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How To Make Your Cologne Last A Hell Of A Lot Longer

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For GQ by Stephen J. Praetorius.

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Matt Martin

As you walk out the door in the morning, you spritz yourself with a hit of cologne, thinking it'll serve as the perfect finishing touch for the day ahead. Easy enough. But by the time you make it to the office, you realize that the stuff as dissipated to the point that you can barely whiff it at all--a damn shame given the amount of cash you had to drop to buy the bottle. Well, good news! It doesn't have to be that way. Here, all the things you can do to add precious hours to the life of your favorite designer fragrance, and give yourself a solid shot at smelling fresh all day long. Or at least until you have time to reapply.

DO: Apply right after you shower.
If you think the best time to spray is at the last possible moment before leaving home--since, logic tells you, that'll give it less time to disappear before you see people--then think again. In truth, the perfect moment to apply is just as you're getting out from under the shower. It's at that point that your pores are at their most open, allowing cologne to seep into the skin and giving you a longer-lasting aroma.

DON'T: Keep the bottle in the bathroom.
Warm. Wet. Bright. Your bathroom may be a great place to get ready in the morning, but when it comes to protecting your valuable bottle of cologne, it's not exactly up to the task. Because, you see, heat, humidity, and light can actually speed the breakdown of your favorite scents. So instead, keep your cologne somewhere cool, dark, and dry, like on your nightstand or whatever.

DO: Moisturize beforehand.
You know how, after long periods of drought, the ground has trouble retaining water, causing landslides, flooding, and the like? Think of applying fragrance to dry skin as kind of the same thing; unless your hide is properly moisturized, cologne won't absorb as efficiently, making it evaporate more quickly. And if you're trying to get your scent to stick around for the long haul, that's something you want to avoid.

DON'T: Spray directly onto your clothes.
Sure, there's something to be said for the "mist" method of cologne application. Especially for more potent colognes, it can be a nice way to make sure you don't overdo it. But if there's one thing you truly want to avoid, it's a direct hit to the shirt or jacket. Besides the fact that it can damage the garment (since many colognes are alcohol-based), your scent will also dissipate quickly and strongly due to airflow.

DO: Layer your fragrance.
There's a reason that most fragrances these days are made with corresponding soaps, aftershaves, body balms, and more. By using these complementary products, you remove competing scents from your aroma repertoire, which could otherwise detract from the bouquet of your cologne.

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