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Why Do Guys Wear Cologne To Work? (EXPLAINED)

You may have noticed someone at the office that smells especially nice — but why do guys wear cologne to work, anyway? If you’ve been pondering that question, you’ve come to the right place.

In this quick guide, we’ll be putting our years of cologne research and experience to work in answering all of your most pressing questions about why guys wear cologne to work, including tips for which colognes are best for work and why we think you should wear cologne every day. 

By the end of the article, you’ll be fully in the know for why to wear cologne to work. So let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Why Do Guys Wear Cologne To Work?

While it may sound like dodging the question, guys wear cologne to work so that they can smell better and feel more masculine even if it means looking for expensive colognes so they can find their signature scent.

After all, isn’t that the whole purpose of cologne?

This means it’s useful to ask “why do guys want to smell good at work?” to tease out a man’s motivation for wearing cologne to work. And in our experience, guys want to smell better at work for three simple reasons:

  1. To enhance their professional appearance by adding a fine fragrance to carefully selected clothing.
  2. To feel confident and unique, by knowing that they’ve put a lot of time and effort into their personal care.
  3. To make a good impression on their coworkers and, potentially, clients that visit the business.

Additionally, many men are in the habit of wearing cologne as a part of their daily routine, independent of work, and will wear the same colognes on the weekend that they wear during the week.

Should A Man Wear Cologne To Work?

With the considerations listed in the above section in mind, is it appropriate for a man to wear cologne to work? We think so — but with one big caveat:

The cologne a guy wears to work should be appropriately subtle.

It’s definitely an office faux pas to wear a big, powerful, intensely fragrant cologne to work. We tend to recommend more classic scents for wearing to work, like the fresh and zesty notes found in the best barbershop fragrances for men. So save your intense tobacco colognes for after work and weekends.

If you can find and wear a pleasantly aromatic (but not overpowering) cologne, we think that you should definitely wear it to work. It will go a long way towards making you feel your best, and can be a great complement to workwear attire.

This also means you shouldn’t replace your cologne with deodorant or with aftershave.

And if you’re wondering whether you should choose body spray vs cologne… choose cologne.

What Does It Mean When A Guy Wears Cologne?

There’s an elephant in the room that we need to address when it comes to guys wearing cologne: The idea that any guy who takes care of himself — by wearing cologne, using moisturizers, or trying unconventional jewelry — is making a statement about his sexuality. But is this true?

Honestly, no. While some subcultures might use personal care products as a way of indicating membership in a group, this doesn’t mean that those items always signify that. Assuming that it does says more about the person making assumptions than the guy who’s wearing a cologne.

So to answer the question of what it means when a guy wears a cologne: It means that he likes taking care of himself, and enjoys smelling great. And you know what women love? A guy who smells great and takes care of himself.

Is Cologne Tacky?

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines tacky as “not having or exhibiting good taste”, adding that it is “marked by cheap showiness”. So when you consider whether cologne is tacky, you may want to ask: Which cologne are you talking about, and in what situation?

We’re of the opinion that any luxury item is only as tacky as the way you use it. For example: A gold watch can be a gorgeous part of a formal outfit, but it’ll probably stand out (in a bad way) if you wear it with sweats and a dirty t-shirt.

The same is true of cologne. Applied liberally without concern for other people’s nostrils, any cologne can be tacky. But take that same cologne and use just a hint of it, and it can add a certain something to your presentation that makes ladies want to get a little bit closer. 

Does Cologne Make A Guy More Attractive?

Here’s the thing: Women love a man who takes care of himself. Behind all of the other decisions on what to wear, how much to work out, and what sort of haircut to have, most women are just looking for a man that values his personal appearance enough to put some effort into it.

In that way, we think it’s clear that cologne does make a guy more attractive. The real trick, though, is knowing how to pick a cologne for any situation that will leave you smelling fantastic — and appropriate to where you’re wearing it. Once you find your signature scent, you’ll feel a boost of confidence every time you put it on, and instantly become more attractive to any ladies you meet.

Should You Wear Cologne Everyday?

With all of the benefits we’ve explained in the previous sections in mind, why wouldn’t you wear cologne every day?

Quite honestly, cologne is one of the best ways for any guy to spruce up his appearance and personal care routine. And if you take a deeper interest into how colognes are made, collecting colognes can become an enjoyable hobby in its own right.

Whether you’re going to work at an office, working from home, or taking the weekend off to get out in the sunshine, wearing cologne will help you feel like your best self. It’s become an integral part of our morning grooming routines, and a meaningful bit of personal attention that can be hard to come by these days. 

For best results, build a collection of colognes you can wear for different situations.

Best Cologne To Wear To Work

Alright, then: We’ve convinced you. Cologne is great, every guy should wear it, and you should definitely be wearing it to work. Now which cologne really performs best in the workplace?

As we said earlier, the fragrance notes you choose should be on the subtle side rather than the overtly intense. Classic woody fragrances are the name of the game, as they are explicitly masculine without being overwhelming or offensive. Basically, they take a neutral approach to expressing masculinity and never go over the top on intense fragrance notes.

For a complete list of the right colognes to wear to work, please check out our guide to the best office cologne for men. It’s a thorough overview of our favorite office colognes, with options for every style and budget. Wear something like Hugo Boss Bottled, and you’ll definitely be splashing on the best cologne that you can wear to work.

Brian has been fascinated with fragrances since his 8th birthday, when his Dad gifted him a bottle of Acqua di Gio. Since then, he has become a men's grooming & style aficionado who teaches men how to look sharp. Backed by personal experience, Brian's articles are known for his no-holds-barred style where he holds nothing back. You will get his real opinions on the latest men's grooming products and best practices where he reveals the best (and worst) style advice every man should know.