We’ve all been there-sitting next to someone at a restaurant or stuck working next to a colleague who has sprayed far too much perfume. We’re all aware of how obnoxious it can be and yet there are still so many fragrance offenders that leave perfect strangers in a cloud of scent that they cannot escape!
We generally think of our perfume as enhancing our overall appearance and others will enjoy the olfactory experience as much as we do, but it’s not always the case. What if we’re in close proximity to others who dislike or are allergic to the perfume or cologne we are wearing?
Like everything else a classy woman puts on, a perfume should also be carefully selected to fit the lady wearing it.
Perfume Etiquette Tips
1. Choose the Right Perfume- Fragrances are similar to clothing in that what works well for one person may not suit another. Applying perfume or cologne should be done so that it allows the scent to interact with one’s body chemistry, resulting in a personalized version of the scent which allows your perfume to complement you.
2. Less is More- Use restraint when applying perfume, a small spritz goes a long way. An overwhelming amount of perfume can not only distract others from their work but also be responsible for headaches or nausea. Remember that while you may become used to the scent of your own perfume, it can be very obvious to others. The smell of perfume is magnified in enclosed or crowded areas, as well as in the sun or under warm lights. Follow the old adage of less is more and refrain from re-applying more than once a day.
3. Pair your Perfume with the Venue - A fragrance should also suit the occasion. In general, heavy perfumes are best reserved for a night out. Choose a lighter scent for daytime wear. Certain occasions in life call for discretion and modesty and should not be burdened by overbearing odors. These include hospitals, funerals and when around babies or young children with developing lungs. It is best to keep your scent very light for interviews where your experience should be on display, not your chosen scent.
4. Apply it in Private – As with all other aspects of personal grooming, the application of perfume should take place in a private area such as your home or, if need be, in your workplace washroom. It is impolite to subject others to a toxic cloud of scent, so rethink the idea of spritzing if you're going to be in close proximity to others or in an enclosed space.
5. Resist the urge to Compete – Similar to the notion of eliminating the use of scented candles at the table during a wonderful meal, if you're attending an event where aroma is an important part of the experience such as dining out or wine tasting, avoid competing with anything edible.
6. Perfume is not Body Spray - While it has the ability to mask odors immediately, spaying perfume as if it were body spray, in an attempt to cover up an unpleasant scent, such as body odor, alcohol or cigarettes will only create a toxic bomb of scents that negatively interact with one another to create something unbearable.
7. Fragrances have an Expiry Date- After about a year or two, fragrances start to turn rancid and their once beautiful notes can become harsh, musky or very overpowering. No matter how much you’ve invested into the perfume or how much you love it, it’s time to replace it. There’s no sense keeping something that doesn’t help you put your best foot forward.
Perhaps the most important thing for a classy woman to remember is that, like many of her other attributes, her perfume should be an intimate experience and is something she shares with those whom she has close contact with or plans to have. These select people should have to lean in to breathe in her intoxicating fragrance. The lingering of her scent should be subtle and intriguing.
What is your favorite perfume and how do you ensure that your perfume is ‘just right’ before leaving the house?