How To Smell Good Without Aftershave

Start turning heads (and noses) for all the right reasons

The world might have changed, but one thing hasn't: we all want to know how to smell good. (Obviously. Who, bar bona fide sociopaths and hardcore body odour fetishists, wouldn't?) Sadly, an eau de toilette will only take you so far. For an aroma that causes a double-take (the good kind), you also need to line your sink ledge with products that hit the right notes. To that end, ahead are five key men's fragrance ingredients to look out and where you can find them next time you're ready for a restock. 


How To Smell Good: Five Fragrance Notes To Look Out For



It's easy to see – or rather, smell – why citrus fragrances are so popular. Versatile and varied, they range from pure, lemony-spritzes to complex blends sliced with bitter grapefruit and spicy bergamot. If you like clean, fresh-from-the-shower scents, try Murdock's barbershop-style Shave Cream or use Baxter of California's Hydro Salve Body Lotion to lay a light foundation for your cologne to cling to and last longer throughout the day. 




There are thousands of ingredients available to perfume creators, but one they return to time and time again is sandalwood. And for good reason. The smell of books, pencil shavings and campfires, it's at once warm, woody and creamy. For those who want to smell good and have a clean conscious, there's Plant Apothecary's Get It On Bodywash, which is certified organic, vegan and cruelty-free, or Grown Alchemist's equally kind to skin Shaving Gel.




Similar to the way a stick of gum gives your mouth an instantly cool feeling, applying a product containing mint can sometimes be all you need to wake up or combat rising temperatures. That doesn't mean you'll leave the house smelling like toothpaste, though. Often mint is balanced with notes like bitter grapefruit or herbaceous rosemary, as is the case with Eurosport's Conditioning Shampoo Bar, or earthy floral lavender, like in Heath's Hand Salve.




The story goes that neroli is named after an Italian aristocrat from the 17th century who was fond of using the oil of the bitter orange tree to scent their bathwater. So it should come as no surprise, then, that the extract continues to make an appearance in several bathroom shelf staples. Despite an underlying zesty zing, neroli scents are more often described as clean-smelling, even soapy, making them the perfect addition to Triumph & Disaster's YLF Body Wash and AKT's aptly named Orange Grove deodorant.




If you want a fragrance that's long-lasting (both on the skin and in terms of its appeal), make vetiver your pick. A natural oil from the roots of a dry grass native to India, this woody, earthy scent has been used since the Middle Ages and today appears in around a fifth of all male colognes. Perhaps that's why it pairs well with other products that endure from morning to night, like Patricks' M3 Matte Strong Hold Pomade and The Onsen deodorant by AKT.