Scents in the Office

Joy 1288 Copyright Shelagh DonnellyHow scent savvy are you at the office? Can you and your colleagues readily wear your favourite colognes or perfumes, or is your Joy causing someone else a great deal of grief?

Not that long ago, I’d feel less than dressed departing for work without a spritz or two of one of my favourite scents – never Tuberose Gardenia or Joy for the office, but instead something along the lines of Modern Muse, White Linen or Chanel. For the past couple of years, though, I’ve reversed the routine.

Perfumes 1297 Copyright Shelagh DonnellyNow, it’s only on returning home from the office that I reach for an eau de toilette, eau de parfum or perfume. Why? Our office was designated scent-free a couple of years ago, and this is not uncommon. Companies respond to employees who have environmental sensitivities and health reactions to the scents people wear to the office, and you may also work in an organisation with such policies.

A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future – Coco Chanel

For those of us who like to wear scent, weaning yourself off your Narciso Rodriguez or other scent for the office can be a significant undertaking.

You’ll find, as have others, that wearing only body lotions or eau de toilettes or eau de colognes in lieu of eau de parfums just doesn’t do the trick.  Seeing the genuine physical reactions of someone with a sensitivity to scents, even once, was enough to keep me mindful. Now, I’ve flipped my routines and reach for scents after work.

I think it’s interesting that cologne rhymes with alone – Demetri Martin

Colognes 1309 Copyright Shelagh DonnellyFor those who can still wear scent in the office, what are some guidelines? First, consider what you’re wearing. Perfume is the most expensive fragrance because it has the highest concentration of essences, and so it’s the longest lasting fragrance; you need wear only a small amount to have an impact.

Eau de parfums are less intense than perfumes; their concentration may range from 15 – 20%. Eau de toilettes, with up concentrations of up to 10% of essences, fade quickly but are refreshing when first applied. Eau de colognes have the lowest (anywhere from two to seven percent) concentration of essences, and are typically spray applications.

When spritzing a bit of scent on your wrist for work, hold the bottle at least eight inches away before spraying; this way, it won’t be overly concentrated. Many like to spray their scent in the air and “step in” to it. Whatever your approach, less is more, as you don’t want to overpower your colleagues’ nostrils with your preferred tones.

One Comment on “Scents in the Office

  1. Pingback: Scent Savvy for the Office | Exceptional EA

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