Perfume Etiquette

It is very easy to be carried away whilst applying your favourite perfume. The temptation is just too much to handle. While the love for perfume is understandable, there’s no greater sin than gagging everyone with an overwhelming scent that’s been over-sprayed. It is a fragrance crime.

what is Perfume Etiquette?

Most people generally think that their perfumes are as pleasing to everyone else as they are to them. Who could blame them? Much has been written about dress etiquettes while perfume etiquette is usually seen summed up in less than five words: don’t put too much. There is certainly more to perfume etiquette than just advocating its use in judicious quantities. Let’s take a look at some of the most glossed over tips in wearing perfume and hopefully avoid being called ignorant.

1. Use the right perfume

Even before counting the spritzes, you should pick the right perfume to use. Smell it on yourself before buying  it so that you’ll know how it interacts with your body chemistry. What works very well on your friend may not work well with you. Find your own scent and you are sure to love the attention you get after that.

2. Consider the occasion

When and where are you going to wear the scent? Fragrances should match the occasion and the venue. A heavy, sensual perfume may work wonders on a night out but would have your colleague sitting away from you on a work day. Go for light scents during the day. Be discreet or don’t dab anything at all if you are to go to a hospital or when you show up for an interview for your dream job. If you’re going to a public pool or at the beach, best leave your skin unsprayed. There’s no point competing with the smell of chlorine or the sea. Avoid putting on overpowering perfume on airplane trips in case you are seated beside someone fragrance sensitive.

3. Don’t gas everyone

Do your spritzing in your own personal (air) space such as your own home, car (when no one is riding with you), or in the washroom. Never spray it when you’re in your favourite restaurant.

4. Don't use stale perfume

Even the highest quality perfumes change composition after 6 months to a year. Once opened, exquisite notes can either turn stale or harsh after a certain period. Don’t insist on wearing it just because you love it. Let it go and buy a new one.

5. Don’t use it to mask other smells

Body odour, cigarette smoke or alcohol stenches. That will not make the problem go away. These smells attach to the perfume molecules and result to an even more unbearable stench. Perfume is not a magic wand. Don’t use it to magically hide anything. Instead, take a shower if you think your body odour is no longer that great and apply your perfume thereafter. A freshly bathed skin enhances the performance of your perfume.

6. Apply from a distance

Six inches or 15cm is the magic distance when spraying eau de toilette. Don’t spray it in one concentrated area. If you want it to last longer, you can dab it on your pulse points such as under the neck, your wrists, behind the ear or above the elbow. If you’re a man who wants a subtle scent throughout the day, apply it to your chest or biceps under your clothing.

7. Obey scent-free workplace policies

Some people are fatally allergic to perfumes. Synthetic components in perfumes can trigger respiratory and neuro effects that are just not worth the price of smelling good.

8. Stick to the skin

No matter what they say, avoid spraying perfume on clothing. Perfumes can stain and damage clothes. Perfumes are designed to react to skin chemistry, not your fabric conditioner.

9. Don’t compete with the table

Don’t wear scent if you’re going to a wine tasting or a gourmet meal. You won’t stand a chance.

10. Don’t go beyond your scent circle

This is a corollary of the perfumista’s golden rule “don’t put too much”. A scent circle is about an arm’s length from your body and, as a rule, two sprays are just about enough to fill it. Resist the urge to put on more. Nasal receptors can easily get desensitized and you might never know when you have put on too much already.