This is the biggest misconception guys have about cologne

Cologne or perfume? Does it really matter? Shutterstock

Sometimes, common knowledge is just plain wrong.

You may think that cologne is simply fragrance for men while perfume is fragrance for women, but that is actually a pretty recent idea, according to Askmen.

In fact, it isn’t so cut and dry, and the reason we have fallen into this paradigm is due to clever marketing.

In order to get men to wear fragrance in the 20th century, marketers positioned the weakest of the fragrance concentrations (Eau de Cologne, which has around 3% fragrance oil) combined with traditionally masculine scents like musk, as being exclusively made for men, to encourage them to break into the world of fragrance.

This had an unexpected side effect. Thereafter, the idea spread that cologne was exclusively for men and perfume for women — regardless of what the concoctions actually smelled like.

To add more confusion, colognes are no longer just eau de Cologne, but can be any of the other concentrations as well, like eau de toilette (around 10%) or eau de Parfum (between 15 and 20%).

So what does this mean for guys? It means they can forget about distinctions like cologne and perfume, and just wear the scents they like to wear, regardless of how they’re labelled. More and more fragrances are being labelled as unisex as well, and men shouldn’t be afraid to try those either.

We recommend trying out many different scents, on your skin, to see what kinds you still like at the end of the day. Then, make your favourites part of your scent wardrobe.

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