It’s no secret that I have built quite an arsenal of fragrances since I first began collecting in 2012.
I have more than 50 colognes to date, but I undoubtedly don’t use all of them. At least ten of them are boxed up and stored away; Thierry Mugler Pure Shot is an overbearing mint-patchouli, Enrique Iglesias Adrenaline is synthetic trash and Kenneth Cole Reaction reignites bittersweet memories I’d like to avoid.
As for the remaining 30-odd scents that I proudly display on my shelf, I don’t even use all of them regularly, often only rotating between around five all-time favorites (I’m talking about you, Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb).
Naturally, I am often asked why I own so many fragrances, and the truth is it satiates my fondness for collecting, but pragmatically I’d also like to have a wide range of choices. It’s like how many own tons of shirts and tops, or dozens of pairs of shoes (I have to add that as of writing this, I only own two pairs of shoes).
But if I am asked to advise how many fragrances a typical person should own, my magic number is 2.
Scents can be classified in tons of ways, and I often divide them into two major groups: the day scents and the night scents.
Day scents are, like the name suggests, better suited for daytime wear, when you’re in the office or classroom, or anywhere indoors. They generally smell fresher, cleaner and more invigorating, which is what we really want to start our day smelling like. Day scents are often citrusy or fruity.
On the flip side, night scents exhibit more personality. They smell more fun, are sexier, more romantic and flirtatious, perfect for your post-work dinner date or the club. Night scents are more frequently dominated by warm spices.
Several fragrances on the market are created to observe the day/night dichotomy: Hugo Boss launched Boss Bottled Night as a smokier, lavender scent to contrast the office-friendly green apple pie that is Boss Bottled. Versace Bright Crystal is a sparkling yuzu and peony that energizes the day. The fashion house’s Crystal Noir is more sensual with its white florals and cardamom.
That said, don’t be mistaken that a night scent smells similar to the daytime original. They usually smell completely different.
Both day and night scents are sexy. Day scents are just safer for authoritative evironments like the workplace, and night scents are (for want of a better word), sultrier.
If you only have one bottle in your arsenal of scents, try identifying if it’s a day or a night scent via its notes or reading opinions on Fragrantica.com. And preferrably, get a second scent, because do you really wanna smell at the same at work and at the club?