Choosing an eau de parfum for men is a very personal decision. It is especially difficult to do if you are choosing the parfum for someone else, but it takes some trial and error even to select a one for yourself. The best method is to decide on your budget and then visit a department store or fragrance outlet to experience some scents for yourself. After deciding on two or three fragrances, purchase samples and try out each for a few days to decide which you like best before buying a full sized bottle.
Eau de parfum is the strongest concentration of fragrance available, It has the highest percentage of essential oils in the formula — up to 40% concentrate. It is also the longest lasting and most expensive. With that in mind, consider your budget carefully. Smaller bottles of eau de parfum may fit into your budget, but if you replace them frequently, you can end up paying more than the cost of a larger sized bottle of fragrance.
All fragrances, whether an eau de parfum for men or a body splash for women, have three "notes" or stages to the scent. The first note is the initial impression of a fragrance, or how it smells immediately after you apply it. The second note occurs about 15 minutes later, usually somewhat subdued, but interacting with your own body chemistry. The final note, approximately 45 minutes after application, is the scent that lingers for three or four hours, depending on the concentration of the essential oils of the eau de parfum.
Visit a store that offers sample of eau de parfum for men. If you have a preference for a certain family of fragrances, like citrus or evergreen, don't hesitate to ask the store clerk for a recommendation. Write down the name of the fragrance on a sample card, called a blotter, and then apply the scent to the card. Smell it immediately for the first note and move onto another fragrance. Experience two or three other scents and then return to the fragrance for the second note. Keep the cards so that you can smell the final, or third note, later.
You may have to make several trips to the store, it can becomes more difficult for your nose to distinguish between scents after smelling three or four fragrances. It helps to sniff coffee beans, which are often available at the fragrance counter in between samples, as their scent neutralizes many other scents. Once you have decided on two or three fragrances that are pleasant, especially in the third note, purchase a sample size.
Try a fragrance for two or three days to find out how it interacts with your skin. The chemistry of your body and the scents from your natural oils will combine with an eau de parfum for men to create a unique scent. In some cases, the interaction is not pleasing, but that judgment is subjective and personal, so only the wearer can decide.
Keep in mind that a fragrance can also be combined with scented body products, like after shave and deodorant. Many companies offer a fragrance in multiple forms, so consider switching to an aftershave or body lotion with your favorite scent or, perhaps, using unscented products in addition to your eau de parfum. In any case, refrain from using multiple forms of the same cologne as this can produce an overwhelming scent.
The sense of smell is different for everyone, especially since a scent often triggers unique memories and associations. What can be appealing to one individual is replusive to another, either because of the actual scent or because of a mental reaction to it. If you are purchasing an eau de parfum for men as a gift, consider buying a sample collection of fragrances and a gift certificate for a full bottle of fragrance instead of choosing one yourself.