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Colognes with a Matching Body Wash: Overkill, or Oddly Useful?

While the smell of your body wash doesn't linger long after a shower, using one that matches your preferred fragrance creates a base layer your cologne can build off.

man soaping himself
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More now than ever, you'll find brands that are creating body washes to mirror their colognes. Frederic Malle, for example, sells an eau de parfum called Vetiver Extraordinaire developed by famous French master perfumer Dominique Ropion. The same amber-forward scent can be found within the brand's body wash, which goes by the same name. Byredo does a similar thing with its best-selling bottles: Gypsy Water, for example, can be found as a fragrance and a refined body wash.

But why? What's the sense behind spending $50 on fancy body wash that smells like the cologne you're already about to put on after your shower?

For one, these body washes are certainly cheaper than buying the colognes outright. A bottle of the aforementioned Frederic Malle scent starts at $260, while the body wash is only $70. 100 milliliters of Gypsy Water sells for $270, but Byredo's body wash only costs $64. Body wash is by no means a substitute for cologne — the scent essentially washes away with the suds — but if you're trying to test a scent that isn't offered in a sample or travel-sized bottle, it may be the most cost-efficient way of test-running a scent.

Some folks might opt for a body wash before the cologne because scents develop over the course of a day, and although you might like the lingering amber notes in the a.m., by day's end, you might be itching to get it off you. $270 is a hell of a lot to spend on a scent you aren't 100 percent sure you like at all hours of the day.

Other folks might splurge on a set — the body wash and the cologne — because they appreciate the cohesion it brings to the morning or evening routine. Maybe you're sweaty or a little stinky by the day's end and you're eager for a shower before dinner. Because you always apply your cologne after you shower, many associate that smell with truly being clean (or at least feeling put together), not the traditional bar soap scents we keep in our shower cubbies. By bringing this scent into the shower, that feeling of preparedness onsets earlier, presumably making it easier to get your day going.

And don't worry about doubling up, if you do. Again, the aromatics delivered through the body wash will largely be long gone by the time you're spritzing the cologne on. They washed away with the suds, but that first application does offer the cologne a neutral base to work from, rather than the residue of an overly powerful mint- or bourbon-scented bar soap.


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Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire
Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire Body Wash
Byredo Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum
Byredo Gypsy Water Body Wash
Fulton & Roark Devil's Garden Solid Fragrance
Fulton & Roark Devil's Garden Bar Soap
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