In the comments on "Your Mental Model is Flawed," M asked the following question about cologne:
“Speaking of expensive cologne...is it worth the investment? Right now my only scent is my deodorant, lol.”
I gave a quick response, but I've been wanting to do a piece on male scent for a while now. I spent a great deal of time diving into this to figure out what the "ideal" scent for men was... was it a cologne? A body spray? An aftershave? Was it pheromones? Something else? What scent gets you the best results with women?
They all propose to turn you into a man irresistible to women, of course... but most of it's just noise to be tuned out. There had to be, I felt certain, a specific solution out there somewhere to the question of what scent women like best.
Today's article chronicles my own intermittent investigation - spanning perhaps 15 years - into the phenomenon of male scent, and takes a look at what the research on scent has to say.
And my guess is, if you're accustomed to the standard advice thrown
liberally about in Western society, you'll be in for a bit of a
When I first hit puberty, I started using generic roll-on deodorants from Avon (my mother was an Avon lady), and I selected a Calvin Klein cologne I liked the smell of to wear.
I did a lot of things wrong.
The deodorant I used was a liquid with an old-fashioned roller ball
that you'd roll across your armpit. It was wet, it was sticky, and it
was rather uncomfortable. But, it was all I knew, so I used it. I
used several different varieties, but never got any compliments on
them. At least they kept me from smelling bad, like some of the other
kids in class, I reasoned.
The cologne I selected was one that appealed to my olfactory glands. It was called "Obsession for Men." I used it for five years - junior high, and the first three years of high school. My sister would complain constantly that the bathroom "smelled really bad" after I finished using it in the morning, but I always wrote this off as sibling rivalry. Our family cat loved when I used the cologne, anyway - she'd lick my face and rub against it whenever I had Obsession on and knelt down to greet her.
It took me five years to discover that women find the sent of Obsession for Men repulsive, and all cats - including tigers, cheetahs, and jaguars - are intoxicated by it (see the Wall Street Journal article "Big Cats Obsess Over Calvin Klein's 'Obsession for Men'").
Apparently, the scent I'd been sporting for half a decade repelled women, but attracted cats.
However, that experience started me off on a new obsession of my own: finding a male scent for me that would be every bit as scintillating to women as my old one had been to cats.
A Simple Poll
Late in high school, once I realized I was wearing a smell that girls hated, I began to ask the girls around me what their favorite cologne was.
"Cool Water, by Davidoff," one would tell me. "Cool Water," the next said. "Cool Water... definitely Cool Water," I heard again.
Cool Water it was.
So I went shopping and bought a bottle of Cool Water. I took a whiff... it smelled awful to me. Ugh! But, I asked my mother and sister to smell it, and they agreed it smelled wonderful.
I started wearing Cool Water everyday, and women started complimenting me on my scent - something that had (understandably) never happened before.
I also changed my deodorant, to something less "slimy" and more comfortable to use. For the life of me, I can't remember now what I used then, but it was a green stick and I used it for a long time. That one also I didn't much like the smell of, but women told me smelled good.
So there I was, wearing a cologne I didn't like the smell of, but women told me smelled great, and a deodorant I didn't like the smell of, but women told me smelled great.
I spent years surrounded by what was to me a bad smell all for the sake of smelling good for women.
But, despite the compliments, women were hardly tearing my clothes off. In fact, I didn't see any difference at all in how women were treating me.
Maybe a male's scent didn't matter much after all.
When I first began dabbling with approaching women while out and about in 2005, I decided to purchase some male pheromones, and see if they made an impact. There was no smell, and I couldn't see any real noticeable difference. Women seemed a little warmer... I thought... but I really couldn't be sure. It might just be a psychological confidence boost.
I finally got a girl I met at the gym to say "yes" to a date with me while wearing pheromones. We almost went home together that night, on my first date ever, except that I over-drank, and I didn't know what I was doing and was in over my head out one-on-one with a girl, something that never happened.
And I got my first phone number from a girl I met at a nightclub while wearing pheromones - a tall, slinky, beautiful girl in sexy attire from Trinidad who'd become something of a legend among people who knew in some of my earliest field reports after I discovered the seduction community and repeatedly tried to pull this girl from nightclubs (in front of her boyfriend).
But, I wasn't sure if I could chalk this up to the pheromones, or if
it was simply because I was finally out there trying
to make progress with women for the first real time in my life.
