A few words on perfumes – and others

We wear perfume for ourselves, but also for others – to ”smell nice” and to define our personality. Whether we want to or not, our smells and perfumes become part of other peoples’ environment – our partners and friends, but also complete strangers. Therefore I would like to talk a little bit about our perfumes and people around us, to be specific: on how to wear perfume in a respectful way.

There are two main reasons why we need to take other people into consideration when it comes to our perfume habits. One is that we need to acknowledge that what smells amazing to one person, can smell horrible to another. When you find your perfect floral bomb that gives you summer meadow bliss and you take the bus to your work – know that at least one or two persons on that bus will think your fragrance is the worst smelling thing ever. The other reason, which is more important, is that quite a lot of people get allergic reactions from perfumes.

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So this is what I think. If you take the train or bus, and especially if you go during rush hour, don’t wear heavy perfume that diffuses a lot. (And never ever over-apply. Too much perfume is never good. Never.) Actually, I would even suggest you take your perfume with you and apply it at work. Although if you work in a crowded office – be moderate and conscious also there. At work I recommend choosing a fragrance that sticks closer to the body and is applied on pulse points. So no heavy big sillage drama on your cashmeres or in your hair please.

Airports. This is a particularly tricky one because of the tax free shops. But seriously – would you want to sit next to someone in air plane with their perfume all over your olfactory world view? Exactly. So be moderate or even better don’t fly with perfume. There is only one thing worse than sitting next to someone who is wearing a perfume you hate, and that is sitting next to someone who is wearing 2-5 different perfumes after a tax free shop safari. So if you want to buy perfume before boarding – use the paper strips. Try one fragrance if you really have to. If you are completely lost and want to try all the new launches for the seasons and really want to do it on your skin – please don’t do it before getting on a flight. You can do some of the pre-research very effectively before the purchase by looking perfumes up on websites like Fragrantica and Basenotes and making a list of 4-5 perfumes that you might want to buy. That will make your process more stringent in the actual shop.

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The third situation that I would like to put an olfactory spotlight on is restaurants. We all agree that nice food appeals to taste, eyes and nose, correct? Let the scents that the chef has created have the limelight. This will allow you to experience the food with more present senses, and it will also limit the risk of your perfume becoming the main character at the table next to yours. Orientals and exquisite florals are fantastic. But not with oysters. Wear a discrete perfume when you go out for dinner, and choose notes that do not argue with the fragrances you can expect in a restaurant. If you are going to bars or clubs later and want something with more character for that – bring a travel size vial and apply the fragrance after dinner.

Disagree? Please share your thoughts.

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