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You can tell a lot about a person by the way they smell. If you are meeting someone for the first time and they smell a certain way, you remember it — especially if they don’t smell the greatest. Smell also plays an important role in memory formation and attraction. That means how we smell has a major impact on the way people think about us as men.
So how do you learn how to smell good? We’ve got good news. If you want to smell better, there are only two simple principles you need to practice.
The first and most important: always practice good daily hygiene. That’s absolutely essential. If you aren’t showering, brushing your teeth, using deodorant, and washing your clothes on a regular basis, then you aren’t going to smell good.
Next, you need to invest in products that help you smell fresh. That includes everything from deodorant for daily use to premium colognes for special occasions. The types of products you need will also vary depending on your body. Some men need extra-strength mouthwash to fight bad breath, while other guys need foot spray to fight stinky feet.
Keep reading to find our favorite products to make sure you always smell your best. These products will add to your overall scent profile and have people asking, “What are you wearing?” for all the right reasons.
1. Make Sure Your Clothes Smell Good
Does anything smell better than fresh laundry? Few things in life do. However, you can help that freshly washed scent linger by using dryer sheets like these. While there are lots of dryer sheets to choose from, we like these lightly scented dryer sheets from Bounce. You can even use them to keep sweaters, jackets and jeans smelling fresh in between laundry day. Simply toss these clothes in the dryer for 15 minutes on medium heat with a dryer sheet. Fluffing your clothes with a dryer sheet is a guaranteed way to leave the house smelling your best.
2. Take Care of Your Skin and Facial Hair
We love a good two-for-one option, which is why this beard conditioner from Murdock London is so helpful. The lightly scented conditioner provides an earthy tone that not only smells fantastic but provides deep hydration for your skin. Plus, the formula serves to strengthen your beard hair, too. It’s an all-around winning product that prides functionality above all else.
When it comes to beard oil or lotions, most men prefer earthy scents. That means fragrances like sandalwood or cedarwood over floral scents like lavender.
3. Scented Hand Soap
Scented hand soaps really add to your scent in a subtle but important way. Meyer’s Clean Day Soaps are especially long-lasting and come in a variety of scrumptious flavors such as Lemon Verbena, Basil, and Lavender. These hand soaps clean your hands well and moisturize, without leaving a filmy residue.
Editor’s Note: For obvious reasons, hand soap is sold out pretty much everywhere right now. However, you should be able to find it at your local grocery store. We will update this post with new products when possible.
4. You Are What You Eat
Your overall diet has a big impact on your body in countless ways. In general, diets that are heavy on meat, processed food and alcohol do not result in a pleasant odor. If you’re worried about the way you smell, then it’s worth taking a good long look at your diet.
Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? Does your daily food intake involve a lot of processed and fast food?
If the answer is yes, then it’s time to invest in a balanced diet.
5. Invest in Cologne
Granted, cologne seems like a no-brainer option. Nevertheless, it’s an easy cheat code to level up your scent. We’ve covered a variety of different great options in our cologne guide — and even provided you with a way to make your own signature scent. Regardless of what you pick, just don’t go too heavy with the cologne.
Pro tip: cologne shouldn’t be used to mask bad smells. Rather, cologne should only be applied when you’re clean and smelling your best.
6. Use Deodorant Correctly
Smelly underarms are the number one contributor to bad body odor. When learning how to smell good, you have to make sure your underarms are fresh and free of stink. However, you have to use deodorant correctly. What do we mean by that?
We know that there are a lot of “all-natural” and aluminum-free deodorants on the market today. But if you’re worried about nasty body odor, this is not a grooming product you want to leave up to Mother Nature. Go with a classic aluminum antiperspirant. On top of that, we recommend also keeping a regular deodorant on hand, which can be used when you haven’t showered or just want to freshen up after a long day of work. Most brands sell an antiperspirant and regular deodorant, often with the same scent. It’s worth investing in both.
An all-time classic deodorant that lasts all day long is Old Spice High Endurance Antiperspirant Deodorant. We like the “Fresh” scent, which gives you just enough freshness without making your pits smell like flowers. Order this in both regular and antiperspirant so you always have the right tool on hand.
7. Use a Car Air Freshener
If you are a commuter who sits in the car for a long time, eats in your car or has pets that you bring in your car, a car freshener is a great way to keep yourself and your car smelling fresh. Febreze car fresheners conveniently clip onto your air vents while releasing a pleasant and refreshing scent that lasts for weeks, without being overpowering. A fresh smelling car is a great way to make sure you smell good too. And by using this clip-on instead of car sprays or scented wipes, you won’t be doing any damage to your upholstery or car components.
8. In-Wash Scent Booster
If you want to ensure your clothing has an extra boost of freshness, consider adding Downy’s Unstopables to your wash. The clothing equivalent of giving spinach to Popeye, these little beads will make your laundry fresh smelling for up to a staggering 12 weeks. And, of course, there are a variety of different smells, but this lavender version is our personal favorite.
9. Foot Powder Spray
When ranking the worst body odor offenders, there’s bad breath, sweaty armpits and smelly feet. A good foot spray like this product from Gold Bond helps to curb even the most offensive foot odor. Foot odor fighters usually come in powder form, but we prefer sprays for a no-mess application. Once your feet have dried from the shower, spray them with this odor-fighting formula for an all-day clean. Learning how to smell better requires a head to toe approach, and this product takes care of the toes.
10. Keep Mouthwash on Hand
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s just as critical as everything else on this list. No matter how good the rest of your body smells, nothing ruins a situation faster than a person with breath that is indistinguishable from a literal trash can. Make sure that’s not you with a great mouthwash like this option from Listerine. This particular version has an added bonus of helping to whiten your teeth, too. Every man has to learn how to smell good as they grow up, and as coffee becomes part of your everyday diet, mouthwash becomes equally important.