Ultimately, I stopped using the pheromones, and I kept progressing with
women just the same.
A Change of Brands
After university, and after I'd moved to California, I eventually changed brands again, both for deodorant and for cologne.
The new deodorant I selected - actually, an antiperspirant - was Right Guard Sport, which felt great to me, smelled great to me, and which women told me smelled great to them, too - when I'd be wearing no cologne at all but have that deodorant on, women would tell me, "Wow, you smell great!" I knew that one was a hit.
I also read some good reviews for the Victoria's Secret cologne Very Sexy for Him, and decided to try a bottle of that. I did, and found that not only did women like that one more, on average, than they did the Cool Water cologne, but I actually liked it, too.
At last, I'd found two scents I could wear that both *I* liked and *girls* liked, as well.
But did it help?
To get a more complete picture and go beyond the anecdotal, I wanted
to have a look at what the research has to say about male scent,
cologne, and the like. I found five (5) relevant pieces of research.
We start with a look at men's colognes, oils, and body sprays.
Our first piece of research is an excerpt from the 2009 book Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, by Mary Roach, as reported at Barking Up the Wrong Tree (a fascinating website in its own right):
“Stop wearing cologne. Women don’t find it attractive. If you don’t believe me, here is a quote from a press release from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago: “Men’s colognes actually reduced vaginal blood flow.” Foundation director Al Hirsch hooked women up to a vaginal photoplethysmograph and had them wear surgical masks scented with ten different aromas or combinations of aromas. (To be sure the women weren’t just getting aroused by dressing up in surgical masks, Hirsch put unscented masks onto a control group.) In addition to the smell of cologne, the women were turned off by the scent of cherry and of “charcoal barbeque meat.” At the top of the women’s turn-on list was, mysteriously, a mixture of cucumber and Good ’n’ Plenty candy. It was said to increase vaginal blood flow by 13 percent.”
If you're unfamiliar with genital blood flow monitoring, this is used to find out rather conclusively whether someone finds something sexually arousing or not. In other studies, women have been found to have increased vaginal blood flow in response to sexual stimuli regardless of whether they report being aroused or not (that is to say, certain stimuli aroused women whether they admitted it or not).
In this case, colognes reduced arousal.
Which is a curious finding.
But the excerpt left me wondering...
Does this mean only a few colognes were used?
Does this mean only one cologne was used, and the other nine scents were other smells?
Was the one cologne used Obsession for Men, by Calvin Klein?
Because I didn't have these details, I was afraid to make a blanket statement writing off men's cologne altogether based on a limited study of unknown variables here... but it did raise some interesting questions.
(One of the most interesting questions being, perhaps, why and how does the aroma of cucumber and Good 'n' Plenty mixed together make women horny and excited?)
So, I did some more digging, and I found that the book's source was
apparently a U.S. patent filed in 1998.
According to U.S. Patent number 7067162, "Use of odorants to alter blood flow to the vagina," citing a multitude of sources and filed by Alan R. Hirsch, director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago:
“Examples of odorants and odorant mixture that can be administered to increase vaginal blood flow by about 10-30%, include a baby powder odorant, a mixture of licorice-based odorant and banana nut bread odorant, a floral-aldehydic perfume fragrance such as Chanel No. 5 and White Linen, a mixture of lavender and pumpkin pie odorants, and a mixture of baby powder and chocolate odorants. Examples of licorice-based odorants include a black licorice odorant, and Good N' Plenty® (licorice and anise) odorant. Such odorants are commercially available, for example, from International Flavors and Fragrances, Inc. (IFF, New York, N.Y.), Energy Essentials, AromaTech, Inc. (Somerville, N.J.), Florasynth, Inc. (Teterboro, N.J.), and as essential oils. Such individual odorants and odorant mixtures have been found to be particularly useful in increasing vaginal blood flow in female individuals who are highly aroused by masturbation.”
Okay, now we're getting somewhere. Hirsch's patent continues:
“According to the invention, odorants can be administered to decrease vaginal blood flow of a female individual. With a reduction in vaginal blood flow, the female individual experiences an inhibited or reduced level of sexual arousal. Examples of odorants and odorant mixture that can be administered to decrease vaginal blood flow by about 10-20% include a licorice-based odorant alone, a cologne such as Old Spice®, a floral-aldehydic perfume fragrance such as Chanel No. 5 and White Linen, a charcoal barbecue meat odorant, and a cherry odorant. Such odorants and odorant mixtures have been found to be particularly useful in reducing vaginal blood flow in female individuals who are minimally or not highly sexually aroused by masturbation or manual manipulation of the female genitals.”
