Even the name confuses people. Many think cologne is for men and perfume is for women, but those terms merely refer to the concentration of scent oils in the fragrance (which is the basic, gender-neutral term).
There are many other misconceptions, so we decided, with the help of fragrance expert Marlen Harrison, Art of Manliness, and Fragrance.net, to bust as many as we could with helpful graphics.
While fragrance never "goes bad," it will start to smell differently than the perfumer intended.
It's actually impossible to tell how a fragrance will smell when mixed on your skin by sniffing a piece of a paper. Additionally, a fragrance can and will smell slightly differently on different people's skin.
Apply to naturally warmer bodily areas like your neck and chest, as this will allow the scent to dissipate evenly throughout the day. Cardinal rule: Don't overdo it.
Eau de cologne is one of the weakest, with around 3% concentration of fragrance oil. Eau de toilette has around 10%, while eau de parfum has between 15 and 20%. Straight perfume has around 25% concentration.
Let it sit on the skin and absorb on its own.
A stronger fragrance will naturally smell more powerful, however, and require less at application.
Depending on what kind of scent you're going for, greater strength might be better for you. In fact, the same scent at two different concentrations may even smell completely different.
If a fragrance is non-linear, it probably means it's of better quality.
It's best to immerse yourself in the knowledge of blogs like Fragrantica, and find a scent that fits your liking and your budget.