Have a question about the many peculiar habits of the modern hetero dude? Ask a Straight Guy is your chance to pose those burning questions to the Appeal’s straight-guy-in-residence. Kindly direct your hetero-curious questions to: ask.the.straight.guy@gmail.com, because straight guys are deep and meaningful people too.

straight.cologne.jpgDo you think cologne smells nice, or do you think women think that it does?

My current cologne smells like Mediterranean herbs, vanilla and black leather essence, apparently. I think it smells nice.

I also think barbecue smells nice, but I probably wouldn’t leave the house smelling like a pulled pork sandwich unless an attractive woman told me to. It’s a fine balance, you see, and many straight guys aren’t exactly known for having great taste.

Further complicating things is the fact that women are fickle creatures who will probably lie about what they think of our cologne anyway.

(Sidenote: you phrased your question to imply women don’t like cologne, that seems very fem-ophobic.)

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  • blue thorns

    As a straight woman, I usually enjoy cologne on men, but if I can smell it when I’m standing more than arm’s length away from someone? No.

    I want to smell it when I’m nestled up against you, but that’s about it.

    Same goes for women, too. I hate it when I wind up in someone’s perfume contrail and then I’m afraid that everyone will think it’s me who doesn’t know how much scent to wear.

  • Erik

    Yeah if someone who is not hugging you can smell it then you are doing it wrong.

  • robotsongs

    A couple years back I decided to take up shaving with either a straight razor or a double edged blade. I went to badgerandblade.com and hung out there a ton soaking up the knowledge those guys have there. I went into it not knowing very much about scents, but after buying some recommended shave soaps and experitmenting with some aftershaves, I was able to learn quite a bit about the scent culture and now wear some pretty awesome yet subtle colognes.

    I think a lot of guys don’t understand the cologne thing because they don’t study it and wind up using what they learned about scents in junior high, i.e., wear Drakkar Noir and wear lots of it.

    If guys take the time first to learn how to shave with a badger brush and shave soap (not that horrible foam) and a decent razer (they’re WAY cheaper than those 8-blade Gilette POS’s, guys!) it opens the door to some good knowledge of scents. I used to use some essential oils of things like pine, clove, jasmine, etc. for “my personal scent” that I got from Rainbow. It was intersting yes, but pretty ridiculous and my girlfriend at the time (later to be my wife) laughed constantly, cracking jokes about us camping while we were making out. Since I’ve gone the way of straight-razor shaving and using good products, I now constantly smell “yummy” to my wife and she’s always looking for an excuse to bury her face in my neck.

    If you want to start somewhere, start with the barber scents– don’t try the designer cologne stuff, most of them are too gaudy and too powerful and you have to be able to weed out the good ones. Stick with brands like D.R. Harris, Trufitt & Hill, Taylor of Old Bond Street and Geo F Trumper. A lot of those sents have been around for 100 years or more, and there’s a reason. Sandalwood, leather, bay rum… These are the scents you want to be using first, building up your knowledge and preferences. These old shave comapnies will help with that, and they’ll help you start smelling “yummy” to the ladie friends as well.

    Good luck, happy shaving.

  • bluecanary

    I think Woody Allen said it best:

    “Somewheres in life you got turned around; it’s HER job to smell good for YOU.”

    But perhaps this is because I run into far too many men who think the best way to apply cologne is to squirt it on until it’s running in rivers down their chest. If someone can smell you from more than an inch or two away, you’re wearing way too much. (same goes for women, too, but men seem to be far more egregious in this area).

  • Matt Stewart

    No offense, Straight Guy, but, like your previous post, you aren’t really saying anything and are too preoccupied with being witty. You seem like a nice person, but cut the crap and give us something nutritious. Otherwise, go write for SFist and let Christine Borden pick up the slack. Also, stop being a chickenshit and use your real name. Straight girls go for that sort of thing.

  • A Straight Guy

    If there is a particular topic you’d like to see discussed, you’re certainly free to suggest it here or through the the email address provided. But then again, what kind of question could you possibly have? You already seem to have all the answers.

  • Matt Stewart


    If you are sincere, here are two questions: What’s the difference between a nice guy and a “nice guy” and why is the latter so unappealing to women? I have my own theories but I do like to bounce ideas off people.

  • Eve Batey

    I do not believe that is in the Straight Guy’s jurisdiction, to speculate on what women find appealing. After all, how would he know? He’s the Straight Guy!

    I am sure there are many Straight Women you can bounce your ideas off. Have you tried E. Jean Carroll? She is quite wonderful, and might be just what you’re looking for.

  • Matt Stewart

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, sorry to all victims in my path. For what it’s worth, I’ve been having a bad fucking month.

  • sfalew

    Perfume/cologne is gross. SO much of it is TOXIC! I know. I know. It’s hard to take in. But most of the “fragrance” in products is made from petroleum, and it has a bad effect on the human body. I can’t point to a site that measures the toxicity of perfumes per se (gap in the market, kids!), but you can go to http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com and look up enough of your other personal products, and you will leave convinced that much of it is bad for us. Also, check out http://www.safecosmetics.org/; seriously, be shccked. Then let’s start demanding safe nontoxic products in every category.