All right - now we have it. It wasn't Obsession for Men, but Old Spice that Hirsch found was a turnoff for women.
But that still only leaves us with one cologne tested, and many more not.
Axe Body Spray - Does It Work?
My freshman year of college, I was blessed with an incredibly noxious roommate. Due to what I can only assume were atrocious eating habits, he'd launch unbelievably potent flatulence at all times of the day, including in the middle of the night while sleeping (and he'd complain to no end when I'd open up the window wide in the middle of a freezing, blustery Pennsylvania winter because I wanted fresh air no matter the temperature and I didn't want to suffer in silence in that stench). To try and mask the violent odor constantly being expelled from his body, he - an otherwise tidy guy - would spray large amounts of air freshener (the scent of which I grew to hate) all over the room, and AXE Body Spray (which I also grew to hate) all over himself.
Ever since then, I've been as opposed to AXE Body Spray as I have been Dave Matthews Band, which that roommate also drove me to hate. So I've looked rather dismissively at the AXE Body Spray commercials that show women lustily attacking men wearing the spray.
If you haven't seen them, here's the most famous of those ads (currently with 40 million views on YouTube):
And here's the second most watched of them (with 25 million YouTube views):
Well, as it turns out, my old roommate just may have been onto something. Another book excerpt, this one from The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature, again courtesy Barking Up the Wrong Tree:
“Interestingly, the so-called Axe effect seems to actually exist. In a recent study, men were sprayed either with a deodorant imbued with an active concoction (flavor oil and an antimicrobial constituent) or with a nonactive version. Subsequently, they were asked to provide several self-evaluations (e.g., self-confidence and self-attractiveness). Then short videos were recorded of the male participants, which were subsequently viewed by female raters, who rated the men along several metrics (confidence and attractiveness). Incredibly, not only did the men who received the active deodorant provide higher ratings of self-confidence but also women rated these men as more attractive (based on viewing the short video clips).”
So, the researchers apparently sprayed men with either an active deodorant or a placebo, and the men with the active concoction both gave themselves higher ratings and received higher ratings from women.
I can't find this study - there may be a reference in the actual book, but I don't have a copy of the book on me as I'm writing this - so I can't read any further about the researchers conclusions. If I had to guess, though, the flavor oil in the active concoction probably led to some sort of scent that the men smelled and liked, providing the confidence boost, which led to better posture, eye contact, and nonverbals displayed on the video of those men shown to the women, who then found them more attractive.
My assumption - not having access to the full research here - would be that, unlike the odors and vaginal blood flow phenomenon, this is a placebo effect after all - the men smelled the smell, got the confidence boost, the confidence boost improved their nonverbals, and the women rated them as more attractive for it.
Perhaps if you had the women smell AXE directly and monitored the blood flow to their vaginas, you'd get a different story.
Verdict on AXE: the jury's ultimately still out.
Now for the remaining piece of the puzzle.
Researchers from Sweden put together a pair of studies, one on heterosexual men and women, and the next on homosexual men, reviewing the impact of smelling male and female hormones from other individuals.
“The anatomical pathways for processing of odorous stimuli include the olfactory nerve projection to the olfactory bulb, the trigeminal nerve projection to somatosensory and insular cortex, and the projection from the accessory olfactory bulb to the hypothalamus. In the majority of tetrapods, the sex-specific effects of pheromones on reproductive behavior is mediated via the hypothalamic projection. However, the existence of this projection in humans has been regarded as improbable because humans lack a discernable accessory olfactory bulb. Here, we show that women smelling an androgen-like compound activate the hypothalamus, with the center of gravity in the preoptic and ventromedial nuclei. Men, in contrast, activate the hypothalamus (center of gravity in paraventricular and dorsomedial nuclei) when smelling an estrogen-like substance. This sex-dissociated hypothalamic activation suggests a potential physiological substrate for a sex-differentiated behavioral response in humans.”
