Why risk your reputation on a scent, when you can just blend into the crowd? You’re the guy who prefers unscented body wash, fragrance-free shave cream, baking-soda toothpaste, and neutral-but-neutralizing deodorant. You would rather smell like nothing than potentially polarize someone with a perfumed product. And there’s nothing wrong with that; it’s far better than smelling bad and much safer than taking a gamble on expensive but not-so-great colognes. (And maybe you just don’t trust your own taste in picking a high-investment fragrance like that. Which is also a legitimate concern.)
Assuming you’re not totally averse to scent and are merely playing it safe, then perhaps you’re willing to try one on for size. Every person should have a signature scent, even if he or she doesn’t wear it on a signature (that is, daily) basis. You should have it at the ready for special occasions or important impressions. If this is your first foray into fragrances, well, you’re in good hands.
The best colognes for you should be subtle and simple. The fragrances shouldn’t call attention to themselves, but make a solid impression—albeit an understated one. Here are seven such scents, each worthy of being your not-so-flagrant go-to.
Also, as a rule of thumb, if you want a subtle scent: Shop for EDTs (Eau de Toilettes) instead of EDPs (Eau de Parfums). EDTs are made with lower concentrations of perfume oils and thus are less pronounced or wear away faster than EDPs. However, the EDPs we’ve included below are chosen for their subtlety or because they’re universally adored for their simplicity.
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