Handsomeness is not all about looking great. It’s equal parts smelling great. You know those times when you thought you’d impressed on a first date and did no wrong, and then have her ghost you anyway?

There’s a good chance it had something to do with your fishy B.O.

In this instalment of our Serious Grooming Guide, we dish out the right way to shop for a fragrance and make it your own – one of the sneakiest and most effective chemical weapons you could ever employ to charm someone into a puddle.

But first, for the benefit of you guys who have a tendency to break out in torrential sweat…

Take a Shower

Just in case you’re still living like a freaking animal.

Do You Deo?

Sweating is bad. It gets a lot of flak. Like finding a roach in a heart-warming bowl of prawn mee, it just ruins everything.

Spray, stick, roll-on – take your pick of deodorant according to your preference and let it be the first layer of defence against funky wafts.

But some argue that sweating is good. They are not wrong. You need to let your natural body processes process the bad shit out the pits and whatnots.

Unless you know how to read ingredients on labels of supermarket deos, or you really decide to be nonchalant about it, check in at the department store (or your favourite brand’s standalone store) and ask the salesperson to recommend something that effectively fights horrible smells while allowing you to sweat responsibly.

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Main Event: How To Shop For The Right Fragrance

It’d be revolutionary to have a bespoke perfumer design something that automatically adjusts its scent profile according to your personality. That way, you won’t need to learn to bloody tell your bergamots from your patchoulis, your sandalwoods from your cedars.

The lazy, convenient way is to, again, get the salesperson’s counsel. But she doesn’t know you for who you are. You do. Plus, her job is to peddle the more expensive bottles with scant regard for whether you’re going to come across a pretentious cologne-wearer.

When you’re at the store, your first step is to pass on the perfume strips. You should spray on actual skin. Next, read the label. Is it an Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum? You should be going for the Parfum – the highest concentration of fragrance with longer staying power (think of Eau de Toilette as a deo).

Your final step: re-examine your lifestyle. Are you that average 9-to-6 salaryman with the occasional social night? A light, citrusy scent is a fail-safe, entry-level grooming move. Or are you on the opposite end of the spectrum – a hedonistic, James Dean type suffocating other people with your testosterone? Your best bet are deeply masculine, musky scents.

Experienced guys in the market for something daring – a sweet, floral option to embrace the hidden SNAG in you, perhaps?

And if you have absolutely no clue what citrus, musk or floral smells like, this is the part when you should call the salesperson over to knock some common scents into you.

Vital Application Points

Wearing your brand new fragrance is like sipping on tea, not downing a beer tower. Do not drown in it. The cost per spritz is expensive AF.

Do it sparingly on parts that permeate best:

  1. Either side of neck, behind the ears
  2. Wrists
  3. Folds of your elbows
  4. Base of neck
  5. Spray it in the air and leap through the mist

Editor’s note: Have you taken your shower?