And, the follow-up study, on homosexual men, "Brain response to putative pheromones in homosexual men":
“The testosterone derivative 4,16-androstadien-3-one (AND) and the estrogen-like steroid estra-1,3,5(10),16-tetraen-3-ol (EST) are candidate compounds for human pheromones. AND is detected primarily in male sweat, whereas EST has been found in female urine. In a previous positron emission tomography study, we found that smelling AND and EST activated regions covering sexually dimorphic nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus, and that this activation was differentiated with respect to sex and compound. In the present study, the pattern of activation induced by AND and EST was compared among homosexual men, heterosexual men, and heterosexual women. In contrast to heterosexual men, and in congruence with heterosexual women, homosexual men displayed hypothalamic activation in response to AND. Maximal activation was observed in the medial preoptic area/anterior hypothalamus, which, according to animal studies, is highly involved in sexual behavior. As opposed to putative pheromones, common odors were processed similarly in all three groups of subjects and engaged only the olfactory brain (amygdala, piriform, orbitofrontal, and insular cortex). These findings show that our brain reacts differently to the two putative pheromones compared with common odors, and suggest a link between sexual orientation and hypothalamic neuronal processes.”
The finding here was, women (and homosexual men) have a region of the hypothalamus strongly associated with sexual behavior activated by smelling the testosterone found in men's sweat.
Straight men, when smelling this, simply have normal olfactory regions of the brain light up that have nothing to do with anything sexual. Conversely, straight men smelling the estrogen from women's urine have the same sex-associated part of the brain light up that women and homosexual men do when smelling men's sweat testosterone.
The effect on straight men almost certainly ties back with what we talked about in "What's the Best Way to Pick Up Girls? Get the Ones Looking for You," when discussing the research on the impact of women being in their fertile periods and their effect on men (in addition to the effect on their own mate preferences at the time versus other times) - basically, women seem to be putting something in the air while fertile that men react to quite strongly and instinctively.
Well, this research from Sweden in 2001 seems to show that the scent of the sweat of men is having the same kind of effect on women.
There's one other piece of research I want to cover, too, but bear with me until we get to the next section if you find yourself wondering why this one is relevant.
That's on the impact of cortisol - stress hormone - on the natural scent attractiveness of males, from "Scent attractiveness and endocrine status in male students before and during a stress situation":
“Scent attractiveness of sweat samples collected from male students before and during theoretical exams was assessed by female students. Five-rank scale was used for subjective assessment of the scent samples in term unpleasant/pleasant. Scent attractiveness depended on physiological conditions of both recipients and donors. Male students with low basal concentration of salivary cortisol smelt better than students with high level of cortisol. High level of salivary testosterone also was associated with low scent attractiveness of the male students, but only for the recipients in non-receptive phase of menstrual cycle. In all, the females who were in receptive phase of menstrual cycle assessed scent attractiveness of male students higher then the females in non-receptive phase. Exam stress coincided with increase of the salivary cortisol resulting in decline of scent attractiveness in male students. The negative effect of exam was most prominent in students that failed exam and in student who aspired to be the best but failed. So, the exam stress and basal variation of stress-related physiological indexes, such as salivary cortisol, are mirrored in male chemical signals, which are recognized by females.”
Straightforward enough: the more stressed out a man becomes, the less attractive his scent becomes to women.
Interestingly, high testosterone is also rated as unattractive by
women, but only by women who aren't
fertile. This matches what we discussed in the previous article
linked to, where we saw that women are very attracted to manly men
fertile (to the point of flirting / cheating on unmanly partners with
manly men to get better genes while ovulating), while they prefer
safer, lower testosterone males to take care of and provide for them
when not sexually receptive and not able to be impregnated.
That (the note on cortisol) is going to impact how we decide to do what we're going to do with our own male scent - and I'll talk about how just below.
So what do we know? Here's a quick recap:
Women are turned on by baby powder / licorice and banana nut bread / lavender and pumpkin pie / baby powder and chocolate odors
Women are turned off by Old Spice (sorry, Old Spice) / charcoal barbecue meat / cherries
Women like confident men (of course)
Women are turned on by the testosterone contained in male sweat
Women are turned off by the cortisol (stress hormone) contained in male sweat
I had all these basic theories in mind (I was aware of testosterone and cortisol research many years back) when I had an interesting string of experiences: prolific seducers who took their smells and went au naturel.
Musk: The Natural Male Scent
After my first year of learning how to pick up girls on my own, I discovered the pickup community and realized there was a group of men already doing this, and I took swift action. I signed up for training with several of the most talented coaches out there - I wanted to see the top guys in action, and I wanted to learn from the best to expedite my own learning.
