Why Do Guys Wear Cologne to Work? (Explained)

Smell is deeply intertwined with emotions and this is the primary reason why guys wear cologne to work.

When a guy smells nice at work, it makes them more appealing to coworkers. It can also make them appear to be more professional and dedicated to the job. When self-care carries over to how you choose to smell, this communicates to others that the guy cares about how he’s seen and is presented to others.

But when guys wear cologne to work, the consequences aren’t all positive. Keep reading for clarification on the pros and cons before deciding what to do.

Why Do Guys Wear Cologne to Work

7 Reasons Guys Wear Cologne to Work

Fragrance is an extension of your wardrobe. Caroline Herrara referred to personal fragrance as olfactory accessories.

Just as you might wear cufflinks, an ascot, or a timepiece, your garb is incomplete without scent – preferably a signature scent.

Olfactory Punctuation Mark

When you find a scent that works well on your skin and helps communicate who you are as a person, you’re metaphorically putting a punctuation mark behind the statement that you’re making about yourself.

Whether your scent is light and steady, forcefully woody, or a journey from one layer to the next, you’re using fragrance to communicate who you are as a person.

It’s an indirect way to guide coworkers’ and superiors’ understanding of and interactions with you.

All Eyes on You

A scent with moderate to strong projection draws attention, which can be helpful if you’re trying to command the room or carry out a presentation.

Your fragrance can cause peoples’ eyes to be glued to you before you even open your mouth without them understanding why.

There’s nothing worse than standing before a group of people who you need to communicate with, and you see them checking for text messages, scrolling through their phones, doodling, or staring out the window.

Your cologne isn’t a magic wand, but it can help narrow others’ focus, which can aid in making your presentation more effective.

Confidence Booster

As an extension of the last point, smelling nice can help boost your confidence.

When you’re standing before your peers and their eyes connect with yours, you might feel more seen and heard, which can make you feel better about yourself and what you have to say.

As you’re walking through the office, your cologne’s sillage leaves a trail. When peers notice your scent as you walk to and fro, they might become more drawn to you, which can also be a nice confidence booster.

Less Stressed

Work can be stressful. Your body might respond to stress in a different way from others but for some people increased stress equals increased perspiration.

And when perspiration comes in contact with the bacteria on your body, then it’s possible that you’ll begin to smell.

When you apply cologne to your body directly after a shower and before work, you might be able to prevent odors from developing.

When you know that you smell good, you can be overwhelmed with work without stressing out about how you might smell to your coworkers.

Having a strong grooming regime that includes a good cologne can help reduce stress in this way.

Helps You Stay Grounded

Even if you prefer to wear a scent with an intimate sillage, this can benefit you while at work.

You may already have strong relationships with coworkers, or you may not even be concerned with how others at work view you, in any case, it’s okay to wear cologne at work for your sole benefit.

Sometimes we can get distracted throughout the workday. So much goes on throughout the day and life can change in an instant. You might get off track and lose focus.

During moments like these, the gentlest waft of your cologne can pull you back into the moment and help you refocus.

Refreshing Recharge

You know that it’s best to spray cologne on a clean body. But there are times when it’s okay to freshen up your cologne application with a few additional spritzes throughout the workday.

Similar to a caffeine boost, the right scents can recharge your mind and give you the energy you need to get through the remainder of the work day.

We know that scents like peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus can help us feel refreshed. The same holds true with citrus scents like oranges, pineapples, and especially grapefruit.

Smelling fresh and citrusy scents can make you more alert and even put you in a positive mood. It’s been found that you’ll be more productive as well.

And researchers have found that not only does scent stimulate your mind and mood, but it can also influence how you interact with others.

It’s All in the Details

When you go the extra mile to wear a scent that goes well with your attire and helps communicate how you want to present yourself to the world, that’s something that doesn’t go unnoticed.

You might be more likely to gain a client or be selected for a promotion because you’ve demonstrated that you can devote time and attention to all the small details that help make up the bigger picture.

This makes you appear to be more level-headed, structured, determined, aware, and dedicated to carrying out all tasks necessary to complete a project.

Should Guys Wear Cologne to Work?

But while there can be many benefits to guys wearing cologne to work, as with anything, there’s a flipside to it as well.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, your cologne might offend coworkers and even make them outright sick to the stomach.

Workplace environments have changed over the past few years. But for some people, the large majority of their day is still spent in their workspace, whether it’s an office, warehouse, showroom, studio, or some other environment.

Office managers are tasked with making these environments tolerable for everyone. And in some cases, this has translated into fragrance-free mandates.

While some people are dismissive of such mandates, there truly is a valid need for them. There are some individuals who can become gravely ill after inhaling fragrances.

You should never wear cologne to work if such a mandate is in place. It’s rude and insensitive and instead of being attracted to you, your coworkers will become frustrated with you and view you as someone who’s insensitive to others’ needs or preferences.

It’s unlikely that you’ll move very far up the ladder once people have drawn such conclusions about you, even if such assumptions about you are generally untrue.

Only wear cologne to work if it’s allowed, and even then, avoid applying so much that the projection overwhelms those around you.

What’s the Best Kind of Cologne to Wear to Work?

Even if you want to command the room, it’s possible to do so with finesse.

Your cologne doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly strong in order to be effective. All of the benefits listed above can apply when wearing a subtle, but distinctive fragrance.

Scent is subjective, so you definitely want to be wearing a scent that you, yourself can tolerate and enjoy. But it also helps to lean towards fragrance accords that are fresh and light, or subtly sweet.

For instance, you probably wouldn’t want to wear an oud wood because it’s known for being really strong. But cedarwood is softer, and sandalwood is creamy and sweet so if either of these are a base note in your cologne, then coworkers might be able to tolerate your personal fragrance.

At the same time, there’s no way to know exactly how your fragrance will come across to others, so you’ll have to assess your personal work situation and be willing to make the necessary adjustments in order to contribute to a safe and tolerable work environment for everyone involved.

For example, you might find that four squirts of a fragrance are too strong in your workplace, and then find that reducing that number to two instead is a much better fit.

If you’ve never worn cologne to work before, or you’re looking to change which cologne you wear to work, check out this article on Cremo cologne.

Cremo colognes are nicely refined fragrances that are noticeable without overpowering those around you. They’re also highly affordable for the working man.


Guys wear cologne to work for multiple reasons. Scent completes their wardrobe, exudes presence, draws attention, and might increase affection towards them.

When wearing a well thought out cologne, guys appear to be more focused and driven, which might help them move up the ladder or win new accounts.

On the flip side, you still have to be mindful of your environment and those who work around you. So, it can help to make adjustments to the scent your wear, its intensity, or how much you apply from day to day.

Either way, always be respectful of any fragrance-free or reduced fragrance policies at work.


Hello and welcome to Fragrance Advice! My name is Grace Young, and I’ve been drawn to fragrances since I was a little girl. There's just something about scent that brings me so much joy! 

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