A lot of us really couldn't care less about fragrance, and you might think you'll never wear any, but in reality you probably do already—your after-shave, deodorant, or anti-perspirant is loaded with cheap, loud scents, and it's speaking on your behalf when you meet people. Now it's easy to think you don't want to get started with the world of fragrance, which is full of stuffy, constipated terminology about top notes and patchouli and people who routinely drop $100 on 3 ounces of a liquid that cost less to manufacture than the bottle containing it.

Relatively speaking, designer deodorants offer a cost-effective way to try out fragrance while eliminating the chemical reek of Old Spice or Speed Stick from your personal aura. Most of your designer fragrances come in a range of products that include a deodorant stick, containing the same scent as the spray at maybe 20% of the cost. So if you find a sample in a magazine that you like, or dare to brave a few spritzes at the counter in your local department store, see if there's a deodorant variant you can start with. It might lead you to buy the cologne, or it just might be all the fragrance you really need. And that's OK too.

Shown left to right: Lacoste Essential, the smell of lemonade and tea spilled on fresh linen. Bvlgari Aqua, light, subtle; the silverware in a seaside bistro. Polo Black, strong and ambiguously floral.

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