And I noticed something curious - the most talented, baddest-ass instructors I had who approached tons of women and got the strongest attraction the fastest all stunk.
As in, they smelled like they hadn't showered for days.
As in, being in their presence you really had to tolerate some musk.
One of them didn't even mention this, and shrugged it off when I pointed it out. Another of these guys told me that after he'd been dating women for a while - and this was a guy who dated models, dancers, and women from high society - they'd universally tell him how glad they were that he didn't wear deodorant or cologne.
I watched these guys walk around, get right up in women's personal space - women have better senses of smell than men, and if I could smell these guys from a few feet away, the women undoubtedly could, too - and the women would get happy, excited, affectionate, right away... these guys clearly had tons more sex appeal and a far stronger sexy vibe than I did back in 2006 and early 2007.
So I wondered to myself... could part of that sex appeal be the smell?
A (Totally Speculative) Theory
Based on the research I've read, and the men I've seen, I have a theory.
A theory about the male scent.
My theory is, that a man's musk serves as a "territory marking" signal that's at once both attractive to genetically compatible women, and repulsive to (non-homosexual) males, as well as genetically incompatible women.
If you read the article on the effect of the birth control pill on women's mate choices (here's the link again, in case you missed it), recall the research that finds that women appear to select mates who are genetically compatible to them by smell, and that women who go off the birth control pill and find that they're dating men incompatible to them soon break up with those men (without ever knowing smell had anything to do with it).
I've also heard - from countless anecdotal sources, though I've
never encountered research on it - that different colognes,
aftershaves, deodorants, body sprays, etc., work better or worse for
different men, based on that man's
The theory I arrived at was this:
Women are attracted to men by smell, looking for three (3) things: genetic compatibility, high levels of testosterone, and low levels of cortisol
Deodorant, cologne, and body spray are means of masking natural male scent, and in a sense "fooling" women's noses into liking (or NOT liking) you
Men who are new to approaching women and are unconfident will have higher levels of cortisol, and thus have scents that repel women
Men who are experienced approaching women and are comfortable and confident will have far lower levels of cortisol, and thus have scents that attract women
Men who are experienced approaching women and are accustomed to having lots of sex with women will also have naturally spiked testosterone levels, also attractive to women
My conclusions were thus:
Deodorant, cologne, and body spray alter your male scent, covering up cortisol, and adding testosterone-like substances (this is merely a guess, since cologne companies are very secretive about what they put in their concoctions, but I'm assuming there's something in the ones women find alluring that triggers similar parts of their brain to what male pheromones do)
Thus, if you have naturally unattractive body odor to a woman (i.e., you're stressed out; you're uncomfortable or unconfident; you're too genetically similar to the girl), you're better served by masking that with a cover up
Alternatively, if you have naturally attractive body odor to a woman (i.e., you're calm and collected; you're comfortable and confident; and you're genetically distinct from her), you're better served by eschewing cover up and going natural
Research in mind, and having encountered a few very talented seducers whom I knew were quite successful with women who did not use cologne or deodorant, I made up my mind to use these only while I was still on the beginner or intermediate parts of my learning curve with women, and to stop using them once I reached a place I felt sufficiently advanced.
Throwing Away My Deodorant
I didn't stop using cologne and deodorant until the end of 2009, several years after I'd first met those men who did exceptionally well with women and simultaneously smelled musky.
After all, while right there were a couple of guys who succeeded while smelling musky, there were plenty of OTHER examples I'd encountered throughout my lifetime of totally UNDESIRABLE men with a strong smell of musk, too (e.g., a homeless person).
Besides, I had work.
(As an aside: I've since become thoroughly convinced that the reason deodorant has become so popular only just in the 20th century was because in order for us all to be able to tolerate working with one another in close proximity in office settings, we had to begin masking our own odors)
Once I was out of an office setting though, and my skills with women had advanced enough that I was taking them home fairly consistently, I decided to try an experiment: I'd go without doing anything to control or change my natural odor other than showering with soap and water, and see what happened.
I could always go back and start using deodorant and cologne, after all.
Except, I never did. I never had any reason to. As soon as I quite cologne and deodorant, my attraction from women spiked. It spiked at the same time that I made some other tweaks, such as growing out some sexy facial hair and revamping my fashion, so I can't conclusively pin it on that.
