Not only can a special fragrance can lift your mood, it can give you recognizable, definable scent. This latter attribute is part of the reason that fragrances take on such a tricky role in the workplace: You’re around your coworkers all day long, and that scent you love may be driving them crazy and decreasing your stock in the workplace. If you enjoy wearing fragrances, try these tips for using perfumes in the workplace without generating ill will.
Wearing Scent in the Workplace
First off, don’t wear perfume to an interview. The risk is too high that your chosen scent will fill the small interview room or grate on the HR representative’s senses, leaving you with a bad first impression that you may not be able to overcome. Likewise, if you’re attending a conference or making a presentation, you may wish to leave the perfume at home for the day.
When picking an office scent, stick to one: Perfume, scented deodorant, scented shampoo and scented hand lotion in different fragrances can leave you smelling like the whole floral shop. This can irritate coworkers who are scent-sensitive, and can even undermine your credibility. If you can’t tell that your personal scent cloud is too much, where else may you be lacking judgment?
Apply scent with a light hand. Keep it to one spritz, two at most. Any more than this is too much scent for work. If you really want perfume that lasts all day, consider spraying your hair so you’ll smell it while you work. Finally, be receptive to feedback on your signature scent from those around you. If a coworker complains about the scent being too strong, apply with a lighter hand or look to lighten your perfume. Scents are not created equally.
Tips for Choosing a Scent
Save the sultry, musk notes for later and choose a scent that is lightweight enough for daytime use. Citrus fragrances are generally lightweight and non-offensive for men and women alike. They tend to linger less in the air. In general, look for lighter daytime wear fragrances that contain mild floral, citrus or wood notes and low amounts of musk, spice, amber and patchouli. Most fragrances are marketed as either day or night use, with some taking the middle ground. Use the fragrance notes list as well as the manufacturer suggestions to determine if a perfume is right for day or night.
If you can, try wearing a more subtle body spray or body mist instead of a traditional perfume. These products leave a lighter scent that’s less likely to linger around the workplace, and will still provide scent you can distinguish.
Save stronger fragrances and new scents for weekend and nighttime wear. With these tips, you can still enjoy the way that fragrance makes you feel and smell, while remaining sensitive to the needs and preferences of your coworkers — a winning combination of tact and taste that’s sure to impress colleagues.
Joseph is a technology buff with a love for writing. In his spare time, he enjoys blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands he uses.