Brazilian women like their men to smell nice, so I have been trained to use colognes. I used to use whatever my girlfriends gave to me, figuring if they like it it must be good. I mostly stopped when I was with the Russians (other than special occasions), but then started up again when I went back to Brazilians.
Then somehow I got into the whole double-edged shaving thing and that got me into experimenting with aftershaves and colognes on my own. I never really understood the difference between an aftershave and a cologne until then.
Also, because I dance a lot and often dance close, I figure it’s good to smell nice when you’re in close contact with women like that, so I use it more these days. I like when a woman has a nice scent, so figure I should do my part on my end.
I now have a disturbingly large number of bottles and fragrances that I’ve tested out. I like some more than others of course, and it’s nice to rotate them as the seasons change as well.
The trick, of course, is not to use too much. I read somewhere that a scent should leave a memory, not announce your arrival. That sounds like the right attitude.
As bchad has already commented on this thread, I am surprised that there has been no mention of the genetic importance of scent preference. If you like a certain scent, chances are that your wife, significant other, or potential mates will not like this scent. We evolve this way to increase the likelihood of being matched with individuals who are genetically different from ourselves, thus increasing resistance to various diseases and reducing the expression of recessive genes.
You can find “Major histocompatibility complex” on Wikipedia. I would paste a link, if I could…