I’ve noticed etiquette is slowly being passed to the wayside in favor of being edgy and straight to the point. When did society get to be like this? Who knows, but let’s not get all bent out of shape when it comes to how we smell. A few tips for scent etiquette follows, for those of us who enjoy perfumes and those of us who do not:
1. Don’t smell.
Sometimes you can’t help the way you smell. You just had a jog, your landlord shut off your water a week ago, you’re used to how you smell and don’t realize it. But for the rest of us with running water and sedentary lives, please, don’t smell. Take a shower, observe basic hygiene, and put some deodorant on. If you have an aversion to scents, they make fragrance free deodorants too. As bad as some perfume lovers overdo their scent, I find the smell of unwashed people worse. You can’t smell like a flower all the time, I know. But please, if you are going to be in close vicinity to others in an enclosed space like an office, have the decency to observe basic hygiene.
2. Realize how strong you smell.
This one’s for you fragrance lovers out there. Perfumes are not all created equal. They all have different longevities and projections. Understand that while you love your fragrance, the people working in the cubicles next to yours may not. If you know you’re going to sit in one cramped room full of people all day, wear your heavy-duty fragrances a little lighter than you normally would. There’s no reason for you to stop wearing perfume. But there’s also no reason to be obnoxious and invade other people with your scent.
3. Your nose is not always the best judge of how strong you smell.
Your nose will become desensitized to the same scent over time. This is mostly for people who stick to a signature scent. If you find your old perfume doesn’t smell quite as nice and strong as it used to, you may be desensitized to it and need to take a break or switch it up a little. When your nose isn’t as good at picking up the scent of your favorite perfume anymore, you might find yourself thinking it’s the perfume and not you. Thus you put more on, creating a cloud of perfume strong enough to clear fields. Ask a friend if you’re coming on too strong with your scent. And when you think you might be desensitized, take a couple days off from wearing it or go perfume shopping for a new fragrance.
4. Beware when freshening up.
Like people with a signature scent whose noses get used to their perfume, you can get used to a perfume during the day too. Smell something long enough and eventually you won’t be able to smell it as much anymore. That’s why it’s important to keep this in mind when you freshen up your fragrance so you don’t end up overdoing it.
5. What you like is not universal.
Just because you enjoy smelling like a certain fragrance doesn’t mean everyone does. People like different things and different smells. You are perfectly entitled to what you like but don’t assume everyone else will.