Hello, Art of Manliness community!  I come before you today with a question - what does one use to smell manly?  I ask because I am anosmic - I have no sense of smell that I'm aware of.  As a result, I'm never sure what exactly I'm supposed to smell like (or what I currently smell like), and I put Old Spice Deodorant on in the morning, but that's about it.   What specific recommendations would you make on how to smell manly to somebody who can't smell at all?

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Especially for you:  as little as possible.  It's OK to have a little whiff of musk, but overpowering is bad even if it's a good smell.

So:  wash well with unscented soap, wash all the shampoo out, brush the teeth &c., deodorant as needed (my guess is nothing of that sort will become too strong to someone not sticking the nose in your armpit!), and if you want, a tiny amount of cologne.

That sounds like a plan.  Thanks for the advice!

A good trick - it's hard to go wrong with this - pick a good cologne or aftershave (better yet, let a lady pick it for you). Then, use it on a cotton swab to clean your ears. It's virtually impossible to put on too much, because a cotton swab can only hold so much. The heat of your ears releases just enough of the scent during the day.

That's a neat idea.  Would you have any cologne recommendations?

Simple, not costly but ladies I know like it and barbers stock it - Pinaud Clubman. There's a more upscale version called Clubman Reserve. Not a lot of stores carry it, but I've seen it at CVS and Walgreen's, and for sale from barbers.

I usually buy a bunch of scents, once a year, from Williamsport Barber Supply (www.williamsportbarber.com), the Stephan and Pinaud scents, and use a different one every day of the week. The Lime Sec is less formal, the Dragon Noir more dressy, the Clubman good for any occasion.

I've also asked ladies what appealed to them and bought what they liked. Aramis drove one of'em wild, but another one told me it smelled like a funeral home. Alas! Can't please'em all.

Pinaud Clubman.  I'll have to check that out.  Thanks!

I don't know what "women" like (and my wife doesn't care much), but I like Obsession, and Sung.

Old Spice to me smells too much like Grandpa.

You are already there. Don't sweat it (pun intended).

I've been using Lever 2000 Original Scent soap for about 20 years.  I get frequent compliments on smelling good.  I NEVER use scented deodorant.  That's disgusting.  They all smell terrible and who wants to smell like armpits?  Use unscented.  Let a woman pick out a cologne, and then just barely use it, if at all.  They key is less is more.  You just want to smell clean, not perfumed.    

Scented deodorants also ruin shirts. That's what that dark stain is in armpits, not the sweat itself. I use one of those salt crystal deodorants. No scent whatsoever, no dark armpits.


Two scents to avoid (IMO): 1) Axe, and 2) any kind of musk.

Axe is all over the damned place, and in the 20-something set. Never heard a woman say she liked it.

Musk - got to question the wisdom of showering, putting on deodorant, then making yourself smell like a sweaty jockstrap. The theory is, women will react to the pheromones, see you as virile, and submit to your overpowering charms. Reality, she probably thinks "that guy needs to change his shorts."

If I were you, I would focus on not smelling at all - good or bad, rather than smelling "good" and not being able to enjoy it myself. I don't wear perfume for my husband; I wear it for myself.

If I couldn't smell, I'd put a lot of effort into cleanliness, mostly with my clothes and and mouth. I'd never re-wear something without washing it, except for pants and sweaters. I'd have perfect home oral care - brush 3x/day, rinse with antiseptic 2x, floss 1x, use a tongue cleaner 2x.


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