Well this is the results of my highly scientific survey about what people think about men wearing cologne ekcetera, and basically the conclusion is this:
Different people have different views
That does not sound exciting enough for a press release though, so if I combine subjective bias with some made-up responses, suddenly it all looks a lot clearer. It seems most girls like either just freshly clean smelling men or with a subtle scent that blends with their own skin chemistry but does not overpower. I read somewhere that the right strength of scent is that you should not be able to smell it unless you get within six inches of someone. Certainly not across the room.
That being so it suggests you should wear something inherently subtle and not too artificial-smelling, and apply with discretion. Under clothes not over them, and if you have those spray bottles which give out a great blast sufficient to kill a moose at twenty yards, it is probably best to spray the air and then walk through it.
Someone pointed out that no scent is necessary; of course it’s not necessary, any more than make-up or pretty dresses for women are necessary. That said, though, it’s nice in certain situations to feel that you look or smell attractive and it gives you confidence. Perhaps that confidence from feeling good is what really makes you attractive.
I just got through reading a book called How To Persuade People Who Don’t Want To Be Persuaded, by a chap called Joel Bauer who specialises in attracting crowds and generating buzz at trade shows. It is not one of these ‘how to bend people to your will and sell them insurance’ type books which is a relief. It is more about techniques that you can use for surprising, amusing and entertaining people so that they want to listen to you, and then remember what you say. Bauer uses everything from origami to magic tricks to grab attention at meetings and close sales, and it is nothing more or less than practical psychology.
For example, a very common question when you first meet someone is ‘What do you do?’ The dullest way to answer this is what we mostly all say: “I’m an accountant / IT guy / events manager / ekcetera”. That puts all the burden onto the other person to pretend interest and think of the next thing to say. Instead, Bauer suggests it is much better to say what you do in terms of what it means to people. For example, if you are an IT engineer you could say ‘I help people get their work done by making sure their computers don’t crash!’, or ‘I help people work, shop and relax by making sure they can access the Web sites they need’.
Now this could sound hokey and fake, but if you say it with a smile and you actually care about what you do and think it’s worthwhile, you can communicate that to the person you’re talking to.
Another thing that Bauer talks about is the importance of clothes. Most of us can’t change our faces or bodies, but we can change our clothes, and it’s the most cost-effective way of looking good. Smart and attractive clothes do half your persuading for you - and whoever you are, whatever you do, you need to persuade people. If you want to talk to top-level managers, dress like the kind of person that talks to top-level managers. If your audience is dressed well, dress better!
In essence, looking smartly dressed and well-groomed is a way of paying someone a compliment - it’s saying ‘I care about your opinion of me.’ Showing up to a meeting in jeans and T-shirt projects arrogance. It says ‘You’ll listen to me whatever I look like, because I’m so damned smart’. Now you have to work twice as hard to get your idea across. It goes without saying that this doesn’t just apply to business meetings but any situation where you want the other person to pay attention to you and remember you - a date is a very obvious example.
I do see the force of this, and I’ve been thinking it’s about time I had a bit of a change of image for the smarter! So I’m going to outlaw jeans and T-shirts and go get myself some nice trousers and shirts in the sales after Christmas! I need a feminine eye to help me though so does anyone fancy coming shopping with me?