuts and nicks your blade might cause while shaving. Your skin also loses some oils while shaving, aftershaves can help replenish those. The alcohol it contains (I know what you’re thinking.. no you can’t drink it) will help close skin pores opened by the use of hot water during your shave.


Colognes on the other hand won’t help your post shave routine in any way. It is instead primarily a fragrance created to help you smell better. They are actually often activated by body heat so consider applying them to your skin and different pulse points. Cologne contains a decent amount of perfume oils about 2.5% to 5%. So if you apply cologne in the morning you can be assured it will last for the better part of your day. Even though aftershave contains perfume oils, the amount is very low about 1% to 1.25%. Hence don’t apply it if you’re looking to wow your colleagues with how good you smell, because it will wear off in a few hours.

Remember both cologne and aftershave are very important as long as they are being used for their respective function. Colognes for smell and aftershave to avoid infections and rashes after a good shave.



Is the secret to attracting women in their nose? Science says yes

Growing up we all used to watch Axe deodorant ads on television. The premise of these ads was always the same, man sprays Axe, man sees woman, woman literally tries to rip his clothes off! If there was ever a reason to wear deodorant it was this. Now I used Axe for many years growing up and never had this happen to me. Suffice to say I was rather hurt. So are deodorant brands just really good at advertising or is smelling good really the way to a woman’s heart and perhaps her pants or is the truth somewhere in the middle?

Firstly, what we need to understand is that women and men at first glance notice different things in the opposite sex, for men it is the body shape of a woman/her looks (No prizes for guessing that) but for women they make their first impression of you based on the way you smell. A number of studies have shown that women are able to detect the biological compatibility of a man simply from signals in their smell.

Smell bad

How does this work? There are a number of theories on this. One of the major ones is that the pheromones in our sweat communicate interest with potential mates subconsciously. One test concluded that women could even smell sexual arousal in a man’s sweat. Disgusting? Yes, but it does prove that when you’re desperate to get laid women can subconsciously notice it in your sweat.

At the end of the day all said and done, smell is not going to be everything. It will however ensure that you get noticed by a girl and while some theories as mentioned above have said that women can smell how compatible they are with you (subconsciously), I feel based on asking a number of women that it is a combination of things, with smell being just as important as personality, style and grooming. What we conclude from all this is that women’s noses could very well be a deciding factor in the complex game called dating. So boys next time you go out don’t forget to shower and throw on a dab of aftershave! You can thank me later.



 Featured image copyright of Old Spice
Giph source: Giphy