When Did Teen Boys Get a Nose for $300 Cologne?

On a recent trip to Sephora, 11-year-old Lincoln Rivera asked his mom for a $125 atomizer of Yves Saint Laurent eau de parfum.

He also covets scents from Jean Paul Gaultier, which he learned about from the animated movie “Megamind,” and Paco Rabanne (some of its cologne bottles are shaped like robots).

“I feel fine about how I smell,” said Lincoln, a fifth grader in Westchester County, N.Y., whose olfactory experimentation has so far been limited to deodorant. “But I could smell even better.”

Abby Rivera, Lincoln’s mother, first thought the designer scents sounded like overkill for her son to wear to elementary school. She was surprised by his sudden interest until she heard that some of his hockey teammates had also been asking their parents for high-end cologne, too.

“It’s like a status thing right now — they all want it,” she said. “Just like the girls want this high-end skin care and body care, this is like the boys’ version.”

Teenage boys have long turned to mists and sprays to drown out the first whiffs of puberty, but some even younger adolescents — whose parents have the cash, that is — are now becoming infatuated by designer colognes with price tags in the hundreds of dollars.

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