But, if anything, it certainly didn't seem to make a difference in a negative way that I wasn't masking my scent.
And actually, as I suddenly seemed to be getting a lot of much stronger initial attraction from women, I didn't think that could be wholly chalked up solely to just changing my facial hair and getting a new jacket, either.
So What Should You Use for YOUR Scent?
I'm 3 1/2 years into forsaking deodorant and cologne, and I don't think I'd ever go back. I don't have a naturally strong scent - I went 10 days without showering once as an experiment, and only around Day 7 or Day 8 did people I asked tell me they could start smelling me when they were nearby to me. However, I also tend to take half-hour showers and scrub very thoroughly, because I'm something of a neat freak.
The reactions I get from women are more polarized these days than ever in my past. Some women are instantly strongly attracted to me from the outset; some are, for want of a better word, repelled. This is all across the spectrum in women - one very beautiful, fashionable, elegantly-dressed woman may be instantly drawn to me, and another may instantly want to get away from me, for instance. My suspicion is that an unmasked male scent contributes to this; the reactions are stronger than when I used to wear deodorant and cologne.
However, also bear in mind that I've been meeting women randomly this way since 2005, and it's not even remotely stressful for me; my cortisol levels are kept very low.
For this reason, my recommendations for men are as follows:
If you're a beginner or intermediate at getting girls - and you find yourself nervous with women sometimes - wear deodorant and wear cologne. These will help you mask the cortisol in your sweat - a turnoff for women - and they'll also cover up the lack of testosterone that comes from uncertainty and not being accustomed to "winning" (see: "How to Be a Dominant Man: What You Didn't Know About the 'Winner Effect'")
Once you're sufficiently advanced with women that you get consistent results, you're used to getting girls and sleeping with them, and your stress on meeting and seducing women is hovering somewhere close to "zero," drop the deodorant and drop the cologne. At that point, you almost certainly have very potent, attractive body chemistry going on - your body is signaling to women that you are confident, dominant, and stress-free, and if you're covering that up, you're missing a lot of strong initial attraction from girls
I can't stress that last one enough. It's unconventional advice, but I suspect that the men who fall into that category - men who are boundlessly confident and self-assured, and care far more about what works than about whether it's what they "should" or "should not" be doing, according to various anonymous members of society, aren't going to care a whole heck of a lot whether the deodorant industry will judge them gross for not using its products. (if you think it's gross to not use deodorant, don't worry - you're not in the right place to be not using it yet)
Most men reading this, I suspect, will still want to lean on scent alterations like these, however. In that case, I recommend that you check out:
Right Guard Sport for deodorant / antiperspirant. It lasts a long time, the scent is very fresh, and women seem to like it a lot. Try it out for yourself and see how it mixes with your own body chemistry, of course, but this one's pretty good.
Cool Water by Davidoff as one cologne / aftershave choice. This is the better choice for bars / nightclubs - it's a more robust scent than Very Sexy for Him.
Very Sexy for Him by Victoria's Secret as another cologne / aftershave choice (bonus: you get a legitimate reason for going into Victoria's Secret to pick up girls out shopping for lingerie). This scent isn't as strong as Cool Water, though it is nicer - you'll be best off using this one during the day, for work/school and for meeting girls on the street and in malls and shops and on transit.
CK One by Calvin Klein. I only used this one a little bit, toward the end of my scent-wearing days, but this one netted almost as many compliments as Very Sexy for Him did, and it's a stronger smell.
There are also plenty of other scents you can try and experiment and play around with, but these were the ones I found most effective and that garnered me the best results. I came to really prefer Very Sexy for Him the most toward the end, and rather than use Cool Water I'd sometimes just put a heavier dash of VSM on instead to make up for the scent's lack of sturdiness.
Preparing to Smell Like You
Overall, my view these days is that deodorant and cologne are nice crutches while you're learning how to get girls, but are things you'll want to abandon as soon as you realistically can. It doesn't seem to matter how strong or not your smell is once you're good with women; at that point, you seem to be able to just let that smell loose, and some women will be very attracted, and others will not be, and that's okay - you'll get the girls who are most into you, which is what you want.
Until you get there though, don't be afraid to use a nice deodorant and cologne (or maybe even AXE... though I'm still skeptical).
Just, whatever you do, don't use Obsession for Men.
Unless you're into cats.