Cologne Vs. Aftershave

by Viola Horne ; Updated September 28, 2017

After shave and razor

after shave cologne image by CraterValley Photo from

Although both cologne and after shave have a pleasing, long-lasting fragrance, they are not the same. There are differences in strength, purpose and cost, as well as the location where they are used. Some men prefer one over the other, while some prefer to use both.


Personal care products manufacturer, Colgate, says men should use an after shave to soothe skin irritated by shaving, relieve dryness and protect against the elements. Perfume website,, says men wanting a longer lasting fragrance should choose a cologne.


While both after shave and colognes contain fragrance and alcohol, most after shaves contain a higher percentage of alcohol in addition to skin-soothing ingredients like aloe vera and allantoin.

Application Sites

After shave is generally restricted to application at shaving sites like the face and neck, whereas cologne is usually applied to the neck and wrists.


After shave is often less expensive that cologne because of its lower fragrance concentration. The ingredients that give a product its fragrance are usually more expensive than the carrier, usually alcohol.

Layering says that some men prefer to use both after shave and cologne, which offers skin-soothing benefits as well as long-lasting fragrance.

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Photo Credits

  • after shave cologne image by CraterValley Photo from

About the Author

When not working in her family-owned food and bar business, Viola Horne can almost always be found with a cookbook in one hand and a whisk in the other. Horne never tires of entertaining family and friends with both comfort food and unusual delicacies such as garlic cheese smashed potatoes and banana bacon pancakes.