You wouldn’t go to a braai wearing a suit, would you? Nor would you attend a formal dinner in a vest. The same logic applies to cologne – you shouldn’t be wearing a strong musky fragrance to a tennis game, for example.

Here’s our guide to buying and building your own fragrance wardrobe.


You can divide men’s fragrances into many categories and these are the main three: citrus, green and spicy.

CITRUS: These include fragrances with lemon and tangerine scents. These are perfect for that fresh just-out-of-the shower feeling.

Fragrance suggestion:

Fragrance Armani Prive

The Armani Prive Vétiver Babylone is infused with notes of mandarin, orange and bergamot. It’s the perfect fresh fragrance for that summer holiday along the coast.

GREEN: Fragrances that fall under this category are crisp and sharp, often including green leaves, tea leaves, cut grass and marine plant scents.

Fragrance suggestion:


Lacoste L.12.12. Vert is the perfect scent for a day out on the court or a workout at the gym. This fresh fragrance has citrus notes of bergamot, grapefruit and iced melon, and extracts of birch leaf, fig, blue lavender and thyme – a true refresher on the court.

SPICY: Spicy fragrances are made with exotic woody undertones such as sandalwood, musk, nutmeg, clove, exotic flowers and cinnamon.

Fragrance suggestion:

Fragrance Dolce and Gabbana

Dolce and Gabbana’s Intenso Pour Homme has hints of basil and lavender, with sandalwood and musk at its base. This is the perfect fragrance for that first hug after a first date.

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Knowing these categories will help you decide what works for you in the different environments you find yourself in. Your style is the greatest aid in helping you decide which fragrance family will work for you in which context.

If your style is very casual and relaxed, a citrus or green fragrance is what you should be going for. A spicy fragrance would be a bit too heavy for you.

On the other hand, if you’re more on the Harvey Spector side of the style spectrum, a strong authoritative spicy fragrance is a great choice.


For work: Citrus 

It’s always best to opt for a fresh, clean-smelling citrus fragrance for the office. Be sure to choose one that isn’t too overpowering. Musky fragrances are not suitable for daytime or work contexts because of their strong rich character.

For sport: Green 

Green fragrances are designed to stimulate the senses and are enhanced when one has worked up a sweat.

They are typified by a sense of freshness and energy, and give off an outdoor-like vibe because of their green plant-based formula.

Green fragrances are usually infused with citrus and peppery notes to add a bit of zing to the mix.

For the evening: Spicy

When dressing for dates or evening events, it’s advisable to go for spicy fragrances because of their strength, presence and ability to last.

Vanilla and musk-type fragrances have a very sensual appeal and are the best options for an evening date. Details recommends fragrances with hints of amber, vetiver and oudh as these are known to last.

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For a summer holiday: Citrus 

Deep woody and musky scents are not advisable for a day out in the sun because they are often intensified by the heat and can become quite overpowering.

Opt for lighter fragrances for days in the sun. Colognes with marine, green, herbal and citrus notes are ideal because of the fresh cool impression they create.

Discovering what works for you can be a bit of a process and needs a lot of patience. That said, developing your fragrance style is worth the effort and you’ll be able to easily update your fragrance collection each season once you know what suits you best.

Sources: Details, Fashion Beans, D-Marge