When spraying perfume or cologne on Shabbos or Yom Tov, is it true that one may only spray it on the skin but not spread it around with one’s hand?
There is no prohibition of spreading cologne or perfume after spraying on Shabbos. The prohibition of spreading cream and the like is on account of the melachah of memachek, because we smooth the surface of the skin with the cream. Liquid (as opposed to cream) cannot “smooth” skin, and therefore no prohibition is involved.
Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 302:8; Magen Avraham (328:29); Mishnah Berurah (321:80); Eliya Rabbah (302:21); Mishnah Berurah (302:26).