The joint history of the military and … cologne, can be somewhat misty.

While the application of the fragrant liquid is often frowned upon in boot camp, wearing camouflage or in the field, many of the branches don’t address it directly. That, of course, doesn’t stop many of the officers from using pejoratives like “foo foo water” or emblazoning a quaint rule of thumb in a veteran’s mind forever, like this soldier who expressed his tale on a chat room a few years back:

I once overheard a First Sergeant tell a young soldier that a good rule of thumb was that if the guy standing to your left or right in formation can smell you… you either need to “wash your a** or cut back on your f***’n cologne”. Spoken like only a guy with a hard earned diamond in his chevron could do. I was a PFC at the time and I’ve followed that rule ever since.

And while this is blunt wisdom for the masses to digest, we’re going to break it down a bit further, and pass along some tips that will not only have you smelling lovely but will even tack on a couple of years on the lifespan of that heavy glassed bottle of “smell good”.

Smack that cologne on right after you get out of the shower

Your pores are open at this time, so fill them up with that fragrance and it’ll last the entirety of the day, rather than just a few hours.

Take the dang bottle out of the john

Don’t keep the cologne in the bathroom. All that hotness and moisture can sap the power of your juice and leave it useless in no time.

NEVER EVER EVER spritz the stuff onto your wardrobe

The scent will disappear like a magician’s hare AND it’ll damage your clothes.

Soap up

Cologne has been proven less effective when applied to a body that’s filthy, rather then freshly-bathed with soap/shampoo.

Use just a little

Push down on the little sprayer on the bottle quickly one or two times. That’s it. If you over-apply you’ll not only inherit a sleazy reputation but you’ll be wasting precious cologne (more doesn’t mean it’ll last longer).

Make you sure your spray your wrists

It’s the sweet spot. Because the veins and arteries are there and its natural heat makes it a prime nesting place for the stuff — it fosters a stronger and lingering presence.

Rubbing is bad news, so don’t do it

Smearing the stuff with both wrists is a dumb idea. According to GQ, it “bruises the scent” and makes the hold weaker. So yeah.